Hard Freeze, Trees Falling

On January 3rd, 2018 the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was freezing cold and dark. And when a tree fell in the swamp…it made a sound.

Urrrrr, as all the appliances came to a halt.


Unlike a house, sometimes people in RV’s have some additional options besides waiting for the electric company to restore power. If you have a charged batteries, you can still have power. If you have water in your fresh water tank, you can still have water. If you have propane you’ll be able to operate your furnace, oven, and possibly your refrigerator and hot water tank.

We have dual batteries and when we lose power we can still operate some electric appliances, like lights and fans. What doesn’t work is microwave, TV, air conditioners, coffee maker, etc.

Our refrigerator is different than a residential model. When we lose electricity our refrigerator/freezer automatically switches over to propane. Our hot water tank also has the option of running off of electrity or propane.

But, your batteries won’t hold a charge forever and you need a way to recharge them and you might want to operate some higher amp appliance.

A generator, is the answer. Luckily we have two. A propane 5000 and a Honda gas 2000.

But, neither could provide us with electicity. We had bypassed our propane generator and we did not have the parts to reconnect the propane. We also did not have an adapter to convert our 50 amp service to the Honda generators 110 output.

The Good news was there was a hardware store less than a hour drive away. Bad news, you never get the right parts or all the parts you need on the first trip.

Without electicity the pump for the water in the Volunteer Village would not operate and if we had filled our 100 gallons fresh water tank this wouldn’t have been an issue, we could use the power from our battery to operate the pump.

The bright side was we had plenty of propane so we had no problem staying warm, keep our food in the refrigerator/freezer cold and after purchasing the adaptors for our Honda generator we were able to run our coffee maker.

Life is a 5th wheel is a learning experience and I realize if we plan we can remain comfortable even when a tree falls in the swamp.

And with the visitor center closed for lack of electricity and water, we had more time to go for walks.

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