Nico’s Nuggets: Options for Growing On the Go

Hey there! We are purchasing an RV camper and I would like to know… Will it be possible to grow marijuana in it?! If I was to setup a small grow tent, would I have enough watts or electricity to grow in  a RV? Thanks for your help.
 — Lisa via NicosNuggets@hightimes.com

Wow! For fans of the TV series, Breaking Bad, this question calls to mind some of the exploits of Mr. White and Jesse, cooking up crystal in an old beat up camper! Just too funny, so I had to answer this one. Thanks for writing in, Lisa!

Let’s see… Forget all the legal and risk-factor ramifications this inquiry poses, and let’s focus just on the question at hand: Can an RV supply the needed space and power required for a small grow tent op?

Obviously, this is going to depend a lot on the size and equipment of the RV in question. Many RVs come with two power supplies. There is the main power line of the vehicle that is generated by the RV engine, and there is usually a supplemental generator that runs on gasoline (sometimes from the main tank, sometimes from its own separate tank). So right off the bat, your RV would definitely need to have the second, supplemental generator. A grow tenet – even a small one with a single lamp would suck the power dry from the main vehicle line and leave your battery dead – not an option. Don’t need to get stranded on the road somewhere with a few pot plants reeking it up.

So assuming you have a second generator and you ran a single lamp – let’s say no more than a 400-watt bulb – I suppose yes, you could do a tiny grow in an RV (Note: Did I really just write that?).  All kidding aside, however, there is more here to consider than just the power draw and the fact that you will burning through gasoline to power than genny for months… Even with “only” a 400-watter, you are going to have heat issues, odor issues and, most likely, space issues.

You could consider a really small lamp like a 250-watter, or even an LED, but what’s the point then? You’ll harvest a quarter ounce when it’s all said and done. If you’re going do this, go for it! Then there are the irrigation questions. Most likely you are going to have to hand-water the plants. I suppose with some savvy ductwork and inline fans you could exhaust heat properly. You’d likely need to install a carbon filter to scrub the exhaust (and RV) air, unless you want to be the most popular family at the campsite.

All in all, this could be done… But you need to check your generator’s amperage rating as the total power draw from your RV may prohibit running a grow lamp (or two). If you consider that a 1,000-watt bulb pulls roughly nine (9) amps, then you can figure that a 400-watter is going to pull about 3.6 amps (this is assuming the line voltage is 120 and running alternating current or AC).

Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!

Got questions? Email ‘em over to Nico at NicosNuggets@hightimes.com and be sure to put “Nico’s Nuggets” in the subject line!
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  1. I successfully grow in my rv I harvest at least 3 times a year and harvest at least 3 to 5 ounces each time. I run two 1500 watt led mars hydros , but I do not run my onan on board generator I run a rv ready portable generator that’s wattage rating is 1.5 times my wattage needed for both my roof ac units and all other electronic needs including my grow equipment

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