If your monthly housing expenses are eating more of your check than you’d like, or if you are able to work remotely and really want to see the world, it is truly possible to not only get away from it all but live away from it all.
Covering Basic Needs
Generating Electric Power: Portable housing in most any form can be adapted for solar power. There are many solar conversion kits and panel adaptations for older RVs as well. However, your travel plans will let you know if this solar adaptation is truly worth the money.
If you’re only out and about in your RV on weekends, or if you prefer to stay in campsites and pay camping fees, then adding on a solar system probably isn’t worth the money. However, if you plan to boondock, staying off the grid and away from campsite hookups, a solar system will pay for itself in less than five years.
Conserving Electric Power: The power draw in whatever portable housing will be dependent on the ambient temperature of your location. If you’re traveling to Tucson for December and going to Maine in August, your power needs will be lower.
Other items that will cause a large draw on your electrical system include toasters, coffee makers, and hair dryers. Air conditioners cause an especially large draw on your power reserves. If you need to park in the sun to charge up your solar panels but have to run the air conditioning to compensate, you’re wiping out the benefits of solar.
Comfort Considerations: To successfully get off the grid, even if you purchase a top of the line portable home, you’re going to need to redefine your understanding of comfort. Your home will likely warm up during the day, so it’s probably a good idea to let it get cooler than you’re used to at night. Layer up!
Hygiene Considerations: One of the main limiting factors in the amount of time you can boondock is water. Moving off-grid means you’ll need to give up long, luxurious hot showers. The capacity of your gray (think dishwater) and black (think toilet) water tanks, as well as your fresh water holding tank, will heavily impact the amount of time you can spend off the grid.
It’s possible to live more lightly on the earth and stay comfortable while doing it. With planning and flexibility, you can build a great life on the road and off the grid.