Sitting in the Shade

We’re at a rally of our airstream club, Carolinas Unit of NC, encamped under grand white oak trees. The trees around us are massive, strong and broad. They form a beautiful grove of sheltering long-limbed giants. Throughout the day they allow sunlight to filter through a little. And they add to the night-time darkness, allowing starlight only in the center clearing.

Rally camping in the shade

Rally camping in the shade

Camping in the shade, we can keep the trailer cooler but cannot maintain the batteries with our solar panels. We’re in our third day and still have 80 percent battery capacity remaining despite lots of laptop charging, use of water pump and fans, and lighting throughout the day and evening the previous two days. Battery voltage is sitting at 12.5, so everything is in good shape inside.

Camping in the shade we enjoy the shadows and calm filtered light entering our trailer. Sort of makes an argument for remote solar panels, I guess. But ours are so easy to work with, ninety-five percent of the time sitting in bright sunlight atop our trailer.

Oh — there is shore power too. But Jim enjoys seeing how many days we can thrive on just batteries and solar re-charging. Call it our small contribution to reduced carbon footprint.

See you down the road!
Jim and Debbie

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6 responses to “Sitting in the Shade

  1. Thanks for the timely post. We will be camping four nights at Hanging Rock State Park, near Danbury, NC, sans hookups. We will be gathering for my brother’s memorial service Sept. 22 (his birthday). Since we won’t be using A/C and should require little to no heat, we should be able to make it. We can do the device charging in the Yukon Hybrid. Our biggest concern in keeping power to the refrigerator electronics. We don’t have a generator other than the Yukon. Your posts gives me confidence. Keep experimenting and posting.

    • Great on Hanging Rock State Park, but sad about your brother’s memorial service. Sorry to hear that. I agree, you won’t need A/C. You may find it pretty darned cool, though. We’ve had a few nights in the high fifties near Raleigh for this rally weekend. Very nice!

      Just for reference sake, here’s the overview on our battery performance for three days. We’ve used 129 amp hours of our battery capacity, and our voltage is now 12.3, still fine for operating everything. The battery use has been exclusively for fans, lights, water pump and charging laptops.

      Our total usable battery capacity is somewhere north of 150 amp hours. We might be able to figure it out more closely but we decided to de-rate our batteries to a conservative number and it is pretty much a swag factor. The batteries are factory-rated at 432 amp hours (two 216 amp-hour batteries in each bank, two banks). The batteries don’t want to be run to 10.8 volts so we cannot get 432 amp hours from them. They also are over two years old so probably aren’t worth 432 amp hours anyway. So half of the rating is 216 amp hours and 80 percent of that is a little north of 150 amp hours.

      We’re at 129 amp hours after three days of lavish use (but no furnace). We’ll check the voltage and amp hours in the morning, probably move the trailer into the sun or turn on the converter charger before we go to breakfast.

      We’re heading to the Outer Banks tomorrow. Maybe we’ll be back in Charlotte before y’all come back through and we can visit! You’ll do fine at Hanging Rock. Have a safe trip and let us know how you’re doing.

      • Richard Hunt

        Again, thanks. Great time of the year to go to the OB. We were going there but deciding to spend time in Charleston, SC for the first time.

  2. I really like the way you guys camp:) Me an my finance are going to be doing a 7 month travel trailer adventure after our wedding. Reading your blog makes me want that to be happening right now. Keep it up, I look forward to your next entry.

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