Power to the People!
Originally posted 4/26/2013
This post is just to let you know how the riff-raff south of the tracks live. Mike is not a newbie, having full-timed off and on for the last few years, But, he has been doing without solar power while living in an ex-construction E-250 van. He’s been drawing power off the van’s starting battery, which isn’t good for it in the long run because they aren’t made for that type of use. He just bit the bullet and stepped up to a 245 watt solar panel and a couple of 6-volt deep cycle AGM batteries that give the system more power than two of my 12-volt AGMs. For a van with much more modest power needs than me, this is a pretty hearty system. Some outfits make 12VDC refrigerators and refrigerator/freezers that look like typical coolers you’d use for a picnic, so getting decent electrical power begins to open up possibilities for food storage and other things that can greatly affect how you live.
I couldn’t possibly pack myself into a van for more than a couple of months, but these guys seem just fine with it because they figure out how to use the very limited space effectively, and consider it to be cozy instead of claustrophobic. Hanging out in lawn chairs, working outside on folding tables, and having cookouts on Coleman stoves is common. They tend to hit the nearest town regularly, and don’t lack for fresh food or clever ways to fashion fine meals.