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Solar for Camping Guide

What solar chargers do you recommend for camping?

Whether you're camping in a tent or an camper van, having a reliable solar charger is a simple way to stay safe and connected while off the grid. When car camping we recommend going with a simple, yet powerful, Solar Panel Kit setup to keep your journey going smoothly. Two of our 17 Watt Kits are more than enough to keep all of your electronics (DSLRs, laptop, smaller USB devices) and a Voltaic lighting system going while still being manageable on the road. If your charging needs are a little more basic (i.e. only USB devices) then our 9 Watt Kit is a good option for you. If you prefer tents to RVs, then a small compact system like our Arc 10W Kit or our Arc 20W Kit is ideal for you. These systems fold up neatly for day hikes and easily attach to tents for charging on sunny days.

How do I mount Voltaic solar panels to my camper van?

Mounting a Voltaic panel system is a lot easier than it looks and can be customized to any model of camper you may own. Depending on how much work you want to do, there are essentially two options: drill into the roof of your van or mount them "manually".

Option 1: Drill Mount. If you choose to drill into the roof of your vehicle, you can mount the panels to a spot on your roof that is likely to get the most direct sunlight and run the cables down to your Voltaic Universal Battery. We recommend using a waterproof sealant to make sure things stay dry on the road. This mounting method allows you to stay ready to go on the road, with our Neodymium (NdFeB) magnets super strong magnets - always ready for the sun.

Van life solar panels
Van life solar panels

Option 2: "Manual" Mount. If you'd rather not drill a hole then we recommend using our Neodymium magnets while your camper is parked. Please do not drive with the panels attached. With this option you can mount the panels where you're seeing the most amount of direct sunlight at that time, allowing you to charge your battery pack faster. Our 10FT Extension Cord will help you connect to the panel while keeping the battery out of the sun.

Van life solar panels
Van life solar panels

Regardless of which option you choose for mounting your panels, we always recommend using velcro strips to make sure your Voltaic V72 battery can be easily accessible, secure, and yet portable. Just make sure it's in a secure location that is easy to access.

Van life solar panels
Van life solar panels

Is there a way to secure my solar panel to my tent?

If you're camping in a tent, then we recommend securing your solar panel to the sunniest spot of your tent to charge during the day. Our Arc 20W Kit and our Arc 10W Kit have sturdy metal grommets for easily connecting to tent poles. We recommend using a carabiner or rope for a secure connection.

Solar Charger for Camping
Tent Solar Charger

How do the panels hold up in inclement weather?

Designed to last 10+ years outdoors, Voltaic solar panels are strong, lightweight, and waterproof. Compared to traditional glass or laminate panels, these eurathane panels are designed to withstand drops, heavy rainfall, and high wind conditions. Panels are UV- and scratch-resistant. Please note that batteries are NOT waterproof – this refers to our panels only. For van set-ups, please secure all batteries within the vehicle during rain storms.

What devices can I charge with Voltaic solar panels?

Depending on your set-up you charge everything from your smartphone to your DSLR camera to your laptop to small USB lighting systems like our USB Touchlight. Our 9 Watt Kit or Arc 10W Kit is ideal for one user, charging only USB devices. The 17 Watt Kit or Arc 20W Kit is recommended for laptop charging and/or for two users.

USB touchlight for van life
laptop charging for van life