March 2020 – We Have Solar and Lithium Batteries!!

After our 4 wheeling fun in Florence, we landed back at Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction for 1 night prior to solar and battery install. We were so ready and excited. Boondocking , which we love to do was becoming a problem having to use the generator for long periods, not only is it noisy but also mitigates the money saved not paying the park fees, by using a ton of diesel fuel.

The following morning we dropped the coach off at Above and Beyond RV  Repair in Mesa for the install.  This family business was recommended by Battle Born, the lithium battery people.They wanted 3 days for install and the first night we should stay overnight out of the coach.“Should be finished Thursday morning” they said (this was on Monday).


We decided to book for 3 nights and use points to pay just $25 for the 3 nights. It wasn’t a bad place the Country Inn and Suites, and at least it was a suite, pool and free breakfast, but a room no bigger than our coach.
Chris is a real hotel snob, working for Amex for all those years and staying at luxury hotels it’s always 5* or nothing. But in Phoenix in March, 5* rates were $450+ a night.
Chris was looking forward to a mini vacation but the concern over the virus was a big problem and everything went downhill really fast. Looking out our window at the screaming kids around the pool, ah yes, it was Spring Break time. Bad time to be there also as everything was starting to shut down and social distancing was becoming the new normal.

The first day was fine, although we did wonder why at “on the Border” restaurant next door half the tables were “reserved”, and it appeared to be every other table, then looking across at the bar, there was a reserved sign in front of every bar stool. ah-ha.The penny dropped and everything began to change. That evening they closed the restaurant in the hotel.

The Jeep was in need of a good wash, so we took advantage of all the time on our hands and this place did a hand wash as we have the bikes on the back.

Had the jeep cleaned

We took a drive around Roosevelt Lake down to Globe/Miami

Roosevelt Lake is a reservoir and the largest lake in Arizona. We drove around the other section last year when we drove the Apache Trail

Although Tonto National Monument was closed, we could just make out the cliff dwellings from afar.

Built in the 13th Century 70’ wide by 80’ high by 60’ deep, its thought they were built to protect the dwellers from the elements as they face the east allowing for the warmth of the morning sun. They contain about 40 rooms some that are 2 and 3 stories with patios for outdoor living.

Great shame we couldn’t get up there and see them, as they have withstood the sands of time.

Further along we came upon the town of Miami, a western copper boomtown, although not so much now. The town is surrounded by the Tonto Forest and most of the townspeople are employed by the copper mines and trying to rejuvenate their town from more prosperous days

In it’s heyday, the Miami Copper mine was producing 25 million pounds of copper per year. The smelter and rod plants are still in operation.

The area around Miami was stunning

But back to the solar and battery install.

Of course it rained during the install process, so a Thursday completion turned to Saturday, so from Thursday on we staying in the coach behind the shop, kinda like an RV wasteland.

4 – 325 watt solar panels for 1300 watt solar array

The 6 100ah Battle Born’s (there’s room for 2 more 😉 )

But now it’s complete and time to try it out. We selected to stay at a full hook up State Park not too far away just in case there was a problem.

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