My brand new retro $5 pink hat....a new look, eh?

My brand new retro $5 pink hat….a new look, eh?

We’re far away from Quartzsite today….far in the boonies…away from the things of man. It was a fun week at the show, but at the end of it all we were ready to leave the crowds and recharge in the wilds. Of course the question that’s burning in everyone’s mind is “how much did we spend?”. Well, believe it or not our grand total came to a whooping $39, most of it from the rummage shops outside the “Big Tent”, which IMHO are by far the best places to find unique stuff. In fact if you come to Q and just stick to the tent you will probably be well disappointed. The good stuff is elsewhere, my friends!

On my part I was seduced by a $5 pink hat that gives me a rather retro look, or so I like to think. In fact the hat gives me a sudden urge to buy a long, flowing skirt and wear stilettos, the result of which would make for a interesting ensemble in the boonies (can you say crazy lady in the desert?). Either way, I now have a solid shade hat to supplement my more stylin’ cowboy hat.

The $30 Wingman…a worthy upgrade

Our more substantial buy was a result of Paul’s need to see the football game on local TV. Quartzsite has zero over-the-air channels, at least with our regular antenna, but the addition of the ~$30 Wineguard Wingman (bought at Gambler’s in Quartzsite) created the magic needed to pull-in local channels. You need to have a Wineguard Sensar antenna to  use it, but if you have one it’s a simple matter of snapping the attachment onto your antenna and you’re ready to go. We already upgraded our over-the-air with a Wineguard Sensar Pro TV Signal Strength Meter about 6 months ago (which we LOVE since it tells you exactly where to rotate your antenna for the strongest signal). When we combined this with the Wingman we pulled-in over 24 channels! Whoo wheee! Probably the easiest upgrade we’ve done in years and I can tell you my man was a happy camper.

TST

Soooo close, soooooo close…

And then there’s the big buy we didn’t make. We HAD planned to get a TPMS system (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), something that’s been on my “big” wishlist for ages. I spent several days at the show looking through the various models and even managed to narrow down my choice, but in the end ran out of time to pick it up before the show shut down (argh!). Most of the systems are very similar and I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. Before the show I was leaning towards TST, but having seen all the offerings I’ve settled on the Tire-Safeguard unit, mostly because it has a bigger screen and, according to the salesguy, doesn’t need a booster for our size rig + toad (in fact he was so sure of that, he said he’d throw one in for free if we did). Both get excellent reviews so they’re about equivalent in user satisfaction. So, we’re still without a TPMS, but we know which one we want and we’re ~$475 “richer”…I can fool myself, right?

A final evening get-together with Island Girl & Watson's Wonder

A final evening get-together with Island Girl & Watson’s Wonder

The rest of our buys were smaller knick-knacks (two ice-cube trays for $1.00, a RS232 cable for $2…). That’s the total damage from our big week at the show!

Overall a rather paltry shopping outing, but a VERY rich week in terms of meetings, social connections, community and exploring. If I had to choose between the two, I’d definitely choose the one we got. Nice boondocking site, good people, great times = priceless!

POST POST EDIT -> ABOUT AMAZON LINKS
I had a few people ask me at the Meet & Greet last week about the Amazon search-box & “share the love” links that are posted on my page so I figured I would give a little info for those interested. Amazon runs an affiliate program that allows those that sign up to make a small % from anyone who buys through Amazon using their affiliate link. You, the buyer pay exactly the same while us, the blogger get a few $$ from Amazon because we linked you to their website. It’s actually a genius program which offers blog readers the chance to give back a little to blogs they like without any kind of sacrifice other than using the link to buy. I’ve been using these links (from other blogs) for ages and typically share around my Amazon purchases to folks I enjoy reading (my version of “share the love” if you will) and definitely encourage you to do the same. In our case the links help with the hosting fees (and perhaps a few gas $$) for the blog. If you like a blog (and I don’t just mean mine!!) you can give back easily by using their links. Hope that explains it :)

Share the love (JPG)

You pay the same, we get a few dimes..

57 Responses to The Final Quartzsite RoundUp

  1. Betty -Shea says:

    Awwe luv that hat! You look really “sassy’ in it too!
    Glad you had fun at the Q.
    Thanks for sharing the fun with us readers..:-)).

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sassy…I like that! It’s definitely a “new” kind of look for me (I almost always wear Cowboy Hats), but I’m enjoying it!

      Nina

  2. Leigh says:

    I love “crazy lady in the desert”!!

  3. Pat says:

    Love your posts and just curious….what kind of setup do you use to access the internet in the boonies?

  4. John V says:

    I can’t believe you guys don’t have a pressure monitoring system. It was one of the first things we purchased, and it’s saved our bacon twice in the last two years. We boondock about 95% of the time (almost always in the middle of nowhere) so we’re rarely on good pavement. Our rig is a DRW F350 with a heavy New Horizons 5th wheel, so maybe our tire obsession is more warranted than it is with your set-up. Anyway, our Pressure Pro system is probably the best insurance we’ve ever purchased.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I know, I know….it’s been on our “wish list” for over 4 years now. Time just went too quickly at Quartzsite and before I knew it, the vendors were gone (we missed them by 1/2 day). We do check our tires before every trip, but it would be nice to have the additional safety of on-the-road monitoring. Oh well….maybe soon!

      Nina

      • Mark says:

        As a new Coach owner TMPS is on my list too. Are you considering the version that supports a Toad too? If not, is the an alternative you are considering?

        Thanks,

        Mark

        • libertatemamo says:

          Yup, the 10-sensor version is the one I want to buy. It’ll support the entire coach plus the toad. The nice thing about the Tire-Safeguard unit is that you don’t need a repeater, even for the toad. At least that’s what the sales guy told me. They have an extra-long range compared to the other systems.

          Nina

  5. Marshall says:

    I know you are not on WordPress any longer but did you have the Amazon link on WordPress also? Our Millenicom MiFi and Wilson Sleek have worked well in some very poor areas also.

    Your TPMS is critical with your boondocking lifestyle. Wish you the best with it.

    • libertatemamo says:

      WordPress.com (the free-hosted version) has pretty strict (and complicated) rules on associate links. I had a *few* in the old blog, but limited them to reviews that I did on specific products (which apparently is OK). It’s kind of a gray area though and mostly wordpress.com doesn’t like it. If you want to use Amazon Affiliate links on a regular basis it is *much* better to be self-hosted.

      Nina

      P.S. I’m still using WordPress as my platform…just a self-hosted version now.

      • Mark says:

        Are you using the paid version of wordpress or is their other software you recommend? Thanks

        • libertatemamo says:

          The WordPress platform itself is free, but I’m self-hosted (I.e. I’m not on wordpress.com). So, I pay for hosting. I much prefer WordPress over any other platform out there. By far the best one IMHO. If you’re just starting out in the blog world, you just need to decide if you get the free hosting on wordpress.com, or self-host on a server that you pay for. Advantages and disadvantages to each.

          Nina

  6. jonthebru says:

    Sounds like the vendors need to post a sign stating the day they will close up and move on enabling shoppers to decide in time. I’m not entirely certain but the tire pressure sensors may need an alignment of sorts so the smart thing is a proper installation at a tire shop so all the pressures are correct to begin with.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Actually I knew they were closing, but thought I could get in at the last minute (Sunday) which just wasn’t the case. Lots of vendors leave early on that final Sunday which included the guys I was going to buy the TPMS from. It was my own fault really.

      The external sensors don’t need any adjustment. Just screw them on and you’re ready to go.

      Nina

  7. Mary Hone says:

    You got out cheaper than we did, but we were there a lot longer and took more trips, “to town.” We love all the swap meets that have the old stuff, yep, that’s the treasure.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I’m a rummage LOVER so all those little booths & knick-knack shops are right up my alley. If we hadn’t been socializing so much I would have spent alot more time (and money) in the little booths.

      Nina

  8. Bob Nuttmann says:

    TPMS. Our coach came with a system originally. It was inside the rims. By the time we bought it used in 2009 it did not work and I insisted the sellers fix it. The substituted a Pressure Pro instead. The Pressure Pro worked OK for about two years and then started to give bad readings. The batteries were going out it seems. I took it off and is now stored in the basement of the motorhome. I think this summer when we are in Junction City OR we will try to get the original system working, maybe. Might be more than I want to spend. I have driven our coach 30,000 miles now and the Pressure Pro did tell me one time my inside tire on the passenger side was low. There was nothing wrong with the tire it was the valve extender not tightened that caused the air leak.

    So I will be waiting to hear what you get and your experience. I think part of our problem with Pressure Pro is that our coach is 42′ long and likely needs a signal booster.

    One of the other issues with the Pressure Pro was that I found it impossible to get the tires of our towed balanced with the PP sensors on. Close, but still could not get the balance perfect.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I think the newer units have much lighter sensors. I haven’t heard about any balancing problems from folks who’ve used them on the forums. Probably better range too, although all the systems I looked at (except for the Tire-Safeguard) told me I would need a repeater/booster for the toad. All the modern sensors allow the user to change out the batteries themselves too….big bonus! The older units you’d be forced to send them back in or buy a new sensor when the battery died.

      You may just be getter off buying a totally new unit for your rig. Eliminates trying to fix an old one that may not be well supported anymore?

      Nina

  9. Rob says:

    Nice hat! Dressing how you feel when you’re out in the middle of nowhere does not make you a crazy lady.. Smiling is not a bad thing.

    Where do you hook in that TV Signal Strength Meter? I replaced our Sensar(1) with a Sensar IV because that clip on bat wing wasn’t made for the original, it did help! A strength meter would help even more.

    Give some thought to a TPMS, if you’re cruising down the road & you get a flat on your toad how will you know? A front tire on the beast will be easy to tell but how about an inner dual?

  10. Wow the hat is cool. I like the ladies and their hats that you see on tv coverage of the Kentucky Derby! Thanks for the info on millencom, I am going to check it out right now! As always yall are a great resource for RVing solutions! Thanks, Bill

    • libertatemamo says:

      I’ve always loved hats….just don’t have much occasion to wear them. I guess the boonies is occasion enough :)

      Nina

  11. TJ says:

    Hi Nina. Have been reading your blog for a few months now. You seem to travel in many places we have frequented.
    We have been full time for 18 years. Boondocking the last five. Had our own sales business we conducted successfully on the road before retiring. We find that with so many people “blogging” about every place they go, some of our favorite get away places are becoming crowded.

    I know we have no right to call special places we find our own. I guess the connectivity we all have now has changed many things we used to take for granted.

    Your research and info on health and insurance are invaluable to full timers who are not yet ready for Medicare. Glad to see you are finding your way. I think you bring something so refreshing to the blogging experience. You have so much good knowledge to share. Maybe just keep those really special private places under wraps!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Wow…18 years on the road fulltime. That’s amazing!!

      I do get what you mean about boondocking spots. The decision to “share” was not something I took lightly, and I know it’s controversial. I guess I feel there is space for everyone and that only those really interested will go….which is really a smaller portion of the RV population. But I can’t deny that by sharing I make these places more accessible.

      Cheers for the comments on health care. I have to write an update on ACA and how this affects pre-Medicare fulltimers soon. Lots of very important changes here.

      Nina

  12. MonaLiza says:

    Looking good with a new hat and longer hair. It appeared that the Cubans were having a great time socializing :)
    We got our TST at Q last year and Steve is happy with it.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, we finally met up with the other Cuban on the road! Fun couple of evenings all around. Of course you guys have met just about everyone!

      Nina

  13. Patrick and Bernadette & Leisel says:

    Bernadette and I were off Plomosa at Q. I wish I had caught up on blog, as we feel we know you guys through your blog. It was our first time and I agree so much in your comments the real buys are outside of the big tent.

  14. Bill says:

    Wow I wish I was relaxing in the sun and boondocking in Arizona today. It iced and snowed here in NC last nite and the area of the southeast United States is shut down! Sadie and I have been outside and played inthe snow, well I played and she sulked, dog hates snow. Anyway I amd done playing now and want it gone from here! LOL Grab me a hunk of warm snow melting sun and throw it this way Nina please!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I have to admit the weather is pretty sweet here right now. We’re hitting upper 70′s today. Just spent the morning outside in T-shirt & shorts in the sun….sorry :)

      Nina

      • William says:

        Make it a supersized chunk of sun for North Carolina. The COLD has been insane this year. But 10 more months and we are outta here. But who is counting the months, days and minutes? Is there a way to send you a picture?

        • libertatemamo says:

          It’s been a particularly bad winter out East so far this year. Even FL is seeing more cold than usual. I have a contact me link at the bottom of the blog. Can’t guarantee I’ll see your email right away ( I’m usually a few days to a few weeks behind on email), but I’ll get to it eventually.

          Nina

        • Huh oh, err Nina since you dont check your email very often I wanted to let you know I sent you one. It pertains to my referencing you and your blog on my blog. I just wanted you to kmow in case it was a problem. It very positive and doesnt to me coflict with your copyright note at the bottom of the page. I think its very good info that could help folks get a better data signal without spending much money until they can upgrade. Its on my blog http://oneleggedcowboy.wordpress.com Thanks, Bill

  15. I hate to say this but that is the exact hat the girls in my wedding wore 38 years ago. They wore flowery, flowing dresses with a piece of the material tied around the hat. Hats were in back then, I think!!! You will be the best dressed on the trail:)

    How nice to catch up with Tim and Amanda and meet Brenda and Hector!

    Hope you are back into your usual routine by now…relax and enjoy:)

    • libertatemamo says:

      They always say that style comes back around in time…so maybe the stuff ~40 years ago is back “en mode”? I can fool myself anyway haha….

      Having a FINE time at our new boondocking spot. VERY quiet here!

      Nina

  16. Russ says:

    Your mention of tire pressure monitoring systems in your recent blog post Is timely for me in that I like plan to purchase such a system. I would like to hear more about your reasons for selecting the system mentioned in your blog.

    There are many posts about TPMS on iRV2.com and elsewhere. Things I am thinking about include the weight of sensors that attach to the valve stems. The heavier they are, the more centrifugal force will be created as the wheels spin and the greater potential for valve stem damage as a result. Some sensors read about weigh less than 1/2 ounce while others weigh more than twice that.

    Something else I’ve considered is whether the sensor batteries are easily replaceable or if the sensors must be returned to have them replaced or if sensors themselves have to be replaced. In the long run this could make for substantial differences. Replacing a three dollar battery is much more economical than a $35 sensor. I am also not keen on the idea of being without sensors while they travel in the mail for battery replacement.

    There are many other considerations as well such as the warranty, initial cost, whether the sensors must be removed in order to add air to tires, how long batteries last before replacement is necessary, how often the sensors read and report tire conditions, and many other things should an individual care to immerse him or herself looking at all the fine points. There are also the questions of accuracy and reliability, and to these points I have been unable to unearth any reliable or scientific data. Consequently, in the end it seems to a large extent a crapshoot as to which system will best serve person.

    Currently, I am leaning toward the TireMinder system which CampingWorld has on sale right now. Apparently, it’s a new, updated system. It is my understanding it is sold under several brand names. I have not made a final decision. Perhaps others who comment here on your blog will offer additional information worthy of consideration.

    • libertatemamo says:

      All good points Russ. The key things I looked for when I was investigating systems were:

      1/ Batteries must be easy to change out by user. This is a “must have” feature for me since I don’t want to have to buy new sensors everytime the batteries go dead. Most of the newer TPMS systems offer this feature.

      2/ Range must be good. This was a “want” feature for me since I prefer not to have to install a booster. It’s one less piece of electronics that can fail.

      3/ Screen must be easily readable. This was also a “want”. I don’t want to be peering into a mini screen to see my readings.

      4/ Decent warranty. “Must have” this.

      5/ Monitor shows temp and pressure. This was a “want”. Temp and pressure naturally follow each other, but I like to see both.

      6/ Easily readable icons that show slow leak, fail etc, as well as good audible signal if a failure happens. This was a “must have”.

      I knew I wanted caps rather than flow-through sensors simply because they are smaller. We take off our tire caps everytime we check pressure so not having the flow-through sensors is not an issue.

      The reason I settled on the Tire-Safeguard was because it met all the above criteria. In fact it was the *only* TPMS that met criteria #2 (no need for a booster). Most systems will meet all the other criteria, and for some folks some of these (e.g. Larger screen size) is not important. No single TPMS stands above the rest in terms of reviews or stability/accuracy. They’re all pretty similar.

      Nina

  17. Nina I found a post of yours that explained about setting up a blog, which I am trying to get mine going with wordpress right now. The post was very informative and had some grest links to increase your blogs readership and also for forums to get knowledge and resource info from. Like you I feel wordpress is the best but I might want to monetize my blog one day as you have done to defray expenses. I would like some upgrades like no ads and custom colors and my own domain name etc. I tried to figure out what different things I would have to pay but its rather confusing. I understand the monthly hosting fee by Bluhost or whoever but what else like domain name, backup, migrating the site, you get the idea. As wonderful as you are with your how to and resource explanation posts could you please explain all this because I am afraid of the hidden costs of doing this and I know my family and friends would use Amazon enough to probably pay these costs.

    • Russ says:

      Bill,

      I think we’re off topic here but I thought you should know Amazon does not want friends and family using affiliate links. If they catch it they will disallow commissions on those purchases. They have algorithms that look for associations between shopper and affiliate.

      • libertatemamo says:

        Very important point, Russ & important to know for those just starting out with affiliate marketing. None of my family uses the affiliate links -> it’s only for blog readers. When I shop for myself I use other blogger affiliate links. Amazon does monitor for such activity so you do have to be aware of it. I actually encourage people to use various links (not just from one person/blogger) for the same reason. Share the love, baby! :)

        Nina

    • libertatemamo says:

      The only “unavoidable” fees you incur from self-hosting are the hosting fees and the domain name fees.

      Hosting runs from as little as $5/mo to as high as $99/mo. When you’re first starting out you will do just fine with the $5/mo company. In fact, for most folks that will be all they ever need. If your blog gets very popular (lots of traffic) that’s when you may need to upgrade your hosting, but hopefully by that time you’ll be driving a tad more money through the blog too (if you monetize it). I have to pay for a beefier hosting company (my blog just got too darn big!), but my affiliate links are covering it so far for which I am very grateful.

      Domain names only run about $10/year. You can search online for domain names and check it out.

      All the rest…migration, backup, design etc. you can do yourself for no cost as long as you are somewhat tech savvy. WordPress offers an easy migration path, and you can find lots of free themes for your blog design online.

      Hope that helps!

      Nina

      • Wow thanks Russ and Nina you continue to astound with your openness and honesty. At least I now know should I decide to monetize my blog down the road it isnt a money pit! LOL My friend suggested I could probably make more money picking up aluminum cans off the roadside than monetizing my blog considering the huge amount of time I am spending on my blog! LOL Thanks again Nina and Russ nice to meet you.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Honestly, if my blog hadn’t got too big for it, I would still be hosting it on the free wordpress.com site. Monetizing seems like a great way to make money, but self-hosting does take more effort and most people don’t make much unless they’re really, really (really!) popular. If I make enough to cover my monthly hosting fees I consider myself very happy indeed. I blog mostly for the love of sharing and community…and those are rich rewards indeed!

          Nina

  18. I would strongly advise you to purchase a TPMS soon and get it off of your “wish list”. “Any” system will be much cheaper than the damage caused by that tire shredding from the rim and causing damage to your rig.
    I initially used the Pressure Pro System on two 5th wheels we had, but finally it came time to replace the sensors because the batteries got old. Since this system used the non-replaceable battery system, I decided to switch systems.
    I bought the TireTraker System a bit over 2 years ago and love it. The monitor is small and easily transported to each wheel for initial programming. The mount allows a variety of mounting locations inside our MH. The sensors have low weight and a battery replaceable using cheap watch batteries obtainable at a wide variety of locations, and the customer service from TireTraker has been very responsive and helpful.
    The only negative I see (if you’re looking for that feature) is that the sensor does not allow for filling air without removing the sensor from the tire valve. I have never had to add air to our tires very often and really don’t see this as a negative, however.
    In short, get and install a TPMS.

  19. LuAnn says:

    Enjoy your quiet time in the boonies now that the madness of Quartzsite is over. I have to say that ‘crazy lady in the desert’ wearing stilettos would probably mean another trip to the hospital for you lol! :)

  20. Charlene Malone says:

    Wish we could have made the meet and great @ Q. Your blog has been an amazing resource for us and so entertaining! We are almost home after almost 4 wks–to Mexico and back. Used your tips, learned our own lessons. After 15 years in our Westfalia our 25 ft Cougar 5th wheel feels luxurious. Come visit if you ever go through Sun Valley, Idaho!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sounds like you just completed a pretty epic trip. Hope the weather is warm(ish) now that you’re back home in Idaho. We may well drop by your state again this summer.

      Nina

  21. Jeff & Deb says:

    Hi Friend- We are considering Tireminder…Did you evaluate them in your research? TST has a January “call in special”, 10% off plus 3 year warranty which peaked our interest. Going to sleep on it and might make a call. Cheers

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup saw the TireMinder at the show. It looks like a fine system and meets most of my criteria except that it needs a booster for our size rig+toad, which I wanted to avoid. You probably can’t go wrong with this or any of the other systems.

      Nina

  22. Rob says:

    Love your blog and content!

    FWIW, we have a TST TPMS that has bee used on two different DP coaches now (plus toad) and we never needed the range extender (I bought one but never bothered to install it). First coach was a 2006 Fleetwood Discovery 40′, current is a 43′ Entegra Aspire with a tag. The toad is a Honda Odyssey and the rear tires on it have to be a good 60+ feet away from the receiver/display that’s mounted to the forward part of the driver window. Sensors are the replaceable battery version (non-pas thru). Never had one incident of a lost signal (except for a weak battery). I suppose the range can be affected by many things but I think TST tends to be conservative. Our display is adequate, but yes a larger one might be nice. Also note the batteries should be changed about every 12 months.

    TST support has been excellent. Had two sensors galvanically “freeze” to the Honda’s valve stems so they had to be cut off and were destroyed in the process – TST replaced no charge. Luckily the Honda stems were salvaged (big $$’s to fix otherwise). So beware of this galvanic corrosion issue with any vehicle having aluminum valve stems (typically vehicles a few years old with early TPMS systems of their own). All the aftermarket TPMS sensors that I have seen use brass insert thread (nickle plated would be best) and it reacts galvanically with the aluminum – use a small amount of dielectric grease on the threads if you have that situation, it substantially reduces the problem. If your vehicle has brass or stainless valve stem threads there is no significant issue.

    In regard to your Winegard Sensar Pro – if you have an Android device check out the “TV Antenna Helper Free” app. Besides being a great geographical TV tower locator tool, in the app settings there is a check box for “Download RF Channels” – The RF channels shown directly correspond to the channel numbers displayed on the Sensar Pro – that’s a HUGE help if you don’t have any other way to cross reference them to the “popular” channel numbers.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Awesome info, especially regarding the problem of galvanization on the toad, something I had not considered at all (and me being a material scientist too)!

      Also thanks very much for the app suggestion. Fabulous!!

      Nina

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