Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Our Lance Camper came pre-wired for solar, but they had to do some wiring anyway because the location that the wires terminated was not desirable (in the bedroom). Otherwise, the camper was quite happy to become solar powered. We added two, 100 watt panels to our roof, that fit perfectly on each side of our large sunroof in the cab-over area (bedroom). That part of the camper is slightly canted and if we would like to increase our charging ability in the winter, we can simply park the truck facing south to receive the most direct hit of winter sun.
So far, the camper has remained fully charged since we got the system. We have done very little traveling though, so we haven't really had a chance to put a big load on it. But not for long!! In just two weeks we are leaving for our biggest adventure yet: a whole MONTH of travelling! We have never had the chance to do this before, and we are beyond excited. It's still summer-time and we are going to see how many nights we can actually boondock and not use a paid campsite. As I have described before, what we do is not so much "camping" as it is "travelling". We spend our days parked at attractions, in parking lots at businesses and restaurants and parks and cool places... we don't care so much where we "sleep".
The Lance Camper is ideally set up for solar because they come standard with nearly everything in the camper being DC powered. The ONLY things that aren't battery-powered are the air conditioner and the microwave and the AC outlets. Literally everything else runs off of the battery, even the TV and stereo. It's quite awesome.
So stay tuned for our next big adventure, I will be posting the details about that soon! And... YAY SOLAR!!
This is the solution:
3M Adhesive Accessories
We hang our keys up near the door, reachable from the ground OUTSIDE the RV. Very handy:
In the early years, we faithfully recorded each and every stop with the trip number, date, time, place and the site number. Unfortunately, we did not record any thoughts or observations, and we deeply regret that. We do now though. Usually not much, just a page or two, takes only 5 minutes, but I can't tell you the pleasure it gives us to look back.
We keep our journal in a cupboard in the camper. We pull it out usually after dinner after having arrived somewhere and we take turns updating it. We include interesting things we did or saw, along with any particular markers in our life that will help us remember where we were in our "life's journey" at the time. We started including more information because we found ourselves wondering about these things when we looked back over our minimal entries from years past. Ideally, we would have pictures too, but we don't. We can, though, locate our digital photos easily by date to include if I ever get so ambitions in the future. I can't imagine how much work that would be because of the sheer number of trips we have been on, but it's fun to think about!
One thing that we have learned from past mistakes, is to make good use of the freshwater tank on board. Keep it clean, use it all the time for drinking water and maintain it properly. The benefit is that we no longer have to buy and haul those expensive and cumbersome cases of bottled water for drinking. I won't even start on the subject about what they are doing to the environment, or how much clutter they create. Being able to pull water out of the tap for making coffee or drinking or cooking is a major convenience and there is no reason why it can't be done.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Travelling, or "Camping" in a truck camper is different from any other RV in a very important, fundamental way. Let me explain: When we go on trips, we almost always have destinations in mind, and most of them are not "Camping" per se. For example, we are currently planning an extended trip through Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and California. Now, we are only going to be gone about a month, so obviously that's a lot of territory to cover. We have destinations in mind though, and because we have an awesome truck camper, we don't focus so much on where we will sleep as much as where we will spend our days. Make sense? Sure, we go "Camping" sometimes too, usually with our children along (they are grown) and the destination becomes communing together in one spot, like at the beach or in the mountains or on the river. But when we are in "travel" mode, just the two of us, we think very little about where we will sleep. We know it will be in our camper, and that's really all we worry about.
How do we do this? We affectionately call it "stealth camping".
Our truck and camper fit easily in most standard parking spaces. Because of this, that is often where we "sleep". We may have played all day in parks (again, parking easily in standard parking lots) and then we keep moving in one direction, stopping to sleep at the appropriate time. We don't really care so much about where we are while we are sleeping, because the inside of the camper pretty much looks the same whether we are sleeping next to Giant Redwoods, or in a Wal-Mart parking lot. In the morning, we prepare a nice breakfast in our comfortable, familiar surroundings, and then we take off on the next leg of our adventure. There is never any back tracking to our "campsite" or to our hotel. We move always FORWARD and this style of travel allows us to see a LOT more country than if we were going back and forth all the time. Obviously, there is one more benefit: It's cheap. And I won't even go into the bliss of not making reservations and being on a tight schedule that is expensive and inconvenient to change!!
This style of travel pretty much sums up why we love truck camping so much. It may not be for everyone, but it is most definitely for us.