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Old 11-01-2019, 05:21 PM   #21
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Quartzsite Gathering 2020 Update

The Quartzsite 2020 Gathering is around the corner! (Feb 3rd - 9th 2020) We are looking forward to connecting with new and old friends at this unique event in the AZ desert. As usual, we will need wood for the central campfire, anyone that can bring some wood to contribute it will be greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

We'll also need some volunteers for 2 hour shifts at the registration table during the week, the two judging committees for the Wiener Roast and Dessert competitions, and some volunteers to help with delivering the Quartzite Food Bank Donations. Email info@scampowners.com or we'll also have volunteer sign up sheets at the registration table when you check in.

FYI, this will be my last Rodeo as the Wagonmaster for the Quartzsite Gathering. So if anyone has any interest in taking this awesome gathering forward email me at info@scampowners.com or discuss it with me at the gathering.

Activities: Check the activity whiteboard at the host trailer for updated times and activities. All activities are subject to last minute changes. Make sure to register at the host trailer and pick up your 2020 Quartzsite Commemorative Button/Pin (quantities limited).
  • BYOB Happy Hour Meet & Greet: to kick off the Quartzsite Gathering for early arrivals. Monday night Feb 3rd 4:30pm. We will have an informal BYOB happy hour at the host trailer to get acquainted and start the week. Bring your chairs, favorite beverage and snacks.
  • Happy Hour Concerts with our Quartzsite Musicians: T-TH @ 4:30pm we will be having Happy Hour at the host trailer with music by our good friends and musicians. Any aspiring musicians can join in to play along. Check the activity board for times and bring your chairs, favorite drinks and snacks over.
  • Friday Night Wiener Roast and Campfire: Starting at 4:30 pm join us at the central campfire for a really cool event - the Wiener Roast and campfire. Bring your pack of Hot Dogs, buns, any sides/condiments, drinks and your Wiener Roasting Sticks. We'll provide some tables if you want to share sides/condiments with others, a nice campfire to roast the wieners, and weather permitting a beautiful Quartzsite sunset. We will have a judging committee and will be awarding prizes for the top three most creative Wiener Roasting Sticks. Get in your workshops now and get busy designing and building a winning Roasting stick! There were some pretty incredible contraptions last year.
  • Saturday Morning Dome Rock Swap Meet Quartzsite Gathering 8am-10am See further details below under approved vendors.
  • Dessert in the Desert at the Saturday Night Campfire: Dessert Pot Luck at the central campfire. Starting at 4:30 pm everyone bring a favorite dessert to the tables at the central campfire, along with your chairs, for a taste of dessert while enjoying an awesome Quartzsite sunset. New this year we will have a judging committee and will be awarding prizes for the top three Desserts! Get your recipes in order and get ready for some Dessert competition.
  • Quartzsite February 2020 Events Calendar(link): Throughout the town of Quartzsite, the Shows and Flea Markets run in the winter months during the influx of RV winter visitors and are quite interesting to spend a day or two rummaging around and finding treasures.
  • Quartzsite Give Back: At this years gathering we are going to sponsor a Quartzsite Give Back to help support the Quartzsite Food Bank. If you are able, we ask that folks bring a non-perishable food item and/or clothing items in good condition to the host trailer collection box and all week we will be delivering the donations to the Quartzsite Food Bank.
White Board: Check the white board at registration for all activities and approximate times. Change is a constant and we have had a few changes this year.

Instructional Sessions: (both sessions will be held by the host trailer, bring your chair, beverage, and questions)

Traveling in Baja, Mexico (Led by "Ron in BC") - Saturday Feb 8th @ 9:30am
The important topics for folks traveling to Baja for the first time are:
  1. Insurance requirements, where to buy and approximate costs.
  2. FMM, the tourist visa, where to get it and approximate costs.
  3. Border crossing routine and what to expect.
  4. Past experiences with local police, which is zero, but some discussion on what some folks have encountered.
  5. Military checkpoints and what to expect.
  6. Driving in Baja, road conditions and other drivers.
  7. Gas stations, some good, some not so good.
  8. Necessity for pesos and availability of ATMs and use of credit cards.
  9. Suitable camping areas and personal safety.
  10. Language, is any Spanish required?
  11. Why Baja? What's so great about Baja

These topics and likely others will form the basis of a Baja information discussion. Knowing what to expect, what's required and some do's and don'ts will go a long way towards making a first trip to Baja enjoyable and trouble free.

Digital Photography: (Led by Jon Vermilye) Saturday February 8th @ 10:30am

This workshop is designed for those with adjustable cameras (advanced Point & Shoot or DSLRs) that are interesting in gaining more control over your camera than the program or automatic modes provide.

We will discuss the effect of choosing the Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO on the resulting image, and how you can alter these settings to produce images that are not possible on the program/automatic setting.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vendors: No outside vendors will be allowed without prior approval from the hosts. We are on BLM Land and their regulations do not allow vendors to sell goods on BLM Lands, so we have to be very careful on what is allowed.

Currently approved vendors:

Dome Rock Swap Meet
at the Quartzsite Gathering
Saturday, Feb 8, 2019
8am - 10am
Hosted by Arizona Eileen

This is your opportunity to recycle those camping items you no longer use! There have been some terrific items in past years!
The location of the Swap Meet will be somewhere down in front near the Registration. Blue tarps will be laid out on the ground ahead of the event.

SELLERS
Items must be camping-related...basically anything having to do with RVing.
This can also include books, CDs, electronics, etc. -- stuff you'd use when traveling. No clothing items, please.
  • Sellers may arrive at 7:45 am to set out their items; however, no sales before 8 am, please.
  • Purchase a box of small envelopes at the Dollar Store (I'll also have some on hand).
  • On the front of the envelope, write: 1) Your name, 2) the item name, 3) the price, 4) your cell phone number
  • Affix the envelope to the item you wish to sell and leave your item(s) on one of the tables at the Swap Meet.
  • Be willing to accept either cash or check.
  • There will be a table for FREE STUFF. No envelopes necessary.
  • If you have a table or ground cover we can use for a few hours to display items, please bring it along.
  • No need to stick around if you don't want to since someone will be there keeping an eye on things.
  • At 10 am, Sellers should plan to claim their payment(s) and/or remaining item(s).

BUYERS
  • Buyers will remove the envelope from the item they wish to purchase, place their payment inside, and then deposit it into the PAYMENTS box.
  • Acceptable payments are cash or check. (I MAY be able to make change, but no guarantees.)
  • Buyers may write their name and cell number on the envelope before depositing it into the box if they have questions for the Seller.

MISCELLANEOUS
No outside vendors are permitted without pre-approval from Greg A., the rally host.

A-Z Casita Owners Guide available at special prices. Your choice of Printed book, or PDF on USB orCD.
Decals: Jack Frame Under Here, Battery Charge 16 and 25 Fresh Water Tank Gauges

Swap Meet questions or suggestions, please email Eileen at: lovemycasita17@gmail.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the Hosts:

Post any questions you have on this thread or to just say “Hello, we’ll be there”! We look forward to meeting many new friends and visiting with many old friends at one of the best gatherings of Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers (All brands are welcome) in the country.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:51 PM   #22
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We'll be arriving probably on Tues. You can put us down for a couple of stints on the registration desk.

I want to volunteer to be a judge on the desert judging committee. Just because I'm always first in line so that I'm assured of getting a slice of Jon's delicious blueberry pie I promise that I won't show him any favoritism.

Ron
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:15 PM   #23
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..
I want to volunteer to be a judge on the desert judging committee. ..
Ron

That will be interesting. I'd like that judging position, but I probably couldn't be objective, since I have camped in the Mojave Desert so much, I'm really partial to it, over the Sonoran Desert.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:06 PM   #24
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Oops, my bad. I'd rather judge desserts than deserts.

I guess that we'll have to have another event seeing as though Greg is moving on. Something like Roast Greg.

Ron
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:36 AM   #25
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We'll be arriving probably on Tues. You can put us down for a couple of stints on the registration desk.

I want to volunteer to be a judge on the desert judging committee. Just because I'm always first in line so that I'm assured of getting a slice of Jon's delicious blueberry pie I promise that I won't show him any favoritism.

Ron
Hi Ron in BC
We are looking forward to your Baja session - thanks for offering this. See you in Q!!
Sandy and Ian
Vancouver Island
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:49 AM   #26
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Hi Ron in BC
We are looking forward to your Baja session - thanks for offering this. See you in Q!!
Sandy and Ian
Vancouver Island
While Ron and Michele make for great leaders on introducing some great insight into travelling in the Baja, we did learn lots of great and useful stuff from them, but do beware!

They will take you down some very interesting routes which were quite the ordeal towing through. As well, Michele offered the use of her Stand Up Paddleboard on the beautiful El Coyote Beach on the Bahia Conception only to make me look like a fool trying to stay on it.

Of course I'm kidding, while far from an ideal travel route I really did enjoy the trip down Highway 5, lots of things of great interest, something I will always remember. And the SUP thing, yeah, that was all on me. LOL

They did a fantastic job of introducing people to the Baja. It is not a tough place to get used to and start planning your own stuff, but the first while there was certainly a lot of new things to deal with that I was very glad to have some good insight on. That, and they put up with a couple wacky Bennett brothers quite well.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:44 AM   #27
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They will take you down some very interesting routes which were quite the ordeal towing through. As well, Michele offered the use of her Stand Up Paddleboard on the beautiful El Coyote Beach on the Bahia Conception only to make me look like a fool trying to stay on it.
There's an article in a Mexican paper, from about 2010, saying how Mex. 5 will be finished within the year. Don't know what happened but somewhere along the way things ground to a halt. Then a hurricane wiped out all the bridge approaches on the new section that had been completed.

Part of the problem this year was my bad decision to bypass Coco's Corner and take the new route for the last few miles which was very rough. We returned via Mex. 1 which was in good shape and swore "never again for Mex. 5"

I follow things Baja daily and a couple of months ago a miracle happened, every bit of heavy machinery that had been sitting idle was suddenly mobilized. There's only 7 miles unpaved at last report and while all the bridge approaches haven't been repaired the short detours have been vastly improved.

So, unless a hurricane wipes out the road between now and Q'site it's looking like Mex. 5 will be the route down.

Oh, Jim, did I ever mention we have photos of you, on, or mostly on the SUP

Ron
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:26 PM   #28
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OK, let's see, now....(trying here to curb my enthusiasm...)

...At Quartzsite I listen to your orientation, Ron, then..... when I get to the border that's where I buy Mexican auto insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, show them my passport, get a visa and/or whatever travel permissions they require, pay them ($600+ refundable ?)

... they search my trailer for no-no's and contraband, I show them my dog's vaccination papers, my proof I need medications, and I am now free to travel to the beaches... so long as I keep plenty of cash in my wallet (Greenbacks ok, or do I exchange them for pesos?) ....for food, gas, other emergencies.

Does that cover all that's required for a happy trip?
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:21 PM   #29
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OK, let's see, now....(trying here to curb my enthusiasm...)

...At Quartzsite I listen to your orientation, Ron, then..... when I get to the border that's where I buy Mexican auto insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, show them my passport, get a visa and/or whatever travel permissions they require, pay them ($600+ refundable ?)

... they search my trailer for no-no's and contraband, I show them my dog's vaccination papers, my proof I need medications, and I am now free to travel to the beaches... so long as I keep plenty of cash in my wallet (Greenbacks ok, or do I exchange them for pesos?) ....for food, gas, other emergencies.

Does that cover all that's required for a happy trip?
Ah geez, there's always one who can't wait to hear the answers.

1. No, you can buy your Mexican insurance online. We use the Q'site public
library computers because we don't have US data. There are also insurance offices near the border but we like to have it done beforehand.

2. What folks do for travel and life insurance is their business but as far as the authorities go, not their concern.

3. Yup, definitely need a passport. You purchase the tourist visa there. It can be obtained online but since it has to be stamped at the border anyway so there's no point getting it ahead of time. Haven't checked prices for next year but it's probably in the 30 to 40 dollar range. The $600 amount doesn't include going to Baja.

4. They do a cursory search, quick look in, maybe open one cupboard sort of search. Even us Canadians get asked the firearms question. I imagine that Americans might even get asked twice.

5. They've never mentioned our dog, even though she levitates and wants to take the guy's arm off. But, yes, the dog's paperwork is definitely required in case you are asked for it.

6. We are hard core world travelers. Lots of cash is always a bad idea. And using greenbacks will never get you the best price. We get some pesos ahead of time and ATM's are available. Gas, the biggest expense, is mostly paid by credit card.

After those little formalities, yup, life's a beach.

Ron
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:24 AM   #30
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Notes from a recent research:

I am an AAA member. I looked their website up to get a vehicle insurance quote for travel in Mexico. What I learned with AAA:

For 31 days, Baja and Sonora states only, 2014 Silverado 1500 and 2013 trailer, 2 persons, medical travel insurance.
  • Extended coverage $769.84. (physical damage, theft, vandalism, total theft, fixed deductibles, 3rd party liability, Uninsured motorist, legal assistance, medical payments.)
  • Liability only coverage, $230.28.
The major caravan companies recommend Lewis and Lewis for all their trips to Mexico, including the long distance Yucatan ones which go through most Mexican states.

Running my rig through Lewis and Lewis.... Came up with around $300. There are add-on policies that up the price. Testimonials about Lewis and Lewis are good.

Some will get a 6 month policy for barely more than the 30 day policy, and insure tug and trailer for $45K.

Hoping there is a less expensive alternative.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:05 AM   #31
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Ouch, that is pricey Myron. I’m going to check with USAA who insures us what they do or recommend with Mexico trip. I know there wasn’t anything addl I had to add for Canada trip a few years ago, but that is different beast.

Update:
This is info posted on USAA

Mexico
The Mexican government requires that tourists get auto liability insurance from a Mexico-based insurance company. Although your USAA auto policy may provide limited coverage for any loss or damage that occurs within a certain distance from the U.S.-Mexico border (check your policy for details), it doesn't provide the insurance legally required for travel in Mexico.
To get this coverage for your owned vehicle, call the BRAVO Agency at 1-800-442-7286
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:25 AM   #32
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Oh, Jim, did I ever mention we have photos of you, on, or mostly on the SUP
What, no photos where I look less like a failure. LOL
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:27 AM   #33
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Another advantage of using a library computer like the one in Quartzsite is you can print there too.

My medical insurance bought before heading into the US covered Mexico as well. About $350 CAD for the two of us for 2 months, the first two weeks was covered by Visa.

At least 90% of other tourists I talked to never get the tourist visa, and even those that travel there a lot say they have not heard of an issue, ever. Still cheap to get though.

Never got asked about Jasper going in, and was just asked if he was Canadian going out.

We too ended up stowing our dollars away and only used Pesos or credit card. A fair few ATMs to be found.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:22 AM   #34
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For 31 days, Baja and Sonora states only, 2014 Silverado 1500 and 2013 trailer, 2 persons, medical travel insurance.
  • Extended coverage $769.84. (physical damage, theft, vandalism, total theft, fixed deductibles, 3rd party liability, Uninsured motorist, legal assistance, medical payments.)
  • Liability only coverage, $230.28.

How much liability? You can't compare without this number. I have $3 million on my trailer ( but it's not headed for Mexico ).
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:16 PM   #35
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What, no photos where I look less like a failure. LOL
There you go, upright on a SUP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post

At least 90% of other tourists I talked to never get the tourist visa, and even those that travel there a lot say they have not heard of an issue, ever. Still cheap to get though.
Yup, there's folks that say that but without it you're in Mexico illegally. If things go wrong you're really out on a limb. I'd rather pay a few bucks and be in Mexico legally.

Ron
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:21 PM   #36
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We'll be arriving probably on Tues. You can put us down for a couple of stints on the registration desk.

I want to volunteer to be a judge on the desert judging committee. Just because I'm always first in line so that I'm assured of getting a slice of Jon's delicious blueberry pie I promise that I won't show him any favoritism.

Ron
Ron,
Got you down for a Dessert Judge. The Desert Judging I'm not getting involved in.
Reg table shifts are M-TH 9-11am, 11-1pm, 1-3pm, 3-5pm.
TH 1-3pm is already filled. Let me know your pleasure.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:43 PM   #37
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We have just purchased Lewis & Lewis for 6 months for mainland Mexico. $450 approx. Includes $500,000 liability in US $. Our Tug and trailer insured for $42,000. We are allowed in about 1/2 of Mexico, if headed to the Yucatan we'd pay about $100 more. But we are not going further than Puerta Vallarta, maybe Lake Chapala. Paul Bedsoe of Caravans of Mexico tells me that Lewis and Lewis have paid out for accidents on their caravans. If you are a customer of them, you get a 10% discount. Next year Caravans of Mexico will lead at least 1 caravan to Baja. Their caravans usually limit numbers to 12-15 rigs. Personally, we prefer alone or 1 friend to a big group. Caravans of Mexico have a website and Facebook page. Their website is a great resource on what to bring to Mexico; paperwork, spares, fuel availability, everything you need to know.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:13 PM   #38
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There's an article in a Mexican paper, from about 2010, saying how Mex. 5 will be finished within the year. Don't know what happened but somewhere along the way things ground to a halt. Then a hurricane wiped out all the bridge approaches on the new section that had been completed.

Part of the problem this year was my bad decision to bypass Coco's Corner and take the new route for the last few miles which was very rough. We returned via Mex. 1 which was in good shape and swore "never again for Mex. 5"

I follow things Baja daily and a couple of months ago a miracle happened, every bit of heavy machinery that had been sitting idle was suddenly mobilized. There's only 7 miles unpaved at last report and while all the bridge approaches haven't been repaired the short detours have been vastly improved.

So, unless a hurricane wipes out the road between now and Q'site it's looking like Mex. 5 will be the route down.

Oh, Jim, did I ever mention we have photos of you, on, or mostly on the SUP

Ron
Wow Ron. Mex 5 again!! You sure that you really want to baptize your new 21 with a trip down Mex 5? Us, although we plan to be in Quartzite, nor yet quite ready to try Mex 5 again, maybe we will wait until this year's report. I think we will try some other options for our winter rip south this year. We are meeting friends in the Phoenix area from January 22, so probably leaving Vancouver about January 17.

PS Nice picture of all the Escapes on Coyote beach.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:10 PM   #39
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As of two days ago there was 2 1/2 miles of unpaved road. Incredible. I don't know what's caused the explosion of effort in the last couple of months. There's still detours for the washed out bridge approaches but the they're smooth and not an issue.

If there hadn't been all this work done we'd have taken Mex. 1.

Now, if only a hurricane doesn't damage it all again.

Ron
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:23 PM   #40
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As of two days ago there was 2 1/2 miles of unpaved road. Incredible. I don't know what's caused the explosion of effort in the last couple of months. There's still detours for the washed out bridge approaches but the they're smooth and not an issue.

If there hadn't been all this work done we'd have taken Mex. 1.

Now, if only a hurricane doesn't damage it all again.

Ron
I think that we are waiting for photographic evidence first!
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