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Winter Living In My Off Grid Camper

January 10th, 2012


I have moved my off grid camper even farther away from the nearest house. It is about 1,000 feet into the forest, in a clearing all its own. I also have full sunshine most of the day now, which helps with my solar experiments.


I am staying out here in mid winter to see how hard it will be to survive fully separated from all utilities. No water, no sewage, no oil or gas and no electricity hookup. I have a wood stove for heat and solar panels for electricity. Fresh water for now is being carried in gallon jugs. Waste water will be treated naturally with a composting method.


I am typing this post on my little netbook hooked up to a cell phone for internet. The netbook has an extended battery and lasts 9 hours on a charge, which is great for solar panel use.


For now I have a homemade 60 watt solar panel hooked up to two 6 volt, 100 Amp Hour golf cart batteries for power. I disconnected the camper inverter to save power and ran the batteries to the lights only. I replaced all normal light bulbs with LED lamps to save even more power.


My primary heat source is a little wood stove which sits only 2 feet high. It is perfect for a camper, but burns out fast.


Yesterday the sun was shining brightly and my passive solar window heater had it 65 degrees in here with no other heat source while it was 39 outside. Last night it got cold, so I fired up the wood stove and maintained a steady 70 in here. But when I went to bed, I got lazy and just stuffed the stove full and left it to go out. In the middle of the night it got really cold in here and I was happy to see the sun rise again. It got down to about 27 last night. This morning it was about 45 inside.


I brought in a lot of wood for tonight. The problem with a small stove is that it will not hold enough wood to burn all night. I either suffer or keep it going.


I will see how it goes.

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Troy Reid


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