One of the most commonly used electricity sources on trucks these days is camping solar power. Granted, this isn’t a new method, but it’s quickly becoming the standard power source for overlanding and camping.
Our trucks spend most of the time outside and under the sun. Why not utilize this opportunity for additional power? Furthermore, by using camping solar power, we are kinder to the environment. In our opinion, this is important as our hobby is so addictive because of the natural treasures we get to visit.
This article will help you get the most out of camping solar power by going over our three favorite camping solar panel options by Sunflare XPLOR. This will make it easier for you to decide what type of solar panel suits your needs the best.
Table of Contents
- First, You Need to Determine Your Needs for Camping Solar Power
- The Weekend Choice for Camping Solar Power
- The Adventure Choice for Camping Solar Power
- The Expedition Choice for Camping Solar Power
- Sunflare’s Solar Panels are Rugged and Easy to Install, Too
- Where to Buy Sunflare XPLOR Solar Panels
- Final Thoughts
- Other Recommended Overlanding Gear
First, You Need to Determine Your Needs for Camping Solar Power
First and foremost, you need to determine what size battery you will use and how many accessories you will have plugged in while you’re off-grid. The larger the battery and the more accessories you have, the more powerful the solar panel needs to be.
Secondly, you should determine how you’re going to use your vehicle. For example, if you live in a sunny area like Southern California, a less powerful solar panel might be enough to power all your accessories, given how much juice the panel can collect over the course of the day. On the other hand, if you live in an area like the Pacific Northwest, where sunlight can be difficult to find sometimes, a larger panel might be the way to go.
Another component is how much time you spend off-grid. If you’re a weekend warrior, a smaller, less-powerful solar panel should be just fine. However, if you like to go out for long-term trips, you’ll want to max out the power your solar panels can collect.
Below are details about three excellent camping solar power options from Sunflare XPLOR that meet varying needs.
The Weekend Choice for Camping Solar Power
The first option from Sunflare XPLOR is for the adventurer who mostly likes to head out on the weekends and is comfortable with having less power coming in. This is the smallest 105W panel which only weighs 2.9kg.
As mentioned above, if you live in a sunny area, this may be all you need even if your adventures are more than a weekend long. The good weather will mean you will have power going into your batteries on a consistent basis.
Due to its size and weight, this is the perfect panel for someone who needs some additional power but doesn’t have much space. So, if you have a small rooftop tent, this is a great option for you.
With a Voc of 21V, an Isc of 7.4A, and an estimated daily power generation of 368Wh, this solar panel can power a 100W laptop for 3.5 hours, 10 CFL lights for 3.5 hours, or a 43-inch smart TV for 1.5 hours. If it can power these types of appliances for that long, imagine how long you can run the LED lights in your trailer or how many times you can turn on the water pump to wash the dishes!
Likewise, with a 100Ah battery added to the mix, this panel will keep a Dometic CFX3 35 Portable Cooler running for three days. Nice!
The Adventure Choice for Camping Solar Power
If you need more camping solar power, then you must check out the mid-range option from Sunflare XPLOR. This 126W choice strikes the perfect balance between the smaller 105W and the large 180W.
Instead of weighing 2.9kg like the Weekend option, the Adventure option weighs 3.6kg but can deliver a significant amount of additional juice without adding much more weight. It is the perfect choice for longer expeditions or for people who live in colder areas that tend to be cloudy.
The Voc and Isc for this panel are 25.2V and 7.4A, respectively. The estimated daily power generation is 441Wh. This gives you the power to run a 100W laptop for 4.5 hours, 10 CFL lights for 4.5 hours, or a 50-inch smart TV for 1.5 hours. If your setup includes a 200Ah battery, you can run a Dometic CFX3 35 Portable Cooler for six days.
The Expedition Choice for Camping Solar Power
The 180W solar panel from Sunflare XPLOR is made for expeditions. It’s designed to give camping solar power when living off-grid for long periods of time.
As you would imagine, this is the heaviest of the three. For its size, 5kg is a good number; however, you need to ensure that you have the roof weight capacity left to add another 5kg (if you already have other stuff up there).
Like the previous panels we’ve discussed, the Expedition panel offers you excellent power for its size and weight. The Voc is 36V while the Isc is 7.4A. The estimated daily power generation is 630Wh. This can power a 100W laptop for 6.5 hours, 10 CFL lights for 6.5 hours, or a 65-inch smart TV for 1.5 hours.
With a 300Ah battery, this panel can run a Dometic CFX3 35 Portable Cooler for nine days. Not bad!
Sunflare’s Solar Panels are Rugged and Easy to Install, Too
On top of all that, Sunflare’s solar panels can stand up to the rigors of use in harsh environments. A big part of that is because of the stainless steel solar cells. By not using silicon (which is brittle and prone to cracking), Sunflare has devised panels that you can rely on for the long term.
Likewise, these panels are flexible, so you can attach them to contoured surfaces without diminishing their performance. For example, I have two Expedition solar panels on my rooftop tent (shown above) that provide me with all the power I need for my overlanding expeditions.
It’s also worth noting that every cell in a Sunflare XPLOR panel has a bypass diode. This means that if one cell is in the shade, the rest of the cells continue working. IIn traditional solar panels, the entire series goes out if one cell is shaded. Needless to say, having bypass diodes is a major benefit of using Sunflare XPLOR solar panels.
Lastly, these panels are super easy to install. They attach to the surface of your truck or tent using double-sided tape. The process takes just a few minutes with no heavy lifting or big tools needed. What’s not to like about that?!
Camping solar power is one of the most effective and trouble-free ways to have power off-grid. You just enjoy the adventure while your batteries charge on their own – not to mention the difference in eco-friendliness that panels like those from Sunflare XPLOR make!
And as noted earlier, these panels are easy to install, built to withstand tough conditions, and offer you all the power you need for your adventures. Upgrading your camping solar power is a smart choice all the way around!
If you have any further questions regarding camping solar power or anything else off-road or overland-related, head over to the forum section of our page.
Where to Buy Sunflare XPLOR Solar Panels:
Other Recommended Overlanding Gear