Hmmm

Time is flying, but not a lot to write about. When it hasn’t been so hot, it has been too windy to get out of the rig.  Typical chores been done… still bike riding except on the windiest days.

So to change up the routine, went across the border to get an adjustment on my teeth. This is nothing like Algodones!!!  And for such a minor adjustment, it should not have cost me $30.  Most dentists would have done this free, that’s how minor it was. So not impressed, but another lesson learned.  After looking around Sonoyta, came back across the border, headed for Ajo and had lunch.  At the restaurant, sorry I have no idea its name, the mosaic posted above fascinated me.  I have done mosaics over the years with paper and with tiles, but nothing remotely as detailed as this was done. And it must weigh a ton… loved looking at it.  And the doll above, was made from a skeleton – very creative.  And the food was surprisingly good! All food locally grown, raised, etc.

Discovered too Ajo has a great thrift store, a dent store… the latter just makes me laugh. It is dented cans, broken boxes what-have-you from the grocery store in Ajo and ridiculously cheap price.  Discovered the grocery store in Ajo is also an Ace hardware store – very handy!  For such a small town, it has alot going for it.

One of my goals this Spring was to get an inverter into my rig. Finally got around to calling AM Solar – couldn’t get in before the end of April – is way out of my league when they quoted me $7000.00 for 2000 W inverter.  Roger, a friend, looked at the estimate and found it was for a whole house inverter. I don’t need that. So asked for a 1000 w inverter, the price listed is just under $3000.00 and again discovered it was for a whole house inverter. Good grief!  So went around talking to all those with solar panels here at the place I’m staying. Most of them don’t think I need anything! Aargh!  All of them though have external systems, I want it built into my rig. I have no space to store or haul all external panels, equipment, etc.  So was bummed…. decided to sleep on it…

Got a tip to contact Mike Sylvester, who used to work on RV’s – excellent work, but then lost his wife and hasn’t really recovered since.  Nonetheless, Mike talked to me at length. Will have to wait his thought pattern on all this, but I can’t believe I would have to spend a fortune just to get an inverter.  I can see it if I had to add more AGM batteries and more panels, but from everything I have learned, I shouldn’t need that. Its such a learning curve for me to think in amperage, volts, etc.  In fact, I’d say I am downright lousy at it at the moment.  Will learn, but egads…wish I had an electrician in my hip pocket…

So none of this may happen before I head north this summer. So wanted it, but it is what it is.  And beyond that… life goes on…

4 thoughts on “Hmmm

  1. Not necessary to have such a large inverter unless you have big a/c requirements. I have a 400 Watt Pure Sine Wave inverter that I plug into the DC plug that is in my dining area. Allows me to use any of my AC products. Cost was less than $200.00. I’ve made sure that most of my life in my LD will work well using DC for most everything. I have 100% LED lighting and a Jensen DC TV. I only have 200 Watts of solar and 2 6 Volt deep cycle batteries. During the four months I was away from LHC, AZ last year I never had an issue where I needed more power. Generator was started if I needed a/c or the microwave. I also changed out the Converter to a Progressive Three Stage Converter so that the house batteries were treated more respectfully.

    Fred
    2003 RB

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  2. Fred has good info. Part of what’s “inside” his message is this, which I’d be asking you if we were having coffee and talking it over: What are the thing(s) that you want to do with the prospective inverter? What can you not do now that you would like to do?

    One reason AM Solar’s estimate might have seemed high is that sometimes there can be “foundation” work that needs to be done. For example:

    1) What is your battery bank size/type/age?
    2) What is the state of your circuit protection (fuses/breakers).
    3) Inverters have the potential to take a lot of power OUT of your batteries, so then you have to have a way to put it back in in a timely fashion (charger, generator, solar panels, solar controller, etc.)
    4) At which time it’s very nice to have a way (or ways) to monitor your batteries (which can involve buying monitors and installing them).

    If, like Fred, you are looking for things that can be run on a “small” inverter that you plug into a cigarette outlet (and IF you have an outlet wired to safely provide those amps), then that’s an easy way to go. I have gone even smaller (150 watt inverter that plugs into cigarette outlet). Reason for 150 watts? It does all I need and can easily be run on a cigarette outlet wired and fused for 15 amps (typical). (400 watt inverter can draw up to around 35 amps and most cigarette outlets can’t handle that – the socket or the wiring.)

    The larger the inverter, the more the potential amp draw AND the larger the “idle draw” (amount of power used just by turning it on, not even doing anything). Not only does that mean more power used, but you then also need to wire the circuit so that IF the full inverter capability is used, the wiring, fusing, and socket can handle it. To use an analogy, otherwise it would be like having a car that could go 80 mph, but brakes that will only work up to 40 mph. You might plan to only drive 35, but if the car will go 80, then (IMO) it should have brakes that will work up to 80 mph.

    All that a long-winded way to say the following:

    1) What do you want to do with the inverter (and what is the “watts” listed on said things)?
    2) Although room for expansion is always nice, it can be cheaper/simpler/less power usage to just go with what you need. It costs money (sometimes big money) and power to go bigger, so I’d only do that if money and power are in abundance.

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    • Lavender, I did not fill up a blog post with all the research I have done so far. Having boondocked for a few years now, I’ve gone without or turned on my generator. When asked what I need it for, is harder to spit out, as I have been without for so long – but I do have a precise list now. But all of this info has been shared with AM Solar, Mike Sylvester, and a few others. I have survived all this time with a 85w pure sine wave charger for my apple products – everything else leans towards the generator, which I hate to use. So I go without. What AM Solar was doing was for a whole house inverter – I do not want or need that, trust me. Campfire discussion at Quartzside in January, prompted the 1000w inverter, even a 2000w inverter if I really wanted to use everything – but I don’t. For instance, I don’t watch TV. Fred’s mention of the upgrade on the converter was good, as I had this discussion a few years back but had turned it down at that time. Now will look into it further. I am not a fan of modified sine wave to charge my stuff – pure sine is so much quicker & quieter. I will say, I already have 2 solar panels & 2 AGM house batteries. I may need to increase both but would like to utilize them better before doing that. Your feedback and everyone else’s is greatly appreciated – keep it coming!

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