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What Do I Need For Off Grid Camping?

We are so lucky to be living in a time when we can get out in the middle of the wilderness and not have to truly rough it anymore. We have so many portable power options that you can still stay connected even when you are far from civilization.

Off grid camping in an RV or camper is now being done by even novices when it comes to living in the Great Outdoors. To do it right takes some preplanning, however. You have to know what you actually need and then pack well to make sure that you have everything that you need. 

In this article, we will go over the basics of what you need to have to make a successful camping outing in style. 

If you’re looking to make your camping trip easier, check out our guides to camping beds, camping kettles, camping stoves and camping essentials.

Solar panels

The number one thing to have when camping off grid or even boondocking with a camper or RV means having the right solar panels. There are a lot of options so you can choose which style is going to work best for your needs. For instance, if you are going to be in a tent and have to carry everything to your pitch site, then flexible & foldable solar panels are ideal.

You will likely have greater power needs in an RV or camper so having rigid panels mounted to your roof are the way to go. 

Then you have to figure out your power needs so you have solar panels that can handle the demand. Do a trial run with the batteries that you have in your RV and see how long it takes to delete them. Calculate the power load that you typically use and then you can get panels that will supply you with 150 watts up to 1500. 

If you plan to go tent camping then do an assessment of the devices you plan to use and look up how much energy they need per hour. You can then deduct how many hours you will use them and go from there.


You probably won’t only be using electricity while the sun is shining so you have to store the excess energy the solar panels create. Once you figure out your energy demand then you can buy the batteries that will store enough power for you to use them. 

RVs have batteries that are used to run everything so you can use an inverter to convert the electricity from the solar panels to charge them. The batteries you already have are likely to be sufficient for your energy needs.

In a tent, you will have to look for the lightest and smallest batteries that still give you the capacity you will need to keep yourself plugged in. 

LED lights

The trick when going off grid isn’t so much about making sure that you can create enough energy for your needs, but to need less energy to begin with. Using things like LED lights is a good way to do that. They use far less electricity and will not be a drain on your batteries.