For a while I researched three stage water filters, until I decided we would live off bottled water. Mexican water isn't that bad, really, mostly just different than American water in its microbial makeup. I fill my tanks, rather than connect to park water directly, and I use a simple single stage filter. I'm not going to ever drink from my tanks, so that's fine. We go through a couple gallons a week of bottled drinking water instead and use about 50 gallons a week of semi filtered water for general use.
|WalMart 5 gallon water bottle with a lithium pump (which I haven't bothered using yet)|
We've had no problems, so far, after five RV parks, in finding a place to dump tanks. A priority of the RV purchase was buying an RV with tanks large enough for extended travel. With easy availability of dump stations at RV parks, we tend to dump twice a week. I could go maybe five days without this option before our toilet would be inoperable. We've never come close to filling our gray kitchen and bathroom (shower and sink) tanks. The blank tank size is definitely the lowest common denominator in this system.
|One of the tank monitor systems we're using|
|Dumping tanks, a twice a week job|
Power is certainly an issue. I have a 50 amp coach, meaning it can run off two, 120 volt legs of a power connector. It can conceivably draw a lot of power and run both air conditioners, the microwave and a host of power hungry appliances. We have stayed in one RV park with a 50 amp receptacle. Most have 30 amp, and one had 15 amp. Expecting 15 amp to be the lowest common denominator, my RV custom electrical system is designed to run seamlessly on 15 amps. I've never changed it off that. Running one air conditioner I'm pretty much using 21 amps, beyond the 15 amp input (which is usually 9-11), so having a system that draws on my batteries is critical.
|The electrical system, other than the 1,200 watts of solar panels|
One of the design decisions I insisted on was a Hughes Power Watchdog, which monitors incoming power and prevents bad conditions from hitting your electrical system. Boy is the dog getting a workout! Every RV park in Mexico so far has a potentially dangerous "open ground" condition. I've seen no problems in the US, so far. My receptacle voltage tester will often tell me "Naw, don't plug into this." If I listened to my tester, I would have no park power anywhere I've been. Instead, I'll often think to myself, "Let the dog decide."
|The dog is displeased|
There is a chance the Watchdog will get fried and there's an inexpensive $35 board that can be replaced if this happens. I brought one spare. Hopefully it lasts or I'll have no external power coming in. The inverter is key to power assist and running off grid. We've stayed two nights in 100 degree conditions without any outside power at all and three nights in more temperate conditions where the AC was only slightly used. That's pretty much our power limits running off solar with our six batteries. If the AC isn't used much, there are no limits to power and our limitation becomes tanks. As we getting into the more temperate Mexican Highlands, we should be more energy independent without AC.
So this fancy, $10K system, supports a high end travel trailer full of electronics, yet I'm only running on 15 amps of RV park power, what you would see from a household extension cord. It is not enough to cover our needs, so the solar and lithium batteries supplements this. We're at 97% battery capacity right now (the watchdog is angry and the power is off) and we'll probably drop to as low as 65% as the day draws on and the AC is running. We're going out today so the system gets a break.
|Our lowest power level after 2 days in 100 degree weather and no external power|
Some of the gadgetry includes Starlink for fast Internet, which isn't working right now, due to a wiring issue (we're sharing one until the parts arrive). We tried to make it run off 12 volts instead of 120v and it stopped working. We think Starlink disabled the ability to do this, since both system stopped working at the same time after months of use.
The main consumer of power and the one who needs high speed Internet is this gamer I brought with me with his power hungry gaming laptop and accessories: