We now have a
I got the email from the
USPS that our stuff was in, this time before noon. Sent Terry to the post
office to pick up our tankless propane hot water heater and pump after
he was done with his morning classes at the rock and mineral club. I called
and the Post Office and they said they were open open during the lunch
hour. It could have been touch and go as he didn't have the PO box key
to get that slip that sez you have a package since the stuff was sent to
the Rock Club PO box number not ours. It was sent to C/O of Terry
so he went to the counter and flashed his ID and told them the PO Box number
and they gave him our stuf and they asked if he wanted to take the other
packages for the Rock Club also . He declined. We unlike others have always
had great service from the local PO here in Q. It helps that we now spend
$50 for PO Box.
It was like Christmas opening
Now we had to put it together.
Would you believe it only took one trip to Herb's Hardware here
in Q for hoses, etc.
We hung the heater from a
folding saw horse. Might know we would have one of those. I have been trying
to get rid of them for a long time and now one came in handy. The RV pump
worked great. I wasn't sure it was working as I didn't hear that loud pumping
noise. But water was flowing so it was working. You can't even hear it
run. WOW. I had opted for the larger Shurflo 2.8 GPM pump. Next the heater
fired up and hot water started flowing and it just got hotter and hotter.
It only took an hour or so to get the water temp in the 200 gal tub to
go from 68° to over 100°. Now that is what I call a solution
to our hot tub heating situation.
Look at those bubbles...
Now as you can see I think
Terry kind of likes the 101° bubbling spa water. Now this is
what we were striving for...
Thinking we have now figured
out how to heat this thing off the grid in the BLM LTVA at a low
cost without using electric power.
I held off tonight getting
in the tub thinking I will get my turn to partake tomorrow on Saturday
afternoon while listening to A Prairie Home Companion with
Garrison Keillor on NPR. It's like my first time should be the best
It is going to be a great
hot tub season now that we have gotten our act together.
The other solar solution
didn't work so well... Ya live and learn...
Anyone need a couple hundred
feet of 1/2 inch of black irrigation tubing?
Now we're cookin with
gas.... This is gonna work... me thinks.
So you think we're nuts...
get over it. I know YOU want a hot tube?
It may beThanksgiving
but it is cold here in sunny Arizona.
Still very glad we are not
up where it is much colder. Anyone that goes south for the winter just
has to admit that they do like to watch the the weather and glee when they
see it turns nasty where they know people who have to cope with it.
After all they have to justify whey they are down here after all. Can we
We are following friends
who are driving from Wisconsin to Portland, OR right now in thier MH and
are blogging every few hours as they go. Not having fun as
I-80 was closed for a time in Wyoming and now looking at more storms in
Idaho. They had to stop and literally cut off a flapping window awning
cover due to the 60 + winds. One post sez they had no cold water
but the hot water was running. Not good... Follow along in Derek's
blog He with his partner and Prince the cat live in a MH. They
travel from computer consulting job to job. Now heading to Portland for
his next gig. Take care guys. They are also listed on our main site www.hitchitch.com
at the bottom of the blog links.
This is another reason people
come to Arizona. This is in the LTVA BLM just east of us as we went
for a drive yesterday.
The above photo is the one
I use as my desktop background... For more detail you can view and
save it at 490K
I have a 5 Meg copy if you
The Auction Tent is back
and getting set up on West Main and the sign announces the first event
will be Friday Nov. 26. This will be the equivalent of Black Friday
here in Quartzsite since this is about the biggest box store you will find
here. We may even go... so much fun to over bid on junk just because
you can. It's entertainment Q style.
We did have a great Thanksgiving
meal at La Casa Del Rancho as usual. They presented a huge platter
of Turkey and all the fixings. All home made... I must say the dressing
was soooo good. Think they were having to hand out many foam containers
so people could take home what they couldn't eat. Told they would be doing
a Christmas feed as well. We will be there, me thinks .Only $9.95
what a deal. It included pumpkin pie. They do request reservations so they
know how many to plan for. But walk ins are welcome. We did eat once at
the Palo Verde Cafe just up the street one time for a holiday meal years
back. Will not be going back anytime soon. Lost our reservation and
placed us in the bar area (which was fine) but the prime rib was uneatable.
Might be they have improved as we do see many cars in their lot.
But we will not find out. As we drive by now we ask each other why would
people go there. It would ba a shame if they had the same service and food
quality and people ate it up thinking this is the best they can get in
Q. On a side note.. Quail Mountain Restaurant is doing well
in the word of mouth in the best places to go rating game.
Now thinking outside the
box, if they (Paloo Verde) get word of our rating, we could be persuaded
to come in for a meal so we can do a new critique of them. Free of course.
Not going to loose any sleep over that free food idea.
No to be forgotten... we
are still looking to do that hot tub thing. VERY soon me hopes. Got an
email notice the pump is ready for pickup at the post office and expect
the propane heater to show up on Friday. Typical the email was sent
to me at 4:15 PM (they close at 4). saying it was recieved and ready for
pickup back at 1:15PM. How does that work. So on Friday I'm not going
to wait for a email, but about 3PM going to go and have them check for
both items. We shall see. Would be nice to be able to play in the
hot tub over the weekend don't Ya think. The USPS does not normally do
full tracking like UPS or FedEx. They only tell when the package was accepted
and when it was delivered at the post office.
Anyway tonight Terry is watching
Potter and the Half Blood Prince that we DVRed on HBO. He is a
big time HP fan so now tonight is enjoying himself bigtime.
you have to keep the Pool Boy happy.
The sun came out
and the water flowed but it was not nearly hot enough.
The solar thingy
just didn't make it in its first test... so
we are moving on to overkill.
All it took was for me to
feel the water temp coming from the solar unit. SO I today ordered for
the fastest delivery I could get from Amazon.com what should be the solution
to get the water bubbling HOT in our hot tub.
The above chart sort of
tells it. This should give us plenty of hot water.
Now I got it all on Amazon.com
along with a SHURflo 2088-422-444 2.8 Classic Series Potable Water Pump
that was matched to work with the Tankless Water Heater as a package deal.
Thanks to reader William
(who told us about this unit).
Price you ask... who cares...
I want hot water. But I will say it came in under $200.
The heater was $120 and the pump $66 if you are thinking about getting
Notice our yellow
ducky looks so unhappy next to the floating temperature reader
that is not showing the temps I want to see.
That is about to change...
We are going to get HOT bubbling spa water soon.
So ready for a good soak
in hot bubbling spa. I have lost count the days we have had this thing
and not been in it yet
Sure we could jump in and
turn on the 168 air bubble jets... but we're just not aligned with the
people who are a part of the "Polar Bear Club" who would think what
we have, is already hot water.
In the mean time we again
have made reservations for Thanksgiving at La Casa Del Rancho in Q.
They do a great T day dinner for about $10. We have gone to them
for several years now for this event and always had a great dining experience.
A huge platter of holiday food. You are treated like family.
for that first soak. When will it happen?
We have the hot tub now,
(if you missed all that see below) but how do we get the water hot enough
It's not called a HOT tub
We first tried to heat the
hot tub with electricity from our battery solar powered OEM 5er Magnum
2000 W inverter/converter. The 900 watt hot tub heater took too much power
for that to work well. It sucked up the charge from our batteries and even
with full sun from our 400 watt solar system it just couldn't handle the
load. It was like turning on the microwave and letting it run on
and on. You could hear the sucking sound.
Next thought we would have
to user our Honda 3000i generator but it would mean running that for hours
on end everyday. Not a good solution again.
When in the desert boondocking
in the BLM LTVA, you have to think a little outside the box.
We next researched the web
for ideas for solar hot tub heaters. One of the sites that gave us
ideas was Home-Made
Solar Hot Water He got us excited so we went shopping.
200 feet of black irrigation tubing and some wood for a frame and we set
off on making a crude solar hot water heater. After alll we were
in a hurry to get in this thing...
This was the first hundred
foot section ($15) of tubing. Herbs Hardware in Q, me thinks, now
keeps a person stationed right in the irrigation parts section to be ready,
as we came back many times for returns and new parts. We put black backing
on the bottom By this time Herbs was involved in our ideas, helping
with suggestions. (They gave us free the black backing which had
been used to wrap lumber pallets). A project in progress is not worth its
salt if it doesn't take several trips back for parts.
We next used clear plastic
on top. By now it's Sunday (Herbs was closed) and the only clear plastic
we could find in Q was painters drop plastic protection at (1 mil) at the
Big Market Harware, RV Anything you want store on West Main. They
have expanded their hardware selection big time this year. We folded
it over a few times and sealed it all up to help keep the heat in. Here
was where duct tape came into use big time. Stapled it all down and
more tape. We do need to get to K and B to get more duct tape...
We are now about out.... Any RVer can't be short of that stuff.
With bolts, staples and lots
of duck tape it all came together. Not fancy but we are in the desert.
What works, works.
Can you see the rolled up
black tubing. Lets hope the sun can see it also.
Yep that there is 200 feet
of black tubing rolled up sitting in the sun. All sealed up in plastic
and duck tape with water pushed through it with a submerged pump from inside
the hot tube. We found we could not get a secure connection with
the internal tub pump so we went with a stand alone submerged pump. Hurbs
had one, who would think.
So there you have it, after
much yelling, back and forth... We don't work well together on projects...
each has our own ideas on how things should be done. We know in the big
picture not to sweat the small stuff as we are in this together for life
after all. But a little yelling can't hurt, don't YA think? Now today
it was cloudy and windy so the first test wasn't conclusive on how well
the design works. Hoping for more sun on Monday. But of course, like
life, next week is to be cooler than normal. All we need is sunshine
We had thought about this
commercial product for about $230.
It works off the hot tub
pump and the connections on our unit would not work with it after checking
things out. We almost ordered it without finding that out.
Our 1 1/4" tubs connectors don't screw on but just push on
so you can drain the tub. Not for a permanent connection that would be
needed if we used the above solar product.
I think our homemade version
is similar, just spread out? Not fancy but the solar idea is the
I think ours might just
work better. Not sure this tiny thing would do the trick. How much
sun would hit it?
Now IF our homemade solar
unit doesn't do it for us...
We have other ideas.... we
will not be foiled in our quest for hot tubbing.
We are getting sore muscles
just building this thing and NEED a hot tub to be sure.
A reader (thanks William)
sent us a link to another heat source for our hot tub which we are excited
If the solar thingy doesn't
work out this is our next move...
L5 Tankless Portable Water Heater
A good friend here in Q (Hi
Tad) even brought us a 30 Qt. Turkey Cooker so we could just boil water
and pour it into the tub.
You may remember when we
were into growing tomatoes and even tried to grow them upside down while
staying here in Q for the winter... We may be upside down in the mind on
this project but we will get hot water in our hot tub. Stay tuned.
It may take till it warms
up in the spring, but it will happen.
So many choices so little
time... I want hot bubbling spa water bursting all around my body... ASAP.
Living in the
BLM doesn't mean you have to sacrifice.
Ya sure.. you have to provide
for your own power and with no full service campsites it can be a bit challenging
... but with great sunsets and open spaces and the freedom to do your own
thing makes it worth it for the thousands who get their kicks in the great
southwest for the winter season. You get to find a place to drycamp for
the winter for $180 or $40 for two weeks and can dump your tanks and get
water at a central location. Sure you can stay in the free BLM for 14 days
but to dump in town is now $15 and water $5. Do the numbers on that.
We have lots of solar and
a Honda 3000 generator so we we have the power thing down pat. We only
need to use our 50 gal portable tank for our gray and black to fill once
a week using our mercerator pump to fill it and take that to the central
dump tation. We seem to have the basics down.
As in prior posts I eluded
to that we were thinking to expand our boondocking a bit. As you can see
below that is happening.
A top of the line blow up
hot tub. How cool, or me thinks more like how hot is that.
We are getting it filled
and next is to get the water hot. We used our water tubs and a water bladder
from a camper close to us.
When out here you get to
know your BLM neighbors. We all look out for each other as we are of like
mind doing this boondocking thing.
We have come up with some
ideas for a solar hot water heater. Much more on this later. After
all we are off the grid and we all know it takes lots of power to heat
these things. You want me to run our generator round the clock to heat
this thing ... NOT. We came up with a plan for solar heating of the tub.
No pictures just yet, it was getting late today. Like all good plans we
had to make several trips to the hardware store in Q for parts.. The last
trip was just as they were closing. We have our plan connected in
a crude setup... now all we need is sun tomorrow to see how well it works.
Stop back to see how it all works.
Are we haven fun yet.
By the way we got the Norcold recall done on our fridge today. RVLifestyles
here in Quartzsite again did a great job. If you need anything, do call
James in the service dept. You will be taken care of.
Like they say
we all get 15 minutes of fame... Terry got his... and more...
It goes on and
on as he is in The Official AZ State Visitors Guide...
a monthly magazine but a year long, or more, Arizona State Visitors Guide.
History and Heritage link from the ArizonaGuide
Quartzsite Located at the
junction of I-10 and U.S. 95, Quartzsite is a paradise for rock hounds,
with agates, quartz,
limonite cubes and even
gold found in the area.
Look... Terry made it into the official
Arizona State Visitor's guide...
Do visit the quartzsitegemandmineralclub.org
site and the official state site Arizonaguide.com
Just got the green
grass up and growing in our little section of the BLM.
Looking good don't ya think.
Now that we have the lawn down... I noticed there was this large area that
was right to put something in. I did it.. and ordered the Hot Tub
that I have been threatening to do for the last couple weeks.
Walmart just came out today
with free shipping, so I went for it. Life is short, who cares if this
is practial or not.
Now today I ordered all the
chemicals for the maintenance of the spa water.
Who would believe it takes
all that stuff. This is going to have a learning curve to be sure.
At least the last included
item is an instruction guide.
Cleanwater Blue Bactericide/Algicide,
8 oz. - an advanced alternative spa purifier.
8 oz. - prepares your spa by sequestering excess calcium.
8 oz. - stain & scale control, compatible with Cleanwater Blue.
Oxy Spa, 2 lbs. non-chlorine
monopersulfate (MPS) for regular shocking.
ZorbO - Earth-friendly
oil scum absorber.
(pH Buffer), 1 lb. - for raising low pH and Total Alkalinity of spa water.
Prevents equipment corrosion.
pH Decrease, 1.5
lb. - lowers excessive pH & Total Alkalinity to control scale formation
on equipment & heater element.
Sea Klear Natural Clarifier,
16 oz. - for keeping your water sparkling clear.
Cleanwater Blue Copper
3-way Test Strips - for testing copper ion level, plus pH & TA.
Enough for about a year's testing.
Dichlor Sanitizing Granules,
1 lb. - for startup and occasional shocking as needed.
Measuring Cups -
for accurate dosages, inside each Cleanwater product box.
Guide -easy step-by-step instructions to get you started, inside each
Cleanwater product box.
Coming to Q have
I got a deal for you.
DirecTV Slimline dish
with surveyors tripod with custom made Aluminum 2" OD mast.
Dish modified to fold up
for easy travel. Check out www. rovingInternet.com
wants over $200 for just
the tripod and offset mount not including the dish.
They want $125 just for
the offset mount let alone the tripod. I have the surveyors tripod,
offset custom mount AND
the Slimline DirecTV dish for $100 or best offer.
Only have one as we don't
need it anymore. We now can get DirecTV HD from our Datastorm satellite
We are in Quartzsite at
La Posa North. email rbunge(at)hitchitch.com
So had to get these put
up around town. The flyers around town have my cell phone # but I'm not
my number being on the web
On our trip to Yuma Terry
picked up the materials to build this work table for the rock club.
Oh do notice my old computer
chair. I got a new one also while in Yuma. Now he can play in comfort while
at the club.
It only had a small crack
in the rubber arm on the under side AND the foam seat was getting a little
flat from my fat ass sitting on it. Now my new one is soft again. Chair
not Ass. Speaking of things that stink, when we came back up HW 95 from
Yuma and while at the ICE inspection station the drug sniffing dog did
the car in front of us but when we stopped we didn't even rate a sniff.
I felt gyped.
Otherwise just hanging out
in Q waiting for the crowds to show up. Still seems very slow.
What's up in Q
The newly named RV PIT
STOP is now all painted up and ready for you to stop by.
This mecca called Quartzsite
in the southwest only works if you come to visit for the winter season
and spend money.
It may be early but so far
the head count (RVs in the BLM or in RV parks in town) is off from our
observations of past years.
All are hopeful that they will show up like in past years.
We shall see. We seem to
say the head count is down each year and later on it looks better. Stay
One thing for sure is the
food venders are returning and some new ones who are looking to service
the winter visitors. Chuckwagon Carting is setting up on the Rice Ranch
strip. Several smaller food venders are also looking to make it on the
same strip. We wish them well as permits are getting harder to obtain for
seasonal food venders who want to compete with the local sticks and bricks
A couple of views around
Now back to real life in
an RV and things we need to pay attnetion to...
I got on the net and researched
the Norcold recall on our 1210 fridge.
This is a big deal as they
can catch fire and the fix is from what I read on the RV.NET forums is
not a fix at all, but only a thermocouple high temperature monitor to turn
off the unit when it gets too hot to prevent a fire. And when it triggers
the unit is shut off and can not be reset. You have to get a new cooling
unit. Since we are right now at the two year event in our warranty
where we need to get our fridge inspected and cleaned so we can request
an extended warranty. With the price of these things an extended service
contract is well founded. This is not a throw away item as a four
door Norcold fridge if you didn't know costs over $3K . You don't go to
Best Buy and get one of these things.
Now for getting our unit
in for the recall and inspection. After a call to James at RV
Livestyles here in Q they will get the recall parts and call when we
should bring our 5er in for service. Also to get the fridge checked and
cleaned so we can get the extended service contract from Norcold.
Casey at Norcold is sending us the papers to sign and send back for the
extended warranty. I have to say Norcold has been very helpful every time
I called them for information. I am so glad we are getting this taken care
of and the peace of mind for the extended warranty we are going to get.
To get the third year of
their warranty (parts only) and also get their offer of an extended warranty
(for a price) you have to get your unit tested and cleaned during the second
year before the third year after purchase. We are a couple of weeks
over this two year deadline, but Casey sez not to worry we are OK. So I
will sleep better tonight knowing we are going to get this taken care of
Now if it would warm up a
bit here in Q. as you remember I was complaining about the heat over the
weekend. Now I'm now a bit chilled. Should I still get my hot tub... I
am in a quandary... I'm in the, like we only live once and go for
it, or like the upside down tomato plant from a couple of years ago that
was a bust, and needed more maintance than it was worth. People did stop
by to see it! It also might also be a bust but an adventure in the
desert BLM to be sure. It would give me something to blog about don't you
think. And after years in Q I do need new things to blog about.
Think this is what I would
get IF I do. It is a blow up and not as big as it looks. See the Walmart
link to the tub.
Getting our BLM
site set up.
We got our stuff that had
been stored at friends in Q for the summer. Now to get set up for the next
See Terry securing the frame
to the ground. He even got a new three pound hammer to facilitate
his efforts to get the stakes in.
It gets windy here at times
so all this has to be secured. Later we will install large straps over
the intire unit to secure it evern further.
went back and forth to K and B hardware several times. You know any
project takes several trips back to the hardware store. We needed a new
canopy tarp for on top of our 12X14 frame. You can buy tarps that
say 12X14 but in the small print it sez finished size 13' 6" X 11' 6".
But the first two were not sized correctly out of the package. One was
11' 6" X 13' 3' So we took it back. The next one was even smaller
not even 13' 3" but smaller at 13' even. K&B worked with us and
indicated they were having problems with their supplier with the tarps.
The final deal was to get a larger tarp 11' 6" x 15' 6" finished size (we
got big price cuts on all the extra stuff) and add an extra end section
to the frame. You can see Terry installing this end section to handle the
extra end length over lap.
Now as it was getting late
but starting to take shape. More later as we get it all put together.
We still have to install
much more green grass. You don't think I'm going to walk through
desert dirt to get to my new hot tub do you.
OK I know it's astro turf
that needs no water. The stuff under Terry is new.
We just got it in Q for
$3 a square yard. We still have old stored grass... just have to get it
out out of the hermetically sealed container. It needs no water but just
a little fluffing to makle it look good again.
We hope it still looks sort
of green when we unwrap it. Leaving something for excitement on Monday.
We are here for the long run. No need to do everything at once. So not
me, but it is Sunday night and should chill... Damn..
The temps here
in Q are back up.
today after Terry came back from the Rock Club in the afternoon we did
that dastartly thing.... we fired up the Honda 3000 and turned on the A/C.
I kept the red font as it is hot again here in Q.
We had a Pizza to watch the election results... What can I say.. Except
it is correct that people get what they voted for... We shall see
after a couple years if they still think this is the right course of action.
Seems to me that people sometimes are their own worst enemy when it comes
to what is good for them. But this is America where the electorate now
get to listen to big business with unlimited funds, due to the Supreme
Court, tell them how to vote. Then they go lockstep to the polls believing
what they are fed.
a big day as yesterday I got our annual open enrollment Health Care signup
done from the company I retired from. Monthly cost went up about $50 for
the both of us to now $254 a month. I remember when it had no monthly costs,
but when we understand real life, this is not a bad deal. It covers 90%
up to a max of $1000 out of pocket with a deductable of $300.
So each of us at $125 a month for almost full coverage. Many people would
love to get this deal. The company plan is exempt from the new govt.
health plan. So nothing in the new govt. plan effects us. But if you don't
have a good employer plan or no insurance you are screwed... And to think
50% or so think the new health care bill is so bad. I'll pay me doctor
bills with a dead chicken they say. Me thinks all it will take is for each
one of them to go to an ER just one time and get the bill to change their
minds. Especially after they have to declare bankruptcy to pay the hospital
bill. Hospitals will garnish your pay to be sure. Yes they will, and at
rates several times what you would have to pay if you had insurance.
I stayed cool inside as I hooked up my Droid Incredible to the desktop
for fast internet using PdaNet (did I say unlimited data at 2 M) as I watched
videos on the Quartzsite city council meetings as this town is out
of control. I spent a several of hours watching the actions of this city.
Much better than Judge Judy. This is fun stuff if it wasn't so sad.
If you want to get into the
Q craziness go to these sites. Topix
forums Quartzsite Quartzsite.blogspot
This is entertainment me thinks if it wasn't so sad that this place has
imploped in on itself.
you get into any of this you will see why we now think we would be crazy
to buy property in this town.
are heading off to Yuma with our Friend Tad on Thursday morning.
trip to be sure... We all have things we want to purchase.
back to see waht we bought.
where we are at right now. DataStormUsers
map ID 98
Have question or
comment about our blog life... We love email. Just email email@example.com