Nov 21, 2021

Broken down in Quartzsite, Arizona

The first words in the final paragraph of my last post said “Thanks for sticking with me, things can only get better”.  Just the opposite happened. So I will leave those details to the end of this post and start back a few days ago. Looking back I can see that I made several errors in my write ups. Stress will do that to you.

I think this post may be all over the place but I doubt that I will miss anything important. I actually had been making notes on a piece of paper and that is now gone.

Could be Ciela as she has taken to shredding paper the past few days.

UPS delivered the generator Thursday. The shipper had sent us a second unit as the first had either got lost or stolen according to him. Well much to our surprise this was the original one I had ordered on November 9th. It weighs about 120 pounds.

So now we had a second generator ( the 3rd one ) being delivered to us on Friday. As well as a second generator from Home Depot which I had ordered on Tuesday.  I had no idea that the shipper of the lost generator was sending us another. At one point I had three of them on my Visa card. Meanwhile thanks to hours an hours on the phone with special people at Home Depot we were promised that even if their generator showed up ( it never did ) that we would not be charged for it. Somehow between a wonderful supervisor at Amazon working with the shipper the third generator did not arrive. Personally we think that is because we told the UPS driver to please refuse delivery on our behalf. So all is well in that area of of our lives.

Brushing the girls as they are shedding their short ( longer than our other doxies ) hair all over the place.

Colin went to Home Depot ( where by the way he found in store THE generator which they claim they never had ). Anyway he picked up oil and these two boards to roll the machine in and out. There is even space for his jack boards to be stored there.  Of course all the other items are now in the Jeep until we have time to figure out a new system.

This model is a bit different than the one we were trying to get in Canada since July. More power.

This is the model of the one we purchased off of You can read all about it on your own. He did start it for five minutes in the RV park to make sure it worked. It is a bit louder than we expected but we are very happy to have it.

It fits perfectly in this particular basement. Only thing is that the two ramp boards must be put in another compartment as they are too long for this one.

The connection to our RVpropane tank which we had made at home before we left.

Remember all those unopened boxes from Amazon in a previous post, this was one of them. This  is what is called a snuffle mat.

They each got one. It is to encourage them to sniff and work out the puzzle of finding their kibble meal hidden in the folds.  It had really slowed Carlie down to 5 -6 minutes. Perfect and they love it.

Somehow we have no photos of the RV repairs. The first repair ( which I wrote about ) was the jacks. Apparently we paid $310.50US to be told that there was nothing wrong with the jacks 😯 While he was there Colin asked about repairing our steps which were now going up and down on their own. He said we needed a new gear assembly, motor, control board, linkage and he would be back to the RV on Thursday at noon. He and a fellow RV tech did not show up until 5PM ( they had so many problems earlier in the day and we were number there on the list ). By the time they arrived it was dark as in pitch black. Very very long story short they were done at 9:30PM. They kept swearing big time and complaining how they wanted to go home. I was quick to point out that it was not our fault that they were late. It was a very unsettling last hour. Both Colin and I enjoyed a few glasses of vino to settle ourselves. But they did get the job done even though they had to read the instructions on what to do and nothing worked.  Good thing that there were two of them. One was calmer than the other which helped. We were all hungry and wanted dinner. So when the final bill came in at $2200.00USD we both fell off our chairs so to speak. We both had heard that the part was close to $200.00 and not $900.00. Nothing we could do. We paid it and Colin did call the owner of the company the next day. It was what it was.

Meanwhile Colin had received the part for the Roadmaster tow bar that broke. Again no photos, sorry. At least it arrived on day 3 of a 2 day priority mail. Rather than have the techs do the install Colin figured it out himself online and did the repair. He has a few blood blisters on his fingers but it worked 😛

Friday was sort out the generator and how it fit into the RV and final groceries, etc. It took us longer to pack up Saturday morning as we had to find places to put all the extra things plus we were both tired. Anyway it got done and we hooked up the car and we were good to go, but not until 11:15.  My fault that I forgot about the one hour time change to Arizona which is also Mazatlan time.

This is how we travel. My back is to the windshield and with the slide in there is not much space what with the dog ramp and our Mr Buddy heater. The coffee table slides under my desk ( on the left ) then my dining chair which because of the desk sticks out on the side.  When the slide is open we have lots of space.

Facing forward. The big screen is a sun screen that is used when necessary. Here it is down to help keep the heat off the girls. The ramp and the bed that has been used more of late and the messy dog dash.

The very full bedroom with the slide in. Dog crate on the bottom left and my massage table against the bed and four guitars under the mirror.

With our big window driving into the sun is a problem which we can handle but the heat is difficult for the dogs. Carlie said enough and was smart enough to go down to the floor behind my seat and rest there. Ciela was restless and drove me bonkers.

Ciela napping for short while on the dash.

New to us Arizona sign. Our exit was 12 and between here and there there were six miles of extremely bumpy road. We felt like we went airborne twice. Things did jostle about quite a bit.

The Chevron station off of I-40 just before Lake Havasu. Lunch for all of us and a final pee in the grass for a few months.

Interesting sky as we drove through Lake Havasu. Very little traffic driving thru here, most unusual. I of course was very sad recalling all of our visits over the years with my dear friend Libby who passed on January 7th off this year. I doubt that we will ever camp again in Lake Havasu, just too sad.

As we passed through Parker it got darker and darker. Half way through Lake Havasu City, we noticed a small squeaky bouncy noise. We stopped at the far end of Parker to fuel up at Running Man.  The RV sounded horrible as we turned in. After filling I drove around, left, then right and in circles.  Colin who was outside could not detect where the sound was coming from but it was there. By the time we got to Quartzite it was a consistent sound.  But it was dark at 6:25pm local time which was when it was dark at 5:25PM in Vegas. We never travel this late in the year and are not use to it becoming dark so soon.

We set up and ran the generator under a variety of loads.  It needs to be run for five hours to be broken in. We drove 220 miles in six hours. Had it been just the two of us with no pups we would have done it in just over four hours and it would not have been dark. The lunch and pee break took 55 minute and there was time for fuelling up. I realize now that we have to allow extra time for the girls to stop.

The flash from my camera actually lit up the RV. You can see their glowing eyes in the dark.

Another Amazon purchase were eight flickering LED lights which we used ( bonus ) to light up the corners of the dog pen. You can see one flickering top left, the flash stopped the others from flickering.

Thanks Colin for going out in the cold to get this sunrise shot.

All we need to do is pull in the slides and drive further south for our last night in the US.

Despite setting the alarm for 7AM with a between 8:00 – 8:30AM departure we only left at 8:45AM. The ‘noise’ was even louder, we drove a few blocks to the RV Pit Stop to fill up our propane tank. As we left we looked at each other and said that this is not good.  So we drove to Love’s, who have helped us in the past. They basically told us to go away. Meanwhile I got online and discovered that the Pilot here in town now does some repairs. The fellow there told us that it sounded like a ball join issue and that we should definitely not go on the highway and to not drive far. I had also found online and he mentioned that we got to Best Auto/RV repairs. So we now sit in an empty dusty lot next to their shop.  They open at 8AM Monday morning.

Our solar lights charging up. Cute little bird came to visit.

We drove a whopping eight miles today 😥







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24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Broken down in Quartzsite, Arizona”

  1. Judith says:

    Aiee. What a trip so far! Stay brave. (I have a recollection of ball join problems in a regular car, and it was a fairly easy fix. Hope that is the case for you. You guys need a break.)

    • contessa says:

      It appears that ball joints in an RV, at least our size and type of chassis it a big deal. Hopefully it will all be over soon.

  2. Lucy says:

    OMG, Contessa … que viaje tan accidentado tienen amigos; I’m so sorry about it ! Hopefully tomorrow the motorhome’s problems get solved & good times take over- it’s about time. My regards & hang in there. Lucy.

  3. Jim and Barb says:

    As bad as that sounds it could have been much worse. The ball joints could have failed while going down the road at 60 or you could have broken down in the middle of no where instead of at Q. Hopefully it will be a quick fix and you will be on your way!

    • contessa says:

      Yes Jim it can always be worse. It would have been horrific it they had broken down once we were in Mexico as I can’t even imagine what we would do. Plus we are hearing that the roads are particularly rough and pot holed this year. We hope to be back on the road with a new front end by Tuesday.

  4. SandyM says:

    Goodness, what a day; so very sorry to read of all the troubles. Hoping for a good, quick fix and you can be on the way to sun, sand and waves across your toes.

  5. MJ says:


  6. Sandie says:

    Contessa, I am so sorry things have gone so wrong for you guys. Hoping things are fixed quickly in Q and you can press on to your beautiful Isla. Love your sweet twins sooo much.

  7. KenB says:

    Just curious! What happened to your onboard generator? K

    • contessa says:

      The generator broke down on our way south in the fall of 2019. It took many attempts to repair it. It was still in the shop in MAzatlan when we had to leave because of Covid in March of 2020. We finally got an email this past spring that it could not be repaired and parts could not be found. Good thank we got this small one instead of spending 20K to put a new one in the RV. We are using that money to pay for our current issues.

  8. phyllis Schmitz says:

    Hoping problems can be solved. Wishing for good travelling forward now.
    Stay strong & love those little girls.

  9. Nancy B. says:

    Oh Contessa & Colin – What a trip! We are sending our good thoughts to you both. Travel safe!

  10. Pauline Watson says:

    The little solar lights are cute 🙂 It’s amazing how they just disappear in the dark!

    • contessa says:

      The girls are being very good thus far and are good travellers. Except right now we have a cat on a leash next door who keeps treating them and they of course bark.

  11. Croft says:

    What a trip! One thing after another. So sorry to read of all your expensive problems!

  12. Michelle says:

    Hi Contessa,
    Thinking of you, Colin and the girls. Hoping that things are going in the proper direction, better to get the aggravation over now and enjoy Life in Isla!

    Best Wishes,
    Michelle in very cold Connecticut

    • contessa says:

      Ohh cold in Connecticut, would love to vis tin the summer. Good point, get all of this ‘stuff’ over with before we cross into Mexico.

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