You need electric power in your home or office. Otherwise, you would be unable to power your ACs, kitchen appliances, heaters, and phones to mention a few. However, many times you can get by without electric power, especially when you are picnicking or boondocking with a group for an extended period.
Today, that’s what we wish to discuss here. Essentially, we would be giving you tips on camping off grid. Additionally, we show you how you can do that more effectively. We would also be highlighting the impact it should have on the kind of generator that you wish to buy and boondock with.
Power Generation and Boondocking
Boondocking is synonymous with dry camping. It simply refers to the habit of camping anywhere apart from established camping facilities. Most enthusiasts of boondocking prefer to camp in the following places:
- The wild
- Parking lots
- Specialized dry camping sites
Its enthusiasts love it because it allows them to avoid paying camping fees. People who suddenly find themselves trapped right in the middle of nowhere while on a road trip are also great proponents of boondocking. Despite all that, it is also a preference of people who simply choose it as a lifestyle.
Boondockers are capable of living off grid for months or years. In such cases, they rely only on what their RVs or trailers have to offer, and that includes the power needed for cooking, heating, warming food or drinks, and for lighting different appliances. How do they manage to do all that?
Batteries, Panels, Generators
Are you stuck while driving a family car? In that case, you would only need to park overnight before help arrives in the morning. Additionally, 1-2 power banks or the car battery should suffice for this short period.
In boondocking, we are talking about several days, if not weeks, months, and years. Here, the car battery or the best power bank would never do the trick. When an RV or trailer is involved, you would quickly discover that your power needs exceeds what such small supplies provide.
In such instances, your options would be whittled down to two; that is, portable generators or solar panels. Before delving into portable generators, it would be great to learn a few things about solar panels. These are:
- big panels that achieve similar wattages to portable generators are not a good choice for RVs because of their sizes
- solar panels need direct sunlight to function optimally
- panels are costlier and also need huge batteries to store all the energy they have accumulated
Do not interpret any of the above as proof of the uselessness of solar panels, though. For starters, use them as they save you a ton of money. Nevertheless, generators tend to be more versatile and practical. For this reason, let’s give them more attention.
Things To Know About Portable Generators and Boondocking
Now that we have discovered that portable generators are the best choice for boondocking and boondockers, the next target is to know how to choose one. Your choice depends on several factors, which include the specific circumstances relevant to you.
To give you a better understanding of this topic, we will break it down into a few key points. Once you grasp the information below, you would have a much easier time determining your best choice of portable generators.
Should You Choose an Inverter?
Before doing anything else, you should start by asking yourself if an inverter is worth buying. To do that, you would need a few details. The first is inverters are less powerful. Secondly, they are too costly too.
Nevertheless, inverters provide clean sinewave and with a low THD. You can also use them in powering specific types of appliances. For the most part, they would be an excellent choice for boondocking with phones or computers only.
Wattages and Amps
It is also good to consider the twin issues of wattages and amps before you dash to the nearest shop to buy a generator. When talking about wattages and amps, the focus is on power requirements, which remains the main factor in determining the kind of generator to buy.
Whenever you are unsure, you should simply rely on our wattage calculator to help you find what works for you. For the most part, you would be fine with any generator whose power handles all your wattage requirements when operating at 50-75 percent load.
A good point to take note of here is that you should never overload. That is not all, though. As bad as overloading is, you would be exposing yourself to all manner of losses and mishaps by underloading the generator too.
Boondocking is great for the noiseless adventures it presents us. Why would you want to mess that up by traveling with a noise-churning generator? A generator that emits 100 decibels of noise would be a poor choice for fellow boondockers, wildlife, and the environment as a whole.
The lower the noise the better the experience is for everyone. Consequently, you should aim at a decibel level of either 70 or lower.
Mostly, runtime is not the same from one generator to the next. It also depends on your needs and types of appliances. Essentially, you would be safe with a runtime of around 8 hours when using the generator to power up a heater or AC.
Nevertheless, this is not a simple matter. Load time also needs taking into account because runtimes vary depending on load. For this reason, you would be better off comparing it to the expected load to get a more definitive figure.
How big is the generator? Size is a great factor here since you may buy the generator only to discover that it does not fit your RV or trailer. A point that you should not ignore is that a generator is as big or small as its power.
Never forget that it is unsafe to use a generator inside your RV or trailer. Therefore, do not ignore the influence of weather on your choice. Fortunately, you could set it up on the right spot or protect it from the elements.
Once more, you have to remember to use the generator outside. Consequently, you have to secure it lest somebody steals or damages it. The good news is you can find a good lock to secure it from thieves.
Lastly, never let it escape your mind that you may need certification to travel with and use a generator in your boondocking adventures. In some places, authorities might expect you to show your EPA or stricter CARB certification.
Our Final Thoughts
Generators are perfect boondocking supplies. They provide all the power you need that boondockers need for the duration of the stay in the specialized campsites, parking lots, or out in the wild.
Additionally, remember to calculate your wattage and amps needs. Do not forget to think about inverter generators either, as they could be a lifeline. Ignoring runtimes could expose you to gnashing of teeth too. Also, remember to go for a noiseless generator.