Lessons learned camping and wow, Solar panels have really dropped in cost!

Lessons learned on this trip:

  1. Good sleep is critical for me. My CIDP rages and flares if I don’t get good rest. Solution is a good solid mattress from Germany for the overhead bunk instead of the foam. 
  2. Always take notes and write stuff down of need to haves and want to haves. I did good on most items but 1st aid was a little lacking and I screwed up on comfy sleep pillows.(extra pens, note pads and pencils)
  3. Know your BOV: I lost all my water by not knowing which way to turn a valve. The RV site had fresh water so I could take on water but I/you may not have that option. Have backups of all critical items. I had an extra 2 gallons of water that got me through and bleach to purify water if needed. Today I added a ceramic water filter as a back up. I did have access to water out of a resevoir.
  4. Awning is toast on the RV.  That’s okay it’s a bit dated, but instead of getting another awning I’m looking at an attachable cabana/tent. It’s about the same price as a new awning and I gain at least another 49 sq. ft. of living area. The critters will love it as well!
  5. Pressure cooker and pans: If you store beans and brown rice a pressure cooker is critical for saving fuel and cooking fast. There were 3 different groups down there and no one had real baking dishes for muffins, cakes or loves of bread. We managed but it would be better to have at least foil pans if not regular baking pans. Mom did have muffin cups on hand, LOL.
  6. Clean up: Extra paper towels, cleaners for your home away from home that will work with fiberglass and plastics.
  7. Pets: Clean up after your critters, I can buy doggie doo bags 50 for a dollar. I think my family was the only ones picking up after our pets. Sure the poo will eventually break down, but not over a weekend or a month of folks having 2-3 dogs all doing animal thing. Simple consideration is all I ask. Plus in SHTF scenario you need a way to get rid of all poo. Think about it now and how you will deal with it.

I’ve been looking at the prices of solar panels for a couple of years.  Recently the costs have really dropped. I found several nice 2nd generation panels from 10-20 watts going for $45-$90.00 and the price per watt is getting pretty reasonable. I’ve been looking to augment my RV power since it has a DC fridge and freezer and while it’s small it could be critical in a grid down situation and it’s a good place to start my off-grid power.
I also like that I can buy components as money becomes availible rather than a huge investment all at once.  I’m looking a 20 watt panel for $82.00 to start for the RV + a charger controller and the RV already has batteries and the DC wiring, lights and other stuff done. Next big purchase would be batteries and I think I’ll go with the gel packed, as they are sealed, no maintenence and no out gassing.

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3 Responses to Lessons learned camping and wow, Solar panels have really dropped in cost!

  1. karen says:

    Hmmm-German mattress? What are the advantages, and where do you get one?

  2. Well I did buy mine at a german furniture store. You might check IKEA and a german mattresses are a bit like an over sized twin mattress. These mattresses are made to rest on wooden slats and not a box spring. They are fairly light in comparison to an American mattress, you feel the springs pressing on the outside edge. But seem very supportive when you lay on one. They do tend to be on the firm side, and not a pillow top. You might also check with Home depot as they are part of Bauhaus in germany and they maybe able to special order a mattress. I have an oversized queen or slightly undersized king bed that consists of 2 basic german mattresses. and have slept on them for 10 years and they can be flipped once a year or 2 and seem like brand new. The mattresses are an odd size so getting fitted sheets in the USA is a nogo. A bit more than a twin but less than a full size mattress. So if you find one to buy I'd go with flat sheets. Advantages you don't need a box spring to get comfort. they do great just resting on slats of wood or plywood. Fairly cheap in Euro prices, You can get a good mattress for around 125.00 euros. I'm not sure what shipping would cost. karen if you are really interested you might check out http://www.bauhuas.de and hit google translate

  3. Stephen says:

    Thanks, Lots of good info, I took notes.

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