There are two sides to our nomadic life, which create this sort of 'dynamic tension' in our nomadic life. One side being the 'plugged in' side where we have 50 amp electrical, city water and sewer. We don't spend any time thinking about what electrical items are running, and how many amp hours they might be consuming.......we don't worry about how much of our fresh water supply we are using when we take a shower, or how much waste water will be added to our 120 gallon gray tank as we can just open the valve and drain it in seconds whenever it is needed......we don't worry about how much propane we might be using when we run the generator and gas heaters. If it's cold in the morning we just turn on our three electric heaters. We are usually quite close to services such as supermarkets, thrift stores, restaurants, and home improvement stores, so many of our 'plugged in' days are spent acquiring materials for projects around the coach, resupplying our food supplies, browsing through thrift store inventories, perhaps visiting a local micro brewery.
Essentially our daily ' plugged in' life looks completely different from the 'unplugged' version of our nomadic existence. When we are 'unplugged' we are usually boondocking in some spectacular remote area pretty much devoid of man made structures where the unobstructed views are endless, and outdoor opportunities present themselves in great abundance. We begin each day wondering if it will be sufficiently sunny for our solar array to replace the amp hours we consumed the previous night.......we check our fresh water supply to see how frugal we have been the day before, and then we turn our attention to exploring our surroundings. We spend more time reading.....well, I should say 'I' spend more time reading.....TLE spends the same amount of time reading under both scenarios.
Personally I prefer the 'unplugged' version of our nomadic life more and more as we make the effort to dry camp and/or boondock at every opportunity. I like the effect it has on my checking account.....we spend way less money while boondocking.....we generate less refuse, consume less water, which leads to less waste water, and we generate our own electricity......we enjoy amazing scenery, often at no daily cost, or at a very reasonable cost when we must pay......in short I like the feeling of autonomous living more than the kind of living involving an 'umbilical cord'.
I spent the morning helping my friend Tom hang some of the compressed air pipe and assemble the various quick connect stations in his large Newell garage.....we didn't get it all hung as we had hoped, but we should finish on Wednesday.......in the afternoon I pressure washed my radiator again as it had been exposed to a lot of dust over the past month. I also refilled my two 40 weight oil containers with some more Chevron Delo 100 from my 15 gallon reserve which I keep here at Tom's home......you may recall that I was able to purchase three 5 gallon containers of this oil at a greatly discounted price last winter when we were here in Wittmann. When we left Wittmann last year my oil reservoir had 3 gallons in it, plus I had the two 1 gallon containers......in all I only had to replace 6 quarts of oil over the last 8,000 miles, or about 1 quart every 1300 miles, or 21 hours of operation. These are good numbers for a series 92 Detroit Diesel, which has a reputation for oil consumption under normal operating conditions.......when we first bought our Newell I was adding a quart of oil about every 8-10 hours of operation. Of course, then it only had 103,000 miles on the odometer, which is now over 150,000.....by Detroit Diesel standards the engine is considered barely 'broken in' at 150,000 miles at which point you should see less oil consumption, and better mileage per gallon of diesel, both of which have been my experience.
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