Earlier this year, I was infected with the #vanlife bug. Well, greater, just like the #overlanding trojan horse in my case, but I’ve been tenting and operating from the road for over a month now. I get to soak up this country’s herbal beauty and scurry after Slack notifications.
But be warned, would-be digital nomads, that is no stroll within the (countrywide) park. I want a lot of gear to make it happen, like solar panels, batteries, a fridge, mobile boosters, and many more. Here’s what I took on the road for my first month (and why).
When you’re on the street for weeks, you want to keep a little energy. My MacBook Pro charger wishes 100 watts of electricity in line within an hour, so the Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 1000 becomes a perfect length, imparting around 10 hours of steady charging.
But the pc isn’t always the simplest thing that wishes strength. Consider the relaxation of the tools on this list: the fridge, the booster, and the GoSun oven. That’s a whole lot of juice. So I wished for a battery that might bring in quite a little power while simultaneously putting out just as an awful lot, if no longer greater.
That’s ultimately why I decided on Goal Zero. The charging circuitry can handle the 220 watts I have coming in from the solar panels (see beneath) while sending out 100-one hundred fifty watts without breaking a sweat. The EcoFlow River ($539) can simplest manage 110 watts coming in, and the Anker Powerhouse ($500) can handle even less at around 100 watts of entering.
There’s another perk to the Goal Zero battery: expandability. These days, the organization released its Yeti Tank ($399.95) device, and each tank provides 1,200 watt-hours of potential. But there’s a drawback. Yup, it is the charge. The Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 1000 is $1,099 to begin, and the tank above accessory adds any other $399. That can be a big outlay; however, if you want to work on the street in states that do not have wasteland-tier degrees of light, it’s a should-have.
I considered all kinds of solar panels after I changed into constructing my automobile, and I’m happy I determined on Renogy’s a hundred-watt option. Many humans with full-sized vehicles use bendy solar panels (160-watt, $255) glued to the roof, but I turned spooked by using all the reviews of them cracking from the wind. Renogy’s panels are actual outside panels that you could use on the roof of a house or with a floor mount, and I’ve found them to be extremely dependable even after bouts of pouring rain and high-speed winds.
Right now, I even have 3 of them: one set up on the roof and one which I scoot around as the sun moves from east to west. The most energy I’ve gotten out of these panels on a blistering day inside the Nevada desolate tract was around 250 watts, although 220 at midday is greater common. Unfortunately, like the many I experienced in Colorado, three panels weren’t enough on cloudy days. I considered myself lucky to get 50 watts according to an hour on many of my days at Grand Lake. After a while, my Goal Zero got down so low that I couldn’t rate my pc, so I needed to depart.
Pro-tip: If you’re working on the street with a thirsty 15-inch pc, you will likely need more than three panels on cloudy days.