Posts for December, 2012


Electrical, Part 4

Posted Saturday 1st Dec, 2012

In the previous posts we looked at the capacity or rating of the various chargers and components in the camper‘s electrical system and concluded that possibly the system has too little charging capacity given the size of the battery pack.

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On the road again (Mobile, Arizona)

Journal entry for Wednesday 19th Dec, 2012 (day 168, miles 16753)

We are on the road again. As you can see from the date and miles on this entry we have spent the last 2 months and about 3,000 miles off the web visiting family and generally attending to business and chores. It has been great to spend some time with our sons, but not so great to have a bunch of chores requiring attention. However today that is over and we are back into travel mode heading for southern AZ and then CA and Mexico.

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The Sonora Desert, and cacti (Organ Pipes NM, Arizona)

Journal entry for Thursday 20th Dec, 2012 (day 169, miles 16861)

On the short drive south to Organ Pipes National Monument today we saw much evidence of our proximity to the Mexican border. The few small towns we passed through had many establishments offering Mexican auto insurance, many other signs were in Spanish, and in the space of 80 miles we passed two Border Patrol checkpoints.

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Checkpoints and a day in the desert (Sentinel Rest Area, Arizona)

Journal entry for Friday 21st Dec, 2012 (day 170, miles 16982)

We might be back on the road, but there is not much to report as things are going to be a bit quiet for the next few days as we travel slowly to CA. So for example today we got a relaxed start (that is late) to the day, spent some time talking to Duane and Kim (RVers from Minnesota) and finally got moving by about 11:30.

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RV Parks and casino-ing (Paradise Casino,Yuma, Arizona)

Journal entry for Saturday 22nd Dec, 2012 (day 171, miles 17072)

Another late start and warm sunny desert weather saw us heading west along I-8 towards Yuma, and boy what an eye opener Yuma turned out to be. This town must be the RV capital of the world. There are RV parks, mobile home parks, and RV sales yards everywhere. There is even a large RV salvage (wreckers) yard packed full of RVs in all stages of destruction and decay. It is also a town with a strong hispanic influence, lots of spanish signs on motels and restaurants.

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The Imperial Valley (La Mesa, California)

Journal entry for Sunday 23rd Dec, 2012 (day 172, miles 17,253)

A quiet night in the casino's gravel parking lot was followed by a bright but cool morning. A few 18-wheel trucks had joined the scattering of RV's over night but they were far enough away from us not to cause any noise disturbance; a nice change from rest areas.

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Across the border (Baja Seasons, Mexico)

Journal entry for Monday 24th Dec, 2012 (day 173, miles 17367)

We were both pretty relaxed as we headed south east towards the border town of Tecate for our long planned entry into Mexico. What a contrast to the nerves we experienced back in June 2009 when with Norm (our guide) we entered via McAllen, TX for the first time.

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Merry Christmas from Nina and Rob (Estero Beach, Mexico)

Journal entry for Tuesday 25th Dec, 2012 (day 174, miles 17400)

We had agreed many months ago that Santa would not be leaving any stockings for us this year (as we had already spent many years christmas allowances on our yellow vehicle) so there were none of the usual Christmas rituals this morning. Instead we spent the morning strolling on the deserted beach, exploring and photographing the Baja Seasons establishment and catching up on chores.

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Beaches, birds and narrow roads (Fidel's El Pabellon Palapas Alvinos, Mexico)

Journal entry for Wednesday 26th Dec, 2012 (day 175, miles 17533)

We made the most of our morning at the Estero Beach Resort, taking a walk, photographing the birds in the estuary, topping up the water tanks and dumping. Thereafter was a short stop at Costco, Walmart, and Starbucks for a touch of Americana and a few provisions. Then onto Mex 1 headed for San Quintin about 200km away.

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Bolder fields, Boojum trees and Onyx (Rancho Sanata Inez, Mexico)

Journal entry for Thursday 27th Dec, 2012 (day 176, miles 17659)

Our route today took us away from the Pacific coast and into the desert (and deserted) mountains that comprise the spine of the peninsular to the small town of Catavina; sparce traffic, few towns, and narrow roads were the order of the day. The scenery was not unlike the Sonora desert of southern Arizona except for the appearance of a form of plant we had not seen before - it was the Cirios or Boojum tree - a notceably tapering column structure all covered in spines with a flower on top.

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The Sea of Cortez (Bahia De Los Angeles, Mexico)

Journal entry for Friday 28th Dec, 2012 (day 177, miles 17773)

Some how I lost the text I had typed for this days entry. I have included the photos and will rewrite the entry in the near future.

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What a road (San Francisquito (almost), Mexico)

Journal entry for Saturday 29th Dec, 2012 (day 178, miles 17838)

We initially expected todays journey to be a gentle side excursion from Bahia De Los Angeles (south 80 miles to San Francisquito, thence 45 miles west to El Arco and then 26 miles back to Mex 1) for at least the first leg to San Francisquito was described in our guide book as "suitable for small RVs and even pickups with small boat trailers". We modified our expectation somewhat when we heard yesterday from some of the other tourists that the recent Baja 200 (or Baja 1000 depending on which particular tourist) had recently run through that road and it may be a little chopped up. The reality was, however, altogether different to any expectation. In over 8 hours of driving we had traveled only 65 miles, not even reaching San Francisquito before the day started to fade. Not only had we shaken the truck unmercifully for those 8 hours but we had also climbed our way over and around numerous wash aways in the road that in some cases reduced the road width to less than our truck and in the process gave Nina a bad case of the shakes. At the end of the day we could confidently tell any other travelers that asked that; The Baja race had indeed chopped up the road. But so had many years without maintenance. And this road certainly was not suitable for small RVs.

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Escape from rough roads (Ojo De Liebre, Mexico)

Journal entry for Sunday 30th Dec, 2012 (day 179, miles 17973)

Anxiety got us going early this morning. There was still a little doubt in our minds as to whether there was a road from San Francisquito to El Arco and even if there was we figured we might need the entire day to cover the distance what we estimated to be another 80 miles back to Mex 1. About an hour on, our anxiety was somewhat reduced as we found an intersection and some signs. Left to San Francisquito and right to El Arco. At this point also the nature of the roads changed (or more accurately the nature of the roughness changed). Yesterday the road did not really have washboards, but rather large "whoops" (like washboards but about 3 feet between high points - we assumed caused by high speed vehicles). At this intersection the washboards arrived and they arrived in force.

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Gringos on a beach (Playa Escondida, Mexico)

Journal entry for Monday 31st Dec, 2012 (day 180, miles 18170)

Nearly 200 miles today, by our standards that's almost a long day. The yellow beast combined with the narrow (though today in all other ways good) roads limit us to a top speed of 50mph. Thus with stops for lunch etc 200 miles represents a 6 hour day. Much of today was more flat desert scenery. The towns of San Ignacio and Mulege gave a surprise break from the desert with big stands of palm trees forming the center of the towns; real desert oases. Another visual respite from the flat desert was the town of Santa Rosalia, an old copper mining town (the mine is now closed) perched right on the shores of the Sea of Cortez at the bottom of some spectacular hills and an equally spectacular descent.

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