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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Equip your RV with wind power -- inexpensively

Wind power: For the boondocker, nothing beats this free source of electrical power. The trouble is, getting started with wind power isn't always inexpensive, there's that up-front investment cost. But hang on, if you're handy with a few tools and can scrounge a bit, you may be able to build yourself a 100-watt wind turbine inexpensively.

The heart-and-soul of this little machine is a recycled treadmill motor; the designers suggest you may be able to scrap one out of a freebie treadmill; we think you'll be likely to find a used one on a nearby Craiglist sale. In any event, the little treadmill motors put out a lot of juice for a small number of revolutions.

The next question we had was: What about blades? The basic "propeller" as some call it, is generally a three blade operation. On our commercial turbine a set of blades sets us back nearly $100. Not so here, the blades are built out of a chunk of PVC drain pipe. Gimme a break! This obviously isn't rocket science, but hey, it works.

Check out the website of the good folks at Vela Creations. They offer a FREE detailed manual on how to build your own Chispito Wind Generator with pretty much common tools and cheap parts.


  1. I notice the accompanying drawing shows you setting the stand in concrete. Uh, how is this going to be usable with your traveling RV?

  2. And just how much electricity does this thing put out and how much per hour at what wind speed? Having had a wind generator on my sailboat, I found that the current produced was minimal unless you spent your entire time in the tradewind of the Caribbean.