How To Find The Best Solar Charging Kit For Your Camping Situation
Spring is well underway and with any hope COVID-19 will soon be in our past, giving way to summer plans! Every spring we get a surge of calls asking about solar chargers for camping. While every situation is unique, we do have some generalized recommendations to help extend battery life. For large RV’s and Vans a mounted solar panel often offers the best solution. While mounted solar installation can offer a large array of energy, they can be labor intensive; so portable solutions have become quite popular.
Two of our favorite portable solar charging kits are made by Samlex America. The Samlex 90-Watt and 135-Watt kit features three solar panels that fold into a suitcase for easy transportation. Each kit has an integrated solar charge controller meant for 12v lead acid batteries (Flooded, AGM or GEL), which ensures the battery doesn’t get overcharged. The kits feature a set of battery clamps and includes a 16’ extension cable.
The Samlex MSK-90 is great for tent trailers, campers or even converted vans, offering approximately 20 to 30 amps a day of solar charging. The MSK-135 is a 25% increase in wattage making it suitable for full-size RV’s, offering approximately 30 to 46 amps a day. If you are conservative with your battery use, this will extend your run time by as much as a few days!
In order to know which solar charger kit is best for your camping situation, you should have an idea of how much energy you are currently using. Let’s say you have a single 100AH Group 27 deep cycle battery and that battery last you two days before it goes dead. Given that information you can estimate you are using approximately 50 AH a day. The MSK-90 in two days will average 40 to 60 amps of charging, while the MSK-135 can offer 60 to 92 amps. Depending on the season the MSK-135 may be able to keep up with the daily draw, while the MSK-90 can average an additional day - every two days of charging in the above scenario.
If you need help finding the best solar charger kit for your situation, we are happy to point you in the right direction. Simply contact our tech department via our Support page.