We’re going to cover the essential items you’ll need to successfully go off grid indefinably or at least until you run out of food a consumable supplies.
These are the same items I have purchased and installed in my big truck.
I’m actually writing this page at the request of a friend who just purchased a Tag teardrop trailer. She is planning on a month long trip in remote areas and asked me how to set up her trailer for maximum comfort while traveling the USA.
- 1 Electricity without RV hookups.
- 2 Honda 3000EUIS Inverter Generator
- 3 AGM Group 31 Battery Bank
- 4 1500 watt to 2500 watt pure sine power inverter
- 5 Installation Kit for Power Inverter
- 6 Solar generator can be substituted for AGM battery bank
- 7 12 volt freezer fridge.
- 8 Low wattage microwave
- 9 Instapot for cooking
- 10 Solar Panels and Charge controller
Electricity without RV hookups.
We all need reliable power to keep our electronics charges, and keep frozen foods, etc.
Honda 3000EUIS Inverter Generator
This is the ultimate generator for your rig. It will run 20 hours on only a few gallons of gasoline. It’s bulletproof reliable and stealth quiet.
It will run most rooftop and other small dual hose air conditioners. As well as all of you small cooking appliances and electronics.
It also keeps your battery bank or solar generator fully charged when solar is limited or electric usage exceeds solar charging capability.
AGM Group 31 Battery Bank
I recommend 3 or 4 of these batteries. Either true deep cycle or dual cycle will work.
1500 watt to 2500 watt pure sine power inverter
You’ll need this to power everything when you are not running the generator.
You only want to use the generator when running the Air conditioner or when you need to recharge you battery bank.
You can set it up to kick on when batter voltage drops to a certain level. I have mine set a 12.4 and you should not let you battery bank go below 12.2 for maximum years of life from the batteries.
Installation Kit for Power Inverter
You’ll need several feet of 1/0 battery / welding cable and about 16 crimp bare cooper battery lugs.
We are assuming connecting 3 batteries together, six cables with a lug on each end. Then the two cables from battery to inverter with a lug on each end.
You can buy the cables with lugs already installed but I like to make them myself because it’s hard to find the right size cables.
Solar generator can be substituted for AGM battery bank
A solar generator is just a block of Lithium Ion batteries with a fancy case and various outlets wired in a nice plastic case.
So far we’ve covered the foundation that will power everything you need.
Now we are going to cover some other major items you might want to outfit your small RV with.
12 volt freezer fridge.
If you are on a tight budget you could get by with a cheap 120 volt dorm fridge for a while.
How there is no substitute for the efficency and durabilty of a 12v compressor fridge.
I have 2 in my semi truck. The big one sits between my bed and the drivers seat and stores all of my frozen foods.
- Dometic CF65
- Alpicool 20
The smaller one sits on the passenger seat or right behind the gearshift on the floor when I have a rider with me. This compact fridge stores my drinks, lunch meats and other refrigerated items.
You can read my in depth review of the best freezer for truck drivers here
Low wattage microwave
Any brand 800 watt microwave will work. I have a black Westinghouse.
Instapot for cooking
I’ve found the Instapot Duo to be the best cooking appliance while on the road. It takes 30 minutes or less to cook most meals.
I cook 3-4 meals in bulk and then divide them up into single servings. I store each single meal in gallon zip lock freezer bags which are microwavable.
Solar Panels and Charge controller
Once you have everything else planned out It’s a great Idea to add solar to keep you batteries topped off and reduce generator usage when there is sun available.
Hard panels are best however most RV’s and trucks don’t have a way to mount aluminum framed glass panels.
Fortunately you can always find a way to mount flexible solar panels.
Most quality panels use Sun Power cells. Here is a great option
Here is a quality MPPT solar charge controller.
Be sure to measure you mounting surface, usually the roof. You can use heavy duty mounting tape to mount the panels.
Get as many panels as you can usually 2-4 for small RV’s.
You must size your charge controller to the number and rating for the panels.
For example if you have 3 panels rated a 6 amps and 18 volts each you’ll need a charge controller rated for a least 18 amps / 54 volts.
Solar does require a little planning before you purchase.
- Measure and purchase panels that will fit your vehicle
- calculate the amps / volts
- purchase correctly rated MPPT charge controller.
You can add panels and additional charge controllers to expand later if you make a mistake. You can also oversize your charge controller leaving room to add more panels later.