How to Set Up an Off-Grid Office while RVing
Tips for climate control, powering devices, and planning for reliable internet!

By: Tiffany Forrest

If the idea of working a full-time desk job while adventuring around the country in the comfort of an RV sounds intriguing and magnificent, but impossible, this article is for you. I’m Tiffany Forrest, a long-term RVer along with my husband, Steve, our three-year-old son, Noah, and our two-year-old Husky, West. My husband and I work two full-time desk jobs while traveling in our 200-square-foot 2018 Winnebago View 24D, and we do it all completely off-grid. 

We bought our rig back in 2021 and spent the next three years learning how to make working from the road not only realistic, but easy and comfortable. It’s my pleasure to distill it all down for you here and help make the dream a reality for you as well! Let’s dive in …

Managing Power & Climate Control

First, climate control is very important when you’re running sensitive electrical equipment like routers, computers, and monitors. Either you’ll need to become an expert at chasing mild weather, or you’ll need an inverter and batteries powerful enough to sustain heat or A/C alongside your work setup. 

We upgraded our system from a 1000W inverter to a 3000W inverter (the Xantrex Freedom XC Pro 3000), replaced our single lead battery with two lightweight lithium batteries (2x Enduro Power 12V 200Ah LiFePO4), and added 800W of solar to the roof. The only thing we didn’t upgrade was our propane generator. 

With the new electrical system, we’re able to run A/C or an electric heater, our internet, and both workstations comfortably (with wattage to spare), and we’re able to charge both batteries from near 0% to 100% in under four hours with our generator. Of course, we never run our batteries down that much, but charge time is important for propane conservation. So, logistically I’m very glad we can get three or four full charges from one tank of propane. 

In the event we do run out of propane, and cannot locate a nearby fill station, we have a one-gallon backup gas generator (Honda EU2200ITAN 2200W Inverter Generator) and a gas tank we can transport easily for refilling. 

Disclaimer: The onboard electrical upgrades listed require a total electrical overhaul, so definitely have them done by a professional. Any modifications you make to your RV are at your own risk.

Planning for Reliable Internet

Next up: internet. Our desk jobs require us to be connected all day. Steve works eight-hour shifts, constantly participating in video meetings and phone calls, and I work five-hour shifts. Our highest priority when RVing off-grid is to camp in the most beautiful places we can find, so it would be utterly counterproductive to limit ourselves to areas with fast Wi-Fi or strong cell service. This is why we swear by—absolutely swear by!—Starlink satellite internet. 

With Starlink, we have high-speed internet access, even in the most remote places. The only limitation is that we must have a clear view of the sky, but even this has only been an issue during extreme storms or at heavily wooded campsites. 

Because our jobs lean so heavily on high-speed internet access, and we can’t risk interruptions in any scenario, we have network-based mobile internet as a backup. Luckily, a lot of cellular providers offer “hot spot” style plug-and-play devices with affordable data plans. With Starlink and a backup cellular hot spot device, we’re connected anywhere there’s open sky or a cell tower in the vicinity!

Read more about helpful gear for working from the road in this article.

Balancing Focus & Fun

Finally, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of scheduling. With both of us working so many hours each week, how do we actually get out and experience the beauty of off-grid adventuring? This will vary job to job and person to person, but here’s how it works for us …

Steve has strict work hours every day, while my schedule is more flexible, and we both have Saturdays and Sundays off. With a three-year-old and a young Husky in tow, we structured things so that I work mornings, and Steve works from noon until nine at night. This way, one of us is always on top of the parental duties while the other is able to work mostly uninterrupted. 

We installed some removable sound dampening blankets around the dinette (our shared workspace) to separate it from the rest of the RV and help it feel more office-like. We haven’t had to utilize the blankets often, but when we do, they work great! On weekdays, Steve can explore with Noah and West while I work, and then we swap at noon. 

Saturday mornings are for packing up and moving to the next location. We’ve committed never to drive more than a few hours between spots so that we have most of Saturday and all of Sunday to set up and enjoy our new surroundings together as a family. National Forest sites are the best because we can typically stay up to 14 days, giving us even more time to explore in one spot.

All of this might seem a bit crammed on paper, but living it out long enough for the structure and habits to settle in has allowed the rhythm, spontaneity, and satisfaction of it all to become our comfortable norm. The adventure is ever-unfolding, even while at work. I can look from my computer screen to the dinette window and find a desert, a river, an ocean, the mountains—whatever we’ve decided to see that day. It’s a beautiful thing, and that’s why we do it.

Final Thoughts on Working While Traveling in an RV

If this helped, and you feel even more motivated to hit the road with your work, congratulations and welcome to the community of traveling desk-jobbers! We’re happy to have you! 

And a quick word of encouragement to anyone in search of a desk job that they can take on the road. The pandemic caused a slew of remote positions to open up in marketing, customer service, and sales, as companies restructured to cope with quarantine. Many of those positions are still, and will remain, remote. The job Steve has now was not remote prior to 2020, so don’t give up the hunt! 

Thanks for reading, and happy adventuring! You can follow our adventures on Instagram @tifforelie!


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