Next stop on the solar powered tiny house tour across America was Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. With 200,000 acres of protected lands, many of which are above the clouds, Shenandoah features cascading waterfalls, wooded hollows, and 500 miles of beautiful hiking trails.
This park has 3 different campgrounds that can accommodate large RVs, though it should be noted that none of them have electric, water, or sewage hookups. This of course was not a problem for us, since our electric system is 100% powered by the 6 solar panels on the roof of the tiny house and our off-grid solar kit. But we did spend some time researching the campgrounds to see which one appeared to have the most sunlight (and sunniest parking spots) ahead of our trip.
After navigating the landscape of our upcoming journey using the satellite imagery filter of Google Maps, looking for parts of the campgrounds that had the least shaded camping spots facing south, it was determined that our luck would be best at Big Meadows Campground.
Additionally, since there are no water hookups, we had to plan ahead and fill up our water storage before entering the park. We prioritized the water storage for showering only, and instead used gallon jugs of water for dish washing and ancillary water needs.
Pulling into the Shenandoah National Park entrance station that morning, we were relieved to see that all 3 campgrounds had lots of openings.
Tip: It's been our experience that your odds at finding lots of camping spots at national parks are better earlier in the week before the weekenders rush in.
After driving up the windy road to Big Meadows and checking in with the campground attendants, we got some advice on where the sunniest locations were located.
The camp site we picked was a short distance away from a bathroom facility (always a plus when you have a compost toilet).
Tip: Save time, effort, and resources emptying and cleaning your compost toilet by using other toilets when they are available!
And, to our surprise, the nearby bathroom was also powered by a rooftop of solar panels.