Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting For Spring

Not much to report this week. We are now in the swing weather period here on the front range of the Rockies. We had a little snow on Sunday and today the high will be around 70. Friday night another cold system moves in and there is a chance of a lot of snow with lows in the teens on Saturday. While I enjoy the days of good weather it’s tough to be teased with a touch of spring, knowing that things are still pretty iffy weather wise for an RV trip….that is unless I want to head to Arizona again.

Because the weather was so nice today, I went down to the RV lot and installed two vent covers on Bivouac. I bought these covers over a month ago but just haven’t gotten around to installing them. These covers allow you to open the roof vents when it’s raining and not get water inside the rig. I have installed covers like these on every RV I have owned and they are well worth the money and effort to install.

While at the lot I made arrangements with the service department to do some work on my solar system. The trailer came with one 100w solar panel and a solar controller to convert the energy from the panel to 12v electricity and then charge the two marine batteries that power the lights, run the fan to the heater and move the slides in and out when I’m not hooked up to shore power. Unfortunately, the manufacturer of the trailer is not an expert in solar power and the system really was sub-par because of the type of solar controller that was used and the distance of the controller to the batteries.

Over the last few months I have read a lot about solar power for RVs and decided to redesign and upgrade my system. I bought a new solar controller and a couple of accessories that will make it even more efficient and figured out a way that I could position the controller just a foot or so away from the batteries. The current controller is about 25 feet away from the batteries and in solar power, distance is an enemy. I will also install much heavier wire than the factory installed wire. All of this should mean that my one solar panel will be much more efficient and should keep my two batteries fully charged most of the time. My ultimate plan is to add one or two more panels later on.

On the adventure front….not much is happening right now but I’m arranging for some adventures when the weather turns. The latest is a couple of projects for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The first will be pretty mundane but it will offer me a chance to see a state wildlife area I have never been to before. I have volunteered to help clean up the Bosque del Oso Wildlife Area in late April. This 30,000 acre wildlife area is about 40 miles west of Trinidad, CO. I’m sure we won’t get to all 30,000 acres and will probably concentrate on the parking areas. My plan is to go down a day or so early and explore the area.

The second project will happen in the middle of May. I have signed up to help patrol the Mountain Plover nesting area at John Martin Reservoir in southeast Colorado. May is nesting time for the Mountain Plover and they build their nests on the ground in the sand around lakes and ponds. While they are not endangered by government definition, their numbers have declined seriously. John Martin Reservoir is a popular State Park and visitors to the park can disrupt the nesting activity so my job will be to interact with visitors to the park and explain why they can’t go into the nesting areas. I have committed to a week for this project and the Division of Wildlife will provide me with a camping spot with power and water hookups. Sounds like fun and I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks for visiting.

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