Playing with HELOCs can be playing with fire. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but when the economy tanks, one can lose both their RV and their stick and brick home if a HELOC is used for this purpose.
I'm sure the loan on a house has a lower interest rate. If one is secure knowing their income will be coming in, it is a better deal. However, if we get another 2008, it might cause someone to lose everything.
This is assuming the HELOC is on the S&B home, of course.
Around these parts, worst I've seen for CGs is about a C-note a night on some popular weekends. A hotel can cost $850 a night.
State parks are also an option here in Texas.
After I bought my TT, I've not stayed in a single hotel. No real need for me to, and they can keep the bedbugs.
One thing I'm looking at doing in a few years is making a solar trailer. This way, I can put a large amount of AGM batteries between two heavy duty axles. Since this system will be connected to the motorhome via an inverter, I can go up in voltage with the batteries without worry inside the trailer. 48 volts is nice because I can safely use skinny wires, and I can get a DC-DC converter for 12 volt appliances (although I've yet to read about anyone on rv.net having any success with one, which gives me pause.)
The ironic thing is that reliable, energy-dense (per volume) batteries would fundamentally change things for the better... but yet, there has yet to be a single significant improvement with battery tech since the '90s and the lithium variants that helps density. Supercaps are nice for speed of charging/discharging, but energy density is the big thing.
I've not gotten the point of a heat pump in a RV at all because of the single motor fan design. Why not just a regular A/C and a heat strip, although the best bang for the buck is a Cheap Heat system to supplement the RV furnace, and not bother with semi-working heat solutions from a device designed to cool the environment.
I wonder if there are any battery technologies that look promising. Supercaps charge fast, but don't have that much energy capacity. I've seen others, but they require the battery to be at a very high temperature.
Of course, there are flywheels, but those are not exactly vehicle friendly. Maybe Velkess's design, but they have been quiet after their kickstarter was funded.
I'm sure there is a usable battery technology that is RV friendly out there. Oh well... I'm not looking forward to buying AGMs, but it seems that for this application, it seems to be the best way of doing things.
When I was a teenager, I once learned to drive with someone who refused to downshift and rode brakes downhill saying, "it is cheaper to get new brakes than a transmission". The result was every downhill in steep areas meant sitting on the side of the road every few miles waiting for the rotors to stop glowing.
After learning what not to do, as a kid, on any decent incline, I'm downshifting. I also make sure to have a good trans cooler in place and some type of temperature gauge on it, so there isn't a chance I'm BBQ-ing the transmission. I use brakes sparingly, only applying when needed and jabbing them to maximize the amount of time the rotors spend without anything on them. So far, so good.
I bought a clear plastic tub from Wally World. I poked a hole in each side to secure the tub via zip-tie "chains" to the sides of the truck bed. It is big enough to keep two 20# propane cylinders upright. A bit redneck-ish, but it does the job.
Acronis TrueImage is good about this. It stores an image, and assuming the hard disk is as big as the image or bigger... it will boot and work. If a drive has a bad sector, Acronis will find it and notify you during the backup.
You can also back up by files as well.
What TrueImage will give you is an option to burn a boot CD. This, you can use to boot the computer, then plug in an external drive that is used for backups to restore.
Don't forget the charger. With a set of AGMs, I can have a RV converter, 2-3 solar charge controllers, and on a motorhome, a second alternator feeding the batteries a ton of amps.
Try that on a a lithium mix battery, and you will either have the battery pack blow its thermal safeties and be rendered useless, or you have an explosion. For proper charging, you have to have all the devices "know" about each other, or have everything go through a single charger for safety reasons.
This isn't to say this can be done. Advanced RV uses a Silverleaf controller to have one point of exit and ingress for electrons from its lithium-ion battery bank. However, if you want something from them, you are going to be looking well into the six digits.
As previously posted: $$$$$, and that applies to the batteries themselves as well as the charger.
I wish I knew who made that VAWT. It won't give as much electricity as a normal blade turbine, but I'm sure it is much quieter, and a lot easier to set up and take down.
Where I camp out, a 30mph wind speed is normal. I've crashed out in 50+ mph gusts (which is why I never pull out my awning.)
Realistically, between the choice of a wind turbine, or a set of solar panels that are on a frame and can be put into a utility trailer when not in use, the solar panels seem to win out for simplicity's sake. No dump loads to worry about, no building tall, spindly towers that can fall down (especially in sugar sand), and no noise. The only exception to this would be the VAWT pictured above.
I've wondered why wind setups are not that common for boondocking times.
It is understandable that if one is going from place to place, taking time to set up and tear down a wind tower isn't worth the time, but for a 1-2 week vacation, it might be worth having, especially if one can get a tower high enough to use the faster winds above the ground. Even a mount that is directly on a rig may some into handy.
Of course, there are other caveats (dump loads, variable winds), but even with that in mind, it can be useful for an energy source at night or during overcast weather. Noise may be an issue, but the wind turbines I've heard were not that bad. There is also the fact that the turbine + blades + tower take up space.
Is there any reason that wind turbines are not that common for boondocking? Since I'm looking at building a solar trailer, I might as well see about adding the ability to mount a tower for wind energy.
Assuming (and this is a very rough estimate) one pound of propane used by the refer per day, if the rig is in one location for a while, perhaps buy or rent a large propane tank (250-500 gallons) or get a set of 40# propane bottles and an auto-changeover regulator, swapping one of the 40# bottles out every so often to get refilled.
I'm wondering about either a set of 2000 watt generators, or perhaps something larger that can handle the power loss at higher altitudes.
It depends on what you want. A single Honda 6500 watt inverter model has the same noise rating as the 2000 watt models, but would easily cover any need you have (especially the inrush current from the A/C), even with 30%+ power loss. Three Honda eu2000i models with a Wise Sales generator parallel kit can get you 4500 watts or so as well, good enough even with the power derating.
The smaller Hondas, you can buy the LowPro Lockdown kit to bolt them to a fixed surface so they stay put, and are more portable. The larger one has remote start, and is fairly fuel efficient.
One trick I do with washers/dryers. Stuff like underwear and towels, I like running through twice with a lot of bleach. Usually after I add bleach, soap, and let it fill up to the top, if someone did use the washer for dying, I will notice it, dump some more bleach into it, and let it run a cycle before trying again. Generally, the bleach water from that load will sanitize the washer enough so that subsequent laundry loads will be decently clean.
I do admit I use a "cheapie" regulator, the "high flow" type from Valterra. Oddly enough, it does a decent job, providing more pressure than the water pump, so even though it isn't a Watts... it works as advertised for my needs.
RVs self destruct if neglected. It needs the roof checked every few months, appliances tested/cleaned, and many other things. If the rig is going to sit indefinitely, I'd consider selling it outright, or perhaps downsizing.