How to Live Off Grid in an RV in Alaska

Discover the ultimate guide on how to live off grid in an RV in Alaska with OffGridHarmony's in-depth article. Learn essential tips for choosing the right RV, finding ideal locations, preparing for harsh winters, sourcing water and food, and ensuring safety in the Alaskan wilderness. Perfect for adventurers seeking a self-reliant and serene lifestyle.

Living off the grid in an RV in Alaska can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The rugged Alaskan wilderness offers stunning beauty and solitude that is unmatched. However, the harsh conditions also make it one of the most challenging places in the world for off-grid RV living. Careful planning and preparation is required to live safely and comfortably off-grid in an RV in Alaska. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know, from deciding if this lifestyle is right for you, choosing the perfect RV, finding remote locations, preparing for winter, sourcing water and food, staying safe, and the pros and cons of off-grid RV life in Alaska. So let´s dive in and findout together How to Live Off Grid in an RV in Alaska!

Deciding if the Off-Grid RV Lifestyle is Right for You

Living off the grid in Alaska is not for everyone. Before committing to this lifestyle, take time to honestly assess if you can handle the challenges:

  • Ability to live without modern conveniences – There will be no running water, electricity, or other utilities unless you create them yourself. Are you able to live comfortably without the conveniences of modern life?
  • Comfort with isolation – Alaska’s remote locations mean you may go extended periods without seeing other people. Can you handle the solitude?
  • Limited access to supplies – You won’t have the ability to just run to a store when you need something. Are you okay with planning far in advance for needed supplies and food?

Carefully weighing your ability to handle these factors will determine if off-grid RV living in Alaska is right for you. Those who thrive in remote areas and don’t mind roughing it are the best candidates for this lifestyle.

Choosing the Right RV for Off-Grid Alaska Living

The harsh climate of Alaska means you need an RV that is durable, well-insulated, and designed specifically for cold weather. Key factors to consider when selecting an RV for off-grid living in Alaska include:

  • High-quality construction – Choose a rugged, long-lasting RV built with durable materials that can withstand the elements. Brands known for quality like Arctic Fox and Earthroamer are good options.
  • Insulation and heating ability – Your RV needs thick insulation and a strong heating system to handle sub-zero temperatures. Look for RVs specially built for winter camping.
  • Solar power – Equip your RV with robust solar panels and high-capacity batteries to live off-grid. At least 300 watts of solar power is recommended.
  • Backup generator – A diesel generator provides emergency power when needed. This can be a lifesaver during dark winter months.

Investing in a high-end RV designed specifically for off-grid use in Alaska gives you the best chance of living safely and comfortably off the grid.

Finding the Best Location in Alaska for Off-Grid RV Living

Alaska’s vast wilderness offers many options for stunningly beautiful yet remote locations to set up your off-grid RV. Ideal locations will have ample space for your RV, allow for long-term camping, and provide access to essentials like fresh water. Here are the best options to consider:

  • Public lands – There are millions of acres of secluded public lands across Alaska where you can camp long-term, including state parks and forests, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, and national parks and forests. Research options like Denali National Park, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, and Lake Clark National Park.
  • Private remote land – If you want to avoid having to move around, consider buying acreage or leasing long-term from a private landowner in rural Alaska. This gives you stability and freedom. Just be sure to factor in the cost.
  • Proximity to water – Locate your RV near an easily accessible fresh water source like a stream, lake, or river to collect and filter water.
  • Shelter from wind – Position your RV in a sheltered area, behind trees or hills if possible. This protects against harsh Alaskan winds.

With research and planning, you can find gorgeous yet functional public or private land for your Alaska off-grid RV adventure.

Preparing Your RV for Off-Grid Winter Living

Preparing your RV to handle Alaska winters is a must to live comfortably off-grid. Key steps include:

  • Install skirting – Skirting placed around the base of the RV reduces heat loss by preventing cold air from blowing underneath. UV-resistant vinyl skirting is a good option.
  • Insulate exposed pipes/tanks – Thoroughly insulate all water pipes, holding tanks, and water heater with heat tape and pipe insulation. This prevents freezing.
  • Add window insulation – Reflective insulation adhered to the inside of windows provides extra insulation power. Bubble wrap also works.
  • Seal doors/windows – Test all doors and windows for air leaks. Apply weather stripping and sealants to eliminate gaps. This prevents heat loss.
  • Install winter tires – Equip your RV with all-season or studded winter tires for safety and mobility in snow/ice. Chains may be needed at times.
  • Prepare for power outages – Have emergency lighting, warm clothing/blankets, and backup charging methods for devices in case your generator fails in winter.

Taking time to properly winterize and prepare your RV will allow you to live comfortably even when temperatures plunge well below zero.

Living Off the Grid – Sourcing Water, Food, etc.

In Alaska’s remote regions, you won’t have access to running water, electricity, grocery stores, or other conveniences and will need to become self-reliant. Here are some key tips for sourcing essential supplies:

  • Water – Collect rainwater or snowmelt in large tanks and disinfect using filters or purification tablets. Melting clean snow works too.
  • Food – Maintain a well-stocked pantry with shelf-stable foods like beans, rice, canned goods, dry goods, and freeze-dried meals.
  • Hunting/fishing – Game like moose, caribou, bear, and deer are abundant in Alaska. So are salmon, trout, and other fish. Take advantage of nature’s bounty. Just be sure to follow all regulations.
  • Foraging – Pick wild berries in summer and mushrooms in late summer/fall. Familiarize yourself with edible options.
  • Heating – Chop wood to heat your RV in winter and cook. Consider a wood or propane stove.
  • Electricity – Solar panels and wind turbines can generate power. A gas or diesel generator can provide backup electricity.
  • Internet – With limited electricity, a cell signal booster may be needed to access any available wireless internet networks.

Becoming skilled at obtaining and storing food, water, and power takes time but provides the ultimate in self-reliance and freedom.

Staying Safe and Healthy in Remote Alaska

While the solitude of Alaska’s wilderness offers an unparalleled adventure, safety must also be carefully considered when living remotely:

  • Communication – Invest in a satellite phone or high-power walkie talkies. These provide a lifeline to the outside world for help in emergencies when cell networks are unavailable.
  • Emergency supplies – Always have well-stocked first aid kids, extra food/water, warm blankets, flares, and other critical emergency gear on hand. Being prepared for the worst is essential.
  • Know your neighbors – Make an effort to meet and develop relationships with any nearby rural neighbors or remote lodges. This provides critical support network.
  • Protection – Bear spray, fences, and warning systems can help avoid unwanted encounters with Alaska’s bears. Guns may also be carried responsibly for protection from wildlife when permitted.
  • Medical plans – Identify the nearest hospital, clinic, and evacuation points. Also consider emergency medical training. Have a planned air transport option for medical emergencies.

With caution and planning, the Alaska wilderness can be enjoyed safely even by those living remotely off the grid. Just be prepared.

The Benefits and Challenges of Off-Grid RV Living in Alaska

Here are some key benefits and challenges to weigh when considering the off-grid RV lifestyle in Alaska:


  • Complete freedom and lack of ties to modern society
  • No rent, mortgage or property taxes to pay
  • Breathtaking natural beauty and endless adventure
  • Ability to live a peaceful, minimalist lifestyle close to nature
  • Opportunity to develop essential skills like hunting and foraging
  • A chance to truly get away from it all


  • Total self-reliance required for food, water, power
  • Cost of RV, solar setup, land can be prohibitive
  • Loneliness and isolation, especially in winter
  • Brutal climates and sub-zero temperatures
  • Bears, moose, and other dangerous wildlife to contend with
  • Transportation is difficult on remote roads
  • Lack of medical care nearby is a safety risk

Weighing these factors will determine if you have the resources and temperament to take on the difficult yet rewarding challenge of living off the grid in an RV in Alaska.

Finding Community and Meeting People While Off-Grid

One major challenge of off-grid living in Alaska is the potential for loneliness and isolation. However, there are ways to find community and connect with others while maintaining your off-grid lifestyle:

  • Join RVing groups – There are RVing groups and organizations specifically for people living off-grid. Consider joining to meet like-minded individuals.
  • Make friends online – While internet may be limited, use sites like Instagram and Facebook to connect with the off-grid community in Alaska and beyond.
  • Volunteer – Look for opportunities to volunteer locally when you come to town for supplies. This is a great way to do good and meet people.
  • Get a part-time job – Consider taking on part-time or seasonal remote work that allows you to interact with others while still living off-grid.
  • Host travelers – If located on private land, think about hosting other RV travelers or campers on your property to socialize and earn income.
  • Check bulletin boards – Stop into local shops when in town and check boards for community events or groups.
  • Visit neighbors – Get acquainted with any nearby off-grid homesteaders or rural neighbors. They can provide both friendship and assistance.
  • Explore local communities – When going to town for essential trips, take time to explore and patronize local businesses.

With creativity and effort, the isolation of the Alaska wilderness can be balanced with finding community. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Handling RV Maintenance and Repairs Remotely

RVs require regular maintenance and occasional repairs even under ideal circumstances. Handling issues yourself in Alaska’s remote regions is essential. Useful tips include:

  • Keep spare parts like filters, bulbs, fuses, and seals on hand
  • Bring an ample tool kit with supplies for minor repairs
  • Learn DIY skills like electrical, plumbing, and appliance repair
  • Join RV community forums to ask for advice if needed
  • Make friends with neighborly mechanics before issues occur
  • Use satellite internet and videos for DIY tutorials as needed
  • Know when an issue is beyond your skill level and requires evacuation
  • Build a network of trusted mobile RV technicians to call
  • Plan a week-long trip to a shop annually for a deep maintenance check
  • Take immaculate care of your RV to prevent issues from arising

Having the skills and resources to troubleshoot problems immediately prevents small issues from becoming major breakdowns when living remotely off-grid.

Considering an Off-Grid Home Base in Alaska

Some off-grid RV dwellers in Alaska find it beneficial to set up a more permanent home base location they can return to while still having the freedom to explore with their RV.

Potential options for establishing a home base include:

  • Buy raw land and level a gravel pad with utility hookups for parking the RV long-term when not traveling. This gives you a stable place to return.
  • Rent or lease long-term space in an RV park with utility hookups so you don’t have to boondock the entire time. Some parks offer monthly rates.
  • Make an arrangement to store your RV securely on someone else’s rural property for free or a fee when it’s not in use.
  • Secure a long-term storage unit for your RV where it’s protected from the elements when parked for extended periods.
  • Build a basic structure like a shed or tiny cabin at your campsite location to use for storage, shelter, and supplemental living space.

Having a designated home base provides the stability of a permanent residence without sacrificing the freedom of RV living. It gives you the best of both worlds.


Living off the grid in an RV in Alaska’s remote wilderness offers the ultimate adventure for those seeking freedom, solitude, and a minimalist lifestyle close to nature. However, this rewarding way of life also comes with significant challenges. Survival in Alaska’s harsh conditions requires meticulous preparation, self-reliance, resilience, skills for securing food/water/power, and careful safety precautions. The costs of purchasing or leasing remote land and a specially equipped RV suitable for Alaska are also substantial. While not for everyone, for rugged individuals able to live comfortably off the land, embrace isolation, and handle Alaska’s brutal winters, off-grid RV living provides an unparalleled experience. With thorough research, careful planning, quality equipment, and the right temperament, the Alaska wilderness can become your off-grid home, offering you independence and tranquility far from the strains of modern society. Just be ready to take on all the responsibility for your own survival and well-being that this solitary yet immensely liberating lifestyle demands.

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