New Tech Toy for Boondocking in Alaska + Video

We love boondocking in Alaska and we love technology.  That is why we were so excited to find the Goal Zero Yeti 400 and Nomad 20w Solar Panel on a recent trip to Costco.  It turns out that Goal Zero is showcasing their products by doing a traveling road show to Costcos around the nation.

Yeti 400 & Nomad 20w Solar Panel
Yeti 400 & Nomad 20w Solar Panel

There is the old saying when it comes to new gadgets, “Does it solve a common problem?”  In this case we have had a very real problem!

What we are working with…  We have a 1999 32′ Class A Allegro with two deep cycle house batteries and no other forms of renewable energy or power inversion.

Our 32' Class A Allegro.

We both work from home/RV and many of our favorite camping spots are boondocking in the middle of nowhere.  Keeping the computers charged was a real pain in the ass.  For two years we used the 4kw house generator to charge our computers, this worked great except it was loud and drank a lot of fuel.  Then we picked up a 2kw briefcase generator, this had better fuel economy and was a lot quieter.

We were still left with the problem of charging our computers while driving.  We had an inexpensive inverter that could be plugged into the 12v socket, but it would not charge a computer unless we ran it directly to a house battery.  I have thought about running the house generator while driving, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea, if you have any input about this please comment below.

Something had to give, we have some big trips planned and really need a way to keep the computers charged.  Although, our dream motorhome would be fully equipped with an integrated inverter and solar panels.  We are very thankful for what we have, even though our 1999 Allegro doesn’t have many of the modern gadgets built-in.

This is possibly our dream motorhome, Host 330.  4x4 diesel, winter insulated, 4 slides, etc..
This is possibly our dream motorhome, Host 330. 4×4 diesel, winter insulated, 4 slides, etc..

The last thing on my mind as I walked into Costco for groceries that day was dropping almost five hundred dollars on an electrical gadget.  Sometimes you need to jump on an opportunity!  Sitting on the main aisle was a display for Goal Zero with solar panels and these nifty little boxes of curiosity.  It didn’t take much to sell me on the idea, but I needed to know more about the product and if it would solve our problems.  And, it did!  The representative was very helpful and educated on their products.

Needless to say, I texted Rebecca about my Costco discovery and she was all in!  Ironically, she was in the motorhome working while running the house generator to keep her computer charged.

We will now be able to…

  • Charge our computers while driving!
  • Charge our computers while boondocking!
  • Recharge the Goal Zero Yeti 400 from solar power while boondocking or 12v while driving!
  • Not run the generator to do any of the above!
  • Save money on gas by not running the generator!

Check out our unboxing video and preview of the Yeti 400 and 20w Nomad Solar Panel.

Please stay tuned to find out how well the Goal Zero products hold up and if they really do solve our problem!

Goal Zero products are available on Amazon, but if you see them at Costco you will save money and get their awesome return policy if the product fails.  If you don’t have a Costco nearby I could almost justify spending the extra money to get it from Amazon, it is a really cool gadget.

Another cool feature about this solar panel is the USB charging port so you can charge your cell phone or small device off solar power without using the Yeti 400!

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