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Winter Boondocking on BLM LTVAs near Quartzsite...


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For those campers that may not know about BLM LTVAs (Long-Term Visitor Area), they were established in 1983 on public lands managed by the BLM throughout the Sonoran Desert of southern AZ and CA.  The LTVA program allows visitors to camp for as long as 7 months between 15SEP to 15APR.  Special permits are purchased at BLM kiosks at the LTVAs.  A 14-day permit is $40, 28-day permits are $80, while a 7-month permit is $180.  Payment must be cash only - exact amount.  Unfortunately, Golden Eagle, Golden Age, America the Beautiful, and military passes do not apply to LTVA permit fees.

Campers who wish to stay on the desert outside of an LTVA may camp in one location on underdeveloped public lands for up to 14 days in any 28-day period at no charge.  After 14 days, short-term campers must move to a new site outside of a 25-mile radius of their original campsite.  Short-term camping in the Quartzsite area is limited, but there are 5 designated LTVAs here.  The LTVAs have various levels of dry camping - some have vault toilets, some have showers, some have potable water.  There are limited waste water dump sites.  All have dumpsters for bagged garbage.  Since only minimum facilities are available at most of the LTVAs, campers must have self-contained rigs.  This means rigs that have permanently affixed wastewater holding tanks of 10-gallon minimum capacity.

So, how is the Casa Blanca behaving on the LTVA?  Well, "sort of" as expected, it's been performing famously here on our 4th day on at La Posa West, about a half-mile south of "The Q".  

My only issue was totally "self-induced".  Arrived at La Posa Saturday mid-afternoon with 100% SOC from a combination of solar and DC/DC charging during a 2.5 hour enroute drive from PHX.  After a good sleep on night-1, checked the SOC at around 0530 Sunday AM and found it at an unusually low level at 36%.  Racking my mind trying to figure out what the heck was consuming all the power from the BBs overnight, it occurred to me to check the Dometic fridge status.  Sure enough, it was in the "DC" mode...   Can't believe it escaped my checklist item to switch to "GAS" mode on arrival day.  Lesson learned, for sure - the DC mode is extremely inefficient in this model of Dometic fridge.  Don't get me wrong, its a good mode to use when under tow as the 27-28A from the TV smart alternator can handle the load from the fridge and still charge the BBs.

So, it took Sunday and Monday to get the SOC back up to 100%.  No biggie - the Honda GENSET still never saw the light of day and stayed in the back of the TV.  With 340W roof-mounted solar modules and the Renogy 200W portable module the BBs were receiving a max of 310W during those two recharge days.  The BBs were got to 100% SOC by mid-afternoon yesterday.

Winter being winter, obviously brings low sun angles and short days.  Campers should consider this when boondocking during this time of year.  Just because you may have 540W of "solar modules capacity" does not mean that's what you'll get.  Our roof-mounted modules are flat, as we have yet to install legs to adjust them for a more optimum angle to the sun - so they're kicking out only about 190W at mid-day this time of year at this latitude.  

Interestingly, the Renogy portable module needed to be propped-up to a steeper position in the early morning hours to achieve optimum angle to the sun.  By doing so we got an extra 1.3A:

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If it wasn't for the "wall-to-wall" sunshine conditions here at The Q during the past couple days, the Honda would have been called upon to top-off the BBs!

Notwithstanding the fridge brain-fart, it was a good feeling to wake up this morning to a 93% SOC.  The BBs are expected to be topped off by mid-morning, maybe even before the pot of Black Rifle is "Winchester."

This morning's main drill was topping off the fresh water tank.  After switching the valves to "Boondock" mode:

Screenshot2024-01-16at10_05_42.thumb.png.0a8accad35ce7a2626b6cdff231c02df.png

6 gallons of fresh water was pumped into Casa Blanca in less than 3 minutes time, taking the fresh tank from 50 to 75%:

Screenshot2024-01-16at10_06_06.thumb.png.98576f7c5f81b51fbbe57b68387f0e0b.png

Now it's heading to Q to refill the container, less than a 5 minute drive from the campsite.  But first - a quick egg scramble for breakfast....

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More later!

Edited by MAX Burner
Added detail...
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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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Thanks @MAX Burner, never been but I’ve been preparing/watching Quartzsite/LTVA videos for few years now! Will be there next year after I've retired, hopefully will see lots of Ollies around then! 

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2023 Elite II, Hull# 1386, Lithium Platinum Package (640AH, 400W Solar, 3000W Xantrex Inverter)
Truma water heater & AC

TV: 2024 Silverado 2500HD 6.6L 10-Speed Allison

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19 minutes ago, rich.dev said:

hopefully will see lots of Ollies around then! 

We had our first Ollie sighting on Saturday.  There's a dude here from MT with his new OTT - Hull number 14xx.  He stopped by the campsite yesterday afternoon and we went through an hour or so of introducing him to many of the mods to Casa Blanca.  

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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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DAY-5: Another beautiful Sun Rise at "The Q":

Screenshot2024-01-17at08_50_25.thumb.png.40ef4bc39c5912173304c6e82d04749d.png

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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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So, our 22" Black Stone came with a carrying case, 1lb-LPG Bottle adapter, and the black screw-on adapter for the larger LPG bottles (in our case, the 30#er's).  However, not liking to carry around a ton of 1# Coleman gas bottles and really wanting to use one of the 2 OTT QD LPG valves - yesterday I fashioned our 10-foot LPG hose from another grill to allow us to cook on the BS with regulated gas supplied by the twin 30# tanks.  The 10-foot hose is configured with the OTT QD fitting on one end and 1/2" fitting on the other end for another type of grill.

The mod was straight forward:

1. Cut off the 1/2" fitting on the 10' hose:

Screenshot2024-01-17at13_23_19.thumb.png.7f68bd8e2ca712af24803615527d7296.png

Screenshot2024-01-17at13_23_36.thumb.png.79b73de1f9369409159aae98bf24f463.png

2. Sacrificing the 1lb bottle adapter, the stainless steel feed tube was cut just past the 90-degree bend:

Screenshot2024-01-17at13_25_41.thumb.png.e76839e436c7292d7934eb953e77c982.png

3.  Using a fine file, chamfered the end of the tube and with some LPG-friendly silicone lube, inserted it about an inch into the open end of the 10' tube, secured splice with a hose clamp.  After checking for leaks with soapy water - connected to the BS and fired it up.  Very convenient mod.

Screenshot2024-01-17at13_24_03.thumb.png.44d3abcbd72487b1c2d3f73ea3f14e28.png

FYI:  The 10-foot section rolls up and stows under the BS hood.

Now on to the next meal...

Cheers!

Screenshot 2024-01-17 at 13.23.36.png

Edited by MAX Burner
Removed a duplicate picture...
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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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Excellent work, Art. (@MAX Burner) Are you already in Q ? We’ll be there in a few days. Hope to see you there. 

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Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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Thanks, Steve @ScubaRx - The dogs and I arrived at the Q Saturday...  Camping on west side at La Posa and walking distance to the RV show area.  Planning on a 24JAN departure.  We'll definitely need to link up.

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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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So we moved to a campsite about 4.5 miles south of The Q to BLM land that outside of LTVA fee-areas.  We're closer to the QuartzFest HAM Radio campout which starts tomorrow.  The boys and I volunteered to help out the organizers by hauling their registration tents and accessories from their storage location in downtown Q.  The QF started officially in '96 or '97 and draws north of 800 rigs from all over the US and Canada.  It will likely start getting a bit crowded around here by this weekend!  

FYI:  Here's the latest sun rise from the Sonoran Desert taken a few minutes ago:

Screenshot2024-01-19at07_27_19.thumb.png.31bbb5e9eeef95fff5409e02d3a1d521.png

Cheers!

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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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5 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

"Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning"?

"Red sky at night - sailor's delight?"  

I'm thinking those adages don't apply to this particular geographic region - the nearest major body of water is about 360 miles west of here.  They call it the, "Pacific Ocean."  HA!

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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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42 minutes ago, MAX Burner said:

I'm thinking those adages don't apply to this particular geographic region - the nearest major body of water is about 360 miles west of here.  They call it the, "Pacific Ocean."  HA!

Yup, and yet the Q has a yacht club that boast a membership total of over 10000 from all over the world! 🤪

 

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2023 Elite II, Hull# 1386, Lithium Platinum Package (640AH, 400W Solar, 3000W Xantrex Inverter)
Truma water heater & AC

TV: 2024 Silverado 2500HD 6.6L 10-Speed Allison

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19 minutes ago, rich.dev said:

Yup, and yet the Q has a yacht club that boast a membership total of over 10000 from all over the world! 🤪

 

We've been members since 2012!

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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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On 1/17/2024 at 3:30 PM, MAX Burner said:

yesterday I fashioned our 10-foot LPG hose from another grill to allow us to cook on the BS with regulated gas supplied by the twin 30# tanks

In a pinch, I would have done the same! I didn’t opt for the QC ports, as a cost savings measure at purchase, but was aware that copper gas lines were installed ‘fore’ and ‘aft’ with Oliver builds. Early in ownership, I tapped into the ‘fore’ with a ‘T’ fitting for a regulated extension hose accessible via the screw port, and simply removed a fitted plug on the ‘aft’ line to add a QC valve. However, prior to converting to these convenience gas ports I camped a few times either using the 1# or 20# propane tank.

BS supplied regulator in use with 20# tank.
IMG_6615.thumb.png.e70c034bd2a6314c2ab943853c94214c.png

Tap into existing regulated line for ‘fore’ QC port. I didn’t want the QC port to exit underneath, as Oliver installs, but rather higher to save my back and other intended use.
IMG_6620.thumb.png.693d2281226ab50a447ae49455ee94c2.png

Short hose extension and QC valve connected to a 10’ extension hose for the ‘fore’ QC port. An elbow’s reach into the port to operate the valve.

IMG_6621.thumb.png.a6b5e06eccfd377fa573a2a97ad29a55.png

10’ extension hose staged atop the tank of proximity to the screw port. The hose is simply routed out of the screw port and attached the another hose extension(s) for use with the BS or fire pit, as well as intended use with a small generator, as needed, positioned either on the trailer tongue or TV tailgate. 
IMG_6623.thumb.png.b578b29f8d79b87d52bf8ef4b6ddcff6.png

‘Aft’ installed QC valve once fitted plug was removed.

IMG_6619.thumb.png.0d58dd5c422e180d7d9eeed06750ae58.png

Adapter for BS QC attachment.
IMG_6618.thumb.png.4354108ccfb940ae02d2d284320d7e33.png
BS to the Oliver’s ‘aft’ QC port via a 15’ extension.

IMG_6614.thumb.png.1ee6b0a13eb081d01e1cf3bd9561b564.png

 

 

 

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2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt

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12 hours ago, jd1923 said:

Hey @MAX Burner, ya know ya posta to work da mods prior to departure? It is a long day when alone in the desert. You need D to get there soon! 🤣

I got bored - had to do something...

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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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1 minute ago, MAX Burner said:

I got bored - had to do something...

Understood, my wife always cringes when I say “you know, I was just thinking”!

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2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt

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On 1/21/2024 at 10:16 AM, Ronbrink said:

Understood, my wife always cringes when I say “you know, I was just thinking”!

I don't "cringe," but I prepare myself for hours of diagrams, conversations,  research and ordering, hours of installation,  etc...

Much more fun with upgrades than repairs, for sure.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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…and then there were three at The Q:

IMG_0971.thumb.jpeg.5262fd2c952ac2fd0ab66fac0be1b40c.jpegIMG_0970.thumb.jpeg.a8f08485057d4f309b19b2822ce0bb2a.jpegIMG_0967.thumb.jpeg.217884e633424b8ea679a84382ea5020.jpeg

Edited by MAX Burner
Fixed a typo
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Art, Diane, Oscar & Magnus (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA w/Airlift Load Lifter 5000 kit/2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca", 12VDC Starlink kit, 3x Battle Borns; Victron Cerbo GX, SmartShunt, MPPT Solar Controller, & DC-DC Charger; HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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This is the first time in seven years that we haven’t been to Quartzsite in the winter. Health issues this winter have prevented us from going. It’s fun reading about this year’s group in Quartzsite and the fun y’all are having! This reminds me of our first time there in our brand new Oliver (our first ever camper). Steve and Tali graciously invited us to follow them out there and back that first time. We had a blast on that trip meeting other Oliver owners. Steve and Tali have always reached out to others and made them immediately welcome to the Oliver family. We hope that all of the Oliver folks have a great time together!

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6 hours ago, mountainoliver said:

Steve and Tali have always reached out to others and made them immediately welcome to the Oliver family.

We met them just this afternoon and they indeed made us feel very welcome.  We showed up this year before the "big show" is over with hopes of becoming a little more knowledgeable with our solar setup by hanging out with the solar experts/vendors.  But after talking for a while with Steve, I think I got lucky concerning all things solar :classic_smile:.

John

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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