January 25th 2020

Only 11 months till Christmas!

Saturday morning @ 6:30, clear skies, lots of stars, and a cool 7 or 44 degrees and the forecast is for nothing but sun and a high of 22 or 71, sun rise is 7:37, sun set is 6:01. The days are actually starting to stretch out a few minutes every day, enough that we can notice it with no generator time yesterday and a partial cloudy day the solar harvest was near 282 amp hours, which got us back to 89%, we are going to pack today for a move early tomorrow, but will check our solar harvest today, I have already moved our suitcase panels to get the early morning sun so with no clouds we should be able to achieve 300+ amp hours today. So there will be no generator time today either, we have picked a spot at La Possa West, very close to our spot two years ago. The advantage of this spot is its proximity to the big tent and the tented village around it, we can easily walk to number of shops as I install our new solar panels for additional supplies.

This fourteen day stay at LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) will carry us through our time before heading north to Nevada in February. The cost is $40 or around $54 Canadian but provides, dump station, water, and garbage. This will bring our cost of camping in January to 337.50 Cdn or $10.89 per day down from December’s $15.24/day (with full hookups), but up from November’s $7.29/day. The January cost was driven up by the ballon festival at Lake Havasu which after backing out the festival passes ended up at $229.50 Canadian for a week in a parking lot. I did not include the $65.00 cost of the Beaver Rally, as it included four breakfasts and four dinners, as well as a number of seminars and beaver game events.

Our number of stragglers from the rally is only six including our coach, everyone will have to be out tomorrow, and I suspect many will be required to move today as we are the last coach in of the six left. The BLM rangers are a great bunch, but we have been told that the fine for staying beyond the allowed fourteen days is quite harsh and we have no interest in finding out just how harsh. It is now 8:00 and the first of the six left is heading out, and then there were five…

Today will be a packing day, oh not a difficult day, as I need the suitcase out as long as possible for the solar harvest. But we need to move early tomorrow as I need some time to pick up items from the tent before it shuts down at 3pm on Sunday. We will not hook up the toad tomorrow to move the five miles north, the spot we have picked will most likely require me backing Thunder into the spot. The key issue is getting the best angle for the highest solar harvest.

This is just a snapshot of 27 minutes of actual solar harvest.

The blue line is the amperage from the panels and the brown line shows the how many amp hours the battery bank is from full.

The amperage deviation marked in red was our fresh water pump running and the deviation marked in green was the circulation pump from the boiler, after it was shut off. The other little spikes are lamps being turned on and off.

The upward trend of the blue line is as the solar harvest becomes stronger because of a improving angles to the sun.

With no clouds forecast for today, and if I keep the suitcase properly angled we are hoping for one our best solar harvest, I do not expect to get to 100% of capacity but I’m hoping to get close to the 90% level. Living off the grid is so much better when you can replenish the energy you use everyday without running the generator, and not living in fear of alarms going off because of low battery voltage…yea this is pretty great, if I say so myself.