Chloe and Talib's Top 10 Must Have Products for Off-Grid Living

Chloe and Talib's Top 10 Must Have Products for Off-Grid Living

'For us, the pure joy of campervaning is doing it off-grid style, whether for a weekend or full time, it's all about getting to those off-grid locations and being surrounded by nature. A few products can really help achieve this beautiful way of living in comfort and ease.'

You may be starting your journey of off-grid living or be a seasoned veteran, but wherever you fall, it is always nice to hear about other peoples' journeys, stories and recommendations. Indigo & Olive have warmly curated this list of must have products for their style of off-grid living, so take a look inside for some inspiration!

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Chloe and Talib
Campervan Conversion, Travel and Photography
  • Victron Energy
    Lithium Battery

    Chloe and Talib

    Lithium batteries are top of the market for battery storage and can be depleted by roughly 95% (in comparison to AGM where you can only use 50% of your batteries capacity). They are also a lot smaller and lighter, giving you room to add more and have a really powerful off-grid setup. 

    Although they are more expensive, their life span is up to three times as long as AGM batteries too, making them cost-effective in the long run. In our conversions we make use of the space under the passenger seats to store our batteries, also offering them some ventilation, just make sure you secure them with a strap and don't spill anything onto them.
  • Giandel
    Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter

    Chloe and Talib

    So you've been charging your batteries (in a number of ways, for example with solar or a voltage-sensitive relay) and you are now to use that power for your appliances: just like you would in a house, you need an inverter to convert that power from a DC current to an AC current. 

    This particular inverter is affordable and reliable, it allows you to plug appliances straight into it, which is great if you want to save the hassle of wiring in extra plug sockets around the van. It also tells you your current battery levels. You don't need an inverter if you only plan to charge things through USB ports, but we often find there is something that needs to be plugged in. 

    The only downfall of inverters is that they consume energy from the battery to convert that power, so you do have some energy loss. This product also comes with a switch which you could install somewhere that is more accessible in your van.
  • Propex Malaga
    5E Electric LPG Gas Water Storage Heater

    Chloe and Talib

    A good water heater that allows you to heat energy in a multitude of ways is preferable for off-grid living, say you're low on power and it's been a cloudy week but want to use the shower, it's great to be able to flip a switch and heat water through the gas. 

    This heater allows you to do just that. It takes less than 10 mins to heat water to a good temperature for a quick shower or washing up. The user manual is really easy to manoeuvre should any problems come up, which are shown by a red flashing light on the dial. 

    Like all heaters, it's worth considering that you do have to vent it which means cutting a hole in the van, so you may want a professional to do this unless you're confident.
  • Seaflo
    Pressurised Accumulator Tank & Water System Pump

    Chloe and Talib

    We've used these small pumps and accumulators countless times and we've never had a problem - they're really easy to install in line with your freshwater tank. 

    The accumulator is installed next to the pump and makes sure that it has a steady flow and stops the pumps from continuously priming, which improves the product's life span.
  • Thetford
    Porta Potty

    Chloe and Talib

    We find these Thetford portaloo's really handy for van life, high enough to feel comfortable to sit on and easy enough to store away (in a cupboard or the shower as they are waterproof). 

    They can be flushed, easily cleaned and they're pretty discrete to empty - you simply detach the lid from a handheld cassette at the bottom (like a little suitcase) and tip through a pipe into the nearest toilet. 

    We love the idea of compost toilets, but other than the fact that they are very expensive, we don't feel like the advantages of such a system (turning waste into compost) can be achieved by using bin liners and emptying into general waste facilities.
  • Lighting Innovations
    LED Spotlights

    Chloe and Talib

    Something small that can make a big difference in a camper is light, these very low power LEDs are easy to install by simply drilling the correct size hole into your ceiling and they look really smart. We attach a dimmer to ours so you can control the output with a remote from the bed. 

    The only problem we have found is that the connections aren't super strong so will need re-enforcing with tape or creating a permanent connection, it's worth doing this before installation is complete and the wiring becomes hard to access. 

    However, if this does happen - or they break - you can detach by pulling the spotlight down, disconnecting and swapping for a new one. In this way perhaps reinforcing is best unless you're happy to start over.
  • Dometic

    Chloe and Talib

    This is one of the most energy-efficient fridges for campervans you can find, available in many sizes to suit you. We've found that fridges can end up draining your power so it's really worth choosing wisely. 

    It comes with cool features such as USB, Bluetooth and the option to take out with you for the day. It does, however, need to be bolted down from underneath for travel and as it's a fridge (and is usually installed close to the floor) the bolts make it difficult to get in and out when it comes to it. 

    The lid also opens from the top which is really handy if you have a good draw design on heavy-duty rollers, just make sure your cupboards are big enough and there is enough space to fully pull out in order to open the lid.
  • LG
    Solar Panel

    Chloe and Talib

    Solar energy is getting better all the time. LG have great 365 watt panels that are really efficient and pretty easy to install straight to the roof. They could be screwed through the roof or bolted to a roof rack (this way they can be taken off more easily). 

    Anything that we install through the body goes through a process to future proof the object as long as possible. Any raw metal where paint has come off is treated, holes are surrounded by butyl tape and/or silicone and thorough leak tests are made by spraying a higher power hose once they have dried. Make sure you do this before you cover up your ceiling or windows from inside.
  • Easyfit
    Universal Bolt on Tank Kit

    Chloe and Talib

    We always source our gas bottles from GASIT, although be aware to check the contents of each delivery, things are sometimes a miss - they do, however always replace any missing items. 

    We chose this company for the range of options: we like to go for underslung gas bottles as it feels safer and gets them out of the way. The hookup points are smart and it's a much easier alternative to fill up at a gas station rather than find a shop (especially whilst travelling). 

    We would also add an internal gas dial to show how much gas is left, so you never have to unexpectantly run out. We find a 15L bottle provides you enough for 6-8 weeks of cooking with a gas hob and oven. Remember if you are installing through the floor this is one of the first things to complete on your van build. 

    You must also spray the bottles with bitumen or the warranty is invalid. You can also choose electric or manual, we usually go for manual because
  • Spinflo
    Duplex Caravan and Motorhome Oven Grill

    Chloe and Talib

    To really make your vanlife experience feel like home, an oven really tops things off. These LPG gas-powered ovens are super lightweight, easy to install and make some great crispy sweet potato wedges! 

    You do have to pay attention to the instructions of installation to make sure that the cupboard you are fitting it into has enough ventilation and an adequate surface area to support the oven. We always get a gas certificate from a certified engineer for peace of mind. 

    Remember this is just an oven, so you'll need a separate hob for frying.

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