We’ve been living on our off grid property for almost two years now while we develop our debt-free home, in a travel trailer, and we finally caved and bought an RV air conditioner. Despite living at a Northern latitude, it’s downright hot, and we’re done suffering!
When we first bought this trailer, we were aware that it didn’t have an air conditioner. We thought “We’ll be so far north – what could we possible need one for?”
Come to find out, our property has been ridiculously hot the past couple of years. We’re not talking 80 degrees hot (although 80 in the sun here is pretty unbearable), we’re talking 100+.
We even had an epic winter this past season, getting four feet of snow in a snowstorm and seeing temperatures as low as -118F on our property.
Last summer, we were gone most of the day (every day) seeking cooler activities such as working from an air conditioned coffee shop or foraging for fruit.
This year, because we hope to break ground on our house within the next couple of weeks (yes, it’s officially happening folks, mark our words) we decided that we don’t need to suffer.
Investing in Ourselves
Last year, we actually caved and bought an air conditioning unit from Target, but as it was already September, we challenged ourselves not to use it since money was tight.
We survived, and back to Target it went.
This year, while we understood that a proper RV air conditioner for our travel trailer would run us hundreds of dollars, we figured it was an investment worth making as it would open up so many doors of opportunities for us.
For one, we could work in the heat of the day and return to an air conditioned home.
Second, we would spend less time on the road trying to find cool areas to hide out in. Time on the road equals burning fuel and eating out.
Third, just knowing we had a cool place to retreat to meant we would likely work harder since we knew we could end the heat when we wanted to.
The Dometic Penguin II RV Air Conditioner
We’ll elaborate more on this later, but we decided to go with the Dometic Penguin II.
While we could have saved money with a different unit (like not for an RV), we decided to spend the money to put the AC where it should rightly go – on the roof. We also wanted one that was low profile since our RV is parked in an RV garage.
Installing it was pretty simple – watch the video to see it and to see the problems we DID encounter.
Running the Air Conditioner – Solar or Generator?
Does this burn fuel? Yep. But it’s totally worth it.
We’ve been running it for maybe two to four hours a day, but if it allows us to stay home, it really does save us money and allow us to be more productive.
Here’s to Comfort While Developing a Property
We’ve learned that we can only do without creature comforts for so long, so we have no regrets getting an air conditioner.
We can do almost anything for a month, even six months, but when we’re going on two full years of living in our RV, it’s time for upgrades!
Even once our house is dried-in this winter, we’ll likely spend a bit more time in the RV to get the house (or portions of the house) livable.
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