EASY SOLAR POWER FOR VAN LIFE, OFF GRID, AND RV LIVING

Ever wonder how to build a simple solar setup? Living off grid is a great way to save on energy costs and to be more environmentally friendly. My solar system allows me to charge up my electronics and run a small fridge to keep food and drinks cold. It is a simple and effective way for providing electricity in my Honda Element camper van.



So, what do you need to build a simple off grid power system? I've placed a list with some Amazon links below detailing what I use to create off grid solar power.

  • 100W Solar Panel
    I currently use this Renogy 100 watt panel for my solar system. It is a rigid monocrystalline panel. I've owned numerous bendable/ flexible panels in the past, but find that the rigid panel is more efficient and more durable. I love this solar panel!
  • 100AH AGM Deep Cycle Battery
    I've found that this deep cycle battery is the perfect size for performing the primary function of my solar system. It keeps my fridge running 24/7 without any problems. The battery is large enough to run the fridge over night while also allowing me to charge electronics (camera batteries, phone) and run a small 12 volt fan.
  • Charge Controller
    I'm currently using this Renogy Wanderer PWM charge controller. It's an affordable solution and works well for my simple solar system.
  • 3 Socket 12 Volt Splitter
    This adapter includes three 12 volt sockets along with 4 USB ports for charging my electronic devices. It also features a useful voltage indicator.
  • Dual 12 Volt Outlet
    This outlet has two 12 volt sockets. I'm able to plug the adapter listed above into one and then have another free to use at all times. I used a Wire Crimper Tool to attach ring terminals and connect this outlet to my battery.

The system is entirely 12v DC. I do not use an AC inverter. All of my electronics charge via USB. For my laptop, I have a Pwr+ 12V Charger, which works great for charging up the PC while I'm working in the Element.


The primary purpose of my solar system is to run my Dometic CF-018. This refrigerator is a compressor fridge that I use for food and drink storage. It is very efficient, and my system offers plenty of juice to keep it running smoothly. The 100AH battery is good for keeping it running overnight when the sun is down and even during a stretch of cloudier days.


Check out the video below for a more detailed look at my solar system!