Life in the city or the ‘burbs can sometimes get a little monotonous. As a human, it’s in you to mix things up a little bit once in a while. What better way to immerse yourself in a new environment than to immerse yourself in a new environment?
Pack up your RV and go out for a wonderful time with your family or friends. Out there though, you’ll need to use electronics. Your battery is your power source, but you will need a way to recharge the battery. For that, you will need a solar charger.
So, which 12-volt solar battery for campers should you be using? There are a variety of solar battery chargers you could use. The best one for you will be determined by what you want to use it for, and where you want to use it.
Of course, as a camper, it will obviously be used at your campsite. However, what of charging the batteries while you’re on the move to and from the campsite? Will you find one that offers various protections to your battery?
Let’s take a look at some of them!
1. ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Charger
Here is a model that is small enough to be placed on the dash of your Capmer, well, as long as the sun is hitting it right, and it will charge whatever batteries need charging. This also means you can leave it in your vehicle to do its job while you go out hiking or fishing. This is also excellent as it is not exactly weatherproof, even though the manufacturer looks to emphasize that it is a bit weatherproof.
Don’t be fooled by the size though. It still packs a powerful punch. It is capable of giving out 18 volts of power, more than enough to cause the battery to go hissing with gas (You don’t want this to happen). It is made from mono crystalline silicon panel, which makes it one of the most efficient solar panel chargers in the world, well, until something better is invented.
This construction is what makes this solar charger one of the best. Even though it may look small, the construction material means it can effectively charge your batteries even when your in situation with low light. It also comes fitted with battery clips and a 12 volt plug for when you want to use electronic directly.
On the downside though, you’d have to periodically check whether the battery is sufficiently charged manually. This is because the charger does not come with overcharge protection features. It only comes with a fitted diode to prevent reverse discharge.
2. Suaoki 18 Volt Solar Charger
Well, if you’re that rugged person who wants all the people and things around them to be weatherproof, well, you’re in luck. Suaoki has got your back with this solar charger. The design is meant to be durable and absolutely water resistant.
That’s not all, the efficiency of this solar panel is amazing. At 22.5 percent, this is one of the most efficient solar panels in the market. Yes, 22.5 may sound like a cruel joke but that’s actually a very high number. On average, commercial solar panels have an efficiency range of around 10 to 15 percent. Even though some manufacturers can claim up to 40 percent, what they release to the market will be quite different.
The long and thin design make it efficient and lightweight, and still able to produce a wonderful 18 volts of current, although it makes this panel a bit too large to be able to fit on your RV’s dashboard. Included in the package are a pair of crocodile clips for the battery, and a 12 volt plug for your electronics. It also comes with a diode to prevent power from flowing out of the battery and causing a discharge.
The only downside to this is the price. The efficiency and all those features command a respectable amount and considering how versatile and well designed and built this solar charger is, that price is deserved.
3. Battery Tender 15W Solar Charger
Of course, the best had to come last. Whoever came up with that rule needs to have their head checked. In a similar manner that people turn to Kleenex for various products, when it comes to the needs of your battery, the company to turn to is Battery Tender.
With this product, they have loaded a great number of features that will ensure you enjoy your little trip without having to worry about the integrity of the battery. These features come to you courtesy of a micro-processor placed inside a charge controller.
The charge controller comes with three distinct features that are valuable to any person who owns a battery. These are:
• Bulk mode, where the battery is charged at a constant current while the voltage increases along the way. This mode is used to recharge a battery that was near flat to around 75 to 80 percent of its capacity.
• Absorption mode will kick in when the controller detects the battery has reached optimum charge. From 75 percent, the charge controller will increase the voltage being fed into the battery to ensure it charges up to 100 percent.
• Float maintenance mode, also known as storage maintenance mode, is used to keep the battery at 100 percent charge. A low voltage is fed to the battery to prevent overcharging, as well as maintain the charge in the battery as self-discharging is a natural characteristic.
Aside from this, Battery Tender has also got your back, rugged people. This solar panel is absolutely weatherproof and can be used in a wide variety of conditions. It also comes with five feet worth of cabling, both for charging your electronics, and for connecting to the battery terminals via crocodile clips.
It would be prudent to note that these solar chargers are only meant for campers to maintain the charge that their battery already has, or topping up depleted batteries when they are not in use. If you’re facing a battery that was depleted, you will need a wall charger to revive them.