2012 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem at Rovers Roost, Casa Grande, AZ

Our "new" site is pretty tight
Image shows distance from port slide to...

We're also "close" to the clubhouse (& laundry)

Installing antenna

VHF/UHF antenna final installation

Installing antenna feed line

Feeding antenna coaxial down "A" pillar

Antenna coaxial feed along dash

Icom IC-7000 tuned to Phoenix repeater

Icom IC-7000 final installation

Sat, 28 Jan: Well, we had planned to leave our boondocking space on BLM land north of Quartzsite today or Sunday. Our decision was made for us by our refrigerator, which flashed a "no flame" warning. We knew we were low on propane, but we had depleted our tank to the point where the fridge no longer functioned. No fridge, no food, we outta heah!

We started our engine about 0800 and waited and waited for the leveling jacks to retract. The aft starboard jack was a bit lazy this morning, so we had to "assist" using the shovel and a 4" x 4". Eventually we persuaded it to retract enough to shut off the alarm so we could put Carpe in gear.

Bob drove the eight miles from our campsite to the Quartzsite Pilot truck stop where we topped off the diesel tank. This was our first diesel fill since early October and we felt good about putting fresh fuel in the tank (although, we'd treated the October diesel with a stabilizer). From Pilot we headed east on I-10 to US 85 south to I-8 and then the fifty miles to Rovers Roost in Casa Grande.

We rolled non-stop except for a driver's change just west of the US 85 exit. We arrived at the Roost after a 185 mile journey and first thing first—we topped off the propane (took 19½ gallons). It was sure cold this morning without the furnaces...

After filling the propane Randy parked us in a site fairly close to the entrance (and road), but also very close to the clubhouse and laundry. Once set up we started the first of five washer loads. Busy afternoon, but we now have clean duds.

We'll be here in Rovers Roost for the next few months. Our plans are to make a number of small jaunts during the two months to keep our wanderlust sated. Our next trek is to attend a Hamfest in Yuma, AZ mid February. We'll be gone three days, but hope to rendezvous with Ray (and maybe Cathie???) Bailey. We'll see.

Sat, 04 Feb: Another week for the book. We've been busy little retirees here in Casa Grande. We signed up for the Yuma Hamfest and will get to see Ray (Cathie is staying home for some serious puppy time) Bailey for a few days. It'll be good to see him again.

We also bit the bullet and ordered an Icom IC-7000 HF/VHF/UHF mobile transcever. We got a good deal from AES Electronics in Los Vegas. It shipped Monday and arrived Wednesday.

On Monday we drove to Phoenix to buy the VHF/UHF antenna for above cited radio. The experts at Ham Radio Outlet recommended the Comet SSB-5 which is 38" long and will mount on the front starboard sidewall.

We started the installation process with the antenna. That's always the most emotionally challenging part as it requires drilling holes through the side of our coach. We managed to drill no more than three holes and trust we've sealed them well following our work.

Next came snaking the antenna feed line from an overhead side compartment, down the passenger's "A" pillar to the dash area. Fortunately we were able to remove enough panels and, with the help of a wire coat hanger "snake", get the wire where we needed it without any damage or collateral cosmetic effects.

Finally the radio installation, which is for the passenger's use only. There is no way the driver can see or use the radio, which is our intent as keeping the "shiny side up" is a full-time endeavor.

We plan to get our HF antenna within the next few weeks. It'll be a "portable" affair that will require a set-up and tear-down each time we use it. Strictly a "while we're parked" affair.

We've posted several pix of the installation and final results. If we say so ourselves, we've done a pretty good job. Now comes the challenge, digesting the 200 page owner's manual and figuring out how to use this monster.

Tomorrow we'll visit with Ben & Bonnie. Then on Wednesday we'll meet Bobbie & Lee for lunch in Tucson. We haven't seen them since disembarking the Oosterdam in December.

More anon...

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