BOONDOCKING OR SHORE POWER?
RVs come in different shapes and sizes to fit a host of different people and needs. Whether you’re using a motorhome, 5th wheel, bumper pull, living quarters or some creative overland RV, you’ve got to have the right equipment to make the best of your RV experiences. And that equipment setup depends on if you’re going to have access to power to plug your RV into while using it — called Shore Power — or if you're going to be boondocking it (off-grid) without any plug in shore power. So, which one will use being doing most?
Some prefer RVing where power is supplied for your RV — often called Shore Power — that you plug into. While shore power is great because most of your power needs are taken care of, sometimes you’ll need to have power when there is no shore power, by force or by choice. Your options are battery power or generator power. If you don’t mind the noise of a generator, the need for fuel and the fumes that come with it, or the maintenance, a generator is an alternate source of power. But if you want peace and quiet, something good for you and for the environment, and that’s renewable from the sun, lithium battery power is the way to go.
A helpful hint... There is a solar generator that is safe, silent and renewable that you can find in the “Other Great Solutions ” section below called the Lion Safari ME™.
For the greatest flexibility so you can boondock sometimes and plug in other times, we recommend getting setup for boondocking and you'll then also be set for shore power. This way you'll have the freedom to enjoy your RV experience wherever the wind and your desires takes you.
When you're RVing in the great outdoors, away from shore power, you need to have a steady source of power for slide outs and to keep all your conveniences in the RV running — TV, microwave, lights, AC, heater, etc. You'll need to have the right amount of that power. And you’ll need a way to keep that source putting out power for as long as you want to boondock. Usually that means batteries, and not just any batteries. You want batteries with ample power and ones that last. You need to seriously look at Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. They're amazing!
Many RVers also have a generator to use for selected auxiliary power that puts a heavy load or use of power, such as when you want to use the AC for extended periods. Lithium batteries can handle that too, especially if you're also using solar panels with your RV that recharge your batteries. Generators have some limitations that we'll discuss later on like noise, fuel, fumes, and maintenance.
For now, you'll need to consider what you want to power in the RV and for how long. Lithium batteries will take care of most, if not all of that. And we recommend Lithium over lead acid batteries for a host of reason we'll discuss in that section below.