Sunday, July 2, 2017

Day 58 - Deer Lodge, MT

Today was another travel day. The last two days at Walmart were a good chance to try out the solar panels and battery bank. When we arrived yesterday afternoon, we were at 100%. I turned on the inverter but forgot to manually switch the refrigerator to propane so it ran off the battery bank for about an hour. This used over 10% of the battery capacity. This morning, we were at 67% of capacity. In other words, we had drawn 145 amp-hours from the battery bank. This was with the bathroom fan running for around 12 hours, the ceiling fan for about 10 hours, an oscillating fan running for about 6 hours, induction burner for an hour, 3 cups of coffee, CPAP machine, watching YouTube videos on the TV for around an hour and charging up all devices. Plus the normal 12volt stuff like the lights, furnace and water pump. I think that the number of batteries is about right. By 3:00pm on a partly cloudy day has it charged back to 90%. Maybe a couple of more panels may be a better number. But then again, we haven't really been boondocking as much as I was planning due to the tank valve issue. Here is the output graph for the solar and you can see the fluctuations from the clouds.

Today, we are at an old KOA campground in Deer Lodge, MT. Not a whole lot in town except a prison museum. The wifi is functional but not very good. This post is being done using my phone on AT&T. We opted to stay at an RV park mainly for the ability to run the A/C due to the warm temperatures. We still had plenty of water on board.

Tomorrow, we head for the west entrance to Glacier National Park.

Update - By 7 pm, the batteries were back up to almost 100% (99%). After a quick thunderstorm this afternoon, the clouds cleared.


  1. That's a lot of electrical usage you're getting....nice!

    1. The 4 GC-2 batteries seem to be about the right number. And if I had set the refrigerator properly then we would've only used half of our usable capacity.

  2. Your solar installation is a great thing, but summer travel really does demand A.C., unless you are at really high elevation.