Extending Our Ability To Off-Grid RV

Extending Our Ability To Off-Grid RV

 

 

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We are hoping to get to some really dark skies for amateur visual astronomy.  We would like to spend time truly taking in some of the amazing geology of North America.  This is a picture of “Solar Hill” at the Cayuse Ranch in Wyoming.  This is where we are currently staying.  We’ve talked a lot about Eddie Glonek of Mobile Homestead Solar Services.  He is adding a top-notch solar system to our motor coach.  However, he is also completing a number of other projects that will allow us to stay off grid longer.

A Composting Toilet

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This is an Air Head composting toilet.  We decided to take out our regular RV toilet and add this one.  This allows us NOT to have to deal with “sewage” (the combining of solids and liquids).  It also allows us to repurpose our black tank to another gray tank.  We actually combine the two tanks at the outlets and put a third valve in as the final exit point.  Now we can open both valves to keep balancing the levels in each tank before draining our soapy gray water.

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The Air Head composting toilet really is used mostly in boats.  They have seals on the lid and on the toilet seat.  Everything is AIR-tight.  There is even a small fan that draws air through a gray tube to the outside.  We are adding a one-way valve to make sure air does not get drawn back inside.  However, because it is not sewage, the toilet does not smell.

Your solids and toilet paper drop down a shoot (that you open when ready).  It is mixed in with peat moss or coconut coir (we use coconut coir).   It honestly does not smell once it is churned into the coconut coir.  Your liquids are diverted to the front in the bucket.  The bucket can be removed and dumped about every other day.  The solids do not have to be removed, depending on usage, until one to three months.

I like this toilet better than Nature’s Head composting toilet because you can remove the liquid compartment without opening the solids container.  You may have noticed a red light.  Eddie also added a power switch.  This will allow us to turn the toilet on and off easily if we are going to be gone for a while and do not want to drain our batteries.  We added another Air Head composting toilet to our solar trailer.  If there are going to be problems with a composting toilet it is probably going to be because of over use.

 

Portable Water Tank

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If you are going to be off grid for any amount of time you need to find a way to haul water.  This is a 65-gallon portable water tank.  It is light enough for me to pick up and put on a shelf in my solar trailer when it is not being used.  Eddie has also setup a toolbox with a water pump that can be operated off of a truck battery.  Our motor coach has a gravity opening, which makes it easier for us.

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It takes a little time to fill up a 65-gallon water tank.  However, we always find something to keep us occupied at the Cayuse Ranch!  Special thanks to Josie Brislawn, Bige Brislawn and Aileen Glonek for allowing us to stay at such an amazing place.

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Brenda was laughing at me because I am so proud of this water tank.  For me it is a real symbol of being able to off grid RV.  Thanks, Eddie!  We hope this article helps explain to others a little better what we are doing.  Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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