Solar Power

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    I have been wanting to install solar to my 5ver for sometime now. My problem that I’m having is finding a dealer that really knows what they are doing. Now that HandyBob’s is no longer installing systems any more in Montana I would lik to find someon like him to finish my solar project or a dealer. I currently live in Cranbrook BC and would consider going to the US if it isn’t to far. We are hoping to head to the east coast this spring and would like to get it done soon.




    I’ve heard really good things from folks about Amsolar, close to I5 near Eugene, Oregon. Many  RVers I met told me it’s a great place to get the solar work and no state tax in Oregon. 😉


    Thanks Ray…I did hear something about these guys before and forgot about them…I’ve sent off am email to them and hope to hear from them tomorrow . Cheers


    Hi Bob,

    We had AM Solar upgrade our system. They were great to deal with and you are able to camp onsite. They are very popular therefore usually extremely busy. Normally they will set up an appointment to do an estimate then schedule an appointment for the install. They aren’t cheap but they know Solar and do a great job.

    Good luck!




    Thanks guys it looks like AM Solar must be the place


    Steve I contacted them and got a quote and you are right not cheap ($4000) I wonder what the time frame will be for payback? I will be getting it but not sure when as the first opening is August 5th and we want to leave for the east coast May/June. Maybe on our way south this winter.


    Wow…Aug. 5th! I new they are normally busy but didn’t know they were that busy.

    If you’re heading anywhere near Quartzsite next winter there are a couple of places there that you might want to get a quote from as well.  Solar Bill’s and Discount Solar. I don’t have any personal experience with them but haven’t heard anything negative either.

    AM Solar would still be my first choice if you can wait it out.

    As far as payback goes I guess that depends on how much boon docking you plan on doing. Our preference is boon docking and I don’t like running my generator anymore than I have to.



    I chatted with Solar Bill when we were in Quartzsite, seemed like a knowledgeable guy and has done it for years there. They usually bring in a big shipment of panels for the RV show, so becasue of the volume, he had pretty good pricing.

    He said they generally can do an install in a few hours or so.


    This solar thing can get pretty scary…I found an installer for AM Solar who has a place in Florida and will be setting up a shop for this summer in Hood River , Oregon. He can do my install May 22nd which would be great and we can then head to the east coast with solar. However, he has ball parked my install at $5,500 US. He has quoted a price of $2,000 @ $100/hr. and between 15 to 20 hrs. ( four/ 160amp panels)Does this sound right for labour? Also, what is a Aux. 600 amp inverter switch?

    Thanks for all your help



    And no, it was not an April fools joke 🙂


    Sounds very high to me Bob. I would wait, you likely won’t be able to use solar out east anyway, there are not any decent boondocking locations, you will be on full hookups mostly. Your battery bank would hold you fine for any Walmart type parking lot overnight stops. Wait and get some more quotes, maybe check out Quartzsite next winter. Solar is dropping all the time.


    Thanks Ray, are you saying the sun doesn’t shine  on the east coast 🙂 🙂

    how can these  guys charge $100/hr it just blows the mind.


    100$ an hour is fine if the guy is really experienced and fast. But that sounds pretty pricey for a 4 panel install. In Quartzsite I was quoted around $700 for 2 – 140 watt panels,charge controller, wiring and install labor all in. Plus they had some Arizona tax rebate, so no tax.

    William Pender

    I don’t know about everybody else but when I boondock I don’t need a lot of power. I have 5- 15 watt panels on my roof that takes care of my needs and a Honda 3000is to keep my wife happy when she is with me. I paid less than 5 bills for all of it including shipping and installed it myself, in a couple of hours. I have two Pep Boys batteries to hold my power. I might use an inverter to charge my electronics, but other than that I have all the power I need. I can’t imagine needing much more than that. Well the generator cost a bit more but I don’t use it much. It’s for my wife so she can watch tv, use the microwave or the airconditioner.


    We are slowly widdling down our power needs. Got the LED lights now and portable propane heater. They save a lot of power. Now just got to get Anne to give up the power hungry IMAC desktop 21inch computer and get herself a MAC Air laptop 😉 When she is processing photos it just sucks the juice.

    It’s hard to know how much solar will be needed for us doing the full time thing. I imagine at least two or three big panels for our rig.

    I find it makes big difference how cold it is and time of year. When out boondocking in Dec it is dark by 5pm and gets cold, longer nights, more time spent inside, and less sun time. We will need some extra capacity for that.

    Also the batteries have much less capacity when the temps get down near freezing.

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