2 Ways You Can Install Renewable Energy In Your Camping Trailer
When you are camping, you don't need to rely on gas powered generators or propane to help run components of your camping trailer. Instead, you can use renewable energy sources, such as solar and biomass (creating energy from burning plants). Here are two ways you can convert your camper to use renewable energy.
Wood Burning Stove
If you have a camping trailer, you know how expensive it can be to buy propane to run your trailer's heater. If there is a quieter and less expensive option to heat your camper, why not convert your trailer to it? A wood burning stove in your camping trailer will create warm, even heat throughout your camper and provide you a place on which to cook your meals.
First, you need to select a space in your camping trailer to place your wood burning stove. Campers are already cramped and the inside space is already used as efficiently as possible. So you will probably need to remove some furniture of other fixtures, such as the couch or entertainment center, to create room for the stove.
You will need less space in your camper for your new stove than you might think. Many wood burning stoves for campers require much less clearance than wood burning stoves for homes. In fact, one type of camper stove only needs one inch of clearance from combustible materials around it.
Your wood burning stove will need to be set on a non-combustible covered hearth pad, such as a metal stand or metal covered wooden box. Any surfaces around the sides of your stove will need to be covered in metal non-combustible panels. Then, your stove will need an air vent to feed your stove air from outside, otherwise your stove will use up all the air inside your camper, which can be deadly to you and your family.
Install and run a chimney pipe up and out the roof of your camper. It is a good idea to install a detachable chimney cap on the exterior of your camper so you can remove the top part of the flue when you are pulling your camper on the road. Once you arrive at your camping destination, inspect the integrity of your chimney flue each time before you use your stove, as it can become damaged during traveling and cause carbon monoxide to leak inside your camper. Then install a carbon monoxide detector inside your camper to make sure you and your family remain safe.
You can also install solar panels on your camping trailer to run some or all your camper's electrical components. First, you will need to determine how much power you need for your camper, then buy the solar panels to provide the wattage to your camper.
For an above-average power usage while camping, you may want to power your camper's fan, lights, electrical outlets to charge your phone and laptop, keep your camper's battery charged, and watch two hours of television per day. To accommodate this, you will need approximately 1120 watt hours from your solar panels, which you can get from two 140-watt solar panels. You can mount the panels on your camper's roof at an angle or horizontally to get the best sun exposure.
You will also need a charge controller, which regulates the current and voltage coming from the solar panels into your camper so your batteries don't get overcharged. The charge controller creates DC power which will charge your camper's battery. Then you will need an inverter to change the DC power to AC power so you can provide power to the electrical outlets and electronics inside your camper.
It is a good idea to install a digital monitoring unit so you can watch how much wattage you are receiving from your solar panels. This will allow you to see when the wattage from your panels drops at any time due to clouds or another obstruction in the way of your panels.
These two ideas can help you convert your camper to use renewable energy. For more ideas, contact a company like Energy Service For Less.