Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-26-2021, 11:33 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Neanderthal Solar/Sun Power Boondocking- 2021 AD

My head spins when I glimpse at the Generator and Solar and... Battery conflicts. We solved this AFTER a Honda Generator and discovered... we did not NEED a Generator for our Off the Grid Boondocking.

My head 'spins' clockwise, if you were wondering. I saw the movie...

I am simple minded, but do not let my looks fool you. Simple is common sense.

We depend on the Sun, two 80 watt Solar Panels Airstream Dealer installed at purchase and one 100 watt Portable Coleman Solar Panel purchased at Costco that leans against a milk crate when in use. Two AGM Interstate Batteries...

FYI: I purchased a second panel on sale at the Costco Store for $99.00 last week for a spare. Complete with hardware (simple Controller with a Green/Yellow diode) and attaches to the batteries, directly.

Moving the panel when the Sun rises in the morning and moved toward Sun sets in the afternoons.

I will then move the panel at Sunset and align it TO the SunRISE. Getting Solar while we are inside having breakfast. See. Common Sense.

The Interstate standard acid batteries were substituted at the Airstream Dealership with two Interstate AGM sealed batteries. I do not have to add or check the water level as they are designed not requiring checking.

Our International is Propane Refrigerator and Cooktop/Oven, 12v Furnace Fan, and 12 volt (battery) and LED lighting. We do not use the television. We do not use the two Air Conditioning units. Our water system is 12 volt. We have survived living with minimal power since 2006AD. Airstreams have improved their lighting system since 2006AD with LED's. Best improvement for our needs...

If you want to use AC, Television and 120 volt interior system for a Hair Dryer and other similar power hogs... you WILL NEED a Generator or Two.

I understand that many Airstreams have converted more to Power Hookups and require one or two, or one large generator. That is not my purpose, here. If you use one, two or a super Generator, fine. You have plenty of Threads to post. I have been there. It was a WASTE of Money... for ME and our OTG camping.

***** IF you have your Airstream parked at a RV Storage Lot... a helpful hint.

Buy a Costco 100 watt Solar Panel 26 inches x 40 inches, Controller and run wiring from the Plug on the outside of your Battery Box, the two round plug, that provided wiring with your Airstream to attach Solar Panel to the control box.

Solar is polarized with a + and a -. The booklet will TELL YOU that comes with the Panel.

Then wire, per directions, the controller to a - on one battery and a + on the opposite battery. It works for me... and I am not an electrician or a solar panel installer. I extended the wiring with an extension cord 120 volt that I use for parts. Worked just perfect for me. Someone may have a better option. It is the orange cord I use for anything electrical...

Find a way to temporarily, or permanently attach the panel to your roof top. The wiring will dangle off the side, but your batteries will be charging during daylight.

You do not want anyone to steal your panel, but this saves you some cost in DEAD Batteries every year. Someone may step in and add some caveats. That would be appreciated. It sounds difficult, but I did it the First Time and hooked the 25 foot International to Solar with a bit more work needed.

Anyone who can tell you how to do this in two short paragraphs would be a Genius... it cannot be done.

I have AGM Batteries. I am not that positive with Interstate Batteries, but the AGM's have worked well for us. Costco now sells Interstate batteries and that was a Big Plus getting them there.

We are happy Neanderthals. Boondocking is absolutely perfect with our Solar. Even in the 25 foot using one 100 watt.

Our 23 had one 60 watt or so with AGM's and did us perfect. Tow Vehicle attached? No problem... Often we are temporarily at a camp site and hike, not needing to drive around with a vehicle. Exercise makes you...healthy... too.

What is your experience? Try it... you could like it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0228.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	411.6 KB
ID:	394191   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0381.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	429.3 KB
ID:	394192  

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN5489.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	445.3 KB
ID:	394193  
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2021, 02:33 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Am I the only Stone Age Boondocker who takes Modern Inventions and tinkers with them? At times, I feel like I was born in the Stone Age. My youth had kerosene lanterns for light, wood for heat and cooking. Upgraded later to One outlet and a Light Bulb in the Forest Service cabin near Olney, Montana.

Kerosene really, really stinks.

At home we minimize everything. Our Relatives feel sorry for Nancy, living with a Neanderthal. We know better. Keeps them from... visiting.

For those not familiar with Wyoming Air Conditioning in an Airstream...

- One to two windows open is Low.
- Three windows is cool and brisk.
- More than three windows in July in the Snowy Range... Ice Cubes freezing on the table after Sunset.

The above does not apply to the Big Horn Mountains west of Buffalo, Wyoming. They are a Sun Resort in comparison to the Snowy Range. Big Horn... Snowy Range? Get it? Thalweg, may argue that it is not the case.

Anyone else working with a simple Solar System? Others would if they had some more information of options that are possible.

The Solar and Lithium Group are advanced beyond my ability and conservative spending behavior. The money I saved, pays for the Airstream and Tow Vehicle... sort of. Every dollar saved is a dollar earned... inflationary saying.

Wind Power is out of the question, as it is not portable. Wind IS dependable in Wyoming. Maybe one day out of a month... modest wind if ever. But wind is a Commodity to Sell in Wyoming.

You may hang your laundry out in Cheyenne, Wyoming and people in Fort Collins, Colorado are wearing it that afternoon. Clean and dry.

A photograph of your trailer with Solar is helpful. Maybe all of us will be able to steal your ideas.
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2021, 06:46 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Solar Panels on Roof has its... Negatives

Boondocking OTG is a choice. Not necessary for the majority. I totally understand. It is not a stress free option for travel and towing a Vintage Airstream or a New Airstream onto 'unknown roads'.

- OTG roads are, often, much narrower than modern width roads. Oncoming traffic situations.
- There may be overgrown bushes alongside the 1.5 lane road to trim back.
- There may be low hanging branches of trees that need to be cleared.
- Roads may have irregular grades with dips, high centering possible, etc. Second pair of eyes are needed to watch and direct.

All of these caveats are only physical restraints that you must educate yourself before going too far into the 'Outback'.

HAIL.

Some areas are more prone to Hail than others. Be prepared to find shelter when these situations are known to be in the area. Yourself, tow vehicle and trailer.

Storing your Airstream outside or while traveling from an area with seasonal Hail Storms, lets say the Rocky Mountain Front Range where one inch Hail is common and larger... is also well known and to be made aware.

Solar Panels are exposed to Hail. I have never had any feed back from individuals in Hail Prone States, but it is a risk in the warmer Months. You can protect the Solar Panel with a sheet of plywood during outside storage. That also prevents your panel to charge your batteries.

You cannot protect yourself from everything, but these are examples of simple ideas to keep in mind. When something new occurs on your travels it becomes a learning process. Be cautious, but not fearful of 'possible problems' that are away from the paved road. They exist right outside your home... as well.

Consider what home tools you may need to dig, clip and so on.
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2021, 07:41 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
gandttimes's Avatar
 
2014 25' FB International
2007 20' Safari SE
2005 19' Safari
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,040
Ray I am totally with you on the off the grid boondocking and I can see from your pictures that you live in nice open sky territory. It would be a bit tougher up here in the Pacific Northwest with the amount of solar that you have.
We have 300w on the canopy of our truck and another 100w remote panel as its hard to find an open "forestry" sites here on Vancouver Island where we like to camp. It also rains a fair bit and as we don't like to let that stop us from camping, we carry an emergency generator. We rarely use it as we are not powerhogs and would rather be outside tinkering in the wilderness.
Carry on boondocking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
My head spins when I glimpse at the Generator and Solar and... Battery conflicts. We solved this AFTER a Honda Generator and discovered... we did not NEED a Generator for our Off the Grid Boondocking.

My head 'spins' clockwise, if you were wondering. I saw the movie...

I am simple minded, but do not let my looks fool you. Simple is common sense.

We depend on the Sun, two 80 watt Solar Panels Airstream Dealer installed at purchase and one 100 watt Portable Coleman Solar Panel purchased at Costco that leans against a milk crate when in use. Two AGM Interstate Batteries...

FYI: I purchased a second panel on sale at the Costco Store for $99.00 last week for a spare. Complete with hardware (simple Controller with a Green/Yellow diode) and attaches to the batteries, directly.

Moving the panel when the Sun rises in the morning and moved toward Sun sets in the afternoons.

I will then move the panel at Sunset and align it TO the SunRISE. Getting Solar while we are inside having breakfast. See. Common Sense.

The Interstate standard acid batteries were substituted at the Airstream Dealership with two Interstate AGM sealed batteries. I do not have to add or check the water level as they are designed not requiring checking.

Our International is Propane Refrigerator and Cooktop/Oven, 12v Furnace Fan, and 12 volt (battery) and LED lighting. We do not use the television. We do not use the two Air Conditioning units. Our water system is 12 volt. We have survived living with minimal power since 2006AD. Airstreams have improved their lighting system since 2006AD with LED's. Best improvement for our needs...

If you want to use AC, Television and 120 volt interior system for a Hair Dryer and other similar power hogs... you WILL NEED a Generator or Two.

I understand that many Airstreams have converted more to Power Hookups and require one or two, or one large generator. That is not my purpose, here. If you use one, two or a super Generator, fine. You have plenty of Threads to post. I have been there. It was a WASTE of Money... for ME and our OTG camping.

***** IF you have your Airstream parked at a RV Storage Lot... a helpful hint.

Buy a Costco 100 watt Solar Panel 26 inches x 40 inches, Controller and run wiring from the Plug on the outside of your Battery Box, the two round plug, that provided wiring with your Airstream to attach Solar Panel to the control box.

Solar is polarized with a + and a -. The booklet will TELL YOU that comes with the Panel.

Then wire, per directions, the controller to a - on one battery and a + on the opposite battery. It works for me... and I am not an electrician or a solar panel installer. I extended the wiring with an extension cord 120 volt that I use for parts. Worked just perfect for me. Someone may have a better option. It is the orange cord I use for anything electrical...

Find a way to temporarily, or permanently attach the panel to your roof top. The wiring will dangle off the side, but your batteries will be charging during daylight.

You do not want anyone to steal your panel, but this saves you some cost in DEAD Batteries every year. Someone may step in and add some caveats. That would be appreciated. It sounds difficult, but I did it the First Time and hooked the 25 foot International to Solar with a bit more work needed.

Anyone who can tell you how to do this in two short paragraphs would be a Genius... it cannot be done.

I have AGM Batteries. I am not that positive with Interstate Batteries, but the AGM's have worked well for us. Costco now sells Interstate batteries and that was a Big Plus getting them there.

We are happy Neanderthals. Boondocking is absolutely perfect with our Solar. Even in the 25 foot using one 100 watt.

Our 23 had one 60 watt or so with AGM's and did us perfect. Tow Vehicle attached? No problem... Often we are temporarily at a camp site and hike, not needing to drive around with a vehicle. Exercise makes you...healthy... too.

What is your experience? Try it... you could like it.
gandttimes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 07:36 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
WEST Boondocking is... Western Options

Gandttimes has a different situation than we find in much of the high country in the Rocky Mountains. As he says, he has his options that can limit dependence on Solar options.

Open Space options we have in the Rockies.

We select our camp sites according to our needs and options found before we decide on a campsite.

- Time of the 'Solar Season' varies our setting up camp sites
- Sunrise and Sunset Arc
- Time of year to orientate the trailer broad-side or narrow-side towards Sun
- Or... make the best compromise with what space we have to work with

With daily High and Low temperatures considered from experience. Some locations we are temporarily camped among a canopy of pine. But Meadows or Parks are common in these areas as well.

We all adapt. I need no generator due to the options we find. Those in the Appalachians... been there. For the 'scenic pullouts' you see forests as far as one can see. That is why I prefix WEST. We have been to many parts of the USA and options change with your situation.

Our Options with... low humidity, lots of Sunshine and dark blue skies. That is why we prefer the Rocky Mountain region.

One Correction. I had Interstate AGM's in the 25 foot International. The current 27 foot International has: Lifeline GPL-24T batteries and it has 13.2-13.4 volt on the sticker. AGM's.
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 08:54 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Forests: Flies, Mosquitos and Shade

We find ourselves in the Forest. The geology is not what I am seeking, as the forest promotes soil that has grass and thicker brush cover. The exposures are more weathered on the surface and erosion does not expose fresh outcrops over thousands of years.

Much like those who like camping along a Lake in Idaho or Montana. Trees and brush abound. Great for fishing options. We pull out folding lawn chairs and sit in the Yellowstone River gravel bar and watch for movement... Black Bear and Moose like to wade in some streams and rivers.

Western Montana is forested and bushy. Wyoming has plenty of Forests to visit, but if you look for campsites... Parks and Open Spaces are out there.

Black Hills... good luck. All of our OTG sites are among the Forest and open spaces are tougher to find.

Utah, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico... have thick forests. Western Nebraska has THE... Nebraska National Forest. Well, there are trees. A forest in Oregon and Washington is not any comparison as they go right to the Pacific.

Here are some campsites with Trees. Four 'untouched' editing to add any.

Snowy Range, west of Laramie... heavily forested... but I know where to camp near the North Platte and.... get bitten by a thousand mosquitos in the shade of pine trees. Even the prairies of Wyoming have mosquitos the size of small birds... you may think... but the repellant we use is very effective. The other is a Mosquito Swatter. It is 'tiny', not the same as a Fly Swatter and Horse Flies that draw blood samples from victims.

Your dog(s) do not like biting flies, but can catch a couple over time. Yellow Jackets like to build their homes among bushes and if you upset them... they come to repel the 'enemies'. Hint: Stand there and back off slowly. They do not have brains, so a tree and someone wearing a tee shirt and shorts is not attacked. If you RUN you will find out what I am saying. I know how to take care of Yellow Jackets and they do not even figure it out.

Trees, moisture and mosquitos work as a Team. Anyone who says otherwise... likes mosquitos.

What does this have to do with Solar? All of these biting and flying insects go to rest after Sunset.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN5171.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	432.8 KB
ID:	394267   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN5180.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	455.5 KB
ID:	394268  

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN5230.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	420.8 KB
ID:	394269   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN5301.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	443.3 KB
ID:	394270  

__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 10:30 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Rocky Mountain Boondocking- not to confuse anyone

Rocky Mountain camping can be pleasant on one day and the next not so pleasant. Watching the Weather Channel on television has the weather for the towns and cities. NOT at 9200 feet elevation. OK?

At 10,000 feet... you may want to bring a jacket in mid July. 'Frost on your Pumpkin' is a term that should keep you aware of Climate in the High Country.

Those in the Appalachians, the same, but lets say 6700 feet elevation, not relief from the valley below. Fort Saunders, Wyoming is 7,200 feet elevation. It is in the open country. Sunny and little shade.

The Cascades on the West Coast has Mount Rainier at 14,411. Climb it if you like, but not like Pike's Peak where you can at 14,113 feet elevation west of Colorado Springs. I have been on top on July 4th and it snowed 4 to 6 inches.

The wind is often blowing faster than the Speed Limit for vehicles on the paved road to the top. No trailers... for good reason.

Many camp in the Mountains. Mountains in Oklahoma are not the same as the Black Hills of South Dakota. Arkansas and Missouri have the Ozark Mountains... and other names... Mountains are all RELATIVE. Read the definition of Mountain.

Ahhhhh. Now you understand.

In the Rocky Mountains the climate changes as you go higher. Some sides of a mountain range can be dry and the other side, wet. Snow into July blocking roads and dry as a bone in June in other areas.

Elevation creates mischief. You get up to elevation from Austin, Texas and set up camp at 10,000 feet and BAM. Altitude sickness... it is called, but when you suffer from this... you will know what it means. Load UP and get down to a reasonable elevation. If you are out of shape... it can get worse. Sun or not.

At least above Tree Line you get plenty of Solar. Often in the morning and during some of most afternoons. Clouds build from the Solar Heat... Or NO sunshine in a canyon where the Climate is also different than not in the Canyon. Black Canyon of the Gunnison comes to mind and the Gunnison River does have BIG Trout.

Elevation is sometimes your friend and sometimes not. It is learned by doing. Even your tow vehicle loses power... and it is obvious. Propane burns blue with orange due to less Oxygen. The stuff you breath. Less means problems for those who live at 1800 feet in the mountains of Arkansas.

You must consider all of these points. Solar is excellent at elevation as the clouds are absent in the morning, build during the day... and often a Thunder Storm wetting everything down for a Cool/Cold evening with High Humidity in the morning.

Dew Point? Surprise.... Dripping wet and humid where it was 5% humidity.

Then it repeats. Watch elevations. Wet and Dry sides of a mountain range. Canyons, open Parks in Colorado... Solar and Climate is different 30 miles from where you are parked and looking for a campsite.

This is abbreviated. I want you to enjoy a Rocky Mountain High with John Denver. But flash floods, mosquitos, snow, rain, hail, earthquakes, big winds... are part of the package. Other than these... I missed some... but have a Good Day and be on top of things.

- June, west of Pinedale, Wyoming photo
- Showing friends a good time crossing near Dubois, Wyoming
(Trekking Poles are, well... weak when needed)
- Nancy demonstrating HOW to cross near Dubois, Wyoming
(Carry a Big Walking Stick for Beast or River Crossings.)
- Blue Heelers have no fear...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1228.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	440.5 KB
ID:	394280   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0274.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	403.8 KB
ID:	394281  

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0273.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	400.6 KB
ID:	394282   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0277.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	405.3 KB
ID:	394283  

__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 12:15 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Setting Trailer BEFORE Solar!

Since potential Off the Grid Boondockers would read this, I toss out some hints that are learned, not taught by someone on a chalk board.

Before 'setting up your Solar on a Milk Crate', you need to stabilize your trailer. If you buy the 'suit case option' you have more money than we do. Good for you.

(1) If you already know this, you are already on top of things. I use to read Threads where the Electric Jack... is BENT. Yep... I know how that can happen.

(2) I have read where individual's Electric Jack just quit working. Yep... I know how that can happen, as well.

Number (2).

I mark how high I want the jack to retract after getting the pad off of the leveling blocks and timber (12 inches x almost 2 inches x almost 12 inches). Call the wood a 2 x 12. Buy a length longer than 24 inches and cut in half. Often you have to buy 8 or 10 foot boards. Or go through the SCRAP Wood at Home Depot or Lowe's... usually FREE if you buy something. Otherwise a longer board and use the leftovers on culverts to clear your hitch or bumper.

If you retract too far, you will hear the grinding noise. No doubt slipping internally, but don't keep doing it. It is not going to be dragging anywhere except you 'knuckles' as you are dragging a lot more up to that part. Mark it and STOP.

Number (1).

Some overextend their Electric Jack and if the trailer moves... you BEND IT. Naughty you. This is going to get expensive if it is bent beyond working.

Take the TWO wood sections, a top and a bottom and put as many leveling blocks you can fit in between. BUT before you do that, CHOCK at least one side, if not both if there is ANY GRADE. An Airstream rolling away is going to keep going...

This is STRONG. The board on the bottom will keep the front from settling.

The Chocks keep the Airstream from... moving, knocking over the blocks and you are in a bad situation. Digging out is not in your future. Out in the Bush... you will have time to think everything you did wrong, and can ADD the chocks.

Park on as level of a grade possible. If not, like most driveways... your Airstream may leave deep plow marks down your driveway, into the road and into your neighbor's rose garden.

I like the Wal-Mart chocks. They usually stock TWO at a time. Buy two, come back in a week and buy the two they ordered and added to the shelf. They work. If you need the elaborate expensive contraptions... you are in a Bad Area and not OTG,

When all of this is done, SET UP YOUR SOLAR. I knew Solar could be discussed. It took some time.

Do not worry about someone stealing your Airstream in the back woods. Most criminals do not have an Atlas or Map to find a way to get into or out of the area we camp. Even locking the door... we don't. Leave a window for them to get a hernia while trying to get into the trailer. Maybe they need a nice ball cap.

Have a stout Ace Locking unit for your trailer's ball attachment. I use a Trimax. Whoa... if I lose the key, I am in big trouble. This is why there are TWO Ace keys. Lose both.

If you are confused. We all are. You are born and spend a lifetime learning from mistakes. Then can go Off the Grid Boondocking, set up the trailer and then Solar. Makes for a great Bedtime Story.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0177.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	399.3 KB
ID:	394297   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0178.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	411.4 KB
ID:	394298  

__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 12:35 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Mosquitos enjoy Solar Power users, like us...

We have shut down most everything that has a beginning and an end at home. Checked each brake in the air and each works. That is a Green Light to leave. Now the FREE TIME vacuum is here.

Mosquitos. Those outdoors disappear just before sunset.

Those indoors... Post #6. You have to listen to them ALL NIGHT. They are seeking your CO2 breath, until they settle onto your forehead and fill their... tank. You will find them in the morning too heavy to fly and squish blood if swatted.

Just be aware. Mosquito swatting is a skill learned the hard way. You will get good at it in the wet forests and along rivers and lakes and... well you may go to these places to hunt mosquitos.

Your Airstream curtains are WHITE. Red Mosquito squished on them will get you in deep trouble with the Mrs. It is hard to wash out the evidence... Yes, I learn quickly.

Oh... have your Solar packed up, as you may be leaving sooner than later. There is only so much blood to offer to the wildlife with wings. In NW Montana and Idaho there are bigger furry mammals that smell your bacon frying in the morning.
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 01:12 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
2020 25' Globetrotter
San diego , California
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 111
Sun is fire, fire good, more fire better.

I suppose im a young cave man. The generator is a last resort. But if I got enough sun I can let the kids watch plenty of TV in the evening and run the furnace, with a 230 watt suitcase.
JunkYard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 05:03 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Thalweg's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Buffalo , Wyoming
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 661
Okay Ray, maybe you've almost got me convinced that I should look at one of these new fangled solar panel thingamajobs, ALMOST, not quite there yet. Looks awfully big, and fragile (faageelee, must be French). I've got the small solar charger that I built. I've used it a couple of times. Have no idea how many watts it puts out. It was made from some panels that I salvaged. I suppose I could put a meter on it sometime, but so far it hasn't interested me that much.

Another option that might make more sense; fabricate a long extension cord to plug into your solar panel when you're not looking.
Thalweg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 06:31 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Solar is Free. No coupons needed.

When a prompt comes onto the computer and says:

Mouse Battery Low

Why? I will ask my friend hanging on the wall.

The one that Thalweg gave me as a pet.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0587.jpg
Views:	23
Size:	399.1 KB
ID:	394348  
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 10:16 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Solar, Generator, Propane, LED Lighting... and then...

Sheep Herder Wagons. Wyoming Territory...

They were camped in this area and rode horses to keep track of the sheep. Their dog(s), as well.

No Solar.
No Generator.
No Propane. (maybe, but often dry brush, dried cow chips in stove)
No showers, plumbing and refrigerator.
No, nothing like an Airstream or any other kind of Trailer.

... and then you read of all of the suffering and inconvenience of modern camping within a home on wheels. What... no television? No Air Conditioning? Cell phone not working?

Come camp with Ray and Nancy? Now do you understand that many OTG Boondockers CAN live easily and very well understanding that our Airstreams are wonderful and if something needs some attention while on the road... FIX IT YOURSELF.

We welcome adventurers and those wanting push their experiences to being self sufficient. It is not easy, at first. It is a choice. Add Solar and you are KING and Master of the Wild Country and open up so much vacant real estate off the road it will take you a lifetime to explore.

(Watching the weather and it is Cold everywhere. Another week... we are going no matter. If the Sheep Herder Wagon residents can handle this... we are right there with them.)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1943.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	397.1 KB
ID:	394374  
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2021, 10:35 AM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
1961 16' Bambi
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 5
My experience with Costco's Interstate Batteries in two different automobiles has been terrible . . . while the warranties have been great (three batteries and none lasted more than 12 months) what I really want more than another free battery is one that works when I need it especially where I need it!
ChristopherH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2021, 11:01 AM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
Napa , California
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 279
With roof top solar and AGM batteries, we haven't needed anything else. We do simplify: Vacuum? No, broom. Hairdryer? No, drip dry. Coffee Pot? No, French press. Margarita mixer? Yep, but it is solar powered -well, there are limits to our simple ways.
Atwebs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2021, 09:40 AM   #16
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
New Mexico SOLAR POWER

Returned from OTG Solar OTG Boondocking in the New Mexico Gila National Forest last night.

ALL on OTG Solar Power and... imagine this... no battery problems. Mornings were 12.8 volts before Sunrise and into the upper 13 volts AT Sunrise (13.8 most often. One morning 14.2 volts.)

Temperatures during the day in the mid 70's.
Temperatures during the AM before sunrise mid 20's.
Temperature within Airstream ran about 10 degrees warmer than lows outside.

NO frozen water lines, water tank... no special preparation to prevent interior water lines freezing. The VOLUME of the interior and water would require several days of NO warming above freezing. If temperatures remained in the low 20's evening and daylight hours... we would run the furnace and open cabinets along the floor. Maybe taken out the Mr. Buddy propane heater. All under control and not one interior issue.

You LEARN how to handle these large temperature high and lows. A Newbie will panic after reading threads about frozen water lines and frozen fresh water tanks, etc. We monitor the Outside Temperature and Inside Temperatures. Roll over in bed... check the 3AM interior temperature. Above 30.... ahhhhh. Fresh air is wonderful at 7800 feet!

Used the furnace the first morning for 5 minutes to take the 'bite out of the cold'. Let the Sun warm the sunny side of the trailer and opened the windows towards the Sunrise, let it warm the interior as described before. Humidity at 2% inside the trailer.

The aluminum exterior was HOT to the touch. You learn how to orientate the trailer for HOT or COLD adjustments of daily interior comfort. Trees for Shade. Open pastures for Sun. Use the compass to find Eastern Sunrise, set the portable Solar Panel towards Sunrise and get instant Solar while still in bed.

Dog's water bowl with half an inch of water... frozen to the bottom each morning. Ahhhhh. Reminds me of Wyoming Camping in July at Double Cabin, Wyoming, north of DuBois.... Winds were cool and the Sunshine... HOT. Miles of hiking. Found lots of Agates in the weathered volcanic Calderas.

Not one power problem. Do you want to know... WHY?

We come prepared. We know the weather was COLDER this Spring. No one is talking about it... but this was unusual from our experiences. We still bring some sleeping bags for bed covers, blankets and the same for the TWO Blue Heelers. Picked up a Blue Heeler Pup in New Mexico and broke her into OTG Camping immediately.

Nancy stores all these covers in the SHOWER.

OTG campers realize that Battery Power and conditioning is important. If you run the furnace during the Evening and Morning to keep warm... you may not want to OTG Boondock in the Rockies. Dead Batteries are often HOW YOU USE the limited power provided.

Brilliant Sun during the days and Brilliant Stars every evening. Once the Sun Set, close all windows, left top ceiling vent open... the temperature was below 50 (air temperature) immediately. During the daylight hours the air was in the 50's and the Sun into the upper 70's. Stand in the shade to cool off... warm up in the sunlight.

Orientated the Airstream length wise to the Sunrise, opened the windows and free heating before getting up. You will learn. This is a VERY Unusual May. Much like early April. Snow in the mountain tops across the border in Arizona!
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2021, 10:22 AM   #17
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Somehow... Spending lots of $$$$ for Solar?

I do not get it.

Spend lots of $$$$ for Solar, when Sunshine is FREE? Take advantage of the Free Sunshine... Cloudy Day? You do not need to light up the interior and exterior 'Party Lighting'.

Costco sells a 100 watt Solar Panel on sale for $99 with a Controller and short instructions. +/- of Solar Panel connected to +/- of Batteries. Our 2019 has a connection already provided on the battery box. Plugs right into the Solar Panel...

Been getting away with this since the small Solar Panel on the 2006 23 foot Safari with the 60 watt on the roof from the factory. Did not need anything to PUMP up the batteries. We are minimalists. PROPANE is important.

This time with two Airstream installed 80 watts on the roof and a Costco portable 100 watt leaning against a milk crate... 100% effective. If we needed more... two Costco 100 watt panels and add a milk crate.

Special Batteries? For what? Television at a RV Park works. Do not need Solar. We do not leave home to watch TV in the trailer. We want to get away from all of the nonsense and do not need to watch pill advertisements to feel... good.

We use NO 110 volt appliances OTG Boondocking, or at a Truck Stop or along side a dirt road in Montana. Everything we need is humming along.

If you want to impress the neighbors... fine with me. After 15 years of avoiding excess... still alive, healthy tans, sleeping in comfort and can lay back and let the rest spend the Bucks on unnecessary Solar Gizmos, Lithium Batteries and you can still charge your toothbrushes without all of this.

RV Park Solar? Not needed with plug ins.

OTG Boondocking with your Airstream? Spend a week with us to understand how crazy it seems to us how people NEED this stuff. We sleep well. And pick only Airstreams without a microwave on purpose to vent the Dometic refrigerator through the roof option. No television hundreds of miles from a City. Barely AM Radio during these MODERN time listening at night. Do I need to overpower our batteries from TWO AGM's to multiple Lithiums and Solar.... come on... we have better things to do exploring. Not baby sitting our Solar smoking trailer 12 volt system. (Just given you a bit of hard time... but it is all true.)
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2021, 01:28 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
Super Powered Arctic Solar in a Tube

This Thread just is dragging along like a Neanderthal bringing a Skunk home for the wife to prepare for her relatives... not mine. My relatives, like Raccoon.

******

I was speaking with a guy with his new trailer and he was working on his Solar System. Ohms meter and lots of gizmos that are beyond my understanding.

I asked him that if he has no Solar to charge his batteries, what would he do?

He would use a Flashlight.

Flashlight for what? To charge his Solar Panels, of course. The panels seem to have quit working.

As the Neanderthal I am... It is Dark Outside.

He said it is July.

I said it can be dark any day of the year. His response...

He was from the Arctic and they have Sunlight 24 hours a day in the Summer.

Which day I asked?

Every Day.

Today is Leap Year. You did not account for the Extra Day on the calendar.

Oh... he said, turned off the flashlight and told his wife. "Honey you were right. People in the Lower 48 know nothing about the Arctic."

*******

If you followed this to the end. You obviously are reading the other posts and like myself, packed and ready to leave town in a couple days. Have a safe trip. Have fun and keep a sense of humor. Always a great combination.
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2021, 09:01 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar
 
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,349
NO Solar Experts and Fancy Gadgets here...

Solar uses the Sun, a Solar Panel, a Controller and two wires. Even a Neanderthal can figure this one out. Often it will work if YOU follow the instructions. A 50/50 chance of getting it right the first time by accident.

No expensive gizmos to tune up, dial in or pay through any orifice to purchase. The experts... know what they are doing. Does not affect the Sun, the Panel, the Batteries... just they can tell you what is going into the system and what is leaving the system. Much like my primitive digestive track. Have a belly ache... voltage issues... all the same to a Neanderthal. If it works and feels good... do it.

'Some' need to KNOW how many Amps, how many Volts...how many? Just enough is what I say. It either Works or Not... for my evaluation. Return it and pay out the orifice then. It is your hard earned money and not mine.

I read about adding up Amp Usage of each item within an Airstream. I use my imagination and it works out just... perfectly. No dead batteries and no indigestion thinking about what a double EEngineer rambles about.

I am in a Travel Trailer. Not within a Cruise Ship with a flushing toilet and a television to watch if I need, extra time.

Although, that was nice on those longer cruises... time did not matter if it was a good program No Solar, though.

I imagine the Solar Experts spend more time at a RV Park than my Mother would at nice Hotels and consider it camping out. Bless her soul. She would sleep in the back of our pickup with Topper in luxury, while we slept in a tent overlooking the Badlands of Western Nebraska. Rattlesnakes gently flipped over the side into the Badlands to hunt down chipmunks and lizards, probably. A Geologist, Paleontologist, Archeologist, Solar worshipper, commentator of all subjects and just a Royal P. I. A. are only a few of my vices.

I do not sit around and debate Solar Power and Systems. If mine do not work... the Sun will rise and set as usual. If not... I do not need to worry about Solar, at all. You will not care, as well. Bring a good jacket to keep from freezing right away.

No Airstream. No Solar. We... actually lived to talk about our wonderful experiences. Not our Gizmos, Volt Meters, Expensive multiple back up Solar Panels with high efficiency and note books of Volts, Amps and Poop discussions and constipation.

We survived another long Off the Grid Solar Experience. Minimalist. Checked our voltage with the system screwed to the interior of our current Airstream... as we did with the previous, and the previous. Survived. Did just FINE, not knowing anything how the Sun operates or provides Solar Power even on cloudy days. Imagine...that, too.

"I don't need no stinkin' badge."

I am not an Engineer, Solar Expert, Amp / Volt dialing in hourly note taker. My rudimentary Solar Systems have worked Perfectly and being total ignorant how the Solar Panel was made by Human Beans who probably do not USE a Solar Panel.

Costco... $100 for an 'up to 100 watt' Solar Panel with Controller and Wiring Instructions. Need an Electrical Engineer? I had a Brother in Law, said HAD... He carried more instruments than a Radio Shack offered on their shelves... and could not find his way out of a bathroom at a Service Station. But... very smart in following electrons in hand held calculators that evolved into other gizmos I do not need, nor use.

Solar is now available to everyone at low prices. The instructions have drawings and language to explain + and -. IT worked for me.

I do not carry a Slide Rule on my Belt... well, my freshman year at the University and the following year came the $100 used hand held calculator. May... still have the slide rule somewhere. Sold the, now antique, calculator (Texas Instruments) in 1973 or so. My now RICH EE Brother in Law may still be fumbling around to figure out what end of a socket is the side to use... to tighten a Ball onto a Shank. He can afford to pay someone to change his light bulbs to LED's at home.

None of this has been edited for accuracy. It works for ME. I can afford a good flashlight to replace Solar... but saving up for a nicer Wyoming Cowboy hat. Mine is Shot... from wear... not otherwise.
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2021, 10:38 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
jaybauman's Avatar
 
2021 33FB Classic
2019 30' Flying Cloud
Katy , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
None of this has been edited for accuracy.

Give me a ballpark figure....how much of this might be accurate? Inquiring minds want to know.
__________________
2021 Classic 33
2020 GMC 3500HD Duramax AT4
ProPride 3P
jaybauman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2021 Girard Water Heater Boondocking? Madmarine70 Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 9 07-17-2021 12:53 PM
West Stone Age Caveman Boondocking 2021 AD Style Ray Eklund Boondocking 112 06-13-2021 06:57 PM
2021 GT Electric Refrigerator and Boondocking Kungaloosh Refrigerators 50 05-19-2021 06:59 AM
2021 Flying Cloud vs 2021 International ts8501 2016 - Current Flying Cloud 8 05-03-2021 09:37 AM
2021 Silverado 5.3 vs 6.2 & 2021 25' FCFB Dr. Ohat Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 32 12-30-2020 11:46 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.