Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Solar install is scheduled! :)

I  originally planned to have a solar installation done last August in Oregon, but the company that was highly recommended, AM Solar, was booked pretty far out, and he suggested I live in The Palms for a while before I make the expensive decision to have solar installed.

Now that I've been full-timing for almost six months, I know I definitely want solar. I think I'll be much more comfortable full-timing and boondocking with solar in addition to my generator.  I want to eventually be able to boondock almost exclusively, and I'm finding I REALLY want my TV and computer on pretty much all day. 

So... I have an appointment for next Wednesday here in Glendale, Arizona with Ron at D & R Family R.V.  I've read about this company in blogs of full-timers who are pretty extreme boondockers, and have also had recommendations from Followers.   It's expensive, but I think I'll quickly recoup the cost by having the ability to boondock comfortably a lot more often I do now.

Ron is going to install a catalytic heater for me, too.  I don't have a lot of room for a hard install. I don't want to have it sticking out on a wall, which would narrow the walk ways.  There might be a place or two it will work on a wall, but I think he's going to tether it, and then when I don't need it I can stow it away.  The way Ron described it, the hookup sounds like what Tioga George has in his rig.  We'll decide when I get there next week and he sees the inside of The Palms.

Once these two things are completed, I'll be able to live off the grid in warm weather or cold weather, which has been my plan from the beginning.  I'm glad, though, that I waited to see exactly how I use my rig, and whether or not I really need the solar and heater.

I think those are the last two things on my to-do list.  Oh yeah, the Oxygenics shower head.  But that's a small mod and one I can do myself.

One of the things I love about having my kitchen in the back of The Palms is that anytime I'm in the kitchen I look out the window, and that's where I often see the animals and birds, etc. As long as my kitchen window is clean, I can get some good photos through the glass without disturbing the little critters. That was one of the first things I did when we set up here, my kitchen window was dusty and dirty, and spotted from the rain. The sun was shining on it, and I could hardly see out.  I don't always keep the windows super clean, but I was glad I did this time.  That's how I noticed the birds and ground squirrel at the leaky faucet.

This afternoon I was at the sink and looked out and here's what I saw.  The burros were on the opposite side of where my rig is than the first ones.  They just wander all over the place, there are lots of fingers of water off the lake, so they can feed and water almost anywhere in the campground. I grabbed my camera and went outside and took a ton of photos, these were among the best, the first ones are close-ups as close as I could get the zoom lens:

I was talking to a man and his son, they are down closer to the lake, and they heard the burros braying, so they went over to see them.  He said there were a few, then more came, more braying, and more came until there were 12 or 13 of them.  He said they were really noisy.  I didn't hear them, but my TV was on and I was further away.  Then they started moving along the side of the mountain until they stopped to eat, and that's where I saw them out the window.

Then I zoomed out:

So I'm looking and snapping, and there's movement at the bottom of my camera lens.  I thought there was another burro on the top of the hill on the other side of the lake, and I snapped, and enlarged the screen and here's what I saw:

I zoomed in again to see if it was a baby burro (burrito?):

And saw the coyote.  Once he climbed onto that large rock and his silhouette could be seen, it was obviously not a burro.

Howdy, pardner.

How neat is that?  I heard the coyotes calling last night, and I'm careful to keep Katie close on her leash, but I didn't think I'd ever see one.

Now I want the burros to come up the road and parade past my campsite so I can see them really close.

Speaking of critters, I'm certain my tag-along mouse is gone. I haven't seen or heard him in a long time, and I have no evidence of droppings.  He must have escaped in Las Vegas the same way he entered The Palms.  Maybe he just wanted a ride to Vegas.  Good bye, good luck, good riddance!

From Me and My Dog, have a great Wednesday, everyone!!  :)


  1. I just love the campground you are in, I hope I can get there sometime this winter.

  2. What an exciting moment. I would've have had goose pimples watching that.

  3. That is so neat to see both the burros and the coyote. Nature in all its beauty. Good luck with the solar install.

  4. I think the Coyote is a beautiful animal. The howl of the coyote is truly a song of the West.

  5. D and R did a great job installing the propane line for our catalytic heater. We almost had them put up another solar panel, too, but Jim ended up doing it himself. I think you will be pleased with their work.

  6. What Fun! Great pics.

    Are you going to be around there around Thanksgiving? I think that I may be in the Phoenix area.for a day or two. (El Mirage and Queen Creek)

  7. glad to hear that your 'stowaway' has left the premises!!!

  8. Great shots. The baby donkey is so cute. That's a very health Coyote.
    So glad you lost your hitch hicker.

  9. Love the photos and reading of your travels. I look forward everyday to reading about Katie and your life as you travel through such beautiful places :) Take care and keep the photos coming, especially the ones of are a great photographer!

  10. What a beautiful show right outside your kitchen window. It just doesn't get any better than that!!

  11. Beautiful wildlife shots. Hope the solar install goes well. Can't believe it has been almost six months in the Palms already.

  12. Will definitely be watching out for your solar update as that is also something that's on my list. Do they have a website that I could look at ??

  13. Such neat shots! How do you manage to be in just the right place to get great pictures like that? You should work for National Geographic I think.
    Thanks for sharing. Give Katie a big smooch from us.

  14. I never regretted getting solar...loved being able to stop anywhere and run everything (well, almost everything...LOL!)

    I also did the portable catalytic heater thing and added a 12 volt outlet by my step (Class C) where I could plug in a 400watt inverter when I wanted to run only my laptop.

    My heater hose was long enough to reach back to the bed/bath hallway area for night use and then move back into the front cab living area during the day. I had a quick disconnect fitting mounted so I could undo the heater and put it away when it wasn't needed. I can email you photos of this.

    Oh, not sure if yours is sized like a WAVE heater, but I used an old pillowcase over mine to keep it clean when we weren't using it. Currently we have a wall mounted heater and use an old pillow sham over it. talks about my solar setup.


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