Less Than Ideal Boondocking Weather

I awoke to the worst kind of weather for boondocking while relying on solar. It’s frigid and overcast. I’m still bringing in about 4A, but the furnace is taking that out just as fast. I’m trying to keep the rig around 16C and not freezing by staying wrapped in the electric blanket, which has a negligible draw.

Needless to say, I was glad to have an excuse to run back to Assiniboia (three hours round trip) this morning. I may need to go again tomorrow or Wednesday, so I am staying put. I’ll explain what’s going on in my next post.

Hey, There’s a Walmart in Weyburn!

This morning, I headed south of Swift Current to meet up with Saskatchewan highway 13. The day was spent traversing the wide open undulating amber hills of Saskatchewan. If you’re not into that sort of thing, don’t go that way, especially in the off season as there is barely anything but land and sky for the whole route. But if, like me, you are deeply in love with prairie landscapes, I recommend this route over taking the Transcanada, especially if you’re heading south to cross into North Dakota. For one thing, the road conditions are much better!

I had thought to stop well before highway 39 to spend a few days, but the options were lacking, short of parking behind a vacant building. My GPS told me the nearest Walmarts were in Moose Jaw, which is out of my way, or Estevan, right at the border. But I was able to get online in Assiniboia (cell service in Saskatchewan is spotty) and determined that there is a Walmart in Weyburn, right at the junction of highways 13 and 39. I have permission to stay for a few nights as I may have some more business to attend to before crossing the border.

It’s been frigid and overcast all day, so my batteries are really straining. I hit a full charge about an hour ago, but if tonight is anything like last night, I will have to ration my power usage tonight. One nice little luxury is sitting in the office with the electric blanket instead of running the heat all evening.

My inverter has officially gotten on my nerves. I don’t know what’s with it, but even if I’m registering 12.6V it won’t let me do anything more than charge the laptop before squealing that I have no battery juice left and turning itself off. I know I need to get a battery capacity monitor because voltage readings alone tell me nothing, but I find it suspicious that I can run heat, the water pump, and an LED light at the same time and barely have the voltage flicker on the solar controller while my inverter is asserting that the draw from my laptop is too taxing to my system. This summer, I am going to work out the math and do the pricing on getting a battery monitor and a couple of 12V deep cycle batteries.

Now, I’m off to research inverters. 🙂

Just About Ready for a Homecoming

It’s amazing how quickly I was able to get the rig squared away this morning! Except for the case of the missing driver’s side curtain (very curious), I’d say my study is looking pretty good!

Now:

versus before:

Here’s the small bookcase and desk with the new tops:

Here’s the best before shots I have of the set up before:

and

Where the top was just put there for storage/picture taking and wasn’t attached or usable in any way.

Doesn’t it now almost look like a built-in now, instead of a mix of two unrelated pieces of furniture? The top is fantastic; it fits perfectly, so no more dropping things behind the small bookcase! I will probably end up putting a hole in it for feeding wires so that I can keep my external hard drives on the bookcase, but I won’t know for sure until I get my tech back in here later this week.

I also squeezed one of the end tables in beside the filing cabinet… and forgot to grab a shot of that! 🙁 I wish I would have thought of doing that sooner so I could have refinished the top. But I’ll leave it as is for now. I just didn’t have space for it in the library and it gives me some space to store all the leftover paint. 🙂

I’m going to bring one more load down, then I will get back to transcription. My time management today has been excellent and I am making great progress with both projects. Another thing that is helping me feel accomplished is that I have put two bags full of donations in the car and I know I can at least double that amount by the end of the week!

Introducing Boondockers Welcome

Since I began RVing, I’ve discovered that for every crazy person willing to let go of physical roots and hit the open road there is an equally crazy person eager to have this RVing stranger stay on their property.

Well, there is a new online community, brought to you by Marianne Edwards of Frugal RV Travel, to help these two groups meet up: Boondockers Welcome.

Boondockers Welcome‘s purpose is to provide a database of both private boondocking locations and of RVers looking for a friendly, free, overnight spot. The site is well thought out, offering an opportunity for both the boondocker and the host  to provide plenty of pertinent information about each other. For example, a boondocker can say in their profile that they prefer to park and pull out without talking to the host, while the host can say ahead of time if BBQs, dogs, awnings, generators, etc. are allowed. There is also a recommendations or ratings option to help folks build up their reputation. The site is also open to users worldwide!

Please check out Boondockers Welcome and create a user profile offering a boondocking spot to receive a gift for being a founding member of a site that fills a much needed void in the RVing community.