Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ahhhhh! Full Hook-Ups, Bob Tiffin and a Boomer Chili Cook-off

After spending almost a week without water or sewer, and almost another week with no hookups, Don and I decided to treat ourselves to a FHU site for 3 nights. We got lucky and found a site due to a cancellation at the Park Place RV Park on the east side of Quartzsite.

It’s a fairly nice park for Quartzsite, but I have trouble agreeing with their claim of being “Arizona’s Finest RV Park.” There’s no pool or hot tub, no trees or even cactus, sites are level and adequate but not overly large, and no concrete patios or picnic tables. The ground cover is pea gravel, a little thin in places so it’s fairly dusty, and this type of gravel is my least favorite because it gets inside your shoes (ouch!) and travels into your RV easily by sticking to the soles. We haven’t experienced weak power like Dennis & Carol reported, but the water pressure is very puny. Still, it’s definitely comfortable here, compared to no hookups.

Taking advantage of the situation, I’ve done 5 loads of laundry so far, vacuumed and mopped the floors, and cleaned the bathroom. Don has dumped and flushed, and filled our fresh water tank for returning to boondocking on Thursday. We still have a nice view of the desert since this side of town hasn’t yet been developed heavily. And it’s very quiet as it’s about a half-mile from the freeway with buildings helping to block the sound. Sorry, no pics but maybe I’ll take some tomorrow.

This morning we had breakfast at Bad Boys Café.

Bad Boys

Then we went to La Mesa RV, where we bought our Tiffin Phaeton motorhome last year.

La Mesa quartzsitestore

Bob Tiffin, founder of Tiffin Motorhomes, was here for 2 days and we found him standing outside chatting with folks. Bob is a genuine southern gentleman, and we’ve enjoyed visiting him in his office at the Tiffin plant in Red Bay, Alabama. Although he’s probably a mega-millionaire, he talks with everyone like they’re very important and deserve his undivided attention.

I reminded Bob that we now own our second Tiffin (he can’t remember everyone, although he seemed to recognize us), and that Don’s son and wife also own their second, so there’s a history of 4 of his motorhomes in our family. I said we are very happy with the Phaeton we bought 11 months ago from this very place, but there’s one thing I wish they’d done differently: the tankless water heater. When we are boondocking, it wastes water while waiting for it to get hot because it requires .5 gal/min flow to turn on. And navy showers are uncomfortable – you wait for the water to get hot, turn it off to soap up, then wait again for it to get hot again to rinse off.

He agreed that it wasn’t the best device for boondocking and said they can swap it out with a traditional water heater. He even said that winds of 20-30 mph can cause the flame to burn up the wiring and cause the unit to fail. He described the process of replacing the unit, which matched what one of the techs had told us when we were at the service center last September. His detailed knowledge of manufacturing details amazes me.

I asked whether Tiffin would cover the cost, and Bob said Yes! I told him he just made my day! Don later made an appointment for May, when we’ll be in that neck of the woods, and we’ll look forward to getting the job done.

What I didn’t tell Bob is that we were told it would be about $1800 to swap out the water heaters. But he’s a man of his word, he probably knows what it will cost in actual dollars for labor and parts, and we’ll happily take him up on the offer.

I’m a Happy Happy Tiffin Owner!


Later we drove about 20 miles to Blythe, California, to pick up our mail and do a little grocery shopping. Quartzsite has 3 markets, but supplies and variety are limited and prices are high. The next closest food market is Albertson’s in Blythe.

This afternoon, we visited “Boomerville” where a lot of our friends are parked. The Boomers, an Escapees group, are loosely organized and comprised of folks who love life and enjoy having very few rules for their club and its gatherings.

The main event today was a Chili Cook-off. Appropriate garb was worn by some of the participants.


Chuck Moore, far right, hosted the even and introduced the 6 judges.


This year there were lots of chili cooks entering the competition. And the rest of us brought side dishes to be shared. Three long tables were required to hold all the goodies.


1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes were awarded.


It was great to see many friends, and I didn’t take nearly enough pictures of all of them. But Don got this shot of me and Jan Moore, who has been dubbed my ‘sister’ by several people because of our similar looks. I don’t know, I’ll let you be the judge. In any case, I’m flattered to be compared to such a pretty and wonderful lady!



  1. You do have similar smiles!! Great about your water heater! You were in the right place at the right time

  2. Chili cook offs are always a great way to have fun and some good chow at the same time.

    That's a terrific deal on the water heater.

  3. Yes, you look like sisters! Don, did they have rice for under the chili like in Hawaii?? People laugh about it until they try it--and then love the rice with chili!
    Where are you going to be parked on Thursday or Friday?

  4. Oh, my! You could easily pass for sisters.

  5. Yupper you could pass as sisters ~ beautiful smiles! I always heard Tiffin was a GREAT man ~ I often wish I had bought one!!!
    Have fun

  6. Sharon, I'm flattered to be dubbed your sister, too! You're a fun & fun-loving lady. Should we tell everyone about our night at the Watson's singing up a storm?
    It was great seeing you and Don again. Hugs, Jan
    P.S. Hope it's okay that I borrow that nice picture of Chuck & the chili judges.


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