Ontario, California

Solar Upgrades in Ontario

We started off the year with a great couple of months making our way from San Diego to Los Angeles. From here, we planned to take a bit of a break to fly back to Alabama for Leigh’s grandmother’s 100th birthday and then to Hawaii for my friend Kent’s wedding. Sadly Leigh’s grandmother passed away before her birthday, and we flew back early for her funeral instead.

Los Angeles seems like it would be a great place to fly from because there are so many flight options. However, there aren’t a lot of options for storing the RV. We decided to stay at the Ontario Elks Lodge in order to be close to both RV storage and the Ontario airport.

RV Storage in Ontario
RV Storage Lot

Start of the Pandemic

We planned to stay in Ontario during the week between our trip to Alabama and our trip to Hawaii. However, right before we flew back from Alabama, on Sunday, we started to hear more and more about something called the coronavirus. The coronavirus is something we’ve been hearing about for the past couple of months in China, but it was starting to sound like something that could pick up in the US.

On Sunday, the thought hadn’t crossed our mind that we wouldn’t be able to go to Hawaii. However, by Wednesday, things were getting much more serious. We learned that the NBA cancelled their season, and then we learned that March Madness had been cancelled also. As much as we hated to miss Kent’s wedding (and a week in Hawaii), we felt there was too much uncertainty to make the trip, so we cancelled our trip also.

More Time in Ontario

Cancelling our trip to Hawaii meant that we had a lot more unplanned time before our next destination, Malibu. We decided to just stay put in Ontario, get some work done, and knock out some RV projects.

Ontario Elks Lodge RV Parking
Ontario Elks Lodge RV Parking

Upgrading Solar

The number one project on my list is rewiring our solar. Fortunately, Ontario is the perfect place to work on solar because the solar company, Renogy, is right down the street. We bought a charge controller and solar panel from Renogy back in the fall. However, we had problems with the charge controller and had to have it replaced. Our RV was wired for solar when we bought it, but the more I’ve learned about solar, the less I’ve liked our setup.

Inherited RV Solar Setup
Our inherited set up with the new panel we added in October

My plan while in Ontario is to ditch the old configuration and start over. I planned to move the charge controller from under the kitchen sink to behind the driver seat and over the batteries. I also planned to replace our old noisy inverter with a new one. With the new setup, we’d have new wiring, new charge controller, and new inverter. Everything would be accessible and easy to debug. I thought changing things around would take 2-3 hours. Naturally, it took all day even with Leigh and me working together.

RV Solar Re wiring
Rewiring our RV Solar

We haven’t had a chance to really test it at this point, but I am happy with the new configuration. The inverter works great, and we can monitor the solar panels with an app on our phones. We look forward to testing this out more in the next few months.

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