I've Got the Power!

After a month of lollygagging and tomfoolery, we're back in the blogosphere! Did ya miss us!? What's that you say? You didn't even know we were gone? Sounds about right.

Life in the Winnebago has been fairly mundane and predictable. Pete and I are both working super full time these days, so the Winnie has become our free place to crash at night.

But, hey, the view's nice!

Unlike the year we spent at an RV park in Austin, nowadays we're boondocking in the Winnie. No electricity. No water. A small ant problem. It's glorified camping, really.

So you can imagine my dismay when I would come home to write a blog and my computer's battery was hovering around 38%. Absentmindedness and laziness kept me from charging my computer at work or while driving (we have a fairly crappy DC to AC power converter). And my disdain for spending money on something I could get for free kept me out of coffee shops.

We're not the kind of people that are tethered to technology. We don't have a TV or smart phones or hell, even a decent radio (our only form of consistent entertainment...when the rechargeable batteries aren't dead). But we wanted the option to get online, do a little work, maybe watch some Hulu. Oh yea, and blog I guess.

Holler for a 12-volt computer charger!  

We have three 12-volt plug-ins available in our Winnie. One in the front cab, one by our bed and one next to the dinette. Unfortunately, since we're using Google's free Wi-Fi, the only place where I can snag a somewhat sufficient internet connection is on the bed. Which makes for a super cozy office but also makes for a super sleepy Kara. 

The charger has proven to be a success in the maintaining charge department. If fails, however, in the actual charging department. Start at 78%. Stay at 78%. Sometimes the computer will even lose some of it's charge, albeit at a much slower rate than when it's totally unplugged. Which is certainly a result of the house battery fading due to all the extra plugging-in I'm doing these days. 

So you're probably asking yourself, "But how do you charge the house battery!?" Or maybe you're just not a critical thinker. 

Well, if you've been with us for a long time, you'd remember our journey down to Austin back in December 2010 and our alternator mishap. Basically, before all of our fabulous upgrades, Pete and I busted our alternator by simply flipping a switch (that can't happen anymore, thank goodness). We had no way to charge either of our batteries (house and starting).

We were determined to make it to Texas, though. So we stuck to daytime driving (which, in the winter, is not very abundant) and bought solar panels to charge up the starting battery en route. 

It was silly but not terribly ineffective. And we did make it to Texas! To be clear- we broke down in a Walmart parking lot in Greenville, TX - but it was still Texas!

So, utilizing those same solar panels, I've been able to use my computer for two hours longer than normal! AND we can air out our musty motor home with one of our vent fans without worry. It's a sun-powered miracle!