Friday, June 4, 2010

We Are Solar Powered!

Did you think we’d completely sold out to the 50 amp power pole?  Not entirely…Even though we’ve been tethered for a while now, the discussion of boondocking (also called dry camping) has not stopped.  We needed to gather our resources, do some research, then find the time and assistance to get ourselves more prepared. 

When we lived and worked here in Colorado Springs, we got to know Eric VanDenHoek and his wife, Madeline.  Eric and Madeline both worked for the Utilities where Jim and I also worked. One day, however, Eric quit his job there to devote his time to his new business venture, Turbo’s Mobile RV Repair.  Eventually, the business grew so much that Madeline also quit her job to help with the business.  Now, whenever we are in town and need work done on our Castle, we call Turbo’s.

Jim’s research of solar systems led him to AM Solar in Springfield, Oregon.  This company comes recommended by several of our friends, and once Jim checked a few other sources, he decided this was the company we wanted to do business with.  He called Eric and found that Turbo’s had not dealt with AM Solar before, but after a couple of phone calls, the deal was set up and a date chosen for installation.

Just about 9:30 this morning, I heard footsteps on the roof, and went out to investigate.  I found Eric and his tech, Aaron, had arrived and were getting things set up for the day:

Ellie 003 

Eric holds the first panel while Aaron looks on:

Ellie 012_1

Notice that blue, blue sky?  That equaled a very sunny, hot day, I think the warmest yet this season!

Not a lot later, there are 3 panels on the roof.  Eric is checking it all out:

Ellie 016

Soon, all four 100 Watt panels were up!  Yes, the panels can be used laying flat, tilted the way they are shown here, or tilted the other direction. 

Below, Eric looks over the wiring situation, preparing to pull cable:

Ellie 020

On the opposite side of the Castle, the controller is installed in the upper left of the battery compartment:

Ellie 026

Aaron is fishing more cable to Eric as he gets the Solar Monitor set up:

Ellie 027

It was a very long, hot, hard day for Eric and Aaron, but our solar system was finally all installed and Turbo’s Mobile RV was ready to clean up and go home:

Ellie 023

The next step for us is to test the system.  That will happen over the next few days. 

If you ever find yourself in the Pikes Peak Region and need service on your RV, we highly recommend Turbo’s.  They are fast, efficient, fair and honest.  Thanks, Eric, for a great job.

We are getting things done!  All the necessary medical, dental, etc., appointments, tests and check-ups are done!  But, we still have places to go and people to see.  As our time here gets short, it seems like the list stays about the same.  No matter, we can handle it all, but we’ll be ready to make sure the tires on the Castle are still round pretty darn soon!

9 comments:

Sandra said...

Wow! You guys are really set up now to take advantage of living in the beautiful, out of the way spots. Good for you!

JB said...

We got our solar system from AM Solar and it does everything we hoped, as you found boondocking does not have to be roughing it.

All Because Two People Fell In Love said...

Congratulations!!!! I have been waiting to hear about that solar installation. Glad to hear you went with AM Solar. They are the best even though I didn't use them I still believe their equipment is the best. Gina and I cannot wait to see y'all again out in Bouse relaxing. And now we want have to hear that generator runing so early in the morning.LOL Just kidding I know that you and Jim will enjoy being green. Miss y'all

Safe travels

Rollie and Gina

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

I remember the first night after our solar installation we didn't do something right & somehow left the refridgerator running on the newly installed batteries or something. About 4 in the morning something started beeping loudly which we later found out was an audio warning that we were about to run out of power....which we did!! Solar Mike in Slab City California did our installation & it has performed flawlessly for the past 3 years.

Happytrails said...

Wow! Congratulations! You guys are ready for camping in the beautiful areas off the grid. Have fun!!!

Mike & Gerri (happytrails)
http://freedom2roll.blogspot.com

Mark and Dortha said...

Glad to see you are all powered up! Now, you can better enjoy your new found style of camping.

When are you heading to Texas? Could you bring a little of the Colorado cool weather with you?

Hugs,
Dortha

Darrell and Judy Patterson said...

Awesome, I'm envious!! Someday I'd like to put that on our rig but, in the meantime, we're going to have to buy a new truck. First things first. Looking forward to reading about your next boondocking experience.

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Wheee heee heeeeeee Congrats on going solar!

We have four 100 watt panels on the roof too, Blue Sky controller and Trimetric gauge inside.

It's fun now to be *extravagant* with the battery power! We have only used up 10-15% of our power in the evenings, even with the TV, DVD, lights and 2 laptops and router going. And usually are recharged back up by about noon the next day.

You will find that it is SO nice to not have to fire up a generator now.... peace and quiet!

Are you joining up with Janna and Mike again next winter in the desert?

Yes, it is just heartbreaking to see the damage that is done.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard
http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Wheee heee heeeeeee Congrats on going solar!

We have four 100 watt panels on the roof too, Blue Sky controller and Trimetric gauge inside.

It's fun now to be *extravagant* with the battery power! We have only used up 10-15% of our power in the evenings, even with the TV, DVD, lights and 2 laptops and router going. And usually are recharged back up by about noon the next day.

You will find that it is SO nice to not have to fire up a generator now.... peace and quiet!

Are you joining up with Janna and Mike again next winter in the desert?

Yes, it is just heartbreaking to see the damage that is done.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard
http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/