Off Grid Peace of Mind in a Class B RV

Class B RV

Jean and Ed, owners of Dottie, are enjoying the first few months of a planned 18-month tiny home immersion experience. They sold their traditional home earlier in the year and will transition to a new home in the fall of 2018 once construction is completed. While they have plans to follow the sun once we start into the winter, they can currently be found at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. Solidly into their second year of volunteering at this gorgeous park, Jean and Ed devote five out of every seven days to their duties in the MeadoWatch and Meadow Roving programs at Mount Rainier. This arrangement works out beautifully in that the Park system provides free camping to volunteers and the couple stay on-site, in Dottie, with daily short trips between their campground and the Paradise area of the Park.

off grid

“Other than our daily back and forth trips of approximately 9 miles, we have an occasional drive into the local town of Ashford that is about 14 miles away from the campground”, said Jean. “We always have plenty of battery power throughout this 5-day stay”. Jean and Ed commented that this is probably not surprising to other experienced ARV owners—but it doesn’t hurt to remind the community.

Dottie is outfitted with ARV’s current production-level, version 2 Lithium battery pack—but Jean and Ed do have the older alternator. This 800Ahr unit is supplemented by solar panels that contribute an incremental amount of power and a weekly round trip to their former neighborhood (three hours in each direction) provides all of the power that they need. With a 420 watt capacity, the highest power contribution that Ed and Jean have observed through their Silver Leaf system is +13A. The Park campground (Cougar Rock) does provide drinking water and a place to dump Dottie’s tanks, but—as is the case at many campgrounds, there are no electric hookups. Although generators are allowed in certain loops of the campground, Jean and Ed are happy to report that they have not needed to use their Genset this entire summer. “If we had to depend on an electric plug-in system or run our generator all the time”, observed Ed, “this wouldn’t be workable”.

effortless systems

Solid engineering and useful innovation are hallmarks of ARV. In fact, the company is in continual beta-test mode with various products and technologies. “We are always searching out compelling offerings—particularly in energy storage technology”, said Frank Kolasinski. “Enabling our customers to stay off the grid as long as possible is the goal”.

Although the warmth of spring was late in arriving at Mount Rainier, the summer has proven to be remarkably dry and sunny. The two volunteers have documented over 50 days of sunlight at the Park so far which enables them to execute their normal breakfast and dinner activities as well as occasional full-day fan ventilation with little or no reduction in available battery power. “On a few really hot days in the high 90’s, we even ran the house AC for intervals”, said Jean. “We always had plenty of power and were never close to needing the Genset”.

Dottie will return to Willoughby, Ohio this fall to be updated to the latest alternator before Jean and Ed head south and winter in Southern New Mexico and South Padre Island in Texas. Once the weather breaks in 2018, they hope to travel to Alaska before settling back in for another summer of volunteer work at Mount Rainier.

You can see more photos of Dottie in our Gallery here

3 replies
  1. Gereshom
    Gereshom says:

    What is the colour please of Dottie?

    I am thrilled for this couple! Their upcoming trips sound absolutely fantastic and what a lovely way to live! One just has to make the lifestyle choice; take a deep breathe and well, just do it!

    Safe travels to them!



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