With staycations becoming more popular than ever, now is a great time to get in your motorhome and explore. There is more to the UK than full-facilities campsites though. If you get your motorhome right, you could explore anywhere, at any time without having to worry about running out of battery.
- What You Need to go Off-grid with Your Motorhome
- The Benefits of Going Off-grid in Your Motorhome
- Things to Remember When Going Off-grid in Your Motorhome
- Preparing Your Motorhome for Off-grid Camping
When you go off-grid, you’re not constrained to the mainland UK either!
If you already own a motorhome, preparing it for off-grid living is easier than you might think. Most of what you’ll need comes in a convenient kit. It can be fitted in an afternoon with basic tools or installed for you by qualified technicians.
What You Need to go Off-grid with Your Motorhome
The requirements to go off-grid with your motorhome are modest. All you need is a solar panel kit and a motorhome with enough facilities to keep you comfortable.
Solar Panel Kits for Off-grid Motorhomes
The quality and quantity of solar panel kits gets better all the time. Gone are the heavy, cumbersome panels with low efficiency and high costs. The new generation of solar panel kits deliver excellent performance and are lighter and smaller than ever.
The range of solar panel kits for off-grid motorhomes is wide and covers most requirements. Smaller kits range from 10w solar panel kits for light use up to 100w panels for heavier use.
Kits come complete with everything you need to install the system including panel fixings, cabling, inverter and connectors.
Solar Panel Mounting
Panels can be mounted to the roof of your motorhome or be free standing. Mounting the panel to the roof can use mounts attached to the roof or the panel can be bonded to the roof.
Fitting takes just a couple of hours for a competent DIYer. Many kit suppliers offer a full fitting service if you prefer.
Free standing solar panels fold up and use a self-contained stand. The downside of free standing panels is that they cannot generate energy while on the move.
Solar panel kits for off-grid motorhomes can cost as little as £65 for a 10w kit so are more affordable than ever!
The Benefits of Going Off-grid in Your Motorhome
If you’re an experienced camper, you know the main pain points are having to book the best pitches weeks in advance and sharing it with dozens, or hundreds, of other people. With the situation in the world right now, competition for the great British outdoors is only going to increase!
Energy anxiety can also be an issue, having to prioritise appliance use to maintain your leisure battery until you reach the pitch, or doing without luxuries altogether until you pitch up.
Set up your motorhome to go off-grid and you can forget all those things. You can charge your leisure battery whenever there is light. You can pitch up anywhere, at any time as you’re not restricted to pitches with facilities.
You could even go for some wild camping as long as you select your pitch carefully!
Things to Remember When Going Off-grid in Your Motorhome
There is no doubt that going off-grid in your motorhome is an exceptional way to explore. However, you will need a comfortable motorhome to make the most of it.
There may be no bathroom or cooking facilities at a pitch. There may be no gas or electricity, especially if you go off-piste.
For some this will be part of the adventure. For others, something to be fully aware of.
Most campsites will have fresh water but if you plan to explore the wilds, you’ll need a supply of your own.
Preparing Your Motorhome for Off-grid Camping
Aside from installing the solar panel kit, there are some other steps you can take to prepare your motorhome for going off-grid.
Changing all lighting to LED will deliver more light while using less energy. The same for using the most energy-efficient appliances you can afford.
Having a bottle of hand sanitiser to hand serves a double purpose right now. The second purpose is to provide hygienic hand washing without having to use the water pump quite so often.
If you have a Category A battery, you’re all good. If you use a B or C battery, you may like to consider adding a second battery or upgrading to a Category A. Category A batteries are rated for motorhomes that won’t always connect to the mains when they pitch up. Category B and C are not.
The rest is down to planning. Researching your route, planning primary pitches with a backup. Knowing where it is safe and legal to pitch and where it isn’t and having plenty of spare food and water to keep you fed and watered.
There is nothing that comes close to camping off-grid. Whether you have done it before or not, we urge you to try it at least once. Solar panels are beneficial whether you plan to camp off-grid or not and offer a level of freedom that just isn’t available anywhere else.