We effed up the motorhome, maybe. We think she’s going to be fine. But in looking at ways to prevent that, we ended up booking some upgrades.
We check on her every month-ish. We need to run the engine for a while; we also need to run the generator, ideally under a heavy load (like a microwave or AC unit). This week, we went to visit her and do these things.
And, while she started up right away, the coach batteries were dead. We think the inverter and maybe even the power was left on after her last service of warranty work, upgrades, and winterizing. This is on us. We drove her back to the storage lot; we should have checked more carefully.
So, we ran the engine for 10 minutes and tried to start the generator. That killed the coach batteries again. So, we ran the engine for 30 minutes. Then, we were able to start the generator. Then, we left her running for another 30 minutes. But she wasn’t just idling; we drove lots of circles and figure eights through the storage lot. (The roads out in that area are not logical, but the storage lot is massive. So, we never went out the gate.) While driving around, we saw a few tiny solar panels hooked up to a few RVs/boats. Turns out, they are a whopping $40, which made us suspicious.
Another piece of the backstory is that we have been invited on two RV Camping trips that we had to decline because there was no power. In Texas, state parks had power in all the RV sites, but up here, the bulk of the sites are for tents and self-contained RVs. That’s fine, but our rig isn’t yet prepared for it….not if we want the residential refrigerator to run, that is.
We researched RV accessories stores, found a great one, and hit them up for some education. Yep, the $40 things are mostly worthless. We are now scheduled to get a real solar panel or two mounted to the roof. We are both still struggling with the power numbers and math, but she assured us that this is at least two days worth, even if it’s cloudy. So, it should be plenty for boondocking in sunny desert areas like BLM land. And it should be good for most of the state parks, too.
We are going back out there in a couple of days to run the engine and generator for another hour or so (hopefully with a heavy load this time). Fingers crossed that we didn’t ruin the batteries and that our efforts earlier this week saved them before it was too late.
Either way, we are going to fix her up and get her ready for a camping season.