Tag Archives: solar

Our Time at Cochiti Lake

    For the past week we have stayed at an Army Corps of Engineers Campground called Cochiti Recreational Area. We use the Army Corps of Engineers web page, and they have a CD, that contains all the campsites they operate as a resource for places to stay. Almost without exception these campgrounds are well-maintained, clean, and with the National Forest Service access pass they are half price. That means we spent the last seven days staying somewhere that had beautiful views, hot showers, and a staff that was more than courteous for $6 a night, or $42 a week. Now I ask you where can you live for $42 a week, that includes water (hot water) I might add? My old mortgage of $1200/mo. equals a weekly rate of $279/week just for the shelter, all the utilities were extra!

Originally, we had thought we would stay, oh I don’t know, three maybe four days. But we, kept extending our stay night by night. The campsite was just that that good! Did I mention the views?

Let’s talk about being self-contained so that you can boondock, and the benefits that brings you. The camping loop we were in had 15 campsites, and for the 7 days we were there we only had about three neighbors that were spread out across those 15 sites. However, the other loops where there were electric hookups and water were a different story. Those loops they were packed in and nearly every site taken so the neighbors were right in each other’s elbows. Being self-contained and able to truly “boondock” allowed us some space and privacy.

This area is rich with history and it takes only a few minutes to reach many historic places. Historic Route 66 is only minutes away from this camp. If the city lights still attract you then Albuquerque is less than an hour away. This is truly a great place to stay and see all the surrounding New Mexico sights. Did I mention Tent Rock, it’s on the way into this campground?

There’s an observation post at the top of one of the hills overlooking the lake providing a wonderful view. You can drive up to the walkway or, if your adventurous there’s a trail that leads up from the other side. Riding the bike down from there on the roadway is an exciting ride.

This has been a quick post just let everyone know where we’ve been the last week. We will be posting more from this beautiful location. We’re visiting with some friends so our time on line is going to be limited for the next few days. Until then…

Get out,

Be safe,

Go adventure.

Upgrading Solar on the Vome

So the time has come to show some more of the VOME build out.  SO, here’s another “how did” video and a little introduction.

I wanted to increase the ability to charge my house batteries in lower light levels, without unpacking the folding  panel and just the overall redundancy the extra panel would provide.  Spending time in all kind of places presents challenges for using solar.  Out west in the desert areas it’s a sure thing you can find the sunshine you need.  The shade of a forest is a different story, no different book.

I mounted the panel from my old van on top of the VOME near the rear since the rooftop real estate was a bit crowded.  My plan was to leave room for expansion, and now we expand.  Let’s look at what I did and “how did” when it came to mounting these on a fiberglass roof.  But first consider the roof is actually two “skins” an outer one and an inner one.  The problem this presents is I can’t get to the outer skin from inside to install a backing plate.  That’s why I’ll be using a fastener called a well nut.IMG_20160813_100404.jpgHere’s a video that explains how these fasteners work… Kayak Fishing – Hardware Installation Options, Rivets and Well Nuts.  Now that you’ve seen how they work let me also point out they work to provide a certain amount on isolation from vibration.  IMG_20160813_100415.jpgThe one I’m using here is for a 1/4″-20 bolt and required a hole that was 1/2″ in diameter to allow it to be inserted.IMG_20160813_100512.jpgUsing stainless steel bolts and washers to anchor the brackets on the panel to the roof.IMG_20160813_113348.jpgNotice how as you tighten the bolt it not only expands in the hole to grip it also seals against the roof.  Because there is only rubber in contact with the fiberglass it will not try to wear it’s way out.IMG_20160813_113457.jpgThe outcome???

Well I’m satisfied.  The electrical outcome???

Well turning on everything I could and with the sun playing hide and seek behind clouds the buss voltage bounced happily between 13.1 and 14.2 volts.

This allows us to be more independent in our travels and adventures.

“Get out, Be safe, Go adventure.”