There have been many adjustments since moving into our RV full time. Since we started off with only a generator for power, we adjusted to warmer weather during the day and being very intentional about when we were using electricity. It was a lot to adjust to!
In the first weeks, we ran the generator in the evening so we could watch TV and turned it off overnight. Then we would turn it back on in the morning to make coffee. ‘Cause who can survive without coffee! We still had lights and fans that ran off the RV batteries. Using propane to run the refrigerator and hot water heater, we didn’t have to worry about those things. We quickly learned that we had to run the generator longer to keep the RV batteries charged. After 43 days, the Solar Power System was ready to use!
Yay for Solar Power!
It has been 7 weeks since the Solar Power was implemented! While we have power 24 hours a day now, we still have to be mindful of what we are using and when we are using it. Most people don’t know (I didn’t) that Solar Power can be utilized in many different ways. Most systems are “grid-tied” which means that they are still connected to the main power grid for times when their system is not producing enough power. In an ideal situation, the system will produce more energy than you use which will off set your electric bill. Our system is not grid-tied. We have no electric bill and no water bill. Please don’t call it free though! It will take many years before our investment on electric and water will pay for itself!
Adjusting to “FREE” Electricity
Our system charges a “bank” of batteries that store power for us to use overnight and on rainy days when we aren’t producing power by the sun. The inverter Jamey installed is capable of running off grid or grid tied. Eventually we will be grid-tied which will allow us to sell back whatever extra energy we harvest. On sunny days our solar panels charge the battery bank AND provide extra power. The LED display on the system shows the battery percentage and blinks when it is charging the system. I can just step into the room and see if the charge is sufficient for anything extra I want to do. That is why I only wash clothes on sunny days. I only use my instant pot or air fryer on sunny days. The best use of the system is to use those things only on the days when we are producing enough power. I stay up to date on the weather so I can make the most of those sunny days. If we have several rainy days in a row, we can plug the system into the generator to charge the batteries as an emergency back up.
We kept my washer and I planned to just use it and hang our clothes to dry until Jamey had time to install the dryer. Unfortunately, when we moved the washer, something jarred loose. I took the control panel apart and watched so many videos on how to repair it. I had to take our clothes to the Laundry Barn for several weeks. One day I went out to the well/power/laundry building to see if I could fix it one last time before calling a professional in. I said a prayer over that washing machine and plugged it in. I pressed the start button and waited. The machine worked! I ran a whole cycle and stood there watching to make sure it was actually working. I could finally wash my clothes here! It was a glorious day! And it has worked since that day! Praise the Lord!
We sold my electric dryer when we moved, planning to purchase a gas dryer and convert it to liquid propane. There was no rush since my washer was broken. When I finally did purchase a dryer, it was weeks before they could deliver it. The pick up option was no better, so we waited. For the past 5 weeks, I have been hanging our clothes to dry. I actually find it relaxing and don’t mind it at all. It is remarkable how fast they dry! Hanging them in the warm sun, with a gentle breeze, a full load is dry in 30-40 minutes!
This week, Jamey installed my dryer! It was perfect timing, since our low temperatures were around 19 degrees this week. I’m so thankful! Sometimes it’s the little things!
13 Weeks and Counting…
We went into this adventure knowing that it would take some time and require a lot of grace with each other as we adjust to significant changes in our lifestyle. We have each had our days where we were over it, but thankfully not on the same day. Overall, the adjustments have been completely reasonable. It certainly makes you realize how dependent we are on electricity, water and internet!
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