Travelling off-grid in a campervan allows you to escape the everyday hustle and bustle, let go of material possessions, and experience life in a whole new way. It can open a whole new world of opportunities for your outdoor adventures.
An off-grid campervan refers to a recreational vehicle that is entirely self-sufficient and does not rely on external sources of power or water. It features battery and/or solar power, water storage systems.
The Ultimate Guide to Designing Your Own Off Grid Campervan
As the popularity of van life continues to grow, many people are turning to off-grid campervans as a way to explore new places without sacrificing the comforts of home. However, there are some important things to know before hitting the open road. So where do you begin?
Choosing the right vehicle for your off-grid campervan is crucial. While some opt for larger sprinter vans or even school buses, others prefer smaller options like converted minivans or vintage VW buses. Consider your budget, preferred level of comfort, and desired destinations when making this decision. Some factors like fuel efficiency and manoeuvrability may also come into play depending on how you plan to use your vehicle.
When travelling off-grid in a campervan there are two essential things to consider. Power and water storage.
Most modern campervans are fitted out with many of the same appliances we use in our homes. Refrigeration, heating/cooling, lighting, water pumps, sound systems and many other modern amenities. However, unlike home, we need to take our power with us when travelling off-grid in a campervan.
Another consideration for appliances and systems is how much power you will need to run them, and for how long. My recommendation is to purchase a high-quality lithium battery. It is also advisable to purchase an inverter so that you can charge mobile devices or use regular appliances such as an electric kettle or fan.
Personally, I have a 20Ah 12V Lithium portable battery installed in my Volkswagen Multivan. I would recommend that you have your battery professionally installed and wired into your vehicle. I can generally spend five days off grid running all my appliances before I need to start thinking about recharging my battery.
Speaking of which, there several ways you can recharge your battery when camping off-grid. Obviously, if you are near mains power, you should always take the opportunity to recharge your battery. Purchasing a charger with an Anderson connector will help with this. Secondly, simply starting the van and running the engine will charge the battery. However, when the van is not running, the portable battery will not drain the vehicle battery, avoiding leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Solar panels or blankets can provide ample power on sunny days to recharge your battery but may be an issue during cloudy weather or heavier energy usage. Keep in mind that it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to planning your power supply, as running out of electricity mid-trip can be not only frustrating but potentially dangerous.
The plumbing system often involves installation of water tanks, taps, showers, sinks (with drainage pipe), wastewater tank and other necessary apparatuses. Larger campervans may have water storage and wastewater storage under the vehicle. Smaller vans may need to rely on carrying water in portable water cannisters. Portable water storage solutions for camping can start with a 5 litre jerry can and go all the way up to 60 litre water bladder. Generally, the limiting factor for water storage in your campervan will be space.
Fitting out your off-grid campervan can be a challenging project with continual updates needed but with a little bit of creativity and a lot of determination, creating the ultimate off-grid camper can be an incredibly rewarding experience!
Top 5 Facts About Travelling Off-Grid in a Campervan
Travelling off-grid in a campervan is one of the most rewarding and liberating experiences a person can have. But before you start planning your minimalist lifestyle on the road, there are a few things you should know. Here are the top 5 facts about travelling off-grid in a campervan.
1. You Need to Be Self-Sufficient
Travelling off-grid means that you won’t have access to basic amenities such as electricity, water and gas. This means that you’ll need to be self-sufficient by generating your own power, collecting water from natural sources and using LPG/butane for cooking.
2. You Will Become a Minimalist
Travelling in a campervan requires minimalism. Space is limited inside a van, forcing us to embrace living with less stuff.
This change can work wonders on decluttering our mind. The emotional benefits of simplicity are immense but may take some getting used to.
3. You Can Park Wherever You Want (almost)
One benefit of travelling in an off-grid campervan is that you aren’t tied down by conventional rules. Parking out in National Parks, beaches or overnight stays in parking lots are considered fair game to campervanners!
However, be sure to check on local laws before deciding to camp somewhere for the night. You certainly don’t want to incur a fine for staying somewhere you shouldn’t!
4. Maintenance Is Crucial
Regular maintenance is crucial when travelling off-grid. As with anything mechanical, having something going wrong leads directly to uncomfortable situations sometimes whilst miles away from any city.
A regular maintenance schedule, daily checks on water and power levels become the norm for avoiding potential issues with your campervan.
5. The Off-Grid Community Is Thriving
The off-grid community is a tight-knit group of individuals living life on their terms. They’re often generous, values-driven people who love nature, wildlife and enjoy the freedom of a more independent lifestyle.
There are also apps and clubs that provide opportunities to connect with fellow RVers. Wikicamps has always been my first choice to find that perfect off-grid campsite.
In conclusion, travelling off-grid in a campervan may come with some challenges. Yet many seek this lifestyle for its affordability, flexibility and overall way of life! With the right equipment and mindset to adjust to such unique ways of living you can begin to grasp the natural beauty our world has to offer.
Upgrades for Increasing the Comfort in Your Off Grid Campervan.
Off grid campervanning is an exciting and liberating way of life. But let’s face it, it can be challenging to maintain comfort levels in such a small space without access to traditional amenities like electricity and reliable heating. However, with some clever upgrades, you can significantly increase comfort levels in your off-grid campervan. Here are the top upgrades for doing just that.
Comfortable Sleeping Arrangements
Getting a good night’s sleep is critical when traveling off-grid in a campervan, so investing in comfortable sleeping arrangements is vital. Consider upgrading the mattress or adding extra padding to make sure you get a good restful sleep every night.
Propane Heating System
If you’re planning on using your campervan year-round, then a reliable heating system is a must-have upgrade. A propane heating system will help keep you warm during those chilly nights without draining your battery bank.
You don’t have to go days without showering just because you’re off-grid! A portable shower is an affordable and easy addition to your camper van that will allow you the luxury of regular showers.
Small but handy and space-saving, a portable toilet adds hygienic comfort to your RV or camping adventures. The functions are contained in the smallest possible space to ensure you can enjoy home-like comfort when travelling.
Water Filtration System
It’s important to stay hydrated while on the road but buying bottled water constantly can become expensive; therefore installing a water filtration system ensures safe drinking water wherever you travel while also being cost-effective during long trips.
Roof Ventilation Fan
In warmer climates, having proper ventilation inside the camper van can quickly become crucial for comfort level aside from other issues such as condensation build-ups; adding roof ventilation fans provides constant fresh air circulation and reduces odours within the van.
Foldable Table & Chair Set
Having a comfortable space to eat, read books, or just relax inside the camper van is essential. You can purchase compactly foldable tables along with stools/chair sets suitable for such travel that will not only save space but equally serve your purpose while traveling off-grid.
In conclusion, these are the top upgrades you can make to increase comfort levels in your off-grid campervan. With a little investment and creativity, you too could transform your mobile home into an oasis of comfort and relaxation even when far away from city living amenities.
Travelling in an off-grid campervan can provide a unique and freeing way to explore the great outdoors. A well-appointed off-grid campervan allows you to be fully immersed in nature without sacrificing comfort or convenience. With the right design and features, it’s possible to live off-grid for extended periods of time while travelling from one beautiful location to the next.