Stupid-Easy Solar for Going Off Grid, RVs and Boondocking

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It finally happened! We started out solar journey. This isn’t how we saw it happening, but we’re very glad it did. Already we’re feeling the benefits of offsetting out generator use. Not just the fuel and cost savings, but the convenience too.

Solar has been on our radar for some time and we recently ran into Go Power at an RV convention. We discussed with them our situation, concerns and frustrations with solar. During the conversation portable solar came up as an option for getting started today on a budget and with the intent to only offset our generator use. This approach had escaped us because we were looking so far forward. We were trying to size the “now-and-later” solar setup, but it’s just hard to do, especially on a budget.

In the end we made the leap, picked up a portable array and are very happy that our generator use had declined to nill. Sure it’s summer so there’s lots of sun available. Perhaps by winter we’ll have a better feel for solar, our power needs and be more capable of sizing a system to fit our future needs.

We wanted to share this story with you because we were overcomplicating solar and it was a huge relief to discover that it doesn’t have to be. Starting small can make sense especially if you’re boondocking, looking for an array to power your campsite or are heading off grid. Had we known this was an option, or at least not overlooked it, when we arrived it would have been in our toolbox for certain.

If you need portable solar or just plain simple solar, give these portable arrays a look or even a try and see if they’ll meet your power needs for today. It’s a great way to get started!

For a full overview of what we’ve been up to, please visit our blog post above. Lots of great stuff and background that we couldn’t possibly share in a roundup YouTube video!

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42 thoughts on “Stupid-Easy Solar for Going Off Grid, RVs and Boondocking

  1. I just visited your blog. You know for stupid videos I am really impressed about your lifestyle. Your lifestyle looks stupid to the working class man. Its quite lets say. Different approach to life. What I like though is Its got more to do with something about coffee the word you say And crime. I love that word crime. Its perfect for my system. Used in the right mtheods of thinking. Mine is about being a movie star. There's nothing wrong with crime as long as its legal an no one really loses from it. What do you think ?

  2. I have been researching solar for our RV, reading books, reading on line info. So nervous to go forward. What you have is exactly what I've been looking for, but was afraid it would be to difficult. Who makes your portable, what's it called…. must have. Thanks for the video.

  3. They make Solar panels that can mount on RVs that can supply all of your electrical needs!! The Solar panels can keep the Rv's Battery charged and supply electricity for all of your devices!!

    Some small Solar portable panels you can mount to racks, poles, etc to mark them semi-permanent and to get them in a better position to get a better sun angle when the sun is shining and thus be more efficient. Also by mounting them temporarily to a rack, pole etc, it makes them harder to knock over in windy conditions, and also make it less likely someone will trip over them by raising them up higher off the ground.

  4. may be a little late on here, but my wife and I use the internet pretty much all day to run our business so we need a constant internet source… after looking at my internet router i realized that the router takes 12v. 0.5a? i think? anyways so i just cut the plug off of the adapter and wired the router directly to the battery. It's been working great for a few months now! haven't noticed any voltage loss in the battery, since it doesn't have to scale up the power to 110v and then back down to 12volts. and it doesn't seem to hurt the router when I'm charging the battery at w/13.8volts 🙂

  5. What good are solar panels when the sun goes into grand solar minimum and when volcanic ash fills the sky as well? Just thinking how anyone can survive what's coming when going off grid will be next to impossible.

  6. I subbed. I'm a minimalist. I live in a city now in an owned house but we plan to buy land and go off grid. I want to set up a nice small house for us but I want land to hunt and fish and build my own personal house like a survivalist would. I want to use all low tech for everything including heating and cooling, refrigeration, hot running water, waste disposal system, all can be done with no electricity.

  7. Did you know that you can use your car as a power generator if needed? I hooked up my portable jump starter with a built in power inverter to my cars battery then hooked up an extension cord to my 48" TV. There was a power outage and I was missing a football game so I came up with this solution and I was able to watch the entire game while the car was idling. Of course your inverter will have to be rated for the appliance your trying to operate.

  8. those 2 panels aren't even close enough to charge that bank of batteries you showed. not possible. you need bigger stronger panels… a way better charge controller. those batteries were huge. try draining those batteries down to 45-50% and then charge them… see how long that takes.

  9. Watching your videos and they answer some questions but, I am getting a little confused over the output of the solar panel ie 100 watt. You said they were 12 volt so I got that but, I did not hear what the wattage was. Can you put together a video showing the number of batteries, number of panels, and what I can run all day? You mentioned you would be upgrading so more panels means what more wattage? Not sure how wattage and running an appliance works. Thanks

  10. Because of the high price of the electricity in Puerto Rico and the latest event I'm going on solar sistem combine with a power generator and an occasional light power from the state. But looking forward to an off the grid sistem. Your videos have help me a lot and as soon as I go with it I will make a video and send it to you. Thanks.

  11. .   Wow! Awesome of ideas are just packed in this system [Link ]. This is cool. I've never seen such a wonder collection before. And the best part is that anybody can recondition batteries, you just need to know the tick. Thanks for making such trick available online.

  12. You said you wanted to see if it was beneficial or not to do solar panels, and said it was already paying off because you used zero fuel this week. But you never stated how much fuel you were using per week. Spo what is the comparison? Did you use a gallon a week, five or ten gallons? And when you talk about fuel, do you mean gasoline, kerosene, propane, diesel, or a combination? Thanks!

  13. considered one of these before myself . but basically had the same fears . its too small to do what I think it needs it to do thus wont give enough power for my needs . well thanks for the feedback on this as it means now I can take another look at what my power needs are and will this again work as it just might after all . thanks again

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