So why did we decide to go to Phoenix in the middle of September with temperatures reaching 110F??? We wanted to raise the RV 5 inches in the back from a welder in town. Our Ram 2500 sits so high that it causes the back of the RV to sit very low causing us to bottom out numerous times and pretty much taking out our bumper. We were quite happy to get in here and get it fixed for the next year of our journey. This also being our future home when our travel days come to a close, we were excited to see the city and get a feel for what it will be like to live here. I have to say we are so excited to call this place home someday that I thought about possibly seeing some open houses while we are here … I decided not too. Don’t want to be tempted to settle while we are still in the journey.
A few fun facts we learned on the extreme Phoenix heat that Arizonians experience…
- The steering wheels can burn your hands as well as the seat belts and leather seats in this heat. Our first day here after the sun had soaked into our black leather truck seats, we went to run some errands and the seat was so hot, I felt like I was sitting on an oven. One way to get around the steering wheel we learned is people here leave oven mitts in their cars. So we are trading in our winter gloves for oven mitts haha
- Hot pavement can injure dogs paws, they actually sell booties to protect their paws when it is this hot. We went swimming at the pool at our first RV Park and the concrete around the pool was burning my feet as soon as I took off my flip-flops
- Door handles can burn your hands or RV front door handles for that matter! I could hardly open our front door as it was intensely hot! Awnings are definitely necessary around here!
Where we stayed
Willard Springs Road https://www.campendium.com/willard-springs-road just past Flagstaff was the perfect spot to get some RV work done before hitting 100 plus temps in Phoenix. It was a quiet boondocking spot with very few campers for the large amount of spots available. The road to get in is a little dicey with an old paved road that has eroded over time leaving very large pot holes and ditches that most vehicles will have trouble with. We went slow but went into the first loop and did not venture down the road further where 4 x 4 vehicles could only safely go. WiFi was working but was extremely slow.
Apache Palms RV Park in Tempe was only 15 minutes away from where we had to drop the trailer off for service. It was a small and quiet RV park with full bars LTE and it full hookups! We had been boondocking for 25 days and we were all excited to not monitor our energy or water usage for a few days and splurge on those showers! They are pet friendly but, do not have anywhere to take your pets other than the empty lot beside them.
3 Palms hotel. We stayed here for 2 nights while the trailer was in for service. We have lived in our trailer full time now for over 3 months and I was excited to stay in a hotel with a pool as a little getaway for something different. I only lasted a couple of hours without thinking how much I missed our little home on wheels. I love the comforts that you have with you, wherever you go and I certainly missed them. It was nice to have long full size shower and fast WiFi though!
Lake Pleasant Regional Park just outside of Phoenix has spacious campsites, electric and water hook-ups and access to the water for boating. It has fairly good signal with our AT&T lines but, our booster sure helped there. It has two dump stations on the way out but, it wasn’t that busy when we went there. They do however have wild roaming donkeys around the campground that truly surprised us when we saw them outside of our window! We also saw the most amazing sunsets there, just incredible!
What we did
Purged again! With a bent axle from our weight issues, we decided to rent a storage unit here in Phoenix to unload some unused items in the trailer while also providing us a place to store additional stuff to drop off when we fly back home to Ontario in December. I wasn’t quite sure what we would purge but, it is funny when you start living more minimalist, what you realize you can live without. We removed our outdoor fridge and microwave and put them in storage. I have not used them once since being on the road and it was extra weight that we had been carrying around for zero value. We also found odds and ends to put in storage such as reducing our dishes and putting those extra sweaters. Can’t wait to bring our skis and backpacking gear from Ontario to the storage unit in December to use here this winter!
Repairs & Maintenance
ADDED OUR FOURTH BATTLEBORN BATTERY!
While designing our solar system and analyzing our energy needs/expectations we figured we would need 4 batteries. Due to the cost we wanted to start with 3 and see if we could manage with one less, but built our battery box to be able to hold 4 batteries just in case. Jason spoke with Battleborn support (very helpful) to ensure we added any batteries to our bank within an acceptable time.
Why did we get a fourth? Well it means a little less stress about our energy usage for the day. We often wake up with our battery bank below 30%. We have had to skip doing things (while the sun isn’t shinning) out of concern we would run out of battery. We got tired of being right at that line. Being able to use the instant pot, fridge, coffee maker and our dryer on a daily basis with less concern. Boondocking has become our primary way of living and running the dryer for clothes requires power.
RAISING OUR SUBFRAME AND UPGRADING TO THE MOR/RYDE 4000
Who knew that you should be towing your trailer level? We didn’t and our RV dealer never mentioned this when they installed our hitch. Well after a year of driving with tail end very low (and numerous bumper collisions with the ground) we got the trailer lifted by adding a 5 inch subframe. We also upgraded to the mor/ryde 4000 suspension (our mor/ryde 3000 was pretty mangled and bent from the Alaska roads). It now goes over those bumps on the road so much smoother! Hard to believe these guys weld outdoors in the 115 degree Phoenix heat….but, its a dry heat right?
I won’t lie, I have been looking forward to eating out at this restaurant for weeks! True Food Kitchen is our FAVORITE restaurant that is only located here in the states. They are known for their locally sourced ingredients as well as their vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. We shared several dishes off the menu and three desserts to finish off our meal. Sooooo good! I need more True Food in my life!
We found scooters placed all around Tempe that were not in docking stations or in racks like your typically see in big cities for bike rentals. So we had to google it and found out that it is actually a company called Bird. They place these scooters around the city by 7am to 8pm and then pick them up and charge them overnight. They also donate $1 per rental to the city to assist with more bike lanes on the road. We thought it was pretty neat!