Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Senator's Wash, California

So far this adventure into the states has been an interesting series of events. We have managed to find a few interesting places to go, but I have to say that yesterday was a really wonderful and unexpected day.

Most of the day was just hanging out with my parents, which I haven't had a lot of chance to do in the past 3 years, they living between Yuma and their costal BC home, and we being in Alberta most of the time. It was a fantastic and relaxing day.

However, just when most people would be hitting the winding down of their day, my Mom suggested we go look at some of the lakes in the area.

For some reason which utterly escapes me, even though we stopped at the rig to pick up Midnight, I completely forgot to grab a camera (!!???!) .... I know - going to sightsee and not bring a camera, - what was SHE thinking!!! But fear not my disappointed friends all was not lost, I remembered my back up.

We decided while down here to get cell phones that would become our permanent new voice communication units, and the ones we chose were the LG en Touch which just happens to have a 3.2 megapixel camera, and with a bit of accessorizing with a $14 memory card that holds 4 Gs of shots, I was all set to use it as a downloadable alternate source of digital photography. (Although my laptop doesn't, our brother printer has card reading slots , so I use it to transfer the shots to my computer). I digress....

Somewhere past Mittry Lake, I did recall that the phone would also take pictures, so I though, what the heck, better than nothing. So I starting shooting and what a reward!

(Not bad for a cell phone, don't you think??)

Senator's Wash is just across the California border, but only about 20 minutes from Yuma. - About the same distance as Oliver is from Penticton, as last year taught us.

(The other shots from the link are as we are leaving through the Yuma Proving Grounds)

What we really liked, as you can see from the pictures, it is a beautiful area. It has an annual fee of $75, about 4 sani-dump stations, water refill station, bathroom and shower facility, and no traffic noise.

Backing up somewhat, the lake viewing outing was inspired by the knowledge that I still have this insatiable desire to actually sit in our kayaks while placed upon a calm source of water bigger than a bathtub.....

Ken and I are not generally inclined to boondocking long term, but you just can't beat the price or view. Where we are now, it is a really nice area and with friendly neighbours. The rent is inexpensive for the area, but we are RIGHT beside highway 8 and beside E South Frontage Road, and the traffic roar is quite extensive.

We are going to be making a decision about where we will spend the rest of the winter. Where we are now, it is only $260 per month plus power, but as with most places that reads the metres on their own sites and don't charge a power company hook-up fee, the rate is somewhat - shall we say, magnified?? - I believe it is going to be around 15 cents per Kwh.

One thing I have notice which has gone unnoticed by us up until now. When we connected upon our arrival, we used the 50 amp. The metre seemed to be moving rather like a hamster on a wheel. I decided since we were on 30 amp all summer, and the weather is supposed to look a whole lot kinder than last year, I would try switching to the 30 amp hook-up plug. BIG difference. The metre's wheel slowed right down.

So the new lesson is that unless your power is included, if possible, use 30 amp, you will save a lot of money on power bills. I think it might have to do with the converter that is charging the house batteries, because nothing else was different, and the change was instant.

Now, where was I....

Senator's Wash is a dry campground that overlooks a beautiful lake. What can I say, it is tempting. However, we have to consider carefully. Where we are they generally have a 5 month commitment. If we leave, we can't come back this year, and if the boondocking doesn't pan out, the other sites, if there can be vacancy found, will be closer to the $500 range for equal services.

If we do go, some of the savings can be directed toward solar panels that will help to keep the batteries charged, we brought the blue boy and would therefore have reasonable access to the sani-dumps without up-rooting the rig every few days. Drinking water is only 50 cents for 5 gallons at self-serve station around Yuma, and we can haul the rest for the holding tank. It is a bit more work, but what else are we doing besides site seeing? I can use my parents' washer and clothes line for laundry.

What can I say, decisions loom. However, we have to the 26th of the month to decide. Tomorrow we are planning to make a day of Senator's Wash and see if a little digging can reveal to us how to lean on the choice looming.

Stay tuned, but for now I bid you,



  1. Gorgeous spot! Can't believe those pics were taken with a camera phone!

    Am I understanding you correctly that next year I could go stay there without hookups for 75$ for the whole season?! What a bargain!

    Good luck finding your winter home!

  2. That seems to be what it means. I will confirm that tomorrow. Maybe we can be neighbours again after all!! Now the prospect of that, I look forward to :-)
    (Ken is still on the wait and see approach to how the finances go. Time will tell)