How to select the right Solar Kit for Camping (Off-Grid) use

How to select the right Solar Kit for Camping (Off-Grid) use

Justin G7/15/16


I have been wanting to get a solar set up for our trailer for some time now, but I am completely overwhelmed by the choices in the market. There are way too many kits out there and I feel overwhelmed and am not even sure what I need. Can you help me decide and explain what I need without making it too difficult for me to understand?

Wagan Tech’s Answer:

I completely understand that the choice in selecting a Solar set-up for your trailer may be daunting. I will set you up with the kit that best suits your needs and I promise to make it as easy to understand as possible!

After talking with you more, I have found that you want to keep your on-board batteries (which is your sole power source) charged while away from the power grid while giving you the capability to power AC devices (like those powered by your household wall outlet).

Since you have batteries in place already, all you need is a solar panel, solar charge controller and an inverter.

The solar panel will collect the Sun's energy and convert it into usable energy. The solar charge controller will regulate the current to your batteries while monitoring their charge condition. It will prevent over-charging, reverse current, and over-voltage conditions (in other words, it will protect your batteries from damage). The Inverter will turn the 12V power from the batteries into 110/120V like what comes out of your wall outlet at home.

We have a few choices that would be ideal for your set-up.

Solar Panels

I would recommend our 120W panel in either the folding or one piece models. For ease of use and set-up, our 120W Portable folding Solar Panels would be the best as they fold in half and have a 10 amp solar controller built into the panel; this set-up is truly a “plug-and-play” design. With the already attached alligator clamps, the panel can easily connect directly to your batteries.


With the aforementioned 0.5 cu.ft. microwave you’ll use requiring 750 watts of power (1,000 watts max peak surge) and the possibility of running other electronics up to 600 watts concurrently, that gives you a maximum wattage total of 1,500 watts (1,000 watts peak surge + 600 watts from the other devices =1,600 watts).
We always recommend an inverter at least 20% larger than you need to lighten the load and allow for room, so 1,600 watts + 20% = 1920 watt Inverter. Our 2,000 Watt AC Inverter would be the ideal power inverter for your needs.

Other Notes

Since your set-up does not have factory installed wiring/outlets, this is the best and most appropriate solution for this type of camping trailer/expedition trailer. If you had a factory camping trailer that was prewired, you would only need the solar panel and the solar controller as the inverter would likely be installed and wired into the camping trailer’s electrical system.

For more information or answers, please call us at 1.800.231.5806!

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before they are published