Between oohing and ahhing over the photos, we also spent the day getting ready to start our trip back to Tucson. We leave tomorrow as we continue our longest period of dry boondocking so far. When we dry boondock, we are basically living off of the grid, relying on our generator and batteries to supply the electricity we need. When we unplugged LeuC from her hookup last Friday in the Ortega Flats Campground down in Southern California, we knew we would not be able to plug back into the grid until we arrived in Tucson this coming Saturday. That would be nine days living off of the grid.
What we have discovered is that we need to run the generator about 5 hours a day to keep the batteries fully charged as LeuC continues to suck down the amps. Since her generator is about the same size (10 KW) as we had on Leu Cat (11 KW), our former sailboat that we lived on for 10 years, I am guessing that we are using about ½ gallon of diesel an hour or about 2.5 to 3 gallons a day. Our fuel tank holds 125 gallons, so we have no fear of running low on diesel.
When we run the generator, we also run the fireplace to make LeuC post-toasty in the early morning and in the late evening. This keeps us warm when the sun is down. During the daylight hours, we have been very comfortable even though today was overcast and then rained as the day progressed. The temperatures have dropped into the mid-40s at night and topped out in the mid-60s during the day.
I spent this morning removing the road tar that has accumulated along the sides of LeuC from the fresh asphalt roads we have occasionally run across. By reading our manual, I discovered that Windex is the best stuff to use to remove this tar and it works like a dream. I would have never thought of this before reading LeuC’s manual.
While I was doing this, Mary Margaret and Joyce went over to Costco, so we could restock our fresh fruits and veggies. I also ran over to Ace Hardware and bought a really near collapsible ladder that telescopes up to 12.5 feet. When compacted, it is only about 2 feet wide by 2.5 feet tall, so it will easily fit into our storage area (our “basement) under the bus. I need such a tall ladder to be able to get onto the roof of LeuC to inspect her roof and the various things that are housed there, such as our satellite dome and the trickle charge solar panel.
Our day ended with a BBQ. Gifford, a neighbor of Carolyn and Joyce’s came over for dinner, so Mary Margaret baked some sweet potatoes, I grilled up some rib eyes that we had bought when we spent the night at the Harris Ranch, and Carolyn whipped up some potatoes and sausage stuffing. It was a feast that was only surpassed by the generous sized portions of cheesecake which Carolyn and Joyce passed around to complete the meal. Sweet!
Gifford recently joined the Elks Club and shared with me a copy of his “Elkdom Travel Guide, Vol. 1”. As it turns out, many of the Elks Club Lodges around the US and Canada will allow RVers to come and stay in their parking lots and many of the Lodges provide, water, electrical hookups and even sewer disposal for a nominal fee. However, to use this resource, most Lodges require you to be an Elks Club member. We are not members and after listening to what is required to become a member, it would be difficult for us to join. Nevertheless, if any of you are interested, it certainly is a neat option to look into.