Top products from r/OffGrid

We found 28 product mentions on r/OffGrid. We ranked the 128 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/OffGrid:

u/robotsdonthaveblood · 4 pointsr/OffGrid

Uhh. No, it so can't. It has 100Ah capacity. Rule of thumb for 12v DC to AC conversion is 1 hour @ 100w AC draw = about 10A being pulled from the DC battery. 1000w would run it flat in one hour. Likely much less since that would be a very high discharge rate for such a battery and that generally reduces capacity.

While I admit I don't have a solid answer to your original question in my response I do need to express interest in why you're set on the goal zero platform? They are laughably over priced. The Yeti 1250 is 1600 bucks in Canada, and it's not a generator at all. It's a 12v Absorbent Glass Mat battery with 100Ah capacity, with a 1200w pure sinewave inverter and a Maximum Power Point Tracking solar charge controller. It's all stuck in a box with some connections and a nice display. It doesn't come with a solar panel to charge it at all either.

That 100Ah may seem like a lot, but it's not. Especially considering you shouldn't really discharge a lead acid battery more than 50% So 50 amps a day is all you can pull. About 2 an hour. Depending on the duty cycle of your fridge that's it right there. I'm a big fan of 6 volts for dollar/Ah, and you can grab two T105 Trojan batteries most places for 300 bucks. They are good batteries and can take a lot of abuse. I also like USBattery, and have picked these up in Alberta for 100 each. that's 230 Ah for 200 bucks. My last load test on a pair of heavily abused ones that are about 6 years old now still pull just over 100A before 50% discharge. I can't argue with that quality. That leaves us with 1400 bucks to play with, and more capacity to run things from. Since we saved money on storage, I'd spend the money on a good inverter like this. Naturepower and Go Power should be avoided, but might be available a lot cheaper so by all means take the risk if you wish. That's 1500 watts vs the 1200 from the Goal Zero package. So we now have 800 to spend on a charge controller, a box, and 12v output/input options and a box. A box could be simply constructed with plywood and scrap 2x4's and could probably be sourced in any nearby alley. Charge controllers can be had for very cheap or for a little more depending on your requirements. The charge controller in the Yeti appears to be able to handle 20A, so our 13 dollar and change controller above works. Even factoring wire, nuts, bolts, crimping supplies and the time to build it all you're going to be coming out with 600 bucks in your pocket for solar panels. The Yeti doesn't even come with solar panels. They want TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS for 30w in Canada! Unbelievable! Another 30 bucks gets you more than 3x the charging potential. It's also in a nice aluminum frame suitable for reinforcing and adding hinges for portability should you want to pair it with another with all the money you're saving. There is absolutely no way you'd get me to support their over priced gear when it can be done so simply and cheaply on your own, all with better results.

Edit: the specs on the 30w panel say 2A output max, so they're only 24w peak. That extra 30 bucks on a real panel gets you (barely) more than 4x the charging potential. To max out the 20A capabilities of the Yeti 1250 using 30w panels would cost you 2000 dollars for 10 panels. Two of those 100w panels would be 460 dollars and cover just over 80% of that capacity. But why stop there? We saved 600 bucks, lets buy another pair of batteries for 200 to increase our capacity to 460Ah.
With over 4x the reserve you STILL won't be pulling 1000w for a few hours. Just about though, you might get 4.
My favourite part about this is I hate going retail and it's STILL cheaper to piece it together doing it that way. I could find a better inverter used thanks to the used marine market out in BC, for less, I could source a few used batteries after a load test for cheap. I could DIY panels for cheap using epoxy and reclaimed aquarium glass. About 80c a watt materials included. In Canada that's amazing for a single panel.

All Goal Zero prices were from here

The only opinion I can give you with pellet stoves is they are VERY expensive and installation is semi permanent, your landlord might even have to get different insurance if there is a stove pipe jammed out his roof. He's probably not going to be happy with having to duct the cold air supply in either. They are also equipped with hoppers for pellet storage, how long you intend to run it and what model of stove you get depends on how often you have to fill it. They are also electronically controlled, so it will need to be constantly plugged in for the auger to feed pellets into the stove to keep the fire going or between a specific range of temperatures. You want to do this for a month and that's a lot of effort for an experiment. You could probably get away with a propane heater of some kind, along with the appropriate detectors for safety. I wouldn't advise on running that unsupervised at all, and it's not going to be appropriate for cooking like a stove would be.

u/daysonatrain · 1 pointr/OffGrid

Id say get several good books. (I learned by experience so cant recommend specific titles sorry). Read up on it, timber framing is a way to go about it but probably easier is general '16'' on center' framing. Like I said, there area a lot of aspects to carpentry that seem really complicated but are generally easy to figure out. Books with good physical drawings would be the most helpful. It seems like you dont have a concrete plan as of yet so, to me, the best thing would be to really study up. Id also recommend Lloyd Kahn books as pretty cool inspiration, as far as unique/hippy type buildings go-- --they were and are one of the most inspirational building books Ive seen.

u/StrawbaleHippie · 5 pointsr/OffGrid

Wow! I had the exact same sentiment when I was 20. I'm now 30, let me give you a summary of how things developed :)

First off, I created a spreadsheet to calculate the effect of adding more people to the effort. Turns out, adding even one person is hugely helpful. There's just one (fairly major) downside: Zoning laws will generally only allow you to build one house on a property, so these people need to get along well enough to live together. Easy to do at age 20, much harder to do as everyone ages.

Then, what I needed was an accurate idea of how much $$ you will need to get started. In other words, why can't I just go NOW! This is where reality hits. I can post my budget(it's huge) to help, but here's a very high-level summary of the options:

Option 1 - Everything from scratch (takes a ton of upfront $$$)

  • Buy farmable land in Ontario - $100k (empty farmland is getting tougher to find in Ontario)
    • if you are buying vacant land, nobody will give you a mortgage for it, you'll need to pay cash
  • Build house on land - it should take at least $200k to build a house yourself, more if you're hiring someone to build it for you
    • need to prepare the house site, excavate, level, potentially build a driveway
    • since you're building it mostly yourself, you need LOTS of equipment... $$$
    • due to building codes, you can't get away with a super-cheap cob-built house for $5k like you might see on the internet. That said, with LOTS(like, lots and lots) of hard work, there are some great techniques out there to lower the cost of a code-approved house(e.g. stone construction, etc) - many great books have been written about it (see

      Option 2 - mortgage (less upfront capital)

  • Buy farmhouse + farmland in Ontario - $250k+
    • Bonus is that you can get a mortgage for the house, downside is that you can't have 10 people go together on a mortgage, the risk/responsibility needs to belong to one or two people
    • downside is you'll have an aging farmhouse to maintain, probably will not be built with "sustainability" in mind

      After looking at those options, I calculated how long it would take me to save up enough cash. I used my spreadsheet to motivate myself to save every last possible penny, and it worked!

      I found many like-minded people, but the mechanics of us actually merging into a commune for this effort were difficult, so I am founding a commune of 2 (my wife and I).

      As far as actually living on the land goes, find an Organic farm in Ontario and visit them(some have tours). You'll find that farming is a lot of work! It is very difficult to make a profit from it, however feeding yourself is quite doable. In Ontario, you'll want to get into preserving (fermentation/canning) to last through the winter.

      TL;DR it's the journey not the destination, if you think you'll enjoy the journey, GO FOR IT.
u/lbmn · 3 pointsr/OffGrid

> wanted to be able to run fridge and laptop for a week at least before on solar before I have to turn on the engine and drive to my next spot

A normal laptop (10-90W), a small fridge (100-400W), and a room heater (900-1500W+) are orders of magnitude apart. The only time I've heard of anyone using an electric heater when camping was when he had an over-abundance of gasoline-electrical generator output, but one probably wouldn't want to run a generator at night due to noise.

> do you think these buddy heaters are save enough for children to be in the same room

A lot of people use propane heaters in RVs. Of course having a CO (Carbon Monoxide) detector and a fire extinguisher on hand is a must, even if burning a single candle. That aside, the most important thing is to assure adequate ventilation. Extra super-safety measure: set an alarm every 2 hours the first night to walk around the room and make sure the air is fine, nothing is overheating, etc.

When it comes to the possibility of leaks, propane is generally safer than natural gas, because: (1) You can smell it. (2) Propane vapors are heavier than air, so being higher off the floor is an added safety benefit (in addition to being more heat-efficient). (3) Buddy Heaters self-ignite automatically, so there's no chance of turning on the gas and forgetting to light the flame. You can get a propane leak detector as well (a separate function from CO detection, but possible to have both in one device).

I don't know anything about kids, but I don't think they are inclined to touch things that are very obviously very hot. I guess using some sort of a cage (around the heater, I mean, not the kids) would add an extra level of safety...

u/pyromaster114 · 1 pointr/OffGrid

No problem, I wish you luck with your project!

Depth of discharge is definitely important for battery longevity. The more 'shallow' your discharge cycles are with any sort of Lead Acid chemistry, the longer the battery will usually live. :)

Also, if you're going to go over ~300-400 Ah of battery storage (rated) consider making the change to a 24 volt system before you start ordering components. The reason for this is to ensure you don't end up using cables the size of your arms to carry the current you need. When you double the nominal battery bank voltage, you half the current being carried by your conductors in that circuit, thus reducing the needed wire size. It doesn't sound like you'll need to go with a 24 volt system though, as you won't really need that much storage, or that much solar.



Voltage x Amps = Power in Watts

Power in Watts x Hours = Energy in Watt-hours


>What do you think of the Optima BlueTop? They are more money than most AGMs, but they claim superior number of recharges. I can get the 66Ah at Costco for $299CAD. But I'd probably need at least 3 of these.

Try something like this instead:

Avoid 'marine/starter' batteries like they tend to sell at Costco and auto parts stores. (Optima BlueTop included.) They're designed to be a hybrid of a 'starter battery' (for a motor) and a 'deep cycle' battery for running electrical equipment. They will not live as long as something that is designed purely for deep cycling like the Trojan Solar AGM's, or even these Renogy ones:


Renogy also makes a gel-cel equivalent of that one, here:


By the way, there are some differences between Gel-cel lead acid and AGM lead acid batteries, but they are both non-spillable (Sealed) battery types, that come in 'true deep cycle' varieties. :)


Easy way to tell if it's a 'hybrid' battery type (designed for use where it will start an engine at times), is to check if it has those 'automotive style' post terminals. The ones that you find on your car battery. 'Marine' batteries that have both automotive and screw termainls, like those BlueTops, are not quite ideal for use in a solar application.

u/ThePunchList · 1 pointr/OffGrid

Thanks for taking time to reply. My goal was not to have to mess with solar since my cabin sits in the middle of some pretty dense trees and I've never gotten good direct sunlight. I was hoping for a clean and quiet way to plug in at night and get 3-4 hours of light and maybe enough time to watch a movie off a USB stick.

The idea of charging a small 15lb battery during the week at home and plugging in when I showed up at the cabin vs lugging the 100lb gas generator was really appealing. The gas generator has worked fine but it's just so loud and it sits outside the bedroom window so I worry about even cracking that window in the summer to avoid exhaust.

The lights are off all day as everything else (speakers and phones I charge at home or have simple Anker power bricks) and the cabin is all windows so light isn't an issue until it gets dark. I just need 4 hours of LED lights and 2 hours of LED TV to make me happy.

If the wiring is 110V then it sounds like I'm not going to lose a bunch of efficiency to wire resistance? Are watt-hours the right way to look at this regardless of voltage? I get confused trying to understand if watt-hours are standard regardless of 110v, 12v, or 3.7v systems pulling current. Sorry for the newb questions but the online literature seems really inconsistent in the explanations.

Knowing that any power tools or air conditioner I wanted to run would need the extra juice from the gas generator, would a solution like this or even as small as this get me a couple lights at night and maybe enough power to get through a 2 hour movie off a USB stick in a TV?

If there's a crash course read on this please send it my way, I've been looking for a simple explanation.

I appreciate the help from everyone here. Thanks!

u/thomas533 · 9 pointsr/OffGrid

Clothes dry just fine on cloudy days on my regular old clothes line without any additional fans (I live in Seattle and have tested this extensively as it is cloudy most of the year here...) On those rainy days, I have a indoor drying rack that works great. If I am in a hurry I can set it up over top of my 30W fan and my clothes are dry in about an hour.

>Stretch a survival blanket, space blanket, or mylar across a frame.

Those survial blankets are not really ment for repeated use and end up being garbage after a few uses. That sounds like a great way to waste money on something that would only marginally improve clothes drying.

>Put wet clothes in an oven bag with pin holes.

That sounds like a really great way to severely restrict airflow which would be the absolute worse thing to improve drying times. Airflow is the key, not heat or thermal mass.

>Buy a cheap Styrofoam cooler.

I don't even know how you are imagining that this would dry clothes.

u/notacrackheadofficer · 2 pointsr/OffGrid
This one
Or here is a database of everything anyone would ever want to know for free download. Maybe someone popular could post it so people can see it. Everything one could possibly want to know in one place.
Everything. Free. Best website in the history of websites.
No one will ever know.

u/lonmoer · 2 pointsr/OffGrid

theres this stirling frigde that i want so bad you can plug this in your car and it draws super low energy and can even run when the car is off for days without depleting the battery. all while producing up to freezing temperatures. i wish omre things like this existed

u/dillpiccolol · 2 pointsr/OffGrid

Not an off gridder, but I've found this cookbook to be very comprehensive and I've been happy with everything I've made from it.

u/Gandi1200 · 2 pointsr/OffGrid

Another sweet tip- Get a small chest freezer off Craigslist and convert it to a refrigerator with a Johnson controls regulator . They use about 1/10th the power, are bigger and super cheap. I did this in my rig and love it. I put it right under the counter and cut the counter to flip up.I only have 150 watts of solar and 200AH of battery and can run the refrigerator non stop and charge the batteries. The capacity is also much larger.

u/socity_friatfonfecto · 1 pointr/OffGrid

Effectively, all you have to do is add a thermostatically controlled switch to control the compressor. Some have recommended products like this (though I don't have personal experience with it). You plug the unit into your wall, freezer into the unit, put the thermocouple in the freezer and set the thermometer.

u/Centmo · 1 pointr/OffGrid

Going that route you always have the option of easily adding an MPPT controller if you find you need more heat.

Just eyeballing an IV curve for a similar panel and applying 3 series 2 parallel, you probably want a heating element resistance of 8-15 ohms to maximize power, depending on solar irradiance. 10 seems like a decent compromise. The 120V, 1500W is close to this at 9.6 ohms. Another option is a 240V, 5500W (10.5 ohms) element which is readily available and would alleviate your concerns of burning out the element.

Edit: Even though the 2x3 panel array can exceed 120Voc, it won't burn out the element because the load would drag the voltage down to the intersection of the IV curve and the straight line resistance. Solar panel voltage drops under Voc as soon as you start drawing current from it.

u/drunk_in_denver · 4 pointsr/OffGrid

I recently read this book and it is full of good info. Not really on how to live off grid but the steps you need to take and things you need to know about buying property, permitting, cost to drill a well, building types, etc.

u/sexislikepizza69 · 1 pointr/OffGrid

So if I understand you correctly I can buy the product you linked as well as a solar panel such as this one

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

And I should be fine for making let's say 10 margaritas a day for a week (assuming my solar panel is in the sun all day)?

Also does 288kh mean that, on a full charge, it will be able to power anything up to 288 watts for an hour before running out of juice (assuming it's not hooked to the solar panel)?

u/thatyurt · 1 pointr/OffGrid

I’d look into the GoalZero products. We use a Yeti 400 battery for our off grid yurt (, along with 180W of solar to charge it. It takes around 6 hours of direct sun to charge, it seems. If you’re in AK or Canada in summer, sun obviously isn’t hard to come by.

I think our battery is 33ah, so if you’re trying to do big watt draws like a karaoke machine you might want one of their bigger batteries. We only use the 400 to run LED lights and charge computers.

The up front cost might seem intimidating, but it’s lithium and you get the convenience of a plug and play battery-inverter-controller all in one.

u/infinitewowbagger · 1 pointr/OffGrid

I like this book

I don't really use cookbooks much though, I just make it up as I go along.

u/GoneSilent · 1 pointr/OffGrid

here is a bigger version. the company that makes these is i have a 4kwh and 8kwh unit from them. tons of people just rebrand the same units.

u/tugrumpler · 2 pointsr/OffGrid

Menards has them for the same price. This is the female fitting with a 12ft hose and 3/8 pipe thread end. The hose is tough, I walk on mine.

The big heater comes with the male fitting installed. For the small heater you could remove the internal regulator & replace it with the male side of the kit and run it to an external regulator.

u/FraggedYourMom · 1 pointr/OffGrid

Be CAREFUL with Vruzend. Fuse every cell. I destroyed half my garage because I thought my tiny 36 cell packs (4s6p) was safe only being charged to 14v since it should have been safe up to 16.8v. Only takes one bad cell to screw up your life. I've decided it is no longer worth the effort to harvest 18650 batteries. The Renogy 100ah 12v ( ) for $214 is rated for 1100 cycles at 50% depth of discharge. There's the LifePo4 version for $800 which is rated at 7000 cycles but I ain't made of that kind of money.

u/boomin1 · 1 pointr/OffGrid

There are many battery conditioners that would most likely help your batteries. It is not a novice event. Most are 12v and would need to run about 20 hrs approx to break down the sulfate in the battery. If it were my system, I would disconnect every single battery and test. I am going to guess that there is a single bad battery with a single cell or 2 that is causing problems. Since the generator kicks on based on voltage, one single cell in one battery could be causing your problem.

To test, after disconnecting individual batteries they should all be reasonably close to the same voltage. Assuming they are 12v batteries each cell is 2V The batteries charged should be about 12.6 approx depending on the makeup. I am 95% sure that you will see one that is in the 10 zone. If you recondition that battery (if not able to be reconditioned replace that battery and you will be at worst back to original.

Back to the question of why does the generator kick on, it's because sulfate builds up on the plates of the batteries when the voltage drops. The battery conditioner breaks down the sulfate.

I bought that one years ago and it has been a great tool!

Source - owned an worldwide known auto customizing shop and have fought every 12v problem you can think of!

u/Wellas · 1 pointr/OffGrid

Really appreciate all your help.

I'd be interested to know what you think of this idea:

Get those same solar panels you linked, and instead of the LifePo batteries, charge controller, and inverter, wire the panels to this 1500wh all-in-one system on Amazon.

If I'm reading it right, I would end up with 900wh less of storage (because I would actually keep the second LifePo instead of selling it if I follow your original post), but I wouldn't have to wait weeks for it to come from China, and I wouldn't have to do any wiring after hooking up the solar panels. I'd basically just plug one very long power strip into each AC outlet on the unit, then mount those power strips where I want outlets in the van.

Your suggested system would be roughly $1,250 plus some tax, and hold 200ah of power, but would need more parts and wiring which is intimidating to me since I've never done anything remotely related, and I'm paranoid about things breaking or getting screwed up.

My version of your idea would cost me $1,520 plus tax, but it would be dead simple and everything besides the panels would be under the same warranty, and made by the same company. It would hold 125ah of energy, so 75ah less than your system. Hmm...

One question- do you happen to know if those all-in-ones can be charged from my car battery while I am driving? If so, I would be comfortable with the reduced capacity since I also have a 20ah battery bank as a backup. So, 400w solar + 125ah main battery + 20ah backup + ability to charge while driving = plenty for me, I believe.

Oh, one more question...the all-in-one I linked says the input for charging it is 16v-60v, but the panels you linked say 12v. Is that a real problem or can it be ignored?