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Friday, February 1, 2013

Secret Road Trip

We did a secret run yesterday, and yes PB went with me! We found out last week that PB's mom was going to be passing within 100 miles of us and spending the night, they were on their way to a gem and mineral show in another state. So on a real whim, we decided to go meet them. So yesterday afternoon we jumped into the truck, and drove to Pecos.

The restaurant was not hard to find, it was right off the highway, the ladies were already there, it was quite a nice dinner, my MIL's friends were delightful ladies, I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them. It was nice to see PB talking to his mom, sharing old pictures, we went to their room after dinner and looked at pictures on my laptop. It was so good to see and hug my MIL, she is quite the interesting and nice lady.




Oh and lest I forget, we brought Zoe, it was quite a long road trip for her, she hasn't done very well on any car trips, she gets very upset and does something she never does any other time, she drools, a LOT. We brought a towel along and we were glad we did it. Fortunately she doesn't seem to get car sick, she just doesn't like going in the car, I think it's because in the past, that meant going to a new home. On the way out, she wasn't too bad, she sat between us but was clearly not happy. She would have been much less happy if we had left her at home.

We did have to leave her in the truck while we ate, PB went out and checked on her, she did very well alone in the truck, no barking, no crying, no howling, no destructive behavior... on the way home she calmed down quite a bit, no drooling, and she was interested in the things around her in the truck, so I think she is going to do good on future road trips, including short ones to visit friends.





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11 comments:

  1. Hi: My name is Josh and I actually am commenting on here to thank you for your review of the temperature controller for the freezer you made on amazon. It was SOOOO detailed and helpful for me and i just wanted to acknowledge it and say thanks

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    1. Thanks Josh, I appreciate it, I'm glad my review could help you, I tend to write the way I want to read things, I like details, lots of details, thanks for letting me know it helped. :)

      I assume this is something you are interested in? Are you using this or are you going to use this? If so, let me know what you are doing...

      Wretha

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  2. ya I am using it---my girlfriend and I have a tiny cabin wayyyy off grid and were looking for a fridge idea and came across your review

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  3. I came across your blog via an answer you left on a Black and Decker energy star chest freezer question. We have an off grid camp in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate NY. We use propane lights and a ram pump to pump water uphill to storage tanks which gravity feed back down to camp. I really want a refrigerator and we are looking at micro hydro power to charge a small battery bank. ( others have said we should just get a propane fridge but they are expensive and my thought on the micro hydro power is for about the same price we could get electricity to run the fridge and hopefully have a little left over for charging computer, running radio etc.) I like the idea of using the chest freezer and converting to a fridge. My biggest concern on any refrigeration is the amount of power it will take to start not run the refrigeration system. Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!

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    1. adirondackpash, thanks for writing, I assume you are asking about the surge that happens when electric items first come on, I looked on the side of the freezer and it says 5 amps, I assume that is the maximum it would ever need and once running it uses much less.

      Any freezer will have a tag either on the side of the back with the specs of what it takes to run. Our inverter will run a maximum of 9 amps, 1000 watts sustained and 1500 watts surge. As to how long it will run is fully dependent on the number and amp hours of the batteries we have hooked up. It sounds like you aren't going to need much in the way of power, so it should not cost very much to get started. I hope this helps, if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

      Here is a link to an article I wrote on another site about our freezer-fridge conversion:

      http://www.off-grid.net/2012/10/03/freezer-to-fridge-conversion/

      Wretha

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    2. What items are you powering through the inverter? How big is your battery bank? My head is spinning with all of the research I have been doing! I am afraid I may underestimate what we need or the reverse and it will be overkill!!

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    3. adirondackpash, half a dozen lights (mostly CFLs and a couple of LEDs) usually have 2 on at a time nighttime use only. A small radio, a laptop computer, sometimes a set of small computer speakers, a wireless internet antenna, of course the freezer/fridge conversion, all of those items run from the inverter. We also have a 12 volt water pump that runs directly from the batteries.

      With the exception of the fridge, everything else is on power bricks with power switches so we actually turn the power off to the things we aren't using, there are phantom loads that occur even when things are turned off but still plugged up to live power.

      Our batteries, ideally we like to run 4-125 amp hour deep cycle batteries, but we have run our house on as few as 2. The problem with running fewer batteries is it's very hard on those batteries and if you use them down below 50% on a regular basis, it does shorten the life of the battery.

      Our system is pretty small but it works well for us, it's all we need.

      Wretha

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    4. Thank you so much for this info...other than the fridge/freezer that we will definitely be doing, we would only want to power a small radio and recharge a computer and my husbands trolling motor batteries which are deep cycle. You are lucky to get internet...we are in a dead zone with no cell service and definitely no internet. I had been thinking we would need 4 batteries and based on what you use I think that is about right. If we could get away with 2 would be great..am wondering if trolling motor batteries could work for both...the fishing boat as well as the battery bank. I think we will be able to generate plenty of electricity from the water going over the dam at the outlet of the lake to keep the batteries charged. I am so excited about the possibility of refrigeration! You should see how excited I was when we got running water!! Thanks again for taking the time to give us some ideas and moral support!!

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    5. Well I found a fantastic deal on a chest freezer..a chain grocery store had them on sale last week for $199.00 and it came with a coupon book for $200. in free frozen food! So it was essentially free and I'm using it right now at home as a freezer.
      ( That's the great part of this...I will hopefully use it in the summer at our camp as a refrigerator and bring it home in the winter and use as a freezer!) The back of the freezer says it runs on 1.6Amps so I think it will work well for us! Do you use special Solar batteries or just regular Deep Cycle Batteries ...I have seen some at Advance Auto that seem less expensive than the others...

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    6. Sounds like a great deal! We use regular deep cycle batteries, nothing special, these are made by Interstate. Get whatever is the best deal for you. Your batteries will generally be the most expensive part of your system, and they have to be replaced every so many years, the ones we have are supposed to last 5 years (on average), but in real life, just like most things, your mileage will vary. Keep me updated on how things are going. :)

      Wretha

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  4. Well..here we go on an update! finally...we decided to go with solar for now as the micro-hydro was more complicated and would need more tweaking and required permits etc. plus with the solar we can get a 30% tax credit and nothing for the hydro power... we got 3 100W panels from a company called Renogy and 4 deep cycle batteries from Advance Auto Parts...they had a deal where if I order on-line and then pick up at the store I would get $30 off my order, so that is what I would do...every time I needed to make a trip to the "Big City" ( 50 miles away) I would order one! The batteries ended up costing $61. a piece. Got a charge controller and now on to an inverter! Want to make sure we get one that can be hardwired in to a panel box..most I see that are reasonable have plugs built into them and seem to be more for portable use rather than household use. What type of inverter do you use? Any suggestions or advise? It has been a long winter and not much of a spring...even got some snow last week , made it in to camp finally last weekend..the latest ever in 16 years! Hope it means a great summer coming up! Where abouts in Texas are you located? We lived in Miami,Texas up in the panhandle for a short time (3 months) back in 1973. And we have friends from here in the Adirondacks whose relatives owned a huge ranch in Alpine,Texas and they still have holding there passed down through the family.

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