The Monolith and Some Quick Updates

Our upgrades and fixes.

We’ve been slammed the past few days; hence no blog. Thought I’d post of couple of photos of one or our most impressive “looking” upgrades: Our new solar panel rack!

Took us a whole day and we just got our tent/shed today. Although not a structure of wood, it’s snow-load worthy. I hope it does what it says it does.


We have a new sweet addition to the family. A six month old kitty! Took him to the vet today. All is well. Getting snipped in a few weeks.

We discovered through a process of elimination, that, as I suspected, recharging the RV house batteries is taking up a huge chunk of our energy consumption. I have not seen ONE other person mention that when calculating their energy load for their solar setup.

We’ve also learned that almost ALL inverters shut down the battery bank WAY too late after the batteries are almost dead. An industry wide problem almost NOBODY is addressing, except Missouri Wind and Solar. They are the ONLY company that makes a low voltage shutoff relay. It turns off the power to the inverter when your batteries are at fifty percent or you can adjust to your preference (at your own risk).

If you value your battery bank you should order one here Low Voltage Disconnect Relay Switch. Ours is working perfectly so far and it was easy to install.


Catch up some more when I have a minute or two. Have a shed to put up tomorrow.


Off-Grid Academy

Required courses for off-the-grid living


  • Water systems
    • Springs
      • Hallelujah hallelujah you hit the jackpot if you have one
    • Wells
      • Shallow
        • You got off cheap
      • Deep
        • You’re in for 20,000.00
    • Getting your water to where you want it
      • Hoses-Managing 10,000 feet
      • Trenches-Don’t dig during the winter or you’ll end up digging through 10 feet of snow before you even get to the ground-AKA Don’t do what we did
      • The art of siphoning or How to suck a bowling ball through a garden hose
      • The water pump
    • Storing your water
      • Make sure your RV tank doesn’t have a huge hole before filling it up
      • Tanks: Go big so you can actually take a shower and do the dishes without having to refill
  • Propane Systems
    • Why they’re your new BFF
    • Switching everything to gas
  • Electrical
    •  Red is red and black is black but sometimes it’s white
    • Your wiring is not rainbow colored
    • Battery as opposed to AC or What you can run on and when and for how long
  •  Batteries
    • Care, feeding and maintenance
    • 1  battery actually equals 1/2 a battery: Why you have to buy double
    • How to make one huge battery from 50 little ones
  • Solar Power Systems
    • College level calculus
    • The art of patience
    • The backup system: Your second BFF
    • If you plug in your fridge, you’ll lose your Internet: The art of working with your limited solar power system
  • Using your RV appliances
    • The propane water heater is not your enemy
    • Propane, propane, propane
    • Screw electric
    • The toilet: the art and nuances of managing your poo
    • The water pump: Make sure you have one before you try to take a shower
  • Social Studies
    • How to live in a small space with others and not kill each other
    • Dividing the work: It’s a family affair
    • Keeping social in an isolated situation
  • The Protocol
    • Everything you do will have a protocol
    • Keeping everyone on the same page of the protocol and hopefully in the same book
  • Enjoying the fruits of your labor
    • The hot shower
    • The hot bath
    • Staying warm in subzero temperatures
    • Staying cool in the blazing heat of summer
    • Your entertainment system
  • Living With The Neighbors
    • The People
      • 50 dogs and how to block out the barking
      • How to block out the music
      • How to block out the neighbors
    • The animals
      • It’s not Mr. Foot that’s lurking outside your trailer
      • The cat and his friends
      • The wolves
      • The coyotes
      • The mice
      • The turkeys
      • The deer
    • Deciphering which is which
  • Wrapping It All Up
    • It’s all worth it