There are many good reasons why you might be off-grid with an RV. It’s a chance to escape from it all and commune with nature — or it would be if it weren’t for that pesky hook-up.
Many RVs still rely on traditional on-grid connections and hookups to provide electricity and water, defeating the point of living off the grid. Powering your RV off-grid means you can literally go anywhere and still enjoy some good 21st-century comfort.
Electricity can give you lights, heating and AC, refrigeration, and the ability to charge phones or other essential equipment such as medical devices. Portable electricity means you can range further and remoter.
Here are the four best ways to power your RV off-grid.
1. Gas Generators
The gas generator is the old-style method of providing power. You can get two types of gas generators for RVs: a portable generator or a built-in onboard generator.
Onboard systems draw fuel from the RV’s chassis, although some will also have an onboard fuel tank or use a propane system.
These machines have been the standard for powering RVs for a long time. However, gas generators are large and heavy and require refills, which means carrying gas.
Gas generators can be noisy and are not eco-friendly. They lack appeal for those who want to commune with nature in a quiet, fume-free setting without leaving a carbon footprint.
2. Portable Solar Generators
Portable solar generators rely on sun energy for power and are one of the best and most sustainable ways to power your RV off-grid.
They remove all the disadvantages of a gas generator, principally the fuel cost, the noise, and the negative impact of fossil fuels.
Solar generators from EcoFlow include a range of products to suit all needs and budgets of RV owners. Small solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into energy, which the power station stores for later use.
You can start fully charged from home before you go to ensure a lasting and reliable power supply for life on the road. Solar generators have multiple outlets to run numerous devices and are available in various capacities and sizes. Even the largest are still portable.
You can also enhance the capacity of generators using add-on battery packs and additional portable solar panels to help you re-charge while in the field.
The panels are small and easy to stow, making them convenient and compact for travel. Plus, EcoFlow’s solar panels are simple to move around, so you can chase the sun during the day if necessary.
3. Integrated Solar Systems
Integrated solar power generation systems are part of the vehicle itself. The system is more extensive and requires vehicle modifications, but you will be able to run all your appliances and lighting.
A professionally installed solar system typically uses solar panels, which fit on the RV’s roof. They also include a charging unit, battery pack, and inverter, housed inside the vehicle.
Integrated solar systems are fixed and can be hard to customize for individual users. But EcoFlow Power Kits make it easy. These systems designed for RVs, trailers, and campers offer a new and flexible alternative. They are the world’s first compact and modular solar power solutions for RVs.
The Power Kits provide you with ultimate flexibility and customization opportunities. This modular system is plug-and-play to suit your needs. Space-saving in design, Power Kits come with stackable batteries to increase capacity, and you can add additional solar panels for faster charging.
The EcoFlow Power Kit is the ultimate solar solution for off-grid living in your RV.
4. Wind Turbines
The final option for off-grid power is small wind turbines for RVs. These systems attach to the back of the camper and generate electricity while the vehicle is moving.
According to a survey, less than 2% of RV owners had installed a wind generator, even though almost half of the participants surveyed wanted one.
The massive adoption gap is likely due to the limitations of wind turbines — particularly the amount of power they can generate.
One option for some RV owners is using wind turbines in conjunction with solar panels. The two-on-one system could help combat unhelpful weather conditions.
How Much Solar Energy Do You Need to Power an RV?
Working out how much solar energy you need depends upon several different factors:
- What battery capacity do you have?
- Which appliances do you plan to use, and how much power do they consume?
- How long do you need to go without recharging your devices?
- How long will you be off-grid?
You can look online for energy calculators to determine the energy use of each appliance in your RV.
How to Maintain Solar Energy Off-Grid
Using solar energy off-grid requires a change of mindset, but for many, it can quickly become the norm.
Try to camp in neutral climates as it will reduce your requirement for heating or cooling appliances. If the environment isn’t temperate, understand how this will impact the amount of solar power you need.
It can be helpful to take your first few RV trips in a temperate off-grid location before tackling a locale with more extreme weather.
Use a solar calculator to understand which of your appliances eat up the most power. Leave the energy-guzzling appliances at home or upgrade them with high-efficiency replacements.
Living with less or no electricity isn’t just confined to RV trips. It is an increasingly attractive option for homeowners looking to reduce reliance on grid power and lower the costs of electricity and gas use.
The key to powering your RV off-grid is research and preparation. Solar is quickly becoming popular because it is free to harvest and provides the ultimate in eco-friendly living.If you’re ready to go green using the easiest method possible, check out the EcoFlow Power Kit. Ready-made for RVs, you can install it yourself or request an expert installer to help. It provides hassle-free off-grid power that doesn’t harm the environment and provides all the comforts of home.