Photo: Pixabay: Pexels

In the olden days when I first went off grid in Klaus the Knaus, my motorhome, I never really gave electricity generation much of a thought.  My leisure battery charged up while I was going along and it also got a boost from a small solar panel on the roof.    It was enough to keep the lights working at night and operate the pump when I needed water. Every so often I charged a phone but seeing that costs of calls and data were high abroad I was very careful about how I used my mobile.    The only time that I came unstuck was on a campsite. I’d managed to drain my main battery as I’d charged my laptop from it using a new power hungry adaptor.  However I learnt the  French words for jump leads, batted my eyes at a maintenance man and I was sorted.

When Hot Stuff came into my life he took a geeky interest in the electrics in my van.  He put new gubbins behind the driver seat.  Now the main battery is never likely to go flat because it’s charged from the solar panels on the roof as well.  There’s now two of those as ‘someone’ deemed that one was insufficient.  There is new lighting and charge points scattered all over the van.  And when we are on hook up there are masses of conventional power points. Plug sockets were low on the ground in the old days.

We actually need more power these days.  We use our laptops a lot more  now we have a free data allowance to use when away.  And then there’s the small matter of electric bike batteries which take three or four hours each to charge.  In dimpsy weather or if we’re parked in shade my poor leisure battery can struggle its nuts off to keep up with our off grid needs. 

Hot Stuff  insists on conducting mad cap experiments to test his solar set up.  It normally pays off but didn’t on a Galician campground.  He grumbled because the pitches with a beautiful view of the sea were under trees.  Couldn’t we move back and boil our heads off in the sun? We went for a cycle and used up the  e-bike batteries.  I did some blogging on the laptop.  Those poor panels couldn’t keep up with making all the power that we needed.  The leisure battery dipped alarmingly  I was even worried about running the water as the pump uses electricity. 

We argued.  ‘Enough!’ I said. ‘There is a power socket three metres away and we’re using it you knobhead’.  We paid for hook up for the rest of the stay.  However there are murmurings coming from the man in my life.  He thinks that there might be room for another leisure battery under one of the seats that will store that extra solar energy!

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