idea: circling the wagons (around a generator)

[This would be a “shower thought” if I had easy access to hot showers.  :-)  The idea here is to spur imagination rather than to propose any particular actual business model.  ]

A half dozen like-minded individuals travel together, following mild weather. They share the output of an inverter generator.  

People are already spending money to make power off-grid, whether that expenditure is running the van engine, running a genny, prepaying for power with solar, etc.  How might they outsource power generation to reduce cost and/or effort?

first-hour power sharing

In the first hour of daily runtime each van gets exclusive use of the generator’s output for a short period of time;  let’s say 10 minutes, since that gets all 6 campers serviced in one hour.

Their extension cord is plugged directly into the genny outlet and they run their electric coffeemaker, microwave, bulk charger, water heater or whatever else they want.   This blast would provide maximum charging current to about

  • 430Ah of AGM at C/3

  • 720Ah of FLA at C/5

  • 300Ah of Lithium at C/2, although slower charging is typically better for Li


subsequent power sharing

After the first hour the campers share the output through a breaker box.  Each circuit in the box is 3A (360w), enough to run normal loads and charge battery banks. 

Our bank has already received a maximal charging blast during the first hour, but this smaller 360w share would meet minimum charging current requirements for 

  • ~150Ah of AGM at C/5

  • ~300Ah of FLA at C/10

  • any amount of Lithium, since it doesn’t care about minimum charging rates


The genny is taken offline for a few hours each week for maintenance:  air filter, oil change, spark plug, etc.  



Our group of nomads might pitch in and buy the genny and related materials together, and rotate the provision o fuel, oil, etc.   Owners might sell their share if they leave the group, or “lease”  their share to someone for short periods if they don’t need the power.   One might split the power at the receiving end  if one didn’t need all the 15A/3A allotment.

Maintenance duties might rotate. 

private ownership

A more likely scenario is ownership by an individual, who provides access to power in return for payment, goods or services.  One can imagine power being provided in exchange for food/water,  internet, transportation, etc.

Note:  commercial activity on public lands typically requires a permit.  I don’t know how barter would fit into that. 


The owner could provide a breaker slot for charity, or maybe the generous would share their chunk of the power at their end.  


other variants 

  • solar power - possibly with kW pricing, and maybe production-based pricing.

  • solar + generator.  Maybe the genny and related gear is towed in a cargo trailer that is maximally configured with panel.  

  • internet

  • water - a 500gal water buffalo trailer dispensing water at $.50/gal.  It would be twice as much as kiosk water but half as much as jugged water.