Relying on Solar in Quartzite

2023 Full-Time, Arizona, Full-Time Travels, Road Trip, States

Within the RV community, the tiny town of Quartzite, Arizona holds a mystique all its own. Surrounded by vast tracts of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management Quartzite finds itself playing host to hoards of RV travelers every winter. Many are seasonal travelers who flock to the Arizona desert for the winter, some to camp off-grid on BLM lands and others to enjoy full-hookups in the many large RV resorts here. We have a permit to stay 14 nights although this time we’re doing just an overnight. We arrived Tuesday with empty waste tanks, water in our fresh tank, plenty of propane, and nearly full batteries after spending an off-grid Monday night and waking up to cloudy skies. We’re spending a lot to time paying attention to our batteries just to give us an idea of how long we can realistically stay off-grid. Our custom 2021 nüCamp T@B 400 is equipped with two rooftop Sunflare solar panels totaling 382 watts and two 100 amp hour Battle Born lithium batteries. In addition we have 200 watts of Bluetti portable solar and a Bluetti EB70S Portable Power Station sporting a 59.7 amp hour lithium iron phosphate battery. Although the portable panels can feed the house battery through a solar port and an in-house controller dedicated to the portable panels, our strategy right now is to let the rooftop maintain the house batteries and limit the house use to our compressor refrigerator, lights, water pump, and the Alde pump. Any discretionary power use such as coffee maker, laptop and phone charging, or anything that would require the inverter be through the portable power station and allow the portable panels to refresh that battery. Preliminary indicators show that the rooftop should be able to replenish the house batteries easily on a sunny day and pretty much keep up if it’s cloudy. It looks like the portable panels may have to try a little harder to keep up with the discretionary use. We should have no problem at all with being out a few days but we might have to curtail the use of the coffee maker and electric tea kettle if we anticipate several days off grid. We’ll see. It’s a constant learning process and we love it!

There are no assigned campsites so we found a spot not too close to others and with plenty of sky view.
Using the portable power station to support our luxuries helps us pay more attention to our power usage when we’re relying on battery power and solar generation.
What a delight to see desert landscape out a dining room porthole.
Enjoyed these iconic saguaros as we hiked around the area.
Perhaps a tiny saguaro is starting life under this mesquite.
And amazing desert sunsets!

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