For those who enjoy the environment, the United States is home to several pretty well-known locations. If you’re eager for an adventure, you may camp near the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, Big Sur, and more. And yet, if you do not enjoy backpacking, rustic camping, and “roughing it,” you might struggle to go with some of your home comforts. The capacity to cook a hot breakfast, charge your phone, put on the air conditioning in your trailer, and even turn on a light can all make camping much more rich and fascinating.
Solar power has made it impossible for campers to carry the heavy generators about or be forced to choose a campsite with electric hook ups. During the last few decades, solar panel technology has improved considerably, making them lighter, more portable, and more affordable. Currently, they are the ideal power source for campers of all sorts; whether you like a casual tent-camping experience or a “glam ping” trip with all the amenities, solar panels for camping may have an enormous impact.
When buying a portable solar panel for camping, it’s important to figure out roughly how much energy you will need while you’re there as there are multiple options on the market that will provide varying levels of output. When compared to backpacking or tent camping with fewer appliances and power needs, camping in a trailer will require far greater solar panel output. The quantity of power your solar panels can generate will also depend on additional variables like as:
The amount of energy that solar panels are able to absorb is greatly influenced by the weather because they are solar. Your solar panels will be far less successful at producing enough energy to power your camper during cloudy or rainy days. But if everything is set up correctly, you ought to have adequate power in a battery from the previous sunny day.
Many people believe that the more warmth there is, the better the solar panels will operate since they require sunlight to function. That’s not really the case, however. Temperate areas with temperatures around 75 degrees are ideal for solar panels. The output will slightly decrease when it’s too hot, culminating in a minimal change.
As was already mentioned, it’s crucial to estimate your camping trip’s power needs. You’ll have far more demanding needs than someone who just wants a solar panel for their basic backpacking 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. Your solar system won’t work additionally if the power source is overused.
Finding the best solar panels for camping may need some research, but once you make the transition, you’ll be so happy you did. While there are many benefits to using a portable solar panel system when camping, here are some of our favourites:
Quiet Approach to Power
With the noise that comes with using a generator to fuel your adventures, every camper is all too familiar. All day long, these machines rumble and whine, completely upsetting the serene environment you’re in. The peace that comes from listening to nothing but the river run and the birds’ chirp is disturbed by generators. On the other side, silent solar panels quietly just provide power you need without disrupting your day.
Great for the Environment
Solar power is a readily available renewable resource that has no adverse effects on the environment. Generators, which are often fuelled by gasoline, hurt the very environment that campers love to enjoy by helping the mining industry. Going solar is one of the finest means of showing your genuine love of the outdoors!
Power on the Go
Your solar panels will work no matter where you go as long as there is sunlight. You ought not to remain in a stuffy tent or be hooked up in any way. Nothing can prevent you since the world is truly your oyster.
While solar panels can be a great way to generate electricity for camping, there are a few disadvantages that should be considered:
Solar panels can be quite expensive, and while they can save you money in the long run by reducing your dependence on gas-powered generators, the initial investment can be a significant barrier for some campers.
Solar panels rely on sunlight to generate electricity, which means they may not work as effectively on cloudy or rainy days. If you’re camping in an area with a lot of tree cover, it may also be difficult to find a spot to place the panels that will receive enough direct sunlight.
Weight and size
Solar panels can be quite large and heavy, making them difficult to transport and set up. This is especially true for larger panels that can generate more electricity.
Solar panels require regular maintenance to ensure they are functioning properly, and any damage to the panels can significantly reduce their effectiveness.
While solar panels can generate a decent amount of electricity, they may not be able to power larger appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners, which can be a drawback for some campers.
The finest solar panels for camping must be light and have a high rate of solar energy conversion. A Renege’s 100W 12V Mono crystalline Solar Pack will do the job as long as most campers only want a little amount of electricity to run lights, water pumps, fan, and other devices. The mono crystalline solar cells on the panel, which is just 41.8 x 20.9 x 38 inches, have an efficiency rate of up to 22%. Of course, adding more solar panels will boost the quantity of electricity that can be produced.
But, you won’t be able to use the energy in the way you need it if you only buy solar panels. A battery, a charge controller, and often a 12V inverter are also required to complete an off-grid solar camping kit.
The solar inverter transforms the sunlight from direct current to alternating current, which is what appliances require. The battery (solar power station) aids in the storing of the Pv system. The charge controller guarantees that the battery won’t be damaged when power is transferred to it.
The markets for rigid and thin-film solar panels are entirely different distinct from one another; generally, a company that manufactures mono crystalline solar modules does not also manufacture flexible panels. Purely question of taste, we’ll focus mostly on stiff panels in this post since we found them to be a little bit more reliable. While they need a little more work to set up, it is worth.
The market for rigid solar panels is large; most of the panels are produced in China, but there are also a number of very well North American companies. The most affordable panels come from China; their per-watt prices can vary from $0.5 to $0.8. While slightly more expensive, American-made panels are of greater quality. Even though they operate well in gloomy conditions, Canadian Solar panels are commonly selected by campers. The REC Norwegian PV modules are another excellent option because they’re dependable as well as efficient. We may also recommend the brands Silfab, Q CELLS, and Panasonic.
You might question which brands and panels we wouldn’t choose. The work isn’t really suited for the high output and bifacial modules from JA Solar, Junco, and Trina Solar since their output is too high for an RV’s needs and they might end up being a little flimsy. Under these circumstances, premium-class panel brands for home systems, like Solaria, are also not the best option. While Solaria panels are reliable, efficient, and have better shading resistance, they are a little too fancy and pricey to be put on an RV.
Warranties often only apply to residential and commercial solar systems, so keep that in mind when choosing solar panels for a camper trailer. Furthermore, RV systems are not eligible for the federal solar tax credit or other state and utility business incentives.