Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Friday, November 20, 2009

Doing the Wash @ The Wash

We had our first solar based night, and it went well. We were able to watch a movie before the power dropped down to 12.20 on the meter, which is the stop point for evening usage.

Once we turned the tv and dvd player off, it bounced back to 12.25. Ken had the boondocker's soak, sud, rinse and out shower, and when the pump was running it dipped back as low as 12.20. In the morning before the panels were working again, the meter had raised to 12.65 range, and by about 9:30 it was climbing well, and by 10:30 or 11, the light was flashing which means we are on "free time" as the batteries are full.

Because the batteries are new, Doug (the installer) recommended we have a couple gentle use days to establish a good charge base on the batteries. "Make them good and fat" as he put it.

However, I was in need of doing some laundry, and so I ran a load through using the generator as power. There is an umbrella clothes line that one of the neighbours has, and lets others use, so I will hang laundry whenever possible. In a week, I will be content to start laundry once the charge is topped in the morning, and there is enough day to restore any drain before the set of the sun.

The lake is down right now as it is connected to a dam which was released for irrigation. It should be restored in a couple days, but it sure looks like low tide right now. :-)

Once the laundry is out, I will try to coax Ken into a kayak run either today or tomorrow.

So far, so good with the new set up. We are content.

Also, for now, until we master lower usage methods, we appear to have used about 15 gallons of water between showering, dishes, hand washing, and black water output in one day, so it will be a daily chore to do a "honey run" until we fine tune that. On laundry days I will run the grey on its own on a separate trip.

The load is nearly done, so I will bid you



  1. You have no idea how inspirational your last few posts have been! I'm going to crunch numbers as to just how much I'd need to drop on my solar system and genset to be self-sufficient. Being able to stay somewhere for five months for 180$ could mean reaching my dream of winters in hot climes much sooner than I could have ever hoped.

  2. Brought in off Facebook Comments:
    Ted Morrison

    Sounds interesting. I'm considering going solar for part of my own home use, and reduced water use is always a good idea here. Keep us posted.

  3. Rae: If you already have a start on solar, you shouldn't have far to go on it, and although because of our rookie state in using it, and because we are "fattening" the new batteries, we are still working in a "pretend the power is out" manner (With a movie permitted, of course) but using candles and such. As we get more comfortable with it, it will be permitting more liberties. Also, in the day when the sun is beating down, we can go on what Doug called "free time" as the batteries are up, and the panels are bringing in surplus. How much solarizing have you currently got?

    Ted: Good to hear from you too. Penticton definitely gets some good rays, year round. (Even in the cold it gave last year, there was a reasonable amount of sun). I think it would be well worth your while to look into it. As an aside, some of the folks here also have a portable wind turbine as a further supplement. I know you also have winds there. Just think how great it will feel to slice that power bill down!! Good luck with it! Also, with that home owner grant the Feds are offering, it may decrease the initial cost.