Sunday, May 5, 2013

Retirement, RV Boondocking, and Technology

     This week I finalized my plans to retire with the district and state paperwork.  It has been a wonderful career and I can never replace the memories I have created with some of the finest people God ever put on this earth, children. 
     Retirement brings with it the long awaited dream of traveling when and where we want in our RV discovering as much of the country as possible.  First for us will be the journey to Alaska next spring which will be an adventure all it's own.  I have been planning the logistical and technical phase of this for many years now.  Barb and I love the RV lifestyle, but will never be RV park people.  We will spend most of our time (and less money) boondocking.  I have spent considerable time and money preparing our rig for these years. 
     I have added 2 sets of solar panels totaling 175 watts to power our battery bank consisting of 4 Trojan T-105REs that will supply us with nearly 600 AH of power.  Monitoring of this system uses a Delray Battery Tender Plus setup to monitor/charge as needed.  This will team with the super efficient Honda EU-3000 generator that runs nearly 21 hours on 3 gallons of gas.  We also have an extra 40 gallon water tank, a water purification system, exterior water collection system (for rain), air compressor, collapsable ladder, tools, fabrication supplies, Engel 43 qt. AC/DC efficient fridge freezer, and a pure sine wave inverter to power nearly everything off our battery bank except the microwave and the air conditioner when needed.    We juggled the technology process for a bit, but finally decided on a wide screen laptop with wireless technology.  We can utilize our own 'hotspot' or our IPhones to provide internet access for contact with the outside world (when desired), planning, and updating this blog.  We also decided on a compact Canon Wireless Printer for our most basic needs. We are debating an additional antenna for WiFi support later on if needed.  We converted our TV to a flat screen plasma AC/DC with built in DVD.  We have an armada of movies on disk and care very little for the news.   We do have some interior remodeling planned to remove the RV couch (was always usually used by our pooch only) and replace it with a small computer desk and move one of the Lazy Boy chairs into the 'slide out' space which will create room near the door for a boot tray and coat rack.  There is so much more to learn about this type of lifestyle and so many designs and improvements I am sure I will be discovering in the years to come. 
    I will spend this intital summer testing this system in order to determine power needs, requirements, and solar capabilities.   It's going to be a learning process, but a fun one.  Everything from here on is an adventure.  I do want to thank the many people I have conversed with planning this.  There are many off grid boondocking blogs and sites on line.   Most noteworthy is   I modeled several of my plans and systems from his experience. 

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