There are many reasons why my family and I decided to start going on trips with a caravan, and most of them are quite obvious. When you travel by caravan, you essentially take your home comfort with you on the road and explore. It’s a form of travel that allows you to take family and friends and relax in places without spending a fortune. Nevertheless, caravanning comes with some challenges – and finding the right energy source is one of them.
If you are a caravanning enthusiast like I am, you’re probably familiar with how important it is to have a reliable source of energy when you are far from home, on the road, in remote places, off-grid. As a nature lover and someone who is constantly trying to live as green as possible, using fuels that pollute the air has been a serious issue for me. Because of that, as well as because of some other challenges we’ve faced on our trips, we’ve decided to start using the most sustainable, reliable and clean energy source in the world – solar energy.
Harvesting energy from the sun has always been intriguing for me, and ever since I first heard that you could actually buy thin flexible solar panels for caravans, I’ve been tempted to invest in such an ingenious invention myself. If you are thinking about going solar off-grid yourself, here are some reasons why you should, as well as tips on how to choose the right option. Of course, solar energy isn’t only for home use or for caravanning, so you can also use flexible solar panels for boats, install them in other types of vehicles, use them for camping, etc.
Why Did We Invest in Flexible Solar Panels for Caravans?
Using sunlight to charge a smartphone would have sounded like something from science fiction films when I was a kid, but technology has been rapidly changing and reaching some unprecedented speeds of advancement. Solar panels are amongst the best investments, not only when it comes to cost-effectiveness, but also for protecting our beautiful planet. But using lightweight flexible solar panels isn’t only about being environmentally conscious and responsible. Solar panels have many other advantages over power generators.
Standard solar panels usually produce between 250 and 230 watts of power, whereas portable panels usually produce around 100 watts. While they aren’t as powerful as standard solar panels meant for home on-grid use, these off-grid solar panels are an ideal addition to your caravanning accessories and equipment, that can make your experience much better and more enjoyable, as well as guilt-free.
They are an Easy and Worthy Transition
The change wasn’t a big deal, as soon we learned that portable solar panels are quite easy to instal, use, and care for, we bought ones for our trips. And even more importantly, while this wasn’t the cheapest investment, it actually saved us a lot of money that we would have otherwise spent on fuel. Aside from the cost-effectiveness and the environmental aspect, another very important thing for us was that they are a very convenient way to produce power. They are very easy to transport as they are thin and lightweight.
We Care for the Planet
Using renewable resources for harvesting energy is the most eco-friendly solution, but the ingenious equipment made to harvest sunlight and turn it into electricity turned out to be an ideal option for caravanning as well. What’s more, solar panels don’t produce as much noise, which gives us the opportunity to enjoy nature more.
They are a Long-Lasting Investment
Another very important reason that made us invest in a high quality frameless solar panel is that it’s made to last. Portable solar panels are durable and resilient, and they come with years of warranty for all their components. Furthermore, they are quite versatile, with different features and specifications, sizes designs, and functionalities. They also offer different energy storage and power capacities. Aside from flexible panels, you can also choose a rigid one, a blanket or a foldable portable panel.
Flexible Solar Panels Generate More Power
We decided to invest in a flexible solar panel because they are the most portable option. Because sometimes we like setting a campsite for longer periods, this allows us to move it easily and place it in the sunlight, to maximise the energy absorption from the sun. This means that they can generate more power. Furthermore, flexible panels also cheaper than fixed panels.
The only downside is that, unlike the fixed version, flexible solar panels need a bit more space for the wiring inside the caravan, which hasn’t been a problem for us, but I can see how it can be for some users.
We Use Them for Various Things
When we go on a trip, we use our flexible solar panel for anything, from charging our phones, our laptops, all the way to far more important things when it comes to comfort and safety. Thin flexible solar panels will provide you with electricity for your RV, for your kitchen appliances, for the camping LED lights, the campsite, for heating the water in remote areas, etc.