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The Off Grid Camper In A Winter Blizzard

Article Date: March 8th, 2013


I moved fully off the grid again last night into my camper in the woods. It was a long hard move getting my camper set up again. I stayed in a cottage during the time I was getting the camper ready. Of course, during my first night in the camper there was a blizzard.

Last night at 7pm, I had a winter walk through the forest on the way to my camper. The snow was falling heavily and I decided to take some video on the way through the woods. It was both eerie and peaceful at the same time. The woods become insulated and quiet in the snow.

Last night was a hard one though due to the winter weather. The solar panels have not been producing enough power to top off the batteries well enough. My wood stove has a built in boiler heater which requires a water pump and some fans to blow the heat though the camper. That means I need power to have heat. Sort of a problem in winter.

The off grid camper in a winter storm
The off grid camper in a winter storm


Most of my solar panels have been damaged in the winter storage outside, so I am limping along with half power anyway. And it has been gray and cloudy for days.

So, last night I was only able to run the fireplace at a slow burn because I could not run all 4 fans needed to keep the water temperature down below boiling. I only used two fans and the water pump. This took the chill off the camper, but did not make it very warm. It was about 50 degrees at waist height and about 60 near the ceiling.




But the batteries got down to 11.7 volts by 10:30 pm, so I had to let the fire burn out and turn off the electricity in order to prevent damage to the batteries. You are not supposed to drain batteries below 11.5 volts. At that point they are considered to be fully drained.

It got down to 40 in the camper last night.

I have my Army wool blanket and three other blankets to keep me warm so it was not too bad. At times I felt a bit cold, but not impossible. I did not sleep too well though. Never could sleep well with a cold nose.

In the morning I got up to find the snow was 8 inches deep.

The first thing I did was make a nice, hot cup of coffee. My first warmth in about 12 hours. Nice.

I tried to push snow off the solar panels to get some power, but it was snowing as fast as I could clear them off. I just have to wait for the snow to stop falling.

When I went inside though the panels were putting out about 1/4 amp of power. This is about 3 watts. Not much power at all. My laptop for example needs 75 watts to run.



I did not see this storm coming and the forecast had predicted a sunny day for Friday when I checked earlier in the week. So I only cut wood for three days. At the last minute they changed the forecast to show we would have some snow. But they never said we would have 8 inches by morning. And its still coming down as I write this.

Anyway, this is a bad thing. I have no propane and cannot afford any until the end of the month, so fire wood is my only source of heat for now. But you cannot gather firewood in the snow. You cant find it.

This is going to be an interesting week.

You can watch today's video here: Watch the video now  A Cold Winter Night In The Off Grid Camper


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.


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Troy Reid


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