Oliver

Who is ShopSolarKits.com & Are They Legit?

Who is ShopSolarKits.com & Are They Legit?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

While we typically focus on reviewing individual parts & pieces of solar equipment and complete solar kits, it is also worth taking the time to examine some of the leading solar retailers. This is down to the fact that part of becoming a more informed solar enthusiast is knowing where to purchase the latest pieces of equipment.

There is more to ordering solar equipment than simply searching for the lowest prices. While solar equipment should be seen as an investment, it still tends to come with a hefty upfront cost, so finding a retailer that you can trust to deliver your solar equipment in proper working condition is critical.

Not only do you want to make sure that you are ordering from a retailer that can be trusted to safely package your equipment and reliably deliver it on time, it is important that you are buying from a company that will offer flexible and on-going support after your products have been delivered.

Honest ShopSolarKits.com Review

That takes us onto the topic of ShopSolarKits.com. The online retailer has quickly grown to become one of the largest in the solar industry, but you might not have heard of them before. If you are looking to learn a little bit more about this company before you purchase one of their solar kits, you’re in the right place.

We will explain who this company is, what sets them apart, and offer our overall impression on whether or not they are a reliable and trustworthy online solar retailer. We will also dig into some customer reviews and try to determine if the pros of shopping through ShopSolarKits.com outweigh the cons.

According to their website, ShopSolarKits.com was launched in 2018. During the last 4+ years, they have managed to become one of the nation’s top retailers for ready-made solar kits. They are based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, which might explain why they are involved in the solar industry. After all, what better place to take advantage of solar power than one of the nation’s sunniest states?

They also claim that their entire team is extremely knowledgeable on all things solar, as they are all solar enthusiasts themselves. Given that they publish a tremendous amount of solar content on their website and their dedicated YouTube Channel, it makes sense that they are passionate about the products that they sell.

As the name suggests, the company specializes in pre-assembled solar kits, but they also sell individual solar components, such as solar generators, charge controllers, solar panels, and more. Essentially, they specialize in DIY solar power systems.

What is The Brand Mission for ShopSolarKits.com?

ShopSolarKits.com claims that their mission is to make solar simple. Fortunately, this mission statement does not seem to be just empty words or hollow branding. The truth is, ShopSolarKits.com really does seem committed to the goal of making solar as accessible as possible.

This is evidenced by the abundance of solar resources they offer on their website. Straightforward assembly guides, impartial product reviews, and simple solar calculation tools are all really useful for those that are just getting started in the world of solar. They rarely use complicated terminology when describing their products and, instead, favor clear and concise information that is easy to understand.

We also really like that their pre-assembled solar kits are incredibly beginner-friendly. Not only do they contain everything you would need to get started, including all of the solar cables, connectors, and installation brackets required to get the system up and running, they even package their kits with custom setup guides and wiring diagrams!

What Does ShopSolarKits.com Sell?

As mentioned, ShopSolarKits.com specializes in user-friendly DIY solar kits. Their solar kits range in size and power capabilities. Their solar generator kits are ideal for RV enthusiasts, van lifers, campers, and emergency preparedness. On the other hand, their whole home solar kits allow users to completely transform their home into a fully off-grid or grid-tied solar hub.

Basically, you can find a solar kit that will fulfill just about any need by browsing their online storet. Not only are these ready-made solar kits convenient, they take the confusion out of building your own solar power system. They allow users to quickly, easily, and affordably embrace solar technology, which aligns perfectly with their brand mission.

For those that are just looking for individual pieces of solar equipment, either as an upgrade for an underperforming component within an existing system, or to expand their system’s current capabilities, they also sell components separate from their kits. These items are sold at competitive prices and ShopSolarKits.com will also package them with their incredibly useful digital setup guides.

So, Why Choose ShopSolarKits.com?

Given their incredibly rapid growth, we figured ShopSolarKits.com must be doing something right. It turns out we were correct, as they offer the following:

High-Quality Products and Practical Solar Kits

For starters, we found ourselves really impressed with the solar kits ShopSolarKits.com offers. We can’t think of an easier way to get started in the world of solar than buying a complete kit that comes pre-packaged with everything you need to get started. These kits don’t just come with everything you need, they also contain high-quality components from some of the most trusted manufacturers in the industry.

Impressive Customer Service

We are also really impressed with the quality of their customer service. ShopSolarKits.com claims to have “legendary” customer service, which may seem like a bit of a stretch, but after testing their customer service line, we have to admit we were really impressed. We were able to contact a live customer service representative who was both pleasant to deal with and surprisingly knowledgeable.

Our own experience was also backed up by what we were able to glean from reading customer reviews.

Reliable Shipping Services

When placing an order through ShopSolarKits.com, the shipping process is refreshingly informative. You are kept in the loop about delivery estimates and everything seems to arrive in a timely manner.

What really impressed us is the way ShopSolarKits.com packages their products for delivery. Far too many online retailers simply toss their solar products in a nondescript box and send it off for delivery. Solar equipment can be incredibly delicate, especially when you are dealing with glass-covered solar panels. Ordering from a company that uses proper packaging and padding is really important when you are investing so much money into your solar equipment.

Competitive Prices and Regular Promotions

Not only are their pre-assembled solar kits convenient, they offer outstanding value. By packaging components together, the products are cheaper than they would be if you purchased them separately.

Not only are their prices competitive, ShopSolarKits.com regularly offers special promotions and discount codes, so you can really save some money by regularly checking their Special Promotions Page. Remember, the codes are updated on a regular basis, so make sure you check for relevant discount codes before you buy.

Pros & Cons for ShopSolarKits.com

While there is certainly a lot that impressed us about ShopSolarKits.com, they are not perfect. To make things easy, we have come up with our pros and cons list for this popular online solar retailer:

Pros:

Cons:

The Verdict: Is ShopSolarKits.com Legit?

As you can see from the list above, the pros for ShopSolarKits.com certainly outweigh the cons. While no online retailer is ever going to be perfect, we believe ShopSolarKits.com is an impressive and trustworthy solar company.

Not only is it a great place for beginners to shop, they also offer the latest and most advanced pieces of solar equipment, so it is also a practical retailer for experienced solar enthusiasts.

Their customer service and after-sale support are what impressed us the most about ShopSolarKits.com. We would feel far more comfortable recommending our readers use their website, rather than some of the sketchy third-party sellers you see on websites like Amazon and Alibaba. Even amongst dedicated solar retailers, ShopSolarKits.com really seems to stand out, which explains their rapid growth and rising popularity.

Overall, we believe ShopSolarKits.com is a legit company that offers an outstanding range of custom solar kits and DIY solar equipment. Along with better customer service & reviews than almost anyone else.

Finally, Some Real Customer Reviews...

Rather than just take our word for it, let’s take a look at some customer reviews and testimonials.

According to customer reviews, ShopSolarKits.com has an aggregate rating of 4.8/5, which is obviously impressive. Below, you will find some reviews we chose to highlight, but you can actually view over 1,700 customer reviews for yourself by visiting the ShopSolarKits.com Testimonials Page

Customer Reviews:

“Everything came quickly and in good shape. Have not set up the panels yet, but the generator works exactly as advertised. The videos on their website are great!”
- Gayle W.
“I ordered a solar panel set during the height of the supply chain shortage. The company kept me updated on when to expect delivery with regular emails. When they arrived, the panels were exactly as advertised, well packaged, and arrived in perfect condition. What more could one ask for?”
- Glenn H.
“Quick shipping and answers to questions. The generator and panels are great and worked well without problems. Very happy with the product and with ShopSolarKits!”
- James S.
“Ordering process was really easy. The solar kit came in a very timely manner and I was notified of every shipment and delivery date. Very impressed.”
- Randy R.

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EG4 GyLL Lithium Server Rack Battery Review & Viable Alternatives – Find the Best Power Storage Solution

EG4 GyLL Lithium Server Rack Battery Review & Viable Alternatives – Find the Best Power Storage Solution

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 6
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 4
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 5

Table of Contents

Whether you are planning to build an off-grid solar power system that can supply power to a full-sized house, or you just need a smaller-scale system for emergencies and blackouts, one of the most important components in your entire system will be your battery bank.

Without an appropriately sized battery bank, you will have no way of storing the electricity that your solar panels are able to generate. This would mean that all of your efforts would be meaningless the second the sunset, or even if it was just a cloudy day.

While the need for deep-cycle, rechargeable solar batteries is fairly obvious, the problem is there are so many options on the market today. While competition between battery manufacturers can be beneficial for consumers, as it helps keep prices low and quality high, it can also make it difficult to choose the appropriate deep-cycle battery for your specific system.

How Can We Help?

Today, we are going to take an in-depth look at the EG4 GyLL Lithium Server Rack Battery, which is available through Signature Solar. This will allow us to determine whether or not this popular battery actually offers good value and reasonable performance.

After exploring what this battery has to offer and providing our overall opinion of it, we will take a look at some viable alternatives, which will help you explore your options. After reading through this straightforward guide, you will have a much better understanding of your power storage options.

What is the EG4 GyLL Server Rack LiFePO4 Battery?

The EG4 GyLL Server Rack Battery was designed to offer consumers a versatile lithium-ion LiFePO4 battery in a convenient server rack design. While there is a lot to like about these batteries, one of the most common complaints you will hear is how they are constantly listed as being out of stock.

With that being said, the battery has an impressive capacity rating of 5,120Wh, or 5.12kWh, which means a single battery can store a significant amount of power. A 48V 100Ah power rating means that this battery is useful for a wide range of solar and non-solar applications. If you just want to use a single battery, you could easily store enough power for emergency purposes; however, where this battery really shines is how easy it is to expand your total storage capacity by wiring multiple batteries together.

As a server rack-style battery, users have the option to insert the battery into any telecom cabinet-style rack. This means you can easily stack the batteries on top of each other, without having to worry about taking up too much floor space.

What Do We Like About the EG4 Server Rack Battery?

Impressive Storage Capacity:

As mentioned, the storage capacity for a single battery is very respectable. Typically, when you purchase a standard deep-cycle solar battery, like the Lion Energy Safari Lithium-Ion Solar Battery, you can expect a storage capacity of around 1,300Wh, which really puts the EG4 Server Rack Battery’s 5,120Wh capacity into perspective.

The EG4’s impressive storage capacity is thanks to the fact that it contains a 16-pack of high-quality LiFePO4 cells. These are the latest lithium cells, so not only can they store a significant amount of power relative to their size and weight, they should last for many years, which brings us to the next thing we like about these batteries.

Long-Lasting Lifespan:

When you purchase the EG4 Server Rack Battery, you get a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, which is fairly impressive, especially when you consider the fact that most solar batteries only come with a 1 or 2-year warranty.

They are able to offer this relatively lengthy warranty because, as mentioned, the battery contains LiFePO4 lithium cells, which are known for their reliability and long-lasting lifespan. As we will explain in greater detail, the lithium cells are also protected by a built-in Battery Management System. Given that the battery was designed to last between 10 and 20 years, it is a safe bet that you will be able to use the battery on a daily basis for many years.

Built-in Battery Management System:

The next thing we like about this battery is its built-in Growatt Battery Management System. This integrated Battery Management System prevents over-charging issues, as well as a whole host of other issues that can leave unprotected batteries susceptible to permanent damage. While you will still need to connect the battery to a charge controller, this added layer of protection should help your battery last for much longer than it could if it was not protected.

What is New About the Delta Max?

While the Delta Max features an incredibly capable MPPT charge controller and an efficient power inverter, we have come to expect these features from an EcoFlow solar generator. What excites us about the Delta Max is some of the new features:

The 100A internal Battery Management System monitors voltage, current, and temperature ratings, so it is fairly effective at protecting the battery. It even runs regular health management checks, which assess the overall performance of the battery and ensure everything is running as it should.

Without the integrated Battery Management System, it is unlikely that they would be able to support this battery with a 5-year warranty, so it is certainly a welcome addition.

Stress-Free Expandability:

Finally, we are big fans of the rack-mountable design, as it makes it easy to expand your battery bank without having to take up too much space. The batteries are designed to slide into a rack, so you can easily stack them on top of each other.

While Signature Solar sells a 6-slot enclosed battery rack that was specifically designed for the EG4 Server Rack Battery, it comes with a price tag of $599.00, which is very expensive for such a simple racking system. With that being said, the cabinet-style design is very discreet, so it can be a good option if your budget allows for it.

Not only can the batteries be stacked inside a rack, which is great for storage purposes, you have the option to connect up to 16 batteries at a time. Given the battery’s 5.12kWh capacity, this means you have the potential to build a power storage system with a total capacity of 81.92kWh! While this level of storage capacity would be incredible, it does take us to our biggest criticism of this battery – they are incredibly difficult to come by.

What We Don’t Like About the EG4 Server Rack Battery

As mentioned above, there are serious supply issues with these batteries. They are almost always listed as being out of stock. Even when you are lucky enough to have the chance to place an order, shipping is often delayed for lengthy stretches of time. Obviously, it can be a real hassle if you are waiting months on one of the most important components of your solar power system.

While they certainly have their advantages, these batteries also come with a fairly hefty price tag. At nearly $2,000 for a single battery, you need to be prepared to spend a significant sum if you are planning to fill a storage rack with batteries.

Another thing we do not like is that the basic model of this battery does not feature a built-in LCD display screen, which is becoming a bit of an industry standard for batteries that have this level of storage capacity. Without a display screen, it is difficult to assess any issues you are having with the battery. It also means that you will have to purchase a monitor separately, or connect a laptop, which can be a bit of a hassle.

We also noticed that the EG4 does not feature vents on the sides or rear of the battery. While the built-in Battery Management System should prevent over-heating issues, we can’t help but think the battery could handle more intense demands if it featured a few vents and an internal fan.

What is Our Overall Impression of the EG4 GyLL Server Rack Batter?

Overall, we believe this is a very capable battery that certainly has a lot to offer. It could easily be a practical and dependable power storage solution for any grid-tied or off-grid solar power system; however, we just cannot see past the supply issues. The truth is, it is difficult for us to recommend any piece of solar equipment when consumers will likely face a frustrating and time-consuming ordering experience.

Given that there are several reputable deep-cycle battery manufacturers that offer similar products, but do not have the same supply-chain issues, we would probably steer clear of the GyLL Server Rack Battery, unless, of course, you are able to order one with a guaranteed delivery date. Hopefully these supply issues resolve themselves in the near future, but until then, we would probably recommend looking elsewhere.

For More Information:

If you would more detail about what this battery has to offer, consider watching the following video review from David Poz’s YouTube channel: Testing and Reviewing the GyLL LiFePO4 Battery.

What are the Alternatives to the EG4 GyLL Server Rack Battery?

Given the EG4 GyLL Server Rack Battery’s ongoing supply issues, we decided to offer some viable alternatives. The following batteries offer many of the same benefits you would get with the EG4, as well as some features that it lacks:

The Jakiper 48V LiFePO4 Server Rack Battery

The Jakiper 48V Server Rack Battery is fairly similar to the EG4, as it also features the same 5,120wh / 5.12kWh storage capacity and the same server rack-mountable design. It also features the latest LiFePO4 lithium cells, so you can expect the same level of quality and performance, as well as a lengthy lifespan.

While the two batteries seem fairly similar on paper, one of the things that set the Jakiper Server Rack Battery apart is the fact that you do not have to worry about supply issues, or unexpected delays, as Jakiper seems more than capable of keeping up with demand.

There are also a few features the Jakiper offers that you do not get with the EG4. For starters, the built-in Battery Management System is more advanced in the Jakiper, as it offers 10 layers of protection and includes six separate temperature sensors, so you will never have to worry about over-heating issues, or your battery operating in temperatures that are cold enough to cause damage to the lithium cells.

In fact, the built-in Battery Management System is so advanced and so reliable, that Jakiper backs the battery with an industry-leading 10-year warranty! While the EG4’s 5-year warranty is nothing to look down on, a 10-year warranty is truly impressive. In fact, the warranty is so comprehensive that Jakiper will even honor it if you transfer ownership of the battery to someone else! It is a true ‘no-questions-asked’ warranty.

We also like that the Jakiper features a stainless-steel exterior case, which protects the battery, as well as stainless-steel handles, which make it easier to transport and slide into a storage rack. Thanks to pre-installed side-mounted brackets, you can even connect the batteries together side by side.

You also get a built-in LCD display screen standard, which means you can easily monitor your battery’s performance as it operates. As an added bonus, there are no restrictions on how many batteries you wire together, as Jakiper designed their 48V Server Rack Battery so it can be connected in parallel to an unlimited number of batteries. This means you can build a power storage system as large as you would like with zero restrictions.

Overall, the two batteries are fairly similar, but the Jakiper offers a few extra features. More importantly, you will not have to deal with frustrating supply issues, which is why we think it is a superior option.

BigBattery 48V GRIZ 9.2kWh Lithium Powerwall

If you have significant power storage needs, another option is the BigBattery 48V GRIZ Lithium Powerwall. Essentially, this pre-assembled battery bank offers the same space-saving convenience you would get with rack-mounted battery packs, but everything is already within a self-contained unit.

The BigBattery GRIZ also features the latest LiFePO4 lithium cells and has a massive storage capacity of 9,200Wh or 9.2kWh. This means it almost offers twice the storage capacity that you would get with either the EG4 or the Jakiper. Given that the whole system can be purchased for under $4,000, this represents excellent value.

For added convenience, the BigBattery GRIZ sits on pre-installed wheels, so you can easily move it to where it is needed. It can also be connected in parallel with up to 8 other GRIZ Powerwalls. Like the Jakiper, it also features a built-in LCD display screen, so you can easily monitor your battery system without having to connect it to a laptop.

It also features pre-installed Anderson connections, which means it can be connected to a power inverter, charge controller, and additional batteries in minutes. We really like that you can easily connect two of the BigBattery GRIZ Powerwalls and build an 18+kWh 48V battery bank, without taking up much space or having to worry about a lengthy or complicated installation process. For comparison, the popular Tesla Powerwall 2 only offers 13.5kWh worth of storage and it would cost significantly more than two BigBattery GRIZ Powerwalls.

Finally, BigBattery backs the GRIZ with a 10-year warranty. Given that it is also designed and manufactured in the United States, rather than at an off-shore facility, which is the case with the EG4, BigBattery is able to maintain a reliable supply chain, and orders are often fulfilled quickly and without hassle.

Overall, this is another alternative to the EG4 Server Rack Battery that we believe is a superior choice!

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Splendide Combination Washer and Dryer Review

Splendide Combination Washer and Dryer Review – The Ultimate RV Laundry Solution?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 6
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 4
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 5

Table of Contents

If you are an RV enthusiast that spends a significant amount of time on the road, keeping your clothes clean and smelling fresh can be a real hassle. Sure, you can try to plan trips to a laundromat, but this is not always practical, especially if you are exploring remote, off-grid locations. Even if there is a laundromat nearby, having to drive a full-size RV down narrow streets and then find suitable parking can be a nightmare.

This is where compact, RV-specific combination washers and dryers can really come in handy. These specialized machines were designed for the express purpose of washing clothing, bedding, towels, and more in the confines of cramped quarters. While most are designed specifically for RVs, they tend to be versatile machines that work just as well for marine applications, as well as installation in tiny houses, off-grid cabins, and other dwellings where space is at a premium.

How Can We Help?

If you are looking for a more convenient way to wash your laundry while you travel by RV, or if you are just limited on space and require an off-grid laundry solution, we are here to help!

To do so, we will be reviewing the Splendide brand, as they specialize in high-performance and compact RV and marine-specific laundry machines. More specifically, we will be reviewing their compact combination washer and dryers, as they are perfectly suited for use in a tiny house, off-grid cabin, RV, boat, camper van, or anywhere else that has limited floor space.

Since they draw relatively little power compared to conventional washing and drying machines, it is even possible to run these compact combination washers and dryers off on pure solar power. In other words, they are designed to be the ideal off-grid laundry solution, which is why we are going to take a closer look and see if they actually live up to their reputation.

About the Splendide Brand

Splendide was originally founded in 1984 with the aim of manufacturing the highest quality, space-saving laundry appliances ever made. Shortly after hitting the market, their specialized laundry machines quickly gained a dedicated following, especially amongst RV owners; however, they have also become a popular option for those that own tiny houses, boats, off-grid cabins, and camper vans, and even just small condos and apartments.

Westland Sales:

Splendide is actually just a subsidiary company that operates under the Westland Sales brand. While Splendide’s entire focus is compact combination washer-dryers and lightweight stackable washer-dryers, Westland Sales offers a wider range of energy-efficient and compact appliances that are specifically designed for use in small spaces, like miniature dishwashers.

The Westland Sales brand was actually founded in 1967 and since then, they have remained headquartered in Clackamas, Oregon. Today, the brand overseas Splendide, as well as Vesta, specializes in space-saving and energy-efficient dishwashers.

Splendide Brand Reputation:

One of the main features that sets the Splendide brand apart is how unique its designs are. This is because they work closely with a small team of skilled designers and engineers to ensure that all of their appliances deliver the highest levels of performance, while still being built to the smallest dimensions possible.

Not only does Splendide have a reputation for offering high-performance laundry appliances that are significantly smaller than their full-sized alternatives, the brand also has an outstanding reputation for reliability.

While the Splendide brand, as well as their parent company, are both headquartered in the United States, all of their space-saving laundry machines are manufactured in their dedicated European factories. During every stage of the manufacturing process, consistency and quality are the most important concerns. This is the main reason why their compact appliances are known for their outstanding reliability.

To ensure that their European-made, compact washers and dryers always perform to the standards expected by their customers, Splendide maintains over 400 qualified and dedicated service centers throughout the United States and Canada. All of their appliances are also backed by a 1-year warranty, which Splendide allows buyers to extend to a 5-year warranty at the time of purchase.

What Does the Splendide Brand Offer?

The Splendide brand has a fairly limited product catalog, which is actually part of the reason why they have been so successful. Rather than spread themselves too thin, the brand focuses on two primary types of laundry machines – combination washer-dryers, and stackable washers and dryers. On top of that, they also have a small range of accessories, including their own natural laundry detergent, as well as various brackets, venting kits, and replacement parts.

As far as combination washers and dryers go, Splendide offers two types, a vented combo washer-dryer, and a ventless combo washer-dryer. Both options are designed to save as much space as possible, while still offering the same level of performance you would expect from a full-size, high-end combination washer dryer.

Not only are their combination washer and dryer laundry machines only 24 inches wide and incredibly compact in their design, but they are also extremely energy efficient, which is another reason why they have become so popular amongst RV enthusiasts and other groups that spend significant amounts of time off-grid.

Our Review of the Splendide Combination Washer and Dryer

Now that you know a little bit more about the Splendide brand and their reputation within the portable appliance industry, we can get into our review of their highly-regarded combination washer and dryer.

Ventless and Vented Options:

Splendide offers two versions of their combination washer and dryer. The first, which is called the Splendide WDV-2200-XCD Vented Combo Washer-Dryer, acts just like a standard combination washer and dryer, but it is much smaller.

The second option, which is called the Splendide WDC-7200-XCD Ventless Combo Washer-Dryer is fairly similar, but it does not need to be vented, which can be incredibly useful for those that are planning to install it in a location where venting is not a possibility.

Aside from the fact that one version requires the installation of a venting system, while the other can function without, the two appliances are incredibly similar. While not needing to vent your laundry machine can be convenient, as well as time-saving during installation, the ventless version does come with a slightly higher price tag, so you will have to decide if it fits within your budget, or if you even need a ventless dryer in the first place.

Since the ventless version relies on the buildup of internal condensation, it is slightly less effective at drying clothes, especially when the clothes being dried are made from thicker fabrics. You will also need to empty the condensation tank, which is fairly easy to do, but still an extra step you will need to follow.

Overall, there is very little to separate the two appliances, so those that are interested in a Splendide Combo Washer-Dryer should simply take their own personal preferences and budget into consideration when choosing between the two versions.

Compact and Lightweight Design:

Without any doubt, the first thing that you will notice about Splendide’s combination washer and dryers is their incredibly compact design. Both the vented and ventless versions are only 24 inches in width, which is incredibly compact when you consider the fact that a typical washer and dryer will require at least 54 inches of space.

Where they really save on space is their narrow depth and height. In most cases, a conventional washing machine, meaning one that does not double as a dryer, will have a depth of around 35 inches and a height of closer to 45 inches. On the other hand, the combination washer and dryers from Splendide only have a depth of 22.5 inches and a height of just 33 inches! This means you can easily install a Splendid Combo Washer-Dryer in a location where a conventional washer and dryer simply would not fit.

Not only are they much smaller, they only weigh 148 lbs! This is great news for anyone that is hoping to install one in an RV, camper van, or any other mobile living arrangement where weight is a concern.

Outstanding Performance:

While you may assume that such a compact combination washer and dryer would not be as effective as full-sized washing and drying machines, the truth is both the vented and ventless versions of Splendide’s combination washer and dryers perform just as well as their much larger counterparts.

Of course, they cannot accept the same volume of dirty laundry, but this is a very reasonable compromise when you consider the fact that you can install one of these appliances in locations where a full-sized machine would not be possible or practical.

Both the vented and ventless versions can accept 15 lbs worth of dirty laundry during the washing cycle and 11 lbs worth of wet laundry during the drying cycle. Even if you have to wash your laundry in multiple loads, or simply wash more frequently than you would at home, this is far more convenient than taking your clothes to a laundromat.

We also found that even the dirtiest clothes came out clean and smelling great; however, it is important to note that we did not over-pack it during our tests. As is the case with any type of laundry machine, attempting to over-pack a machine can negatively impact performance, as well as potential risk damaging the motor within the machine.

Convenient Features:

While it would not be surprising if the combination washer and dryers from Splendide did not have many bells and whistles, especially given their small size, they are actually outfitted with some really convenient features.

For starters, both models are outfitted with a modern digital display, so you can easily view the remaining time on the cycle, the temperature, and more. Everything is also controlled with a simple knob and three buttons, so it is very user-friendly.

Despite the small size, it also features an extra-wide door, which makes it much easier to load and unload your laundry. When the washer is running, an automated dispenser adds detergent, bleach, and softener at the ideal times.

When you are running the dryer setting, variable spin speeds, and dual-rotating drum work in conjunction to ensure maximum drying performance. In most cases when you are using a miniature dryer, it can take multiple cycles to dry fabrics; however, the Splendide two-in-one washer and dryers are incredibly effective.

Splendide Washer Dryer Combo Specifications

  • Dimensions: 23-1/2″W x 22-5/8″D x 33″ to 33-3/8″H (adjustable leveling feet)
  • Cycles: 9 wash, 3 dry, 1 clean
  • Maximum Spin Speed: 1200 rpm
  • Buttons: Start/Pause, Water Temp, Spin Speed, Super Wash/Mute, Prewash, Low Heat, Delay Start, and Timed Dry/Key Lock
  • Additional Features: Auto water level, auto load balancing, end-of-cycle chime, and self-cleaning lint filter
  • Maximum Wash/Dry: 15 / 11 lbs
  • Electrical Requirements: 120V

Total Weight: 148 lbs.

What is Our Overall Impression of the Splendide Combination Washer and Dryer?

Overall, we have been incredibly impressed by both the ventless and vented version of the Splendide Combo Washer-Dryers. First of all, it performs exceptionally well, especially for such a compact two-in-one washer and dryer.

While performance and size are critical, especially when you are limited on space, it is also incredibly energy and water efficient, which, again, is very useful when you are planning to install it in an RV, or any sort of off-grid location.

To add to its efficiency, and the auto-load sensor also quickly detects the volume of laundry you have loaded, so it can minimize and conserve water. It also only requires a 120V power hookup, as opposed to a 240V hookup, which is typical with a full-sized machine. Once again, this is incredibly useful when you are planning to operate it off-grid using stored battery power, which would be the case in an RV or camper van.

It also offers some incredibly convenient features, like the digital display, a self-cleaning lint filter, and an extra-wide loading door. We really did not expect to see these types of things in such a space-saving appliance.

With 10 unique washing cycles, 3 drying cycles, water temperature selection, and a display screen that offers up-to-the-minute status updates, this really is a high-end appliance that Splendide has somehow managed to fit into an extremely small package.

After thoroughly reviewing this combination washer and dryer, it has become incredibly clear to us why it is so popular within the RV and off-grid communities!

Why Choose the Splendide Combination Washer and Dryer

As we highlighted above, this unique combo washer-dryer is the ideal option for anyone that would like to have the ability to wash their clothing but is also very limited on space.

Not only are they compact, but they also feature heavy-duty shock absorbers, which ensure that vibrations will not be felt while the machine is operating. This is incredibly useful for anyone planning to install one in an RV, boat, camper van, or any other location where stability is important.

They are incredibly easy to install and they can also be winterized very easily. As mentioned above, Splendide backs all of their appliances with a 1-year warranty; however, for a small fee, you can extend that to a 5-year warranty. While their appliances are all known for their outstanding reliability, it never hurts to have additional coverage.

Running a Splendide Combination Washer and Dryer Off-Grid:

While the compact and lightweight design are the most common reasons why people choose a combination machine from Splendide, their unrivaled energy efficiency and relatively low power requirements also make them ideal for off-grid applications.

Given that it only draws 120V on its most demanding setting, you can even run this appliance off of a basic solar generator, like the Bluetti AC200 Max Solar Generator, or the EcoFlow Delta MAX Solar Power Station.

Simply by pairing a Splendide Combo Washer Dryer with an appropriate solar generator and several solar panels, you would have the opportunity to wash and dry your clothes in even the most remote locations. This surely beats driving into town to spend multiple hours waiting around in a laundromat.

The minimal water requirements also ensure it is suitable for off-grid situations where you do not have a conventional water hookup. Reserve tanks and water that is sourced from a well will work just fine. The option to choose a ventless version is also incredibly useful for those that do not have the luxury of drilling a ventilation hole, such as anyone that is planning to install one in a boat or RV.

Simply put, this is the ultimate laundry system for anyone that lives off-grid, travels by RV, or is simply looking for a compact and energy-efficient appliance.

Final Words

While there are several options on the market today, we firmly believe that nothing comes close to matching the performance and convenience you get with the compact combination washer and dryer from Splendide. It is built to an exceptional standard and performs just as well as you could ever hope!

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Separett Villa Composting Toilet Review

Separett Villa Composting Toilet Review – Everything You Need to Know

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 6
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 4
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 5

Table of Contents

There are countless situations where a traditional flushing toilet would be impractical. Perhaps you permanently live off-grid and do not have access to a municipal water treatment system and your budget will not allow for the installation of a septic tank, or, maybe, you travel the open roads by camper van or RV. In either scenario, a flushing toilet would not only be impractical, but it would also be borderline impossible.

While deciding how you will deal with human waste is not the most glamorous of topics, it is certainly something that you will need to consider if you are planning to spend any significant period of time living somewhere that lacks plumbing and running water.

Fortunately, self-contained composting toilets have emerged as the ideal solution. Not only are they providing a more sanitary alternative to traditional outhouses, which are just glorified holes in the ground, but they have also helped to encourage the off-grid, no-flush movement!

How Can We Help?

If you are in a situation where you could benefit from the convenience of a composting toilet, we want to help you understand your options. That is why we are going to review one of the top brands in the composting toilet industry, Separett.

More specifically, we will be taking a closer look at their best-selling model, the Separett Villa Waterless Composting Toilet. Not only will we offer an in-depth product review, which will help you determine if the Separett Villa is right for you, but we will also offer some background on the Separett brand and assess its current reputation.

By taking a close look at the Separett brand, as well as their products, you can quickly decide if their composting toilets are right for you and your current living arrangement.

The Separett Brand

Before we get into our review of the Separett Villa Composting Toilet, we are going to introduce the Separett brand and quickly explore its background. This will help you understand why their products are so highly regarded amongst retailers and consumers.

Brand History:

Separett is a family-owned business that is based out of Sweden. The main focus of the company is its highly popular waterless toilets, which the brand has a long history of producing. In fact, Separett introduced its first waterless toilet in 1976!

When the company’s founder, Gerhard Billsund, realized he needed a suitable waste management system for his off-grid summer cabin in the south of Sweden, he began developing a toilet that would help satisfy this need.

The result was the Classic 300, which was a relatively simple evaporative toilet. While the original design was sold under the Husqvarna brand, the success of these waterless toilets would eventually lead to the formation of a distinct brand, which go on to become Separett. Between 1976 and 1996, they were able to sell 125,000 of their toilets throughout Scandinavia and beyond. This success led to the formation of Separett in 1996.

Another motivation for a distinct brand was the invention of the world’s first urine-diverting toilet in 1993. Like their original evaporating toilet, this unique off-grid toilet saw immediate success.

Separett Today:

Today, Separett’s innovative self-contained toilets continue to be in high demand; however, they have now expanded far beyond the bounds of the Scandinavian countries and their toilets can be found all over the world.

Thanks to dedicated retailers in the United States and Canada, their composting toilets, like the Separett Villa, have become incredibly popular amongst RV enthusiasts, tiny house owners, and thousands of other consumers that require an alternative to a conventional flushing toilet.

In fact, Separett toilets have been embraced so enthusiastically by North America’s tiny house movement, that Separett opened a dedicated subsidiary in Las Vegas, Nevada in January of 2020.

Sustainability Commitments & Non-Profit Endeavors:

While Separett is a first and foremost business, they have always been an environmentally-friendly organization that continuously seeks to help those in need achieve a higher quality of life.

Given that one in three people on Earth does not have access to modern plumbing and water treatment facilities, Separett felt it was its duty to help bring sanitary waste management solutions to areas that need them the most. By donating equipment, like their waterless toilets, as well as contributing to bringing sanitation education to remote, third-world communities, Separett continues to do its part to help end open defecation and bring access to sanitary waste disposal to impoverished regions.

To this day, Separett has donated thousands of their waterless toilets to rural and impoverished regions of countries like Bolivia, China, and Peru. The brand is also committed to sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing practices.

The fact that they are such a forward-thinking company is only part of the reason why they have such an impressive reputation within and outside of the waterless toilet industry.

Our Review of the Separett Villa Waterless Composting Toilet

Now that you know a little bit more about the Separett brand and their reputation, we can get into our review of their most popular self-contained toilet – The Separett Villa.

What is the Separett Villa Composting Toilet?

As the name suggests, the Separett Villa is a composting toilet. Thanks to its unique urine-diverting design, the Separett Villa is able to keep odors, as well as the total volume of waste, to a minimum. This means the user will have empty the composting compartment less frequently, which is part of the reason why it is so popular.

Essentially, solid waste is stored within the toilet, where it begins to decompose. This means the resulting material can later be used as fertilizer or incinerated. Meanwhile, liquid waste is drained off to a small leaching bed, which is housed within a sealed-off holding tank.

The Separett also features a built-in ventilation fan, which helps expel any odors and fumes that are produced as a result of the decomposition process. Not only is the built-in fan effective and convenient, but it is also designed to operate silently, so you will not hear it while it is running.

Overall, it is an incredibly effective composting toilet that has become popular around the world due to its convenient design, outstanding reliability, and budget-friendly price.

Why Choose the Separett Villa Composting Toilet?

To help explain why the Separett Villa is such a popular option, we are going to highlight some of the things we liked most about it. While the market is flooded with composting toilets, we believe the Separett Villa’s overall build quality and performance truly set it apart.

Silent and Odorless Operation:

Thanks to the effective urine separation mechanism, both the volume of waste and all odors are kept to a minimum. When most people imagine a self-contained composting toilet, they assume that it would produce unpleasant smells, but the Separett Villa actually releases next to no odors, even when it is installed in an enclosed, indoor space.

 

In fact, most people that own a Separett Villa say that the only smells they can detect are mild, soil-like odors, which are only present if they are standing directly beside the toilet with the lid in the upright position.

As mentioned, the built-in fan was designed to operate as quietly as possible. It also only runs when required. Other composting toilets that feature built-in ventilation fans often run continuously and need to be plugged in each time they run. They are also much louder, which can become a major annoyance, especially if you have installed the toilet in a tight space, like inside an RV, camper van, tiny house, or small off-grid cabin.

True Off-Grid Capabilities:

While you may assume that a composting toilet that features an electric ventilation fan could only function if you had access to an electrical grid, Separett designed the fan so that it could be powered by a 12V solar battery, which means you can easily meet its power requirements with a basic solar generator, such as the EcoFlow Delta 1800.

If you do have access to grid power, you can also operate the fan by plugging it into any AC wall outlet, as it includes a standard power cable, as well as a solar adaptor. Given that the fan only draws 2.5W, it consumes very little power and is completely suitable for any off-grid dwelling that relies upon solar or wind power to meet its electricity needs.

The toilet is also completely self-contained, which means you do not have to hook it up to any sort of running water or septic system. In other words, you simply place it on a flat and stable surface, run the ventilation pipe, plug the fan in, and then you are good to go!

High-Capacity Design:

Despite its compact design, the Separett Villa has a higher capacity rating than a standard composting toilet, which means it does not have to be emptied as often. In other words, it is suitable for those that are looking for a self-contained toilet they can use in a permanent dwelling.

While some of the lower capacity options only work in locations where they will be used occasionally, such as a camper van that is only used on weekends, or a hunting cabin that is never used for more than a couple of days at a time, the Separett Villa Composting Toilet is practical in both permanent and semi-permanent dwellings.

In fact, according to Separett, a family of five using one Separett Villa Composting Toilet could go between 4 and 6 weeks without having to empty the main composting tank. For comparison, a typical composting toilet needs to be emptied every 3 to 5 days, and that is just with two people using it!

Outstanding Reliability:

The Separett Villa was designed to be as convenient as possible, which means it takes up no more room than a traditional flushing toilet and it does not require much in the way of maintenance.

The toilet does pretty much everything on its own, so you only need to empty the soil-like substance from the main composting bin roughly once per month. It is also built to an incredible standard and it is made from the most durable materials available, so it should last for over a decade without needing any sort of repairs.

The fact that it comes backed with a 5-year warranty on the whole toilet and a 3-year warranty on the fan motor is a testament to the overall quality, as well as Separett’s faith in their product.

Separett Villa Composting Toilet Specifications

Capacity

Unlimited – Can be emptied an unlimited number of times and does not require specialized cartridges, like some self-contained toilets.

Weight

41.8 lbs

Measurements

L – 24.4”, W – 17.9”, H – 21”

Energy Consumption

0.06kWh / 24h continuous operation

Material

Recyclable high-gloss polypropylene

Emptying interval with 4 users

Roughly every 4 – 6 weeks

Power requirements

12V/2.5W/210mA (Solar or AC)

Warranty

5-year + 3-year on fan motor

 

 

Our Overall Impression of the Separett Villa Composting Toilet

There is a lot to like about the Separett Villa Composting Toilet. The fact that it diverts urine away from the main waste compartment means that it does not smell nearly as bad as a typical composting toilet. We also really like that you have the option to empty the solid and liquid waste compartments separately, as it means far fewer trips to the incinerator, dump, or outdoor composter.

The built-in fan is also a nice touch, as is the fact that Separett includes a solar adapter. We also like how silently the fan runs, as it is quiet enough that it will not disrupt users throughout the day.

It can be installed in both heated and unheated locations, which is another plus, as you will not have to worry about damaging it if you choose to install it in a location where it will be exposed to outdoor temperatures for part of the year, such as a non-winterized cabin.

Not only does it function incredibly well, but it is also actually a fairly comfortable toilet, which is rarely the case with self-contained toilets. In fact, the toilet seat sits at roughly the same height as a standard flushing toilet, so you will hardly even realize that you are using a composting toilet while you are seated.

Overall, it is an outstanding waste management system that brings all the comforts of home to even the most remote, off-grid locations. After reviewing the Separett Villa, we can certainly see why it continues to be one of the most popular composting toilets on the market!

For More Information:

If you would like to learn more about the Separett Villa Composting Toilet works, we encourage you to watch this informative video:

Separett Villa Urine Diverting Composting Toilet – How it Works

We hope you liked this article. Please rate it or leave us a comment.

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Dry-Flush Brand Review – Is the Laveo by Dry-Flush Toilet a Good Option?

Dry-Flush Brand Review – Is the Laveo by Dry-Flush Toilet a Good Option?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

Self-contained toilets have made significant strides forward since they were first introduced in the 1970s. Where they were once bulky, heavy, and, unfortunately, smelly waste management systems, there are now some outstanding options on the market that can allow you to experience the same comforts of home, even when you are completely off-grid.

If you travel by RV or camper van and you need a reliable and portable waste management solution, a compact, a self-contained toilet can be the perfect solution. The same can be said for those who own off-grid dwellings that do not have access to a plumbing network, or a septic system.

How Can We Help?

Today, we are going to take an in-depth look at one of the most popular self-contained toilet brands – Dry-Flush. More specifically, we are going to see if their incredibly popular Laveo by Dry-Flush Portable Waterless Dry Toilet actually lives up to its impressive reputation.

Not only will we take a deep dive into the Dry-Flush brand’s history and current reputation, but we will also explore how their products, particularly the Leveo Dry Flush Toilet, actually hold up to real-world situations.

Dry-Flush Brand History and Reputation

laveo

Brand History

The Dry-Flush brand was founded by two engineers and veterans. In 2009, the two founders, Bob Raczynski and Rodney Livingston began working on a prototype for a revolutionary portable toilet. The inspiration came from Rodney Livingston’s travels to regions that did not have access to modern bathroom facilities, or even sanitary water. The two engineers decided that they could improve upon existing self-contained toilet designs and, after two years of research, the result was the Laveo toilet, which they patented in 2012.

It was this patent that led the two to found the Dry-Flush brand, which has since gone on to sell tens of thousands of its Leveo Dry-Flush toilets. The immediate reaction to their newly invented, self-contained toilet resulted in a strong relationship with Home Depot, which took their company from a local brand to one that was sold across the United States and beyond.

The impressive craftsmanship, unique design, and affordable price ensured that the Laveo Dry-Flush Waterless Toilet would go on to become an incredibly popular option for RV enthusiasts, boaters, and a wide variety of off-grid homeowners.

Reputation

In 2022, Dry-Flush celebrated its 10th anniversary. They continue to operate out of New Haven, Connecticut, which has continued to be a defining characteristic of the brand. Given that the two founders of Dry-Flush were patriotic American veterans, it was of vital importance to both of them that all Dry-Flush products, including the popular Laveo toilets, are made domestically in the United States.

Today, the Laveo Dry-Flush Toilet is known to be one of the most reliable self-contained toilets on the market. They are incredibly popular amongst tiny house owners, as they are far more compact than other self-contained toilet options, like composting toilets. They also continue to be one of the most favored options for RV enthusiasts, boaters, and van lifers, as the ability to operate completely waterless helps keep weight down and ensures that they are incredibly easy to use and easy to install.

The brand’s sustained growth is a testament to its impressive reputation amongst those that live and vacation in off-grid locations. While there have been some slight modifications to the original 2012 design, the Laveo Dry-Flush Toilet continues to be one of the most unique and effective waterless toilets on the market today.

Not only is the design incredibly popular, but it is also the fact that the brand continues to manufacture all of its products in Connecticut, the USA that ensures the quality has remained consistent for over 10 years. All of their waterless toilets are also backed by a 1-year warranty, which is a clear demonstration of the faith the Dry-Flush brand has in their products.

Another feature of the Dry-Flush brand is its outstanding customer service. While the Laveo Dry-Flush Toilet is sold through a vast chain of trusted retailers, customers can always contact the Dry-Flush brand directly with questions and concerns, regardless of where they actually purchased their self-contained Dry-Flush toilet.

The Laveo Dry Flush Toilet Review

Now that you know a little bit more about the Dry-Flush brand and their reputation within the industry, we can take a closer look at their flagship product – the Laveo Dry-Flush Toilet.

What is the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet?

The Laveo Dry-Flush Toilet is marketed as one of the most effective and practical portable waterless toilets. This is because it is a truly self-contained, portable toilet that does not need to be connected to any sort of plumbing or septic system. It even uses a battery system, so there is no need to hook it up to a separate power supply, which is another reason why it is so popular amongst those that spend significant amounts of time off-grid.

Unlike most self-contained toilets, the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is completely chemical-free. Like composting toilets, there is no need to add harsh chemicals to mask unpleasant smells and help break waste down, instead, the Laveo uses a unique system of self-sealing bags.

These self-sealing bags enclose waste after the Laveo Dry-Flush Toilet is “flushed”.  Not only does this seal off the waste and prevent unpleasant and unsanitary messes, it effectively prevents odors from entering the living space where the toilet is installed. This is the key to the Laveo Dry-Flush Toilet’s success, as it means it can be installed just about anywhere. All you need is a level indoor or outdoor surface. There is nothing that needs to be plugged in, vented, or even mounted.

In fact, the truly self-contained nature of the Laveo Dry-Flush Toilet means that it is so portable that it is even a practical solution for tent campers!

Does the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet Really Eliminate All Odors?

During our review process, we have to admit that we were a little bit skeptical about Dry-Flush’s claims that the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is completely odorless. As it turns out, it actually does feature an incredibly effective odor management system.

The key is the unique cartridge system, which completely confines waste and prevents unpleasant odors from seeping out. Once you “flush”, the waste is completely sealed and isolated from the surrounding air, so you will not see or smell anything. After they have been sealed by pressing the “flush” button, the odor will be completely contained for at least three weeks. After this point, you should remove the cartridges and replace them with a fresh pack.

The cartridges that are used to seal the waste are also easy to dispose of, which means the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is incredibly easy to maintain.

How Do You Dispose of the Dry Flush Cartridges and How to Know When You Need to?

Knowing when to replace the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet’s cartridge is actually fairly straightforward. Each cartridge allows for 15 consecutive “flushes” before it will need to be replaced. Once you are down to your second last “flush”, you will notice a bright red line will appear on the silver segment of the cartridge. This is easily visible, so it will be fairly obvious when you need to get ready to switch out the cartridge for a new one.

To get rid of a used cartridge, you simply dispose of it anywhere that you would dispose of a diaper. The unique Laveo Dry Flush Cartridges are designed in a discreet way and they will remain completely sealed, so there is no need to conceal them in a plastic garbage bag.

In other words, you can dispose of the used cartridges the same way you would get rid of any type of garbage, as they are accepted by landfills. Getting rid of them is much easier and far less off-putting than draining a RV waste holding tank.

Is it Difficult to Clean and Maintain the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet?

Another thing that impressed us about the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is how easy it is to maintain. As mentioned above, disposing of used cartridges is incredibly easy. You simply have to lift the toilet seat and unlatch the trim piece. From there, you will see a black waste collection bag that contains all of the wrapped waste. You just eject that bag and dispose of it.

Loading in a new cartridge is just as easy, as they are designed to snap into place in seconds. When you removed a used cartridge, there is still no detectable odor, as the individual bags will maintain their perfect seal.

In terms of cleaning the exterior of the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet, you can simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. You can generally use any commercial bathroom cleaning product, just like you would use to clean and sanitize a traditional flushing toilet. Aside from cleaning the exterior, you do not need to clean any of the internals, as anything the waste would touch is disposed of when you empty the cartridge.

How Does the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet’s Battery System Work?

One of the keys to the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is its built-in battery system. The battery comes fully charged and will last for at least 300 flushes before it needs to be recharged. With regular use, this means you should be able to get a few months out of the battery before you will need to recharge it.

When it comes to charging the battery, you have the option to plug it into a regular AC wall plug, or you can even solar charge it thanks to the included solar adapter. For those living completely off-grid, the ability to solar charge the internal battery is a major benefit, as it gives you the option to run it off of a basic solar power system. In fact, the battery is so small that just a few folding solar panels would probably do the trick.

The recessed hidden battery is used to power the flushing mechanism, which seals the waste bags, so you can no longer smell them. It is this 12V electronic system that really sets the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet apart.

What Can You Use the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet For?

Given the fact that the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is designed for simplicity and portability, there are countless ways you can use it. The entire self-contained toilet only weighs 29 lbs and measures 16”W x 20”D x 18” H.

These measurements mean that it is a practical solution for even the smallest and most enclosed spaces, like camper vans, boats, tiny houses, and even transport trucks. Since it operates without a plumbing or septic connection, it also works for any permanent, off-grid dwelling. In fact, some people will install a Laveo Dry Flush Toilet in their emergency shelter, as its compact and odorless design means that it works well in even the most cramped quarters.

Essentially, anywhere that you would like to install a toilet, the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet can fit the bill.

Pros and Cons for the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet

Pros:

  • Compact design means it is portable and practical for small spaces
  • Completely odorless thanks to proprietary technology that captures odors and seals off waste
  • Simple maintenance requirements
  • Incredibly easy to charge the internal battery with either DC or AC power
  • The very simple installation process (you simply set it down on a flat surface)
  • No chemicals, water, or other decomposition agents are required, so it will not freeze
  • Reliable design, which is down to the fact that there is only really one moving part
  • Made in the USA
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Need to purchase refill cartridges, but they are affordable and easy to install. Just make sure you buy a large supply if you plan on using the toilet on a daily basis

As you can see, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. As long as you purchase an adequate supply of cartridges, the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is an outstanding option for a wide range of applications.

What is Our Overall Impression of the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet?

While we were a little bit skeptical at first, we must admit that we find ourselves thoroughly impressed by what this little, self-contained toilet has to offer. The fact that it is entirely odorless is one of the main selling features, but it is the compact size and its ability to operate without a plumbing, septic, or even electrical hookup that makes it the ultimate off-grid waste management system.

Not only is it odorless, chemical-free, and extremely low-maintenance, it is surprisingly comfortable to use. This is because the seat is positioned at standard toilet height, so it feels just like you are sitting on a regular toilet when it is being used.

Whether you are looking for a practical unit to bring with you on the road in your RV or camper van, or you are looking for a more fixed option for your shed, tiny house, cabin, or another off-grid dwelling, the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is a smart investment that offers comfort, convenience, and reliability. The fact it can be installed on any flat surface and does not even have to be bolted down means that installation is also a breeze.

Overall, we are incredibly impressed by Dry-Flush and can plainly see why the Laveo is one of the most popular self-contained toilets on the market today.

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sun-mar

Sun-Mar Composting Toilets Brand Review & Buyer’s Guide

Sun-Mar Composting Toilets Brand Review & Buyer’s Guide

sun-mar

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

While it is certainly not the most glamorous subject, the decision to live off-grid will require you to put some thought into waste management. When you don’t have access to a standard plumbing network, you can’t simply install a regular flushing toilet, which is why you need to get a little bit creative.

Fortunately, composting toilets have come along as a practical and affordable solution. Not only can they function without flowing water, but they also do not even have to be connected to a sewage hookup or a septic tank, which means they are completely self-contained units!

Whether you travel by RV, boat, or camper van, or you simply own a fixed, off-grid dwelling, like a tiny house, cabin, or full-sized off-grid home, a composting toilet can be a practical solution when you do not have the option to install a flushing toilet.

How Can We Help?

If you are in a situation where you believe a composting toilet could be beneficial, you might be wondering which brands make the best models. To help you understand your options, we are going to offer an in-depth review of one of the current top brands in the industry – Sun-Mar.

Not only will we explore the brand’s history and its reputation within the industry, we will take a close look at some of their best-selling composting toilets. From there, we will offer our overall impression of Sun-Mar composting toilets and decide whether or not we would feel comfortable recommending their products to our readers.

sun-mar

History

Sun-Mar was originally founded in 1983, so they have been around for quite a long time, especially compared to their competitors. The brand’s origins can be traced back to when the founder, Hardy Sundberg, invented the world’s first self-contained composting toilet in 1971.

This invention meant that, for the first time, a self-contained toilet was capable of evaporating liquids and composting solids at the same time. This meant that living off-grid could have an indoor waste management system that was far more comfortable than a basic hole in the ground. The ability to have an indoor toilet that did not rely on municipal waste infrastructure was a major leap forward for off-grid living.

In 1979, Hardy added a three-chambered rotating drum to the compost chamber of his composting toilet. This greatly improved aeration and the rate of decomposition. In fact, all of Sun-Mar’s current models still incorporate this original design, which is a testament to its effectiveness.

In 1983, Hardy Sundberg decided to use the popularity of his composting toilets to form the backbone of a new company by incorporating and founding Sun-Mar. Today, the brand continues to operate out of its original headquarters in Ontario, Canada. They also have manufacturing and distribution facilities in New York, USA.

They now sell their various composting toilet models and accessories around the world through a network of thousands of trusted dealers. If you have used a composting toilet in the past, there is a good chance it was a Sun-Mar!

Brand Mission & Reputation

Sun-Mar proudly assembles and builds all of their composting and recycling products themselves, including their popular composting toilets. Not only is it important to them that they continue to support domestic jobs, they believe that composting is one of the best ways that people can do their part to protect the environment, which is why they continue to focus on chemical-free, waterless waste management solutions.

Today, all of their products are designed with the comfort of the user in mind, as well as preserving the natural world and protecting the environment. The brand continues to be motivated by their overarching desire to be one of the global leaders in recycling technology, an aim they hope to achieve through continued research and innovation.

In terms of its reputation amongst consumers, Sun-Mar is one of the most respected brands in the off-grid community. Their composting toilets work exceptionally well and find the perfect balance between affordability and quality. As we mentioned above, there is a good chance you have come across a Sun-Mar composting toilet if you have ever spent any time in an off-grid dwelling or mobile home.

Why Choose a Sun-Mar Composting Toilet?

We were curious as to why Sun-Mar composting toilets continue to be amongst the most highly regarded composting toilets in the industry. This is why we decided to take an in-depth look at what sets their products apart. After we have explored the reasons why Sun-Mar composting toilets are so popular and effective, we will take a closer look at some individual models.

Sun-Mar’s Unique and Patented Bio-Drum

One of the defining features of a Sun-Mar composting toilet is the addition of its unique Bio-Drum. In simple terms, the Sun-Mar Bio-Drum helps create the perfect environment for the decomposition of organic material.

It achieves this by regulating the temperature, amount of moisture, and level of oxygen within the drum. By spinning as the matter decomposes, the Sun-Mar Bio-Drum is able to maintain the ideal level of aerobic microbes, which work together to quickly break human waste down and convert it into a soil-like substance.

Effective Moisture Control

Whenever organic matter contains above 60% moisture, the liquid can start to drive out the oxygen required for decomposition. Sun-Mar composting toilets are specifically designed to drain away excess liquid through a unique screen system. The liquid is then driven to an evaporation chamber.

With that being said, the toilets do not completely pull all of the moisture out of the composting area, as this would also slow the composting process. A unique moisture control feature keeps everything in the ideal conditions, which means that their toilets help break matter down faster than a conventional composting toilet.

Consistent Oxygen Supply

The toilets also help to oxygenate the organic material as it is broken down. Unfortunately, most composting toilets that attempt to do the same generate unpleasant smells, however, thanks to the unique Bio-Drum, Sun-Mar composting toilets are able to pull in an appropriate volume of fresh oxygen, without emitting unpleasant smells and gasses.

You get all of the benefits of a highly oxygenated decomposition tank, without having to deal with any of the negative consequences.

Fully Off-Grid Operation and Ease of Installation

One of the main selling features of Sun-Mar composting toilets is the fact that they are designed to operate completely off-grid. Even if you opt for one of the models that feature an exhaust fan, you have the option to supply power to the fan using a solar panel.

While the fan is not required, it does help to reduce the presence of detectable odors, as it will help pull air from the toilet and force it outdoors through a vent.

Each of Sun-Mar’s composting toilet models is designed to be fully self-contained, which means they do not need to be hooked up to any sort of pipe network and they do not require water. You simply install the toilet in as little as an hour, then the job is complete. Since you do not need to hook it up to a power supply or make any plumbing connections, the installation process can be completed without any sort of professional assistance.

The Top Sun-Mar Composting Toilet Models

While all of their composting toilets follow the same basic design, meaning they all make use of the patented and effective Bio-Drum, Sun-Mar now has several models to choose from.

Their smaller models are ideal for RVs, boats, barns, pool sheds, cabins, and more. On the other hand, their central composting toilets are designed for larger indoor spaces and more frequent use. These models work exceptionally well for off-grid homes, cottages, cabins, warehouses, and so much more.

We decided to review three of their most popular models, which should help you discover why Sun-Mar composting toilets continue to be such a popular option.

The Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet

The Excel is Sun-Mar’s top seller and it also happens to be their flagship composting toilet. It is actually one of the best-selling self-contained toilets in North America, which is a testament to its performance capabilities and overall quality.

Like all of Sun-Mar’s composting toilets, it features a high-capacity Bio-Drum, which is incredibly easy to operate. The Bio-Drum gives the toilet the ability to deliver the same reliable results we have come to expect from a Sun-Mar composting toilet. The Excel also features a built-in exhaust fan, so you can choose to plug it in if you have access to electricity.

As it turns out, the Excel was actually the first self-contained toilet to ever get full certification from the National Sanitation Foundation, so when you choose the Sun-Mar Excel, you are choosing a composting toilet that has truly set the standard for the entire industry.

What we like most about Sun-Mar Excel is the fact that it is incredibly versatile. It has a large enough capacity rating that it can be used for just about any application, including installation in a full-time residence or a remote commercial space with light foot traffic. With that being said, it is still compact enough that it is a practical option for an RV or camper van.

The Excel is even available in two distinct colors, a classic white, and a cream/bone color. It is incredibly compact and even features a retractable stepping stool. When it is installed correctly, it looks just like a more compact version of a conventional flushing toilet, so it will not look out of place in any sort of dwelling.

Overall, it is an outstanding composting toilet that functions incredibly well. It is easy to maintain and empty. It also produces very little odor, so it is perfect for indoor use. We really can see why the Sun-Mar Excel is the brand’s best-seller.

You can click the following YouTube link to view Sun-Mar’s Introduction to the Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet for more information.

Capacity:

  • Residential or continuous use – 2 adults or a family of 4
  • Seasonal or vacation use – 4 adults or families of 8

Venting Requirements:

  • Vent pipe – One 2” thin wall PVC pipe
  • Drains – 1” OD (This is optional unless you are planning on using the Sun-Mar Excel on a daily basis).

The Sun-Mar CENTREX 2000 NE (Non-Electric) High-Capacity Composting Toilet

The CENTREX 2000 NE is the non-electric version of the CENTREX 2000, so it is ideal for off-grid locations that require a composting toilet with a higher capacity rating. It is fitted with a 4” vertical vent stack, so it is fairly easy to install and can be positioned just about anywhere.

Like the Sun-Mar Excel, the CENTREX 2000 NE makes use of the patented Bio-Drum, but it is large enough that it is a practical solution for full-time dwellings that have multiple residents. Not only can it hold more waste, its larger capacity means that it can support a much longer composting cycle, so you will not have to empty it nearly as often as a typical composting toilet.

The CENTREX 2000 NE does not come with the actual toilet, so it is compatible with your choice of any low flush toilet. This allows you to outfit your dwelling with a normal-looking toilet, so you can have all of the comforts of the city from your off-grid home.

When you consider the many benefits it offers, there is no wonder why it is one of Sun-Mar’s top sellers.

Capacity:

  • Residential or continuous use – 3 adults or a family of 5
  • Seasonal or vacation use – 6 adults or families of 8

Venting Requirements:

  • Vent pipe – One 4” thin wall PVC pipe
  • Drains – 1” OD (This is required for all applications with the CENTREX 2000 NE)

The Sun-Mar Compact Composting Toilet

As the name suggests, the Sun-Mar Compact is the brand’s lowest-profile composting toilet. While it is much smaller than a conventional toilet, it has a completely normal appearance, so it will complement any bathroom.

Despite its small size, the Sun-Mar Compact still contains the effective Bio-Drum, which is thanks to the fact that their engineers were able to create a drum with a much smaller diameter. In fact, the drum is smaller at the front of the toilet and expands towards the rear.

If you are limited on space, the Sun-Mar Compact is the ideal solution. This is why it has proved so popular with RV enthusiasts, those who travel by camper van, and those that are looking for a practical marine toilet for their boat. With that being said, it would still work just as well in any land-based, off-grid dwelling.

Capacity:

  • Residential or continuous use – 1 adult or a family of 2 with more frequent empties
  • Seasonal or vacation use – 2 adults or families of 4

Venting Requirements:

  • Vent pipe – One 2” thin wall PVC pipe

Drains – ¾” OD (This is optional, but should be used for full-time residences).

Pros & Cons for Sun-Mar Composting Toilets

Pros:

  • Moisture control helps speed up decomposition and manage unpleasant odors
  • Unique Bio-Drum helps with aeration and the maintenance of a healthy bacterial balance, both of which help speed up the rate of decomposition
  • Incredibly easy to empty the liquid and solid tanks when necessary
  • The brand continues to manufacture its composting toilets in Canada and the United States, rather than in low-cost, off-shore facilities
  • Three chamber system works incredibly well
  • All of their toilets can function completely off-grid, meaning no septic or sewage connection is required
  • Operates without chemicals, water, or any other additives
  • They maintain National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Certification, which means their products are tested every 6 months through an independent testing laboratory under strict conditions. This means all of their composting toilets are completely odor-free, even while operating at maximum capacity!
  • Variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose an option that works for you

They have been involved in the composting toilet industry for over 35 years

Cons:

  • Some of the larger models, like the CENTREX 1000 and the CENTREX 2000 NE, only come with the composting system, so you need to purchase a toilet separately. However, this allows you to pick the exact toilet that meets your preferences

Certain models function better with the motorized exhaust fan, so you may need access to electricity for the best possible results. With that being said, the electric motor draws very little power, so you can get away with a small solar power system, or a compact solar generator, like the EcoFlow RIVER MAX

Our Final Impression of Sun-Mar Composting Toilets

After taking a deep dive into the Sun-Mar brand and looking at some of their most popular composting toilets, we found ourselves fairly impressed with what they have to offer. When you consider that they have been around longer than just about any composting toilet company and their products remain as popular as ever, it really becomes difficult to argue with the fact that they are a very trustworthy brand.

We like that they offer so many different models in varying capacities, as this makes it easier for consumers to find the perfect composting toilet for their particular living space. Whether you are looking for a compact composting toilet for your RV or tiny house, or you need something with a much larger capacity rating for a cabin or off-grid home, you will be able to find exactly what you need by shopping Sun-Mar’s impressive product catalog.

Their unique three-chamber system and patented Bio-Drum really help to speed up the rate of decomposition, which means you do not have to empty a Sun-Mar composting toilet nearly as often as you would have to empty a similarly sized toilet from another brand. For RV enthusiasts, this means far fewer stops.

The increased rate of decomposition also helps with odor control. As with any indoor composting toilet, odor management is one of the most important factors you will want to take into consideration when assessing your options. Fortunately, we could not detect any sort of unpleasant odor when we examined our Sun-Mar composting toilet, even after it had been used for several days. If anything, the smell is reminiscent of soil and it is only detectable when the toilet lid is up and you are standing right beside it.

Overall, Sun-Mar composting toilets hold up extremely well and we believe the brand is certainly worthy of our recommendation.

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Nature’s Head Composting Toilet Review

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet Review – Everything You Need to Know

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 6
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 4
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 5

Table of Contents

Composting toilets offer a practical alternative to traditional flushing toilets. They use little to no water and do not require a sewage hookup or connection to a septic tank. This is because they rely on the natural process of decomposition to eliminate waste and unpleasant odors.

Given that they can be installed and used anywhere, composting toilets are an ideal waste management solution for anyone that lives off-grid, on a boat, in an RV, travels by camper van, or has any other living arrangement where a traditional flushing toilet would not be an option.

How Can We Help?

To help you learn more about your options, we are offering an in-depth review of one of the leading self-contained composting toilet manufacturers – Nature’s Head. We will start by examining the company’s history, as well as its current reputation. From there, we will take a close look at their highly popular composting toilet. More importantly, we will decide whether or not a Nature’s Head composting toilet is worth your hard-earned money!

The Nature’s Head Brand

Nature’s Head was originally founded in 2006 by two long-time sailors that wanted to create a more user-friendly alternative to a traditional marine composting toilet. The company continues to operate out of its original headquarters in Van Buren, Ohio, but they have recently added a second location in Saraland, Alabama.

While the company continues to operate domestically, they proudly sell their popular composting toilets around the world, including in Canada, Europe, Australia, and beyond. Not only do they operate primarily out of Ohio, but all of the components for their composting toilets are also manufactured and assembled in Ohio and Pennsylvania, so they are a true American-made company.

The Nature’s Head Story:

The two friends and sailing enthusiasts that founded Nature’s Head originally sought to revolutionize marine composting toilets, as they believed the existing options were bulky, difficult to install, and often produced unpleasant odors.

While their first composting toilet was designed to withstand harsh marine environments, it has since proven to be incredibly popular for a much wider variety of applications. Since it is a self-contained unit that can operate in any environment that lacks plumbing and electricity, it works just as well on land as it does on the water.

The original version of their composting toilet was a near-immediate success; however, they have improved upon that design with various modifications and enhancements, including a unique spider-handled agitator, which helps increase the speed of decomposition, without requiring an electrical hookup.

Despite the fact that they started out as a small, independently-owned company, Nature’s Head has gone on to sell tens of thousands of units to customers all around the world. Today, their unique composting toilet is incredibly popular with owners of off-grid homes, tiny houses, remote cabins, boats of all descriptions, camper vans, RVs, workshops, barns, yurts, survival shelters, and more. In fact, they have even sold their composting toilets to the United States Military, so it is even trusted for military applications!

Review of Nature’s Head Composting Toilets

Now that you know a little bit more about the Nature’s Head brand, we can start to review their products, primarily their incredibly popular composting toilet.

Whenever you are considering a new composting toilet, there are several factors that you should always take into consideration. During our review process, we considered how well the Nature’s Head composting toilet performed in each of these categories. Below, you will see the results of our analysis:

Ease of Installation:

One of the things we liked the most about the composting toilet offered by Nature’s Head is how easy it is to install. The toilet simply attaches to the floor with two basic brackets. As long as you have a flat surface, you can position the toilet in minutes.

Nature’s Head also ships their toilets with everything you need for installation, so you will not need to worry about purchasing any additional components.

From there, you simply need to run one ventilation hose outside. If you opt for one of the versions with the electric exhaust fan, you will need a 12V power hook-up; however, the toilet is capable of running completely powerless.

If you do not have access to electricity, you will probably have to do without the fan. With that being said, the fan has such a low power requirement that you could easily run it using a small solar power system, or by connecting it to a basic solar generator, like the affordable EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station.

Nature’s Head packages their composting toilets with straightforward installation instructions, so there is no need to hire a contractor for professional installation. In fact, the easy installation was one of the primary goals when the Nature’s Head founders had when they started the company. In this regard, they clearly succeeded. Many of the other composting toilets we have come across are difficult to install and usually require hours of frustrating work.

Ease of Use:

Not only are the Nature’s Head composting toilets easy to install, but they are also easy to maintain. Unlike a basic outhouse or portable toilet, which often need to be emptied on a near-daily basis, the Nature’s Head composting toilets are designed to sit untouched for a significant period of time.

This feature was intentional, as the toilets were originally designed for marine applications, which meant they would have to be capable of sitting untouched for weeks at a time.

When it does come time to empty the toilet, you simply flip open two latches on either side of the containment compartment. From there, you cap the lid on the liquid container and lift it out of its compartment.

To empty the main tank, you unhook the 12V power cable and the vent hose. From there, you slide the upper section off of its hinge and undo two thumbscrews on the base of the toilet. The main tank is then ready for emptying. Since it does not contain any liquids, you will not have to worry about the same unpleasant odors you would get with a traditional waterless toilet.

Simply flip the contents of the tank into a standard, eco-friendly kitchen bag, and you are done. You do not even have to clean the tank after emptying it, as leftover matter actually helps to kickstart the composting process all over again.

Odor Management:

As is the case with any self-contained, non-flushing toilet, odor management is one of the most important features you will want to pay attention to. After all, who wants to deal with a smelly toilet, especially if they are in a small space, like an off-grid tiny home, RV, boat, or cabin?

Fortunately, the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet actually does an incredible job of trapping waste so it can be broken down. Not only does it create an effective seal that acts as a barrier between the odors and your living space, it actually separates solid waste from liquid waste, which means you will not smell any sort of unpleasant odor!

While it may be difficult to believe, the only odors we could detect were a mild scent that we would describe as earthy. The toilet’s ability to manage odors is even better if you are able to run the built-in fan, as it pulls air from inside the solid tank and forces it outside of your living space. Given that the fan only draws 0.1A or 12 watts, it is fairly easy to meet its power requirements with a very basic solar setup.

Without a doubt, the lack of any sort of unpleasant odor was the feature that most impressed us about this composting toilet. The odor control is so effective that you could easily install it inside of your living space, rather than in a separate shed or outhouse. Again, the effectiveness of the toilet’s odor management is not an accident. Since the toilet was originally designed for marine applications, such as the interior of a cramped sailboat, preventing the release of unpleasant odors was a primary design feature.

Affordability:

A Nature’s Head composting toilet will end up running just under $1,000, which is a very fair price considering the overall quality. For comparison, we typically see self-contained composting toilets priced between $1,500 and $3,000. Considering the fact that Nature’s Head includes everything you need and costs less than the average price, they certainly qualify as a budget-friendly option.

Not only can you purchase a Nature’s Head composting toilet at an affordable price, but they are also very economical to operate. This is because they are designed to work without any added chemicals.

Instead of expensive chemicals, you simply need to add a small volume of peat moss, as this helps break the waste down and even helps to absorb some of the moisture and odors. Nature’s Head claims that you can run one of their composting toilets off of a single bale of low-cost peat moss for years at a time. Given that you can usually pick up a bale at a garden center for less than $10, this is a very minimal expense.

Pros and Cons of the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

Now that we have examined some of the toilet’s main features, we can take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks that it offers.

Pros:

  • Low Price and Minimal Operating Costs – As we mentioned above, this is a very reasonably priced composting toilet. Typically, we would assume that a composting toilet priced near $1,000 would be made to a poor standard, but the overall quality of the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is outstanding. The fact that it is priced this low and made in the USA is also impressive.

As an added bonus, you will not have to purchase chemical composting agents, as the toilet takes care of that for you. Once you have purchased and installed the toilet, you will simply have to purchase some peat moss. The toilet also uses very little, so one low-cost bale should last you for a long time.

If you are limited on space, you can also use a compressed and dehydrated coir pith, as it will expand when it is placed in the reservoir. A block of coco coir pith is also very affordable, as you can see by checking the price on Amazon.

  • Lack of Odor – Given that the toilet automatically separates liquid and solid waste, the odor is extremely minimal. The slight scent you can detect does not smell at all of the human waste. If you can smell anything, it will be a slightly earthy or soil-like scent, which you will only be able to detect if you are standing directly beside the toilet with the lid open.

The odor control the Nature’s Head composting toilet offers is a great feature, but it is a particular highlight for anyone that plans on installing it in a tight, enclosed space, such as an RV, camper van, tiny house, cabin, or boat. Given the fact that many off-grid dwellings are fairly small, this is a really important feature.

  • Easy to Install and Use – As we described above, the installation process is extremely straightforward. Even if you just have basic DIY skills, you should not have any problem installing the Nature’s Head composting toilet.

Maintenance is also a breeze, as emptying the two tanks only takes a few minutes. Best of all, emptying the tanks is not really an unpleasant experience. Some self-contained toilets can be pretty gross, but the fact that Nature’s Head has an effective liquid separation system means it does not smell too bad, even when you are emptying the tanks. You also do not even have to clean the tanks after they are emptied!

  • Functionality – Using the Nature’s Head toilet is just like using a typical flushing toilet. In fact, it even looks just like a normal toilet, so there is no adjustment phase. If you are a van life or RV enthusiast, you can easily conceal the toilet, as it is also fairly small.

As we just discussed, it is also extremely easy to maintain. If two people are using the toilet, you can usually go about two weeks before needing to empty it, which is really good compared to a typical composting toilet, which will need to be emptied every three or four days!

  • Made in the USA – The fact that Nature’s Head manufactures and assembles all of their composting toilets right here in the United States really impresses us. Given how many composting toilet brands manufacture their products off-shore, it is a feature of the Nature’s Head brand that really stands out.

Five-Year Warranty – Nature’s Head also backs all of their composting toilets with an industry-leading 5-year warranty. This speaks to the overall quality of their products!

Cons:

Only Available in Ceramic White – The lack of color options is really the only fault we could find with the Nature’s Head composting toilet. While some brands offer their toilets in a variety of colors, Nature’s Head sticks to a basic ceramic white color.

Our Overall Impression of Nature’s Head Composting Toilets

We really cannot say enough about the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet. The fact that the design has remained relatively untouched since it was first introduced is a testament to its effectiveness.

It works extremely well, is incredibly easy to maintain, produces next to zero noticeable odors, can be installed in less than an hour, and is available at a very affordable price. Overall, it really has everything you could ever want out of a composting toilet.

No matter what sort of off-grid living arrangement you have, a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet offers an ideal waste management solution.

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Solar Panels with Built-in Outlets – Do They Exist?

Solar Panels with Built-in Outlets – Do They Exist?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

With growing concerns about climate change, the ever-rising cost of electricity, and the instability of electrical grids around the world, it makes sense that more people than ever before are turning to solar panels as a source of free and renewable power.

If you are new to solar power and you are unsure where to start, we are here to help. One of the most common questions we are asked is whether or not it is possible to purchase a solar panel that has a built-in outlet. In other words, can you simply plug an electronic device directly into a solar panel to charge it?

solar panel

So, is it Possible?

Unfortunately, plugging electronic devices and appliances directly into a solar panel is not possible at this time. While it may seem somewhat confusing at first, we are going to clearly explain why you cannot simply access power directly from a solar panel. From there, we will offer a beginner-friendly solution that will allow you to access clean, solar electricity, without having to install a large-scale solar power system.

While it may seem somewhat intimidating at first, getting started with solar is actually fairly simple, especially once you know the exact types of equipment you will need to purchase.

Can You Purchase a Solar Panel with a Built-in Power Outlet?

As mentioned above, it is not possible to plug an electronic device or appliance directly into a solar panel. While it would certainly be convenient if you could, there is a fairly simple explanation as to why this is not possible. To understand why, you have to take a few seconds to learn how solar panels actually work.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

In simple terms, a solar panel, or photovoltaic panel (PV panel), generates electric current by absorbing light particles from direct sunlight. These light particles are called photons. After they have been captured, they bounce around within the solar cells that make up the solar panel. As they move and bounce around inside the solar cells within the solar panels, they clash into electrons, which produces an electric current.

This current is then transferred to the solar panel’s terminals, so it can be used. However, before the electric current can be used, it must be converted from Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC), which is what your electronic devices and appliances need.

To convert the DC power that solar panels generate into useable AC power, the current must flow through a power inverter, which is a specialized piece of solar equipment that can efficiently convert the power into the current you need.

When you plug your electronics into a standard wall outlet, you are accessing AC power, which is why just about every electronic you will find inside your home will be designed to run off of AC power.

What Do You Need to Access Power from a Solar Panel?

A Sufficient Power Inverter:

As described above, you will need to wire your solar panels to a power inverter in order to convert the DC power they generate into useable AC power.

The exact power inverter you are going to need will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of solar panels you are using, as well as the electronic devices and appliances you are looking to run with solar power. Essentially, you need an inverter with a power rating that matches the amount of power your solar panels will generate, as well as the input power demands of the devices you plan on using that electricity to charge.

An Appropriate Deep-Cycle Solar Battery:

Another factor you will have to consider is the fact that solar panels cannot generate any power unless they are exposed to direct sunlight. In other words, once the sun has set, or the sunlight is even blocked by clouds and other impediments, the solar panel cannot generate power. This means you need to connect your solar panels to some sort of rechargeable battery if you want to be able to access solar power at night and during other situations when the sun is not shining.

These batteries are usually referred to as deep-cycle solar batteries, and they are specifically designed to accept solar power and be charged and discharged repeatedly.

An Efficient Charge Controller:

Not only will you need a battery to store the solar power your solar panels generate, but you will also need a piece of equipment known as a charge controller to regulate the flow of electricity from the solar panels to your battery bank. Without an appropriate charge controller, the power flowing from your solar panels could overwhelm your battery. Since charge controllers are designed to efficiently regulate the flow of electricity, they help to protect your battery.

They also prevent stored electricity from flowing from the battery back to the solar panels, where it would otherwise be lost. In other words, a charge controller and an appropriate solar battery are also essential pieces of equipment if you plan on storing solar power so you can use it at your convenience, rather than just when the sun is shining.

Solar Cables and Connectors:

Once you have acquired the three main components you will need in order to store and access the solar electricity that your solar panels generate, you will need to purchase all of the solar cables and connectors required to wire everything together.

If you are lucky, the components you purchase will come with the required cables, however, in many cases, these solar cables are impractically short, so they will not be adequate if you are planning to position your solar equipment indoors, while your solar panels are fixed into position outside.

So, is it Expensive to Use Solar Panels?

While it may sound complicated and expensive to purchase all of the equipment required to get your solar panels up and running, it is actually fairly simple and affordable, especially if you purchase a complete solar kit.

The best solar kits come packaged with everything you need to get started, including all of the cables, connectors, and brackets required for installation. If you know where to shop, you can even purchase a solar kit that is designed to be as beginner-friendly as possible, which means even those that have zero solar experience can easily install their own solar power system.

Where Can You Find Beginner-Friendly Solar Kits?

While there are quite a few online retailers that offer solar kits, you have to make sure that you are purchasing one that actually comes with all of the components required to generate, store, and use solar power.

Some kits will come with solar panels and a charge controller, but you will not get a power inverter, or an adequate solar battery, which means you will have to make additional purchases after you have ordered your supposedly “complete” solar kit. You should also make sure that any solar kit you are looking at actually comes with solar cables and connectors, otherwise, you will have no way of wiring the individual solar components together.

ShopSolarKits.com:

We have found that www.ShopSolarKits.com is one of the best options for those that are just starting out with solar power. As the name suggests, ShopSolarKits specializes in off-grid and grid-tied solar kits. Not only are their kits available at outstanding prices, they only contain high-quality components from some of the best brands in the solar industry.

As an added bonus, most of their solar kits are designed to be beginner-friendly, so they are ideal for beginners and DIY-enthusiasts. They even come with custom installation guides and wiring instructions. Once you have purchased your solar kit, you also get access to lifetime customer support and plenty of helpful resources, both of which can be incredibly valuable for beginners.

DIY Solar Panel Kits:

If you are unsure where to start, we recommend trying out their Solar Kit Sizing Tool, which will help you find the perfect solar kit for your specific power needs and budget. If you have a basic idea of what you need, you can also browse their DIY Solar Panel Kits. Their solar kits are designed to meet a variety of power requirements, so you simply have to choose the kit that satisfies your needs and budget.

No matter which kit you choose, you will receive solar panels, and efficient charge controller, a power inverter, a deep-cycle solar battery, and all of the cables and connectors you need. You also get custom instructions, so installation should be a breeze!

Solar Generators – The Ultimate All-in-One Solution

If the idea of installing a solar power system in a fixed location is not what you are looking for, we suggest taking a look at solar generators.

Essentially, a solar generator is a convenient piece of solar equipment that contains everything you need in one unit, including a charge controller, power inverter, and a deep-cycle solar battery. These all-in-one solar units also feature a variety of input and output ports, so they almost act as a self-contained solar power station.

You simply have to connect your solar panels to your solar generator and you can start drawing solar power directly from the generator’s output ports. In other words, a solar generator is about as close as you are ever going to get to a solar panel with a built-in outlet.

How Do Solar Generators Work?

Since a solar generator contains all of the necessary components required to convert DC power into useable AC power, you simply have to plug your solar panels into the appropriate input port on your specific solar generator.

Once the electricity flows from your solar panels to your solar generator, it will then be stored within the solar generator’s internal battery. This allows you to access that electricity whenever you need it.

Not only can you charge the solar generator with solar power, but most also have the option to charge the battery with AC power, which you can do by simply plugging the solar generator into any standard wall outlet.

As an added bonus, some units even support car charging, so you can just plug them into the DC port in your vehicle. This is a really useful option for those that enjoy road trips, as well as those that are looking to use a solar generator as a portable source of power in their RV or camper van.

How Do You Use a Solar Generator?

To pull power from the solar generator, you simply have to plug your electronic device or appliance into the appropriate output port, which should be located on the face of your solar generator.

Most solar generators will have an array of AC outlets that look just like wall-style plug-ins. They also tend to feature USB-A and USB-C output ports, so you can plug your portable electronics, like your smartphone, directly into the solar generator. With some units, you even get DC output ports, which will look just like the cigarette-style outlet you get in a car.

For added convenience, most solar generators will also feature a display screen, which will give you output and input power ratings, and tell you how much power is remaining within the solar generator’s internal battery.

The most advanced units also feature Wi-Fi compatibility, so you can monitor and control them through a smartphone or tablet by downloading the appropriate smart app. Basically, solar generators are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, which is part of the reason why they have become so popular.

What Do You Need?

Since solar generators are designed to be the ultimate all-in-one solar power station, all you need is the solar generator itself, solar panels, and the cables required to connect them together. Most solar generators will even include all of the cables you need, so they really are the ultimate plug-and-play solar power system.

Fortunately, ShopSolarKits also sells solar generator kits, which package a high-end solar generator with an appropriate number of high-quality solar panels. You also get a custom instruction manual and all of the cables required to charge your solar generator and keep it connected to your solar panels.

The more advanced kits will also include expansion batteries, so you can store an incredible amount of solar electricity in a convenient and portable solar power system.

If you are interested in a complete solar generator kit, we encourage you to browse their Solar Generator Kit Collection.

What Can You Use a Solar Generator For?

One of the key benefits you get by using a solar generator is versatility. Even the most powerful solar generators are still designed for portability, so they will feature built-in wheels and handles.

Off-Grid Power for RV and Camping Trips:

When you combine their portable nature with the fact that they contain everything you need in one convenient package, you really start to see why they are perfect for off-grid applications. Whether you are looking for a source of electricity that you can take with you on your next camping or RV trip, or you would simply like to have the ability to do some work in the backyard, a solar generator can give you access to electricity wherever you need it.

Many people will keep a few solar panels and a solar generator in their RV, which gives them the ability to access electricity, even when they do not have access to a power hookup.

Basically, you can generate and store your own electricity, which can give you the ability to explore off-grid locations that were previously off-limits!

Backup Power During Emergencies and Power Failures:

If you are looking for a reliable source of power that you can access during emergency situations, like lengthy power outages and natural disasters, a high-quality solar generator can be the ideal option.

With some of the latest solar generator models, you can even connect more than one unit together, which will increase the total storage capacity, as well as the output power. For example, the EcoFlow Delta PRO Solar Generator supports this extremely beneficial chaining function.

When you connect two Delta PROs, you can achieve a stunning output power rating of 7,2000W / 240V! If you are unfamiliar with what these numbers mean, it basically means that you can use the solar generators to keep heavy-duty, demanding electric appliances, like refrigerators, ovens, and air conditioners, running for days at a time.

Recommended Solar Generators

While there are numerous solar generators on the market these days, it is important to choose a high-quality unit that is manufactured by a reputable brand. The following are just some of our favorites:

There are plenty of reasons why the EcoFlow Delta 1800 is one of the best-selling solar generators of all time.

When it was first released in 2019, the Delta 1800 really stood apart from any solar generator that preceded it. For starters, it features a robust 1,300Wh deep-cycle solar battery, which means it can store enough power for a wide range of applications, including emergency preparedness, portable power for RV and camping adventures, and much more.

It delivers a powerful 1,800W inverter that can handle surges of up to 3,300W. While the impressive battery capacity and power inverter certainly turn heads, what really sets the Delta 1800 apart is its budget-friendly price.

The Delta 1800 also delivers some fairly impressive extra features, like a chaining ability, which means you can easily connect multiple Delta 1800s to increase its output power and battery capacity. This is really helpful if you are looking to store and use a significant amount of solar power on a tight budget. It also features an informative LED display screen, which makes it easy to read input and output information, as well as a straightforward estimate of the amount of power your Delta 1800 has remaining in its battery. Again, this is really helpful for emergency situations and blackouts, as it can help you budget your remaining power appropriately.

An incredibly fast charging rate also means that you can recharge the Delta 1800 from 0% to 80% in as little as one hour! 13 output ports and the ability to detect power outages automatically really put the Delta 1800 in a different class than the Patriot Power 1800.

All this plus a two-year manufacturer’s warranty and an affordable price point make it fairly obvious why the Delta 1800 has remained one of the most popular solar generators on the market.

Launched in late 2021, the AC200 MAX is one of the most exciting solar generators on the market today.

It offers two expansion battery ports, which means it can accommodate up to two BLUETTI B230 expansion batteries (2048Wh each), or two B300 expansion battery modules (3072Wh each). When you consider the fact that this means you can expand your AC200 MAX to a total storage capacity of 8,192Wh, you can really grasp how impressive this solar generator can be.

The AC200 MAX also features 16 power outlets, so you can run and charge all of your devices and appliances at the same time. On top of that, you can also re-charge the AC200 MAX’s internal battery and expansion batteries at the same time that you supply power to your electronics!

RV enthusiasts and boaters will also appreciate the fact that the AC200 MAX features a built-in 30A (“RV Plug”) – NEMA TT-30 rated outlet and a powerful 12V 30A DC outlet.

The AC200 MAX can also handle a solar input of 900W and a 500W input from AC power, which means the internal battery can be charged incredibly fast. It also supports dual charging, meaning you can use AC and Solar charging simultaneously. When doing so, you can achieve an input rating of 1,400W, which means the unit’s massive battery can be fully charged in less than 2 hours!

While it is more expensive than the previous two options, the Delta PRO completely blows the competition away. This is because the Delta PRO is the most powerful solar generator ever released.

This is because the Delta PRO was designed to be a whole-home battery system. When it is combined with expansion batteries, it can supply enough power to keep a full-sized home running for days at a time, which means it can help you achieve off-grid solar independence.

Not only does it contain an enormous 3,600Wh deep-cycle battery, it is expandable, meaning it can seamlessly connect to multiple 3,600Wh expansion batteries for a mind-boggling total battery capacity of 25,000Wh or 25kWh! This means the Delta PRO can almost double the power storage capabilities of a Tesla Powerwall 2!

Not only can the Delta PRO store an incredible amount of power, it also offers some of the most advanced features of any solar generator on the market today, such as Wi-Fi compatibility, the world’s fastest charging rate, and the ability to integrate it directly into your home’s power circuits with the EcoFlow Smart Panel Ecosystem.

Overall, this truly is one of the best solar generators we have ever seen and it certainly justifies its price tag.

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Real Reviews: The EcoFlow Delta PRO – What are People Saying About This Popular Solar Generator?

Real Reviews: The EcoFlow Delta PRO – What are People Saying About This Popular Solar Generator?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 9
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 8
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 9

Table of Contents

The EcoFlow Delta PRO was first announced in August of 2021. Not only did it promise to be the highest capacity solar generator in the EcoFlow lineup, but its impressive specifications also made the Delta PRO one of the most versatile and powerful solar generators ever released by any manufacturer.

Since its release, EcoFlow has gone on to sell tens of thousands of Delta PROs, so it has had one of the most impressive launches of any solar generator in the entire industry’s history. While its extraordinary specifications and unprecedented sales record speak for themselves, we wanted to take a deep dive into this unique solar generator to see what real users have to say about it.

If you are considering purchasing an EcoFlow Delta PRO, but you would like to know how it actually performs in the real world, you have come to the right place!

Why is the EcoFlow Delta Pro So Popular?

Unlike the EcoFlow solar generators that preceded it, the Delta PRO is marketed as a revolutionary, whole-home backup system. Where smaller units are designed to act as a source of portable power, or as a temporary backup power supply for brief power failures, the Delta PRO’s massive and expandable battery, as well as its powerful inverter and coupling capabilities, ensure that it is both powerful and versatile enough to be a practical source of reliable electricity for much more demanding applications.

Whether you are looking for a source of power for your entire RV, or you are looking to meet a significant amount of your home’s electricity needs with solar power, the Delta PRO is versatile and powerful enough to meet these requirements.

EcoFlow Delta PRO Highlights:

Before we get into some of the customer reviews for the Delta PRO, it makes sense to take a quick look at some of its most impressive features:

  • Storage Capabilities – The incredible battery capacity is one of Delta PRO’s main features. Even without an expansion battery pack, the Delta PRO’s LiFeP04 lithium-ion battery has a rated capacity of 3,600Wh or 3.6kWh!

The massive internal battery also offers an outstanding 12-month shelf life, which means you can leave a fully charged Delta PRO untouched for an entire year and you will still be able to pull electricity from it when required. This is incredibly useful if you plan on using it as a source of emergency power!

  • Expandability – EcoFlow has designed the Delta PRO so it can be connected to multiple 3,600Wh battery expansion units. At an affordable price, you can increase the unit’s overall storage capacity to a mind-boggling 25,000Wh, or 25kWh! This is the territory where you start to exceed what you can do with a Tesla Powerwall. This is also why EcoFlow markets the Delta PRO as a whole-home backup system.
  • Remarkable Output Capabilities – Where the Delta PRO really shines is its massive AC output, which is mostly down to its highly capable and incredibly efficient power inverter. EcoFlow has a reputation for equipping all of their solar power generators with high-performance power inverters, but even we were blown away when we discovered they had outfitted the Delta PRO with a 3,600W 30amp 12V pure sine power inverter.

Given that a single Delta PRO offers an AC output of up to 3,600W, which can be increased up to 4,500W thanks to EcoFlow’s unique X-Boost technology, there really is nothing else like it on the market.

  • The Double Voltage Hub – The Delta PRO is also compatible with the new EcoFlow Double Voltage Hub, which allows you to connect two Delta PROs together to achieve an output power rating of 7,200W / 240V. This level of output power is unheard of from a solar generator and it is enough to meet the power requirements of even the most demanding electronic appliances, like washing machines, air conditioners, and even 240V well pumps.

The Double Voltage Hub is really easy to use, as the smart cable connects to both units, then simply funnels into a 240V plug, which can be connected directly to your home’s electrical system in the same way that you would integrate a gasoline generator, or large-scale, grid-tied solar inverter.

If you are using solar panels, this means you can directly run your home off of solar power. For those looking to save some money on their monthly utility bills, you can use the solar energy stored in your Delta PROs to avoid drawing grid power during peak hours.

While the features listed above are some of the highlights, the Delta PRO offers users even more. Wi-Fi connectivity and smart app compatibility mean that you can monitor and control the Delta PRO remotely.

A versatile range of output ports, including two USB-C 100W Fast-Charging Ports, means that you can easily plug your electronic devices and appliances directly into the Delta PRO. The addition of a 30-amp RV Anderson hookup is another innovative feature, as it makes it much easier to use the Delta PRO to supply power directly to your entire RV or camper van.

You can also charge the Delta PRO’s battery through an EV charging station, as EcoFlow added an industry-first EV Infinity Charging Port. This is a really helpful feature for those that plan on taking the Delta PRO on road trips.

So, what are People Saying About the EcoFlow Delta PRO?

Given that the Delta PRO has been on the market for roughly half a year, we thought it would be a good idea to see what recent buyers have had to say about it. While it certainly blew consumers away when it was first announced, you can never tell how well a piece of solar equipment is going to perform until you have had the opportunity to test it out firsthand.

The following are just some of the countless positive Delta PRO reviews that we have found through various online retail stores, off-grid message boards, and gear review websites.

EcoFlow Delta PRO Customer Reviews:

This Blew My Mind!“The Delta Pro’s battery is a BEAST and surprised me with its design. This is coming from someone who has reviewed over a dozen battery brands, including Goal Zero, Jackery, BigBlue, Rockpals, Aimtom, and the like. This EcoFlow battery bank surprised me and they have now skyrocketed to become one of the top brands I have tested and used.”
Cameron Waite - Feb 24, 2022 - ★★★★★
This is the Future!“I have watched this closely from the original Kickstarter concept to its retail execution. I now own three of these units and three extra batteries. They're pretty close to being the perfect power station. Here are just some of the highlights:The inverter is absolutely top notch. This thing can handle heavy loads from your home, RV or van and meets them without breaking a sweat. The unit is rated for 3600W continuous, but I've found that I can exceed that by a fair bit for a few minutes before it shuts down.You can also pair two of them with their double voltage hub accessory and connect it to your home transfer switch. You can run split phase 240V loads like well pumps, electric dryers, or even smaller central air conditioners (with a soft start kit). The best part is that you can keep this inside away from the rain, snow, high winds or potential theft. You can even charge this up, often for free, at a level 2 EV charge station.
Ria Jairam – Feb 15, 2022 - ★★★★★
The LFP Battery is Awesome!“Love this thing! It’s amazing! It can power my entire office for almost 9 hours! I am waiting for some of the accessories and such to become available, but you can completely discharge and recharge this thing, every day, for almost 10 years and it will only lose about 20% capacity… this is a lifetime battery! That’s ten years of cycling it every single day!I plan on having this for many years! It is also surprisingly easy to move thanks to the handle and wheels!”
Paul Wroth – Jan 2, 2022 - ★★★★★
Smart and Powerful. A Great Source of Backup Power!“It looks like a huge and bulky thing, but EcoFlow gives it wheels and handles to make it a flexible and portable power station. We weighed out the cost and ease of using the Delta Pro versus other solar stations and this made much more sense for us.I was able to plug just about everything into it without problems. From 100% charge, it lasted for one full day with about 25% left. This is with a family of 7 using it! It handled all of the appliances in the house and had them running normally.We also liked that the Delta Pro is expandable, so it can connect to extra batteries and the smart generator. I'm considering buying other EcoFlow products in the future. It has everything we need for full home backup during long power outages. It is definitely the greatest power station ever! It’s expensive, but definitely seems to be worth the money so far.”
Mark Roberts – Feb 14, 2022 - ★★★★★
BEST Plug and Play Solar Setup Out There!“I purchased the Delta Pro, the Delta Pro Extra Battery, the Smart (gas) Generator, and the Smart Home Panel for complete emergency backup power for my home.Simply AMAZING product! Just the best on the market at the time of purchase. Really can't say anything negative about the Delta Pro or any of the accessories. Together, they have super-fast recharging, they can power everything except for my hot water heater and A/C unit. BUT, if I had purchased two Delta Pro's, it would have produced 240V and powered those too.Super easy to use and works great! Can’t say enough about it!”
Richard Huzar – Jan 24, 2022 - ★★★★★
Only Had it for About Two Weeks, but LOVING it So Far!“Everything about it seems to be very well designed and manufactured.It was easy to move around (due to wheels and a collapsible pull handle). It was also easy to install in my RV (just a few things to the plugin). It is heavy (but not too heavy for me to lift by myself and I am an old lady).Best of all, everything actually worked right away. I was even able to download and install the app and get that going fairly easily.Preliminary tests indicate that when used with the extra battery and 2 x Trina Solar 325-Watt Mono Solar Panels, I can go for about 4-5 days off-grid and run all of my lights, computers, fans, fridge, water pump, and even occasionally my microwave. You’ve gotta love that!This will save me camping fees and give me the freedom to go to remote places and stay there longer. Now my most limiting resource is just water!Also, while it will successfully run both my heater and my A/C (even at the same time which I did accidentally during tests), it will only do that for a few hours before depleting the battery. But that is okay, as I am happy to visit places where the temps are in the 20s to 80s.Really happy with it so far!”
Sandra W. – Feb 4, 2022 - ★★★★★

Common Themes from Delta PRO Customer Reviews

We read hundreds of real customer reviews to find out what people were actually saying about the EcoFlow Delta PRO. While there are plenty of professionally written reviews and articles about the Delta PRO, we were more concerned with how it performed for real people in the real world.

Impressive Storage Capacity:

Throughout our research, we kept coming across the same general themes. For starters, most users were blown away by the Delta PRO’s storage capacity. RV enthusiasts found that the Delta PRO’s enormous battery gave them more freedom than ever, as they could use it to supply power to their electronics while they explored off-grid locations. We also came across quite a few reviewers that had purchased the EcoFlow Extra Batteries alongside their Delta PRO, so they were able to use it as a high-capacity battery bank.

Portability and Versatility:

Another point of praise that we kept coming across was just how versatile the Delta PRO is. Many reviewers explained that they bought it for one specific purpose, but later found out that they could use it for others.

Many people simply bought a Delta PRO to function as a source of emergency power but discovered a wide range of daily uses for it, such as using it as a portable power hub for their workshop, or as a source of mobile power for family camping trips.

We also noticed a large number of reviewers expressed relief that the Delta PRO is actually more portable than it appears. While they did stress its considerable weight, many felt that the suitcase-style handle and built-in wheels really helped with portability.

Remarkable Output Power:

Just about every customer review we came across mentioned how surprised they were at the level of output power the Delta PRO can achieve. Users plugged in everything from hair straighteners and speakers to refrigerators and air conditioning units. No matter what they plugged in, most people found the Delta PRO could handle it.

There were also quite a few off-grid users that chose to purchase two Delta PROs and the EcoFlow Double Voltage Hub. These reviewers said they were able to use the Delta PRO to keep largescale appliances running without any issues. Quite a few even said they could not tell a difference between pulling power from their Delta PRO ecosystem and pulling power from the grid!

So, What Was the Overall Impression of the Delta PRO?

The truth is, we could hardly find anyone that had anything negative to say about the Delta PRO. While some did mention it is fairly expensive, all of these reviewers seemed to agree that the Delta PRO more than justifies its price tag.

When we reviewed the Delta PRO ourselves, we were very impressed by what it had to offer. It was unlike any solar generator we had ever seen, and some of the features promised to be incredibly beneficial to users.

After reading through real reviews from real people that have had the opportunity to use the Delta PRO in real-life settings, it seems fairly clear that the EcoFlow Delta PRO actually lives up to all of its early promises!

If you are interested in the Delta PRO, we encourage you to browse the ShopSolarKits.com EcoFlow Delta PRO Collection. Here you will find the Delta PRO as a standalone unit, as well as a variety of Delta PRO Solar Kits, which pair the unit with solar panels, expansion batteries, and more!

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The Delta PRO How-to Guide – Using the New EcoFlow Delta PRO

The Delta PRO How-to Guide – Using the New EcoFlow Delta PRO

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

The EcoFlow Delta PRO was launched in late 2020. Following its release, it quickly became a fan favorite and it has gone on to become one of the fastest selling solar generators in the solar industry’s history.

While the EcoFlow Delta PRO offers some incredible features and also has some of the best storage and output specifications we have ever seen, many users are unsure how to get the most out of this versatile solar generator. That is why we have decided to offer this straightforward how-to guide, which will explain everything you need to know about using the EcoFlow Delta PRO Solar Generator.

Not only will we explain basic instructions for using the Delta PRO, but we will also suggest some of the best ways you can use this mobile power station.

How to Use the EcoFlow Delta PRO

To help you get started, we are going to go over some basic instructions you can follow when you first receive your EcoFlow Delta PRO. Once we have gone over the basics, we can get into some more complicated and unique ways that you can use your Delta PRO.

We will even suggest potential upgrades that you can purchase to turn your Delta PRO into a whole-home battery ecosystem!

Out of the Box:

Right out of the box, there is very little that users will need to do in order to get the Delta PRO up and running. In most cases, the 3,600Wh internal battery will come pre-charged to about 60% capacity. As is often the case with lithium-ion batteries, you will want to fully discharge the battery before you plug it in and re-charge it.

To do so, simply plug your electronic devices and appliances directly into the appropriate, front-facing output ports. Use this as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the various ports, as well as the unit’s built-in LCD display screen.

You will notice that the LCD screen will automatically display output power information as soon as you plug a device into one of the output ports. It should also give you a reading of the remaining power in the form of a percentage.

Charging the Delta PRO:

Once you have fully discharged the Delta PRO’s internal battery by plugging in your electronic appliances and devices, it is time to charge the battery. Fortunately, you can charge the battery in a variety of ways, as the Delta PRO supports solar, AC, and DC charging.

Depending on which power source you are using to charge your Delta PRO, you simply plug the appropriate cable into the correct input port, which will be listed directly on the Delta PRO itself, as well as outlined in the instruction manual that will come with your unit.

For example, if you are charging your Delta PRO with AC power, you simply plug the AC adaptor into the input port located on the back of the Delta PRO. From there, simply plug the other end into any standard wall outlet. Immediately after doing so, the LCD screen will display input information, including the charge rate and the estimated time until the internal battery is fully charged.

The Delta PRO even features an Infinity Port, which means you can charge its internal battery through an EV charging station! This is incredibly helpful if you plan on taking it with you on road trips, or if you are planning to use it as a power source in your RV. The addition of a built-in Anderson Port also really helps to make the Delta PRO the ultimate RV and camper van battery bank!

If you have purchased the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries, you also charge them through the main Delta PRO unit. Simply couple the expansion battery with your Delta PRO and then connect the main unit to your chosen power source. This will charge the Delta PRO’s internal battery, as well as any connected expansion battery. All of the batteries are charged together, so you will not have to worry about plugging them into a power source separately!

Another one of the unique and useful features the Delta PRO offers is pass-through charging, which means you can pull power from the Delta PRO at the same time that it is being charged. This is really helpful if you plan on using your Delta PRO as a true solar generator by connecting it to one or more solar panels. You could be using your Delta PRO indoors to charge your electronics while charging its battery at the same time with solar panels that are located outdoors. To do so, all you would need is a solar cable that was long enough for your Delta PRO to reach the solar panels!

Using the Delta PRO:

Once you have got past the initial setup and you have figured out how to charge the unit’s internal battery, which is incredibly straightforward, you can begin using it in any way that you would like.

One of Delta PRO’s greatest strengths is its versatility. It can function as a mobile solar power station, or you can connect it directly into your home’s circuitry by pairing one or two Delta PROs with the EcoFlow Smart Home Panel.

As mentioned previously, the Delta PRO features a wide array of output ports, so you should be able to connect your electronic devices and appliances directly to the front interface. This is just as simple as it sounds.

If, for example, you were looking to charge an iPhone or an Android smartphone, you would simply take the charging cable and plug it into the appropriate USB output port. EcoFlow even equipped the Delta PRO with the latest USB-C 100W fast-charging outputs, so you will not even have to use the wall adapter when you are charging your portable electronics, as you can plug the charging cable directly into the Delta PRO!

If you purchased the Delta PRO primarily for its ability to supply power to demanding electronic appliances, like fridges, televisions, coffee machines, and more, you will simply plug your appliance directly into one of the four AC (20A) output sockets, which are also located on the front face of the Delta PRO.

For more demanding appliances, the Delta PRO even features a front-facing AC (30A) output socket, so, again, you can simply plug the appliance directly into the Delta PRO.

Put simply, there is no need to connect your Delta PRO to adaptors or a power bar, as it features a wide array of built-in output ports.

What are Some Practical Ways to Use the EcoFlow Delta PRO?

EcoFlow designed the Delta PRO to be one of the most user-friendly solar generators ever made, so you should not have any problems learning how to use it.

If you follow the outline we described above, you should not encounter any problems. However, if you do run into any issues, the instruction manual is actually incredibly detailed and comes packed with useful information, as well as detailed troubleshooting instructions.

Given that it is one of the most versatile solar generators ever made, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss some of the practical ways you can get the most out of your unit. So, what are some of the best ways that you can use your brand new EcoFlow Delta PRO?

Off-Grid Living and Outdoor Adventures:

Thanks to the Delta PRO’s 3,600Wh expandable battery, it can function as the ideal source of off-grid power. When paired with solar panels, you can generate and store your own electricity, which you can use at your own convenience.

For those that own a remote, off-grid cabin, the Delta PRO’s robust, 3,600W pure sine wave inverter ensures that it can produce enough power to keep fairly demanding appliances, such as a chest freezer or a microwave, running for significant stretches of time.

If you are just looking to power portable electronic devices, the Delta PRO’s 3,600Wh storage capacity offers enough stored power that you could even set up your own off-grid office.

Smartphones, laptops, desk lamps, and other small-scale electronics can pull power from a fully-charged Delta PRO for over a week before the battery will be fully drained. Those that enjoy camping from a pop-up camper van, or even just a tent, will really appreciate the ability to bring a reliable source of electricity wherever their next adventure takes them.

Emergency Battery Backup Power for at Home:

Given that the Delta PRO was primarily designed to be a whole-home battery backup system, it can certainly function as a large-scale battery bank for emergency situations and lengthy power outages.

When fully charged, you can run a wide range of electronics from the Delta PRO for days at a time. If you have solar panels, you can continue to solar charge and draw power from the Delta PRO until the grid power is restored.

While one Delta PRO is often capable of meeting a typical family’s power requirements for a day or two, you can easily upgrade the unit by purchasing additional expansion batteries, as each 3,600Wh Smart Extra Battery will double the Delta PRO’s storage capacity.

Those that require serious output power can also purchase a second Delta PRO and the EcoFlow Double Voltage Hub, which allows you to easily connect two Delta PROs together for a total output power rating of 240V / 7,200W! This is more than enough to keep even the most demanding appliances running, including washing machines, convection ovens, full-sized refrigerators, and more! It is even enough power to keep a 240V well pump running, which can be a real-life-saver if the power is out for multiple days at a time!

Supplying Power to a Backyard Workshop:

Another popular use of the Delta PRO is turning it into a portable power hub for a backyard or basement workshop. Thanks to the unit’s robust power inverter, you can easily run lights, speakers, and even power tools directly from it. With its high-capacity internal battery, it can certainly handle an afternoon in the garage, shed, or backyard workshop!

This is another reason why it is so popular with food truck owners and those that do outdoor trade shows. While everyone else is reliant on noisy, expensive, and messy gasoline-powered generators, you can draw clean electricity from a silent power source that does not produce fumes or burn fuel.

Whole-Home Solar Integration:

Thanks to the EcoFlow Smart Home Panel, you can even plug one or more Delta PROs directly into 10 of your home’s circuits. In other words, you can begin meeting some of your home’s power needs with solar power!

This is also incredibly helpful for emergency situations, as the Smart Home Panel will begin drawing power from your Delta PROs and any connected Smart Extra Batteries the second the power goes down. In fact, it has less than a 20-millisecond switchover time, so the switch literally is instantaneous. In many cases, you won’t even realize the power went out.

The Smart Home Panel, as well as the individual Delta PROs, are Wi-Fi enabled, so you can control and monitor your entire Delta PRO ecosystem through your preferred smartphone or tablet!

When you consider the fact that you can potentially increase the storage capacity to 25,000Wh, or 25kWh, you start to realize how capable the Delta PRO ecosystem can truly be.

For comparison, the popular and expensive Tesla Powerwall 2 home backup battery system can only store 14,000Wh of power, so a fully expanded Delta PRO almost doubles what you can achieve with the Tesla.

Final Words

When EcoFlow announced the Delta PRO, we were certainly excited, but we were also somewhat doubtful, as it seemed to promise too much. Fortunately, EcoFlow did not disappoint and the Delta PRO has lived up to and even exceeded all expectations.

The Delta PRO is the most powerful and exciting solar generator we have ever seen and the compatible accessories, like the Smart Extra Batteries, Double Voltage Hub, and the Smart Home Panel, really take things to the next level.

Not only is the Delta PRO incredibly easy to use, but it is also highly versatile, so you can use it in just about any way you can think of.

With the Delta PRO, EcoFlow really has achieved its primary aim of reinventing the way people access portable power.

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Review of the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries

Review of the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries – Everything You Need to Know

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

Up until very recently, the amount of electricity a solar generator could store was limited by the size and quality of its internal battery. This meant that a solar generator’s total storage capacity was a figure that could only ever move in one direction. When you bought a solar generator, you were stuck with those storage capabilities until even that limited storage capacity decreased due to battery degradation.

Over the last year, several of the leading solar equipment manufacturers have introduced expandable solar generators that can be connected to one or more expansion batteries.

Today, we are going to take a look at the highly advanced EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Battery System. Not only will we explain how these expansion batteries work and why they can be so beneficial for consumers, we will break down their specifications to see if they really are as effective and useful as EcoFlow claims.

What is the EcoFlow Delta Pro?

Before we get into our in-depth review of the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Battery, it makes sense to quickly explain what the EcoFlow Delta PRO is and what it offers. After all, what good are expansion batteries if you are unfamiliar with the solar generator that they connect to?

The Delta PRO was released in late 2021 and it was designed to be a major upgrade over the brand’s incredibly popular Delta 1800 Solar Generator. Almost immediately after its release, the Delta PRO established itself as one of the most powerful and versatile solar generators on the market.

For starters, it features an enormous, built-in 3,600Wh internal battery. As we will explore in greater detail shortly, the Delta PRO is also compatible with multiple expansion batteries, so it is not limited to its already impressive 3,600Wh storage capacity.

What Does the Delta PRO Offer?

In addition to a high-capacity internal battery, the Delta PRO also contains a powerful 3,600W pure sine wave inverter. Users also have the option to link two Delta PROs to double the output power to a truly impressive 7,200W / 240V. This means the Delta PRO is truly unprecedented in terms of output power. It also means that you can use the Delta PRO for genuine, whole-home applications! In other words, by connecting two Delta PROs, you could potentially supply power to some of the most demanding electric appliances, like a clothing dyer, power tools, oven, well pump, and more, which means it can be a practical power source for an entire house!

Charging the Delta PRO’s massive internal battery is also incredibly fast and easy. Thanks to EcoFlow’s unique ‘MultiCharge’ feature, which allows you to charge with solar and AC power simultaneously, the Delta PRO can reach an input power rating of 6,500W, which is the fastest charging rate of any solar generator in the world!

The Delta PRO is also compatible with EcoFlow’s Smart Panel Ecosystem, which means you can fully integrate the unit into your home’s power system. When the power fails, your Delta PRO will automatically kick in and supply your home with power, so you will have access to electricity when you need it the most. Again, this explains why the Delta PRO actually is a practical option for whole-home backup.

The Delta PRO also features 12 output ports, including USB-C fast-charging ports and a 30A Anderson RV port. On top of that, the Delta PRO features a touch-screen display and it is Wi-Fi enabled, so you can easily connect it to EcoFlow’s user-friendly smart app.

So, What About the Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries?

As mentioned, the Delta PRO was designed for expandability. Each Delta PRO can be linked to as many as two Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries. When you consider the fact that each of the expansion batteries has the same storage capacity as the Delta PRO itself (3,600Wh), you begin to realize how much power this solar generator system is capable of storing.

By simply adding a single expansion battery, you can take your total storage capacity up to 7,200Wh, or 7.2kWh. Two expansion batteries can deliver a total storage capacity of 10.8kWh. This is an incredible amount of power for a single solar generator; however, where the Delta PRO Extra Battery System really shines is when you pair two Delta Pros with a complete set of expansion batteries.

When you upgrade the Delta PRO to its full potential by pairing two units with four expansion batteries and the home integration kit, you can reach a mind-blowing storage capacity of 25kWh!

This means that the Delta PRO can compete with whole-home solar backup systems, like the Tesla Powerwall 2, which can only store 14kWh of power! When you consider the fact that the Delta PRO’s robust and expandable storage capacity is only one of the exciting features it offers, it begins to make sense why it was considered to be one of the most advanced solar generators in the industry’s entire history.

How are the Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries Charged?

The Delta PRO’s Smart Batteries are charged in the exact same way as the Delta PRO’s internal battery, which means they benefit from its incredible input power rating and its 6,500W ‘MultiCharge’ feature.

As long as the Smart Battery, or Smart Batteries, are connected to a Delta PRO, they will begin charging immediately. Once the Smart Extra Batteries are connected, they will charge and discharge in unison, which means the remaining battery percentage will be kept level across all units. This is a convenient feature, as it prevents one battery from wearing out at a different rate than the rest of the batteries in your Delta PRO ecosystem.

Just like the Delta Pro’s internal battery, the Smart Extra Batteries can be charged from six unique sources – AC charging through any standard wall outlet, EV station charging, solar charging, EcoFlow Smart Generator charging, 12V DC car port charging, and even wind charging through a turbine.

Of course, ‘MultiCharging’ means you can also charge the batteries from two sources at the same time.

How Fast Can the Smart Extra Battery Charge?

Naturally, the charge speed will depend on your chosen charge method. With that being said, it is safe to say that the Delta PRO and the Smart Extra Batteries charge incredibly quickly.

If you are utilizing the ‘MultiCharge’ feature to reach a 6,500W charging rate, you would be able to charge the Delta PRO and a connected Smart Extra Battery in just under 2 hours! If you opted for AC charging alone by simply plugging the Delta PRO into a standard wall outlet, you could charge a Smart Extra Battery in just 2.7 hours; however, this would require the Delta PRO to be fully charged ahead of time.

Other Delta PRO Smart Extra Battery Features:

Like the Delta PRO itself, each of the Smart Extra Batteries also sports a bright LCD display screen. This easy-to-read screen displays all of the information you could ever need at all times. This means you get input and output power readings, as well as the remaining charge as a straightforward percentage.

You can even read how much power is remains until the battery is completely depleted if it continues to operate at its current output.

The Smart Extra Batteries are also Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with the EcoFlow Smart App, so you can quickly check all of the information listed above from your smartphone or tablet. This is what actually makes the Smart Extra Battery “smart”.

Smart app integration is incredibly useful if you are using your Delta PRO Solar Generator Ecosystem to supply power to your entire home. You don’t even need to be home to check how your Delta PRO and the connected Smart Extra Batteries are performing!

Each of the expansion batteries also features a carrying handle and a convenient set of durable wheels, so you still retain the portability that you get with the Delta PRO itself. While they are still fairly heavy, they are far more maneuverable than a standard deep-cycle battery bank or power wall. This means they are a practical option for RV enthusiasts and anyone else that would like to have the option to relocate their home backup system when required.

Delta PRO Smart Extra Battery Specs

  • Capacity: 3,600Wh / 3.6kWh
  • Battery Chemistry: Lithium-iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)
  • Battery Cycle Life: 6,500 cycles to 50% battery capacity, 3,500 cycles to 80% capacity
  • Shelf Life: 1 year on a full charge
  • Dimensions: 25” x 11.2” x 16.4” or 63.5cm x 28.5cm x 41.6cm
  • Total Weight: 84 lbs / 38 kg

 

What Can You Use the Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries For?

While you can certainly pair a single Smart Extra Battery with your Delta PRO to increase your total storage capacity, the real advantage of the Smart Extra Batteries is their ability to transform your standalone solar generator into a whole-home solar power ecosystem.

By connecting two Delta PROs using the EcoFlow Double Voltage Hub, you can achieve a continuous output power rating of 7,200W / 240V! This is enough to power even the most heavy-duty and demanding electric appliances, so you can fully meet your home’s electricity requirements with pure solar power.

While connecting two Delta PROs would double your storage capacity to 7,200Wh, which is impressive, this might not be enough if you are planning to meet your entire home’s power requirements, or if you live off-grid.

This is where the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries would really come in handy. Since the expansion batteries are less expensive than the Delta PRO itself, you can greatly increase your total storage capacity without having to break the bank. Not only are they relatively affordable, but you can also increase your storage capacity to a total of 25kWh, which is far beyond what was ever possible with a solar generator prior to the EcoFlow Delta Pro’s release.

You can take things to the next level with the new EcoFlow Smart Home Panel, which is pictured above. The Smart Home Panel acts as the heart of the entire Delta PRO home battery ecosystem, as it can connect up to two Delta PROs and four Smart Extra Batteries with ten home circuits.

This combination ensures that you will have uninterrupted power during blackouts and other emergency situations. It also means that you can use your Delta PRO system to manage your solar electricity use, so you can easily switch your home over to solar power whenever you desire.

This is really beneficial for those that are connected to the grid with a smart meter, as it means you can run your electronic appliances and devices off of solar electricity when power sourced from the grid is at its highest price. This lets you reduce the cost of your monthly electricity bills, so you can start to see some return on your solar generator investment right away.

Would We Recommend the EcoFlow Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries?

If your power requirements exceed what a single EcoFlow Delta PRO can deliver, we would certainly recommend purchasing one or more Delta PRO Smart Extra Batteries.

Not only can they each store an impressive 3.6kWh worth of electricity, but they are also incredibly easy to use. You can simply plug them into your existing Delta PRO and double or triple your storage capacity in seconds.

The easy-to-read display screen and ability to connect the batteries to the EcoFlow Smart App are also nice touches. If you are looking for a simple way to introduce solar power into your home, we cannot recommend a complete Delta PRO solar generator ecosystem enough.

For those that are interested, complete Delta PRO solar kits, like this EcoFlow Delta PRO 10,800Wh Solar Generator HEX KIT, are a great option. The Delta PRO HEX KIT pictured above pairs the Delta PRO with x2 Smart Extra Batteries and x6 200W monocrystalline solar panels. In other words, you get everything you need to store and use a significant amount of solar electricity in one convenient package.

Overall, we cannot recommend the EcoFlow Delta PRO and its Smart Extra Batteries enough!

We hope you liked this article. Please rate it or leave us a comment.

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Unbound Solar Review

Unbound Solar Review – Taking an In-Depth Look at This Popular Solar Power System Outfitter

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Overall Rating 6
Portability 8
Compatibility 9
Durability 4
Ease of Use 10
Value for Money 5

Table of Contents

There are plenty of reasons why so many people choose to embrace solar technology each year. For starters, installing a residential solar power system can safeguard your family against ever-rising electricity costs.

There are also numerous non-financial reasons why making the choice to go solar is growing in popularity at such a rapid rate. For many, concerns about global climate change can act as a powerful motive. Making the decision to power your home with renewable energy, rather than electricity that is sourced from the grid, can help you feel as if you are doing your part to protect the environment.

Then there is the fact that the lengthy blackouts and power failures that have plagued the nation over the past few years have exposed the fragility of the American electrical grid. This has left many American homeowners craving the security and energy independence that a residential solar power system can provide.

Regardless of your specific reasons for wanting a residential solar power system, it is important to know which retailers can supply the most efficient and reliable equipment at the best prices. This is why we feel it is our responsibility to review solar retailers, rather than strictly reviewing individual pieces of solar equipment.

In the past, we reviewed the EcoFlow Delta 1800 and found it to be an extremely impressive and capable unit. It remains one of our favorite solar generators, and it continues to be one of the best-selling units on the market today.

We are incredibly excited to take a close look at EcoFlow’s updated and expanded version of the Delta 1800 – the EcoFlow Delta Max. Not only will we review the upcoming EcoFlow Delta Max, but we will also take a look at some of the exciting accessories EcoFlow announced alongside the Delta Max.

How Can We Help?

To help you better understand your options, we are going to take an in-depth look at one of the top solar power system providers in the United States – Unbound Solar.

Over the last few years, the increased popularity of residential solar equipment has led to an explosion in the number of solar retailers on the market. While this competition may sound like a good thing for consumers, it can make it difficult for individuals to know which retailers can actually deliver what they promise, and which have overinflated prices and low-quality products. This is where we can help.

By taking a close look at Unbound Solar, we can determine whether or not they are worthy of your consideration. We will start by taking a closer look at the brand and its history. From there, we will examine their product catalog and other offerings to determine if they have what you need.

As we always say, a residential solar power system is a major investment, so taking the time to research manufacturers and retailers before you make that investment is incredibly important.

Who is Unbound Solar?

The company was originally founded in 1992 under the name Wholesale Solar; however, in October of 2020, the decision was made to rebrand the company as Unbound Solar.

As its original name suggests, the company started out as a wholesale distributor of solar equipment and complete solar power systems. While they originally focussed exclusively on off-grid solar components and systems, they have now branched out into a much wider range of products, including grid-tied solar power systems and other energy independence products, like high-capacity battery banks.

Today, Unbound Solar continues to operate as a 100% employee-owned company. They also continue to operate domestically out of the American Pacific Northwest. Under the direction of the company’s current CEO, Wil VandeWiel, Unbound Solar continues to be one of the nation’s leading solar power system retailers.

What is the Brand Mission for Unbound Solar?

Unbound Solar’s slogan, “Do it Your Way”, perfectly encapsulates the entire company’s vision. Basically, it is their aim to work with customers to help them design the perfect solar power system for their unique needs.

Whether you are looking to install a small-scale solar power system yourself, or you are looking to convert your entire home over to solar power by hiring professional installers, Unbound Solar gives customers the power to choose the exact equipment they need for their specific project.

What Does Unbound Solar Offer?

Unbound Solar places a great deal of importance on only working with the best manufacturers in the industry. Their main selling point is the fact Unbound Solar does not work with you during installation, so they can offer solar equipment at much lower prices than full-service, turn-key installers.

Essentially, the customer acts as the project manager and decides for themselves what they need. Once Unbound Solar delivers your solar equipment, you can choose to install it yourself or hire local contractors to help with installation.

By keeping upfront costs relatively low, the buyer can see a much faster return on their investment. In other words, the money invested into the solar equipment you purchase from Unbound Solar will begin paying for itself much faster, as it will be far less expensive than if you paid for a full-service solar installer to do everything for you.

What Happens When You Buy from Unbound Solar?

Unbound Solar’s buying process is fairly straightforward, as they leave the installation up to you. Once you have made the decision to buy from Unbound Solar, you work with the company to choose the exact solar components you need for your preferred solar power system. Once you have made your choices, you place your order and Unbound Solar will package and ship your solar equipment to you.

Once you receive your solar equipment, it is on you to determine how you will install it. As mentioned, you can either install it yourself or find a local installation company to work with. After you have received the equipment and installed it your way, Unbound Solar will offer ongoing support, which means they can help answer any questions or concerns you have about your new solar power system, even if it was purchased many years earlier.

What Types of Solar Power Systems Do They Sell?

Unbound Solar sells both off-grid and grid-tied solar power systems, so customers can choose what works best for them.

They even offer several solar kits that are specifically designed for RVs and boats. This RV and marine solar power systems are limited in terms of output power, but they can be a great option for those that are looking for a small-scale system they can mount directly to their RV, camper van, or boat.

In terms of individual components, Unbound Solar offers a wide range of products. For starters, they offer individual solar panels from Astronergy, Heliene, and Solaria, which happen to be some of the best residential solar panel brands on the market.

Although the three types of panels they offer are all made by reputable manufacturers, so they are all built to a high standard, we were a little bit disappointed that Unbound Solar does not offer bulk discounts when you purchase more than one solar panel at a time. While this is fairly standard for online solar retailers, there are a few companies out there that will offer discounts depending on the number of panels you purchase.

They also offer a variety of deep-cycle solar batteries, various solar panel racks, and several types of power inverters. While they will not appeal to all customers, they also offer several natural gas-powered generators. While these can be really helpful as a source of backup power, they are not powered by a renewable energy source.

Strangely, they do not carry solar generators, which we found somewhat disappointing. Given the fact that solar generators can act as a beginner-friendly, all-in-one solar power station, it is a shame that Unbound Solar does not carry them. Fortunately, those that are looking for a portable source of solar power can choose from several reputable retailers that carry solar generators.

What Do We Like About Unbound Solar?

Now that you know a little bit more about the company, we can take a look at some of the things we really like about Unbound Solar.

Impressive Selection:

One of the things we liked most about Unbound Solar is the fact that they work directly with a wide range of solar manufacturers. Some of the smaller retailers only work with a small number of manufacturers, which can severely limit options for consumers.

Given that Unbound Solar works with over 50 manufacturers, we find that it is fairly easy to find the exact equipment you are looking for through their online store. The ability to build your own custom solar power system by mixing and matching components from various manufacturers really allows you to build and install a system that matches your preferences. This is another way that Unbound Solar lives up to its slogan, “Do it Your Way”.

Dedication to a Positive Environmental Impact:

While offering their customers high-quality components at fair prices is certainly Unbound Solar’s primary goal, the brand has always remained dedicated to making a positive environmental impact.

According to Unbound Solar’s website, since they first started, the 20,000 residential solar power systems that they have sold have generated roughly 100 Mega Watts of clean electricity. When you consider the fact that over 140,000 tons of CO2 would have been emitted if the same volume of electricity was sourced from a conventional electrical grid, their products have had a very significant environmental impact. Reducing carbon emissions by 140,000 tons is the equivalent of saving 92.3 acres of trees!

At Ecotality, sustainability has always been one of our primary concerns, which is why we always check to see what efforts solar manufacturers and retailers take to make sure that their products are eco-friendly. While you may assume that all solar equipment is eco-friendly, the truth is, some of the lower quality products are not made to last. When solar equipment is made, the manufacturing process can result in fairly significant carbon emissions, so the equipment must last long enough to generate the power required to cancel out what was emitted while it was being made.

Fortunately, Unbound Solar makes sure that they only carry solar equipment that can make this difference!

On top of this, Unbound Solar donates a set percentage of each sale to one of fifty non-profit organizations. The customer chooses which non-profit they would like the money to go to. One of the top organizations Unbound Solar donates to is One Tree Planted, which works towards reforestation efforts around the world. For every dollar they receive, One Tree Planted will plant a tree. Currently they have planted over 4 million trees!

Personalized Assistance and Lasting Support:

For those that are interested in purchasing a complete solar power system, rather than just a few individual components, Unbound Solar will offer lifetime support on your system. To do so, they help you understand manufacturer warranties and they can even help you get in touch with local equipment technicians.

Their team of solar experts will also help walk you through the buying process by answering questions over the phone. While this type of support might not be of much use to those that have experience installing and using residential solar power systems, it can be a real benefit to beginners.

Each of the complete solar power systems they sell also comes packaged with a basic electrical diagram, which will explain the basics of wiring a solar power system together. For an extra fee, you can even receive customized diagrams that will be tailored to the specific components within your newly purchased solar power system. While we would have preferred if this service was provided at no cost to the customer, it is still really helpful for those that are eager to install their solar power system on their own.

Would We Recommend Unbound Solar to Our Readers?

There is plenty to like about Unbound Solar. The fact that they have been in business for 30 continuous years is a massive achievement in itself, especially when you are talking about an industry as young as the residential solar power industry. Selling over 20,000 complete solar power systems is also a testament to their enduring quality, as few solar retailers can come close to these numbers.

We also really like that Unbound Solar focuses on helping its customers find tailor-made solar solutions that actually fit their specific budget and power requirements. They really do seem committed to their “Do it Your Way” slogan; however, we would have preferred if they did not charge extra for custom wiring instructions. With that being said, the base prices for their solar power systems are very competitive, so we cannot really argue with the extra fee too much.

We also like that they sell both off-grid and grid-tied solar power systems, but we found that some of their off-grid systems are a bit underpowered. This could be because they are designed for smaller, off-grid cabins, rather than full-sized houses, but it is still something to consider.

Another thing we really liked is the fact that they feature a Solar Permitting System, which helps customers acquire the necessary permits to have a solar power system installed on their home. If you live in a jurisdiction that requires engineering stamps, they can even help you get your permit professionally reviewed and stamped (again, for an additional fee).

Overall Impression:

In short, we would certainly recommend Unbound Solar, but they will not be the perfect option for everyone. If you are comfortable purchasing a solar power system that will likely require professional installation, and you also know that there are qualified installers or contractors in your area, Unbound Solar is a great option. Remember, they did start out as a solar wholesaler, so most of their solar power systems will be similar to what you would receive if you went through a local solar installation company, but Unbound Solar’s prices should be better.

If you are more interested in a beginner-friendly, DIY solar power system that you can easily install yourself, you may want to look at another retailer, as this is not Unbound Solar’s specialty. The same can be said if you are looking for a convenient and portable solar generator.

ShopSolarKits.com:

Like Unbound Solar, ShopSolarKits is an extremely popular online solar retailer. While they are involved in the same industry, the two companies specialize in different types of solar equipment and complete solar power systems.

Where Unbound Solar’s main focus is roof-mounted, wholesale-priced solar power systems that often require professional installation, ShopSolarKits offers products that are more geared towards DIY enthusiasts that would prefer to install a solar power system without professional help.

This is because ShopSolarKits specializes in pre-assembled solar kits that range from beginner-friendly, plug-and-play kits, to large-scale whole-home grid-tied and off-grid kits.

What we like the most about this retailer is the fact that all of their solar kits actually come with every single thing you need. This includes everything from mounts and brackets, to solar cables and connectors. When you purchase a solar kit from ShopSolarKits, you know that you will have everything you need in one package.

While complete solar kits are certainly their specialization, like Unbound Solar, they also sell individual pieces of solar equipment, so you have the option to upgrade or replace any component in your current solar setup.

Why ShopSolarKits?

One of the best things about ShopSolarKits is the fact that they offer true lifetime customer support on all purchases. Whether you have purchased one of their complete kits, or you have just ordered a few solar panels, ShopSolarKits guarantees that they will always be there to help throughout your solar journey.

While their low prices are certainly appealing, it is the impressive variety of solar kits they offer that really sets them apart. Whether you are looking for an off-grid power solution, or you just want to install a simple emergency backup power system for your home, ShopSolarKits has everything you need.

What Do They Sell?

They sell traditional grid-tied, off-grid, and hybrid grid-tied + battery bank solar kits, as well as complete solar generator kits. As we discussed above, solar generators are incredibly practical and convenient pieces of solar equipment. All you need to do is connect a solar generator to an appropriate number of solar panels and you have portable, off-grid power that you can reliably access from anywhere. This makes them perfect for campers and RV enthusiasts, as well as those that are looking for a source of emergency power for blackouts.

Fortunately, ShopSolarKits offers a wide range of these solar generator kits. They package solar generators from some of the best brands in the industry with an appropriate array of efficient solar panels. These kits are then offered at incredibly low prices. As an added bonus, they also come with wiring and installation instructions, so even the least experienced individuals can get them up and running in no time.

For example, their EcoFlow Delta MAX Quad Kit contains a highly versatile 2,016Wh / 2,400W solar generator and x4 12V monocrystalline solar panels. You also get all of the cables, plugs, and connectors required to get it up and running in no time. All of this is available for just over $2,500! This is ideal for beginners, those with basic power needs, and anyone that is on a tight budget.

We encourage you to browse their Solar Generator Kit Collection to find a wide range of kits that can meet just about any need.

For those with greater power needs, they also sell a variety of Whole Home Solar Panel Kits, which come with everything you need to convert your entire home over to solar power. They even come with high-capacity battery banks and power walls. While Unbound Solar also offers off-grid solar kits, they carry fewer options and their solar kits often require professional installation.

Final Words

Overall, Unbound Solar is a trustworthy wholesaler of large-scale, grid-tied, and off-grid solar power systems. If you are comfortable with locating and hiring your own contractors to install your system, they are certainly a more affordable option than purchasing a system directly from a local installer.

On the other hand, if you are in the market for something that you can install yourself, or you are looking for something a little bit more budget-friendly and portable, like a solar generator kit, you may want to consider another retailer, like ShopSolarKits.com.

We hope you liked this article. Please rate it or leave us a comment.

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Real Goods Solar Review

Real Goods Solar Review – Who Are They and Should You Purchase Your Solar Equipment from Them?

Oliver

Written by Oliver. Last updated:

Table of Contents

Solar equipment can be very expensive, which is why it is usually treated as a substantial long-term investment, rather than something you just pick up impulsively. With the rising popularity of residential solar power systems, it only makes sense that more people than ever are looking to purchase durable and reliable solar equipment from retailers that they can trust.

While there are plenty of trustworthy solar retailers and distributors out there, it can be a little bit overwhelming to determine which companies will actually deliver what they promise. This is why we firmly believe in the importance of reviewing each and every major solar retailer out there, as this can help our readers avoid making costly errors.

How Can We Help?

To help you understand your options, we are going to take an in-depth look at one of the longest-serving solar retailers in the industry – Real Goods Solar. Not only will we take a closer look at the company’s history and reputation, but we will also explore the solar products and packages that they have to offer. After we have given our overall impression of Real Goods Solar, we will even offer some viable alternatives that might be a better fit for your specific needs.

As discussed above, a solar power system should be viewed as a major investment for your home. By purchasing from a reliable retailer that only stocks high-quality solar equipment, you can ensure that your solar power system will continue to operate for many years, which will allow you to see a return on your investment!

Who is Real Goods Solar?

Real Goods Solar was first founded in 1978, so they are one of the earliest residential solar equipment retailers in America. Real Goods Solar was originally supposed to be a convenient, one-stop shop for residential solar equipment, specifically for those that owned remote homes and cabins that did not have access to electricity from a traditional grid network.