Thursday, November 30, 2023


Editor’s update: March 7, 2020

By Chuck Woodbury

Friday afternoon: March 6, 2020
Gail and I are still in the Southwest. We’re headed to Kingman, Arizona, on Monday, where we will stay at least two weeks. We will have spent six weeks in Quartzsite, Arizona (the RV Snowbird Capital of the West). That’s four weeks longer than I have ever stayed before.

Quartzsite is fun, but for a short stay — that’s my opinion. Countless others including thousands of RVers believe otherwise. They love the small town, unhurried pace, and the huge expanse of public lands all around where they can boondock for free (or for about a dollar a day in Long Term Visitor Areas, LTVAs.). Some stay for half the year. In many cases they can just walk into town for supplies or browse around the ongoing flea markets. Bicycles, scooters, ATVs do the job, too. And there’s always a car or truck to get supplies or tote away holding tank waste from the RV and then stock up on fresh water.

I’ve boondocked in the area many times in the past, but these days I prefer to hook up to utilities. The monthly rate I paid here, including electricity, worked out to about $13 a day.

There’s a lot of space just outside of town to squat for months on end for free (or about a dollar a day) on public lands.

LAST ISSUE I WROTE ABOUT OUR ROOF LEAK, and I overreacted about having to rush home for repairs. Dozens of readers wrote with advice and referred us to companies in Arizona that could help us. One very generous reader even offered to fix it for us! In the end we decided to just hang out in Arizona, where there is almost no rain this time of year (as opposed to back home in Seattle, which is having a very rainy season). We’ll attend to the repairs later, maybe even doing some of the work ourselves. One reader recommended a great place in Arizona, but pointed out the labor rate was $169 an hour! I had no idea RV repair work costs quite that much. Have you encountered prices like that?

Where I have been hanging out. Arizona is known for great sunsets. This is a good example.

Frankly, I was starting to get the feeling many of us get when we decide it’s time to return home. The urge to get there gets stronger and stronger. But there was one problem with us. Ground Zero of the coronavirus epidemic, where all of Washington’s virus-related deaths have occurred, is only a few miles from our home. Both King County and Snohomish County (where we live) have advised persons 60 years and older to remain home (out of caution) or if they mingle with others to do so in crowds no larger than 10. All the high schools in our area are closed, and the entire neighboring school district (23,000+ students) is closed for up to two weeks.

I’m not frightened by what’s going on, but the fact is, we are very content and comfortable in our motorhome and have no pressing need to return home to the Land of the Big Rain. So why not just remain out and about for awhile, enjoy the excellent Mexican food, and watch how things are going back home? Of course, the warm, sunny weather isn’t too bad either; I haven’t worn a pair of long pants for six weeks, just shorts, and most days a tee-shirt.

Oh, a little reminder (below) of why so many RVers spend their winters in the Southwest. This is what the weather report looked like for Yuma (75 miles south of Quartzsite), in mid-February.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

John D. (@guest_69101)
3 years ago

I thought I saw you twice in Yuma recently…

If that wasn’t you…it must have been your evil twin brother! LOL!

The first time in the RV parts store where I work…

The second was a couple of weeks ago at Brownie’s Cafe near downtown Yuma!

Curt Passafume (@guest_68390)
3 years ago

With our financial adviser based in the Seattle area as well it has been interesting to see how they are reacting to being at the “epicenter.” Hopefully your home base can return to a new normal in the weeks ahead and you can scratch your itch for home. As a long time medical professional it is frustrating to watch hysteria mentality overreach medical expert opinion. I am confident that once we get an aligned federal message our health systems will be poised to execute with a consistent response plan. We have the expertise to address this….now we need steady minds to prevail.

Michael (@guest_68109)
3 years ago

Yes, we had a mobile RV tech charge $190 just to show up.

JBC Cripps (@guest_68081)
3 years ago

Glad to hear you pulled back from an apparent over reaction to your RV damage. I was a worried about you for a bit as I recognized an uncharacteristic response to something you apparently had under control (the leak located and addressed). Enjoy your journey and hope you make it to Santa Fe.

Montgomery Bonner (@guest_68077)
3 years ago

Chuck, I have been where you are, yes to Quartzsite, and yes to the leaking RV. I fixed mine myself, and did not worry about any wood problem inside. The RV at the time was older than I was, and not worth taking down to frame, and fixing. Suspect, you could trade it in, none the wiser, and get another, and start over with issues. Send me an e-mail, with pictures of where it’s leaking, and I can advise you on what might fix it cheap, and then you can decide later what other steps you want to take. Yes, desert is nice, but all that brown gets old. But stay there till maybe June to see what COVID-19 is going to do.

States which have cases are increasing daily. We don’t go anyplace with large crowds of old people, why, old people get on planes/ships/trains and go to the very places where this has started and old people brought it back here unknown to the rest of all people.

Not complaining, but all should know. 80% of all antibiotics; 97% of all insulin; and as much as 80% of all OTC drugs are made in China. So any shortages experienced by USA folks have their own selves to blame. We should never have allowed the medical community and drug companies to take almost all the medicines production and manufacture to china, we could all get sick and many die, because that region in China where it’s all made is still under quarantine, and nothing is being made. They can effectively let us die and take us over and never fire a shot. We are Stupid allowing this to happen. I know you don’t care, but you might one day.

Phil (@guest_67984)
3 years ago

Check out Lighting Fast RV in Benson, Az lifetime roof coating for my 32 foot 5th wheel $1600.00. Not a problem since.

Greg Jones (@guest_67851)
3 years ago

I was in Redmond on Willows road a couple of times last week for work. Just saw who I needed to and didn’t spend the night. When filling with gas used a disposable glove to hold the nozzle, noticed the lady in front of me did the same… Also over 60, we should do what we can.

Assume at this point that the virus is everywhere (it likely is) until you know for sure. As of Thursday night only about 1500 people have been tested in the US. The number of confirmed cases has tripled in the last 48 hours… and the numbers will get a lot worse this week, BUT. But, testing is starting and those cases are already there so don’t over react. If we know where the cases are we can address them better.

JMHO: Pull up the CDC recommendations for precautions and do your best to follow them. If you feel a cold coming on, stay home and away from others especially the seniors.

M. Will (@guest_67819)
3 years ago

Where are you staying in Kingman? Been going there since the 1970’s. My good friends live up in the Haulapai Mtns. just south of town. Have a good one!

Dick and Sandy currently at Lazy Days RV Resort FL (@guest_67769)
3 years ago

Glad you are staying away from the the Seattle area because of the health issues there, even though it is your home area. The sooner you get your roof fixed the better. Will prevent mold from forming if not already. The full extent of water damage is not always viewed until addressed. Best wishes to you and Gail and your daughter and the rest of your dedicated staff.

Egroeg (@guest_67741)
3 years ago

I’m glad you’re staying out longer. : )

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.