Solar Panels for a Camper: Everything You Need to Know
The United States is home to some pretty iconic spots for nature lovers to enjoy. Camping near the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, Big Sur, and more are all within reach if you’re up for an adventure. However, if you are not someone who loves backpacking, primitive camping experiences, and “roughing it,” you might be reluctant to let go of some of your comforts from home. Cooking a hot breakfast, charging your phone, turning the air conditioner on in your trailer, and even being able to switch on a light can all make camping so much more luxurious and intriguing.
It used to be the norm that campers would lug around clunky generators or be forced to find a campsite with electric hookups, but, thanks to solar power, those days are over. The technology for solar panels has improved so much over the last few years, making them lighter, portable, and more affordable. Now, they are the perfect power supply for campers of all types; whether you want a “glamping” experience with full amenities or lean more towards a casual tent-camping experience, solar panels for camping can make a world of difference.
How Do Solar Panels for Camping Work?
When you think of solar panels, you might picture the giant panels that sit on top of homes, which of course, would NOT be possible to take camping. Luckily, now there are many types of solar panels that are lighter, more portable, and durable enough to survive a long road trip. Though the technology is sleeker, camping solar panels still work the same way other solar panels do. They absorb energy from the sun light, transport that energy to a
solar inverter, then output usable electricity to power your lights, water heater, cell phone, and camera.
Factors That Will Affect Output
There are different options on the market that will offer varying levels of output, so it’s important to understand roughly how much energy you will need while you’re camping when you’re purchasing a portable solar panel for camping. Someone who is camping in a trailer will require much more output from solar panels than someone who is backpacking or tent camping with fewer appliances and power needs. Additionally, there are factors that will impact the amount of power your solar panels are able to create, such as:
Solar panels are reliant on the sun, so the weather plays a major role in how much energy they are able to absorb. On cloudy or rainy days, your solar panels will be much less effective in producing enough energy to run your camper. However, if you have the right setup, you’ll hopefully have enough power stored in a battery from the previous sunny day.
Since solar panels need sunlight to work, many people think that the hotter it is, the better the solar panels will work. In reality, that’s not actually the case. Solar panels work best in temperate climates, with temperatures around 75 degrees. When it gets too hot, the output will reduce slightly , leading to an unnoticeable difference.
As mentioned above, it’s important to be realistic about the power needs you’ll have during your camping trip. If you’re trying to power a fridge around the clock, charge 7 cell phones, dry your hair every morning, and use a lot of hot water, you’ll have much more intensive needs than someone who just wants a solar panel for their primitive backpacking trip. If too much strain is put on the power source, your solar system will not work optimally.
Advantages of Using Solar Panels for Camping
Though it can take a bit of research to find the right solar panels for camping, once you make the switch, you’ll be so glad you did. The list of benefits is long, but some of our favorite perks that come with using a portable solar panel system while camping are:
Quiet Approach to Power
Every camper is all too familiar with the noise that comes when using a generator to power your adventures. These machines rumble and grumble all day long, completely interrupting the serene setting that you’re in. Generators distract from the peace that comes with listening to nothing but the river run and the birds’ chirp. Solar panels, on the other hand, are silent, quietly powering what you need them to without interrupting your day.
Great for the Environment
Solar energy is a renewable resource that can be easily sourced with little impact on the earth’s resources. Generators, which are often powered by gasoline, contribute to the mining industry and harm the very planet that campers love to enjoy. If you truly love the outdoors, going solar is one of the best ways to show it!
Power on the Go
No matter where you venture off to, as long as there is sunlight, your solar panels will do their job. You won’t have to be hooked up to any wires or have to stay in a stuffy campsite. The world is truly your oyster and nothing can stand in your way.
Best solar panels for campers
The best solar panels for camping must be portable and highly efficient in the sunlight conversion rate. And provided that most campers will only need a relatively small amount of electricity for powering lights, water pump, fan, and so on, a Renogy’s
100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Kit will hit the spot. The panel measures only 41.8 x 20.9 x 38 Inch, and the monocrystalline solar cells can reach an efficiency rate of up to 22%. Of course, if you need more electricity, more solar panels will be needed to produce electricity.
However, if you purchase solar panels alone, you won’t actually be able to use the energy in the way that you need it. You’ll also need a battery, a charge controller, and usually a
12V inverter to form a complete off grid solar kit for camping.
The battery (
solar power station) helps store the collected energy, the charge controller will make sure the battery won’t be damaged when power is transferred to it, and the solar inverter will change the energy type from a direct current to an alternating current, which is what appliances use.
Power Everything You Need with Solar Energy
Solar panels used to be overlooked because people didn’t think they could get the job done, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are various kits for camping solar panels, so do your research to find the right ones for your needs. Once you have your hands on it, you can power so many different appliances and electronics, including:
- Air conditioning
- Cell phones
- Water heater
Forego the chunky generator, and embrace the
solar power generator. The right camping solar panels will make your next camping trip a breeze. Enjoying the great outdoors does not mean spending days without electricity and being disconnected from the outside world, unless it’s your choice. Either way, solar panels will give you all the power you need.
At Renogy, We are dedicated to develop user-friendly solar products and we offer high-quality outdoor solar panel kits for sale. For example,
folding soalr suitcases, portable solar panels and flexible solar panels. In addition, any accessories to form a complete off-grid solar kits are available, including liFePO4 batteries, 12 volt inverters, charge controllers, and relevant wires.
But I’m just NOT an RV Guy! What Convinced a Seasoned Tent Camper to Become a Full-time RVer
“Hey, Is That a Solar Panel?” And Other Fun Questions from Curious Campers.
Go Solar Car Camping & Leave the Gas Generator at Home
A Solar Backpack Can Shake Up Your Commute and Camping Trips
The Ultimate Guide To DIY Off-Grid Solar Systems
How To Use Solar Panels For Camping