Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24 - To Eugene, Oregon

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It was a lovely day of sunshine on Hwy 20 heading out of Bend to 126 towards Eugene where we will be getting the beast outfitted with solar panels. It was another morning of beautiful scenery.





We arrived at the dealer around noon. Jennie went shopping for groceries while Stuart did some last minute preparations for the install.

The panels will make us less dependent on full service RV parks and be more self-sufficient.  We doubt we will be able to recoup the cost of buying and installing these panels, however, it allows us the ability to “stay and play” at places that cost nothing and allows us more options as the campgrounds fill up during the high season.

Stuart here. The dealer normally charges $70 an hour to do the install. I had decided to do as much of it as I could. I will let them install the actual panels on the roof. While at home I bought and installed all the cables to go from the batteries to the charge controller and then up to the roof. When we got here they gave me the controller and the control panel that is mounted inside the RV. I spent the afternoon installing them and connecting all the cables. I powered up the controller and miracle upon miracle it seemed to be working. After the installers had finished on the RV they were working on today, they came over to check my work and said it looked good. I figure I saved myself about 6 hours of installation time. 

Tomorrow all they have to do is punch a hole in the roof for my wires to go through, bolt the panels down and wire the panels to a combiner box that covers the hole. We are getting 3 100 watt panels, which should easily recharge our batteries with the power we normally use during an evening and night assuming there is some sun during the day. We also have the generator as a last resort but I hate to use it because it is so noisy.

There is another RV here that arrived a few days ago without an appointment waiting for a cancellation. Since I did so much of the install beforehand and they won’t need much time tomorrow, he is getting his done as well.

We are spending the night parked outside the garage door at the dealer ready for the install first thing in the morning. They let us plug in and have a free WIFI connection so we are set.

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