Getting the Trailer Off-Grid Ready

We will be making our first big journey in the tiny trailer in a few weeks. So far, we have been no more than two nights without electrical hook ups and water, as we have been between parents, children and the Homestead. Our big trips the past year have been in the RV, which is already set up for off-grid living. Now the RV will be stationary for a while, so we will be traveling in the truck and trailer. It’s time to work out the rest of the bugs and get it ready for off-grid living.

The first area of concern is to finish sealing up the leaks. We’ve had some torrential rains here in Southern California the last few days and discovered a new leak. I had not yet replaced the caulk weatherstripping around the window next to my bed and that is where the leak is. That and applying rubber sealant on the roof and seams is first on the list. I hear it sometimes rains in Texas, which is where we’re heading next. I will also be peeling back the front corner of siding to replace some more dry rot, which can no longer be put off.

The second biggest concerns are the refrigerator and oven pilots. The fridge is not working on propane, only electricity. Before I worry about how I’m going to run it on electricity full time, I will try cleaning the pilot assembly on it as it may be dirty. If that doesn’t work, then Plan B (electricity). I’m hoping it will work once it’s clean, so I can run it on propane. The oven is not absolutely essential, but it is also a heater – it is built that way, with an internal fan that kicks in to circulate the heat while keeping the oven door closed. That takes electricity, too, so I’m hoping we won’t need it too much. I do like the oven for baking bread and some other stuff.

Although we have been doing fine with our water jug system, I want to repair the onboard fresh water tank so we can use it with the water pump and faucets. It carries 10 gallons, then our jugs can go in the back of the truck for extra water.

Now we’re down to electricity. Do I get a generator or an inverter? I am going to replace the regular interior and porch lights with battery-operated 27-LED lights. That will leave the water pump, gadget charging station and fridge to be run by electricity. If I can get the fridge on to propane, there is not a lot of wattage to worry about. In that case, I can just run a cord to an inverter in the truck. If not, I’m looking at needing a generator and battery setup. I eventually plan to do that and solar panels, too, but I’m hoping to delay the expense just a bit longer.

At the moment, I am just waiting for supplies, many of which I ordered from, the RVer’s best friend. In my next post, I hope to show you how the repairs and improvements are coming along. Until then I hope you will visit me at my website, Mrs. D’s Traveling Homestead, or on Facebook; and check out my new book, The Working Parent’s Guide To Homeschooling.

  • Published on Dec 10, 2014
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