A portable setup can be easily moved throughout the day to track the sun. To be able to turn off the 12v power to the entire RV without having to disconnect the cables every time I installed a disconnect switch in between the battery banks positive and the positive bus bar. There are several different ways of going about it, and there are both off-the-shelf products ready to buy and jimmy-rigged DIY solutions for those brave enough to make modifications to their RVs. I did that help prevent a short due to the negative side being grounded to the RV’s frame. In its most simplistic definition, “off grid” living means being disconnected from the public power grid. Solar nay-sayers will argue that you can never recoup the cost of a solar setup (it will take years of off-grid free camping to do so) but solar fans will tell you that’s not the point: living off-grid in beautiful, quiet places and not having to run a generator all the time is really the point. But yeah, I think that this setup should be perfect for exactly what I want. Your email address will not be published. Off Grid Power Solutions From your tea kettle or coffee brewer to bigger appliances like your air conditioning unit, if you want to enjoy electricity off the grid, there are two options when you’re RV camping: using a fuel-based generator or creating your own power with RV solar panels. Defining “portable”. Grant and Linda, the couple behind My Aussie Travel Guide set themselves up for off-grid travel across North America, with the plan to see the best remote locations the region has to offer. I have several questions related to this: 1) Finding a site. You are not plugged into water, sewer or power. When we swapped to the new 300w panel, I kept the charge controllers and only used one of them. To protect the battery bank and RV we choose to install a catastrophic fuse as a fail safe on the positive terminal of the battery bank for about $30 total. generally in off-grid installations. From our previous RV experience I knew that 12V electrical power is a problem. We did that because they are the same width as 12 volts but are taller and not as long. Some sort of boondocking power system is essential if we want to camp more than a couple days. The system comes complete with all fasteners … If you really want to go all the way with off-grid RV living, here are some of the most basic items that you will need to purchase: a wood burning or propane powered stove that can serve as a way of heating your unit as well as your hot water, a generator, battery setup or solar power system that will supply you with power, Storage: We needed to store a range of things; clothing, food, cooking utensils, tools, and basic camping equipment. I cut a 10′ pair of 8 AWG cables in half, then ran them through the ports and down into the charge controllers. boondocking / dry camping Upgrade the old RV fridge to a (power hungry) residential refrigerator This is not your normal motorhome solar kit and installation (unlike Harvey's here. It was cheaper to buy two 40 amp charge controllers than it was to buy a 60 or 80 amp one. I custom designed and self installed my off grid RV solar setup with my top choices of brands and products. Need a different setup or looking for a complete solar kit that includes batteries. Here`s why: To ensure access to electricity at all times, off-grid solar systems require battery storage and a backup generator (if you live off-the-grid). Short Circuit Current (Isc): 9.78 amps Here’s a run-down of popular options… Power. The AIMS Power 2000 watt inverter charger is tied in the same way. Yep. Well the AC side The DC side was mentioned in Part Four. Just like with a boat, it is very easy to take advantage of the self-contained nature of an RV and turn it into an off-grid … As we all travel differently, requirements will vary from user to user when setting up a rig for overlanding and off grid camping. If you’re just going off-grid for a weekend or for a shorter trip, your best RV battery setup may be a less expensive battery. One of the less pretty sides of living in an RV is disposing of your waste. * Click Here for Battery Info, and Wiring Diagram *, I choose to use some nice American Made wires that were made to length and I found them on eBay: 4/0 battery cable. While this setup is more designed for a permanent tiny house, a similar design can be used for a mobile tiny house. This is due to a number of factors the largest of which is How to Set Up. Off-grid solar PV systems are expensive, so find any means you can to reduce the energy requirements. This large glass panel is attached via brackets I made. THEN HIRE A PROFESSIONAL! We give info, our time, and our honest opinion, you buy what you were going to anyway and tell us thanks buy using our link! Off-grid RV living gives people achance for financial freedom and at the same time, become more at peace withnature. After purchasing all the components required, it’s now time to set-up your off-grid solar system. Free shipping for orders greater than $100 in Contiguous US. This inverter charger can charge the batteries when we are on shore power plus turn the 12v D/C power from our battery bank into A/C when we are dry camping (boondocking). The WindyNation Complete 400W RV solar panel kit is a full-scale solution for your mobile off-grid power needs. One reason that people make the move to go off the grid is the freedom to power their homes in the way they want. Charge Controllers: Optimum Voltage (Vmp): 32.25 volts 3000 To 7000 Watts. The Best Portable Solar Panels for RV, Boondocking and Off Grid Use. Internet off the grid? But still, installation of a complete off-grid solar system is costly. Make & Model Mercedes-Benz Sprinter; RV Solar Panels used in my custom RV solar off grid setup. Hopefully this will prevent any dangers to our system if the RV frame was to somehow have a hot wire touch it. Marine Inverters. We wanted to: Do a lot more off-grid camping ie. Off grid RV living is feasible, but you do need the right equipment for the job. How experienced overlanding Aussies setup their vehicle for off-grid travel, In-vehicle Dual Battery Chargers & Isolators, Electric Trailer Brake Controller Vehicle Selector, How to set up a vehicle for overlanding & off grid camping, Ford F150 and truck camper now equipped and ready for the adventures ahead, help with calculating your power requirements for overlanding, Rewired the camper with suitably sized cable and fuses for charging and powering accessories, Added a suitable inverter for charging batteries and operating 110v appliances, Added a low watt draw microwave that could be powered by the 12v batteries and inverter, Added a chest compressor style fridge freezer for extra food storage, Added a 12v display gauge to see the status of voltage in the battery circuit. The first step in setting up your solar system is to determine which type of solar system is necessary for your application. I mounted the busbar to a 2×4 and then mounted the 2×4 to the frame of the RV. Off grid RV living is feasible, but you do need the right equipment for the job. )This is the equivalent of an off grid system for a cottage. I have always been interested in renewable energy, but when I moved into my grandma’s old cabin in Mendocino, CA, it was the last thing on my mind. Now with any luck, you should have your RV inverter install completed: 1. Best RV Battery for Full-time Boondockers? For an idea, some of the best brands include ECO-WORTHY, WindyNation, ECO LLC and Renogy. We asked ourselves questions about our RV – along with our needs and desires for more power and travel goals – to help us narrow down to what we felt would be the best setup for us. Grant and Linda have provided a host of useful overlanding tips and rig setup advice, such as help with calculating your power requirements for overlanding, or even their top tips for overlanding trip planning. VMAX V6-225 6 Volt 225Ah Group GC2 AGM Deep Cycle Battery, The batteries are wired in series (to make 12v) and parallel for a grand total of 675 amp hours at 12 volts. Required fields are marked*. The brackets are bolted onto a composite material board which is lagged into the RV’s roof. Off Grid Trailers redefines camping with innovative off-road trailers designed to connect you with nature, inviting you to explore the wild with unparalleled adventure. For more information visit the Complete list of off-grid common RV loads. It had a bed, 12v propane fridge, 12v propane furnace, gas water heater, some 12v lighting, a 12v pump for the onboard water tank, and plumbing. Commonly used for smaller applications such as RVs, vans, boats, and tiny homes, Off-Grid kits are user-friendly, DIY kits that require a battery bank as they do not connect to the electrical grid. Now just in case you got lost, here is a schematic of the entire DC side: Now that all that is out of the way let’s get the inverter charger installed! Thus, you will need to ration your supplies due to the lack of unlimited resources you will have. I again used the same wire from the “AC OUT” to go into the Main breaker. RV’s are designed to be off-grid. *WE NO LONGER OWN THIS TRAILER & THIS INFO IS FROM OLDER VIDEOS, I LEFT IT UP TO HELP OTHERS WHO MAY BE TRYING A SIMILAR SYSTEM* THANKS!! back the dual cab 200 our caravan off-grid battery set-up photo, video & drone 4x4 gear camping gear our mazda bt-50 & setup Back DESTINATION VIDEOS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY QUEENSLAND NEW SOUTH WALES VICTORIA SOUTH AUSTRALIA WESTERN AUSTRALIA NORTHERN TERRITORY TASMANIA It shows a 24 foot cargo trailer that he made into a totally solar-powered RV. To watch the install process of the inverter check out these videos: AIMS Inverter Install Playlist, AIMS Power 2000 Watt 12 VDC Pure Sine Inverter Charger w/ 6000W Surge. Due to the batteries being outside on the trailer tongue, and the inverter/charge controllers being inside the RV, I purchased temperature sensors to protect the batteries. Optimim Current (Imp): 9.33 amps Based on our requirements, here’s a list of our modifications: Our aim was to have everything functional with a minimal amount of effort. How experienced overlanding Aussies setup their vehicle for off-grid travel As we all travel differently, requirements will vary from user to user when setting up a rig for overlanding and off grid camping. Whether it’s a 50ft RV style bus you’ll set up, or a sedan style vehicle with a trunk full of camping gear, it really comes down to your personal requirements being met. The WindyNation Complete 400W RV solar panel kit is a full-scale solution for your mobile off-grid power needs. Cut about 1 foot off of each end of the supplied phone cable and splice in your new wire. 60A MPPT Charge Controller to maximize your off grid energy storage. Quality of life is worth the cost. Going off the grid by RV camping is actually surprisingly doable. After all, an off-grid solar system is a work-in-progress. From the charge controller to the battery bank is approximately 20 feet. That cable runs to the disconnect switch and from there a cable goes to the busbar which distributes the power. 5000W TO 7700 Watt Grid Tie Inverters. Portable off grid ham radio means different things to different people. So basically it is simply diverting one wire to the sub panel and a circuit breaker then the to inverter charger and back to where it came from! After some research we went with a Tork Lift brand box. However, if you’re a full-time boondocker, you’ll likely want to invest in your battery since you’ll be counting on it more and using it for extended periods of time. So we can use our Victron Battery Monitor we had to install the shunt it came with. Your battery bank is the foundation of your off-grid setup, and it’s something that … How experienced overlanding Aussies setup their vehicle for off-grid travel As we all travel differently, requirements will vary from user to user when setting up a rig for overlanding and off grid camping. Our factory battery charger was not the best and I wanted to protect our batteries. The shunt has a place for the monitor cable to plug in and for a small positive wire to connect to power the monitor, both of which are included. Here's how to properly 'boondock'. I purchased a pair of 50′ AWG 10 solar extension cables and MC4 connectors to made my own connections. So I write this instructable to get all the components of your solar system separately and assemble it all by yourself.Ch… 1000 to 1999 Watts. RV owners usually endure long travels with long lasting and heavy-duty solar panel kit to support their engine’s battery. Propane tanks, LP appliances, generators, water holding tanks and batteries allow most recreational vehicles to boondock (dry-camping away from any hookups like power water or waste) for limited periods of time. First, we went with 6 volt batteries. You won’t have any sewage either. Among the line of the finest solar kits on the market is made by WindyNation that they can read about in simple off grid system reviews. For reference you can see a video regarding a RV inverter install in a Keystone Cougar 276RLSWE Fifth wheel RV Trailer. Grid-Tie Inverters. Now that I feel I have my off grid RV power system complete I’m putting out a detailed overview of the system, the components used and how much they cost. Catch you next time. boondocking / dry camping Upgrade the old RV fridge to a (power hungry) residential refrigerator Backup generator for larger off-grid power requirements, dual 14kW generators combine for up to 28kW of AC output power. We chose to go with the EPEVER 40A MPPT Tracer 4210A because it is a remake of the well known Renogy Tracer series, and has been verified (videos out there) that it is actually MPPT and not PWN at MPPT prices. I know I have said it in lots of the videos, but just in case. Enphase Inverter Accessories. The second thing we did to get the most amp hours we could is buying a lockable battery box. The best portable solar panels for your needs might differ from ours so we’ve included a few different models and our thoughts on each. For the last 10 years we've … Continued Off-Grid Inverters. When it comes to setting up an off-grid retreat or home, one of the most important decisions you are going to have to deal with is figuring out the right battery system setup for your homestead. Contact: Editor (at) OffTheGridNews.com Phone: 815-902-6086 2200 Illinois Route 84 … After all, using an off-grid solar system is all about the numbers and energy efficiency. You … I’ve got a micro camper trailer With solar (Runnaway) that I tow behind my LJ and a M100 trailer outfitted with a roof top tent that I pull behind my updated M38A1. (Low fixed freight for AK, HI, Canada & Mexico - all orders shipped from North Carolina). Part One: The Roof. In this episode we go over our complete solar installation. I came across this interesting You Tube video from a guy who calls himself 'Master Luke.' Sometimes. Other mods we needed included additional 12v power outlets, as we wanted to add a reversing camera, power outlets to run GPS mapping programs, power to run a chest fridge freezer, and an inverter for charging camera batteries. FOR MORE INFO ON THAT PLEASE SEE THESE VIDEOS: Flexible Solar Panel Failure & Warranty Process Playlist, Renogy 300 Watt 24 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel, Maximum Power (Pmax): 300 watts It is a very simple install and comes with the shunt and cables needed. With our Ford F150 and truck camper now equipped and ready for the adventures ahead, it was exciting times as we’re ready to take off in search of North American adventures. Each item has its own electrical specifications and common run times. There are several different ways of going about it, and there are both off-the-shelf products ready to buy and jimmy-rigged DIY solutions for those brave enough to make modifications to their RVs. Power Inverter: 1500W to 4000W Grid Tie Inverters. And yet you are in need of a reliable electricity supply. I plan to purchase more 100w glass panels in the future which will run into the front charge controller. To truly appreciate your RV or camping trailer, you've got to take it off the grid once in a while. A few choices of systems that inverter charger, and RV solar panels and charge controller for providing power when off-grid camping or boondocking. Here are the fuse holder and ANL fuses I used below: Now lets talk about the positive side. A few RV power system complete packages. The F150 vehicle was stock standard and would need some minor modifications to the rear suspension to assist carrying the extra load. We’d also say to stay flexible with your system to take advantage of advances as they happen. To get as many amp hours as I could for the space we have on our trailer tongue I did two things. The camper’s battery is, of course, charged by the truck as we drive along so I don’t need them on the roof. You can increase the efficiency of your system by running some devices directly from a battery. This means camping off the grid without electrical hookups. 1: Our Flexible Ones Failed I am located in Sonoma County, California. You can charge anywhere. With the help of some friends, we purchased a 2010 Ford F150 four door pick-up and a 2007 Palomino slide-on pop top camper which we modified slightly to ride on the back of the F150. It includes a 1500W power inverter needed to run appliances off a 12V battery, and you can add a 300Ah or 400Ah 12V battery to the kit when ordering (not included by default). Along with a marine grade copper battery lugs. Off grid living is illegal. 100 To 999 Watts. A 3-way fridge is the least electrically-efficient fridge option. This is a great article and example of how you can take a tiny house off-grid and power it with solar. There are so many reasons to want to go away from everyone in nature. So we needed to consider a few basic things when setting everything up:-. They still give us the maintenance free perk and they are way cheaper than lithium. Let’s face it, simple country living is the main thing I think appeals most to folks who want to live off grid. Xantrex Inverter for off grid RV living. Yes, with the cabin came a small off-grid solar setup, but I was more concerned with abstract concepts like “peace” and “beauty.” So at first, I … We would love to help you custom build a Solar System for your RV, Camping, Caravan, 4x4, Off Road requirements. Here, they’d hook up and connect to the local water supply and 110v electricity (through a converter), which took the 110v power and converted it to 12v power. Hybrid Inverters. Let’s start on the roof and work our way down into the RV, then to the tongue where the battery bank lives. Designed for money saving, owner built and do it yourself projects, or professional installers, all of our RV / Off Grid system packages are based on proven 12v 100-200 watt monocrystalline solar modules. In our case, we knew when looking at setting up a vehicle for a North American adventure, three months of living in a vehicle would be a long time. How to build an off-grid solar system . The entire roof of the trailer is covered with solar panels - 3,130 watts worth of them. So basically we can fit more amps into the battery box. So in an effort to demystify RV solar systems I'll show you our complete setup that we use for boondocking and dry camping! To monitor the overall battery system I decided to go with a Victron BMV-700 with the Bluetooth option. Questions abound on RV solar setups, especially systems complete enough to live off-grid. The Palomino camper met our basic requirements and came with some storage. Synonymous with boondocking and dry camping, off-grid RV living means you aren’t connected to any electrical or water source. Off Grid Trailers: COVID-19 Update. However, in other ways, we're very similar. They came in several dimensions we went with the largest one which is 58 1/2″ long. We purchased 6 total. How to Live Off the Grid in an RV. Since most things need A/C and not D/C power we needed an inverter. Most off-grid houses use a wide range of energy resources, in sharp contrast to the typical all-electric suburban home. Boondocking Tips for Newbies; The Solar and Boondocking Setup on our RV; How to Connect 6 Volt Batteries to Create a 12 Volt Battery Bank; Using an Inverter to Generate Off-Grid AC Power We take this setup along on our boat trailer for the boat camping trips we go on.” – James and June Morris, 1999 Ford F-250, 1999 Lance 1120 Range anxiety is gone! RV Solar Course For Beginners (Solar 101), Converters, Inverters, & Transfer Switches, Flexible Solar Panel Failure & Warranty Process Playlist, * Click Here for Battery Info, and Wiring Diagram *. Water: How would we store water, and how would we use it for drinking, cooking and bathing. When you first dream of living off the grid and having a homestead, you dream up all sorts of crazy ideas. Cheap extra insurance in my opinion. Since the negative wire attaches to the frame of the RV, we decided to fuse the positive and negative side of our system.