Best DC-DC Chargers and Battery Isolators for Vanlife (How to Charge Your Van While Driving)

Having electricity in your van is just plain awesome. It means you can live completely off the grid with lights, a fridge, phones and computers – all while not worrying about electric bills or power outages.

Many vandwellers install solar power in their rigs. But sometimes solar just isn’t enough – especially if your budget doesn’t allow you to throw down for a huge multi-panel system. 

Cloudy weather, wildfire smoke, and camping in shady forests can limit the amount of sunlight getting to your panels, leaving you scrambling for adequate sun to recharge your depleting batteries. Even with our larger 400W system we’ve run into problems with battery drain after about 4-5 days in poor sunlight conditions.

That’s why we highly recommend setting up your campervan electrical system to charge your batteries from your van’s alternator while you’re driving.

Charging from your alternator is a great way to supplement your solar panels and make sure your batteries stay topped off no matter the weather. And if you’re on a tight budget, you can even skip the solar and still have basic electricity in your DIY van build.

Life on the road means a fair amount of driving, and having the ability to charge your batteries while driving is essential for vanlife.

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