Don’t Play with the Prowler

A few weeks ago, the power went out for a bit. Never mind lights and running the TV or microwave, a good deal of the neighborhood didn’t have heat, and most of the same homes were not able to cook. I didn’t understand why, and then I learned that evidently, they have electric ignition on their stoves and furnaces. (Seems crazy to me, but there it is.) A few folks have wood stoves, but not most. Luckily it wasn’t terribly cold. And I suppose one can survive on chips or what’s-in-the-fridge for a short time. Or cook on a Coleman.

Funny ending to the story – I ran into a neighbor that frequently derides our 32′ RV. We got to talking about the power outage. She quipped, “I wouldn’t want to have to light a bunch of candles in there!” Her familiar, halting laugh followed … “Ha, ha, haaaaa!” She continued, “You know, sometimes the power goes out for two or three days here. And I bet it gets real cold in there real fast when the furnace is off.”

Well, I couldn’t resist. I explained that we have an inverter that automatically charges the battery back-up, we have gas and electric water heating, our lights are 12v and work no matter what; and our stove, oven, and furnace operate whether there is electricity or not.

“We’re good for about three days if the electricity goes out. And even after that, we have a 2500 watt generator. We’re good indefinitely. Only thing we can’t run is the microwave.”

Ha … ha … haaaaa.


Filed under adirondacks

10 responses to “Don’t Play with the Prowler

  1. In your FACE, neighbor!!!!
    LOL! You go, city boy!

  2. Home sweet state-of-the-art warm and toasty home! Pay no mind to that neighbor. It’s your little bit of paradise and it’s your neighborhood, too.

  3. when you said there was a power outage in your community, I instantly knew what you were leading up to. My inlaws live in a HOUSE down from us, and a while back the electricity went out, they were sitting at home in the dark, and in the RV we were going about our normal routine.

    However, we do not have a generator yet. I’ve looked for a long time on CraigsList, etc but nothing affordable so far. We’d like for it to sit in our old barn and run the barn lights and the RV, both are on the same meter.

    Our RV is 50 amp. I have a Splendide washer/dryer combo that I just love.

  4. Nice.

    I’d be awfully surprised if you couldn’t run the microwave off that 2500 watt generator. most take <1000 continuous. Probably a bit more startup draw power but I can't imagine it being more than your generator can handle.

    That being said, I'm trying to get a Battery Backup System together for my parents camp (about an hour 1/2 or so from you to the west in S Colton).

    A few questions if you don't mind…

    Do you always run off the battery power or is there some sort of switch that happens when you lose power?
    Do you always charge the batteries or only once they drop below a certain percentage of charge?
    Is your inverter turning the 12v batteries into 110volts or is it turning the 110volt electric supply into 12v DC?
    In either case, is the inverter constantly on or do you need to throw a switch?

    Sorry for the 20Q's

  5. Hey Randy. No prob, Hope this is helpful –

    – It automatically switches over to AC when we’re plugged in (including when we’re plugged into a generator), and automatically switches to battery when we’re unplugged. It also automatically charges the battery when we’re plugged in. (There’s also a charge controller built in.)

    – The inverter is turning the 11o into 12v, and is always “on.” (I guess. There’s no switch.) Everything in here is 12v – furnace, lights, pump, etc. The few things that would have to run on 110 (air conditioner, microwave) only run if we’re plugged in. Our water heater has a switch to switch it from 110 to propane.

    – In our breaker box, there are both 12v and 110 breakers.

  6. Interesting.

    I’m attempting to go a different route to essentially eliminate the need for different breakers and different outlet/light types.

    My attempted setup:

    Generator -> battery charger -> Batteries
    Generator -> 2 way switch
    Batteries -> 12v DC to 110v AC inverter -> 2 way switch

    From the 2 way switch it goes into the breaker box. This way you’re always dealing with 110v AC power and there’s no way the batteries/inverter AND generator can be feeding the system at once.

    The problem I’m having is the inverter always draws power, so when you’re on the battery power it creates a constant drain even if you’re not using anything. They make remote switches for some models which may be what we end up with. I’m hoping I can find one that can detect the draw and turn on as necessary.

    We have 6 deep well batteries which should give us over 30 hrs of constant use at <= 1000Watts (our generator is only 1k Watts so this will do us fine). If you figure we really only run the generator 4-8hrs a day max, that's quite a lot of time from just battery power.

  7. hee hee….. don’tcha just LOVE it when we get it over on snobs! I’d have loved to see her face when you finished telling her that! Great story!

  8. amy

    Absolutely….don’t mess with the PROWLER! Love it!!

  9. So glad the neighbor got to eat her halting laugh! Watch out she isn’t knocking on your door next time the power is out. LOL

  10. Love it! I can relate – our cabin has propane powered lights, stove and fridge, as well as a wall heater (and a woodstove). Plus we have a generator, because the only thing we have that needs electricity is the water pump for the well. So we run that in the morning so it fills up our tank and we can take showers and wash dishes.

    Next year we hope to put in battery backup for the generator as well.

    We also have a battery powered TV and stereo which recharge when the generator runs. All the comforts of home! And if there’s a power failure there is no effect whatsoever! Not so back in New Jersey at our house!

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