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After the blizzard in my off grid camper

Article from: March 8th, 2013

 

After getting about a foot of snow dumped on my head over night I had to dig out today and clear off the solar panels to get some power. Twice. It was still snowing so hard that after I cleaned them off, about 3 hours later the panels were covered with snow again.

I was only getting about an amp of charge after 1:30 this afternoon, which is only about 12 watts. This is not enough for anything. My laptop, for example, needs 75 watts to run. So I had to figure something out or I would go through another cold, dark night tonight.

Off grid camper in winter storm
Off grid camper in winter storm

My wood stove has a built in water boiler so it needs a water pump and cooling fans to pump the water through a radiator and cool it off, blowing the heat into the camper. But with no power, I have no heat. I cannot run the fireplace without the water pump or the antifreeze/water mix will boil off into the camper making a huge mess. I know, I tried it once.

 

 

 

And I could also drain the boiler and run the fireplace without water but it gets HOT. It gets scary hot in a camper. For safety you are supposed to have at least 18 inches of clearance on all all sides of a fireplace so nothing around it ignites. But the water boiler absorbs the heat and transfers it out to the rest of the camper, keeping the fireplace itself at about 160 to 180 degrees F.

This is a safe and comfortable temperature for my fireplace and I can safely store items closer to it. It is perfect for a camper.

But in winter with solar panels and no sun, there is no power. My panels were badly damaged in the winter storage so I have only half my original capacity. And it is winter, so I have half that again due to few sun hours.

 

 

No power means no heat in my off grid camper.

So I drove my truck up close to the camper and hooked up some jumper cables to the camper batteries and left the truck motor running for about an hour this afternoon. The batteries should be strong enough now to help me get through the night in relative comfort.

We will see.

Keep watching for updates.

The Off Grid Camper.

You can watch today's video here: Watch the video now  Recovering from the blizzard in my off grid camper and charging batteries

 

While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.

 

Feel free to ask any questions or get help with your project on our Discussion and support forum


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Troy Reid

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