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This page hopes to provide a growing list of items that are powered in an RV when camping off-grid. This page will help users calculate how much power they need for boondocking. Remember each device will use a certain amount of power and will be run for a certain amount of time. In an RV solar scenario, these two factors are important as are battery type, power type, and simultaneous loads.
There are several ways to power these loads that use different amounts of power for the same load. You can run direct DC from the battery bank, using a DC to DC converter, using an AC to DC Power Inverter. These powering methods can have overhead and even drain extra from a no-load draw that can increase the amount of power need to run from your house batteries.
Remember to turn off your lights and other items when leaving your camper. Flip the switch to save power and check out our page on Reducing RV power loads when Off-Grid
Draining power from the battery bank is the most common way to boondock. The batteries are like the fuel tank for your RV. Each day charging the batteries up using solar panels will allow you running lights and other appliances. A well-balanced system will never drain more power than can be recovered in the following day, even when there are extra amp hours in total capacity. Those extra amp hours should be for inclement weather days because we all know they are only a day away. On sunny days when the batteries are fully charged take advantage of the extra power to bake bread. Even make a hot tea using an electric kettle or lunch using your induction hot plate. If you don’t use the power, you will lose it. Your charge controller will shut down most of the solar power coming in to keep from overcharging the batteries.
Just like panel type, battery type matters. For instance, each type of battery has its pros and cons. Lithium battery banks are superior, but they are super expensive. AGM batteries don’t off-gas but have the same issues as flooded. Flooded batteries require maintenance and off-gas when charged. Fuse you battery banks and connection cables for safety.
In closing, Living off-grid and boondocking are awesome choices. Keep making the most of every day. Drive to the best views. Sleep under the most stars. Make the most friends.