Off-Grid Caravan Product Checklist

Off-Grid Caravan Product Checklist

Are you planning a weeklong getaway or longer off-grid caravan adventure down under? Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you have all the gear to have a comfortable and safe trip. In this blog, we will run you through some of the essential off-grid caravan items including solar panels, power systems, fridges, air conditioning and heating. These products will ensure you get the most out of your trip even in the most remote locations. Let’s dive right in!


Solar Panels

First off, you are going to need solar panels in order to harness the suns power to run all of your appliances. There are plenty of solar panels out there to pick from but when it comes to panels for off-grid caravans we suggest picking from fixed or flexible solar panels. Both have their pros and cons.

Fixed solar panels are super-efficient and perfect for those on a tighter budget. However, they are a lot heavier than flexible panels. Enerdrive is one of our favourite fixed solar panel brands. They offer various sizes all the way from 10W to 200W. We recommended the Enerdrive 2 x 190W Fixed Solar Panel, Twin Pack for the best value for money for a total of 360W. You can also pick from a range of bundles to create the ultimate off-grid power solution.

The greatest benefit of flexible solar panels is that they can be installed on curved surfaces, and they are often extremely light weight while still being built tough. On the flip side they aren’t as secure as the fixed solar panels that are attached using bolts. Sunman offer a range of lightweight and robust flexible solar panels. The panels are actually built out of a similar material to that of an aeroplane window! All you need for the installation is some high bond double sided tape.


Power System

In order to manage the power you have harnessed from your solar panels we recommend you look at a power system. A power system is a pre-wired board with everything you need to charge, monitor and manage your batteries while controlling your appliances and electronics. Not only will you save money and time by purchasing an all-in-one system but you will also save on space, as everything comes on one easy to install board.

Please Note: 240V hard wired appliance and inverter installation must be carried out by a licensed electrician or electrical contractor.


Enerdrive actually invented the first ever power systems. After all, they are the lithium experts supplying power solutions for caravan, campers a 4WD’s for decades. For the ultimate off-grid caravan power set-up check out the Enerdrive e-systems. There are a variety of models to pick from based on your power requirements. You can compare all of the models here.


You may need to purchase additional accessories to complete your power set-up such as a battery, cabling, fuses and solar panels. Not sure what 12V products and accessories are right for you? Give our team a call on 1800 787 278.


Lithium Battery

Your off-grid caravan power set-up isn’t complete without a lithium battery. Lithium batteries are lighter and fit a lot more amps into a smaller size compared to lead acid batteries. They also offer double the life cycle and have a greater depth of discharge, so they really are a no brainer. Enerdrive offer a range of highly efficient lithium batteries to suit a range of amperage requirements including the Enerdrive B-TEC 200Ah Slim Metal Case Lithium Battery and Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC 300Ah Lithium Battery.


Are you looking to run 240V appliances such as a hairdryer, coffee machine, air conditioner or induction cooktop? Then you will also need to look at an inverter. Keep in mind it needs to be sized according to your battery system. There are other accessories you may need to purchase including battery chargers, battery monitors and cabling. Here at Caravan RV Camping we offer a range of bundles so you can get back to your adventures sooner including the Enerdrive 400Ah Off-Grid Trip In A Van Lithium Bundle that includes two 200Ah lithium batteries, a 12V 40A battery charger, a 12V 60A battery charger, battery monitor and four 190W solar panels.


Battery Monitoring System

In order to keep track of the power and water levels in your off-grid caravan (so you can stay on the road for longer) you will need to look at a battery management system. This will allow you to access real-time data from your solar, vehicle battery and mains power input as well as your battery banks voltage, depth of discharge, etc. You can even keep track of water tank levels and see the power draw of appliances. You can learn more about battery management systems here.

The Simarine by Enerdrive Digital Battery Monitors are a great battery management system option and come included with some of the Enerdrive power systems. The easy-to-read digital display allows you to see all your inputs and outputs at a glance. You can also download a free App on your smartphone to monitor all the data even when you’re not in your caravan.


Inverter Generator

Unfortunately, weather in Australia can be unpredictable so it’s always good to have a back-up source of power for when your batteries run low and there’s no sun on your solar panels. An inverter generator is the perfect solution. Not only are they compact and portable but also feature inverter technology to power your sensitive electronics including your phone and air-conditioner. You will need to calculate the power draw of all the appliances in your off-grid caravan and ensure you purchase an inverter generator that has a continuous output below this number. You can learn more about sizing generators here.


We recommended inverter generators from Crommelins, Maxwatt or Yamaha. All are tried and tested for caravanning. The Cromtech Outback Inverter Generator 2.4kw is a budget friendly option coming it at just over $1,000 and weighing only 20kg. For around the same price you can get a MaxWatt 2500W Petrol Inverter Generator. These generators also have the ability to be paralleled if you need to build up your power capabilities. At the higher end of the scale is a Yamaha 2200W Inverter Generator. You get a lightweight, portable and powerful unit with a boost feature perfect for starting your caravan air conditioner but at a much higher price tag.


Upright Fridge & Freezer

An upright fridge and freezer will create the ultimate home like feel in your off-grid caravan. You can pick from compressor models that are powered using a 12/24 DC power source like that from your power system or an absorption model that can be run off 12/24 DC power, 240V or LP gas. Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

Compressor fridges have a powerful motor that is more equipped to handle hotter Australian climates and maintain the set temperature. They are also the better option if you will be frequently encountering uneven terrain as they don’t need a level surface to operate. The Dometic CRX Upright Fridge range can operate on angles up to 30°. However, you may not get as long of a life out of your compressor fridge compared to that of an absorption fridge that can often outlast 20 plus years.

Absorption fridges could also be a better option if you are planning on heading off-grid for an extended period of time. Thanks to the ability to be powered by a battery or gas you can switch between each if you begin to run low on either source. However, it is never recommended to run your absorption fridge off your battery if your vehicle is not in motion so this is only beneficial when on the move. Thetford offer a range of absorption fridges that are extremely efficient and quiet when running off gas. Keep in mind you will need to get these fridges installed by a certified gas fitter or you will void your manufacturers warranty.


Caravan Heater & Air Conditioner

You won’t last long in your off-grid caravan without cooling and heating. A caravan air conditioner is a must to stay cool in hot Aussie summers and a heater will keep you warm in Winter especially in places like the Snowy Mountains.

This is where it’s important to have a quality power system with 240V capabilities to run your air conditioner. You can’t go wrong with the Dometic FreshJet 7 Series Lite Roof Top Air Conditioner. It has a 2.6kw cooling capacity, CleanAir technology and is super quiet. Don’t have room on your roof? No worries, the Truma Saphir under bunk air conditioner is suitable for vehicles up to 6.5 meters in length that can be installed under benches or cupboards out of the way.


Now, when it comes to caravan heaters you will need to pick from gas or diesel. Gas heaters will run off your gas bottle and can generally heat your entire caravan in around 30 minutes. The Truma Vario Eco Gas heater is one of the most highly regarded recreational gas heaters on the market. You can get a peaceful night’s sleep thanks to the night mode and it is easily started via a 12V ignition. You can also purchase an e-kit booster to easily switch between gas when off the grid and electricity when connected to mains power.


Diesel heaters are great if you already have the diesel fuel source available in your rig. Installation is also flexible and can be done as a DIY job. Best of all you can start heating your caravan while driving so it’s nice and toasty when you set-up camp. The Eberspacher Airtronic AS3 Diesel Air Heater Kit is not only super-efficient but also consumes very little fuel making it perfect for use over long periods.


Caravan Hot Water System

A hot water system is a must for hot running water in your shower and kitchen to clean dishes. Gas and diesel models are the best for off-grid caravans as they don’t require 20V, just a 12V ignition source.

The Camec 13kW Digital Instantaneous Gas Water Heater is a budget friendly option that can heat your water in under 30 seconds. You just need to ensure your gas hot water system is properly vented to avoid condensation. You are going to pay a bit more for a diesel system, but they are super-efficient, and you can use a creek or your caravan tank as the water source.

We recommend a heater and hot water combination system for an all-in-one solution. The Truma Combi D6 is great for larger caravans and can also be used while you are on the move. The fan’s powerful operation ensures efficient circulation of warm air and takes around 20 minutes to heat up your water. All this comes in a compact, silent and lightweight unit.



As much as you might love uninterrupted time in the outdoors, you also want the peace of mind that you are connected with family and friends. There are plenty of options out there to keep you connected in remote locations including the RV Wi-Fi 5G. This model includes a MIMO router for ideal 5G speeds (not Netflix buffering here!) and multiple antennas to increase the Wi-Fi coverage in and around your van. If you want to increase your Wi-Fi connectivity and speeds, you can add on a Cel-Fi unit. This will not only boost your signal but also increase its strength but almost 200%.


If you want to create a real home away from home in your off-grid caravan, then you will need to invest in a 12V Smart TV. That way you can keep up to date with the news and of course stream your favourite sports on Kayo. Englaon offer a range of smart TV’s that allow you connect to streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, etc. They are also made for caravans with vibration resistant materials and surge protection.


A successful off-grid caravan adventure requires a bit of planning and preparation especially when you’re heading into remote areas. But by investing in these essential appliances and power systems you can maximise your home on wheels and get the most out of your travels.


Other Products To Include On Your Checklist: 


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

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