More Desert Rat Rally XIV (Quartzsite, AZ)

We’ve been so busy having fun that I haven’t posted in a while.  So, I’m forcing myself to get caught up a little bit this morning.  Here we go…

In my last post, I mentioned that we had some work done on the coach while sitting here in the desert.  On Monday, fellow Alpine SoCal member (Mike Fleming), aka “Engineer Mike” installed my steering gearbox bracket stiffener.  I purchased this bracket almost three years ago, but have been carrying it around in the “basement” since then – waiting for the opportunity to install.  Some Alpine Coaches have experienced stress cracks on the OEM steering gear bracket after a lot of miles, or for whatever reason…  Although the Urban Escape Vehicle didn’t show any evidence of needing this upgrade, I still decided to “insure” against this happening in the future by getting it done.  “Engineer Mike” personally designed and had this kit fabricated – so who better to install it.   Here’s a couple pics of the work:

Engineer Mike in his all-to-familiar pose during Rallies.
The OEM Hauck bolts had to be grinded off.
David and Engineer Mike. Getting the Steering Bracket Upgrade completed.

After Engineer Mike finished up with the bracket, Thanks Engineer Mike!!  I then utilized the expert services of another Alpine SoCal member, (Orman Claxton).  Orman is a factory trained and certified Aqua-Hot technician.  It’s important to have the unit serviced each year to keep it running well.  And, we used the heck out of it back in Colorado during all the recent cold winter weather.  This is the type of service that I would normally do myself, but I decided to have the “expert” do it for me while I had the chance so I could watch and learn.  Orman replaced the diesel filter and nozzle.  He also adjusted the ignitor and replaced a worn housing gasket while I got training on cleaning the combustion chamber 🙂  Thanks Orman!!

Orman Claxton performing Aqua-Hot service on the Urban Escape Vehicle.

Whenever there’s work going on, a crowd always gathers.  It’s mandatory for guys… just like when a hood goes up on a cool car.



After a full day of getting stuff done on the Coach.  We went straight to the tent for another catered dinner.  Great BBQ ribs and chicken was had by all.  Sorry, no new pics of that –  you have to take my word for it – very tasty!  And they packaged up leftovers for anyone who wanted them 🙂

After our dinner, we joined others from our group at one of the community campfires.  We did this almost every night.  Here’s a pic in front of the fire of our nearest neighbors that we joined most evenings.  See you next time Jim and Sally, Greg, Igor, et al., …


On Wednesday, or was it Tuesday(?)   Hmmmm, it’s all a blur now, we finally left our group campsite out in the desert and went into Quartzsite to see the “Big Tent”.  We spent most of the day wandering through all the vendor stalls.






I forgot to take a picture of the “Big Tent”, you’ll just have to take my word for it – it’s huge… you could easily spend all day in there.  Although, I couldn’t help but notice that there seemed to be much more non-RV-related vendors than in years past.  A little unfortunate in my opinion, but the female-types seemed to like that.

When we returned to our desert group site, we were invited to join many of the Alpine Coach group members for a dinner in town at Silly Al’s Pizza.

Sign on North-side of town.

It was crowded in Silly Al’s but we amused ourselves with the good company and some Karaoke (performed by others of course), while we waited for our Pizza.




Pizza at Silly Al’s

The Pizza was awesome… worth the wait.  Or could it have been the long wait that made it so good?  Naw, it was really good!  We’ll come back here.

By Wednesday morning,  most Alpine Coaches had already left… I remember hearing that we had 73 Coaches in attendance.  Too bad we arrived so late to the Rally, but it couldn’t be helped with all we had to do at the house and the bad weather we experienced back in Colorado.

That’s all the update for now… I’ll catch you up on the rest of the week next time.  We had my Mom, Stepdad, Brother Steve & Cheryl come by with their ATV’s for the weekend and we also went ATV’ing  with some Alpine Coach group members before that.  I’ll post about it next time – Good times!