Sunday, January 7, 2007

Quartzsite - Day 1

We left Mesa yesterday and drove to Quartzsite, AZ. We parked in an area about 6 miles north of the town near Plomosa Road. There is no charge to stay here, but technically we can only stay for 14 days without moving. Talking with some of the regulars leads us to believe that no one really checks to see how long you are in one spot so it's really not an issue.

Our first day has not been without its adjustment challenges. We used far more power than I expected last night and our solar panels could not recharge the batteries without help from the generator. I have determined that a large part of the problem is the fact that the panels are laying flat on the roof with no way to tilt them toward the sun. The sun never gets more than about 45 degrees above the horizon this time of year so we are only getting about half the amount of power the panels are capable of producing. Tomorrow we will visit some of the solar dealers in town to see what mounting systems they have available. We really do not want to run the generator any more than necessary.

The other issue that really could become problematic is the lack of a gas oven. We have known this would be an issue, but it is really coming to the forefront. The only way for us to bake or roast is to start the generator and use the convection oven. Right now it is not too much of a problem since we need to run the generator to fully charge the batteries, but it will become an issue when we get the solar panels putting out more. We know how to fix the problem. All it takes is money!

While in town today we wandered through one of the sales areas. The town is full of what can best be described as swap meets. Lots of booths set up under tents, selling lots of stuff. Fun to browse anyway.


  1. We stopped for gas there on our way home from Phoenix. There were lots of swap meets and people riding 4 wheel quads on the streets. It was interesting that AZ allows you to license those to drive on the street. We followed one for about a mile before he turned off to let us by.

    Even as early as we were there you could see RVs all over the place. Looks like you're in for a fun time.

  2. The cosine of 45 degrees is about .7, so you should be seeing about 70% of full sun incidence electricity.

    It seems that generators roaring all day long would detract from the peaceful, rural setting. Hope you get this figured out.