As you will see from our blog we usually pick the road less traveled and, for us, it has made all the difference.
←Assateague Island National Seashore, MD
Stanislaus National Forest, CA →
← Dixie National Forest, UT
Here's some technical details for anyone who is interested.
Gear we carry: Downhill skis and boots, snowshoes, Pak-Boat folding kayaks or our hand built mahogany kayaks from Pygmy Boats, mountain bikes, hiking boots with stabilicer crampons and hiking poles. Clothing for 0° to 100°. Garmin eTrex hand held GPS. We like to be ready for anything
Truck: 2003 Ford, F-350, dual rear wheel, diesel, with approximately 90,000 miles on it at this point. We have added a front mount Bodiak receiver for the bike rack, a Garmin Nuvi 255 GPS (That's Lois), and a Torklift tie down system for the camper.
Solar Power: We have 4 solar panels for a total of 220 watts. They can put approximately 15 amps into the batteries in full sun with the sun at the proper angle, but realistically the most we ever see is about 12 amps, still plenty for our needs.
Camper: 2005 Arctic Fox 1150 camper with queen size bed, 6.0 cubic ft refrigerator / freezer, full bath with shower, full galley with 3 burner cooktop and oven. We have a 46 gallon fresh water tank, 30 gallon black water and grey water tanks. Propane powers the refrigerator, the stove, and the furnace. 12 volts from the batteries power the water pump, electronics, stereo, lights, vent and furnace fans, and smoke, propane, and CO detectors. The camper has a full wall slide out which gives us a great deal of added floorspace.
Inverter: We have 700 watt inverter, which converts 12 volt DC from the batteries into 120 volt AC for battery chargers, laptop computers, and various other appliances listed above. The inverter is wired into some of the camper outlets so all we have to do is flip the switch and plug in. This gives AC power when we are in the boonies.
Electronics: Tri-metric battery monitor and a SCI mark 22 solar controller. Verizon MiFi 3G wireless modem for internet access.
Batteries: Two 6 volt Lifeline 300 Amp-hour AGM (absorbent glass mat) batteries connected in series for 12 volts. These batteries are zero maintenance and zero emission so they are mounted inside the heated space of the camper to keep them warm in the winter. We in New Hampshire know what cold does to batteries.
Lighting: We have supplemented our incandescent and fluorescent lighting that was originally installed in the camper with about half a dozen LED lights that use about a tenth the power that the others do. We use them almost exclusively when camping “off the grid”, which is 99% of the time.
Generator: Yamaha 1000 watt for extended bad weather.
Thule racks for carrying kayaks and skis. Yakima front mounted bike rack.