Wednesday – January 21, 2015
We were greeted by a very windy, sunny day here in the southwestern desert of Arizona. This was the day we had selected to visit the RV Show in Quartzsite, Arizona. Quartzsite is located about 70 miles due north of Yuma, on U.S. highway 95. The RV Show began on January 17 and ends on January 25.
Every January something happens that is hard to believe, unless you have seen it! According to the Arizona Highway Department, as many as 750,000 to 1,000,000 people, mostly in RV’s, converge on this sleepy little desert town, located just 20 miles east of the California border on Interstate 10, for the rock, gem and mineral shows, plus numerous flea markets and the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show. This phenomenon started over 40 years ago and is now billed as "The Largest Gathering Of RVers in the World." The inaugural Quartzsite RV Show opened on January 28th, 1984 at the corner of U.S. Highway 95 and Business Route 10 in Quartzsite, Arizona. With just 60 exhibitors and a small tent, the "new show in town" was still very popular since the majority of the people in Quartzsite we're RVers. In 1987 the show, now re-named The Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show.
We arrived in Quartzsite around 12:30 p.m. The place was packed! Finding a place to park was quite challenging. A large parking area was full, so we followed the parking signs to an alternate area. Big mistake! We entered an area where other vehicles were parked. There was a sign posted at the entrance stating: Vehicles Enter at Your Own Risk. We have a Ford E150 Cargo Van weighing in excess of 5,000 pounds, so I figured we would be all right. We no sooner entered the parking area and I felt the wheels on the van sinking into very loose, deep gravel. We struggled to travel a short distance and came to a sudden stop. We were stuck! Panic immediately set in. How am I going to get out of here? Call a tow-truck, came to mind. After surveying the situation, I determined I needed to move the van about 20 feet forward to get to an area with solid ground. Finally, calm settled in, I put the gear shift lever in reverse and the van moved slightly, the rear wheels spinning and spitting out small-sized gravel everywhere. That’s good, the van moved, slightly! Then I put the gear shift lever in 1st gear and stepped on the gas pedal hard. The rear wheels were spinning and spitting out gravel like crazy. But we were moving, ever so slowly! Sharon and I were both learning forward in our seats urging this behemoth of a Ford van to continue its movement forward. We made it! Sighs of relief were all that were heard once we were back on solid ground. We subsequently learned we had entered into a dry riverbed. Lesson learned … never again.
We finally found a parking space. The gusts of wind, probably less than 20 mph, were stirring up sandstorms across the desert landscape. We ducked into one of the giant tents to escape the wind. Inside, vendors were hawking their merchandise, Cookware, flagpoles, clothing, RV insurance, RV accessories and trinkets of all kinds were available for purchase.
After a while, we ventured outside to walk through a couple of the 45-foot-long luxury motor coaches. These coaches are priced close to $700,000. We toured an Entegra Motor Coach, Model: Cornerstone 45K, manufactured by Jayco, priced at $677,000. Jayco is the world's largest privately-held manufacturer of recreational vehicles.
The Entegra Motor Coach has quad slides with a rear master bath. Upon entering the coach, along the passenger side there is a slide with a hide-a-bed sofa, refrigerator, pantry, double kitchen sink, two burner range, and microwave. Just past the slide there is a washer and dryer. The opposite side of the motor home has a sofa and dinette ensemble slide. Next to the slide there is an entertainment center with a fireplace and a 46" LED TV. Next to the entertainment center there is a pantry. Down the hall is a convenient half bath.
The bedroom has a king bed slide with nightstands on either side of the bed. Across from the bed there is a vanity, dresser, and 32" LED TV slide. The master bath has a corner shower, toilet, and two sinks. Along the rear is a wardrobe with sliding mirror doors. There is an exterior entertainment center that has a 32" LED TV.
This 54,000 pound, gross vehicle weight, motor coach is powered by a Cummins 15 liter ISX turbocharged 600 HP engine 1,950 lb. ft. torque at 1,200 RPM, coupled with an Allison 4000 MH 6-speed transmission.
Did I mention … this motor coach had already been sold at the RV show!
There were numerous other motorhomes, fifth-wheels and travel trailers on display for visitors to walk through and plunk down their hard-earned cash if they chose to purchase one. We finished our tour of the RV Show and returned to our campsite at the Imperial Dam, BLM, LTVA near Yuma, Arizona.
Tomorrow another adventure begins.