Monday, October 26, 2009

We Now Have Solar

Shortly before starting out on our trip, we decided to put solar panels on the roof of our rig. I was a little apprehensive to do this, but Al had done a lot of reading about it and this was something he wanted to do. He finally convinced me that maybe it was a good idea, as eventually we would like to do some camping in National Parks as well as in the Adirondacks. These parks do not have power and many people use generators when there for an extended amount of time. Of course, when we were younger, we used to do a lot of rough camping out of our canoe, paddling out to islands in Saranac Lake. These places had no ammenities and we got by fine, but I guess you could say "times have changed!"

On our first night in Old Bethpage, we found out just how handy it is to have solar. We have a surge protector and it can test the electrical box at campgrounds before plugging in. It showed him that the neutral and hot wires were reversed. Without this device, we would have plugged in and possibly fried our converter. We called the office and they couldn't get an electrician to come until the next morning. This is where the solar comes in. We were able to do everything we would normally do if we were on the grid. I made coffee, ran the microwave, blowed dried my hair, played on the computer, etc. We also watched TV that evening. The solar panels charge while going down the road so they were fully charged when we arrived at the campground. I must say, it is really great!

The next morning the electrician came and fixed the problem, but we could have managed anyway. At that point, I had made breakfast already using the toaster and coffee pot. We wanted to try out the solar anyway, but I was hoping to at least have regular electricity as a back-up.

We decided to spend a few days in Nashville, as we have never been there. On our way, from West Virginia, through Virginia the foliage was spectacular. Virginia is definately one of our favorite states. Last night Al convinced me to stay overnight in a Sam's Club parking lot, something I said I wouldn't do. Are you starting to see a pattern here!? Hmmm.....Honestly, though it was absolutely fine. There were a few other campers there as well and it was very well lit. Both Walmarts and Sam's Club allow RVer's to stay overnight in their parking lots and it is a very common practice. My advice to anyone doing this, is to make sure there are other campers there and that you have a good feeling about the area you are in. Again, I have to say the solar was a good thing. I got to watch Desperate Housewives, one of my favorite shows. Plus, it was very peaceful and quiet there. We got up in the morning and made coffee, had some cereal and off we went.

We just arrived in Nashville and are staying at a Corps of Engineers Campground just 7 miles from the city. It is really beautiful here. We are surrounded by water. It is almost 5pm Eastern time and the sun is bright. It is really nice here. We are planning on taking in some of the sights here, but we also just want to relax a little.

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