By Bob Difley
Dry camping, camping without utility hookups, requires special preparations – and that includes wise use of electricity. Here are a few basic energy-saving tips for getting you started.
• When not in use, turn off all appliances, lights, radio, TV and anything else that requires electricity.
• Turn off your porch light.
• Coordinate your generator use with power-hungry devices. For instance, schedule your showers (the water pump uses power), furnace use, and use of microwave, coffee marker and other appliances at a certain time when your generator can power them all at once. This also charges your batteries.
• In cold weather, dress warmly: save your heater. Its fan gobbles power.
• Rise and retire with the sun. This saves power for lighting.
• If you read in bed, use a small rechargeable battery-powered reading light.
• Monitor your house batteries charge with a voltage meter so you don’t run them down too low, which can damage the batteries. Deep cycle batteries are considered fully charged at about 12.6 volts and completely discharged at 10.6 volts. Recharge before they get below 60 percent, or about 12.0 volts.
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