Getting Power On The Road, At The Park, And Up The Mountain - Van Life With Doug Neill Episode #2

Getting Power On The Road, At The Park, & Up The Mountain

An essential piece to long-term road trips and van-dwelling is power.

While I love the idea of getting big solar panels for the roof of my van that charge a large generator permanently installed inside of it, I’m starting small instead so that I can have the flexibility to take the setup into parks to work for the day and maybe even on backpacking trips for multi-day adventures and video-making.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Solar Kit - Doug Neill Van Life Episode #2

The setup I’ve chosen is the Goal Zero Sherpa 100 pack, which includes the Nomad 20 solar panel and the Sherpa 100 power pack with inverter attachment for wall-outlet-style power.

The primary use for this setup is to charge my phone, iPad, and Macbook. I do a lot of video editing on the laptop, which can drain the battery fairly quickly, so having a solar-powered recharging system sounds great to me.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Power Pack - Van Life With Doug Neill Episode #2

The phone and tablet can be charged directly from the panel or from the power pack, since each has a USB connection.

To charge my laptop I have to go through the power pack AND the inverter, which results in a decent amount of energy loss, but I might be able to find a converter to make use of the direct-to-laptop power output with my Macbook (looks like this might do the trick).

Power At The Park! - Van Life With Doug Neill Episode #2

I had a blast testing out the setup in Elijah Bristow State Park (close to where I grew up), and I’m already looking forward to future use of it!

Here’s to harnessing the power of the sun.

Till next time,


August 10th, 2016

Pleasant Hill, Oregon