About me

Barry and Linda

We have been RVing since our early married life in the 70's. I am a retired General Contractor (wood butcher extraordinaire) and Linda retired from a career in Cosmetology (hairbender). We still have a stix & brix home, but travel extensively throughout the year whenever we want. Thus RV-Anytimers. We will be posting our travels so our family and friends can ride along. view my complete profile.

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Lance 845

Challenger

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Medicine Men, Solar, Solar & More Solar

March 4th, 2014

Well here it is another couple o’ weeks gone by an someone hasn’t written any blog posts. That someone would be me. I seem to be gettin’ in deeper with the Medicine men I been seein’. Since my cough didn’t go away they wanted me to get a chest x-ray, which I did. Then a CT scan with dye contrast, and now I have to go for a biopsy. Seems they spied somethin’ on my x-ray which has led to all this testing. We’re stayin’ optimistic.

I did shed my cough by takin’ a regiment of Prednisone for nine days. Actually the cough disappeared the second day of treatment, A miracle! Now if the miracle continues.

Well since I been feelin’ a bunch better, I been working on a solar power system fer’ the truck camper. We now have a 100 watt panel on the roof, Prostar solar charge regulator, 1600 watt inverter and a Tri Metric meter to monitor the system. Findin’ room for all this new equipment without takin’ up what little storage space there is in a truck camper was a challenge. After I had it all figured out, I went to plan ‘B’, then plan ‘C’, then ‘D’ and I did have to use a little tad of storage space to get it done.

The camper has only room for one battery in the battery box and no area anywhere that I could add another box. That precludes the use of two six volt batteries, which I prefer, so we’ll be using two 125AH 12V batteries like before. One in the battery box and the other in a rack in the bed of the truck. I would have preferred two panels on the roof but the panels I have are to large in size for the roof spaces, so one it will be fer’ now. We rarely take the camper off the truck and we have a good Iota power supply, that replaced our crappy ole’ converter and does a good job when we plug in. The truck also seems to do an excellent job of recharging the battery when traveling down the road.

One thing I did that may come back to bite me is I purchased an inverter on price and output rather than reliability. Lets face it most inverters are junk made in China. I didn’t like some of the features of the inverter when I received it, but I’m stuck with it now. It’s a Whistler 1600 watt modified sine wave inverter and has a mickey mouse power hookup. I also purchased the remote switch fer’ it but it doesn’t turn it on or off unless the switch on the inverter is on and then the remote will put it ‘standby mode’ or turn it back on. So in stand by it still burnin’ precious battery power doin’ nothin. If I have to go outside and switch on the inverter what good is the remote. My other inverter turns off and on at the remote. Oh well.

I routed a #10 wire from the AC side of the inverter to the compartment where the power cord is stored and installed a 30 amp outlet in there. All I have to do is plug the power cord into the outlet and turn on the inverter and it powers the entire camper. Simplifies things and eliminates the need for a transfer switch.

Sorry no pics of the installation cause all the equipment is installed way back and up high in an outside storage locker, barely visible. Also I installed and removed the panel on the roof just in case we have a hurricane, we don’t want to risk something breakin’ it.

I also purchased a set of Firestone ‘Ride Rite’ air bags for the truck and had them installed. Had planned to install them myself but when I wasn’t feelin’ so hot I knew I wasn’t up to it. Got a great deal on the install anyway, one hour labor at $72, couldn’t beat that. With the camper sittin’ on the truck for 5-6 months those leaf springs get mighty tired and can use the help. Even with the truck empty they make a amazing difference in the ride and I’m sorry I didn’t put them on years ago.

Since all this doctorin’ goin’ on and we don’t know what the immediate future has in store for me, we have decided to postpone once again our west coast trip. We were goin’ to take the truck camper but that’s off as well. If we get to travel this summer we’ll probably stay here on the east coast again and use the 5’ver.
That being said I added a 100 watt panel to our existing system on the trailer boosting our capacity to 355 watts of solar with 440 AH of battery power.
That should ensure that we are recharged even after a several days of bad weather or overuse of power. From what we experienced this winter boondockin’ here in Florida we use about 50 –70 amp hours a day from our battery bank. Of coarse we are still learning and adapting to our solar power system and we probably will use more power as we become more comfortable with the system. That may bring on the addition of more solar power. It’s so great to have the independence of free electric from the sun anytime, anywhere.

Well that’s enough blabberin’ from me fer’ today. Hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;