Using solar panels and a battery, bringing solar power to your campground is one of the simplest and most effective methods to get power when you are off-grid.

Choosing the right solar solution might be complex and even daunting if you’re new to this or are just starting to investigate a solar panel setup. Solar technology has progressed so far that there are now hundreds of brands to choose from, each with its own set of features, sizes, and costs.

While you may think that getting away to the great outdoors is as simple as throwing a tent in the trunk or hooking up your caravan, these days it’s also vital to consider your energy needs!

RV Camper Electric Hookup

The conversion of energy from sunshine into electricity is what solar power is all about. It’s a simple, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to acquire portable solar electricity while camping or traveling off the grid.

With the advancements in lightweight folding solar blankets and other portable solar options such as a solar-powered backpack that allows users to simply acquire 12-volt power when camping in any location, solar power for campers has become increasingly popular!

Is it worthwhile to invest in a solar panel for outdoor activities?

You will be a lot less comfortable and cheerful when camping if you don’t have that power!

Though many campgrounds have electrical hookups, solar power is another option for powering your RV and if you are tent camping you probably don’t have the electrical hookup option.

While it may require a little effort and forethought, it can help make your trip a great one. Bringing solar panels with you will mean you can enjoy going outdoors and also charge devices and cell phones – and even store solar power in batteries for longer periods while on the go!

The advantages of bringing a solar panel on a camping trip

Self-sufficient wild camping in a beautiful scenic location in the Yorkshire Dales

Solar camping is cost-effective

The most significant cost savings you’ll get after purchasing a portable solar panel is the free electricity you’ll be able to generate — all you have to do is add sunlight hours!

Unlike generators, which must be refueled on a regular basis, folding solar panels may be positioned in the sun to recharge your vehicle or batteries. Just mount them on the top of or next to your camper or RV!

Transportable solar panels are also pre-wired, and there were no hidden fees associated with purchasing extra equipment to have your panels up and operating. There’s also no need to be concerned about upkeep because the panels are dirt and moisture resistant.

So even with a small size solar panel, you can create your own little solar grid!

Solar camping is beneficial for the environment

Although generators are also a common source of energy for many campers, a growing number of ecologically conscious explorers are opting for solar power.

Portable solar panels provide a quiet, carbon-neutral source of clean energy that does not release the hazardous gasoline fumes that generators do.

Because of the excessive noise levels generated by generators, many national parks have begun to prohibit their usage, providing yet another incentive to light up your camping vacation with foldable solar panels!

Camping with solar power ensures that you will always have access to power

Solar Panel in a snowy mountain

Cutting power in the middle of nowhere is a nightmare circumstance for a camper trailer!

You can be confident that you’ll always have enough energy to run cell phone chargers, laptop batteries, and other small electric devices such as LED lights if you have your portable solar panels with you!

Solar camping with lithium-ion batteries is even better

Including one or more Lithium-ion batteries to store electricity is a terrific way to customize your camping solar grid!

Lithium-ion batteries offer the benefit of being lighter and storing more energy than a traditional deep cycle battery, making them a better choice for mobile use when going off-grid.

What kind of power do you require on your camping trip?

Because solar panels come in a variety of wattages, the first step is to figure out how much power you’ll need. Determine how much power or voltage the electronics you want to carry will require, and you’ll have a good idea of what size solar setup you are going to need.

With just a 5-watt solar panel, you can keep your phone battery charged over the weekend. The bigger the wattage, the larger the gadgets and the more of them you can charge.

Purchasing a battery with a bigger energy storage capacity will enable you to recharge more gadgets

You can recharge various small devices multiple times while in remote locations using a battery that has 400 watt-hours or more. You should also think about how much the battery weighs, as you’ll be transporting it.

Because lithium batteries are lighter than deep cycle batteries, they are a great way to store power for camping and hiking. Be reasonable when estimating the amount of wattage you’ll require, and try not to go too far over or under.

By ordering the solar charger battery bank and panels separately, you can design your own set-up and order everything independently to make up your perfect camping solar grid!

Solar panels are designated for the maximum wattage they can produce under ideal conditions of full sunlight

Set up your solar panels away from anything that could block the sunlight to fully charge your battery and electronics.

A cloudy day, long periods of shade or dappled sunlight from tree leaves will reduce the power output your solar panels can provide. These are devices that want to live in full sun all day!

Expert advice: some tips to consider!

When you have the correct solar setup for camping, you may use any household gadget that plugs into a standard power outlet, such as coffee-makers or a small refrigerator.

The size of the inverter you need will be determined by the wattage of the appliances you plan to use.

Therefore, always verify the wattage of an appliance on the tag or label. A small fridge, for example, uses roughly 300-700 watts.

Before deciding on the suitable size of your solar panel array, cables, and battery bank, you must have a solid sense of how much electricity your gadgets will demand.

When selecting an inverter, make sure it will provide sufficient power for your cell phones, laptops, and other gadgets.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the DC-DC charger most often includes its own solar converter. When your portable solar panel has its own regulator, you’ll need to detach it before attaching it to the DC-DC chargers.

In partial shade or cloudy conditions, light from the sun is still a viable option

Solar panels on camping car

You can utilize portable solar panels. But, please remember that their production will be substantially lower than in ideal conditions.

In optimum conditions, a 200W panel may deliver up to 11A or more per hour, but in incomplete clouds or severe weather, this can plummet to 3A or even less.

What is the best way to position solar panels?

Most campers agree that 30 degrees are the best angle for putting in your portable solar panels. In many circumstances, this is an acceptable estimate, but the correct solution is a little more involved.

In actuality, the best angle is determined mostly by two factors: the latitude of the camping location and the time of year. During ideal conditions, the inclination of your solar panel must match the latitude of the area where you are located as closely as feasible.

However, most people will use solar power by guestimating the angle without doing complicating mathematics! And that is just fine – your panels should still give enough output to power your camping appliances.

What should you include in your camping solar panel kit?

To have comprehensive solar panel camping equipment, you’ll need just a few essentials.

The first is to make sure that the panels are lightweight and portable. This is one of the main reasons why thin-film panels are becoming so popular. Solar blankets are another great option, especially if space is tight.

You’ll also need a solar battery, as well as an inverter and a battery charger. This is necessary to avoid overcharging your battery and causing damage to it.

There are three distinct types of solar panels to choose from

The traditional panels are made of crystalline silicon and are available in monocrystalline and polycrystalline varieties. The former is more efficient when it comes to converting sunlight into electricity, but it is also more expensive than its polycrystalline cousins.

Amorphous silicon, commonly known as thin-film panels, is less expensive than crystalline silicon but it is less efficient. To produce the same quantity of energy, they also require a lot more room. However, because they are produced from a very thin coating of photovoltaic material that can be sprayed onto plastic, they offer the tremendous advantage of being flexible and foldable.

Crystalline panels, on the other hand, are hard and brittle. As a result, they must be protected with a glass covering and are not as flexible. Furthermore, thinner film panels are slightly less affected by higher temperatures.

It’s a lot easier to choose a battery for camping because deep cycle types are highly suggested. This is due to the fact that they can be discharged multiple times without losing their efficiency rating. Discharging the battery below 20%, on the other hand, can shorten its overall lifespan. However, lithium-ion batteries are also a great choice for camping.

Bottom line

You don’t have to give up all of your gadgets, conveniences, and connections whenever you camp with portable camping solar panels! Solar electricity can be used to power realistic camping items like lanterns and laptops, as well as emergency supplies like radios.

You can reduce your environmental impact when camping by using solar panels because it is a renewable energy source. It’s a win-win for everyone because solar keeps Mother Earth pleased, and glamping on Mother Earth makes us feel good!

Although you go on camping trips to get away from technology and unwind, solar energy is 100x better than a generator. It’s like having fun without causing harm to anything, especially the surroundings, which not only comfort you but also enhance your experiences in the great outdoors!