Learn the basics of vehicle solar rigs – what you need to start off and what it can be used for.
Life on the road can seem like a hotel stay when you install portable solar panels onto your rig. After you unwind with a hot shower and a cold drink while looking out over the beach, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this years ago.
Solar panels trickle charge into a battery or power specific equipment instead of utilising a car battery or generator. Attaching a solar panel to a ute is pretty common practice because it opens you up to so many more functions.
Want to know which type of solar panel is right for you? Find out here.
All you’ll really need for a basic solar setup is:
Solar Panels or Solar Blanket
Solar Regulator – Protects the battery from overcharging
Deep Cycle Battery
12 Volt Sockets – A good old cigarette lighter socket or USB outlet.
With these four things, you can charge any appliances from your vehicle.
Never Be Without A Cold Drink
Few things rival the feeling of sitting in the shade on a hot day and cracking open a cold drink. Finding the Esky has gone warm is a sure way to ruin the moment. A solar-powered camping fridge allows you to keep everything nice and cool without worrying about damaging your food with water from melted ice.
360-Degrees of Light
Remote Control Solar panel LED floodlights can be fitted onto your car’s roof-rack offering complete light coverage. Sidelights and rear lights give you a better view of your surroundings, especially while night driving. Because most of them are remote controlled, it’s as easy as pressing a button to turn them on and off, so you don’t distract passing cars.
If you live in a remote area or are visiting one on holiday or on a camping trip, access to hot water can be tricky. The need for hot water usually is met by relying on fuel or electricity, so when neither are readily available or too valuable to justify using for a hot shower, solar comes in.
Both fuel and electricity storage can also be cumbersome, whereas solar panels can quickly heat water without taking up much room.
Charge Your Car Battery
If you’re using your car battery to charge appliances and power your camping trip, it’s only a matter of time before you encounter a flat battery. Putting strain on your battery can cause it to drain fast. If you’re on a solo trip, that can leave you stranded if you went unprepared.
With solar panels on hand, you always have a power reserve, given that the sun is up. You can use the solar panels to top up your car battery or manage some of the burden of powering other items.
It’s common knowledge that your car can charge your electronic devices; still, solar gives you the power access to charge a range of appliances. You can easily power a laptop, TV, fan, stove and more given you have a good enough solar system and battery.
Hell, we’ve seen people hook up their Xbox or Playstation to a solar system so they can have a round or two of COD while out bush. We can’t promise the connection will be that great though.
If you’re looking for some more information about maximising your ute setup, please, reach out to the Austates team; we would love to help. You can reach us at 07 3272 7888 or use our contact form located here.