At the temple ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Khao Yai National Park, Thailand on December 13th.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Best thing we ever did

Someone asked a question on a facebook forum as to what was the best RV modification/upgrade that you have done. Well, the best thing we ever did was to add solar panels to the roof and a decent battery system to the motorhome. Given the cost of a new RV, I can't figure why they don't come with solar panels and a decent battery system right from the factory. But, of course everybody has their own idea of how much electricity they need, so I guess it's better kept as an aftermarket installed option.

We love being self sufficient for electricity! That's what allows us to sit in one spot like we are now without having to listen to the daily drone of a generator.

Check out how cheap it is now to get a starter kit...

100 Watts 12 Volts RV Solar Starter Kit

And then you can just add panels as you need them to get up to the amount of recharging capability that you need. We started off with 160 watts and felt that one more 80 watt panel would do the job. So now we have 240 watts and that's exactly what we need.

It's funny, but Sherman hasn't been plugged in to campground electricity since we left Cabri last September!

Anyhow, on to our day yesterday. Ruth had a busy morning. She made us pancakes for breakfast and then baked some cookies and made a big pot of spaghetti sauce. 

Then in the afternoon, we went across to the other side of the highway for a walk. There's a lake over there, and a few walking trails. And a big canyon with interesting rock formations!

I can't find a name to this lake listed anywhere.

There is only one restaurant on the lake. We didn't make it over there yesterday, but we'll try to go tomorrow and check out about RV overnight possibilities.

We came across a big canyon!

It looked really neat from the top of the ridge, but we wanted to see it from the bottom.

Sure enough, we made it to the bottom. Very cool rock formations. 

Ruth, at the bottom.

It was a nice sunny day, but quite windy. We ended up doing 6.5 kms (4 miles). Kind of a strange area because as we entered, there were signs saying it was an ecological protected area, and yet there were some rough looking houses in there. And the houses had no electricity running to them. Strange. They could be squatters. We only met one other person, a guy tending to some sheep. We waved and said good afternoon, but that was it.

We've been watching a few good movies the last couple of nights. "The Martian" was entertaining, as was "Maze Runner". And of course James Bond in "Spectre". Not bad, but pretty typical Bond.

End of another great day in Mexico.



  1. Agree with you about the solar, we have one 130 watt panel and 2 six volt golf cart batteries and serves us quite well. We do occasionally use our generator and for us it does the trick., especially in Canada or during a snow storm.
    We have been stranded a couple of times when we needed it.
    Good deal on the solar.

    1. Yes a generator can come in handy at times but we try to stay where it is sunny. Unfortunately that isn't always possible.

      We definitely love having our solar power.

  2. Beautiful canyon. Too bad RVs can't drive on solar power, maybe one day.

    1. Not sure that will ever happen Cheapchick, doubt there would ever be enough power for that to happen.

      We do love the advancements that have been made with solar though and how the prices have come down over the past few years. I wish more people would use them on their houses.

  3. No better feeling than being self sufficient. I remember when we were living in the motorhome last summer at the RV park (plugged in) and the wind came up to 90km/hr and many of the areas near us (and us!) lost power. I didn't flinch. The motorhome fridge kicked in on propane and our batteries took up the electricity slack. We sat around watching movies until the power came back on (which was 2 days later). At work people were complaining that they lost all their food and had to sit in the dark. Oops! LOL Loved the feeling of being self sufficient. Solars are on my bucket list for sure for the motorhome.

    1. That's exactly why we love being self sufficient, we feel so free this way. Only problem with using your batteries when the power is off is making sure you don't drain them too low and ruin the life of the batteries. Nice though when the fridge works on propane when that happens though.

  4. Best thing we did was get our solar. Although we did have some places with hookups on our U.S./Canada trip, we didn't take our generator with us and found we did quite well.

    We enjoy the freedom it allows us without sacrificing any comforts including the use of an electric blanket.

    1. Yep, we wouldn't own an RV without solar every again!

  5. We picked up our camper last Thursday. We had 300W of solar panels along with a humungous 255Ah AGM battery installed . The panels recharged the battery on a gloomy overcast day. A solar expert that I've been reading advises adding batteries rather than panels.

    1. Nope, other way around. Easy to have way too many batteries that end up dying an early death due to never being truly fully recharged, because most RVers don't have enough panels.

    2. Yes, Dugg is totally correct. However your 300 watts of solar should easily be sufficient for that one 255Ah battery. We have 240 watts to supply two 225Ah batteries.


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