Part two of our Solar Panels for the Modern Day Camper series. Part two enumerates the many advantages of using solar panels for your upcoming outdoor adventures.
“So what are the other advantages of using solar panels?”
A portable solar panel is a lifesaver for you if you love off-the-grid camping. In fact, they are just as important as your sleeping bag, blankets and any other camping gear. Don’t worry we will tell you why.
Solar panels are a reliable power source - Given where these panels get electricity, you do not have to rely on fuel or plugged - in electricity sources for all your power needs. As long as you make sure your portable solar panels get a lot of sunlight, you have got everything covered.
Solar panels help keep you and your travel companions entertained - Entertainment is very important when you are staying for several days outdoors, particularly if you are camping with your kids. With portable solar panels, you can enjoy listening to music on your phones, watch movies on your laptop and play games on your tablet without worrying about these gadgets running low on power.
Camping is made more comfortable - It does not matter whether you are spending the night in a nylon tent or in a swanky RV. Solar panels help you enjoy the comforts and convenience of electricity wherever you are.
Portable solar panels can power up your fan that not only cools you down but helps keep pesky mosquitoes away while you sleep. It can also be used to inflate air mattresses you brought for the camping trip, so you can sleep more comfortably.
Do you enjoy sipping a nice cup of hot chocolate or tea in the mornings? You can use that handy electric mug warmer. Heck, you can use a coffee machine if you have it. Do you want to keep your food fresh (and your beers cold) throughout your camping trip? Portable solar panels can easily power up 12 volt camping refrigerators. This means you do not have to worry about buying an esky and fill it up with ice (and worry about refilling it with ice) just to keep your food from going bad.
You can also use solar panels to heat water for showering. This is particularly helpful if you are camping during cold winter months. Are you staying in an area where campfires are not allowed? You do not have to eat out of a can. Portable solar panels power up electric camping stoves, too. You can cook hearty camping meals every time and not have to worry about breaking campsite rules.
Simply put, portable solar panels enable you to bring all the comforts of home with you. Even if you are camping off-the-grid.
Solar panels help you save money on campground stays – It makes sense to spend nights in caravan or holiday parks especially if you are doing a long road trip around Australia. After all, these parks offer more than just a safe place to park your vehicle.
Facilities like waste dumping stations, coffee shops, free Wi-Fi and even shower areas are a great convenience. And if you use solar panels for your caravan, you can save money during your stay. Spending the night in powered caravan sites cost more than unpowered sites. In New South Wales for example, powered caravan sites can cost an average of $30-$50 per night, which can be a bit tricky, especially if you are trying to stay within a budget.
But if you have a solar panel that you can use to draw power for charging devices and running appliances, you can choose unpowered caravan or tent sites at a much cheaper rate. Depending on where you’re staying, you can find unpowered caravan and tent sites for as little as $20 per night. You still get to use the holiday park’s facilities but at a more affordable per night stay. In addition, solar panels do not emit noise or smoke. So, you do not have to worry about disturbing campers nearby when you use it during your stay.
You can stay in touch - Communication is very important when you go camping anywhere. Emergencies can happen any time, so it is vital that cellphones and two-way radios are fully charged all the time. This is also true for hikers and those who own boats.
Products like solar mats for example, can easily charge communication devices. More importantly, solar mats are easily packed away. Maxray solar mats in particular, quickly fold with an integrated bag and handle. So whether you are backpacking, taking your boat out on an extended fishing trip or camping off-the-grid, this ultra-portable flexible solar blanket will keep your phones and even GPS gadgets fully charged.
Solar Panels are Affordable - Portable solar panels are cheaper than generators. And if we have not stated it enough in this piece, we are happy to reiterate. Solar panels are easier to take with you camping, boating or even hiking. The fact that they run on solar energy means you get free electricity All. The. Time. There is no need to spend money on refueling them.
Solar Panel Maintenance Is a Breeze - Keeping your portable solar panels in tip-top condition is just as easy as using them. Take the solar blankets, for example. These solar blankets come with a matte surface, which means it is easy to clean. You just need to wipe away the dust and debris with a soft cloth. There is no need to disassemble bolts or frames. A wipe down using a microfibre cloth of the surface is all you need to do.
In order to make sure your portable solar panels are at their top form all year round, here are a few maintenance tips for your all-season camping plans.
Summer- Needless to say, summer is the busiest and most productive time of the year for your portable solar panel. Given the amount of direct sunlight it gets, you can expect your solar panels to produce high amounts of electricity.
If you are camping during the summer, you need to keep your solar panels free from dirt, dust and tree pollen. If you are camping out in a particularly sandy area (near the beach or a lake), you need to wipe the surface regularly with a clean, damp cloth.
Autumn- Portable solar panels also work well during this time of the year just as long as the surface is not covered by dirt and dry leaves. The autumn winds can usually make the surface dusty, so a regular wipe down (again using a microfiber cloth) is necessary while you are at camp.
When you are setting up your portable solar panels at your campsite, choose an area away from trees or shrubbery. This way, you can keep your solar panels free from debris, not to mention keeping it away from shading. This helps you get a much sunlight exposure as possible.
Winter- When you are camping during the winter season, you can still use your portable solar panel to charge your phones and other devices as well as trickle charge the batteries on your car or caravan. However, the low temperatures may cause condensation (or even ice build up, if you are camping in locations where it snows) so it is advisable to keep your solar panels’ wires insulated to protect it from damage.
Spring - Spring is the best time to go camping in Australia (anywhere, really). The temperature is perfect, the flowers are in bloom and there are a lot of outdoor activities to keep you and your camping companions happy.
Spring is also the best time of the year to give your portable solar panels a check before you start planning your camping trips for the season.
There are two important things to remember: Check for any exposed or loose wires and inspect the surface of the solar panel for cracks or damage. If any or both things are present, do not try to fix them yourself. Call the manufacturer’s after sale support hotline and ask for assistance.