Solar power has steadily become more popular over the last generation. It is a renewable energy source, and very useful for camping and 4WD work because it is reasonably portable. Certainly portable inside a medium-sized vehicle.
It has become common to take a solar panel system on a camping trip. This can be used to power many things, most commonly a camping fridge, though solar is also useful for radio communication and lighting. It can also be used to charge mobile phones and computers.
Solar panels typically produce 12 volt DC power. This is different from the 240 volt AC power used in the home. But camping fridges that run on 12 volt DC are quite easy to obtain. So running one of these fridges on solar power is no problem.
If you intend to run the fridge continuously then you will need a battery to store energy during the day for use later at night. It is possible to run it from the car battery, but this risks running the battery down, so the car won’t start. Else, you can keep just keep the fridge running during the daylight hours and let it partially defrost overnight. This is fine in moderate weather.
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There are two main options for solar panels. Either you can permanently mount one on the vehicle roof (or the caravan/trailer if you have one), or you can keep one inside the vehicle for use when you park. The advantage of a rood panel is that it works all day. This disadvantage is that it takes up room that could be used for a roof rack. There are mounting frames available for mounting solar panels to your vehicle.
Consider solar when you outfit your 4WD vehicle with Jaram.
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