Going Off the Grid: How to Buy the Best Solar Panels for Camping
There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors. That’s why there are over 77 million American households that camp.
Breathing in the fresh air, experiencing nature in its purest form, and spending quality time with the ones you love are just some of the main reasons camping is beneficial.
Getting off the grid can make a big difference in your life, even if it’s only for a short time. This is especially true for children. Constant technological intervention can impact their health and well-being.
Luckily, there are ways to get out into nature and still be able to use the necessary technology without having to plug into the grid. But, of course, we’re talking about solar power!
We’re going to discuss how to find the best solar panels for camping and how to get the best deal. So let’s jump right in!
Why You Need Solar Panels for Camping
There are plenty of reasons you can use a solar setup while spending time in the great outdoors. And we aren’t just talking about charging phones… Remember, you want to disconnect from the grided world.
You’re probably wondering what kind of uses there are for solar panels while camping beyond just charging your phone or tablet. Here are a few:
- Keeping cameras charged- If there’s one electronic device you should be charging, it’s your camera so you can capture all the great moments you spend in nature.
- Running a portable fridge/cooler- If you want to spend more time remotely without frequent trips to town to grab ice for your cooler, consider getting a portable solar cooler or fridge.
- Running appliances- This is especially relevant if camping in a camper, trailer, or RV. Most of these come equipped with cooking and storage appliances that require power.
- Heating- If you are going to be camping for a while in a cold climate, you may want to bring a heater to get through the night. Keep it charged during the day to run it while you sleep.
These are just a few uses for solar in the wild, with plenty more depending on you and your situation. Now, let’s talk about how to find the best setup for you.
Finding the Best Solar for Your Needs
The first thing you will need to do is figure out how much power you will require. This varies significantly person-to-person depending on their situation.
For example, if you are powering a trailer or RV, you’ll need to get a more extensive setup, especially if you plan on being on the road for more extended periods.
Now, if you are camping on a few weekends here and there in your tent and want to run your speaker and charge your devices, your requirements are much smaller.
You can determine your power needs by completing a solar energy audit.
Portable vs. Stationary
The next step is to determine whether you will use a portable setup to fix your panels to a vehicle or trailer permanently.
Portable systems come in various sizes and outputs, so even if you use a trailer, RV, or campervan, you don’t necessarily have to have a fixed system.
You can find small foldable panels that are as small as 20 or 50 watts and up to 200 or 300 watts.
If you’re looking for a small setup that will charge your phone and speaker, you will suffice fine with a small 20 or 50w system.
When you’re looking for solar panels that are going to be fixed permanently, your options are a bit wider. For example, you can get larger rigid panels and run them in a parallel system.
Most RVs and campers have solar setups between 100 and 400 watts, though you can certainly increase that to 600 watts. Two hundred watts is usually more than enough to sustain a small camper or RV.
Mono vs. Poly
Next, you will want to look at whether you want a monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panel.
Either will work great, but there are a few differences between the two. The biggest is the age of technology.
Monocrystalline was the first and used to be the most common among solar users. However, polycrystalline has since taken its place.
One of the biggest reasons someone may opt for a monocrystalline setup over poly is its high efficiency, which often surpasses the latter. The biggest reason people stray away, though, is because of its higher price tag.
Either one of these would work great for a remote camping scenario. It all depends on how frequently you want to use them, how much you need to get out of them, and how much you’re willing to spend.
After you figure out what size panels you need and what kind you want, it’s time to think about the battery system you will be charging.
If you’ve got batteries in your RV and trailer, you need to get hooked up to it with the solar.
If you are working on a more remote or portable system, you’ll need to either get a battery system together or find yourself a solar generator.
There are many ways you can get batteries set up with solar, but it does require a lot of parts to go along with it.
The simplest and most portable method for a remote solar setup involves a solar generator. Solar generators are like a battery, inverters, and plug-ins. They are usually light, compact, and highly efficient.
If you want to learn more about high-quality and affordable solar generators, check out PoweredPortableSolar.com.
Now that you know what it takes to get the best solar panels for camping, you’re ready to get outside and enjoy nature and all it has to offer! There are so many reasons why everyone should try camping.
Are you looking for more great info to prepare for your next camping trip? Check out our article about the best sites to find gear online. We’ll see you there!