Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Day 10 in the Solar Fiasco

Monday May 26, 2014
Shawnee State Park
Schellsburg, PA



First,  how about some news that is not just about the solar mess.


Batteries for sale – big discount!




Due to our new AGMs, we now have 2 RV/Marine Deep Cycle 29 HM batteries with CA@ 32 degrees, 840, and CCA @ 0 degress (640) Reserve=210 for sale for a great price. They are nearly new. We got them in July of last year. Not even a year old. Sure hope someone will pick them up before we have to lug them to the next campsite and put them and the sign out in front of the coach.



Anybody have advice for funny toes??

One final note, on a totally different note, has anyone ever had a feeling like you hit your crazy bone only in your toes? It has happened several times recently but gone away.  But Friday night, I was laying down while talking to Carrie on the phone and when I got up I almost fell down from the pain which isn’t going away. I have to walk on my heel and the ball of my foot. Any ideas?

I had no problem on Thursday’s hike or after it. This began about 10:00 Friday night and continues. It’s better with shoes on than in bare feet which is a real bummer for me since bare feet are my preference anywhere I can and always around the house most of the time.

I’ve tried ice, Aleve and Topricin which worked so well on my trigger thumb.   They have helped some but they haven’t made it disappear.  

All suggestions or stories of similar strange electric sensations encouraged.


OK can’t avoid it any longer.


Today is Day 10 of this Fiasco.



In spite of having spent pretty much all day every day since we got here on Friday trying to figure out what in the world is wrong, everything is the same as it was.

Today David spent his time trying to figure out what is wired to what and if there is any clue there.  Due to space constraints, two of the batteries are under the steps and two are in the basement bin next door.  All the wires running from one battery to the other battery and from batteries to the solar charger and inverter/charger are a mass of wires going through walls and behind the steps where it is nearly impossible to see which wire is which.   There are multiple black wires, multiple red wires and multiple red and black wires.  He labeled everything he could.




He checked the manuals to verify the wiring of both the inverter and the solar charger.  The Tristar charger does not have a good electric schematic.   He went through the remote displays for each device and checked to make sure each was set appropriately for our batteries.   He made a list of the issues in question for both the settings and the wiring.








He took all connections off of each battery and tested them each individually.  They give the following readings:  the ones in the basement, 6.87 and 6,85, the ones under the steps, 6.36 and 6.35. He thinks they could use some equalizing but I think I want to ask AM Solar before we do anything.

We give up.  We’ve had advice from lots of very good people including Jack Mayer but because they cannot see what we are looking at and we cannot send them pictures of things under the coach, and in tiny black holes, we are unable to actually complete some of their suggestions.



So tomorrow we will turn around and go 177 miles back to where Greg Young is and stay as long as it takes him to make this entire system work like it should.  He is providing a spot for us back at the campground we just left.   I imagine this can be resolved eventually between him and AM Solar.

That means for those of you I have told we are coming to any spot at any time, all bets are off.  We do have reservations at a number of places where summer reservations are required and we will have to cancel them.

I just hope we are not spending our entire summer in mid Pennsylvania because of all this.

If you think I am an unhappy camper, you would be right.   Three trips over the Pennsylvania Turnpike was not on my summer fun list.



Memorial Day ended here at 3:00 PM check out time.  

I think we may be the only one left in the campground tonight. They were a very quiet group but  no smoldering fires tonight will be a great thing.



I’m sure the Duckies are disappointed not to have all the activity to watch.


Thanks to you all for hanging in with us and for your comments and suggestions. 
They are the only bright spots in many days.


  1. Perhaps you remember when my mother board went out while I was in Indiana in 2011. I spent three weeks boondocking in a very slanted repair shop parking lot. I only mention this to give you strength to carry on. Even though it doesn't seem so, this too shall pass. :)

  2. I sure wish I had an answer for you, but alas, I'm not good with wires. But I feel so bad for you. Keep your chin up.

  3. Well if nothing else, I look forward to finding out what the problem is! As I'm sure you do...


  4. Hopefully spending time in one spot back with Greg will do the trick. Call in reinforcements if Greg doesn't! Good luck!

  5. I have never complained about full campgrounds on holiday weekends, I understand that is when many folks have the time to go. But, this weekend, we had the campers from hell next door. Completely oblivious to the fact that their kids and antics were making it very difficult to maintain my patience. I was SO happy to see them packing up this morning, and GONE when we got back from our hike :-). I think its a good move to go back to the scene of the crime and get it resolved. I'm sure it will and you can resume your itinerary, although maybe a bit more driving than you care for to catch up!

  6. Sticks and Bricks sound pretty good about now.

  7. Wow, that is a big difference in the 'duckies' view!!! Wish you guys well!!!!

  8. Our exodus started around 8am and was done by noon, there are 4 groups aside from the regular 8 of us who are here all the time. I can only imagine how frustrated you must be, hopefully you'll be on the road again soon.

  9. In other news, my planned Memorial Day hike to White Oak Canyon turned into a trip to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Long story. Have you ever been there? It was very interesting, and we ended up meeting some "cadets" from John Marshall High School who meet every year at a memorial at the cemetery for a memorial service for JMHS cadets who have died in past wars, the oldest war being WWI. These cadets were in their 70's - at least -- and snookered my friend, Sue, and me into unloading their car of audio equipment. It was crazy, but we got a good laugh out it. We avoided that area on the way back for fear that we'd have to pack up their chairs. : - )

    There are thousands of Confederate soldiers buried at Hollywood Cemetery including many killed in action at Gettysburg and many who survived the war and were buried there later. Many are nameless with only a number marking their graves. James Monroe, John Tyler, and Jefferson Davis (of course) are also buried there, and I guess thousands of Richmonders. The first burial was in 1849. The roads wind around 8 miles, up and down hills over 135 acres, designed by a fancy Philadelphia architect, John Notman, in the "rural garden style." The name was chosen because of the many holly trees on the property. The weird thing is that I didn't really notice any holly trees, but loads of boxwoods. Part of the cemetery overlooks the James River, and we sat on the "Halsey" bench -- assuming that the Halsey family didn't mind -- and had lunch looking at the river. It must be a tremendous job just cutting the grass, and some parts look a little bit better kept than others. I took pictures of interesting tombstones and interesting names, but think that I left my camera in the restroom. Go figure.

    Just thought you might like to hear about somebody's else's day to take your mind off your solar panels. Hang in and safe travels!

  10. Sorry for all the hassle. David has WAY more patience that I do (and , of course, I am mechanically challenged to the point that I can not even purchase the correct item at a hardware store.) Good luck! Go hiking or reading or something to take your mind off it since you can't fix it yourself anyway.

  11. It will eventually be figured out and fixed, and everything happens for a reason. I think the Universe is holding you back and everything will come together in good time. It must be hell trying to maintain your patience in the meantime, but hang in there!

  12. I think you're doing the right thing, going back. I hope that your installer gets to the bottom of the problem quickly, patience has a limited shelf life!

  13. Sherry, could your foot problem be plantar fascitis? Our son had this and it sounds just like his symptoms. He is a distance runner and was always barefoot at home. Going barefoot a lot can cause this. Rolling your foot on a tennis ball at night was his biggest help. I've attached a website that explains this. Hope this helps.


    Sorry you have to come across the turnpike again...not a fun road for sure!

  14. Perhaps you should keep the batterys and forget solar. You may be better off in the long run. Have them refund all money spent.

  15. Wish I was close enough for the battery sale! My goodness, what a conundrum you are in! Everyone else says "go back," but before I drove 177 miles, I might get a second opinion from a DC specialist. Sometimes, a problem like that needs a new set of eyes....

    Sending lots of positive thoughts....Suzanne

  16. Oh my, you guys just can't seem to catch a break! Dealing with the non working solar and now your foot. We have no ideas about either, sorry to say.

  17. My comment disappeared. In short--I think you made a wise decision to return to Greg as it is his responsibility to get your problem fixed. Your foot is more of a worry for me. I had plantar fasciitis, but the pain was mainly on the ball and heel of my feet. The doctor had me freeze a bottle of water and roll it back and forth three times a day. I also had to quite my "busy" job a Publix. Your feet take a lot of punishment with all your hiking and running so maybe when the MH is being fixed, you need to look up a local podiatrist and see what he says. There's plenty of info on the web. Google "toe pain" and see if any symptoms fit your situation. I hope you feel better soon. Please keep us posted. Please excuse if you get two comments.

  18. I hope they can fix the problems fast and get you on your way. I would not be able to do any of the troubleshhooting Daved has been doing and would have to get a repair service to fix it. Hope your foot feels better. Is the pain near your toes. - gout ?

  19. Well CRAP!..I think Karma will work out for you two good folks...Just hang in there, like you have any choice.
    I would have done the same thing for a deal, being on SS and pension. Not like we can go work some overtime to make up for it.
    Take Care,

  20. Well, Bummer:o(( So wish it had just been the battery. Sorry you have to delay summer plans but heading back sounds like the right thing to do. Hope the foot pain goes away and is just a "one of those things" problem. If not, get it checked out...your feet are more important than solar!!!

  21. Seems you mentioned that these guys were offering a "special" to a few folks in order to help them gain experience before becoming certified. Would be interesting to know how the other installations have gone and whether or not any have experienced problems with their installations or with their rigs following the installation. Might give you a clue about the true abilities of the installers. They may be the nicest guys in the world with the highest level of integrity, but even when this is solved (and it WILL be!), you'll always wonder what went wrong.

  22. I thought the same as Pam, plantar fasciitis. The symptoms sound very similar to what our friend experienced last year and a tennis ball seemed to work for him as well.

    Hope this is your last trip back to visit Greg and that he gets to the bottom of it soon. When we had electrical problems with our last rig, we spent so much time going back to WI to problem solve the situation…very frustrating.

  23. Catherine says- "stretch your calves". Plantar Facitis is basically a tight tendon and stretching your calves will probably work it out. Also, eat bananas for the potassium.
    We have no advice on the solar issue ..

  24. I have plantar fasciitis and the pain has not been in my toes. The "electric" funny bone feeling sounds like nerve pain. Definitely go see a podiatrist while Winona is getting fixed. Since we tend to take better care of our rigs and our pets than we do ourselves it would be good to spend this forced down time to check it out. Don't give up on the solar - once resolved, you're going to love the freedom :-).

  25. I hope that going back and staying until it is working right is the best solution. Not sure about the Plantar Fasciitis. I had it one summer because all I wear in summer is flip flops with no arch support. I finally started wearing new flip flops (Orthaheel) with great arch supports, and it went away eventually. I don't remember toe issues, however. Hope to hear better news your next post!

  26. Oh no --- I'm so sorry that you're having to turn around and go back -- although at this point, it does seem like the best solution. This WILL be solved, one way or another. How fortunate that Greg has so much integrity and will do whatever it takes to make it right. Meanwhile, I hope you guys can find some pleasant distractions from the mess. Might also be a good time to visit a podiatrist if your foot problem doesn't go away in a few days with ice, stretching, and antiinflammatories. Eric had a similar issue and needed orthotics. Breathe and keep on finding moments of beauty in every day -- you're good at that. xoxo

  27. we just spent $800 having our Aqua Hot worked on in Goshen. . .now the Diesel Jets won't fire. . .sooo, we had the option of driving 4 hours back or having it looked at on our way to Mackinac. . .I know this doesn't help with your situation. . .but just know that you are not in the repair boat alone, we know it's not a great place to be. . .however, I think there are always reasons for delays. . .frustrating though they may be. Hang in there. . .prayin' for a quick fix once you make it back to the installer. . .good grief!

  28. Sorry to hear you are having to turn around, but that's a wise decision and Greg is hanging in with you ... which is a good thing.

  29. robinkwalton@gmail,comMay 27, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    So sorry to hear about you having to tun back but with all that money invested and time you must get that fixed! Your foot could be as your friends John and Pam said but being that it is inly in your toes is odd. I had that wonce for a long time and had gone tp a doctor and got a shot. I also filled up a plastic 8Oz. bottle with water,froze it,then rolled my foot across it. Felt great and helped alot. Also plunge your foot in cold ,cold water and keep it in there as long as you can. Take it up and roll your foot. Just a few extra tips.
    Love ya

  30. I'm so sorry the solar is still causing troubles and now to have foot pain. It doesn't sound like the symptoms I had from Plantar Facitis, but what worked for me was to stretch the muscle in your arch. You can do it manually with your hand pulling your toes back or while walking just stretch the muscle in the arch.

    To me it sounds like is Mortons Neuroma. I Googled toe pain and here is what I found.


  31. Wish I had some words of wisdom for your toe pain and/or your solar pain, but I got nothing. Just know we're all hanging in there with you and sending positive thoughts your way. Good luck!

  32. Thinking of you and hope you can find the solution for your toes soon! and, of course the solar too... Maybe besides seeing a podiatrist you could also treat yourself to a relaxing massage with special attention to feet/toes.
    Take good care,

  33. Well? I think you ought to throw a part when this solar business gets fixed.... OR we could have a party now and do a dance or something around your Winona and make the whatever electrical things shape up! People energy is good stuff!

    Furnish pie.... AND don't know about your toes. I get cramps in my toes sometimes so bad ... I wear flops?! and when I go into the grocery and come back out in the heat... get in Homer and blast! my toes curl up... wth..

    I've had to get out and walk the cramp out... pretty funny looking ... ol woman with curled toes. You're aging every day, Sherry. I mean unless you're Benjamin Button, we age not grow younger and stuff happens... toes, fingers, elbows... always something... but do drink plenty of water. ;)

  34. Sorry about all of your solar installation problems. I can empathize with you as we had a difficult solar install on our vehicle as well. Luckily, our installer/ manufacturer was as committed to getting it fixed and functioning correctly as your installer is. I was always relieved to know that I was dealing with honest and reputable individuals, although I will admit at times I was really frustrated with the situation. We had issues with low voltage, solar not charging, generator not charging, error messages, faulty solar controller, etc.I am happy to report everything is all functioning properly now and everything works as it should. Just keep the faith that everything will work out and when you look back at this hopefully it will be just a small bump in the road for you. you will also be so much more knowledgeable about DC, AC, Solar etc. which I know will serve you sometime down the road. :-)

  35. Sherrie, unfortunately I am not a big help with your toe issues nor your solar fiasco. I will just hang in here and empathize with you.

  36. Plantar Fascitis is possible...I have had a few cases at work involving that...sounds painful. I'm not an MD so I don't really know. I am hoping the solar is worth all this trouble. I trust that it can be done and if Greg or AM Solar can't fix it, they will have to find someone who can! Hope it is soon!!! Dad does have the patience of a saint...nice perk that he likes fix-it type projects. That would be a no thanks from me ;)

  37. As a sufferer of plantar fascitis and sesamoiditis I feel your pain! Don't delay, get it tended to right away as my PF was ignored and then took over two years to heal! Stretching, rest and ice. In addition to the other suggestions above, if it's PF a frozen water bottle works WONDERS for rolling your foot on, icing and massaging in one shot. These days it's my right elbow...the elbow version of carpal tunnel I believe since it flares up after long periods of mouse or camera usage. The icing of various body parts just seems to rotate now that I'm over 40. SIGH....


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