Day 2 – Desert Rat Rally XV (Quartzsite, AZ)

Here’s your Day 2 (20 Jan) update to the Alpine Coach Rally now going on in Quartzsite, AZ.  I’ll start off with another copy of our rally agenda for the week (below):


At 8 AM there were already folks milling around the north side of the tent catching the early rays of the sun and waiting on the donuts to arrive.



After the donuts arrived… they didn’t last long.


At 9 AM most of the guys could be found in the rally tent for the “Gearhead Session”.  Our first scheduled speaker was Paul from ARP Happy Camper (←website link).  He talked about Norcold and Dometic refrigerator systems and sold safety enhancements (controls).  Since we have a residential 22 cu. ft. Amana refrigerator, I didn’t pay as close attention as most of the others.



Our next speaker was Dave from Dave’s Diesel Diagnostic Service. Sorry, no website seems to be available for Dave, but he can be contacted at


He gave a very informative presentation with lots of hands-on visual aids to describe common problems with diesel engines along with common-sense troubleshooting procedures.


Dave got a lot of attention and business after he completed his seminar as many folks signed up for his $75 diagnostic service.  He uses a diagnostic connector that he hooks up to his laptop utilizing Cummins Insite™ (Service and Diagnostic Software) to give folks a report on the health of their Coach.  I didn’t sign up for the service, but the week is still young 🙂


After a very informative “Gearhead Session” we had an Alpine Coach Association (ACA) Membership Meeting led by Tom Polk.  Our Rally host Frank Halasz and the ACA Treasurer Steve Maurmann also officiated alongside Tom at the head table.  I learned that the ACA now has 210 members.  There’s only 70 members (Coaches) in the Alpine SoCal group with about 20 of those members here at the Rally.  We hope to have an informal meeting on Friday, which will be my first one as president of the SoCal group.  Some of you may recall that I was voted in at the SoCal Lake Powell Rally last year that I co-hosted.


After the membership meeting, I used the time to change the oil in the ATV.  I already had oil and a filter on hand.  I was able to knock it out in a short amount of time and didn’t even spill a drop of oil in the desert dirt 🙂  Many thanks to fellow Alpiner Greg Vaughan for lending me his surplus beach sand bucket to use as an oil pan 🙂


Looks like some heavy-duty planning is going on here with the Rally Host(s) Frank & Dessa Halasz, seen below collaborating with Tom Polk.



Stilla attended the Ladies “Gearhead Session” at 1:30… sorry, I forgot to ask her what the subject(s) were 🙁


Anyway, she had to cut her Ladies “Gearhead Session” short because we volunteered to make the trash run again at 2 PM and had to leave.   We used to opportunity to also load up our Blue-Ox Aventa™ tow bar into the bed of the truck to go get it serviced.  The tow bar has become rather loose and sloppy at the ball socket after all the miles of towing the Silverado around behind the Urban Escape Vehicle.  I was told there was a Blue-Ox service tent next to the “Big Tent” at the RV show in Quartzsite.

The “Big Tent” in Quartzsite.
South-side of the “Big Tent” in Quartzsite.
South-side of the “Big Tent” in Quartzsite.

We found the Blue-Ox Tow Bar service tent on the south-side of the “Big Tent” in Quartzsite right next to the Redlands Truck & RV Service tents.


There sure were a lot of tow bars in for service and/or repair (above).  We had to leave our tow bar with the technicians until Friday and paid a $30 service charge.  Hopefully, when we get it back, it will be like new again and we can have a little more ‘peace of mind’ while going down the road.

We headed back to our Rally site off Plomosa Rd.


I took little ‘Coach’ for a walk around all the Alpines at our rally site and snapped some pics:



We now have more than 50 Alpines in attendance.


The rally attendees were busy doing all sorts of things.  Some were just hanging out and socializing… others were getting some work done.


Around 4:30 it was time for Happy Hour again in our rally tent.




And soon the potluck dishes started arriving.  Everyone brought in one or more dishes…


… until the tables were overflowing with food.



Lots and lots of potluck… these Alpiners don’t mess around when it comes to food 🙂




And lots of dessert too 🙂


Our rally hosts drew numbers to determine which tables would go first.




Pretty soon everyone had gone through the line and piled their plates with a sampling from all the various dishes.  I’m sure no one went back to their Coach hungry.


And now here’s some pics of all the happy and well-fed Alpiners:








After dinner, the never-tiring “Engineer Mike” helped Greg Vaughan with a battery problem.  It seems that Dave the Diagnostic Guy (remember him?) had come by earlier to do a diagnostic test and report on Greg & Marcy’s Coach and found it wouldn’t start.  Uh Oh… Hope its not serious 🙁


This evening’s sunset.


And that’s a wrap for Day 2… check back tomorrow for a full recap of Day 3 🙂


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