All Categories


A tornado at the off grid camper and a new surprise

Article from: April 10th, 2013


Last night was a terrifying time at the off grid solar camper because a tornado passed right through. It was so close I could hear it coming right at me at 2am in the middle of the night. All I could do was sit inside a pray it did not hit me directly. I could not see a thing and did not know which way to run.

But there is good news as well. Today I received an awesome surprise for my off grid camper. More in a minute.

Last night at about a quarter to two in the morning it started to rain – hard. If you ever slept in a camper in a heavy rain storm, you know how loud it can be. Well, now consider that I have bare roof metal in some places and you can imagine that it was even worse for me.




I was laying in bed thinking “this is going to be a long night. Wonder if I will get back to sleep again”. Well, I could not. What happened is suddenly the rain stopped. There was a moment of pure calm. The suddenly I could hear a heavy, powerful rushing of wind coming right at me. I immediately knew it was a tornado. I had no doubt in my mind it was a tornado. It was so powerful.

I thought about running but where? Which direction? It was pitch black and I had no idea which way to go. The creek is about 1,000 feet or more into the forest. And it is not very deep below ground level there. Not enough for my liking. I figured I might be safer where I was, which was not very safe.

I sat at the window praying like never before in my life. Just praying over and over “dont let it hit me, dont let it hit me, dont let it hit me”. Thats all I could think.

The tornado was coming right at me. I could hear it approach. I was shaking like a leaf. I kept praying and watching. There was nothing to see, but I was looking.

Eventually it got right up beside my camper. I could hear some things flying past my camper and something slammed hard outside by my truck camper. I figured it was gone.

I could hear those 40 foot long pieces of sheet metal being lifted up and slammed down again by the wind.

The tornado passed right by the end of my camper tent, out in the forest. But it must have been above the tree tops because there was not much damage to the trees at all.

I could hear the tornado passing right by. It moved so slowly. I thought it was the end. There was nothing I could do.

Eventually it started to pass by. But then it seemed to return again. It was terrifying. I could hear it so clearly. It was massive and powerful.

With time it did pass on and I kept praying as I listened to it pass away into the distance. I sat there a long time shaking like a leaf. I have never been so scared of anything in my life. I have walked the streets of New York at night with no fear, I have seen many things, but nothing as frightening as this. There is no power against nature.

I did not get back to sleep. By about 4:30 this morning I was finally relaxed and started to doze off to sleep when the cat came running through the camper chasing a mouse. Mice make funny squeeking noises as the cat slams into everything with reckless abandon while she chases it. Needless to say you cannot sleep through this. I laid there waiting until she finally lost the mouse. I guess I could have gotten up to dispatch it, but I was too tired.

I stayed in bed dozing on and off in the late morning hours until a quarter to 10 this morning when I got up to look outside. I fully expected to see the truck camper damaged. Nothing. Everything was peaceful and calm and just as I left it. God protected me and my stuff.

My camper skirting had been pulled out a little bit and one of my homemade solar panels has been smashed up a bit. But that is all. It is a miracle.

I had no internet or cell phone reception this morning so I went into town to see if the tornado had causeed any damage at all. I dont think it touched down anywhere because except for a few downed trees here and there I found no damage at all. A utility crew had a road blocked off but there was nothing to see.

I went to McDonalds to use their wireless internet and answer some video comments and check my email. While I was there a lady and I chatted about the tornado. She heard it pass over as well. She knew it was a tornado too by the way it sounded.

While I was talking to the lady my phone rang. It was a call from a fellow youtuber who asked me where the nearest Advance Auto was. I told him and he said he would call me back in a bit.

Later he called and said I should go there and ask for the manager by name. I did. To my incredible surprise I have been given two brand new golf cart batteries. He wants to remain unknown, but I want to say THANK YOU!



I spent the better part of the afternoon running the roads looking for battery cables to hook up my new batteries. I drove 60 miles and visited three auto stores in all to find three matching sized battery wires to hook them up with. When connecting batteries together it is important to keep all the wires the same size in order to get even battery charging.

When I got home, I immediately cut a hole in my camper skirting by the back access panel where the batteries are located.

I propped open the access panel and pulled out all my 4 golf cart batteries. I set up a makeshift table to hold the batteries next to the camper. I hooked them up in pairs of series connected batteries to make two sets of 12 volts. They are 6 volt batteries rated at 215 AH. I connected those up in parallel to make two sets of 12 volt batteries and then reconnected my camper wiring. I now have a potential 430 Amp Hours of usable energy when the batteries get charged up fully.

Of course the new batteries are not fully charged after sitting on the shelf for who knows how many months. They pulled my other batteries down to a lower voltage. This is to be expected and normal.

I cant wait for the sun to shine again to charge up my new batteries and see what potential I now have. It is dark and raining today and I am not sure what the weather will bring tomorrow.

View some of our other articles:

About the Author

Troy Reid


No comments yet! Be the first:

Your Response

Creation Crate

Most Viewed - All Categories