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About that California Rain . . .

This just in . . .

January 9th about 11 am PDT

This Monday morning was Take-Flirt-to-the-Groomer day. And at about 7:30 am we did. Our dog groomer lives up Highway 49 about 8 miles from us in Bootjack.

What a mistake.

Driving Home from the Groomer 1

Driving Home – our 1st rock fall

Meanwhile Back Home at Idlewheels . . .

Mariposa Creek – January 6th

Mariposa Creek – This Morning

2022 Goes Out with a Deluge

As of about 10 PM PT this evening, Mariposa has received over 4″ of rain today . . . over 10″ this week . . . 18″ this month . . . with a grand total of almost 28″ of rain this year.

December has been wet. Very wet.

Mariposa averages 32″ of rainfall a year, but during the drought (since we’ve been here), rain has been scarce. So these December rains have been a godsend.

Happy New Year!

Christmas and New Year’s Eve Rain Effects on Mariposa Creek

In the video below . . .

Seconds 0 through 27 – Christmas Day

Seconds 28 to the end – New Year’s Eve

It rained so much on New Year’s Eve, that I had to videotape from the road. The water was moving too fast to get closer.

Land of Fire and Sometimes Water

When it rains it pours? Yep.

Our last two Decembers have been wet months and this December looks no different.

Currently, it’s rained about 8 inches so far which is nearly half the total rainfall for this year.

We don’t see this often (actually it’s the 1st time)

Mariposa Creek

In other news . . .

The Last of Fall Colors in November

Fire Insurance Tree Trimming

4th RV Solar Install Complete!

It’s taken almost a year to finish, but today we added the final touches to our RV rooftop 1095W solar system.

System Design Schematic

There have been many interactions of this design.

System Remote Control

Control and monitoring our Victron-based system is worth highlighting. For example, we can use the Victron Touch 50 Monitor which is mounted inside our RV or our iPhones or iPads to check on our RV array and to make changes, such as turning our inverter on or off.

Victron Touch 50 Display in our RV (love the animation)

iPhone Remote Monitoring

iPhone Remote Control

NOTE: Remote monitoring only works if our Victron Touch 50 Display is connected to a WiFi network. However, the Touch 50 display can also be accessed via BlueTooth for short-range communication.

Final System Installation

This part of the process involved mounting and connecting our three REC 365W solar panels.

Solar Panel Specs

These panels were huge – 41 x 69 inches! However, all things considered, they were fairly light at 44 pounds each.

Solar Panels had to shipped via freight – the scariest part of this project

Solar Panel Install

Eight Z-brackets were used per panel (and plenty of Dicor later)

The single solar panel that was installed across the RV’s roof presented an unexpected issue . . .

Since our RV’s roof is crowned (higher in the middle, lower on each side), the brackets on the panel’s short sides could not be directly attached to the roof. Doing so would have caused the solar panel to bend in the middle and probably would have broken the glass. Bad mojo. So shims had to be used under some of the mounting brackets to level the panel.

Plastic Shims used

Solar Panel Wiring

Room for one more panel

The solar panels were installed using series wiring. For the most part, we were able to route the wiring under the panels. After drilling a hole in the RV roof, the positive and negative wires entered the RV via a closet.

Roof mount purchased from Current Connected
Wires from roof into closet ceiling . . .

. . . and through closet floor

The solar panel wires went under our fridge, on the back of our entry steps, and into our electronics bay . . .

Very crowded in here – will have to add a cooling fan

We purchased the optional display for our SmartSolar Charge Controller so we could see at a glance how the solar system was working (or not).

Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller with optional display

Previous Solar Posts

Our 3rd RV Solar Installation (January 2022)

Solar, Batwing, and the Vent (February 2022)

Solar Project Update – 2/3 Done! (June 2022)

Fixing Our RV Damage – The Ladder

This July we had some pretty substantial damage to the rear cap of our RV:

For the full story see

We had some ideas back in July of how to proceed, but fixing the ladder was the first step. So here’s what we did . . .

Remove the Ladder from Our RV

The Patient on the Table

Remove the Damaged Steps

Four Steps Removed

This was the most difficult step. Each step was held in place by two pins that defied removal.

We had to resort to cutting out each pin which also damaged the ladder itself.

After removing a step, sometimes the holding pins (circled) had to be cut out. Ugly.

Strengthening the Ladder with Pipes

A 4′ aluminum pipe was used inside each ladder rail (arrows = breaks in the ladder rail)

The ladder was compressed to hold it together

Adding the New Steps

The new steps were a different (and much better) design than the old steps. The new steps used side screws, not pins, to fasten them to the ladder rails.

Stromberg-Carlson 8540-NTB

Fully Assembled Ladder

Before and After