I know that I’ve said this before (countless times, I’m sure), but we absolutely love our solar system that sits gracefully atop our 2005 Airstream Classic. Since we set sail on a journey of full-time travel April 1st, we’ve only plugged in once.
And that only lasted for two days. For the remaining seven or eight weeks, our power has come entirely from the 500 watts of solar we had installed last November in Oregon. We’re out in the middle of the desert. Or forest. Right now, we’re 10 minutes from Bryce National Park.
We aren’t exactly roughing it, either. We charge two cell phones, three computers and run a nice 27″ flat panel monitor inside this place. We turn on the lights whenever we damn well please – only some of them have been converted over to much more energy efficient LED.
By the time we lay our heads down on the pillow at night, our battery bank is almost always above 90% full. By morning, we’ve only sucked down 10%. We begin each day with at least 3/4ths of our batteries full of beautiful electricity.
It helps that we’re spending our first year out west where the sun shines almost every day. In fact, it’s nearly impossible for us to drain our batteries during a day of full-blown sun. We just don’t have the demand necessary to pull more than our panels are putting in.
Yes, solar isn’t cheap. After the tax credit, we spent around $8,000 on our system. But, it’s also the best money we’ve ever spent. No need for a generator (although we have a Honda 2000 sitting in the truck). It’s just stupid easy. If the sun shines, we’re charging the batteries. Period.
If you boondock as much as we do, solar is a total game-changer. And, it stands as an excellent demonstration as to why living small has some incredible benefits.
And now, the obligatory Bryce Canyon photograph. This shit never gets old.