Our Spring Trip 2015 – Hot Hot



It’s the middle of March and we were trying to stay in the desert till the end of the month, if the snakes or heat didn’t chase us out sooner. Well as it happens we are leaving tomorrow for the Sedona, Az. area, and it wasn’t the rattle snakes. It was the heat.

Desert Flowers

The daily highs are reaching 90 F – 30+C, and higher in our trailer which isn’t hot for Arizona and we could probably tolerate the heat but it takes till midnight for it to be comfortable enough for sleep.

I did try to use our 2000 watt generator to run the A/C but it was not pleased and went into overload mode. I had to shut it down for it to reset. I probably need at least 3000 watts to run the A/C.  Although it was a thought when I bought the generator but I opted for cheaper and lighter, with the idea that we would move to somewhere cooler or to a RV park with power to run the A/C.

We’re Outta Here.
Cooler camping on the lake.


Coupled with heat and the poor fishing it didn’t take much negotiation to make the decision to leave. It would have even been nice to cool off in the lake, but far too dirty from the recent rains. After camping in the desert for a couple of weeks it may be nice to see some different surroundings.

Our thinking is we are at about 1200 ft here, Sedona is about 3000 ft higher so it should be cooler, and the forecast is predicting mid 70’s to low 80’s and much cooler at night.

It will also be interesting to spend some time there. We have been through the area several times but never spent more than a night or two. From what I have read and remember Sedona is a resort community and doesn’t offer too many amenities for the RV traveler.
Cottonwood seems to be a better jumping off spot for this area. We plan to stay at a dry camping area south of Cottonwood if all goes well.

Our Set up south of Cottonwood


The Trip.

We left the Wenden Az. area by 9 am, hwy 60 east to Wickenburg, south to hwy 74 which fortunately took us north of the Phoenix traffic to I-17 north. There are some pretty steep climbs from Black Canyon City till you drop down into Camp Verde. Take your time to avoid overheating.  From here we took hwy 260 to Cottonwood. It was only 150 miles but it took us most of the day, by the time we got to Cottonwood, dumped and filled the fresh water at Dead Horse Ranch State Park ($15).

We’re Here
BLM dispersed camping


We arrived at our destination about 3 pm. It seems like a perfect area. This BLM area is about 41/2 miles southeast of Cottonwood on hwy 260. There is camping on both sides of the highway but we turned north on Thousand Trails Rd. ¼ mile then left. There are two main dispersed camping areas within a mile. When we arrived there were 20+ rigs in the area. It’s a great spot, far enough off the highway to be quiet yet close to town for supplies.

Ruts from a previous rain

By the look of the dirt roads it wouldn’t be the best spot after a heavy rain, deep ruts were apparent everywhere. The other campers we shared a happy hour with said they were here 6 weeks earlier and their motor home had sunk up to their axles, it took a week for the mud to dry up enough so they could move.

Cute little goat head thorn

Other than the possible mud problem, a few other hazards of note are the “goat head” thorns. These tiny pesky things are not noticeable until you step on one and they embed themselves in your foot, Ouch.
Also be alert for the smelly deposits left by the resident 4 legged lawn mowers.

Home, home on the range.


It was just what we were looking for, the temperature 80+F and felt good, compared to the 90+F that we left. The first evening we actually had to don jackets after the sun disappeared.

The Jack

I’m not sure if I mentioned in a previous article but the toggle switch on the trailer jack quit working so the coupling and uncoupling had to be done with a ratchet and socket. The large nut was located on the top of the housing under a protective rubber cap. As I discovered after taking the housing apart the rubber cap does not prevent water leaking in.

Top of the electric trailer jack, I used a socket to raise and lower the trailer coupling

As luck would have it, after buying a new toggle switch it was actually an inline fuse that had blown…… back in business.

It would be an idea if your rig has various electric powered attachments such as slides and jacks to check to see what kind of tool you will need if something fails. So you can manually operate the item so you can move.

OHV (off highway vehicle)

We have been here for most of a week and so far it seems like the ideal spot, there is an OHV staging area ($5) for quads , Hayfield Draw (50” or less) about 2 miles east. I say 50” or less because you cannot get out of the staging are if your machine is any wider, they have been diligent enough to make a 50” wide exit gate.

Hayfeild Draw


Maps (free) are available for the Prescott National Forest OHV area, showing hundreds of miles of OHV trails. Published by the US department of Agriculture.

A Great Ride.

As it happens I approached another camper in the area with an ATV and we took off for a ride. A couple of the trails actually start across hwy 260 from Thousand Trails Road. We took trail 360. It started out just a bit more challenging than road riding but soon it climbed into steeper rougher terrain as we entered the Black Hills area. My map book from maps.com actually shows trail 360. Click here to check out maps.com

View across the Verde valley from trail 360


Trail 360 turned out to be a challenging ride, an 8 out of 10 for quality of riding. We climbed into the foothills, traversed through deep washes, twisty rocky trails and then circled back down along dry sandy creek beds.

Trail 360


At one point I thought we might have to retreat the way we came when a narrow cattle guard stood before us. There was no extra space between the posts as my new friend squeezed his 4 passenger side by side through the opening. Although the trails are marked, at several junctures it was a guess as to which trail to take. In the end we were pleasantly surprised.


The Verde River down the road from our camp.

I have created a comprehensive list of the things you may need on your RV travels. Click here to check it out.

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any questions or comments I would love to read them.

thanks for visiting.

Gord B.


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