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  #31  
Old 01-17-2010
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JerryKessler JerryKessler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scomf732 View Post
that is really amazing. this is something we have talked about doing to our 1982 FC35'

one question, what about hail? will the panels hold up and not break?
Hello there,

Check #23 of this thread where hail was talked about just a little. One thing to consider is how much power your particular coach uses. My amateur opinion is that the more power a coach uses, the LESS practical it is to put on solar panels. In that case, a large bank of AGM batteries and a good generator is the most efficient choice. AGM's can take a massive charge and quickly recharge from the generator. A coach that sips power (not mine) really benefits from solar panels.

My choice to put solar panels on my coach with its large power (fridge problems) draw is not a totally efficient one monetarily. We will eventually solve the power draw rate and make the panels work more and more for us. The solar panels were more of a curiosity for me and something I wanted to dabble in for several personal reasons. It's a great test case for the rest of the Bluebirds, though.
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1994 Wanderlodge PT40 WBSA
2007 Roadtrek 190P 4x4
1992 Ford F250 4x4 Toad
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  #32  
Old 01-17-2010
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Thank you. We are considering them to keep our 4 marine batteries charged as well as our generator battery charged. Whether dry camping or with full service. We haven't had it long enough to really know how much electricity it is drawing. We have an older 1982 model that we are completely restoring and thought this might be something to add to increase its benefits.
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1982 FC36' Blue Bird
Bloomington, Indiana
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  #33  
Old 02-16-2010
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In less than a week the second half of the coach electrical upgrade will begin at Starlight Solar in Yuma, AZ. Two Outback inverters, a custom battery box will be designed and welded, auto generator start system will be installed, AND a powered tilting mechanism for the solar panels will be attached. The tilting is needed to get the maximum efficiency from the solar panels. We have immensely enjoyed the panels out in the desert the last few weeks.

Also, a new middle roof air conditioner, new toilet (to be found yet), fresh water plumbing around the pump area with accumulator, dedicated starting battery system for the generator, and various other projects will be installed. It is going to be a busy couple weeks.

What would really make me happy is if I got my entry door step problem fixed after years of not working properly. I drive around with it out. Nobody has seemed to have enough knowledge to know how to fix it, even the BB factory people in Quartzsite a year ago (or was it two?).

Slowly, the coach is coming along and hopefully soon we will have most of the upgrades done. Still looking for a master carpenter to build new matching cabinetry in place of our dining room table. Probably will have to wait until we get up to Oregon in 2011 if we can't locate someone local before then.
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1994 Wanderlodge PT40 WBSA
2007 Roadtrek 190P 4x4
1992 Ford F250 4x4 Toad
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  #34  
Old 02-16-2010
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Jerry, how is your generator coming along?
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  #35  
Old 02-16-2010
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"Still looking for a master carpenter to build new matching cabinetry in place of our dining room table",

Jerry,
Just a suggestion..
Most professional cabinet makers don't like to be called 'Master Carpenter', it suggests that they are being compared to Norm. In fact, the term was made up by the TV writers for the show. The good cabinet makers are more artists than carpenters. They are getting harder to find because it takes a lot of time and expensive shop space, tools and materials to do it right. The customers who appreciate the artistry and are willing to pay the price are getting much harder to find.

P.S.
I am not casting aspursions at Norm, he is a very accomplished fellow.
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86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
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  #36  
Old 02-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Ekberg View Post
Jerry, how is your generator coming along?
The generator problem turned out to be a temporary thing. After driving the coach 100 miles to the next stop, it worked perfectly and has been doing so. I think there was air in the coolent lines causing the overtemp sensor to shut the generator down. Have not had any problems since then. We did scramble and purchase a Honda EU200i at the Quartzsite big tent when the big generator hiccuped. We are ready in case it happens again.

Jerry
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  #37  
Old 02-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcyeaw View Post
Most professional cabinet makers don't like to be called 'Master Carpenter',
You are right. When I do ask around, I always use the word "artist" when describing the person we are looking for. I am their dream customer looking for the highest quality AND willing to pay for it. I'm not made of money (quite the contrary) but my coach is my home and I don't want to cut corners. We will find the right person somewhere down the road. In the mean time, we are using plastic totes to represent the approximate size of the storage that the new cabinetry will be. Our dining room table has been completely removed.
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  #38  
Old 02-16-2010
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Jerry,
I, like you, am willing to pay a higher price to get what I want (within my ability to pay, that is). We did our kitchen and went for our lungs on the cabinets and counter tops. All I kept saying was that I wanted to walk into the kitchen and love what I saw, rather than walk in and see all the compromises we had made. I got my wish at a pretty hefty cost, but I love to look around the kitchen and see the quality of workmanship. Well, most of it.

The cabinets were custom built as far as the fit and features. The installer was excruciatingly slow and meticulous about his work. The top moldings (which he had to miter individually) fit so perfectly I was just blown away. The only problem was that he had to order some additional molding, and the contractor sent a different guy for the last pieces. You can immediately see the difference in craftsmanship. Not grossly different, but noticeable if you have a critical eye.
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83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
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  #39  
Old 02-16-2010
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We found an amish builder in southern Indiana to build cabinets to replace the stock cabinets that came with our coach. If you go to the midwest you can usually find an amish carpenter that can replace the cabinets for you for a reasonable price.

We have just finished fixing the air compressor, replaced all of the lights and switches in the dash, the dash heat has been rebuilt, the HWH has been rebuilt, the draperies have all been replaced with custom drapes and the furniture has all been reupholstered, including the two captains chairs. Two new mattresses, and a new toilet and a new ice maker. We have installed a new living stone table and a new cabinet that holds the convection oven. Next week the wallpaper man will be in to put wall paper over the laminant maple on the walls. It will make it much lighter in the coach.

Everything else has been rebuilt, including the engine. The transmission has been BG'd and all new tires (6) and new shocks, new brake shoes and brakes all around.

The air conditioners and heaters have all been inspected, cleaned and serviced. We decided that we don't like having a window in the far back so we are covering it with a beautiful mural of the mountains.

Hopefully the next upgrade will be a solar battery system. Oh yes, we just put in a new 32" television set which will feed off of the lap top which will hook into the sling box at our home all from wifi. pretty neat set up all in all.
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  #40  
Old 02-16-2010
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"Still looking for a master carpenter to build new matching cabinetry in place of our dining room table",

Jerry,
Wish you were closer, I would build them for you. I am Not a master carpenter, but I used to build cabinets for boats. Most cabinet makers dont understand the differences in making a cabinet to fit in a boat (or Bus) and a house. Your upgrade project looks like it is coming great. Keep us posted.
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