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water proof solar panels

Are Portable WaterProof Solar Panels Good For Camping?

Are you looking for an alternative for a noisy, gas-based generator? Portable solar panels are the ideal solution for you. Portable solar panels permit you to create solar energy to supply clean power whenever you are on the go.

In this blog, we have a peek at what mobile solar panels are, find the best ones available, and discuss what you need to remember when looking for them.

What are portable solar panels?

water proof solar panels

When installing a solar panel system on your roof, the solar cells in the solar panels convert sunlight into usable solar power for your home.

Portable solar panels apply the same concept on a small, mobile scale, allowing you to create power on the go. Their easy-to-use features and compact design make it so easy, just about anyone can set up these mobile power stations when they want them.

Portable solar panels are trendy for RV camping. They let you generate electricity even if you're living outside of an established campground. Keep in mind that portable solar panels are a lot smaller than a residential rooftop solar system to create a lot less energy.

However, they can create just the correct amount to run several modest appliances, or charge batteries, making them ideal for off-grid camping.

What are the best mobile solar panels for RVs?       

There is a range of portable solar panels on the current market, but we put together a few of our best picks for the best portable solar panels for camping.

1. Renogy Solar 100 watts 12 volts monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Cost: $163.54

water proof solar panels

This starter kit is terrific for first-time mobile solar system users, as it includes all you require. The package includes:

  • 30A PWM charge controller
  • 8-foot tray wires
  • One 100 watts monocrystalline solar panel
  • 20-foot MC4 adapter kit

It also includes mounting brackets, which makes it simple to hang in your boat or RV. The MC4 adapter kit lets you make the system bigger by connecting more solar panels.

The 100-watt solar panel is handy, and under ideal conditions, can create 500 watt-hours daily. That's sufficient to fully charge a 50Ah battery, which will allow you to get power even if the sun is not shining.

Thanks to the included charge controller, you do not need to worry about overcharging your battery. Additionally, the added 8-foot cable lets you park your RV in the shade while keeping the panel in sunlight for maximum production.

2. HQST 100 watt 12-volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel

Cost: $74.99

water proof solar panels

HQST's 100-Watt polycrystalline portable solar panel is an excellent alternative if you're on a budget. These solar panels come in at a shallow price point, but it does not include any extra equipment required for a portable solar panel installation.

This panel can put out 500 Wh per day and can still perform well in low-light environments. The board has pre-drilled holes for mounting, but it doesn't include any mounting brackets. Additionally, it doesn't include a charge controller, so it will have to be bought separately.

Nevertheless, buying a charge controller and Z-mounts individually would bring the entire price to only about $110.

3. 140-watt Zamp Solar's Legacy Series 

Cost: $639.33

water proof solar panels

Zamp Solar is famous for its high quality, so it is not surprising that its portable solar kit includes a high price tag. The kit includes:

  • 140-watt foldable solar panel
  • 10 amp charge controller for handling battery charging
  • Solar bag for easy carrying
  • 15-foot cable

The panel produces 140 watts of electricity, which is greater than another mobile panel on the market. The solar panel also includes extendable legs, which let you set the panel at an angle for optimum production.

Several RVs come wired for Zamp's goods, so the panel can either be connected directly into your RV or could be attached to a battery for charging. Though Zamp's kit runs for more money, it's an excellent investment for regular campers who want top-quality, reliable equipment to produce solar power.

4. ACOPOWER 100-watt Foldable Solar Panel Kits

Cost: $241.23

water proof solar panels

Foldable solar panel kit by ACOPOWER comes at a good price and has excellent reviews. The kit comprises a foldable monocrystalline solar panel with 100 watts and a 10 amp charge controller.

The panel has excellent portability since the kit includes a carrying case. It can be attached to a 40-watt solar panel to enlarge the size of the machine, also. This kit is intended to charge a 12-volt battery.

This kit has everything you will need to run your camping trip on solar. Keep in mind that the included solar charger isn't weather-proof. Therefore it is essential to keep it high off the floor in the event of flooding.

5. Go power! GP-PSK-130 130 watts portable solar panel kit

Cost: $499.68

water proof solar panels

Go power! Is Another reliable mobile solar panel manufacturer. Their kit comprises a 10 amp battery charger controller, a 130-watt portable solar panel, and a durable carrying case. The panel includes a sturdy kickstand, which makes setup easy, also.

Although the kit will come at a higher price point, Go power! Has a reputation for being durable and long-lasting?

Because of the high price point and higher power output, people who often go on extended off-grid excursions will be best suited to this mobile solar panel. Be warned - Go power! Will not accept charge controller warranties if the purchase is made with Amazon.

What are the benefits of portable solar panels?

"Boondocking," which is RV camping out established campgrounds, is becoming ever more popular. Though fun, off-grid RV camping comes with its own set of challenges, one of which is the lack of electric power to charge batteries and operate appliances.

Portable solar panels have developed as a popular choice to address this problem for the following reasons:

Mobile solar panels can be moved around for optimum sunlight. Even when you park your RV in colour, you can set the portable solar panels in direct sunlight with an extension cable's support. You may also periodically align the portable panels to face the sun as it goes across the sky throughout the day.

Once bought, portable solar panels cost nothing to operate. This is far better than the alternatives: paying for access to power to charge your batteries or purchasing expensive fuel for a generator.

They're much quieter than noisy gas generators.

Questions To Ask Before Purchasing Portable Solar Panels

Thanks to the technology of now, there's a solar array available for pretty much every budget and lifestyle. Because there are many types available, it is essential to do your homework.

Here are the most important questions you will need to ask before you begin your search:

What are your everyday power needs?

Other concerns for portable solar panels are:

  • How simple are installation and orientation?
  • What are the connection options?
  • How lasting are the panels?Are they hardy enough for your intended use? Are they waterproof or weather resistant?
  • Does it have great read-out screens to allow you to monitor output?
  • Does it include all the essential gear (i.e., cords, adapters, inverters, charge controllers)?

Portable Solar panels are a terrific alternative for RV camping

water proof solar panels

Measured in financial conditions on a $/watt basis, portable solar panels are not as effective as a ground-mounted or roof-mounted solar system. Consequently, they are not sensitive to power an entire home.

They do come in use: charging your RV battery over long camping trips, it is possible to park your RV in colour but put the portable RV out in the sun with an extension cord's help.

Additionally, many portable solar panels may charge lead-acid batteries, which means you've additional solar electricity stored up for when the sun goes down. And they certainly beat noisy, gas-based generators.

You can also buy solar panel chargers for your phone so that you can charge up small electronics such as battery packs, cell phones, and some other gadgets you may need on your camping trip!

Portable solar panels are not a replacement for rooftop or ground-mounted possibilities, but they're worth considering if you like camping off-grid.

About the Author David Roberts

I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

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