Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Turn down day.....

7:36 am - Wednesday - April 3rd - Yuma, AZ -  57° F, humidity 54%, wind 2 mph out of the northeast.....crystal clear, blue sunny skies today with a forecast high of 86° F.  On this date in 2015 TLE and I were taking a sunset tour of Monument Valley (on the Utah/Arizona border)....

....the lighting was amazing that evening!

We've been using our Bluetti solar charger to power our Starlink while we are dry camping, as I mentioned in yesterday's installment.  After pretty heavy use Monday afternoon, and into the evening we were down to 59% of battery capacity from the 94% at which it began.....I used it to power the trailer Fantastic vent fan a few days before without recharging it.  After typing my blog Tuesday TLE and I took it outside around 9:30 am and hooked up the 3 portable solar panels to recharge it.  By 1 pm it was fully charged again....amazing!  That is the advantage of lithium batteries....they charge on a straight, continuous, steady line, unlike flooded cell batteries, which charge more slowly as they get over 90% of capacity.  It can take hours to get that last 5%.  Of course, I neglected to take pictures of the setup, so I'll be sure to do that Wednesday, or Thursday when we recharge it again.  

That was pretty much the highlight of the day.  We both spent most of the day reading, relaxing, and decompressing from our six month stay at GNHS.  It was great to have no obligations, or even the hint of possible obligations.  It was kind of a 'turn down day'...a saying from the 60's, which meant 'turn down the volume', or relax if you will.  The day was beautiful with blue skies, and soft zephyr like breezes wending their way into the Newell through open windows.  

'Turn down day' by The Cyrkle

This is our first extended time dry camping stint in over 2 years, and it is nice to feel that sense of freedom from connecting to city utilities.  Someday (who knows for sure, right?) those utilities may no longer be available, so it is good to flex our boondock muscles once and while, and experiment with the new solar charger technology.  Over the next few years we are striving to become totally self sufficient, and be able to live off grid indefinitely.  We've got a ways to go, but are getting there slowly, but surely.

As far as the solar we have on the Newell (620 watts) we were at 89% battery capacity Tuesday morning and, without tilting the panels, we got back to 97% at the end of the day.  Could we have gotten to 100% with the panels tilted? Probably, but you only need to get to 100% once every 5-7 days.  I can tilt 2 of the solar panels from my ladder, but the other two require me to be on the roof, and since we're only dry camping for 5-6 days this time I would rather take the easy route for a change.  The summer of 2020, when we were wandering through rural America and boondocking quite a bit, we never had to tilt our panels, and it worked out quite well.  In the past, most of our boondocking has been during the winter when the sun is quite low in the southern sky, so tilting the panels at a 45° angle is mandatory to get their maximum charge, and, therefore, get back to 100%.

It's obvious the 'snow birds' have begun to migrate northward again as the parking lot here at the Quechan Casino is virtually empty....there are maybe 10 RVs here at the time, but during the middle of 'snow bird' season the place is packed with maybe 75-100 RVs most of the winter.

Well, that's it for Tuesday....thanks for stopping by!

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