RV Life Off Grid: Energy hogs

For me, living a wholly vibrant life, includes being a responsible human, yes, even a conscious consumer.

We’ve been living simply for more than 10 years, in an RV full-time, but we still used a lot of traditional electrical equipment (personal care items, household, and outdoor) until we moved off-grid. Wow, have we learned a LOT about electrical energy hogs since February 29th, 2020!

Energy hog #1 – Vacuum cleaners

My husband and I were having a conversation the other day about the true cost of carpet.

When it comes to buying carpeting, we must consider the power consumption used in keeping it clean. All of that vacuuming, shampoo or steam cleaning too!

Our RV vacuum cleaner is one of our biggest energy hogs! (We live off grid and rely on solar panels, batteries, and a generator for our power). ❤️🦋🌀

Energy hog #2 – Microwave ovens

We have to unplug our dorm size fridge (turning it off) every time we want to use the microwave. And we can’t run the microwave (on full power), for more than 30 seconds at a time.

We could turn the power down to 50 percent or so on the microwave, but one has to do that each time you turn it on. It just adds another step to the process.

Energy hog #3 – Refrigerators

Yes, we unplugged our 12 cubic foot matching wood grain panel door, built in RV refrigerator OFF, as soon as we moved to our family “off grid” property. It’s a very expensive (they cost $4,000 new) PANTRY now. Go figure.

Had we known we were going to live off the grid, we wouldn’t have paid $2,000 to repair it a couple of years ago. Where’s my crystal ball?!? 🥺

Energy hog #4 – Electric Fireplace heaters (& other heating appliances)

Right now, it’s a balmy 62 degrees in here and I’m wearing two long sleeve shirts and wool coverup from Ireland. Yep. And we’re running our little electric fireplace for heat.

It was 58 degrees in here when I woke up this morning. It was 35 degrees outside.

Weather app image from my iPhone

This is winter in north Florida. I’m just glad we’re charging our batteries with our solar on this beautiful day. Nope! You can’t charge your the batteries by solar when you’re running the generator for heat!

Granted, we could run the fireplace off the batteries, and let the solar charge the batteries, but the fireplace heater sucks more power than the solar can replace! Ugh.

Solar shed
Panels don’t get much charge when the sun shines through the trees.

Energy hog #5 – Air Conditioning (AC)

I would have listed this in first place, but we didn’t even use our living room (roof mount) AC for the first several months we lived off grid. I just wore loose and lightweight cotton clothing and told myself, “People pay good money to sit in saunas. Sweating is healthy!” until mid summer. Then, after we bought a generator that could actually run our AC unit (not all will), we learned how much it really cost to stay cool.

How do people live in Florida without AC? We are even parked in the shade!

We bought two new slim and tall fans, used every combination of windows open plus the Fantastic fans in the kitchen and bath, and still… I thought I would lose my mind when it reached 90 degrees in here!

By the way, the frameless windows in our Carriage only open 1-2 inches. Who designed those windows?!? 🧐🤪🤯

NOTE: Our 5th wheel (fiver, as some call these things), came with a ceiling fan too, but we found it’s also an energy hog. 😞


Unfortunately, we don’t feel solar works well enough for everything we need or want to do. But for now, it’s all we’ve got (along with two generators).

Speaking of which, we only run our generators to charge our batteries on cloudy days, or at night. Or when we need heat or air conditioning.

NOTE: We have two generators because we needed a backup, since the first one and its replacement died within the first two months we were here. It’s nice actually, so we can use one to charge the batteries and one to run the AC (as you can’t do that at the same time).

We’re really thankful gas is cheap, less than half the price it cost 4 years ago. 😉😉

FYI: We live in a forest!

Where are generators are
Generators and fuel tank

Energy hogs drain our batteries

All of this “too much drain” on our batteries, works to wear them out.

Granted, we bought used gel type batteries (because we didn’t know how long we’d be here, and days after we moved in COVID lockdowns began), instead of new batteries. And we were told these might last us a year or two. But we really didn’t consider how much we would have to manage these batteries (keep an eye on the monitor, juggle items running, and so on). All of it can wrack ones nerves, especially for us old farts! LOL

I told my son (who owns this property, set up all our solar system, and maintains our generators), “I think off grid living is a young man’s game.”

Agree? Disagree?

Do you live off grid, or rely on solar power?

What are your experiences? Let me know in the comments. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

A bit about me:

Energy coach with a brand new personal transformation and communication coaching program called, Integrated Spiral. All about transformational daily practices to bring us back to balance and expand our perspectives to be able to diffuse tension (within ourselves) and empower (and improve) our relationships—even the ones we think we’ve lost.

An Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon.

Plus, my updated health book (that took 13 years to research, test, and write), Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is available for online sale and distribution (PDF format).

Buy it here: https://beingwhollyvibrant.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/book-launch-take-it-upon-yourself-to-live-a-wholly-vibrant-life/

4 thoughts on “Full-time RV life: Energy hogs

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