We put off this trip many times since this fall, when the Sandhill Cranes (30,000) start arriving to over-winter in the Willcox Playa south to McNeal Playa in Cochise County, AZ. Whitewater Draw campground is a 5 to 6 “big” rig, fenced in corral with 2 picnic tables and a 2 seater pit toilet for campers and the many day users. Very clean, managed by AZ Game and Fish, no fee. The night we stayed there were 5 big rigs, 6 campervans/truck campers and 1 tent camper. Even if you are not a birder or photographer, this is an impressive sight. The cranes feed in the surrounding farm fields during the day and return mid afternoon to sunset. They leave again at first light. Many other birds as well...
No NV camper conversions. There were 2 4x4 MB conversions and a Transit conversion in the making. The tenter from BC, Canada was interested in our NV so I told him about the used one for sale. His comment was he couldn’t bring it into Canada due to regulations. We got to listen to various furnaces cycling on and off. Sandhill cranes are very vocal all night as well. 50* temperature swing; very cold.
We next camped on the west side of the Dragoons and crossed over from Tombstone to Pearce via Middlemarch Rd. Roughly 40 miles of very dusty dirt roads. (Check engine light will come on, code P0448.) We camped off Coronado Forest Servive Road 687. Dispersed camping and free. Narrow road and your NV will tangle with the mesquite trees. No need for 4x4 but clearance can be an issue. We opted not to take a washed out portion to get to a better camp site. Most are accessible. As you get farther in on FS 687, the rigs get smaller. This primarily is a beautiful area to hang out or hunt. Climbers love the rock and there is some hiking.
New to us was taking a Thetford 260. The collapsible toilet with bags ($$) was not a good option. We plan to do more dispersed camping rather than national parks or monuments. Way too crowded. Why the 260? Low height, as we only had 13” to work with. Just fits and I can slide it back under the lower bed. 2.5 gallon water tank for flushing, so it is heavy as well as low to the ground. Seek your own privacy... No odor if you empty it before driving off. We are using vinegar rather than chemicals so it can be dumped in a hole we dig.
Middlemarch Rd is a former cavalry supply route between Fort Bowie in the Chiricahua Mountains and the San Pedro Valley. Now it primarily is used by ranchers. Only oncoming traffic were cattle. Anything else would have been a problem.
2/12 Grass fires on 2/10 caused the evacuation of the area where we were camping. On 2/8 just south of Tombstone, there were 2 just ignited grass fires on the left side of the road. The heat was intense as we drove by. ADOT was calling in the second unaware there was another. All 3 were most likely human caused.
Edited by radin2son, 12 February 2018 - 04:46 PM.