rv family travel boondocking off grid

Modern Day Boondocking | How To Live Off-Grid With All Your Essentials

Do you want to know how to boondock, travel, or live off-grid, with all your modern day essentials like power, internet, laundry, and water?

When people find out our Family of 5 lives in an RV traveling the US they usually have a few questions. When we add that we do it all off-grid without depending on RV parks or campgrounds, choosing instead the solace of the wild, there are a lot more questions.

So, if you too are forging into the unknown, let me break down some of our most asked questions, biggest hurtles, and essential processes for you. You know, to cut down on the endless YouTube Videos!

How To Have Internet in your RV, Van, Boondocking, or Off-Grid Home

Most travelers still need to work. And with remote work becoming a greater possibility, everyone is asking us; How can we have unlimited high speed internet connection for
-zoom meetings
-kids online school
-and work and play
!
The best option we found was with a cell carrier and a hotspot device.

While there are a lot of options out there we went with Gypsy Wireless. A 3rd party data provider of ATT. We stay connected in all but the most remote places. We rely on the internet heavily and wouldn’t be able to have this lifestyle if we hadn’t found a service that worked for us. While there is usually heavy throttling with most carriers; Gypsy Wireless is fully capable of hosting our video meetings in the desert and keeping our children connected to their online learning programs all month round.

How To Power Your RV, Van Conversion, or Off-Grid Home

Knowing power was vital to the lifestyle we dreamed of we budgeted that in right away. We put 8k in a solar system, with the bulk of that being in the battery as that is where the power is. Our System consist of

  • 6 320W solar panels
  • Victron 150/30 Solar Charge Controller
  • 3000W Inverters from Amazon
  • Custom ECOLIT 36V 180AH Battery Bank from Lit Batteries.

This runs our 3 Maxx Air fans, apartment sized fridge, TV, all in one washer/dryer, our AeroGarden for herbs, a heated terrarium for our bearded dragon, all of our kitchen accessories like an instant pot and blender, and of course, keeps all 5 of our laptops, tablets, and phones charged. This is all kept powered on One Lit Battery!

lit battery bank for rv camper van li ion lifepo4 energy storage solution
ECOLIT48150 Battery Bank for Off-Grid RV or Van Conversion

When we switched to our 37’ RV from our Solar Powered Sprinter Van we ran a Champion 3300 generator until we got our solar set up. We averaged close to $30 a day in gas! We figured we would pay off our solar system in a year by not having to rely on campgrounds, expensive park memberships, and generator gas for power. And since our battery bank can last up to 30 yrs if maintained right, we plan on using it for an off grid home base on land later.

How To Keep Your Black Tank Empty and Your Water Tank Full while Boondocking

Our black tanks are 40gal and they last us up to 3 weeks! We dump every 2 weeks when we leave our spot with no problem. We are not sparing with our potty usage. And I’m not sure if our light that tells us when our black tanks are full would agree with my 2 week statement, but we don’t check that anymore. The sensors that come in RVs are notorious for being wrong, as RVtravel agrees here.

Water!! We average about 500gal a month with 2 adults and 3 kids in the heat of the desert (we drink a lot of water when in the west!). For us to be able to boondock full time we bought a 110g water tank and keep it in the bed of our truck. We make sure to find spots close to a potable water source as this usually gets filled once a week. Water is our most used commodity, so showers are not everyday. More like every 2 or 3 days, or frankly, when we smell really bad. Laundry gets done twice a week.

How Do You Find Epic Boondocking and Off Grid Camping Spots?

Finding spots can be a full time job of research, even if a fun one. Between FB groups for boondocking, and apps like iOverlander, Campendium, Dyrt, and Instagram, you have a lot of options! iOverlander is our go to app. It shows where dump sites, water, and good boondocking spots are.

And there ya go! The questions we get asked the most! Did it help you figure anything out or leave you with a million more questions? I want to hear your questions or great boondocking tips so comment if you got em!

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