When we embarked on our van life journey almost a year ago, we knew we wanted to be self-sufficient, be away from the chaos, and truly follow what our souls yearned for – peace and solitude. Not only does it give you the ability to completely disconnect but also allows you to strip life down to the bare essentials and live a minimalistic life.
In today’s modern world, it seems almost unthinkable to live off the grid with all the advances in technology. There are many tools and systems in place that can help prepare you to live off the grid and let me just share the Pleasure-Way REKON 4×4 is built just for that.
Van living is the easiest and the most adventurous way to live. But what happens when you want to venture away from established campgrounds and into the existence of our Public Lands? There are acres upon acres of public lands that you can camp on for free..yes free! However, keep in mind you won’t have a place to connect your rig for water or electricity.
Whether you’re living in a van or traveling in a van and wondering how you can make off-grid-living possible, I hope these tips inspire or spark an idea to live off-the-grid in a van.
What does ‘Off-Grid’ living mean?
What it means – is being FREE, independent, or self-reliant. Meaning you’re not dependent on connecting to a power and water source, or even a sewage system. There are two main advantages to living off-grid in a van. The first advantage is being self-sufficient. So, when you disconnect from any power sources, you reduce your carbon footprint [an awesome contribution to saving the environment!] The second advantage is your bank account. You will be so much happier with how less you spend each month, which means more savings in your account!
We’ve gone from living in the Southwest to road-tripping through the Pacific Northwest and can proudly say this van has never once hooked up to any power source. As you may already know, the REKON comes loaded with a beefy power system. The 400-Watt solar panel package combined with 400 amp-hour lithium battery bank are game-changers and have given us the ability to stay off-the-grid for at least two weeks!
The biggest learning factor at the beginning was the inverter. We learned to actually use it less in order to sustain the van power longer and instead use Jackery Solar Generators to keep electronics charged and running. This is another way how we connect to our internet. What we use is a Pepwave Peplink Mobile Router powered via Jackery Explorer 500 – 12V outlet and has worked great…especially in the most remote places.
Water, Showers & Laundry
The 40-gallon water tank in this van has lasted us between 2-3 weeks and is mainly used for drinking water, showers, and laundry. We use the Travel Berkey Water Filter for drinking water, the built-in outdoor shower to stay hygienically clean, and the Scrubba Wash Bag to do our laundry.
The truth about showering off-the-grid is that you can’t take long or frequent showers. We find ourselves taking two quick showers a week and using body wipes between showers.
The Scrubba wash bag is a practical tool that makes hand washing clothes easier while on the road. We do our laundry this way every few days so it doesn’t pile up and to keep us off-the-grid longer.
Food, Drink, and Storage
We opted to purchase a second Truma fridge. One of our Truma fridges is stocked with food and snacks, while the second Truma fridge is stocked with drinks. Having two fridges is something we had to have and not only does it hold drinks but also works as a seating bench in the garage!
Doing business off-the-grid is one of the most important pieces to living comfortably in the outdoors. The cassette toilet in the van works perfectly for passing water. However, we bought a second portable toilet (Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Portable Toilet Seat) for doing number two in the outdoors. By following and practicing the leave no trace principles, you still help preserve and enjoy the outdoors in a sustainable way.
We find off-the-grid living to be the most soul-fulfilling, beautiful, and gratifying lifestyle we have ever tried in our lives. There will always be a learning curve and you will find your own ways to sustain yourself off-the-grid. We hope you found these tips helpful to reduce your carbon footprint and keep your adventure going longer!
For the full list of coach specifications, download the REKON 4×4 brochure here.