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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  General Topics

 > RVs and California's Planned Power Outages

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CoachPotato

Central Valley of California

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Posted: 10/09/19 08:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

(I did several searches here for this topic, and found none. If this has already been discussed, please point me to the thread.)

Here in Kalifornistan, the power is purposely being turned off to thousands of homes in large areas for up to five days to prevent electrically caused wildfires during dry, high wind conditions. They're not just planned, but power outages have already been inflicted upon thousands of people, causing incredible problems. Imagine power being off up to five days - no gas or propane pumped, groceries rotting, markets losing tons of frozen/refrigerated food, signal lights out, etc. It causes pure chaos. The longer outages would even cause water shortages.

My dear Wifey and I are mid 70s, and our son suggested recently that he would be willing to help install a generator for us in the event we may be one of those thousands left powerless. It was a pleasure to remind him that we have the motor home to live in - and even to escape the entire chaotic area if we wanted! With the outage threat we face here, I now keep the propane tank full, the diesel tank full, the fresh water tank full, ready to move into and live comfortably for the duration.

We know of one neighbor who has paid thousands to have a generator installed outside his home that runs on natural gas, a very good choice since gasoline would likely be hard to come by in an extended outage. Other neighbors (we're in a senior gated community) continue to discuss their options, of which there seem to be few.

I wonder if any other RVers in threatened areas have planned to do the same as we have. It seems an interesting topic for discussion as we RVers really do have a solution - especially those with RVs equipped with generators and larger tank capacities that many Class A owners have.

Any thoughts?

Reisender

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Joined: 12/09/2018

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Posted: 10/09/19 08:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CoachPotato wrote:

(I did several searches here for this topic, and found none. If this has already been discussed, please point me to the thread.)

Here in Kalifornistan, the power is purposely being turned off to thousands of homes in large areas for up to five days to prevent electrically caused wildfires during dry, high wind conditions. They're not just planned, but power outages have already been inflicted upon thousands of people, causing incredible problems. Imagine power being off up to five days - no gas or propane pumped, groceries rotting, markets losing tons of frozen/refrigerated food, signal lights out, etc. It causes pure chaos. The longer outages would even cause water shortages.

My dear Wifey and I are mid 70s, and our son suggested recently that he would be willing to help install a generator for us in the event we may be one of those thousands left powerless. It was a pleasure to remind him that we have the motor home to live in - and even to escape the entire chaotic area if we wanted! With the outage threat we face here, I now keep the propane tank full, the diesel tank full, the fresh water tank full, ready to move into and live comfortably for the duration.

We know of one neighbor who has paid thousands to have a generator installed outside his home that runs on natural gas, a very good choice since gasoline would likely be hard to come by in an extended outage. Other neighbors (we're in a senior gated community) continue to discuss their options, of which there seem to be few.

I wonder if any other RVers in threatened areas have planned to do the same as we have. It seems an interesting topic for discussion as we RVers really do have a solution - especially those with RVs equipped with generators and larger tank capacities that many Class A owners have.

Any thoughts?


We rarely (almost never) have outages where we are. But I think you are wise to do what you are doing. We also do the same.

Hope it works out for you and your family.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 10/09/19 08:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have read some RVs use the on board generator to power their home when needed.


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Dutch_12078

Winters south, summers north

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Posted: 10/09/19 08:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're not in the affected area, but we did run our motorhome generator for 3 days a couple of years ago after windstorm/tree damage took out the high voltage and other power lines serving our area. We kept both the RV and our family cottage powered for the duration, with an elderly neighbor staying in the cottage while we stayed in the motorhome. Fortunately, the cottage refrigerator and freezer were relatively empty, so we were able to move all of the neighbor's cold stuff to our place, leaving behind only those items that don't need to be kept cold such as cans of soda, etc.


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Naio

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Posted: 10/09/19 09:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a friend who lost her house and everything she owned in one of those PG&E fires. She barely escaped with her life.

I don't think you should whine so much about the power outages. It's better than losing everything or burning to death in your car trying to escape.

I think keeping your RV ready is a good plan.

PG&E is pouring a ton of money into upgrading the lines, pulling in crews from all over the US, and hopefully this business of outages will be temporary.


3/4 timing in a DIY van conversion. Backroads, mountains, boondocking, sometimes big cities for a change of pace.


Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 10/09/19 10:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

High Winds....could take transmission lines down

Better to have the power OFF then lines falling energized, starting fires and then no repairs can be done until fires are contained


Seems PG&E can't win for trying!


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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MrWizard

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Posted: 10/09/19 11:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't live in the central valley and I don't live in the mojave
Or the inland empire, etc

But I can't remember anytime there w was five days non stop high winds

I think they are stating the worst possible case,
Instead of the most likely disruption

Very good idea to keep the RV ready


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azdryheat

Tucson, AZ

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Posted: 10/09/19 11:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Remove the dead/downed trees that are nothing but kindling for large fires. What a novel idea. But they don't want to do that in Cali, they'd rather the people suffer for days without electricity. One thought to keep this RV related: In the affected areas will the traffic signals still work? Picture your life without electricity. Idiots are in charge of Cali but then, that's who elected them. Sad.


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ArchHoagland

Clovis, CA, USA

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Posted: 10/10/19 12:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We keep our coach parked next to the house with a full tank of gas.

If power goes out for a long time I can fire up the generator and run an extension cord to the freezer and refrigerator inside our house.

75 gallons of gas would be good for about a week or so.

In the Loma Prieta earthquake we lived in Salinas and had no power for several days. Discovered you can't buy gas when power is off for days so now my vehicles never get below a half tank and my coach is always full when stored by the house.

Having a free standing generator could be a problem without a lot of gas stored at your home.


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gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 10/10/19 02:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Consider having your son install a generator inlet on your house. Then you can live in your RV and use the generator to power your home refrigerator, freezer, etc. a couple times a day to keep everything from spoiling.

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