4 Useful Phone Accessories You Can Take Off-The-Grid
Smartphones have become more and more useful while RVing, whether it’s to monitor your tire pressure, help you determine if your RV is level, or to find campgrounds and get RV-friendly directions. These are some of our favorite phone upgrades that you can take wherever you travel.
1. RV LIFE GPS
The RV LIFE App, available through the App Store, can give you turn-by-turn directions based on the height, weight, length, and propane status of your RV. With this information, the app automatically directs you in a safe route, avoiding highways with low clearance bridges and tunnels with propane restrictions.
Features like voice navigation, real-time traffic updates, and lane guidance will give you all the information you’ll need to safely and efficiently get from Point A to Point B. If you upgrade to RV LIFE Pro, you can even download maps ahead of time to get RV-friendly directions when you’re offline.
You can also search and review campgrounds, browse RV LIFE and Do It Yourself RV articles, and get answers (or help other RVers) in the Q&A forums. The app is free to download on the App store here.
2. A wireless power bank
Keeping your phone charged while you’re on-the-go is essential if you rely on it for directions or campground information. You don’t want to be driving towards your next destination and have your phone run out of battery power while you’re en route.
A wireless power bank can be very useful in recharging your devices whether you’re on the highway or in a secluded off-grid boondocking spot. We use the ChargeHubGo+ by Limitless Innovations and love it. It’s simple to use and has a sleek, slim design that will even fit in your pocket or backpack.
This 5000mAH power bank can recharge your devices wirelessly by laying them on top of the charging pad and turning the unit on, or by using one of the built-in charge cables or USB port. It is compatible with both Apple and Android devices; the Type-C cable will charge newer phones from Samsung, Google, and LG, while the Reversible cable works with Apple devices, Samsung Galaxy 7 & below, Amazon devices, and other units like cameras, wireless speakers, etc.
The ChargeHubGo+ comes with a micro cable that charges the power bank when you have power available. Once the unit has been fully charged, it can be unplugged and taken off-the-grid and continue recharging your phone until the battery power runs out.
The battery power level can be checked easily by pressing the power button and reading the LED battery level indicator lights (four dots means it’s at full power, one dot means there is less than 25% left). The charging time varies depending on your device. It should only be used to charge one of your devices at a time.
Another great option is this Solar & Hand-Crank Powered Weather Radio with a built-in power bank and an LED flashlight. It does not store as much power as the ChargeHubGo+ (at only 1000mAH), but it does have the bonus of an emergency weather radio, and it can be hand-cranked or use solar power to keep the battery charged.
3. Solar chargers & 12V USB charger
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on an expensive solar panel system, a solar phone charger is a more affordable, smaller-scale option that you can take anywhere. This popular solar phone charger has a 25000mAH battery power bank with three USB output ports. For cloudy nights and evenings, there is also the option of a 12V USB charger which easily plugs into your cigarette lighter for power.
4. Phone charger lanterns
LuminAID also makes some innovative solar gadgets for camping, including these 2-in-1 Phone Charger Lanterns. They can both recharge your phone and serve as a lightweight and portable extra light source. The lanterns are expandable and have an adjustable strap for hanging or carrying.
The 4000mAH lithium battery can recharge either through USB charging or its built-in solar panel. The unique design also makes them useful during power outages and emergency situations after dark.
If you like these off-grid phone accessories, check out our recent review of the new Eggtronic Portable Power Bank.