Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Less than 3 weeks before we leave for our Winter trip.

2012-2013 Trip PlanningRV Roof2

We bought a new Phoenix Cruiser RV for this year’s trip. We had two large Solar Panels (280W) installed on the front of the roof and our kayak rack and TV antenna mounted closer to the back so that we don’t get shadows on the solar arrays.

We also had 2 - 6V Trojan golf cart batteries installed to give us plenty of deep cycle capacity. These combined with an 1800W inverter will give us 110v power to watch TV and use our laptop at night. We included a system which keeps track of your batteries state of charge.

Power at RV parks in Mexico is always a problem. Even though some may have 30 amp outlets you will seldom find more that 10-15 amps available to your rig. Other problems are; many do not use a ground wire which could cause the outside of your RV to be 60v above ground. Some reverse the hot & neutral wires making it even worse. The last problem is that most of your electrical appliances and motors need to operate between 104 and 132V. We found that the voltage could drop as low as 80v and go as high as 150v in some campgrounds. This would really cause problems and blow circuit boards.

So we use an Energy Management System (Progressive Industries) that turns off the power when any of these conditions occur. I carry a copper ground rod and a adapter to switch polarity when needed.

We use the Internet and Skype to stay in touch with our friends. Telcel markets a USB modem which connects wherever you can pickup a cell signal. It is inexpensive and no contract is required. It is much faster than dialup service. Depending on how much bandwidth you use, the average cost is about $30-40 per month.

Our travel plans can be found on this link 2012 Mexico Trip Plan, with route maps for all our travel days. We hope to get out of Ohio by November 4th but like other years we will fly home for the Christmas holidays.


  1. Your new RV's looking good, John. Congratulations! Not bad for the batteries. :) If you want to increase the life of the battery, my advice to you is to reduce the battery’s depth of discharge to 50% everyday. It will last twice as long as it would if it’s cycled to 80%. I hope you keep that in mind. Have a good trip! :P

    1. Good point, Tia. Reducing the battery’s depth of discharge to 50% is a great way to prolong your RV’s battery life. Don't overcharge your battery or it could short out, due to the plates eventually warping from overheating and the positive plates having eroded. :(

  2. Beautiful new RV! Just started reading your blog, so happy you guys love Mexico. If you ever get a chance come on over our way, near Guadalajara, Sal has exellent electricity with 30 amp hook ups and ground wires! Safe travels and where ever you go enjoy this beautiful country of Mexico. Sal and Barb at Hacienda Contreras

  3. Wow. Kudos for this new vehicle of yours! :) Make sure you have your tires checked before you go on a trip and every time you go on a stop. Anyway, in trips like this, you should always be ready with batteries, blankets, firewood and first-aid supplies within your RV.

    Rosalinda Rudloff

  4. A Phoenix Cruiser RV is a great buy! Plus, it has built-in solar panels that allow it to be an energy-efficient RV. This will surely make your winter trip complete, without feeling homesick at all. Have a safe trip!

    -Tobias Thrash


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