Saturday, February 5, 2011

THE Trip, Living OFF the Grid, Ten Things Man And I Learned

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

During our 13 days OFF the grid, living on BLM land with no hookups (boondocking) here are a few things we learned.

1.)  Any time the generator is running, you charge batteries, camera batteries, phone batteries, computer batteries, any battery you have.

2.)  Do not run computer on battery mode and walk away to chat with friends.  Yep, it will flat line!  LOL  It only happened once!

3.)  Man and I can take 7 showers and do dishes and flush the toilet for 7 days and use only 40 gallons of water.  We used a lot of paper plates.  Eating out also helped!

4.)  We discovered it only takes 1/4 to 1/3rd gallon of water (during moderate temperatures, this is not going to ring true at 20 or 30 degrees) to get hot water from the hot water heater (in the back of Tana) to the shower (just about in the front of Tana).  We were pleasantly surprised by this, as we thought it would take several times that.  When you are living with 60 gallons of water on board, every single drip counts, so, we used this 1/4 to 1/3rd gallon to flush the toilet.

5.)  We adapted well.  Well, WE thought we adapted well to life off the grid.  That said, off the grid at temps below 35, were not attempted, that is a entirely different subject matter.  See number 6 below.

Photo of the part of the MOC
Circling of the Montanas in Quartzsite Arizona 2011
Photo taken and copyrighted by Jo-Anna Kikel.

6.)  If we want to do more of this type of RVing, we may need to upgrade the battery in Tana.  Our 3 year old 12 volt (combo Marine/deep cycle) battery did pretty good, with 2 charging jolts.  Two times Man had to pull out the external battery charger and really pump up that one 12 volt battery.  This was not a surprise, nor excessive, in our minds.  We did not run that 12 volt down to the point of no return.  We ran the frig, the furnace set at 64 and one small LED light at night, all of which required battery power.  In the mild weather we did just fine, thank you!  If it gets colder the furnace runs more, the battery runs down more and faster, so, boondocking in mild weather is our preference.

7.)  64 is as LOW as that furnace is getting set, that is the max/bottom of my low temp comfort zone. (OK, maybe 62, but that's it folks, bottom line!)

8.)  In Arizona, if the gasoline has ethanol in it, it must say so on the pumps.  Man was delighted to find a station in town that sold gasoline with NO ethanol in it for the generator.  Sometimes small things make ya sooooo happy!

9.)  Car washes clean doggie mats quite well for a small amount of change.  If you have to ask, you don't wanna know!

10.)  Sunsets are kick butt wonderful on the desert.  I can take over 100 photos of ONE sunset on the desert.  I'll share just one.

Thanks to all the wonderful MOCer's that shared this experience with us and encouraged us.  It really was something!

* After being back on the grid for about 24 hours Man added one more thing to our list: TOTAL appreciation of full power and service hookups!

**Larger copies of the photo of the gang can be found here.  There is also LEFT side and a RIGHT side of the photo.  PHOTO TAKEN AND COPYRIGHTED by Jo-Anna Kikel, thanks Jo-Anna for allowing me to use it here on Reflections.



Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're having a good time, and think of the $ you will save on your water bills when you get home, with what you've learned! Your cactus and sunset photo is absolutely gorgeous :-) Jo

hummer said...

I love this post. Shows great thought and planning. Hat to tell you but some of us have 60-64 degrees for daily house temps when the weather dips below 30. You live in layers.
Keep us up on your trip, you are history in the making. ;)

Michelle Goodrum said...

Great post and I absolutely love the sunset photo with the cactus. We know what you mean about taking 100 photos of one sunset. The colors change so much they are all different and awesome.

Nolichucky Roots said...

Love this! You've answered all my questions and upped my desire to try this someday.

Karen said...

Wow, that is one awesome sunset, Carol.

Greta Koehl said...

Fascinating, Captain! as Mr. Spock would say. We take so many things for granted - livable temperatures in the house, plenty of hot and cold water, etc. It's interesting how you have to plan for limitations on all of these things.