On September 16th, Sir Knight and I marked our 16th year of living in Little Shouse on the Prairie. What we had intended to be a one year adventure living in a shop has become a sixteen year undertaking in off-grid ingenuity. It has shaped our family and pushed us to our limits. We have learned how to overcome and how to be content. We have learned that "self-reliance" doesn't exist, only heightened dependence on one another versus dependence on the established infrastructure. We have grown stronger and closer and more capable. We have experienced life as few people in our generation have had the opportunity to experience. And yet our daily life is still a challenge, replete with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Our most recent off-grid hiccup has been generators (again). Generators, along with our solar array are the foundation of our power supply. We always keep two generators in our shed - one main generator and one back-up generator. Both of our current gensets are older Onan generators, which have become our generators of choice. Our main generator is a 6.5 KW and the back-up a 5 KW. We have been relying solely on our main generator for the last year because our back-up generator had carburetor issues, along with a few other problems. About two months ago we sent our back-up generator to my Dad's small engine mechanic so that we could have both generators up and running before winter. After our back-up generator had been in the shop about two weeks, our main generator up and died. What timing! We limped along, relying on solar energy alone, while waiting for our back-up to be repaired. In the meantime, we hauled our main generator in to Dad's small engine mechanic to add to his repair list, and waited, hopefully, for our back-up generator to be brought back to life.
|Onan 5 KW (Needs a good scrubbing, doesn't it?!)|
Our main generator is still in the shop. We are having the mechanic look at it before repairing it, then we'll decide if we're better off replacing or repairing - one step at a time.
We have found that maintaining an off-grid lifestyle requires constant creativity and tenacity. It requires ingenuity, perseverance and a hardy dose of rugged individualism. Not to mention a liberal draught of blood, sweat and tears.
Oh, to live the off-grid life!