We’ve always known that we wanted more solar panels on our roof, but we just hadn’t gotten around to doing it, even after almost 3 years as full-time RVers. This winter was the first time that we were on the road rather than in an RV park with power, and we really started to feel the limitations of our small system. The problem wasn’t so much that we wanted to be able to use a ton of power, but rather that we had too little up top to recoup what we were losing. One little panel is ok for long summer days, but with only a few good hours of charging near the winter solstice, we needed more capabilities.
On Monday, we drove back to Yuma, AZ, and spent the night in the parking lot of Starlight Solar, so as to be ready for our early morning Tuesday appointment. Our appointment started with the owner and 2 techs up on our roof with cardboard cutouts the size of the panels that needed to find a home. Our roof is tiny and cluttered with skylights, but they found a good layout that allowed us to keep our old panel, too. By then end of the day, we had a system with 5 times as much solar generating power as our old one. It will be awesome to always have enough to run lights and charge our electronics, even on cloudy stretches in the winter!
I know that I said last time that I would wait to assess our work situation until we had the first weekend under our belt, but I’m still not sure what to make of the whole thing. JJ and I are both working in festival kitchens, where the majority of other workers are kids from ROTC, or part of a local halfway house program. A few folks are downright crazy, but for the most part, I like a lot of my co-workers.
JJ and I were both thrown in our areas a bit haphazardly, and only given snippets of instructions on what we were doing. He is baking pizzas, and I am making taco salads and filling drink orders for the cash handlers who interface with the public. They are definitely “hurry-up-and-wait” sorts of jobs, where you have an enormous rush when a show ends at a stage near your area, and then long lulls where there’s no business.
The days are long, starting at 8am, and generally finishing around 6:45 or 7pm. We are on our feet, on concrete, the whole time, and for the first time in my life, I’m having foot and back pain from the standing. I think the problem might be from just being in one spot for hours on end, rather than walking and moving. That first weekend was really tough, and we were ready for 5 days off! This upcoming weekend is 3 days long, including President’s Day, and hopefully, we’ll be more comfortable with our duties so they feel easier. More on all that next week.
I just wanted to give a huge shout out to Amazon, for a really useful invention: the locker pickup. When you check out and choose your shipping address, you now have the option to pick up from a Amazon locker. Since we don’t have an address for a couple months, it’s a really handy way to get deliveries. When you item is ready for pickup, you get an email with a barcode in it. You locate the lockers (tucked into the side of a strip mall in our case), scan the barcode from your phone screen, and a door pops open to reveal your prize! This a perfect solution for full-time RVers!
Until next week!