Check out my pimped out, powered up Teardrop! Yesterday, with the help of solar mastermind Lawrence Jenkins at Front Range Renewable Energy in Frederick, Colorado I had a solar panel installed on my Teardrop. I’m one step closer to having a fully mobile office!
The panel is a 135-watt, 28-pound Kyocera panel, mounted to the roof with two aluminum brackets. The wires run down through the sunroof to a 10-amp charge controller and then to a 55 amp-hour sealed battery. A 400-watt inverter then converts the DC power to AC, giving me more than enough power to run my laptop, charge my phone and camera and run the Teardrop’s interior LED lights.
I make my living on the road as a freelance writer, mainly by covering geoscience news for EARTH magazine. Each month I write between five and ten stories for EARTH, which takes no small amount of time at the keyboard.
Last month, I spent about $250 working at cafes, and camping in RV parks and state parks with electric hookups. My new fully customized solar kit ran me $1,101, including all parts and installation. A bit of an investment, yes, but now I can pull over and work from anywhere, which is priceless! I have to say, Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest makes for a pretty sweet office! :)
A big thank you to Lawrence, president and sole proprietor of Front Range Renewable Energy! Lawrence put more than 20 hours into customizing and installing my solar kit and only charged me for two. He was also totally enthusiastic about my Teardrop and lifestyle on the road and he graciously let me hang around his shop all day during the install, pestering him with questions. Finding just the right person for the job is pretty priceless too. :)
Now to solve my internet problem. I have a mobile hot spot through my Verizon Android phone, but it’s very temperamental and not good for my blood pressure. Now that I have a power source, I might look into a cell signal booster. Ideas and suggestions are more than welcome!