When we go camping, besides the beauty of nature we would also like to enjoy as much comfort and convenience as possible. This also means to use at least some of our favorite devices and appliances.
Considering that electrical power is one of the cleanest forms of energy we can use in the outdoors, it is important to have something that can generate it.
But, how much is enough? How can one tell how many watts of power, as it is commonly known, is sufficient when camping?
It is worth mentioning that this subject is of interest to those that camping with their cars or RVs. After all, you need something reliable to ensure a proper electrical power flow on the campsite.
Start by taking your devices into account
If you dealt with insufficient power on the campsite, you probably know just how frustrating it is. You had to use your devices one at a time and wait for something to be done in order to move to the next task on your list.
This is what happens when you consume more energy than you produce. This is because your energy generating system is ineffective or insufficient. To determine how many watts you need for comfortable camping, you have to start by determining your energy consumption.
How can you tell the required wattage when camping if you don’t know how much power your devices are consuming? To be well-prepared, you will have to take the consumption rate of each device and sum it up with the rest.
This way, you will be able to find a solution that will generate the amount of power you need. So, begin by finding our the wattage for each device and appliance you’ll be using.
You can calculate the wattage for each device by multiplying the voltage with the amperage.
Calculating the wattage of each device
Let’s take a small, 60 L fridge as an example. This fridge has a 12 v voltage. These 12 v will be multiplied with 1.0 amp, information that can be found out by checking the tag of the product.
You’ll have to take a look at the tag of each device you’ll be using when camping and get this kind of information. Thus, the result for the 60 L fridge is 12 watts. Next, think about how much you’ll be using the device or the fridge in this case.
If you know it is going to be plugged for 24 hours, you will have to multiply the resulted watts with the number of hours of use. In this case, the resulted 12 watts will be multiplied with 24 to find out the consumption of the fridge, per day.
For our example, the fridge will consume 288 watt-hours, noted as Wh. So, this is the power consumption of the small fridge daily.
You will have to do the same with each device you plan on using while camping. In the end, when you draw the line, you will have a clearer view of how much watts will be consumed each day, giving you the chance to come up with a proper power-generating system for camping adventures.
Are you using a solar panel to get the power you need when camping? Well, besides congratulating you for being eco-friendly, we will also tell you how to determine how much sunlight is needed to ensure the proper functioning of the solar panel.
Let’s say you have a solar panel of 120 W. To find out how much sunlight is needed to power the 12 v fridge, you will have to divide the daily power consumption of the fridge to the wattage output your setup can provide.
In this case, we will divide 288 Wh to120 W, 120 W being the wattage output offered by a certain bush power output. The result is 2.4 hours of sunlight. This is how much sunlight is needed for the solar panel to produce the energy required to power the fridge for an entire day.
Not all devices will run 24 hours a day
Of course, the best part is that you won’t need to run every device all day long. Illuminators, stoves, TV, microwave, and others will only run for a limited amount of time.
You should have these into consideration as well, but the main idea is that you don’t need a generator capable of supplying power for all of these for 24 hours a day. More power needs a larger generator and we all know just low limited space is when camping.
You don’t have to load your car or RV with a generator that is larger than necessary. Take a bit of time and attention to calculate your power consumption when camping, and you will be able to make smart choices in terms of generators.
Also, you will need to bear in mind that not all power setups for camping purposes are made in the same way. There can be differences that could affect your ability to use all the devices you want.
Small devices like a hairdryer, toaster, or coffee machine, although they may not seem much, will simply add up. So, there are cases in which a 12 v system will turn out to be insufficient.
Camping with your family means more power is needed
It is obvious that two campers will not consume or need the same amount of power as four or five campers. When you’re camping with your family, most certainly more power will be needed.
Although the number of devices could be the same, there are more consumers that will want to use them.
If you don’t want to compromise your comfort and the comfort of your family, you will need to consider a serious generator for your camping expeditions. This way, everybody will be able to do its thing without being bothered by a power shortage.
As you can see, finding out how many watts you need for camping is not that hard. You just need some basic data that can be easily found by checking the labels of devices, solar panels or power outputs you’ll be using.
Then, by using simple formulas, you will be able to determine if the setup you have or wish to purchase is suitable for your power needs.