Wednesday, September 26, 2012 (AM Solar, Springfield, Oregon)

I was up bright and early this morning...5:23 to be exact!  I just felt that getting up, sitting with my coffee and working on our blog sounded like a better idea than laying there wide awake.  Besides I had had roughly 7 hours of sleep...since I fell asleep and missed the end of Survivor.  Steve was nice, though, he told me who got voted off.  He’s not always so obliging when I fall asleep and miss the ending of a show!

It was right at 8:30 when Steve pulled the rig into the service bay so they could get started.  The first thing they did was assess our current system...not so good...seems that Camping World just isn’t the best place to get a solar system installed.  Kinda makes sense now but 27 months ago we thought that Camping World was the “end all—be all” of the RVing world!  We don’t have mega RV stores where we come from and thought that it was the absolute best place to go.  Well, we have learned a lot over the past couple of years...guess you could say we were rather naive “newbies” back then.

In the meantime, I took our laptop into the customer waiting area.  What beautiful facilities they have here...not only are the grounds beautiful, well manicured and maintained but the building is lovely with a great waiting area.  They have a variety of RV related literature as well as coffee, tea and a small fridge with assorted cold drinks. 
They also offer free I set up the laptop and got started...yes, I’m still working on that blog!
A little while later, Steve came and joined me in the waiting room.  He said that Dave was writing up an estimate.  Then Dave came in with the news...bottom line is that to do it all properly, all they could use are the two 123 watt (fixed mount) solar panels we already had—they would add two new 100 watt solar panels with tilt mounts and have to totally re-wire the works plus replace our existing control panel (that gives limited information) with a new full function battery monitor and remote controller. Apparently Camping World used the wrong gauge wire for their installation which also meant that additional panels couldn’t be added.  Nothing like almost paying for a solar system twice!  Oh well...”it is what it is”!

The rest of the day was spent in the waiting room while the work was being done.  I managed to get completely caught up on our blog...well the writing is done but I can’t post until I download pictures from my camera (and the cord is packed away inside the trailer).  Steve contacted the company in Grants Pass that sells the tripod (for the satellite dish) he is is website that he found it on...   We will be picking it up on Friday.  After that, he did lots of research on the internet using the iPad...everything from helmets (yes, we need to get new ATV, money, money) to free/inexpensive camping areas (which we will need after all of the money we have spent this month) in the Bryce/Zion Canyons areas.

They have a viewing area upstairs where you can go watch the fellows working on your rig's roof...

Deb, one of the owners of the company has a neat little electric car...

It was going on 4:00 when Mike came in to tell us the work was all done.  Steve went out with him to get a lesson on the new system while I packed up the laptop.  One neat feature on the battery monitor is it gives you a percentage of battery power left...sort of like a fuel gauge.

After pulling the rig out of the service bay and around to the front of the building where there was still some direct sunshine, Mike checked the readings on the control panel and was looks like it is doing what it is supposed to.  We went inside, paid our bill and said our goodbyes.  We were very impressed with our whole experience at  AM Solar  and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a solar system for their RV. Owners Greg and Deb Holder have great staff and a pretty good place to camp while you wait for your service.

We arrived back at the Guaranty RV Service parking lot at about 5:30...pretty much exactly 24 hours after we had left.  This time we set up “camp” right in front of the reception come 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, we will be ready for them.  Hopefully, they will be ready for us!

After a quick set up, we walked down to see if Rose and Monte were still here...yup!  But the work had been done on their slider and hopefully they will be on their way tomorrow.  They were right in the middle of their dinner so we said we would see them later and we went back to our trailer to get our dinner on.

That evening we had another impromptu campfire gathering around our ‘Campfire in a Can’.  We chatted with Monte and Rose about their day and then Gina and DJ (who were camped across the street) came over and then a little while later, Mike and Nancy also joined us.  We are really stretching this rally out! The good weather has also helped make this type of camping more bearable.

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