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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Contemplating the not too distant future

Well, I’ve been at Harris Beach a little over two months now, and the original plan was for me to leave in another month.  I’m thinking the middle of August just might be a little early in the year to be heading for southern California, although I’m more than anxious to see what my site at Jojoba Hills looks like in person.  I think I’ll see if the park here would mind if I stayed until after Labor Day. 

Being in between visitors, I’ve had plenty of time to think about my upcoming winter plans.  I’ve got lots of questions floating around in my brain.  For the last nine years I’ve done an awful lot of volunteering where all of my utilities are paid for.  In between volunteer stints, I generally stay at private parks or COE campgrounds where electricity is included in the nightly or weekly fee.  Now I have to think about having metered electricity.

I wonder what it will cost per month.  I’m a real newbie in that department.  The going rate at Jojoba is .21 cents per KWH.  I’m not sure if that means 21 cents per KWH or 21/100ths of a cent per KWH.  I’m not even sure what a KWH is and how amps used to power things relates to that.  I have figured out that running the air conditioner uses 14 amps while using the heat pump uses 20-24 amps.  I don’t know why they’re different since they use the same machine.  Does anyone know if budgeting $100/month for a 50 amp rig is reasonable?  I do like to be cool in hot weather, and warm in chilly weather these days, so I’m sure I’ll use more electricity than I would have say five years ago.

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I had an unusual avian visitor at the overlook the other day.  I think it was a racing pigeon that somehow got off course or tired out.  There is a band on its left leg.  It just sat there resting for the longest time until some kids climbed up the steep rock to scare it away.  Made me wonder where it came from, and where it was supposed to go.

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Then on another work day, I got the treat of seeing a male orange-crowned warbler singing away in the bushiness below my station. 

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What a surprise to have it pop out into the sunlight and pose for me.  They’re normally moving along so fast in the undergrowth that you only get fleeting glimpses, and never before have I actually seen the orange feathers that are usually hidden on its crown.  These warblers that live along the coast are also much more yellow than the populations found inland.

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I suppose he was just taking a moment to beautify himself for the ladies, and didn’t expect anyone to be watching him from above.  Winking smile

I’ve got two more days of work ahead of me before I hop in the car to drive to Medford, OR, to pick up Robyn and the grandgirls at the airport.  I’m excited about their visit.  It seems every time either of these two little whippersnappers come to visit some minor little thing in the rig gets broken.  I wonder what it will be this time…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

39 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I think a re-read of the posting may be in order.

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  2. Enjoy your grands! We are picking up two in Denver (they are flying in from North Carolina) and taking them to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We want our grandkids to know that there are better things than Disney World! You are going to enjoy the coast a lot more in the coming months ... the weather gets better, I think. Fewer foggy, misty days and more clear skies.

    We have friends who just acquired a lot in Jojoba Hills. I am sure that the folks in the office can give you a good ball park for your electric bill. I am thinking that $100 is plenty, even with your A/C usage.

    Love your blog ... I check it every day!

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  3. Great pictures of the bird. He really is beautiful.

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  4. When I stayed that month in Desert Hot Springs, feb-mar 2011, It was closer to $200 :( and I would not think that costs have gone down....

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  5. Have you thought of calling the Jojoba office and asking what the average electric bill is? I would think it would be quite different in summer and winter since AC costs a little bit more. Do you use your propane furnace in winter?

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  6. Great photos as usual. A Kilowatt (kw) is the product of Amps (a) and Voltage (v) divided by 1000, or kw=(a X v)/1000, your kw hour is going to depend on how hot it is and how cool you want it to be causing it to run so many hours per month or kwh. Multiply that by .21 and you get your cost just for air conditioning. Not to scare you but we will be over $200 for this month but that is near Phoenix with temps above 100 everyday.

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  7. It will be 21 cents per kw/h which is fairly expensive. I would suggest that an average size RV with one a/c unit might use 800 kw/h per month. But of course everybody's usage will be different.

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  8. Maybe you could consider installing solar panels to help produce electricity. We used them while boon docking in the desert for several month during the winter year after year. We did not have air conditioning though and had a catalytic neater which we used all the time. Good luck!

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  9. Sound like you have some good info already in your comments! Have fun with your visitors! :)

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  10. You might use less electricity with an electric space heater than the heat pumps. We don't use ours at all, they really suck up the power.

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  11. My rig is only 20 feet long and 7'-9" wide. My peak summer use is 475 KWH and I keep it cool. My peak winter when using electric heat is less than that. 475kwh x $.21=$100. I use the electric heaters from WalMart that cost about $20 for my winter heating when 120 volt is available.

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  12. I don't have any experience to compare to what you might use except when we owned a house. We had a fairly large home and rarely exceeded $100/month electric bill. How could a 400 square foot RV be that expensive. With our MH and now 5th wheel, we average about a dollar a day when sitting in the winter. I agree above posters.....call the office, they should be able to advise you.

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  13. I think you will be above $100.00 a month. We stayed in a park a few years ago $120.00 for the month with everything on electric. Next year same park same time period we ran everything on propane and had a solar panel and inverter, electric bill was $21.00, propane $30.00.

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  14. I have never seen a yellow warbler. What a beauty.
    How could anyone turn down a volunteer who wants to work more? I think you will be received with open arms.

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  15. We have stayed in places with metered electric a number of times. It's hard to say because it depends so much on the weather. If you don't have to use the A/C a lot then $80 - $100 could be a good possibility. If you have to use the A/C at all then you would probably be at a minimum in the $130 to $150 range.

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  16. $.21 for kwh is quite a bit higher than what we have experienced. We are in Tampa where it's hot and both AC's are running 24/7. Our last bill was $130. I checked our last bill in the Keys and it was $120 with the AC running 24/7 as well. The KWH rates here in Tampa, the Keys and on our lot in Blairsville Ga are between 12-13 cents per kwh, which I think is pretty typical for most places (other than California)

    I just checked back on our last bill in Georgia when it was cold last fall, and we were running the heat pumps quite a bit. It was $170, but we didn't have our residential refrigerator, and we also run a hot tub up there 24/7. Our kwh is much lower than where you will be, but it was pretty cold.

    One thing I can tell you is you will save a lot by having a residential refrigerator. Ours dropped about a third when we got rid of our Rv refrigerator.

    Love the yellow warbler.

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  17. Last October in Yuma it was quite hot. With a rate of $.17 per KWH it cost us near $200 for the month. Usually, if it is not super hot or cold $100 is around the average. Just know that some months may be more, but some may be less.

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  18. Here are some examples of what a Kwh is.
    An electric heater rated at 1000 watts (1 kilowatt), operating for one hour uses one kilowatt-hour of energy. A television rated at 100 watts operating for 10 hours continuously uses one kilowatt-hour. A 40-watt light bulb operating continuously for 25 hours uses one kilowatt-hour.

    From what you said above your A/C is about 1,500 Watts and the heat Pump is about 2,400 Watts. Run the A/c for 8 hours continuously and you will use 12 Kwh or $2.52 the Heat Pump would cost you $4.02 to operate for the same period of time. I would say that $100 is not going to be enough to pay for your electric usage during a month. Although you do not pay for electric now IF you have a meter you can see how may Kwh you are using.

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  19. You've gotten some great info on kilowatts and cost. My last power bill (for the month of June here in Phoenix) was $210. That is running two air conditioners during the day and one at night - 24 hours a day. In the winter our bill runs about $50. I refuse to be hot or cold in my house so I willingly pay whatever the bill is.

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  20. The orange-crowned warbler is quite a beauty. I just know you will have a fantastice time with the girls! Can't wait to see pictures of your adventures with them.

    Good luck with figuring all that electricity stuff!

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  21. Love your orange-crowned warbler. I've never seen one. How beautiful, well handsome he is. You have to love commenters who can provide real life experience to our questions. The only thing I can add is that if you use your propane furnace you will use less electricity than if you use space heaters obviously and you cannot run either AC or space heaters with solar unless you have way more panels than your roof would probably hold. I'm with the folks who say that the park office could give you pretty good information.

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  22. Add me to the list of those who have never seen an Orange Crowned Warbler- pretty bird!

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  23. I don't know what the rate is per KWH in Arizona, but last winter we were cooling our 700 sq ft house to comfort level and our RV to 80 degrees and the highest we paid was $105.

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  24. A regular house usually has much better insulation than a mobile home or an RV - that affects both the heating and cooling energy use to reach comfort levels. Also different states and areas have wildly different prices for electricity - I paid 8 cents per KWH in July but it can vary each month. If you buy any new appliances, space heaters, or window A/C units be sure to look at the big yellow label posted on them advising of their energy efficiency and compare before buying. With the sunshine, low humidity, and altitude at Jojoba Hills you should have a lovely home base - and once you get there you will network and get great tips from other residents. You are a very lucky lady - ENJOY !!!

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  25. It is usually hot through Halloween in the area you're headed so the longer you can stay north I would definitely do that! Hope the grandkids leave their gremlins at home and the rig remains unscathed during their visit. What a great place for them to visit!!

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  26. What great shots of that orange-crowned warbler. Can't help any about the electric questions, but it looks like you've already gotten lots of advice.

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  27. Ohh, your Warbler is a handsome feller! I've never seen one ... wonder if they're down here in the Sierra foothills? You'd probably drive down I-5 to get to your new home, right? I wouldn't go anywhere near there till mid-September and even then it'll still be hot. The desert, too. Hang around the coast for a while, if you can, you'll appreciate it!

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  28. We only paid for electricity monthly at a park in FL in winter of 2011/2012 and we averaged around $100 a month.

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  29. Are you actually going to stay at Jojoba Hills through the summer months?

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  30. Our electric bill at North Ranch last winter running electric heaters was about $100 per month. When we ran air conditioners non-stop while in Texas our bill was around $150/month.

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  31. Looking forward to seeing you if you get up to Port Orford with the family. I left email addy on our blog...let us know. Otherwise we hope to head down your way as soon as we finish setting up for our extended visit to PO.

    Have fun with all the little critters...and the family too of course.

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  32. I'm anxious to see your new diggs too!...We have never stayed anywhere with metered electric..and we mostly use our electric fireplace for heat..rarely propane..so that would be a definite added cost for us...We only refilled our propane once in 4 months last Winter in Florida.. Have fun with those grandkids!!

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  33. Nice Orange Crowned Warbler photos.

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  34. Neat Orange Crowned. I saw my first one at Forestville S.P. this spring but I way to slow to get good photos...:)

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  35. Beautiful shots of your orange-crowned!! Have a blast with your girls!!

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  36. Whenever we are charged for electric usage, I always ask before registering what they are going to charge me for electric. Some monthly stays may give you an allowance of $100 and we have to pay the reminder over that. The going rate that we have been charged are 12 cents ($0.12) per kwh to 18 cents per kwh. I know that the campground has a contract with the power company at considerably less than that (business rates are considerably less than residential rates). So 18 cents or higher is gouging plain and simple. I may not stay there again.

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  37. When you get back south, in the winter, try putting out orange halves and peanut butter/lard/cornmeal/flour mix. I've had orange crowns come to both and they are much easier to photograph if they are hanging around feeders.

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  38. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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