I like my trailer. But as with all storage areas, it’s been accumulating clutter. I’m finding myself with a lot of loose items and nowhere to store them. Between that, and the addition of a basic trailer electrical system in the coming weeks, I decided to do some reorganization.
I removed my coat rack from the passenger side wall. This, plus moving the generator and other stuff on the floor, will give me just enough space to put a second shelving unit, identical to the one I already have, in the space between the side door and spare tire. I measured it, and it’s a perfect fit. I’ll just have to move the remote control for my lights, which I need to move anyway because it doesn’t work stuck to the wall the way I have it now. The shelves plus a couple more storage bins should take care of the clutter that I don’t have a home for right now.
My motorcycle gear now lives on the driver’s side wall. It won’t be very accessible when the bike is strapped down inside, but I won’t be riding then, so it doesn’t matter. I also moved my old license plates around to match the new layout, with the bike plate over the bike stuff.
The giant panel strapped to the wall is a used 250-watt solar panel I just bought yesterday. (I want to get a moving blanket for padding between the panel and the wall.) A guy here in Quartzsite has a truckload of them and is selling them for $100 apiece. That’s more than the $70ish that SanTan Solar in Phoenix is charging, but considering that I’ve saved gas on a 324-mile round trip to the Phoenix area and back, this was definitely the more economical alternative overall, and the guy selling them deserves to make some profit. I don’t have the rest of the parts I need to put this to use yet, but some are on the way, and I can buy the rest of them now that I have the panel.
My new solar charge controller and the fuse panel for the trailer arrived in the mail today, but since my mail forwarder is closed on the weekend I won’t be able to pick them up until Monday. Then I can begin to wire up my trailer’s basic electrical system, or at least the lights until I figure out the rest. I’m not sure if my flip-down workbench idea will work with the giant solar panel having to go somewhere. I’m still thinking about that. But I will be able to split my van’s solar panels off from my existing charger to the new charge controller, ensuring that both the rooftop solar panels and the alternator will deliver their maximum charge to my house batteries at all times.
The other addition is that the long-term visitor area permits are finally for sale. They were supposed to be at the start of the season, September 15, but there were problems with the printer, so BLM has let us stay without permits until now. They went on sale yesterday, and of course, there was a rush at the gate here at La Posa South. But as I was driving into town to get my solar panel, I noticed no line at La Posa West, so I pulled in and bought it there. This pass is good for every BLM Yuma district LTVA, not just in Quartzsite but also Imperial Dam and others, so it didn’t matter where I bought it. Now I’m legal at all of them.
This is good because a trip to Yuma is in my future. I want a second set of exactly the same shelves I already have, which I got at Home Depot. The closest ones are Yuma and Lake Havasu, so I might as well head south and visit my friends at Imperial Dam for a little while. I’ll also be able to get any hardware bits and pieces I need to strap my “new” solar panel into the trailer, as well as build some legs for it to stand up on its own. Quartzsite is nice, but sometimes you just need civilization to get what you need. I should order the rest of the stuff I’ll need from Amazon to complete my portable solar setup, then make the trip after they arrive in a week or so.