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One of the main challenges of living in a camper van is figuring out how to set up a reliable energy source. This is especially important if you have a fridge in your van that you use to keep your food fresh. So, you may have been wondering whether you could use solar energy to power it.
There are a few different ways to use solar energy to power your fridge, including foldable solar panels and a fixed
In this article, we will go over the various ways you can use solar energy to power your camping fridge.
How to Get Solar Energy for Your Fridge
In this section, we will talk about the different ways you can get solar energy to power your fridge and other appliances, including your phones.
Personal tips: If you don’t have any experience regarding solar, check our solar system guide here.
Use a Foldable
One way to get solar energy is by using a foldable
For example, this DOKIO Foldable Solar Panel Kit only weighs 9 lbs (4.1kg) and comes with a free solar controller. It folds flat, allowing you to store it anywhere, and it has a handle that lets you easily carry it around. It uses Monocrystalline solar cells, which are the most efficient at providing energy from the sun.
Use Rigid Solar Panels
The problem with foldable solar panels is that they are not usually the best option for long-term travelers and campers.
They are perfect for those who go on weekend trips or occasional longer trips, but if your entire life is on the road, you might want something that is more durable and which provides more energy.
In that case, you might want to get solar panels fixed to your roof. This way, you can get constant energy at any time. These tend to be a bit more expensive, but they are worth it if you often travel, as they will allow you to get more energy, more often.
A good option is this ECO-WORTHY 200 Watts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit. It has two panels that provide up to 100W of energy each, with a total energy output of up to 200W. Each panel comes with a 3ft cable for easy hookups, and the kit comes with mounting brackets so you can easily mount the panels on your roof. A charge controller is also included.
Use a Portable Power Station
To get even more power in your van, you might want to use a solar-powered portable power station or generator.
There are different types of portable power stations and generators. Some are strong enough to fully power your fridge and all of your appliances, while others are more for emergencies, phone charging, and tiny refrigerators.
- Generates up to 2kWh to 2.5kWh daily.
- 1600W to 1800W AC output.
- A high conversion rate guarantees a fast solar charging speed: 0-100% in 4-5 hours (2 sets) and 7.5-10 hours (1 set)
- 160W Solar Panel: IP68 dust and water resistance. It works well in extreme conditions.
- 2-year warranty for DELTA and 12-month warranty for 160W Portable Solar Panel.
For example, this EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station has 6x 1800W AC outlets with a total of 1260Wh capacity. It can be charged via foldable or fixed solar panels and go from 0% power to 80% power in just one hour, allowing you to get power quickly to your van even if you make an impromptu trip.
It can power not only your fridge but your TV, microwave, and other appliances, too; it is designed to be a full replacement for all of your appliances. You can use your coffee machine, charge your laptops, and watch the morning news at the same time, as you can connect up to 13 devices at once. It comes with three types of charging cables and has a two-year warranty.
If you are looking for something on the cheaper side and don’t need something as powerful, you can get the Rockpals 250-Watt Portable Generator. It has a 110V AC Outlet and can be used to power a small refrigerator of about 60W for around four hours.
It can also be used to charge your phone and power your other appliances. However, it is only good for emergencies or when you need to keep food fresh or drinks cool for a few hours.
Get a Solar Camping Fridge
If you are only interested in keeping your drinks cool and your food fresh, you can definitely get a solar-powered fridge instead of a portable generator.
BougeRV is a brand that offers a range of high-quality camping fridges, and they currently have some great deals on their website. Check out their fridge deals page (source: BougeRV) to find the perfect fridge for your next outdoor adventure.
As an affiliate of BougeRV, we got you the best deals and the biggest discounts on fridges, just in time for the summer season.
How to Choose the Right
It is important to check the power output of your fridge before you get a
If your fridge uses a lot of power, you will need a
Here is a great video on the best solar panels for RVs:
You will need a charge controller so that power runs smoothly to the battery without drastic fluctuations; this is included for free with some solar panels, as mentioned above. You will also need an inverter to convert the direct current to alternating current; this is also often included.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many solar panels do I need to run a camping fridge?
The number of solar panels required will depend on the power consumption of the fridge. In general, you can run two 150 watt solar panels into 200 watts of batteries to power a camping fridge.
- Can a camping fridge run on solar power only?
Yes, a camping fridge can run on solar power only, but you’ll need to ensure that you have enough solar panels to match the fridge’s power consumption.
- What type of
solar paneldo I need for a camping fridge?
You’ll need a
- Can I run a camping fridge with a solar-powered generator?
Yes, you can run a camping fridge with a solar-powered generator. This is a good option if you want to ensure that you have enough power stored for cloudy days.
- How long will a camping fridge run on solar power?
The length of time a camping fridge will run on solar power will depend on the power consumption of the fridge and the number of solar panels you have. In general, a 150-watt
Powering your fridge with solar panels on a camping trip is entirely possible. As shown in this article, there are many ways to do so, and you can also use that same solar energy to power your other appliances and charge your electronic devices. Whether you need a fridge to keep your beer cold during the hot summer days or to keep your vegetables fresh, you have many options.