Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Friday, October 30, 2009

Settled In, In Yuma AZ

We left Mohave Valley on Monday October 26, and headed south. We were told to take highway 95. For those unfamiliar with the area, the key to deciphering this directive is to understand that there are 2 highway 95s in about a 20 to 40 mile radius.

We assumed, since we were bound for an Arizona destination, that it was logical that they meant the Arizona 95. It is distinctly likely that they indeed meant the I-95 through California. They both run close to their respective borders of each other. On our way to Mohave Valley, we took about a 20 mile stretch of the California side, and found a unique form of highway - 1 lane per direction, in the middle of desert with scrubland type foliage, and they laid the asphalt on whatever ripple the sand had formed at the time of paving. The result was a road that looked like it was designed based on a still photo of the rolling ocean waves on a not so still day.

Based on this knowledge, we assumed that we would be better taking the Arizona 95. To be accurate on the assessment, it was a decent road a bit under maintained in a few places, but overall, not bad. The biggest issue was the city of Lake Havasu. It is a sprawling city for a smaller one, and the traffic lights are, hmmm, shall we say choreographed to display in a lovely array of colours, times such that you weren't bored with a consistent monotone of green.....

Not good when you are towing a 36 foot behemoth and needing to build some speed on the hillier sections.

Also, there was a bridge near Parker Dam that was being resurfaced, reducing the traffic to single alternating flow, with a traffic light determining when it was appropriate to proceed.

It was a lovely drive aside from the traffic lights, and with the damming of the river, there are nice lakes to enjoy.

Nonetheless, I think the return will be via the I-95 in California. We do have a modification to make in our cargo before that time. Unfortunately our new mopeds have encountered significant damage from the trip - especially one that has a "torn to the bone" seat rip, a cracked crank case cover, the speedometer cable ripped off the wheel connection, the foot peg bent significantly, and a bit of superficial denting on the gas tank and such.

Speedometer cable detached from wheel

Bent foot peg Cracked crank case cover

torn seat and bent from its clip

The biggest part of that problem was caused by their location at the extreme rear of the trailer. If you picture a teeter-totter, the most movement in the up down motion is naturally at the ends, so when bouncing down these undulating roads, the motion is magnified by their location at the very end. We are going to devise a more protective mode of carrying them, but now we need to do repairs.

If you are looking at rigs to buy, keep this detail about rear bounce in mind. Some rigs have neat looking configurations with kitchens in the rear, but knowing this bounce factor, be aware it does the same to your cupboards, but I digress...

We are now spending a couple days getting oriented and set up. We are hoping to be better at the tourist thing than we were last year in the Okanagan. The weather shouldn't interfere as much as it did last year, but that being said, having arrived Monday, Tuesday ended with the arrival of a sandstorm. It wasn't blinding, but it was like a moderate fog visability level.

We have had a couple nights dipping to the 40's F, but the coolest day was in the 60's.

I will load a few more pictures as soon as my Picasa starts behaving again. For now, I will bid you,



  1. Yikes! That sucks about the mopeds! :(

    Aren't the roads through the desert amazing? I agree completely with your ocean analogy.

  2. What I found was especially strange about the roads was that we came all the way from the Lethbridge crossing around Milk River, and no matter how mountainous the path, it was always a divided 2 lane non winding highway.

    You, I know, know what I mean about Canadian mountain passes by comparison. So when we passed the turn for Bullhead city and crossed into California - Wow! It was like hitting the moon - craters and all!!

    As for the bikes, we duct taped the seat for now and pressed it into alignment on its clasp, did the best we could to unbend the foot peg, used a Goop glue to fill the crack and a liquid gasket to try to seal the cracked crank case cover, and will see if a local motorbike shop can get the part to attach the speedometer cable. One would think that would be a fairly universal part, wouldn't one??

    We will see if the crank case cover seal is adequate or if it too has to be replaced. By late afternoon tomorrow, we should know. (It needs 24 hours for a full set, and we want to not push the margin even a bit). Time will tell...