I have been utilizing a Kyocera photovoltaic panel, with a Blue Sky (solar boost) regulator, and golf cart batteries wired in series. It has supplied all my needs, except for the heavy loads that I use most days. The coffee maker, the microwave oven and the toaster oven get a workout that is too much for my set-up. That is when I start the Honda 2000E generator. It is small and QUIET, and has an economy fuel setting for when it is not running heavy loads.
I have a 1400 watt inverter, which is fine for supplying power for the television, tools and other low-draw use. I don’t want to add more batteries and a larger inverter. I try to be frugal with the lights, water pump and other 12v DC equipment. My refrigerator is on propane, as a rule. If I am low on gas, or in the process of changing bottles, I can run the fridge through the inverter….for a short time.
The one change I have been working on this week, is to get more charging from my solar panel. I have only one, presently. It is 2 feet by 5 feet. I have made provisions for its twin on the other side of the roof, and I could add a small third panel as well. To get more out of what I have requires TILTING TOWARD THE SUN! I have now hinged the outer legs, and rigged a raising lever through to my kitchen, so that the panel can be moved to any angle up to 60 degrees, or so.
Ideally, I would have the panel on a rotating base, but the return, vis a vis the difficulty of building and securing that application, are not worth the trouble.
So now, when I park, I need to take into account that the panel is no longer flat on the roof when parked in the daylight. I will choose the optimum sun exposure direction, and raise the panel to get the best rays. My batteries will be so happy!
U S Airways took me to Charleston last week; I went to pick up my car that was in storage in Port Royal (Beaufort). First of all, Manchester airport is so laid back and easy to take, compared to Logan in Boston. I had to change planes in Philadelphia, and having left New Hampshire at 7:10 AM, I was in South Carolina before noon.
The problem is in getting to Beaufort from Charleston. The Greyhound travels to Savannah, GA, and gets within 16 miles of Beaufort…..Southbound. Northbound, it MAKES THE STOP IN BEAUFORT! But I was going South, so my bus ride by-passed my destinatiion, and stopped in Savannah, where after about two hours I boarded the Northbound ‘dog’ for the 40 mile back-track to S. Carolina…..over 5 hours in transit.
Five hours to go 1,000 miles, then five hours to go 110 plus 45 reverse miles.
I don’t understand the bus route at all, but it was comfortable enough with the new seats they have installed.
I decided to eshew my favorite route North, on the beautiful Coastal Highway (US 17).
I wanted to leave the heat and humidity of the low country and make some distance, so I went West ansd picked up I 95. I set the cruise-control on the Saturn for 62 MPH, and stopped at Gold Rock (Battleboro) North Carolina for the night. There are reasonable choices of accomodations with low rates there. After breakfast at Hardee’s, I crossed the Virginia line and headed for Washington. My reason for travelling this route, which I NEVER travel in the RV, was that I wanted to scope-out I 81. I used to by-pass the metropolitan New York, New Jersey,Pennsylvania and Delaware areas by crossing the Hudson on I 84, continuing to Scranton, picking up I 81 through Wilkes-Barre to Harrisburg, and then any number of routes, depending on my destination in the South.
Friday afternoon, approaching DC at about 2 PM…….not good! I holed-up at a MacDonald’s near Quantico, and read my book for four hours!! When I left the highway I could see nothing but red taillights for miles up the road. When I ventured back onto 95, the traffic was completely stopped in the other direction, but was not bad heading toward the Beltway. I didn’t encounter any problems all the way to Hagerstown, MD. I had forgotten about the humungous hill approaching the city. My RV will not do that!
In the morning I hit I 81, and headed North again. It is a good route, as I remembered it, but up and down the mountain roads… I think my mileage would really suffer badly. What nixed me on using this route to avoid Megalopolis was the tremendous hill approaching Port Jervis, NJ, at Matamoros. I went up up up up up up, and at the top was an elevation sign indicating 1,250 feet above the Hudson! My RV doesn’t want to move semi-VERTICALLY for a quarter-mile, just to avoid some city traffic and a higher bridge toll.
I’ll have to bite the bullet and use the urban roads. But I discovered how much easier that can be if you do it AFTER MIDNIGHT! Postscript for this post: I get 12 miles per gallon in the Dodge RV. My Saturn averages 43 MPG, and on the hilliest part of this journey, I got FIFTY-ONE POINT SIX…..a personal best. It is 15 years old. Hybrids, eat my dust!