Simple & Easy Camper Van Solar Power for Off-Grid Van Life

Check out the super simple solar power set-up we installed on our new camper van roof! If you’re interested in the Kodiak, get 20% off with our ‘exploringsolar’ discount code:

Our ‘exploringsolar’ discount code works for all Inergy products, not just the Kodiak solar generator.

We built our own roof rack using 1″ square aluminum tubing from Home Depot, and solar panel z mounting brackets. We thought about using VHB tape to install the panels but weren’t sure how strong it would be, and opted to use the pre-drilled roof rack holes in the Ford Transit to ensure the panels were safely secured.

We had space for 2 x 100 watt panels on the roof, but would have loved to install a 3rd panel if there was room (the Maxxair fan made it a bit too tight).

Once the panels were installed, the system is literally plug and play. And if our panels aren’t generating enough electricity to charge the Kodiak, we have a 12-volt charging cable that we can plug into the van to charge while we drive. There’s also a wall adaptor for anyone who’s got a home base to charge up their Kodiak from home.

We don’t often accept products for review, but this genuinely seemed like a useful product for our own conversion, and we thought it might be for other alternative spaces. We made sure to test it out for a few months before installing it in the van, and before making a video about it.

Full disclaimer, the Kodiak and the solar panels were sent to us for free, and we earn an affiliate fee for each Kodiak that is sold using our discount code.

We’re huge fans of solar power for mobile and off-grid applications so whatever system you choose to install, we wish you all the best!

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle



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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives

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39 Replies to “Simple & Easy Camper Van Solar Power for Off-Grid Van Life”

  1. tofulädchen

    Great video, thank you! In one of Eamon and Bec's videos I saw the mini tour of your van, where you also said that you insulated with cork and hemp. Are you planning on sharing a video on that topic as well? Would love to hear about your experiences! 🙂

  2. Leiðulfr Von Link

    Seems like a prototype/beta kind of product, especially by the looks of it… and for that price… being by a company I've never heard of… and being a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none sort of device… and then it being sent to you for free… and I'm sure you'll get a kickback of some sort if any of them are sold using the code you've provided… I wouldn't trust it.

  3. TvanBoven

    Too bad you didn't go for the Goal Zero solution. It 's the improved version of this. Looks way better, more powerfull and has a display wich gives you all the information you need (watts you 're producing, …).

  4. Nevin Speerbrecker

    You mention not being able to expand the system you uae the RV plug to run to a curcuit breaker box and add more 12v plugs and other plugs. Expandung the system further for larger camper conversions.

  5. Obi Van Kenobi

    This is awesome. I was just gifted a huge solar panel to put on my van. I have a similar solar generator to your Kodiak, but I cannot, for the life of me, find connecting cables between the panel and the generator, with the corresponding male charging connector. Mine came with a shore power charger but not the connector for a solar panel! Can you give me an idea where to look to buy one and what is it called actually? Even Kodiak site doesn't have it.

  6. Enrique LaRoche

    2×110 amp wet cells for a total of 220 Amp hours ($150) 2 100 watt panels $200 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter $120 30 amp PWM charge controller $20 Misc wire and fuses connectors $100 Total cost about $600 I plan to replace the batteries every 5 years. into my 2nd year and it's great I run coffee pot (650 watt) and a microwave 900 watt. but not at the same time.

  7. Michael Galt

    @exploringalternatives I've been looking into setting up my own travel van for a while, and honestly, this seems perfect. The fact that everything comes packaged together is great, though I will definitely be going for 3x 100 watt panels.

    I would assume that the service warranty covers everything? How long is it good for? Have you had to interact with them in any capacity regarding that?

  8. Embracin' Granola

    Thanks for the time you put into testing the system before recommending it! I listened to your pod cast with Eamon and Bec last week and was excited to hear more about both of you after watching your videos for so long!

  9. Tamara Faurot

    Thank you! I’ve been so intimidated by the set up of other systems! This one seems the best for me. Oh for godsake ! Just saw the price! $1875! Inergy don’t be greedy!

  10. Flower Child

    If the system has a lithium battery then you will need to connect three more lithium batteries to it…not three more AGM batteries. If that is the only thing you are using then the price is…ok but gosh that is steep! I wish Inergy made a smaller version that could be used for those of us who don’t need such a large system. I am always looking for an alternative to Goal Zero.

  11. Laurel Dunn-Scott

    I love your channel. But wow all my favorite van and RV YouTubers are talking about this one product….. I feel like I'm being bombarded with something I couldn't dream of affording….. Lol .

  12. Jim Jim

    The only question I can’t seem to ever get an answer to about the Kodiak, is when you hook up other AGM batteries to extend the life of the Kodiak.
    I’m wondering how you read how much drawdown you can do. In other words you can go down to 20% with the lithium, now you add extra batteries and what is the drawdown limit??
    12.2 ? 😳

  13. freestylersro

    Hi guys, thanks for this awesome video. Really informative. Would yoube able to tell us how you connected the maxair fan to the solar generator? And what gauge wiring would it be adequate? Thanks!

  14. Stephen Morgan

    This is great, just about to fit two 255 watt panels on my van and as they are so large I was stumped on the best way to mount them. Gonna copy your idea about building my own mounting system. Thanks, great video 🙂

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