Friday, November 25, 2011


We took off this morning from the casino and headed toward Quartzsite.  We crossed over a pretty one lane bridge that was kind of neat:

Commenters have mentioned how brave I am, being a solo female traveler, etc., and it may seem that way, but believe me I'm not.  Most times I'm probably more nervous than the rest of you, but I decided a long time ago that if I let that stop me, I'd literally do nothing.  So, I don't think about it, act as if I know what I'm doing, and  just keep going, and I'm really glad I can do that.  Most times I'm okay, it's just new things that I'm doing that make me a little nervous.  I do all the research I can, and then I hope for the best.  Like going to Quartzsite.

I didn't know how in the world I'd find a place to stay in Quartzsite, it's so big and there are so many areas.  People who have been here know how simple it is, but for those of you who haven't been here, it couldn't be easier.

All along the 95 there are signs like this one below.

Each area has signage, and there were tons of areas I passed before I got here.  Most were BLM lands where you can camp free for 14 days.  Then you have to leave, and move at least 25 miles away, and after 14 days, you can go back, or move to another spot.  That's so the desert can "heal" and won't show the wear and tear of campers.  That sounded kind of interesting, and I may try out some of the BLM camping areas, but I wanted to check out the Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) to see if I wanted to get a season permit that costs $180.  It's good from September 15 through April 15, and you can stay in one spot the entire time, or move from LTVA to LTVA, leave for a while and come back, etc.  So, I passed up the other places and kept going. 

It was very nice desert scenery all along the road, even some Saguaro Cactus, which I didn't expect to see up here.

Once you get here, right before the town of Quartzsite, there are four sections in the La Posa LTVA, two on each side of 95, and all right before the town.  You can stop at any of them (they each have a little brown building right off the road, very visible) and the volunteers will answer any of your questions.  If you buy the permit, it's good at any of the LTVAs in Arizona and California, which are all near the border of the two states.  The volunteers were really helpful.  Of the four areas in La Posa, only one has a dump station and water spigots for fresh water.  That's the first one on the right.  So all the LTVA people go there to dump and get water.  You need your permit to get past the volunteer building to the dump station.  I stopped at the one on the left side of 95 and bought my pass, then went across the street to dump my grey and black tanks and fill up with fresh water.

I asked the volunteers which would be the best area for me, since I wanted to visit the January Quartzsite RV event and I don't have a car. They suggested the second area on the left, which borders the town right where the tents are set up.  They said it will be a nice walk, but not too much.  One of my neighbors here said it's a short walk to the show from here.  I can see the place they sent up the tents from The Palms. So if I stay in this area, I'll be nice and close and I'll be able to easily walk over.

This is the brown building I went to for my LTVA permit

 And... our very nice Volunteers, Lois and Ellen

Here is the RV site I chose - actually you just drive around until you find a spot you like, and park.   I don't get TV here, but I'm not sure if I'll get it anywhere.  I do see some antennas up, though, so tomorrow Katie and I are taking a walk toward the antennas to see if they're picking up the signal.  If so, we're moving!

Facing west toward the setting sun, per solar instructions.

View out the couch window
View out the dinette window

I expect that as the year comes to an end, and into January, this area will fill up.  I should probably find a spot that ensures an open area on at least one side.  Maybe tomorrow I'll do that.  Then if I DO stay here the whole time, I'll be set.  You can leave your place for five days, but then you have to come back or you may lose your spot.  I might check out some other places, but leave a chair and table here.  Then if I find a better place, I can come back and get them.  If I want to leave for a few days just for a change of scenery, I can go to the BLM areas and stay for free for the five days, then come back.

Here are the sunset shots I took tonight:

 After the sun set in the west

 Can you see the glow on the mountains in the east behind the RVs?

That's what I learned today about boondocking at Quartzsite.  It couldn't have been easier - the drive was straight through on the 95 from Yuma, the areas were well marked, the volunteers were helpful, and it was super easy to find a spot.  Probably any spot in any of these areas would be a good one.

Anonymous said in a comment, "You must have way more money than most of us. You have really spent the bucks!"   Well, I don't know, Anonymous, how much money do the rest of you have?  I probably have more than some of you, and less than a lot of you, and a lot less than I did have.  How much money do you have?

From Me and Katie here in Quartzsite, have a nice Friday evening, everyone!  :)


  1. Great answer to that question. So eager to hear of your experiences with your solar panels and your trips. Hopefully, we will be there come January.

  2. Just a silly question, Do they have garbage dumpsters in the LTVA areas? I have to scoop the cat litter everyday and would need a place to dump it if I parked my RV there.

  3. This is awesome and answers a lot of questions for me. Quartzsite has always been a place I want to go, I've heard so much about it. Thank you for posting such good directions and how-to! I know you are going to thoroughly enjoy your solar. How is your internet connection there? Is it a good one? That will always be a consideration for me. Thanks again for a great post.

  4. To Anonymous on money spent:

    There is up front cost to outfit a new rig for full-timing. 80% up-fitting is done in the first year - just like a new house. It is an investment to avoid cost later. The payback is almost always within the first couple of years and gives tremendous flexibiltiy to avoid cost and enjoy the travel more. Life is short-ENJOY!!!!

  5. what a great spot to park and watch the sunset and sunrise!!!..perfection!..enjoy your new solar power!..looking forward to hearing all about the useage etc!!..and good answer for the 'anon' commenter!!

  6. Like most annonymous posts, some are annoying.How much money you Have, Had or will have is YOUR business, nobody else's,so is how much you spend, Anyone that Rv's any length of time knows that going solar is not cheap and for the timid. However over time you will recoup your investment. I usually don't make an issue out of putting what I paid for RV items in my blog, that's just me,I usually do it if I thought I got a good deal and want to pass it on to somebody else looking for the same item.An item in point would be the generator I just purchased. A Honda or Suzuki with 2500 watts that would run an A/c would be near $2000 dollars. I looked at how often and when and where it would be used and decided it would not be a good financial decision.Last summer I discovered Rural King, they stocked Honda, Generac and their own line of generators, I got to hear all of them run and the Generac & Rural Kings were pretty quiet, not as quiet at the honda, but not loud.Last summer after we had to move from a park where they lost their electric on a 90+ day. I started my quest. The price of a 2000watt unit was $429, this would probably not have run my A/C. Black Friday I bought a 3500watt unit with the added convenience of electric start ( for Donna) the price with their discount was $319. No rebates, that was what I paid at checkout, took it home and filled it with gas & oil and charged the battery and it fired right up and ran smooth and surprisingly quiet. By waiting and watching I saved a bunch and got a better unit. Glad you will be able to give your new setup a field test, I think you did right with what your plans were gor boondocking and it will pay you back in the long run. Not only in savings but convenience. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  7. I have always wondered how you find a spot in Quartzite and how it is all done. Thanks so much for all the helpful information. I hope one day Mike and I can experience the Big RV gathering there.
    Enjoy your time in the desert!!

  8. Thanks for your post and perspective as a new Quartzite visitor. The big gathering is definitely on our bucket list in a year or two.

    Selene, NC

  9. I thought you would like Ron and his work.
    I'm in La Posa South. I boondock 24/365 with one of Ron's installations and a bit of generator support.
    If I read it correctly, You said you had a switch to turn the solar "on and off"? I think the switch is to turn the inverter "on and off".
    The solar normally is on all the time.
    Try turning on the switch, then I think your coffee pot and microwave will work. I think the switch is for the inverter which runs the 120v side of the coach.
    I'm parked all the way out at the southern end of the LTVA.(2 miles past the dumps).
    If you would like to discuss your set up, e-mail me at and I will give you a phone number.
    There is good TV reception here but you need to point your antenna south.


  10. So glad to hear you got yourself settled here. Isn't it awesome ? I know it's not for everyone but I love it here.

    Sounds like you are in the place that I pulled into first. Met a couple from Manitoba. WOW, What a set-up they have. They have been there for a month already and are there for the winter.

  11. Okay - you've already heard from two of my best buds - Sailbad and Sassy. And let me tell you, if you need to know anything about solar or boondocking Sailbad is the go to guy. Sassy will keep you entertained with her stories of what went wrong. We will be there in January as soon as I can talk Jim into giving up fishing. Hopefully we'll be able to track you down. I have a pretty good idea where you're at. We had good TV reception when we've been there with our antenna.

  12. Now that you're there, you will meet logs of new people. That will be fun. You should be all set for a great winter! When we drove through there a couple years ago, we noticed that some folks used rocks and things to mark out their space. That way it gives some boundaries, I guess. Most people will respect those things. That way you insure a bit of space on both sides. There are sure a lot of interesting rigs parked all around. So many different ways to live! Give Katie and giant hug and smooch from us.

  13. Great post and loved your answer to Anon! Have been through the area there at Quartzsite on I-10 in the semi, but hope to visit there in my RV, not just wave as I go by :) Looking forward to lots more pictures of the area!

  14. Wow, what a RUDE comment for someone to leave!! Your finances are no one's business!! You always love the cowards who go Anom. and not put their name to their posts.

    Don't pay them any mind nor allow them to affect you. The rest of us are enjoying your adventure!!

    Sheila :)

  15. That was very informative, went thru on I-10 in late January & could not figure what was going on, just lots of rv's all over the place! You made it sound so easy.

  16. For some unknown reason today is the first time I have run across your blog. It is a very good blog and I am having fun catching up. Thank you for writing for us.

  17. I have stayed in Quartzsite many times. Don't think there is but one or two TV channels even if you can pick them up. If you have satellite you might get TV.

  18. Thanks for the info there. It sounds like a fun place to be - now you can test out that great solar system you got!

  19. Anon is just one of those people who likes to be rude they actually enjoy it and is probably a real tight wad to with no life cause it might cost money to be happy.
    Anyway glad you found your spot.
    A year or so ago I found some really old movies on DVDs they were like .99 and I take them with me when I travel and some others as well. Then if there isn't any TV I just watch them.
    Enjoy your stay.

  20. Really enjoying your adventures at Quartzsite. We've talked about going in the next couple years so I can't wait to hear more about it...especially as it gets more crowded. I'm wondering if it gets more difficult to get a spot as it gets closer?
    As for Anon...most certainly just some unhappy, envious person who doesn't like seeing others so happy. Your answer was awesome! :) Hugs to Katie!


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