working on camper floor edges
September 14th, 2015 by Off The Grid

Good morning, good day, and good evening to everyone tuning into the Off Grid Podcast! Today I was at it again working in the camper with a dremel tool in hand. Mother nature threw me a curve ball though because when I woke up there were two wasps flying around inside my “tiny off grid home”. lol No mater what the weather nor curious insects that come to explore this strange new zoo in their neck of the woods (my camper) will keep me from making progress out here because winter is coming. So with my dremel tool, a pair of sunglasses, and a marker I was cutting some of the trim to add finishing touches to the new camper floor. The trim was about a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of working on camper floor edges 1aluminum angle iron made for covering the edge of stairs and doorways. I was happy with the new addition to the off grid project and the camper was starting to look better every day.

Despite the rare distractions of stinging insects and not always having the right tools for the repair job things always seem to work out. As far as I know I’m not allergic to bees / wasps but I was not taking chances. One wasp seemed to be fascinated by the central roof vent so that one was clear of my work area. The other one was lounging around in the back bathroom screen window. I was utilizing my time working on the DIY camper project up toward the front of the camper. Everybody was happy and we all had our space! lol Well the morning flew like time does out here off the grid and it was time for me to go. Yup.. one thing you must do out here in a camper with no AC is keep an eye on the temp. The thermometer hit 87 degrees so it was time to be smart in the hot humid summer heat by going into work. 🙂 All in all it was a good morning and with the couple distractions mother nature had in store I was still making progress. Things were going in a positive direction and the simple life off the grid is a happy one.

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Sometimes you need to keep working even if things aren’t perfect to get the job done.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please post and share them here or Contact me!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please tell a friend about the podcast 🙂

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new camper flooring
September 11th, 2015 by Off The Grid

Once again I am so excited here in the camper because the new floor is now down! Working off the grid here in the camper has its challenges and putting the new floor in was a great learning experience. Now that I actually have something solid to walk on it makes everyday life her off grid that much better. I had been searching high and low, near and far, as well as online for new flooring. Most of what I new flooringhad seen was between $1 – $4 per square foot. Yes the camper is fairly small but when you start adding up not only this project but every other off grid project that needs to be done by winter it can get expensive. So I set my price range at about $1 per square foot. I was about to head to a local discount store to but the snap together floor panels then checked one last venue.. craigslist. A quick search of craigslist turned up a few ads with about the same price range as in the stores. One ad was offering about 120 square foot of floor panels for only $50. Long story short my antique off grid camper was about to get an internal face lift with some new flooring! A couple had purchased a new house and did not like the new flooring that was just put in. So I was able to save some money by buying basically brand new flooring for my off grid project at half the retail price.. just less than fifty cents a new camper floor panelssquare foot.

If you have been keeping up with my little journey and the podcast you know it has been an eventful one. Not having a steady flow of everyday utilities when you live on the grid can be challenging. At times I had to wait until the solar panels charged the batteries so I could use the skill saw again. Many other days I had to stop early because the mega sized toaster oven that was my camper in the middle of serious summer heat made it dangerous. So needless to say when you have a pretty sizable task in front of you like an off grid project that is my fixer upper camper every day counts. Sometimes you just need to break it all down to baby steps and take it one DIY fixer upper project at a time. Every day is rewarding with small goals met. And yes every day is an adventure out here in mother nature’s playground. At least out here in the wild my humble little camper was starting to look a little more like home. Redoing and finally repairing the floor after a month of having to step over a 2 foot square piece of plywood just inside the door was a huge relief. It meant that I no longer had to worry about falling through the floor because until this point bare insulation and a thin sheet of original underside of metal was the only thing to break my fall to the ground. Each day out here off the grid in the camper feels like a small victory. It gives you a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that yes you indeed can do a lot more than you think. Every day you have the opportunity to learn something new. Today I learned some basic carpentry and flooring skills! lol What did you learn today? 🙂

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Don’t be afraid to try a DIY project because you can do it & you will learn something!
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please post and share them here or Contact me!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please tell a friend about the podcast 🙂

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August 21st, 2015 by Off The Grid

camper floor beforeToday was a welcome start to a new week after a very long and frustrating weekend working on the camper floor. Anytime your working off the grid you need to keep in mind the type of power you will need (AC and/or DC) along with how much. This is because most off grid power systems are.. “off the grid” meaning they supply their own power. Usually this involves power from the sun by way of solar panels (solar power). In my case I only have 2 deep cycle batteries hooked up. Trying to run most modern good sized power tools are not possible due to my 1200 watt power inverter. A power inverter for those that are not familiar basically convert the 12v DC power from the batteries into 120v AC power to run most American appliances etc.

If you remember from previous episodes I had talked about doing a possible barter / bad camper floor 1trade for work to fix the camper floor. I was going to do some graphic design work in exchange for construction services to repair the floor. Well Friday the work began but the work was horrible! This is not an extradition.. if it were “ok” I would be fine with it. The work was that bad. Friday morning we were all out there and everyone was looking forward to getting this done. We were all optimistic. Unfortunately as soon as they got started my optimism quickly faded. They came out a couple of weeks before to get a good look at everything so they should have been prepared. They knew I would not be able to provide power for their power tools because this camper was “off the grid”. They asked several times about my power inverter and after a while I reluctantly agreed to let them try. Their power tools drew too many amps (too much power)!  They used a skill saw until it went out.. then they used mine. They cut right bad camper floor 3into the support beams and went more than half way through on several. They screwed directly into a rotting wood support that was supposed to of been removed. They sprayed expandable foam all the way in and around the rotting wood support beam along the floor.

I left early afternoon on Friday because I was not feeling good and needed to get to work. Apparently I had to relearn my lesson and it turned out later that it was a mild case of heat exhaustion.. not cool! Before leaving the contractors assured me that the floor was going to be done that day. I left them with 3 simple instructions on Friday. 1. Close all the vents and windows. 2. Turn off the power inverter. 3. Lock up the camper. Well they did get 2 out of 3 lol.  Returning the following day which was bad camper floor 4Saturday I went to see the progress and was extremely frustrated by the work done to the camper floor. To add insult to injury so to speak they left the vents and window open. It rained all day long on Saturday and when I arrived the in evening it was not a welcome site inside the camper. This was lightening and torrential downpours kind of rain. Rainwater was everywhere including all over the area where the floor was ripped up. It was pooled up in the exposed insulation and I was extremely upset! The sight of the horrible work in the form of hacked up 2 X 4 wood beams (the wrong materials), water everywhere, and screwed beams into rotting wood covered with spray foam insulation made me wonder exactly how in the world did I not listen to my gut!! It just goes to show you need to listen to your intuition. Anytime your looking for a contractor if you get one of those off feelings then listen car stuck mudto your gut. If you don’t you will pay for it in the long run. Anyway as you can tell it was a very long weekend. The new deadline for being off grid (moving) was counting down fast and time was running out.

I called the contractor and expressed my severe dissatisfaction with the work along with the fact that the camper was filled with pooling water. He then insisted on coming out to clean up the mess as a result of the vents being open through the rainstorms all day. Time passes pretty quickly while I was working in the camper and I hear a car driving down the path.. my “driveway”. Long story short their minivan got stuck in the mud which blocked me in causing me to be stuck. We were out there for about 3 hours trying to get unstuck with rain off and on. I ended car stuck in mudup having to pay them for gas for a ride because both vehicles were stuck in the mud. Fast forward to Sunday and I had to pay them to tow my car out of the mess that they created. I have never had a problem being stuck in the mud on the property. At this point my off grid “driveway” was complete off road mud track that was no longer passable with my car. In the process of towing my car out they ripped a 6 inch gash in my car’s frame, popped the rear bumper out, and destroyed my driveway all at the ultra low cost of $30. Wow what a great deal! lol

At this point the camper floor was a wreck, my path / driveway was destroyed, my car was damaged, and I was given the opportunity to learn the lesson of heat exhaustion again. Can you tell why it was a rough last few days? So please learn from my crazy weekend! Stay cool, stay hydrated, listen to your gut, follow up on references, and stay safe out there because off the grid can indeed be an adventure! Today’s show of Off The Grid Podcast was recorded back in late June (new episodes being posted 5 days a week until up to date). Now is a good time for staying positive and optimistic because the real adventure of the off grid journey is just around the corner. 😉

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Main lesson for today. Listen to your intuition and check references if you considering a contractor.
  • If you have questions, comments, or tips about living off grid then please post them here!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please help support this journey off grid by telling a friend about the podcast 🙂

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