We had just had our solar system installed and purchased a new generator; neither of which did we get the chance to test out before we took off.
Because of this, we chose the Charles Deam Wilderness in Hoosier National Forest just outside Bloomington, Indiana for our first Freedom Journey location. This way, if anything did go wrong, we were only about an hour away from “home”.
Around this same area was actually our favorite place to tent camp prior to getting our RV so we knew there was a horseman’s camp nearby that we had previously seen other RV’s at.
We also knew the place was free. Easy to get into AND free? Uh, yeah … that’s a no-brainer.
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and stayed until Sunday morning. We were pretty much the only ones there the entire time and it was glorious!
The AC in our RV is not able to run off the battery (aka what holds the power from our solar panels) and considering it was in the upper 90’s with almost 100% humidity, we definitely put our generator through its paces on that first stop.
Luckily, everything with the generator worked perfectly and it proved it is absolutely worth its weight in gold!
However, since the generator does require gasoline to run, we tried to turn it off and just run some fans at night while we slept using the battery in the RV.
We specifically chose the fans we did because they were highly recommended for RVers due to requiring very little energy to run. So, in theory, the fans shouldn’t have had a problem running all night long.
About an hour into the fan usage, the air stopped flowing. The battery was dead.
Our RV is a 2005 and we were hoping and praying it was was the original battery considering we had just spent about $1,300 on our solar panels, inverter, and installation. If we were only going to be able to get one hour’s worth of electricity, the Freedom Journey was going to come to end after just one night!
Luckily, once we got the new battery, the fans lasted all through the night … even with having my laptop plugged in and a light on for a few hours while I did some editing for the podcast. Crisis averted!
We didn’t do much in the way of activities since it was so hot and we didn’t really trust everything in the RV enough to leave our two pups there alone for too long.
Bryan did go for one hike and while on my way to pick him up, I spotted a rare Timber Rattlesnake which was super fun. (Please read the sarcasm in that sentence because it was pretty thick.)
All-in-all, it was a successful, and peaceful, first stop.
You can listen to the podcast episode where I talk about our experiences in Hoosier National Forest for even more details here.
Check out the next stop: St. Louis, Missouri