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More Self Sufficient

You ever question if there is a method to my madness? A long term plan in place perhaps?  Sure there is!  But if I told you I would have to kill you … and all that stuff.

Stock set up -one deep cycle RV/Marine battery

I am under no illusion that the NO Princess Palace is anything special as far as recreational vehicles go.  I would take the Old Girl back in a New York minute were that possible.  Once I got acclimated to this Pucker Brush lifestyle and understood how the cow eat the cabbage down here in South Texas,  I concluded most RVs have about a 5 year lifespan in this harsh country.  I am going to stand by that assertion.

Judging by by the wear and tear to date on the Palace and everything replaced due to catastrophic failure thus far;  maybe I was overly optimistic.  Hell,  I got an RV furnace AND an RV fridge gone to crap right now!

Still yet,  I try to upgrade and improve the Palace every chance I get in order to be more self sufficient and less dependent on outside services.  No way I could do without my residential fridge, chest freezer and my Fan-tastic Vent Fan 3 Speed with Reverse.  The less reliant I am on accoutrements of civilized folks,  the better I sleep at night.

Trojans livin’ on the snout of the Palace

So when the opportunity presented itself up at the Secret Hideout to upgrade the batteries on the Palace I didn’t think twice.   I picked up 2 Trojan T105 6v 225ah batteries to replace the single Interstate Deep Cycle house battery. I was pretty sure 2 6v golf cart batteries would fit up on the snout of the Palace because this is a fairly common upgrade.   I knew I would need 2 NOCO 6V Snap-Top Battery Box for the Trojans and I measured their footprint to just make double-damn sure everything fit but I screwed up………  I failed to take into account the tops of the battery boxes were bigger than the bottoms.  Thankfully, they did fit but they were oh so snug.  Another 1/8″ and it would have been a no go.   I ordered up some battery cables and a Blue Sea Systems battery cut-off switch  just to improve usability a bit more.  All in all; easy and painless.

One thing I found out quick when I was off grid up at the Secret Hideout was how stuffy the bedroom could get when I was tryin’ to sleep.  I had hoped the addition of the Fantastic Fan would help and it did -some.   If I could have installed it anywhere other than the bathroom I think it would have worked better as far as sleeping goes.  As it played out, I did make it until mid June without AC of any type.

I hate to be the one to break the bad news but some of these RV accessories are just pure junk.  I regard anything that says CAMCO on it with a stink eye.  Chinese crap! Well, it seems to me many of the marine accessories apply to the RV world as well and these items appear to be more robust than their recreational vehicle counterparts.   Maybe these boating people are more demanding buyers or maybe the marine environment is just harsher;  I couldn’t say.   I can only offer the opinion that items designed for a boat work better in an RV than an RV specific item.

Carframo cabin fan

A good example is the Caframo Ultimate Direct Wire 12V Cabin Fan I recently installed.  I took the 12 ceiling light down and fished the 12v wires about a foot over and mounted the fan on the ceiling.  It is set to blow across the only (!!) AC vent in the bedroom and then down toward the head of the bed.  You will notice the fan does not have a shroud around it and that is because the blades are made of soft rubber  and designed to stop if you bonk your head up against the fan.  I can personally guarantee it works! 🙂  The fan is quiet, low amp draw and moves plenty of air.  Get this – it is Made in Canada!  I am thinkin’ I might need one above the dinette as well.  I can certainly see how they would be a huge help off grid and without AC. It is still new enough that every time I turn it on, Vela Von looks at it and then looks at me like I just let a bird go outta my hand.  Dogs is so silly!  Staying with the marine thinking,  I am seriously looking at a marine fridge to replace the RV absorption fridge.

The other thing I have been doing is ordering one Gold Stars Natural White LED Dome Light every time I place an order on Amazon. These little lights are pretty much the same footprint as my old incandescent fixtures and they are BRIGHT WHITE. Changing them out is a 5 minute job and I am pleased with their function. One caveat – the bulbs are NOT replaceable but at this cheap price point does it matter? They are supposed to last 60k hours according to the Chinese that built them.

The next logical Palace upgrade would be some solar panels and an inverter but I struggle with that decision.   Would it be worth it to spend the money to install them permanently?  I figure this RV is going to get sold on CraigsList in the next few years and end up at some deer camp.  I am pinchin’ every penny these days and I go back and forth with the decision.  I got some time to make my mind up since fixin’ the furnace and replacing the fridge are higher on the to-do list.

A Personal Perk  –  Every month I “treat” myself to a Pay Per View movie.  One, uno – nada mas.  Last month it was Hell or High Water which nailed West Texas perfect; even though it was filmed in New Mexico.  The soundtrack is also bad ass – Ray Wiley Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, Townes van Zandt, Scott Biram, Waylon Jennings and Chris Stapleton.

And lines like this:

T-Bone Waitress: I’ve been working here for 44 years. Ain’t nobody ever ordered nothing but a T-Bone steak and baked potato. Except one time, this asshole from New York ordered a trout, back in 1987. We ain’t got no goddamned trout.

Tonight I have Hacksaw Ridge queued up on the DVR.   I am sure some folks will be crushed to know LaLa Land is nowhere on my list and never will be.

C’est la vie y’all.

End Note:  Somebody to Love by Delbert McClinton.  Odd thing about Delbert McClinton –  I can remember exactly who turned me on to him;  an ex -GF  that was more better than I deserved.  Anyway, Delbert is 76 yo now and still rockin’ it out in his own distinctive fashion with a new cd – Prick of the Litter by Delbert McClinton. I would advise to get ya some.

Two Delbert youtubes………

 

 

Add in some o’ that Bonnie Rait…………

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8 comments to More Self Sufficient

  • Rob

    A couple of 100w solar panels & a Tracer mppt controller would run around what, $300? $350? I’d think you could get that back when you sell it but do you need that power for what you’re doing?
    Out traveling solar is magic! But you’re not out traveling…

    Just a thinking…

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    • Andy

      Hi Rob
      I do NOT need it sitting here with this diesel generator purring in the background. Future plans would require it. I am looking at some portable ideas.

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  • Rob

    For a time I was using a 100w panel & running it to the controller with my (12g) extension cord. I moved the panel to the sun & stored it in the van when I was moving. The voltage drop measured with a good meter was not much at all.

    I bought the panel off craigslist ($90), I should have bought two & put a piano hinge between them.

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  • The hubs and I hit the movies once every three to five years or so. Saw Hacksaw Ridge. Yea, that one was worth the trip.

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    • Andy

      I agree. Maybe not on par with Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers or We were Soldiers but still good.

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  • MissViic

    Lord have mercy! Delbert gets right down and a Chews a piece right outa your soul.

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    • Andy

      How long has it been since you drunk up a table full of long necks and listened to Delbert?

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  • Larry S. Worsham

    I installed 320w. of solar a few years back on my TT. It works great but I am thinking of adding a 100w portable panel to help on those days when they get shaded. In Texas not a problem but we travel to Oregon every year where shade can be a problem.

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