Off Grid Living With Solar Power, How Our Dual Powered Camper Works – Day 165

camper at Tumble Farms
20 Feb

The dual power capabilities of our T@B 400 nuCamp camper have been nothing short of a life saver on this trip. In fact, they have really made road life unbelievably easy.

That was never more evident over the course of the last four days, as we made our way across the panhandle of Florida – all without the ability to plug in to conventional power.

dual powered camper
The solar mat on top of our T@B 400. The panel powers up the battery bank to run our camper with incredible efficiency.

With snow-bird season in full swing, RV parks in February are a bit hard to come by in Florida. But by relying on the solar side of our dual-powered camper, we simply switched to off-grid camping for the last four nights. And quite honestly, it has been a lot of fun!

Life In The Dual Powered T@B400

One of the things we worried most about before setting out was having enough power to operate anywhere. It is one thing to be hooked up with full electric power at a comfy RV park. But a whole other issue when you are camping on a farm in the middle of nowhere.

safe while camping
Camping off grid with solar power has allowed us to see and experience so many wonderful out of the way places.

For us, the power is more than just for lights, heat, air conditioning and comfort. It also has to help us keep our laptops, cellphones and hotspot alive for writing on the road.

Thankfully, our T@B400 camper is outfitted with a dual powered solar / electrical system. It has, quite honestly, performed beyond our wildest imagination. We get a lot of questions about how it works, so here’s a little peek behind the scenes.

Dual Power Camping

Our T@B comes equipped with two sources of power. A traditional 30 amp plug-in service that runs the entire camper, and a solar powered battery that can operate a large majority of it when unplugged.

dual power camper
A close up of the solar film panel on top of the camper.

The main electrical power is easy enough. We plug it in to the side of our camper, and we have full power. We also carry an adapter allowing us to plug in with a normal 120 outlet if that is the only option available.

Going Off Grid With Solar

When we are plugged into full electric power, the solar system sits on stand by. It does however, stay completely charged from the electric plug in, and from collecting energy from the sun.

It does so with a 190 watt solar mat installed onto the curve of the roof. The solar panel then powers up the battery bank installed under the trailer.

dual powered camper
The solar portion of our dual-powered camper has performed beyond our wildest expectations. I love the quick read gauge that shows the power level of the battery.

When we unplug, the solar battery system takes over. It will run all of our LED lights in the camper, as well as our TV, and TV antenna booster. It also runs the refrigerator too – even as we roll down the road.

On a sunny day, we never lose even the slightest bit of charge – even with the refrigerator and lights on. For a typical overnight, we usually drop the battery no more than 10 to 15%. And with just a few hours of daylight, it is usually back to 100% by 10 a.m.

What About Heat and Air Conditioning?

Our radiant heat system runs off electricity when plugged in, but off of natural gas when we go to solar. So in reality, solar gives us nearly every capability we have with full power, except for the air conditioner. And with the windows and great air flow in the T@B, that is the least of our worries.

ienergy apex generator camper modifications
Our back up solar power pack Apex generator.

As a back-up to it all, we also carry an Ienergy Apex Solar Battery Pack. The self contained unit has 6 plugs and a 30 amp outlet. All of which are more than enough to run our camper for a few more days if needed.

Luckily, it is something we haven’t had to worry about with the impressive performance of the T@B’s dual power system. The T@B really has been a workhorse so far, and the solar power is just one more reason we fall a little more in love with it every day!

For more on the camper, you can see our photo tour here : T@B Photo Tour. Happy Traveling! Jim and Mary.

CURRENT TRIP STATUS TO DATE:

  • Day 165 of 365
  • States : 21/50
  • National Parks / Monuments : 20
  • Stayed In : Winter Haven, Florida
  • Miles Driven : 177.8
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 17,808.7
  • Total Gallons Used : 1281.45
  • Biking Miles : 0.0
  • Biking Miles To Date : 158.4
  • Hiking Miles : 1.3
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 373.9

About Our Living Simple Tour

On September 9th, 2019, we set out in our NuCamp T@B 400 Teardrop Camper to travel to every state. You can check out all of our dates here : Dates for the States

You can follow along by signing up for our twice weekly email updates at the bottom of the page. You can also follow us on Facebook : Live Simple Tour Facebook and Instagram : Live Simple Now Instagram Page.

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