Our “summer home” site at Hoop Lake will have no electricity except for what we bring with us. We’re on our own to power all the creature comforts we’ve come to know and love. The fifth wheel is set up to run lights on battery power and to run the refrigerator on propane, but it depends on plugging in to a power source to run the television, the stereo and the microwave.
Laptops and cell phones and iPods – oh, my! How are we going to keep these charged? There’s an app for that! It’s called an inverter. An inverter takes battery power and converts it to the 120v power we’re used to plugging into. Quite literally, it’s DC-AC. Paul installed an inverter the week we brought the fifth wheel home, and wired two powers strips – one to the inside and one to the outside.
Later, in May, we’ll install solar panels on the roof. The solar panels will keep the batteries charged – keeping that DC flowing into the inverter and powering my small appliances. The inverter will power the coffeemaker, the satellite radio, and the curling iron – in addition to charging our electronics.
Running the television, the microwave, and of course, my hair dryer will take more power than the inverter can provide. If we want to use these, we’ll have to start the generator. We don’t anticipate using the generator very often. It is gasoline powered and it’s very noisy, and we’d hate to pollute the pristine environment at Hoop Lake. If we get a streak of bad weather we’ll have to use the generator to charge the batteries, but otherwise we’re hoping our solar panels will generate enough power to keep the batteries charged.
This is a great opportunity to prove our ability to use green energy and minimize our carbon footprint in our high mountain home.