Camping Off The Grid

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by PopUpSteve, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. ArkansasDon

    ArkansasDon Member

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    Mar 7, 2018
    power source is the one of a few important sources. w\o power your time will not be as fun as you want. Solar is the best if you want that peace & quiet. Generator is another choice of power & charging of battery or batteries. IMO & for "me" if I'm out offgridding in the wilderness the last thing "I" want is noise from a genny.
    Good battery with a large amount of amps per hour is needed. I went with a 125 amp hour battery by VMax. 12v Tank, 10 to 12 yr life span. Buy once cry once I say.
    When I was building my trailer I wanted 100% off grid power only. No land line power (shore power) what so ever. I went with Renogy. I like their customer service, which had a positive impact on me choosing their product. I explained what I was doing for my trailer build & what equipment will be used @ certain times of the year & how long (hours during the day) along with giving them all the technical information as of amp. draw & available sunny light in my area geographically. They came up with a fail safe system that will suited me for all 4 seasons & available sun light. Theirs a lot of solar companies out there, but you get what you pay for just like batteries. On my 5th wheel I went with Zamp Solar never had any issues with Zamp @ all. I had 300 watt Zamp panel & charge controller & it supplied my 5th wheel with the power needed w\ 2 6v. batteries in series to produce 12v which gave me 215 amp hrs. But I was only averaging 3 yrs life span on the batteries. Another item to add is battery shut off switch to the battery source. This purpose when you store your camper so your batteries or battery doesn't discharge from electrical devices plugged into outlets that can slowly drain the connected battery's power, even if the campers devices are switched off. The device acts as a load on the battery, slowly trickling power from the battery to the device until the battery \ batteries are completely drained. This is hard on a battery or batteries with its life span. It shortens the life span of the battery or batteries which is a costly mistake. A battery disconnect switch creates a separation between the connected battery and the devices or outlets effectively blocking any current flow preserving battery power. I disconnect the positive cable from my solar charge controller from the battery because the small LED lights will draw power from my battery.
    They come in all shapes & forms. Mine in the photo looks like a key (red color to the right of the photo)
    007.JPG
     
  2. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    BEARMAN 512 - My RT14 Awning finally all got eat up by UV's so my plan is going to be use the EZ-UP Patio Tent like you have here... This all folds up in a not to large tote so bringing it along won't be much of a problem I hope. I've been watching them on sale at WALMART. I want the one with straight up/dn legs on it so maybe I can attach to the side of my off-road trailer and extend the two outer legs to the ground so it will clear my access door to the trailer. Then I can open the trailer door and step down into the EZUP Patio area under the tarp maybe...

    [​IMG]

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    bearman512 likes this.
  3. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

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    Jul 16, 2017
    Iowa
    Is that an RJ-45/ethernet connector in the last picture?
     
  4. ArizonaJoe

    ArizonaJoe Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    Yes, to communicate with my Midnite Solar Classic 150
     
  5. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Fort Worth, TX
    this?

    6238D91F-38D7-4538-A341-555602D3F320.jpeg 02F70AA0-642C-4262-8662-C373BE8C843F.jpeg
    O2Cool is the brand i have. (4 large, 2 smaller ones from tent camping days) it has port to run on AC too, but did not come with plug. i found one that worked in my spare computer parts!

    i paid $25 each for big ones a few years back. i just saw them listed at $60 online! 3/2018
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  6. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Fort Worth, TX
    i have the suitcase size Zamp solar, with the meter on the back, it has long cord that plugs into top of battery box. it keeps my battery fully juiced on sunny days, & i use it to recharge when pup is in garage. light weight, compact. works for me. packs in front trunk.

    @PopUpSteve
    i would need a parts list & instructions to do one of the flush mounted 12v ports.

    the extension plug requires no ‘tapping into’ existing lines, which i am reluctant to try.
    who posted detailed instructions?
     
  7. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I love my O2COOL. its nice & quiet
     
  8. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Dec 22, 2002
    Malvern, PA
    Katskamper likes this.
  9. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Fort Worth, TX
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  10. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Poconos
    A5FEF8EA-7AD4-4C6B-A256-2338EE60662E.jpeg My boondocking pup setup is ideal for off grid PA in any weather. Order of importance first: 48 gallons of water, LED Lights, super hi wind gizmos, dual propane tanks, single deep cycle or dual 6 volt (in place of generator) Schumacher jump box, Yamaha Inverter 2000 watt generator, 12 volt tV/dvd, Sirius Satelite Radio fantastic fans, bunk end fans, heated beds, reflectics in screens.

    Schumacher jump box powers tv, Sirius, charge phones, run DVD players ect. No need to wire up plugs as this thing goes everywhere.
    Btw adequate truck to tow this weight 3500 pounds, 450 pound tongue weight, and haul extra gear. My k2500 was working hard on this trip. Keep your minivans and cuv Home when it comes to carrying boondocking gear,extra water, waste water hauling and towing a camper with tanks full.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  11. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Poconos
    Dup post
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  12. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Poconos
    4234461D-6FE5-4DB9-922F-11851DB63835.jpeg 12 volt rainy day emergency or primary gear used
    Sirius radio, 12 volt tv, 12 volt dvd, folding bathroom step tv stand, and recharging this phone.
    Think pup. Keep it simple. All powered by Schumacher power pack beneath the dinette. I blew a fuse on box and ran the 12 volt tv dvd combo on the inverter portion of jump box. This box also powered portable pumps and macerator pumps. Jumped trucks tractors and filled bike tires to floats. Johnny on the spot best camping toy lol and no need to wire up pup, cut holes, or add stereo, speakers internal, external and wire in antenna.
     
  13. davido

    davido Active Member

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    Jul 17, 2014
    People camp and backpack often off-grid, and for those people, the primary needs are food, clothing, shelter, water, and a heat source for cooking. RV campers tend to add cell phones, hot showers, furnaces, radio, tablets, and all sorts of other amenities to their list of basic needs. But one should consider those amenities after solving for the truly basic needs:

    Water: Popup RVs typically have too-small of a water tank. 20 gallons (what mine has) goes really fast. A larger tank, or a secondary tank, or jerry-cans and a means of replenishing water supplies is probably one of the top priorities for off-grid camping.

    Clothing doesn't change much off-grid, though you might want warmer alternatives.

    Shelter is about the same too -- the pup is the same on or off grid, though you may have to economize using its furnace.

    Food - Consider meals that require less water and clean-up, and that can be cooked with only propane.

    Heat source for cooking doesn't change much in an RV, but leave the electric cooking implements home (no need for an electric coffee maker, rice cooker, whatever).

    Solve those issues, of which I believe water is the primary one, and the rest will just add comfort or convenience. Though I do carry two batteries and two propane tanks, I'd rather commit extra weight to water when camping off-grid than to propane and battery capacity.
     
    Fbird likes this.
  14. ArizonaJoe

    ArizonaJoe Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    A proper solar setup along with ano adequate battery bank sized to your solar and energy needs can give you indefinite boondocking ability.
    I agree that water is the number one thing that could create the most amount of problems.
     
    Katskamper likes this.
  15. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Poconos
    I roll with 26 gallons of water in pup and 3 nine gallon aquatainers. That’s adequate for one weekend and limited showering. On my old hybrid with 30/30/30 tanks you would be out of fresh and full gray by 11am on a Saturday with a family of 4 water hogs.
     

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