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Essential Upgrades For Off-Grid RV Living

fifth wheel at sunset, feature image for RV upgrades

RV Upgrades That Will Improve Your Off-Grid Camping Experience

Camping off the grid is a delightful way to explore with your RV. However, it is important to be fully prepared to fully enjoy this type of camping. Besides having charged batteries and a full fresh water tank, upgrading your RV can enhance your boondocking experience.

If off-grid camping is your style, and you’re looking to do even more boondocking, you might be wondering what sorts of RV upgrades you could make that would help you love dry camping even more. Honestly, there are a number of changes you could make to your rig to make it more off-grid-friendly. Some of these changes are big, and others are small and simple, but all of them will be appreciated the next time you go out boondocking.

Solar panels

Solar panels are among the most useful upgrades you could possibly add to any RV. There was once a time when this particular RV upgrade was cost-prohibitive, but that is no longer the case.

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This nifty solar panel kit from Renogy is relatively affordable and includes everything you need to start charging your RV batteries with the sun. Best of all, the kit is pretty much plug and play, meaning you can get it set up even if you don’t know much about RV electrical systems. Jackery also offers a variety of great options including this solar generator.

Lithium batteries

While you’re setting up a way to charge your batteries while off-grid camping, why not upgrade the batteries themselves? Lithium batteries are leaps and bounds better for boondocking than traditional flooded batteries. They weigh less, charge more quickly, and can be depleted entirely between charges without any damage.

While this was another incredibly expensive upgrade just a few short years ago, there are now many affordable lithium batteries on the market. 

RV power inverter

Good batteries and a way to charge them are definitely the best electrical upgrades to start with, but the addition of an RV power inverter will be an off-grid camping game changer for sure. By adding a large inverter that is wired into your RV’s power system, you will be able to use everything in the RV just as if you were plugged into shore power.

Can’t afford a big, 3000-watt inverter? Even a small inverter can be helpful for running some things!

LED lights

LED lights are quite possibly the simplest RV upgrade on this list, but they will make an enormous difference when it comes to your power consumption. Considering how important it is to conserve power while boondocking, we highly recommend changing all of the bulbs in your RV to LED bulbs as soon as possible in order to ensure you are using your battery power as efficiently as possible. 

MaxxAir Vent Fans

Generally speaking, you probably aren’t going to be able to run your RV air conditioner while off-grid camping. That said, MaxxAir vent fans are the next best thing.

These powerful vent fans will get the air moving through your RV much better than ordinary vent fans. Not only that, but they also use less battery power than traditional RV vent fans. The included rain-proof cover that keeps rain out of the RV even while the vent is open is pretty fantastic as well!

Composting toilet

Ensuring you have enough power to boondock for a while is easy enough with good batteries and solar panels. The more limiting factor when it comes to off-grid camping is water. Fortunately, there are ways to conserve water so you can stay off-grid longer.

One of the best RV upgrades for conserving water is a composting toilet. This type of toilet doesn’t use any water. Instead, it separates your liquid waste from the solids, puts the liquids in a container to be dumped out, and composts the solids.

This RV upgrade tends to work best for those who are in their RVs full-time (or at least very regularly). In addition, you will want to thoroughly research all of your options before investing in one. But it can be an excellent choice if you spend a lot of time off-grid camping.

Sink faucet aerators

Installing aerators on your RV sink faucets is another way to conserve water. These are easy to install (simply twist into place) and can reduce your water flow to just 1.5 gallons per minute without taking away water pressure. This is a worthwhile RV upgrade to make!

A low-flow showerhead

We also highly recommend installing a low-flow showerhead in place of the showerhead that came in the RV. The Oxygenics RV showerhead will give you a comfortable shower without using up your whole tank of fresh water.

Like the aerators mentioned above, this is simple to change and will make a world of difference while you’re off-grid camping. 

Water bladder and portable waste tank

Technically these aren’t RV upgrades, but they are items you should purchase if you plan on boondocking on a regular basis. A water bladder is the perfect addition to your RV setup because it allows you to fill your fresh tank without moving the RV itself. Meanwhile, a portable waste tank allows you to tote your wastewater to a dump station without moving the RV. 

For both of these items, you may need a pump. We recommend a food grade water pump for use with the fresh water bladder and a macerator pump for use with the potable water tanks. 

Last but not least, we highly recommend upgrading to Starlink internet in your RV. Starlink allows users to stay connected even when they wander far from cell signal.

Considering how many off-grid camping opportunities are located way out in the boonies, this upgrade might open up a whole new world of campsites for those of us who require an internet connection to work while traveling.

As you can see, there are a number of RV upgrades that you can make in order to make your off-grid camping experience a more relaxing one. Why not pick one or two from this list and start improving your boondocking rig for your next trip out?

Get tips from other RVers

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing.

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2 thoughts on “Essential Upgrades For Off-Grid RV Living”

  1. We have 3 panels putting out 190 watts an hour, 4 agm 200hrs ,2000watt inverter. We have no kids or animals.We drive a Jayco Prestige Precept.38ft. I had built an RV turn around with a 24×40 x15 ft shed. With full hook ups.We can carry 100 gallons of water,Full size doulble door refer runs on gas,or 12volt . I”am a retiredCombat Medic and retired Fire Capt from Fairchild AFB Wa.

  2. My wife & I will leave this Sunday for two weeks of off grid camping in our camper van. We do this at least two times a year & we have no need for any of this stuff. The nearest town is 25 miles away. We see many people doing the same thing By the way I’m 79 years old so we aren’t young kids.

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