Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Want solar power but…

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Solar power is a big undertaking for someone that will rarely boondock for more than a couple of days.  But I am not giving up on trying to get all the battery power I can get so when we do boondock, I don’t run out.

I want to boondock, but Dolly wants her TV.  So, I am doing some research on the subject out on the internet.  I already have two large batteries to run the RV accessories and propane to run the refrigerator, but don’t think the current batteries could run a TV and the Dish receiver for very long. I don’t want to run those batteries down and have no power to close the slides.

My current plan is to buy two deep cycle batteries from Advance Auto Parts:

Autocraft Marine / RV 12-Volt Deep Cycle Battery, Group Size 31, 675 CCAdeep cycle battery

Cost each: $105 before a 20% employee discount


Battery Type:
Lead Acid
BCI Group Size:
Cold Cranking Amps:
675 amps
Cranking Amps:
840 amps
9 7/16 in
13 in
Maintenance Free:
Reserve Capacity:
210 minutes
12 v
59 lbs
6 13/16 in


and buy a Whistler Pro-1600W 1,600 Watt Power Inverter:inverter

Cost $111 from Amazon

I will use this setup to just run the TV and see what happens.  If it works fairly well, I can add two more batteries and should get enough.

My plan is to make two battery boxes and hook the batteries in parallel which will give me twice the amps of just one battery.  I have space in the bedroom under the shelve that the dish receiver and TV will sit on.  Won’t need an extension cord, just hook the inverter to the battery bank and plug the TV and Dish receiver into the inverter and I hope to have hours of TV watching.

I will keep you posted on what happens.

Finally a roof and electricity

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Before the snow flies, we finished the roof on the motor home cover.  We (kids and me) started this shanty project way back in July, but got slowed down because we didn’t have time where we could get at least three of us together at the same time. And we got lazy after putting up the beams and roof support.  Just couldn’t put a cover over it.

2013-07-29 09.49.33 20131030_092045 

I couldn’t decide whether to go with plain shingles or go spiffy with a metal roof.  With all the time it took to get back to it, we decided to go with metal.  It is lighter and easier to put up – and it looks better, I think.  You really can’t see the top since it is 15 feet up there.

Evan ordered a 30 amp commercial electrical box awhile back and he put that in too.  He did a professional job and it works  great.  Now the motor home is plugged in to keep the batteries fully charged at all times.  20131030_09200120131030_092021

The green thing below the box is a surge guard.  It goes between the electrical receptacle and the motor home to protect the motor home from surges and also too little electricity voltage.  It also displays the voltage and amperage being used.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A visit from Dad

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Last Sunday, I drove to Marion, Illinois to pick up my Dad at the Cracker Barrel.  Faye and Dad came from Old Hickory, Tennessee (just east of Nashville).  Dad is visiting while Faye goes to Atlanta, Georgia to give a class.

Dad is 94 now and if it wasn’t for hip surgery earlier this year, we would be out playing golf.

Dad with Kristi, Erin, Nick and Lane.

Me, Dad, Sarah and Jim

We drove back to Marion today.  A long day!20131027_175210(0)