Our big off-grid adventure turned out to be mostly plugged in. Winter weather stalked us through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas so we never did get the bugs worked out of our inverter/battery set-up because of the need to run the heater every night and most days. We got most of our leaks sealed up in the tiny trailer, but came to realize that no matter what we did with the inside, we still needed a few more feet of living space. We did not get our mobile winter garden planted for the same reason: freezing outdoor temps and no room to put the pots inside.
Fortunately opportunity smiled upon us and we were able to pass the tiny trailer on to someone who hopes to restore it for camping with his family and we acquired a new Minnie Winnie with almost all the bells and whistles. The battery is actually properly wired to charge while the truck is driving. The bathroom is spacious, with a nice shower and all the plumbing works. And we have a slide-out – score! It feels like a mansion.
We tested out Minnie’s off-grid capabilities in a couple of RV-friendly store parking lots, with very satisfactory results. After considering the pros and cons of continuing off-grid, with dump and refill rates of $10-$20 every few days, we opted to give our Passport America membership a real workout. Except for a few nights outside Dallas, Tx where we stayed in a very nice campground for $34.50 a night, we averaged about $15 a night in various rv parks in Texas and New Mexico.
Our biggest difficulty with living and working on the road has been reliable internet connectivity. The Verizon phone hotspot has been great in most areas, but we have spent a good amount of time in areas where AT&T is the prevalent carrier, and spend much of our Colorado time in a Verizon black hole. So I have had to cave in and get an AT&T hotspot, which is working quite well. Both the Verizon and AT&T plans are prepaid/no contract plans, so I can tweak and adjust data packages to suit our coverage needs.
That should bring us up-to-date with what has been going on with the mobile homestead for the last month. The next few weeks’ posts should be a bit more interesting. Praying for warmer weather!