Dear RV Shrink:
I have created a monster. My husband and I bought a nice used motorhome to do some traveling. It came with a generator, but I wanted a solar panel. My husband thought they were too expensive and called them “toys.” Finally, tiring of hearing me yak about them, he ordered a 123-watt panel. I was a happy camper until he bought the second one, then a third. Then we needed inverters, special batteries, fancier control panel, the list goes on.
He has always been this way. Twenty years ago I finally talked him into going fishing with me and now he has hundreds of lures. He enjoys collecting lures more than he enjoys fishing. Now everything is solar. We have solar night lights, solar patio lights, and his latest addition – a solar camera battery charger. We never have to plug in, people can plug into us.
What concerns me the most is he is now contemplating the purchase of a small wind generator. It drives him nuts that once the sun goes down he’s no longer capturing free energy. What can I do? —Solar Bipolar in Sedona
Let me start with a quote (sort of) from Albert Einstein: “Only one who devotes himself to a cause, with his whole strength and solar, can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”
I don’t think you have to do anything. It sounds like he has already bought everything on the market. Until they start retailing that new paint full of solar nano particles you should be safe. Let’s hope they offer colors other than mellow yellow.
Look at the bright side (pun intended) – you are truly off the grid. You should leverage your husband’s interest and abilities into cash. Farm him out as a solar consultant to other RVers. The use of solar on RVs is a perfect application. Your husband has put you way ahead of the curve. Just don’t let him attach a wind generator to the roof ladder unless you want a vibrating bed that doesn’t take quarters to activate. And whatever you do, don’t encourage him with any more of your great ideas. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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