I hadn’t planned on leaving Quartzsite for Yuma, AZ until mid-December, but upcoming cool weather is urging me to get rolling no later than Wednesday of this week (three days from now). After that point, overnight lows are predicted to be in the low 30s all the way down to 28.
The ’94 Gulf Stream Innsbruck is a “temperate weather only” trailer, which means that insulation is functionally cosmetic, and that some of the plumbing is exposed directly to outside temps. The Tankmin freshwater tank in the Ford can fend for itself simply by sheer mass, but the trailer fill hose and related fittings are prone to freezing and plugging up. Inaccessible, freeze-damaged plumbing does not appeal to me, so while most other RVers in travel trailers can easily brave whatever comes, I find it prudent to run for cover when temps approach freezing. I can stay quite comfortable, but it’s a damage risk I choose not to take.
Why so touchy about temps merely approaching freezing? My mercury and electronic thermometers always match readings, and the digital one records highs and lows reached for 24 hours. The overnight lows are consistently a few degrees lower here than what the weather services say they are, as well as what they were predicted to be. That means I can look on the Internet and see that it’s 35 degrees in Quartzsite – just as predicted – and then step out to find my water hoses frozen. I’ve done that several times last winter. So, I have to reinterpret weather predictions a bit. A predicted 28 or 30 degrees coming up means, at best, an inability to refill the camper’s freshwater tank until late in the afternoon of a given day. At worst, a trailer with serious problems.
At any given time, Yuma is usually about 7 degrees warmer than Quartzsite, despite being only about 80 miles farther south and about 700 feet lower in elevation. That’s apparently enough. Yuma is quite sizable, it’s an interesting area, and the terrain is reputed to be much more varied than Quartzsite. I plan to stay planted as long as possible in the Imperial Dam LTVA some 20 miles away, but occasional trips to town for supplies will still occur. My eventual return to Quartzsite will be based on temperatures – this time high – but I’d guess it’ll be sometime in mid-February before I return. Those overnight freezes need to be over!