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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Our 3rd RV Solar Installation

Oops! Actually, it’s our 4th Solar install . . .

First Solar Install (2006)

Second Solar Install (2009)

Third Solar Install (2012)

We’ve already booked campsites for much of the upcoming year and at first blush CA has some pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good campgrounds. (Apologies to Larry David.) Even better, several campgrounds are very close to us in Mariposa.

What does this has to do with solar?

Many of the prime (ocean front) campsites have no hookups at all . . . no water, no sewer, and no electric power. We can get by without the first two, but not the last, electric. After a day or two without an external power source, our RV batteries would die.

What to do?

Use our generator . . . the electrical output from our on-board generator is as good as plugging our RV into a power source. However, generators are loud and stinky. Also, RV parks typically put restrictions on when you can use them, and, finally, campers (including ourselves) don’t like generators.

Add more batteries . . . we’re going to add two more so we have a total of four. That alone increases our staying power. But with no way to charge these batteries, we’re not much better off.

Solar power . . . since CA is a very sunny state (about 68% yearly), solar should give us the charge we’ll need.

So here’s the plan . . .

Thanks to Bob McClory for the Solar Panel Wiring Catch (10 AWG instead of 4 AWG)

Because of the cost involved, this is a year-long project. We figured now was the time to act as we can take a 26% tax credit on our solar install – which ends this year. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty nice.

As you can see, we kind of favor Victron equipment.

Victron Smart Shunt

The first part of our solar install was a decent battery monitor so we know what shape our batteries are in.

Our current battery monitor system is a 21-year-old wall panel . . .

L = Low, F = Fair, G = Good, C = Charging

We really want to know more.

To do so, we installed a Victron Smart Shunt on our battery bank.

Right there in the upper left corner

Victron Smart Shunt

This shunt uses Bluetooth so we downloaded an app on our phone and/or tablets, and check on more stuff than we need to:

STATUS screen – that Time remaining is great info

HISTORY screen

TRENDS screen

Christmas 2021 & More Snow

California Xmas

This was a surprise . . .

5 or 6 inches?

Let There Be Spring

First Snow

Mariposa had the first snow of the season early this morning.

We like the first snow, but after that Spring can’t get here fast enough.

Gen Fix

A couple of weeks ago our RV generator refused to start. It turned over, but that was it. Bummer. Expensive repair here we come.

Though we almost never use our generator when we camp, we do use it during hot summer driving as it allows us to run our RV’s air conditioners. So there was no real rush to fix the gen as we’re a few weeks away from storing the RV for the winter.

However, I remembered that when we bought our 2001 Sea View, the dealership we bought it from had replaced the generator’s fuel pump and/or the fuel pump filter.

The Old Fuel Pump & Filter

So knowing nothing about generators, I thought I’d attempt fixing it by replacing the fuel pump and found a replacement pump on Amazon for about $25. A few days ago I removed the old fuel pump and installed the new Amazon pump.

The New Fuel Pump Installed on the Base of the Generator

Sure, a total crap shoot as many other things could wrong with the gen. But it wasn’t the same as cutting holes in the side of our RV . . . I hoped.

So after tightening all the fuel pump connections, I checked for leaks. Nothing.

Then I pressed the button to prime the pump. For a couple of seconds it sounded like before – just a lot of clicking. But then the sound changed . . . like fuel was flowing, so I stopped priming the pump.

Still no leaks.

Next, I pressed the generator start button . . .


After several start-up tests over a few days, I pronounced it a success.

RV Water Leak Postscript

There were two frequent comments on my previous Anatomy of an RV Leak post . . .

Did You or Why Didn’t You Use an Endoscope?

I did use one. It didn’t help much because my scope wasn’t sensitive enough to clearly show water.

My Scope Helped a Little

Did You or Why Didn’t You Seal the Outside Patch?

I did seal it with ProFlex RV.