Off Grid Living
Living off grid is freeing – truly living off grid comfortably is exhilarating. Yet how can we achieve this nexus of getting off the beaten path while continuing to enjoy easy living? Get lots of battery capacity with a generous inverter – the bigger, the better; a large inverter truly is a beautiful solution to all your power needs.
To enjoy out-of-the-way locations and distant locales, an inverter is needed to run general appliances, like a computer. The flow of electrons in currents creates electrical power, and these currents are of two types: alternating currents (AC) and direct currents (DC). With AC, the current changes direction; with DC, the current flows in one direction, usually coming from a battery or solar panel. AC usually flows at 120 Volts (V); DC streams at about 12V. Most home wiring systems run 120V AC. This is the source of energy that RV aficionados call shore power. Generally, items that run off shore power, or AC, are larger items that require more power, like a microwave or air-conditioner. Many electronics are made to run off 12V DC, and for most RVs, DC can also power low-voltage items like smoke detectors. In the case of the Bowlus®, however, our 12V DC system also charges the refrigerator/freezer.
Given the blur between work and play in modern life, you need a power solution that allows you to crack open the Photoshop app as soon as you’ve taken that awesome shot. But how will you power your device? When you’re plugged into shore power, a converter kicks in, takes the flow of 120V AC, and reduces it to 12V DC for items such as lights. When you’re away from home and without shore power, an inverter will provide the electrical current you need. An inverter does the opposite of a converter. When you’re running off your batteries or solar panel, the inverter will take the 12V DC current and convert it to a 120V AC current to power the appliances that require it, like your laptop or microwave.
An intelligent power management system means you have more power and greater flexibility to use it reliably, so the Endless Highways® Edition has a 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter and the Performance Edition a 3,000-watt pure sine wave inverter. Pure sine wave inverters produce a 120V AC power signal off grid that looks very much like what you may experience at home – smooth power that makes for reliable running of electrical outlets in the bedroom, bathroom, and living room. It’s important to combine a 2,000 or 3,000-watt pure sine wave inverter with a large capacity battery system. The all-lithium iron phosphate battery systems in the Bowlus® Endless Highways Edition (with 4 kWh) and the Performance Edition doubles it, which mean you don’t have to worry about figuring out your electric load every time you want to run more than a few things at once.
With a 2,000 or 3,000 watt inverter and lots of battery capacity, you can even break out more demanding electrical hogs, like a blender so you can bliss out with your favorite smoothie after a hike.