“Dirt Farm” (Casa Grande, AZ)

We’ve enjoyed our time here in Prescott Valley at Scott and Julie’s house.  But, with more rain and possible snow expected on Tuesday afternoon, we decided it was time to head south for warmer weather while we had the chance.  So, we said our sad goodbyes in the morning between rainstorms and moved on.  Plus, we didn’t want to wear out our welcome at the Richardson Ranch 🙂

View out Scott and Julie’s backyard.

The evening before we left, Julie made us an awesome spaghetti dinner… thanks Julie!



Here’s our moochdocking spot, looking east.  The streets were finally drying somewhat after the last couple days of rain.  Sure Julie… we believe you… it’s really nice weather here most of the time… suuuure…. 🙂


And here’s looking west.


Our hosts saw us on our way.  Bye Scott & Julie… see you again soon!  Thanks again!  We’ll definitely be back to see some of the local attractions with you when the weather’s better.


A sign over I-17 just north of Phoenix told us to drive with care due to winter weather conditions.  Luckily, we were able to stay dry and the Urban Escape Vehicle stayed clean except for a very brief rain shower near the middle of Phoenix.

By the way – we had decided to go down to the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande to stay a while with my Mom, Stepdad, brother Steve, and his girlfriend Cheryl.  They reported good weather there, plus we can save a little money on diesel and campgrounds until it’s time to go to California for a couple Rallies in mid-March that we already signed up for.


We got to the “dirt farm” without incident after fueling up and dumping tanks at a Pilot/Flying J nearby.

Brother Steve and Stepdad Jimmy showed us the 50-Amp pedestal they finally got installed 🙂  However, the ground was still pretty soggy from recent rain at the designated spot, so we opted to park in front of Mom’s house until it gets a little drier here.

Our own 50 amp pedestal at the “dirt farm”. Pedestal is to the right, next to the house.
Pedestal with 30 and 50 amp service!
Brother Steven and Cheryl’s house, aka “the dirt farm”. Their name for it – not mine 🙂

Here’s where we’re parked in front of Mom and Jimmy’s house on the “dirt farm” until the 50-amp site on the side of Steven and Cheryl’s dries out.



View up the drive.  The Coach is parked in front of Mom’s house on the right.


On Wednesday, we downloaded the ATV from the pickup and puttered around.  Here’s Mom (below) starting her garden.  She’s planting some corn and onions.  The “dirt farm” has gotten quite “green” since we were last here in mid-January.


We went into town for lunch at a place we call the “Cactus Garden Restaurant”.  It’s official name is BeDillon’s.  Nice place, good food with cool ambience, this was the second time we’ve been here.  They even have a little museum on site.






After lunch, Mom had us all working hard in the garden.  We even managed to keep the rows straight and even, with a little help from tent stakes and string.  Then we enjoyed another family meal and an evening of movies.


On Thursday, I helped stepdad Jimmy pick up supplies at Lowe’s so he could finish up some more electrical runs and breaker boxes to supply power for outlying sheds and the garage.  There’s always something to do here at the farm.

When I returned and stepped into the Urban Escape Vehicle, I heard the Inverter/Charger (Xantrex) alarm going off.  The display panel indicated an Inverter/Charger internal fault and there was no power except for 12 volt.  This is especially bad for us because we have a residential refrigerator.  We must always leave our Inverter/Charger running with the Inverter “enabled” in order to power the fridge at all times.

I checked everything I could think of, but we have no 110-120 volt power to anything, no matter what I do.  Every time I reset (either from the display panel or on the actual Inverter/Charger) it goes directly to “fault-mode” and the alarm sounds.

Our surge-guard appears to be working fine and “clicks” when I plug in to shore power.  The generator appears to be supplying voltage when I turn it on, but again, the Inverter/Charger keeps going to “fault-mode” whenever I “enable” the Inverter portion of the Inverter/Charger.

Now, I thought that when hooked to shore power or with the generator running, I could still power all my appliances (Fridge, Microwave, TV, etc.,) without the Inverter being “enabled”.  But, since I ALWAYS leave my Inverter “enabled” for the times when we disconnect from shore power or turn the generator off… so that the batteries will continue to provide seamless power – I’m not sure.  I certainly can’t get any appliances to work now, no matter what I do with the Inverter/Charger.

Here’s a picture I took of the Inverter/Charger which is mounted sideways on the back wall of the basement.  It’s the RS2000 model from Xantrex, and I’m relatively sure it’s original equipment from 2005.  As you can see from the lights; the “Network” light is on and the “Charger Enable” light is on.  In this current state, it does not alarm, but there is also no power to any appliances.  Now, if I press the “Inverter Enable” button, the “Fault” light comes on and the alarm sounds at the display panel at the front of the Coach in the upper cabinet.  The display shows “Fault F026 – Inverter/Charger Internal Failure”.

I then have to hit the “Reset” to stop the alarm.


I checked the network wires and connections.


I pulled off the front panel to see if there was anything obviously loose or wrong.



All the connections are tight and clean.


Then I pulled off the top cover.  Note: All necessary safety precautions were taken – no one was hurt in the making of this blog post.



Again, nothing obviously wrong.  I guess it’s time to call my extended warranty service and see what run-around I’ll get from them (based on my past experience with the refrigerator compressor) and see where they will allow me to take this problem to get fixed.   Oh well, always a new adventure… it’s a good thing we’re parked where we are and not in the boonies somewhere, eh?

We emptied the refrigerator and freezer and moved everything into the house… thanks Mom and Cheryl!

Hopefully, we can get this resolved without a lot of money or drama.  Honestly, I should have seen this coming, because I HAD noticed recently that the Inverter/Charger was louder than usual.  It always “hummed”, but lately it’s been louder than I remember.  I chalked it up to the lower voltage service we’ve subjected the Coach to in recent weeks; 30-Amp at Alamo Lake State Park, garage power (probably 20-Amp) at Scott & Julie’s, and now 20-Amp in front of my Mom’s house…

I called our extended warranty service, EasyCare.  They tell me that there are only two “authorized” Xantrex service centers in Arizona.  One is in Tucson, the other in Gilbert.  I’ll be making some calls in the morning.  Stay tuned…


2 thoughts on ““Dirt Farm” (Casa Grande, AZ)”

  1. It was great seeing you both again, and spending time together. Reminds me (Julie) of what great coworkers I had at MDA — miss you all!! Thanks for stopping by and we’re looking forward to seeing you again in the near future. We both agree that you could never wear out your welcome — there are no more respectful and considerate visitors than David, Stilla and Coach. Happy trails!!

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