Monday, February 18, 2013

Chapter 33...Moving Day And The New Solar & Wind Hook Up

Off Grid...Chapter 33

Good morning all! It's time for the next chapter.

Monday 10-20-08

We started our day bringing stuff down to the barn. We are storing things down there that we "may" need sometime in the future. Howard was there earlier getting the calves used to being penned up. All the cows were at the barn except for 98. He was at the top by our house- smart boy!

Mike and I then went to town on a mission. We need to get a mattress and a box spring so we can move into the house. And, as usual, Mike needs more electrical for our new solar set up.

We found a mattress that is hard as a rock and I love it. Three years ago we bought a Sterns and Foster memory foam super thick pillow top mattress. I hate it. Because of the soft pillow top you sink into the mattress all night long. For 3 years I've had to sleep with a pillow under my hip to keep me from sinking into the bed. I know, I know that's the "new" thing in mattresses. It's either the memory foam pillow tops or the tempurpedic because "NASA" uses them. You can keep them all. IMO, they stink.

Mike got his electrical lugs and we went to the furniture warehouse. We loaded the box spring and mattress on the trailer, strapped them down, and brought everything home.

When we got home, Nicole stopped by for a visit. She left the kids home with her husband so we had a nice quiet visit. We'll have to have the kids over when all the furniture is in, one at a time LOL.

Tuesday 10-21
There is frost on the ground. Now we really have to hurry. Our generator in the motorhome is diesel and diesel engines do not like the cold. It was a low of 29 degrees this morning. The heat has been running all night in the mh and it is 65 degrees. We went into the house, with no heat, and it stays between 58 and 60 degrees in the mornings. That's awesome. It's going to be so easy to keep this house warm.

Mike continued working on the electrical and prepping things for our new set up. I spent the day packing and moving things down to the house. Who knew we had so much stuff, LOL.

Wednesday 10-22
Mike unhooked both of our satellite dishes. Oh no. This is serious business. He has to move both the TV and satellite dishes close to the house so we can move in. I hope he doesn't have any trouble or I will go through Internet withdrawal.

It's successful and Mike got both of our dishes today.

Here is Mike's dish.

And mine.

Then I helped him move his 42" LCD TV down to the house. This TV was huge in the mh and not so big in the house. We may have to buy a larger TV so Mike can see the screen. He already has wireless headphones so he can hear the TV, LOL. We'll move this one back to the MH and buy a new one. Aren't there some good sales coming up.

I continued cleaning the motorhome and now everything is emptied out. It's actually kind of sad. This was our home for 3 1/2 years and now it seems like we are abandoning "Mr. Coach". We'll just have to go for a road trip in the spring.

We moved into the house. Woo Hoo!. We will be spending our first night there. Yeah! I put Niki's bed in the office and gave her extra toys so she would feel comfortable. I just wanted to make sure she was OK.

So we all sat in the LR tonight and watched TV(which is on the floor) with no ceiling in place. We don't normally do things this back wards but we it's too cold to be in the MH.

Thursday 10-23
We made it. Our first night in the house. The fire kept us nice and toasty, the mattress is great, and if Niki's snoring is any indication, she also had no problem.

We pulled the slides in on the MH, pulled up, and mowed underneath. Mike moved the MH back in spot and we emptied and cleaned all tanks and winterized it. Now the coach is all alone..

We did a little more organizing in the house.

Friday 10-24
We woke up to a miserable rainy day. Howard and his son where here rounding up the cows. They had to chase some down the hill with the 4-wheeler and a bucket of feed to get them to the barn. It's time for some of them to go. Howard is taking out 10 cows. Mike talked to Howard yesterday and found out that he found a buyer for "My 98". That means he won't be steak, yeah. I wonder if I can visit him. I'll have to ask Howard how far away 98 is.

Mike and I went to town "again" to get more stuff for the house. We got home and we tried my new washing machine for the first time. Wow, the drum is huge. It's amazing how you adapt. I was so used to my compact washer and dryer in the coach that I forgot what a full size one is like. This is the one in the MH.

Of course that's not the one that came with it. Mike ripped out the original combo unit and replaced it with a real washer and dryer with 220 electric. He is so good.

I started organizing my kitchen and it is fantastic. I have so many cabinets and so much counter space. I'm in heaven. I can't even use it all. I think every person should live in an RV for a year and learn to really "appreciate" everything you have in your own house. It would be a great learning lesson on how much "junk" you can live without.

Mike hooked up our new smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. He also installed "one" toe kick in the kitchen.

Here are the lamps we bought for the bedroom.

The mama cows are outside mooing like crazy. It's so sad. Their babies are gone and they don't understand why. They just keep calling for their babies. I feel so bad for them and they have to go through this every year.

Saturday 10-25
Today is the big day for Mike. In order to re-do our system he has to take all the wiring out, take all the boxes off the wall, and start from scratch. I do not envy him today. I will just stay out of his way and help him when he asks.

We have wires and parts everywhere. It looks like a nightmare. This is Mike's wiring mess inside the house.

Mike is taking wires out.

He is removing the wires from the combiner box.

Running larger wire into the battery box.

Removing the inverter and re-hooking the DC disconnect.

Mike is hooking up the 250amp DC disconnect.

Controller box for the "new" wind generator is mounted.

That was a really long day for Mike. He didn't re connect the solar panels yet but the new wind generator is on. Too bad the wind stopped.

Sunday 10-26
The wind generator and controller works. Woo Hoo. The little green light is on. Now Mike is going to hook our 6 new solar panels into the house.

First he has to cut the main wire for the combiner box.

The new solar panels are hooked into the outdoor combiner box.

It's a beautiful day so I start to paint the house. Here I am painting the back with Niki.

The back of the house is done.

Painting the side.

The other side is done.

We had a great weekend. Mike got the new wind generator and the 6 new panels hooked up. I finally got the outside painting done.

This is what Mike got done.

Oh yeah, and our grass is growing in before winter. Yeah.

That was the past week in the lives of Mike and Lisa. We still have a lot more to do but at least we are in the house. If the weather is good we will move the solar panels off the house and install them on a new rack this week. I also want to paint our interior doors and maybe do some trim.

I hope you all enjoyed our story.



  1. Still enjoying the "journey" ... getting late for me. I've been reading now for 8 or 9 hours. I have enjoyed every minute of your adventures "off the grid".

  2. You guys do great work, very talented. I loved looking at all the pictures.

    1. Thank you. We have lots of stories and lots of pictures.:)