We had a windstorm in northern California on Tuesday that affected several counties. Outside the state park where I camp host, a tree fell and blocked one lane of the access road. The Marin County Fire Department removed the tree and the two state park rangers directed traffic around it, finishing in 30 minutes. However, there was other damage: the power lines into the park were down as were several others in the neighboring counties. The electricity in the majority of the campground was out. My rig sits just outside the grid and I had power.
I was feeling pretty good about being able to work on the computer and sip a cup from my freshly perked pot of coffee. Then the heater shut off and the screen dimmed. Uh oh. I still had some electricity but it was around half power, 15-20 amps perhaps.
Out came the 400-watt inverter and I plugged in the laptop to finish what I was working on. The batteries were fully charged and I wouldn't need the generator for hours. The electric heater drew too much power so I turned on the electric blanket and it warmed the bed. The refrigerator beeped to let me know there was low AC and since it was set to Auto, it transferred to running on propane. I finished my work and went to bed.
At 7, I turned on the water heater, took a shower, dressed and went to the office to check the reservations. With the computer down, I could only go by the previous day's printout. I had to post signs with the incoming reserved sites listed so drop-in campers would know what sites were available. This was the last spring break week and many decided to visit the park. The sign was set up in Excel, I took it home, looked it over, created a similar sheet and entered the names. I plugged in the 800-watt inverter with its two connections, added the printer to the laptop and printed the copies. I used the copier to dupe the reservation list and went back to the office to post the signs. I left the list on the counter and noticed PG&E was there to work on the power.
Returning home, I heated water on the stove and poured it through the one-cup Melitta drip. I could have made an entire pot but this would do. I watched the campers go in and out of the dark restrooms and take showers. I worked on the computer and at 12:30, the refrigerator beeped. The power had returned--for me. I warmed a sandwich in the microwave and reset the clock. I checked the reefer. It had returned to the AC setting. I unplugged the computer from the inverter and plugged it into the power strip. All was well.
Thursday morning at 7, I was at the office squinting at the Post-It notes on the monitor. I found the campground reservation website and access codes, and brought them home. Success: I printed the new 7-day reservation list and that day's incoming reservation list for the buildings. Now I could post the reserved signs on the sites and address the drop-ins with confidence about which sites were available.
The campground power was restored on Thursday at 2 with the exception of the restroom building next to me. I watched the campers emerge from the cold showers and they didn't look happy at all. The electricity in the building should be restored on Friday morning.
The RV back-up systems worked perfectly. Power outage? Reefer, hot water and stove on propane; computer and printer on inverter; and all else on batteries. Food stayed chilled, coffee was hot and work was completed. With an RV, a power outage is an inconvenience easily handled.