Browsing "Solar Panels"
Aug 22, 2008 -

I Can See!

No pictures tonight, but I’ll have lots and lots next time I go to Miranda!

Unfortunately, Mr. Wonderful and his son ran out of time and weren’t able to install a second battery since they would have needed to run a load test on the first one. But that’s no biggie, really, since they explained to me how to install the second one. It’s something I know I can do myself since it’s no different than is using jumper cables.

The back up camera is unbelievable. I bought it on eBay on the recommendation of several RVers. The seller is interceptinc and I strongly recommend him. The system was a bargain price and is of very high quality. It included absolutely everything you need to get set up, except mounting screws for the camera. I have a huge colour monitor that can even be hooked up to a DVD player and it has sound and a remote control. I can see almost two full car lengths behind the coach and the tip of the tow bar is evident so I know how far to backup. What a difference this is going to make!

The solar panel mounted beautifully. It’s flush with the coach, so I won’t be able to angle it to catch the maximum number of rays, but I knew that going in (the gimbled mounts are pricey!). There is a new controller on the wall that tells me whether the solar panel is charging or not, and if the battery is full.

Finally, the inverter was mounted onto the bookcase between the two arm chairs. Unfortunately, I’ll need to run an extension cord from it to the back of the coach, so my setup isn’t ideal, but it’s the best that could be done with the time and resources available. I’m satisfied and thrilled with the quality of the work that was done.

Since I can’t tow yet, Mr. Wonderful’s son had to follow me behind the coach all the way to North Gower so that he could bring me back to my car (we did the reverse on Tuesday). Tonight was such a nice night, he decided to use his motorcycle. So, I got my first motorcycle ride! It was an absolutely exhilarating experience!!! I must have made quite the picture in my giant sunglasses, helmet, leather chaps, and biker jacket! That experience alone made the financial outlay on the electrical work worthwhile. I’m still grinning from the thrill of it.

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Backup Camera, Communications & Electronics, Driving, Electricity, Nice Folks, Preparations for Departure, Social, Solar Panels, Technical, Towing and Toad, Travel    5 Comments
Aug 20, 2008 -

Electrical Upgrades and Sundries

I brought Miranda tonight to the house of the wonderful gentleman who, with his wonderful son, will install my backup camera and do what needs to be done to make my solar panel and inverter usable. The solar panel is able to charge two house batteries, so Mr. Wonderful (or Mr. Wonderful Jr.) is going to go pick up a second battery for me! I’m therefore covered for 12 volt power, as long as the sun is shining. I’ll still need to run the generator for the 120V power I need to run the microwave, coffeemaker (yes, I need to get a French press), printer, and AC. The way I look at it, a generator needs to be exercised anyway, so I shouldn’t fret about using it for these items (except for the coffeemaker, I know, I know!).

I am so STOKED about all this!!!!!!!! Overwhelmed as I’ve been feeling, I was going to put off having anyone look at the solar panel and inverter until I got to British Columbia. Now, I can boondock my way across the country without worrying about my 12V power. Thinking about it, yes, but worrying no. (this post was edited on June 26th, 2010, with me laughing at that complete novice’s naïveté!)

Except for my excessive hot water use in the shower (which I won’t be able to do in an RV anyway), I’m very good about reducing my power consumption. I mean, I’m currently sitting in a dark house; nothing’s on except my computer. So, perhaps the adjustment to RV life won’t be that tough, reduction of power consumption-wise.

Finally, I learned that my fridge is not only insanely huge, it’s a three-way model. That is, it can run on 120V shore power, 12V, or propane. In plain English, that means it can run on power provided by a campground, the coach batteries, or… propane. I’ve been advised to pick the ‘auto’ option and the fridge will figure out on its own the best method to run itself.

One thing remains a mystery, however: we can’t find the electrical panel. *cue in twilight zone music*

While we were going over the coach, Mr. Wonderful Jr. made me climb up onto the roof. Eeep. But now that I’ve been up there, I’m fine. I just didn’t know what the ladder was like at the top and now I do. I didn’t even dirty my cream pants clambering up and down. 🙂

Mr. Wonderful Jr. also MADE ME BACK UP INTO MR. WONDERFUL’S DRIVEWAY. I repeat. HE MADE ME BACK UP INTO THE DRIVEWAY. With his patient guidance, I got Miranda in smoothly! He also informed me that he’d kept an eye on me as he led me back to his father’s house and that I was very good at keeping my coach centred in her lane. I definitely need to do some parking lot practising, but my confidence level rose quite a bit tonight.

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Appliances, Backup Camera, Boondocking/Dry camping, Communications & Electronics, Driving, Electricity, Fridge, Nice Folks, Social, Solar Panels, Technical, Travel    2 Comments
Aug 12, 2008 -

It’s Not What You Know…

It’s who you know.

One thing that didn’t get done this past weekend is the backup camera installation.

I told a friend that tonight and she told me she was going to make a phone call on my behalf.

Next thing I know, I’ve lined up someone to install not only my backup camera, but also an inverter and a solar panel, and this at an hourly rate that would be absurdly reasonable for an amateur but is a real gift from a retiree who made his living doing this.

I now have a week to do my energy audit thingy to determine exactly how much of an inverter I need, do some research on my solar panel to see if it’ll suit my needs or if I need another one, find both items… and fork out another boatload (erm, RVload) of money.

Please excuse me while I run around the house screaming ‘YIPPEE!!!’ at the top of my lungs.

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Backup Camera, Boondocking/Dry camping, Communications & Electronics, Electricity, Nice Folks, Social, Solar Panels, Technical, Travel    4 Comments