My daughter has taken me so far out of my comfort zone these last few months. She has joined ranks with her brother and become a scout. Do y’all know what scouts love to do?! TENT CAMP. Y’all!!! I really do love camping but in a tent… Come on!!!

Well this got me thinking about camping (in my van, of course) while being off grid. It’s sort of like tent camping but with hard walls and my bed… and my blankets and pillows…


There are a few things you will need to consider when going off grid. What conveniences are important to you? How much battery bank and solar you have will help determine your list of priorities.

Think about the type of camping you like to do. Do you enjoy the convenience of having cold drinks, eggs and meat without the mess of melting ice? How about lighting for night time? Do you plan on cooking? Do you need electricity to charge laptops and cell phones? Do you sleep with a C-Pap machine?

For us, ALL of those things are important! Luckily, all of these wonderful conveniences can be used on solar power. Efficiency and balance is key. You need to have enough solar and batteries to run your items. Don’t forget to plan for “bad” solar days. There will be days when the sun will be hidden by clouds, trees will be covering your camping spot, or the dreaded rain.

Keep things efficient by using the least amount of power. We like low wattage refrigerators like the Engel refrigerator because they use so little power and are pretty rock solid for hitting the road. Also, look at upgrading your RV lights to new LED ones to reduce power draw, you can find a great article on making the change to LED


Visit RV.Solar to find the best solar system to fit your van life.

The Whitneys List of Powered Must Haves:


This RV Solar Guide is a great resource in helping you design your perfect solar system for your van or camper.