Friday, April 13, 2012

Testing Systems, Thermostats, and Leaky Propane - Part III

My husband replaced the thermostat in the motorhome. It was locked up solid, so that was very likely the issue with it overheating. Then we took a road trip in the car to Fargo, ND on a mission to find deals on items on our great list. I found a 45 watt solar panel kit at Harbor Freight for $189.99. It was a bit cheaper than the one at Costco, and looks a bit more sturdy. We also got a new flat screen HDTV for the RV. It was $128 (great deal), 22" (beats the old 12" we were using), and is more energy efficient (57 watt - instead of the 70 watt old 12 inch model). It's all about the watts now with me. That ended our spending limit for duty free border crossing, and back to Canada we went.
I set the solar panels up in a room at the Bat Cave, our secret lair. They have an eastern view, and have sucessfully charged a battery, even while tucked inside a building. Next step, take the solar charged battery, hook it up to the inverter and see how long it lasts in the motorhome. I only have a 400 watt inverter, so we will use it for home entertainment (tv, dvd, radio, and recharging of the phone and laptop). I have also been checking the internet to see how to mount the solar panels on the roof of the motorhome. Oh, and I have to buy a couple of batteries, AGMs I believe. And we will need a generator for the high wattage items (air conditioner, furnace fan, fridge possibly). So far, the 4000 watt electric start generator at Costco ($369.99) is the one to get.
The motorhome is back from the propane people. Two leaks were repaired in the line, and we are awaiting a valve that should be delivered by the end of next week. In the meantime, a small tank from our BBQ will keep us in propane.
While awaiting the new propane valve I will see about mounting the new solar panels to the roof of the motorhome. Again, I went to youtube looking for insite on how to mount the panels. I will need to ensure all screw holes are well sealed, and give the panels a slight slope for water run off, and better sun exposure.
I thought the home renos would stop when we sold the house. How wrong I was!


  1. 4000 watts is overkill. It is expensive to run and noisy - your neighbours will hate you - most go with a 1000 Honda - look for a used one - 650 will also do if you can find it and if you do I will trade you for my 1000
    Once you get the propane frig going you will pleasantly surprised how well it works - you might want to consider a parallel or a larger tank for all season use.
    Watch your highway speed - a 5% drop in speed equals about a 10% increase in mileage

  2. you might want to consider a warmer weather base where you could come and go and where the beer is a lot cheaper