We made it! We are finally living in our RV in New Zealand full time and it feels great. We had a bit of a stressful time moving out of our house which we won’t go into detail about…I think mainly it was us over thinking situations and with our busy working lives we just weren’t dedicating enough time on the Motorhome and getting it into livable state in time for our move-in date.
So, after two nights homeless in the wider Wellington region after the Motorhome had to have an extended trip to the mechanics we were at a campground moving our two carloads of belongings into the Motorhome and trying to get everything to fit!
Our pattern for our first week in the Motorhome involved trawling through our belongings and trying to downsize further! It’s safe to say we didn’t downsize enough and finally after 3 trips back and forth to the storage unit we have everything we need in the Motorhome!
Our second week (and also our first) involved us figuring out new things every single day about RV life, how things work, how to fix things, how not to break things and what was broken. Our to-do list has doubled in size and its growing by the day. Well, we did say we wanted a challenge!
When we first moved into the Motorhome we were intrigued as to how long we could live our lives “Off Grid” as we like the idea of reducing our footprint on this planet. After a swift 12-hour water sanitizing session (a task that took longer than expected) we filled our 400L water tank to the brim and the countdown began.
We lasted 14 days and here is how:
We estimate that 400L of water with each us having 2 showers a week will last us around 10 days. We found ourselves towards the end of the 10 days quite low on water, but we soon noticed that over RV’ers around us had a bucket outside their RV’s and poured water into it on a daily basis. They were pouring there washing up water in there instead of it filling up their grey tanks, and seen as our grey tank is only 185L we figured this was a good tip we should take on board. This certainly extended our off-grid lifestyle to 14 days.
We actually think we could have made it 18-20 days if we used the public toilets a bit more! But unfortunately, the waste tank was full and it needed disposing of. There ain’t nothing you can do about that!
We are pretty impressed with the performance of our set up so far. We had to learn quite quickly when the Inverter could be used and when to charge our devices but we seem to have gotten into a groove now.
The Motorhome has three 220Amp hour batteries, 6 120 W solar panels (just nod and pretend you know what that means I do most days!), an inverter for all none 12V devices and a generator. The solar panels start charging around 9am on a daily basis and once Isaac had the chance to go on the roof and clean them they are running even more efficiently. We are mindful of our evening consumption but it is a good job we like dim lighting and don’t watch much TV!
We have found we only use our inverter a couple of hours a day, mainly to power our monitor so Isaac can work more efficiently and we only needed to use our generator once when it rained for 3 days solid. The sun had not shown its pretty face in over 3 days and our batteries were getting low. We put the generator on for 30 minutes and they were all powered back up again.
In summary we have learned a lot in the last month about life off-grid, living a simpler life and repairing things we have never thought about before and although we haven’t adventured very far out of Wellington we are slowly getting comfortable in our new norm and we feel a great sense of achievement every time we figure something new out!
With Christmas just around the corner, the road trip in the Motorhome is in place, so let the adventures commence!
And to all our readers, we hope you have a fantastic Christmas ahead and an even fabulous New Year break!