I like to get out and away from civilization. I feel so much better mentally when I can spend time in nature. But being on a fixed income, I just can’t go out and buy a $50,000 (that’s on the less expensive side) camper.
So I decided to do some research and make my suv into a mini camper. I’m going to be building it out slow, but the first thing I wanted to do was get my power situation taken care of. I don’t want to use any of my vehicles power, to run anything other than the vehicle. It’s an old Jeep, and has a lot of miles, so I need her power system to be dedicated to just her. Her name is Daenerys btw. 😁
I could get a solar panel, controller, inverter, and battery. I was going to do that initially, but with limited space (I have a Grand Cherokee), I opted to go with just a solar panel and a solar generator. Small, nothing huge, just enough to make it possible for me to stay warm, charge my electronics, and heat food.
These are what I chose: Generator is a Ctechi portable 300w LiFePO4 299w. It has enough power to do what I need. (I also have some other small solar power stations, but this will be the main one.) Right now it has a $55 off coupon on Amazon. I’ve looked A LOT of solar generators, and it’s the same as anything…they make good ones, that you can get for less money, that don’t have a name brand. If it fails, I’ll learn, but that’s the point of all of this. This has great reviews, and I depend a lot on that. I don’t need any fancy bells or whistles, I just need it to work. I like the LiFePO4 as it has a longer lifespan. We’ll see! I’ll be posting updates as time moves forward. My first camping “trip” will be close to home, where I keep my horse, and it’s almost February, so I’ll for sure be testing how warm I stay. I’ll cover the windows with homemade thing-a-ma-jigs, but I’ll post those later as well.
The solar panel I chose was a basic polycrystalline 12v panel by Newpowa. The generator already has an inverter built in. My main concern was space, and I don’t have much of it. I’m not going to be running a water pump, or any lights, as I have that taken care of, so I really just need these to be able to power a small heater (150w), which won’t be run a lot, or for long periods of time, a food heater, (I’ll link the one I’m using as well) and electronics. This should be enough.
I’ll need a longer cord from the panel to the generator as well.
The food prep that I’ll use is this…I’ve seen videos of other van lifers/campers/truckers using this and it has a ton of good reviews.
The rest of my build will be a composting toilet, (really easy to build and won’t stink if done the right way), small sink/ cooking area, with a grey water tank and filtered water tank, supplied by a foot pump. On the other side will be another small cabinet for food storage, clothes, whatever I need it for.
I am going to move my spare tire from the floor storage area, and put it on the top of the Jeep. I’ll use that area for more storage of tools, food, misc…whatever.
This is totally new to me, I’ve never built anything out by myself so it will be a learning experience. I will share everything as I go, with all the mistakes I’m sure I’ll make, and all the things that work.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration — a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
So, what if you don’t have “good” water at your home? I have a friend that can’t drink her own well water. How about if you just don’t feel good about drinking water out of the tap? I personally don’t like the idea of bottled water because of the fact that the plastic is ruining our planet, getting thrown into our oceans, and not being recycled properly.
So I decided to do some research on what I could use or do to make sure my water is ok for myself and my family to use.
Here I am sharing FilterWater. Did you know that bottled water costs more that gasoline? 🤦♀️
AND, millions of tons of plastic is getting dumped into our oceans, buried in our ground and leaching toxic chemicals BACK into the water that we drink. I’m sorry, but that’s just not cool. We only have ONE planet, and we need to do better at taking care of it.
This is my centralized location for everything. It’s all here in one place.
You can scan this into your phone, and it will take you right there.
Please considering donating to camper/van fund. All donations are tax deductible and I will have an accountability person, all funds will be open for inspection. Complete transparency where your donations will go.
Just a quick note. My mental health cycles, and I have to take time out some days to cope.
This is a challenge where you can network with other writers, the general public, or completely keep your writing private. It runs until the end of November, and the challenge is to write at least 50,000 words. That’s 50k.
I’m at a little over 10k right now.
If you divide it up, it’s writing approximately 2000 words a day. That’s easy to do if you can get in your zone.
Let me know what you think. 😊
If you don’t see much of me on here, that’s why. I’m in my mojo and writing, though I will try to check in and share my progress.
It’s time to shop. It’s 74 days until Christmas-here are some ideas.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are just around the corner. I’m going to go over some of my favorite things in this post. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for gifts for others.
My number 1 favorite gadget is this SOLAR POWERED FLASHLIGHT. You can charge your electronics with it, it has 6 different light settings, a seatbelt ”cutter”, glass breaker, and a powerful magnet to stick to anything. I’ve also included two of my videos about this flashlight.
Another favorite of mine is this portable water filter. Are you prepared? Do you live a nomad lifestyle? These are things that you need to have if that’s the case. (That link will give you a few different options for water filters, water filtration systems, and replacement filters. )
Another favorite product is THIS WEIGHTED BLANKET. Studies have shown that weighted blankets help with anxiety, stress, sleep and other health challenges. This link will take you to my original post about Thera Blankets.) You can read more about weighted blankets through this trusted source.
Kitchen, bathrooms, living rooms, decor…you can’t beat stuff like that for gifts. Don’t know what they want? Get them a gift card. Or, you know, just ask… people will always give you answers when you ask the right questions. OVERSTOCK is a great place to shop. So is AMAZON. I know there are different opinions out there about different places. But I have to run a business, and attempt to have enough money for my funeral, so I’m going with the online choices. 🤷🏻♀️ (Any of the underline words or pictures will take you to where you want to go.)
I was at a meeting today, and I heard someone say that they were trying to decide how to respond to a situation that they had encountered. “Am I a going to be an s.o.b., or act in the spirit of forgiveness”. I mentioned this on my fb page, because it made me think about my life, and how I want to be and how I want to react to things. With this new way of life I have chosen, writing is therapeutic for me, so I am blogging my thoughts and feelings on things. Probably won’t mean much to others, but for me it helps.
I have been going through a lot of “stuff” lately, and haven’t chosen my words very well to express the way I am feeling. I have made a lot of apologies, and asked for forgiveness. I’m kind of a dork when it comes to some things…I don’t “get a clue” very easily, can’t “read between the lines”, and basically just don’t “get it” a lot of times. LOL…I’m good at making a fool of myself, as those who have known me a long time, will tell you. But right now, I am hoping for forgiveness, from a lot. I don’t know if that will happen, and I know that no one is perfect. (The way I believe, the only perfect person died on the cross). So I sit here wondering…do I deserve forgiveness? Some people will choose to take the high road, and simply say that they don’t need “this” or “that” in their lives. Which is good. Boundaries need to be in place to stay healthy. But when do you say, “no, I’m going to work at this, this means something to me, I want to forgive, and be worthy of forgiveness”. Every life situation has to be examined, in my opinion, and given a measure of importance. If someone at the store treats me like sh*t, more than likely I’m going to just blow them off and go on. But if I do something to someone I love, and it bothers them, I’m going to do my best to address it, and make amends…because they mean something to me. They are important, they have high measure in my life, and I want to keep it that way. And then, how about when someone means more to you, than you do to them? How to handle that one?
Life sometimes seems way more complicated then it did a hundred years ago. But I also think that there was a lot more hidden dysfunction, and a lot more hurt that didn’t get addressed as well. Humans have been around for a long freakin time, duh…and it’s pretty easy to understand them, if time is taken to pay attention. I love studying human nature…it helps me to understand “us”.
But back to this forgiveness thing. I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes I’m just not going to get it. No matter how many times I ask, beg, plead, cry, scream, punch…whatever…(no, I don’t punch people). There are some that are not capable of forgiving, no matter what. In my experience, those are the ones that cannot forgive themselves. That was talked about as well. It’s easy to say, “I forgive myself”. But to actually do it, is another story. I see the growth process in those that are close to me, and I sometimes see myself…a month ago, a year ago, or whenever. I remember feeling the way they do…the hurt, pain, whatever…I can be empathetic to them, if I have experienced it before. I can’t say that I know EXACTLY how someone feels, because we are all different, but I could get close. It’s important to listen to others, to put down the walls so true intimacy can be reached. Whether it’s a friend, enemy, or love of your life.
I’ve gotten off track. As usual. I realized today that to really forgive, means letting go, being open and vulnerable and being able to trust that person again. Interesting notion given the fact that I have spent 42 years numbing pain, and not dealing. It’s time for me to forgive and ask for that forgiveness.
I have felt disjointed a little lately…not to the point of doing anything stupid…but really working on not letting my emotions rule the roost. I haven’t always been successful at that venture, but I’m trying. It’s soooooo hard for me to be in that middle ground of unresolved issues, and not understanding why things happen. I feel like I’m expected to just take it, and not ask questions. I could do that if it was just a random person…but when the person is so close to my heart, it’s a hard pill to swallow. I’ve come to the point where I can barely even look at the person without just wanting to cry. Being healthy is a hodgepodge of choices, decisions, actions etc. It’s easy for someone to say, “just get over it and move on…leave me alone…” but when you just don’t want to give up on someone, it’s hard to do.
There’s more than one way and program to stay sober too. For me there’s that fine line. I want to stay sober, but I also want to be healthy…for me being healthy means being open, communicating, trying to correct wrongs, acknowledging…a host of different things. It’s not just doing one thing. If talk therapy and spirituality works for one person, then cool…if going to meetings and religiously seeing a sponsor works, then that’s cool too. No one person has the right to say that a certain path is wrong. What we do have the right to is setting boundaries and not allowing someone to bring us down, just because they don’t like the way we are living. If it doesn’t affect me, then no harm, no foul. But if it does, then I have an obligation to myself to try to stop it. It’s in the way that I stop it that I sometimes fail miserably. I believe my actions will affect and cause others to react. That is a given, and I try to be considerate, or at least think about how my actions could affect another, but there again, I fail a lot of the times. One thing I don’t do is hold things in… LOL…Also one thing I haven’t mastered is readily accepting when someone doesn’t want to hear it. I mistakenly assume that because they say they “love” me, then they want to talk or work it out as much as I do. I am wrong. What I need to decide is—because the levels of communication choices are different; do I want to continue to have things unsaid and undone. Or do I just say it. I try to respect others…it’s just that with affairs of the heart…it’s hard to think logically all the time.
Sometimes I think that people expect perfection out of someone who says “ I quit drinking, or I quit doing drugs”. I really try to not be like that, but I do expect a certain level of openness, and I guess that is wrong as well. Not allowing myself to get emotionally attached to someone who cannot reciprocate is something that I am working on stopping at the present. People don’t always follow through with what they say, and I am notorious for believing others, and when it doesn’t happen, I get horribly let down. I have to find that fine line, AGAIN, with allowing myself to believe, and not. The problem with not believing is that it makes me jaded and grumpy. I don’t like to be that way and neither do the people around me. I want to keep the faith in humanity…I don’t want to give up yet.
Check back for updates. I’m going to post a video so you can see exactly what I’m doing. I’m excited. I follow a guy on social media who used a LifeStraw to filter some NASTY looking pond water, and he put it under a microscope…before and after…. and it seems to work! I won’t know until I try myself though, because well, I’m hard headed and have to see it with my own two eyes.
Per their site this is supposed to:
Protects against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, dirt, sand and cloudiness
Independently lab tested, durable and BPA Free
Ultimate survival tool, no shelf life, easy to clean and store