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Friday, November 26, 2010

MOTORHOME MODIFICATION- a new small solar panel and some Thanksgiving pics

Well, the mail lady drove up our driveway, and HONK HONK'd to let us know she had a package.... and Steveio flew out the door as fast as he could go (no jacket- no shoes!)   Ahhhhh, guess what that means?  Another motorhome project!

Last year our OEM small solar panel for the two chassis (driving) batteries had broken.  We removed the panel and just let the batteries do their job.  It was not a problem since we were using the motorhome just about every weekend for camping.  They held a charge just fine. But now that winter in here, time to make some decisions.

Note -- our four big 100 watt solar panels maintain the coach (camping) batteries--

So here are our options:
1. We could just hook up battery charger to those 2 batteries from time to time over the winter.
2. We could run a jumper wire from the four big coach batteries to also maintain the chassis batteries
3. We could buy a unit called a TrikLStart that will maintain them but needs a power source all the time
4. We could just replace the nice little square solar panel that was broken in the first place!!!

Of course, Steveio opted for number four.  He found a nice new one on Ebay, from a Lavie Solar Inc. in Texas.  Prompt shipping and here it is!  $35.

And today, with blustery wind chills of zero and below, the solar panel has arrived and he is chomping at the bit to put it on the roof.   I asked him if he was going to.  He answered:  "Are you nuts or what???"

But I know my husband, and how much ya wanna bet he will be checking the temps, looking outside, finding his Carhart snow bibs and heavy jacket.. and then going out there to do it as he says: "Awww it ain't so bad out here"    LOL LOL

We will see.


We are in the middle of Thanksgiving celebrations here... had a nice get- together with Steve's family down at his cousin's home in Grafton, WI yesterday.  The weather was treacherous on Wednesday night, with sleet, rain, snow and wind.  But by Thanksgiving morning, all was fine and clear roads to drive to Grafton.  It was 130 miles one way, and we took the car.  I HATE riding in the car now that we have experienced the luxury of traveling in the motorhome.  But it really didn't make sense to take it for a one day outing.

Steve's niece Jen and her husband Robert were presenting their new baby boy, Lucas, to the rest of the Pfundtner Clan.  He is only 4 weeks old, just a wee babe, and already getting the social circuit underway.  Grandma Shirley shared him with me (I shared my grandkids with her in the past years)  so I got in a good dose of cuddling and cooing, and he even fell asleep in my arms... awwwwwwwww.

We were so glad to see that Steve's mom, The Great Grandma Pfundtner, was able to make the day, having completed her last radiation treatment last week, after a rigorous round of chemo before that.  She is doing well and traveled quite a ways to make the family gathering and see her newest great grandson.

This is Steve's older brother Mark, their mom in the middle,
 and Mark's oldest daugther, Jen with the new great grandbaby, Lucas Jones...at 4 weeks old. 

Sharing a special bond between great grandma, mom and baby.....

Jon and Robin, Steve's cousins, have a lovely new home and everyone was together for a nice family dinner.  Lots of laughter, stories, and celebrating his dad's 78th birthday was a treat for the day too.  The bad weather held off, so we had a safe trip back home.  Winds were increasing and temps were dropping fast.  It was good to get home, in warm flannel jammies and pop in a DVD as the winds were screaming outside.


Upcoming this Sunday, all of our kids and grandkids will be here for our family gathering.  They all were at spouses's family gatherings on Thursday, so we decided to get together on Sunday instead.  The Packer game will be on at noon, and turkey will be done about 1.   Should be a good lazy day of flopping around the livingroom to watch the game, playing with the grandkids and spoiling them rotten, and being thankful for all the wonderful things life has given us, and looking forward to what great things are in store for our family's futures!

I know I haven't posted in over a week, but I was finishing up some large orders for sock customers, and trying to get a few things done around here before the holidays.  Most of the shopping is done, and now have to wrap wrap wrap things before the kids all get here on Sunday.    It seems now that it's darker, faster, since the time change, I am ready for bed earlier too.  Not getting as much done in the evenings as I usually do. 

Perhaps it's hibernation?  
Or Fibernation????  


  1. Good luck with the trickle charger. I've heard from other RVers that it's been a lifesaver. (Battery saver?)

  2. Steve's mom is looking good and that baby is darling! Al has been wanting to replace our solar battery charger, maybe we need to check out the kind you got.

  3. Sure can see the family resemblance with Stevio and Mark. Enjoy your Sunday with family! :)

  4. Nice to see you had a great Thanksgiving and were able to spend it with family, and more yet again on the Sunday.

    Your weather is making me feel bad for being in such beautiful weather. We sure aren’t missing that cold miserable weather and the driving that goes with it.

    Keep warm.

    Kevin and Ruth


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