Caravan Electrics Explained-Start RV Trip with Caravan Solar Panels and Portable Power Stations - Jackery AU

Caravan Electrics Explained-Start RV Trip with Caravan Solar Panels and Portable Power Stations

Caravan Electrics Explained-Start RV Trip with Caravan Solar Panels and Portable Power Stations

Caravan Solar Panels and Portable Power Stations

Caravan and RV holidays have seen greater demand in Australia over the past few years, particularly with families and young couples. These vehicles offer one of the most convenient ways to explore the beautiful country and are one of Australia’s most popular recreational vehicles. Around 90% of all recreational vehicles registered in Australia are caravans!

There are several reasons why caravans are so popular, including their expansive space, affordable way to explore the continent and variety of shapes and sizes. You will always find one that best suits your needs.

One crucial factor you will need to consider is how you will power up your Caravan electrics during the trip. The last thing you want is to scramble around in the dark with a loss of power, especially when on the road.

Luckily, there are plenty of power options you can explore. One of the most popular ways to keep your Caravan electrics powered is through caravan solar panels and portable power stations by trusted brands like Jackery

Caravans Electric Power Needs

You have packed your bags and are ready to head off in your caravan. But have you assessed your electric power needs? A caravan ride is only enjoyable when you have all of life’s little comforts nearby. These include the following:

  • Lighting

Lighting is the first and most obvious need. You need enough light to find your way through the caravan without making a mess. If you travel with family members and friends, they will need the additional light to go about their pastime activities. You could read a book, play a game of cards or even cook a meal. 

A typical LED light bulb will consume about 10-12 watts of electricity. The final number of light bulbs will depend on your caravan’s size and lighting needs. Besides LED light bulbs, you may further choose incandescent or fluorescent lighting.  

  • Power Outlets

Besides lighting, you will need to have your small appliances charged and running throughout the trip. For example, your smartphones, which carry GPS trackers, laptops for remote work, wireless earphones for entertainment and other small appliances have become a core part of our daily life. Your caravan will have power outlets installed to help charge these small appliances during the trip. Thus, you need to ensure you have a reliable power source nearby for the necessary electricity. 

  • Heating and Cooling Systems

Heating and cooling systems ensure your internal environment is comfortable regardless of the terrain you traverse. This will include your portable electric heaters, air conditioning units or even smaller cooling fans that help regulate temperature. These systems can end up consuming a significant amount of electricity. You need to plan your electric needs accordingly. A simple air conditioning unit used in RVs and caravans can draw anywhere from 700 to 1500 watts. 

  • Cooking Appliances

Good food makes a trip truly enjoyable. With the right appliances, you can easily prepare all your favourite meals in your caravan. Some of the most common cooking appliances you will need are an electric stovetop (1000 to 3000 watts), toasters (800 to 1500 watts), microwave ovens (800 to 1000 watts), coffee makers (550 to 1500 watts) and compact blenders (500 to 750 watts).

Jackery Solar Generators Meet Caravans Electric Power Needs

The True Caravan Power Solution

For a truly relaxing caravan experience, you should be able to power all your necessary appliances on the road. Unfortunately, most power supplies are limited. There is always a concern that you will run out of power. You can tackle this issue by proactively keeping a check on your caravan’s power and recharging when you rest at a caravan park. But the more savvy choice is to invest in an independent power source.

You can start by investing in a caravan solar panel or a portable power station(Australia)

  • Caravan Solar Panels

Caravan solar panels are a type of solar panel designed explicitly for caravans. They can power up the appliances housed within your caravan. In terms of their working concept, caravan solar panels function just as your household solar appliances would.

Solar panels for caravans are made from a grid of photovoltaic cells that trap solar energy from the sun and use it to produce electricity. The electricity can then be utilized to power up any of your appliances, depending on the charging capacity of your caravan solar panels and your electrical needs.

  • Portable Power Stations

Note that caravan solar panels do not directly power up your appliances. They tend to produce direct current (DC), whereas our consumer electronics demand alternating current (AC). This is why you need a middleman, such as microinverter solar panels on the caravan that will convert the DC current to a utilizable AC current. We recommend you invest in a portable power station.

A portable power station(Australia) is a battery-powered inverter generator that will directly plug into your solar panel system. A portable power station will not only help you convert DC to AC but will also store the generated electricity. This way, you can always have a consistent power supply with you, regardless of your location. This is also a great way to completely switch to off-grid use if you are planning to travel in a relatively remote region.

In other words, caravan solar panels, combined with portable power stations, are the ideal solution for your caravan’s electric needs. 

How To Prepare Your Caravan Trip For Solar Panels and Portable Power Stations?

To prepare for your caravan trip, you must closely assess how much power your caravan’s appliances will consume on average. You should search for the right caravan solar panels and corresponding portable power stations according to the approximate power needs. Here is a detailed guide to help you get started.

Assessing Your Caravan’s Electrical Needs

The first step is assessing your caravan’s electrical needs. For this, you should first make a list of all the electrical appliances and portable devices your caravan carries and whether you will be using them during your trip. This should include cooling and heating devices, smartphones, laptops, cooking appliances and other smaller gadgets.

Take note of the particular product you have; around its label, the manufacturer will have indicated what its power consumption is in watts. If the Amperes are provided instead of wattage, they can be converted into watts by the formula (Watts = Amperes x Volts).

Here is a general list so you have an idea of how much power your caravan will typically need: 

  • Air conditioner = 1000 watts (x6 hours) = 6000 W
  • Mini Refrigerator = 100 watts (x6 hours) = 600 W
  • Microwave Oven = 1000 watts (x0.5 hour) = 500 W
  • 4x Light Bulbs = 75 watts (x6 hours) = 450 W
  • Smartphone = 10 watts (x24 hours) = 240 W

Calculating Your Power Consumption

Once you have gathered all the wattage information, you can calculate your total power consumption. For this, we will simply add up all the wattages of these devices we have enlisted.

Total power consumption =6000+600+500+450+240 = 7790 W

This is a rough estimate of how much power your appliances will need. However, we have not accounted for starting watts (or surge watts). These are the additional wattage required to start up a device and are usually 2x-3x as your continuous wattage.

A good practice is to make sure you have at least 2x the power needed according to your total power consumption. For our 7790 W, we recommend keeping a 15,000W power source nearby at all times.

Choosing the Right Solar Panels

Now that you have a rough estimate of the power source you will need, you can move on to sourcing the right equipment. First up is bringing in a reliable solar panel system. A large variety of caravan solar panels are available in the markets and online, in all shapes and sizes, offering different power levels.

Caravan solar panels tend to have ratings in watts. You can easily estimate the amount of power they will give you in one day. Most portable solar panels for caravans you see tend to produce anywhere between 250 to 400 watts per hour.

You can multiply this wattage by the number of hours of daylight exposure to understand how much charge you will be getting in one day.

For example, if you are travelling in an area where you expect 5 hours of sunshine and have a solar panel with an output rating of 400 watts per hour, your total watts per day =400x5 = 2,000 watts.

However, varying degrees of sunshine, temperature and other external factors can affect how much electricity your solar panel produces. Some things you will want to keep in mind include the following: 

  • The solar panel’s output rating
  • Your roof’s space
  • Your budget

Selecting the Ideal Portable Power Station

With caravan solar panels narrowed down, you now need to locate a reliable portable power station(Australia). In order to make an informed choice, you should focus on the following aspects: 

  • The amount of storage energy
  • Power output or the amount of power supply.
  • Capability to add on additional expansion batteries
  • Number of devices it can connect simultaneously
  • Weight and portability
  • Pricing

Jackery Solar Generators for Caravans

Finding the right solar panels for caravans and portable power stations can be a hassle. We recommend that you try Jackery’s range of solar generators. Our solar generators are the perfect solution for your caravan’s electric needs and come fully equipped with caravan solar panels and portable power stations.

Since they combine both, you no longer have to source separate equipment for your caravan. Instead, you can rely on a single package that is reliable, easy to work with, portable and perfect for off-the-grid power needs. 
Jackery Solar Generators for Caravans
The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro is perfect for those who need quick charging capabilities and wish to power up a more significant number of devices. It delivers a superb 2,160 Wh of power and can be fully charged with the adjoined five SolarSaga 100W solar panels in just under 5.5 hours. The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro can be charged via a wall or AC adapter if needed.

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro can power up all your essential devices, including your refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, kettle, portable air conditioner and more. To top it off, it will last you up to 10 years (even if you use it twice a week) and comes with a 3-year general warranty. 
1.Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro
The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro is equally striking. However, it is meant for those who wish to power up a smaller range of appliances. The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro delivers a 1002 Wh charge capacity capable of supporting your phones, iPads, laptops, toasters, microwaves, blenders and similar devices.

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro offers you equally unbeatable charging speed, capable of being fully charged in just 1.8 hours via a wall charger. This particular product further offers up to 10 years of battery life before the battery capacity is reduced to 80%, making it an excellent long-term investment. 
Jackery solar generator 1000 pro


Caravan solar panels can keep traveller enjoying their caravan life and using all valuable electronic appliances at once without worrying about power outrages.

Jackery is one of the premier manufacturers of efficient solar generators, solar panels and portable power stations with over 9 years of experience. Founded in 2012 in the state of California, USA, Jackery has become a gold standard in the race to make green energy accessible for all individuals around the globe. From our high-efficiency and portable solar panels for caravans to solar generators, Jackery offers reliable products to power your lifestyle and outdoor escapades.

For those who wish to explore the great outdoors in their caravans and seek reliable portable solar panels for caravans, check out the range of products we offer on our website!

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