When I arrived in Quartzsite a month ago, I set up my camp in such a way as to keep myself cool. I could put up my shade cloth between the van and the trailer, and I kept my windows covered, shiny side out, to reflect as much heat out as possible.
How quickly things change. Things have cooled off rapidly in the past week. Overnight temperatures are dipping into the 40s, sometimes on the low end. I’ve been running the heater at night and woken up needing extra layers. So I moved my van around to the front side of the trailer, facing south instead of north. This way, I can take down my front window covers once the sun is up to capture the sun’s heat, rather than keep it out like I did not even a month ago. Now I can spend my afternoons in sunlight, keeping warm from the sun’s rays, instead of hiding from them like I did before. I have a much better view of the sunset now, too.
Just as I’d received all of the Amazon orders I’d been waiting for, I needed more stuff. The most important one is a new pump faucet. After a year and a half of heavy use, mine has sprung a leak, became difficult to pump, and now seems to have stopped pumping at all. Because I have an actual camp set up, I can still get to my water by tipping a water jug on its side and using the built-in faucet, so I’m not without water. But this is far less convenient since I have nowhere to do this inside the van.
It’s also time to buy a splitter for my propane tank. I’m now wanting to run the heater regularly as well as my stove. On cold mornings, I want to run both at the same time. It’s not only a convenience item but also for safety. Anytime I disconnect one appliance to hook up the other, the propane remaining in the hose leaks out into the van. It’s a small amount, but I really don’t like the idea of having any propane at all inside when lighting up the other appliance. I’ve already survived one house fire, and never want to deal with one again.
Despite Quartzsite being set up to cater to the nomad community, I couldn’t find either of these at any of the local stores. The lack of a propane splitter especially surprised me. As much as I’d prefer to support local businesses, as well as get these items into my hands immediately, I was forced to order them from Amazon, and wait another week to receive them. While I was at it, I bit the bullet and ordered a 200-watt solar panel from Rich Solar as well. They’re a reputable company, and I confirmed that it will output a low enough voltage to work with both of my chargers. I’ve already removed the legs from the used panel I bought here in town, and will use them on the new panel instead. I have the old panel up for sale.
Yellow Wolf will be heading to Yuma and Los Algodones, Mexico pretty soon, but because I need these repairs I won’t be joining her this time. I need to stick around and receive these deliveries to get my van into better working order. It’s a bummer, but what can you do? On the plus side, more and more people I know are showing up in Quartzsite. I even made my motorcycle a decoration at last night’s Veteran’s Day campfire at the Lit Cactus.
I even reattached its old “GIJOE” vanity plate from our past life in New Hampshire to complete the look.