Tuesday Talk – Our Top Three Renovations for Boondocking

This week we are talking about our top 3 renovations we’ve made to our Airstream for boondocking or free camping in the wilderness. The first major renovation/upgrade we did was solar. Solar power while not necessarily cost-effective when compared to using a generator is much more convenient in our opinion and makes our power a passive process when we’re out in the wilderness. Our 2nd major renovation is our composting toilet. The composting toilet has eliminated the need for our black tank which allows us to double our gray water storage. It also means we don’t waste any of our fresh water on a toilet which allows us to stay out longer. The third renovation we’ve made for boondocking is installing the propane line and our catalytic heater. The catalytic heater allows us to keep the Airstream nice and toasty even in freezing temperatures without using ANY power and only a trickle of propane compared to a typical furnace. We even give you another gadget we love for boondocking, our Valterra shutoff valve which allows us to combine our gray and black tanks. So really it’s 3.5 things!

Links this week:
Our Solar Show & Tell
Installing Our Composting Toilet
Natures Head Composting Toilet (affiliate link)
Installing our Catalytic Heater
Olympian Catalytic Heater (affiliate link)
How to Combine Waste Tanks
Valterra Waste Valve (affiliate link)

On Tuesday’s we’d like to answer questions sent to us from viewer’s like you and share some of the details of our Airstream life. If you have a question for us please let us know in the comments below or at our website astreaminlife.com

 

Friday Favorites – Luci Light (Our Portable Solar Light)

This week’s Friday Favorite is our Luci Light. The Luci light is a portable solar powered lantern that’s perfect for evening meals and nights around the campfire. It’s small and compact and then blows up to give out more light. We use it all the time outside of the Airstream and it would be perfect for backpacking trips as well!

This week’s links:
Luci Light (Amazon affiliate)

 

Exploring Mesa Falls & A Solar Chat

In today’s video, we decide to skip the crowds in Yellowstone and instead head down to Mesa Falls which is about 30 minutes south of where we are boondocking. Unfortunately, there were crowds there too due to a bike race and being closer to the zone of totality for the eclipse the next day. The falls were both definitely worth the trip though, especially the Upper Falls! We take the opportunity to fill up our water jugs too, or course.

After we return from our adventures Steve chats about our solar setup and everything we run/charge on a typical day. We’re loving these cooler days of full sun here in Idaho, we never have to worry about our batteries getting too low. Steve also talks a little bit more about equalizing our tanks when we are boondocking.

Checkout
Bootjack Boondocking
Mesa Falls

 

Finding Boondocking Outside of Yellowstone

In today’s video, we leave Jefferson County Lake Campground. Our first stop is a dump station at the Visitor Center in Ashton Idaho on our way to our boondocking spot. Then we continue heading north and east to a boondocking area in Island Park Idaho. After our boondocking troubles recently we decided to take the bikes down the roads to find the best spot for us and it worked out great. We found a great mostly level spot with plenty of solar. We can’t wait to spend the next couple of weeks here and explore Yellowstone National Park!

Checkout
Jefferson County Lake Campground
Bootjack Boondocking

Tuesday Talk – Our Power Usage/ Strategy While Boondocking

This week we’re answering a question from a past video. “Have we used our generator? Every morning for appliances? 12v appliances? Hows solar?” So, in general, we answer what is our strategy for power while boondocking and how is our solar system and generator working out for us.

On Tuesday’s we’d like to answer questions sent to us from viewer’s like you and share some of the details of our Airstream life. If you have a question for us please let us know in the comments below or at our website astreaminlife.com

 

Setting Up Our Honda Generator & the First Start

Now that Steve has officially retired he is starting on his list of tasks to get done before we hit the road full time. First up setting up our generator and making sure we know how to work it. As you guys know we are mainly powered by our solar setup but it is always good to have a backup plan for those rainy weeks without much sun. In comes our Honda Generator. Steve was a good sport and shows the entire process in this video.

Our Solar Setup

Honda EU2000i Generator (affiliate link)
Generator Cover (affiliate link)

Let us know what you think! Have any suggestions for us? Any questions about Airstream Life? Let us know!

Airstream Life – Our Solar Show And Tell

As Steve put it, “the video you’ve all been waiting for”. We show you most of the components to our new solar system installed by AM Solar and explain each piece and why we decided on what we did. They did such an amazing job of installing everything. We didn’t lose a speck of storage space and everything makes sense.

Other Solar Videos:
Solar Panels Part 1
Solar Panels Part 2
Solar Questions Answered

We had an amazing experience with AM Solar. If you are thinking of getting solar installed or looking to buy a solar package to install yourself we highly recommend them.

Check them out: http://amsolar.com/

Let us know what you think! Have any suggestions for us? Any questions about Airstream Life? Let us know!

Tuesday Talk – Answering All of Your Solar Questions

On Tuesday’s we’d like to answer questions sent to us from viewer’s like you and share some of the details of our Airstream life.

This week, we’re answering a bunch of questions we’ve been getting about our decision to get solar from AM Solar and why we drove all the way to Oregon over Thanksgiving week.

We answer:
1. Why did we decide to get solar instead of just using a generator while boondocking or plugging into shore power? Hint: it wasn’t because it was the best financial decision
2. Why didn’t we install the solar ourselves?
3. Why did we decide to have AM Solar install our system?
4. Why did we drive all the way there NOW instead of waiting until we head up to Oregon next summer?

Hopefully we answered a bunch of your questions. Feel free to leave more in the comments below. Stay tuned for our Solar Show & Tell on Thursday.
Tax credit information: http://amsolar.com/tax/

Do you have a suggestion for a future Tuesday Talk? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel to get our latest videos! Happy Tuesday!

Airstream Life – Our Oregon Solar Install Trip – Part 1

We’re on our way to AM Solar in Oregon to get our solar installed! Join us as we drive all the way from Tucson AZ to Springfield OR all 1500 miles in 3 days. We learn some lessons along the way too…like what to check if the Airstream’s brakes suddenly lock up, to look for truck stops with RV lanes!, and that Steve is a great Airstream driver in all sorts of weather. We finally get to AM Solar and start deciding what system we want…. We’ll show you what we decided and our trip back in the next video.

We had an amazing experience with AM Solar. If you are thinking of getting solar installed or looking to buy a solar package to install yourself we highly recommend them.

Check them out: http://amsolar.com/

Let us know what you think! Have any suggestions for us? Any questions about Airstream Life? Let us know!