Boondocking the practice of camping at an undeveloped campsite can make many campers nervous because there are no services of any kind. Without hook ups you are entirely at the mercy of your RV’s battery. Portable RV solar panel kits will alleviate that anxiety and through the power of the sun, light up your motorhome, camper, van or caravan
Camping off-grid can be very rewarding but it also means you need to be totally self-reliant. Finding that perfect undeveloped campsite in the forest or on BLM land that places you beneath the milky way surrounded by mountains, forest or a lake is the ultimate goal. The only indicators for a spot to camp being a marker or old fire ring, but you still want a cold beer to enjoy it all with.
Problem solved, through the power of the sun one of a range of portable solar kits for your RV have been cooling your beer. Even better, in keeping with your surroundings it has been achieved in a carbon neutral, practical, environmentally friendly way.
Portable RV Solar Panels Kits
Installing a solar power system in your home requires the panels to be fixed on your roof. The panels then collect sunlight that is converted into electricity to power your heating system, lights and appliances. Solar panels can also be fitted easily to your Rv’s, motorhome, camper or caravans roof. This is fantastic for capturing sunlight for power, however there is an alternative, choosing from a range of portable solar panels.
Applying the same concept as in your home the kits are smaller and mobile. Easy to use and compact, they can be transported with you to provide solar power for any leisure activities. Portable kits enable just about anybody to set up a mini power station, when out in the wilderness without an obvious power grid source.
Although portable solar panels are smaller than residential rooftop systems, producing less electricity, they can still power small appliances and batteries. This makes them ideal for boondocking or even supplement conventional camping power needs.
Why Portable Panel Kits For My RV When Boondocking?
Portable solar kits are ideal for harnessing the sun’s power in remote areas where connecting to the utility grid isn’t an option. The distance to the power grid is less problematical than your RV, moving around to find the perfect idyllic spot.
No problem with shade
An RV’s ability to move around is a big advantage when it comes to capturing sun power. Residential systems panels are fitted in a fixed position, because your RV is movable shade will never be a problem. Simply move it into the sunlight.
Portable solar panels can also be tilted. This means you have the flexibility to re-align the panel to capture sun power without ever having to move your vehicle. Fantastic if you have found the perfect camp and no need to worry about the cost.
Which Type Of Portable Solar Power To Buy For My RV?
The two main types of portable solar panels are Crystalline (Wikipiadia explanation) – these are mainly rigid and Thin Film – these are flexible.
The most common is crystalline which has two variants;
- Monocrystalline with an efficiency of 16% approximately
- Polycrystalline with an efficiency of 13% approximate
Crystalline panels are more expensive because of their higher efficiency rating, compared to Thin Film (flexible) panels whose efficiency rating can be as low as 6-7%. Having said that, Thin Film panels have a higher tolerance to shading, are more flexible and easily folded or rolled.
Still want to fit solar panels to your RV’s roof?, that’s fantastic, but consider, you would be trading the flexibility of being able tilt your solar panels. This may force you to move from your perfect free camping place, that with luck has nobody else around.
To answer the question.
One of several types of portable kits will depend upon which type of appliances you wish to power, how much space you have whilst traveling and your budget.
Which Appliances Can I Power With Portable Solar Panels?
Small portable kits come in 80w to 150w,12v kits with the solar panels being rigid, folding or flexible. The choice of panel size shape and practicality is entirely down to your circumstances. A small system is designed for light use and will keep your leisure battery or solar generator charged.
Larger power portable systems come in 180w to 200w kits, if your power requirements are heavier you can have a battery bank with several panels attached.
Generally the appliances you can power are:
- A cooler
- Charge and use electronics
- Water pump
- Ignition for the gas cooker/heater
- Air Pumps
It is best to add an inverter to watch TV, power a laptop and charge electronics
How Much Space Will I Need To Store My Panels and Equipment During Transportation?
One or two portable panels should be able to fit into your vehicle as you travel to your destination. This is because if you have foldable or roll-up panels they should store away quite nicely. If you are security conscious you can fold or roll them up at night and store them under your RV.
If you are thinking about portable rigid solar panels, they may not be that easy to store during the trip to your boondocking destination. Sometimes space can be at a premium, foldable or roll-up panels may better suit your needs.
Budget For Solar Kits
There are big price variances when it comes to investing in a portable panel kit to light up your boondocking adventures. Prices start from around $250 to many thousands of dollars, if you are tied to a budget or just dipping your toe into the solar power water the starter kits would be the best option.
A typical 100W to 200W portable solar panel kit including controller would cost between $250 and $600. Adding a good quality invertor would cost $150.00 or more.
Planning a trip to an undeveloped campsite in the mountains, in the forest or by a lake is exciting. You may be lucky enough to find a remote area where there are no other people around, boondocking heaven !!!
Embarking on a boondocking adventure in your RV requires planning and preparation. Along with making sure your sewerage and water needs are taken care of, your power needs are a priority consideration. Nobody want’s a dead battery out in the wilderness miles away from the nearest town.
Battery charging needs can be fully fulfilled by your portable solar kit when off-grid boondocking.
What is the price of peace of mind?.
Knowing your portable solar panels will give you that will make your trip even more pleasurable.
I hope you enjoyed this post and have found it informative. If you have any questions about portable solar panel kits for an RV or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below