Home Alone

Can you leave an Off-Grid RV home alone?

Living 100% Off-Grid in an RV does require some watching of the power used. So when traveling for long periods is it possible to leave your house not connected?

The last week has the RV been sitting in Phoenix, AZ with nobody at home. Every day is reaching a full charge and maximum 13% of the stored capacity in the battery bank used.

The only draw on the 120 Volt is the residential refrigerator and network equipment. The Inverter also has an idle loss, so around 3 kWh combined. Every day has the solar charged 4.8 kWh, so the remaining is loss and 12 Volt use, approximately 2 kWh. The Furnace Fan is the only consumer on 12 Volt that is not constant. On the graph is that the small spikes from around midnight to noon when the sun heats the RV.

Staying in Phoenix, AZ is the weather very predictable but in the case of multiple days of bad weather, just covering the average usage, can the 120 Volt still run for 100% / 13% = 7+ days. Even the worst days in Winter very rarely output less than the 5 kWh required to recharge the battery every day.

A full day of sun is over 11 kWh and two days can recover an almost empty battery bank.

In the case of a low Battery bank can the Inverter shut-off. That ruins the food of course, but the 12 Volt still operate, and the Furnace ensure water lines are not freezing. Requiring only 2 kWh is Solar Output enough to maintain this forever. If the Solar Panels get covered in deep snow is the output under 5% of normal. To make all this work well, ensure the Low Volt Cut-Off of the solar chargers is set lower than the Inverter.

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