|With many of us using more and more electrical
appliances in our caravans, or tents, we are becoming more reliant on having a
hookup on our pitch. But what if the site we're staying at has no hookups and
we are relying on battery power? Solar power may be the answer. There are many
options available, but we we decided to take a look at the relatively cheap and portable
'Briefcase' type solar panel from Towsure, to see how it performed, and to
provide a basic idea of what to expect.
So what is it?
The briefcase solar
panel is just that really - to put it basically it's two solar panels fitted
inside a hard case which folds up on itself. This provides excellent
protection to those delicate solar panels when not in use. When closed it's
just 53cm x 40cm x 5cm, so nice and slim and easily transportable.
To use it
you unfold it flat, and and use the support leg on the back to prop it up and
face the sun, which will give an improved output if you follow the sun round
through the day. Alternatively, as we did on the first day,
you can lie it flat on your roof which means it should catch the sun all day
long, without having to move it. It comes with long leads with detachable
connectors including crocodile clips. This means you can
easily use it to charge your leisure battery, or your car battery.
The solar panels are 13w giving you a theoretical maximum output of 1 amp in
bright sunlight, although in practice we measured this slightly lower.
When it's active it has a blinking LED letting you know it's working. The
panel comes complete with a blocking diode to prevent reverse
charging - when the panel is able to supply power to the battery, the diode
lets it through, when the panel cannot supply power (at night or in bad
weather) the diode prevents the battery discharging back through the panel.
Unless you plan to leave the panels charging your battery for long periods
whilst not in use, the manufacturers advise you don't need to fit a
regulator/charge controller to prevent overcharging.
If your power demands are high you may want to consider more expensive panels,
Towsure can supply panels from 10W to 80W as well as all the solar equipment
you'd ever need. But for most people these are perfect for conditioning your battery, and keeping it topped up
whilst in your caravan or tent with no mains hookup. Or you could even run a
small coolbox on a sunny day from it. Portable, easily and safely stored,
everything you need for basic solar power charging is here in one package.
A powerful 13 watt solar charger with adjustable support panel to maximise the power output. Ideal for charging caravan or motorhome batteries from general use such as interior light use or water pump. Simple and quick to connect and use and ideal for motorhome use - just connect up the panel and leave in the windscreen for solar charging.
- Blocking diode for battery protection
- Flashing charge indicator
- Suitable for all types of 12 volt batteries
- Comes complete with detatchable leads for different applications
- Ideal for caravans, motorhomes, boats, laptops etc
- Size: 53cm x 40cm when closed
Where can I get them from?
Towsure Products are stockists of the Briefcase Solar Panels and
are currently offering them at just £94.95 (prices correct at
time of publication and are subject to change without notice). Find out more from the
COMPETITION! Win a Briefcase Solar Panel
UKCampsite.co.uk has teamed up with Towsure Products to offer you the chance to win a
Briefcase Solar Panel.
Click here for your chance to win! Competition now closed!
||Outdoor Revolution Ibiza Suspension Chair TwinPack|
Brand new for 2015 the Ibiza Suspension Chair is only 5.5cm thick when folded, so it's easy to store in the caravan or car. The chair seat is totally flat until you sit on it and the elastic moulds to the body! Win a Pair of Chairs!
||Nemesis Ultra Caravan Wheel Clamp|
This clamps unique feature is that it locks to a wheel bolt and the clamp itself goes through the wheel, not around it as with a traditional wheel clamp. It weighs just over 3kg, fits in a shoe box and installation is simple. Get a chance to win one!
||Streetwize Vehicle and Personal GPS Tracker|
Track cars, caravans, campervans, children, pets and much more with this compact size GPS Tracker. Simple to use and Subscription Free, you just need a Vodafone Pay as you go sim card. Find out more and get a chance to win one!
||Coleman Vail Double Sleeping Bag|
Perfectly suited to couples while camping or caravanning, the Coleman Vail sleeping bag, available from Towsure.com, offers a warm and comfortable nights sleep during longer family holidays. Find out more and have a chance to win one
||Waeco TropiCool 21L Thermoelectric Cooler|
A 20 litre cooler box which can be powered by either 12v or 230v mains. This coolbox from WAECO makes a perfect camping fridge. FInd out more and get a chance to win one
||48 Litre Dual Power Thermoelectric Cooler|
A large dual power coolbox from Towsure.com, boasting a huge 48 litre capacity, and which can run from the mains 240v, or via a 12v outlet. Ideal for camping and caravanning. Read on for more details and your chance to win one
||Easy Camp Galaxy 800 Tent Package|
A great package deal - a huge family tent with FREE double airbed, 2 single airbeds and 4 sleeping bags - Perfect for the Summer Holidays. Available from Towsure.com - find out more and enter our competition to win one!
||Viking Ambleside Trekking Bike|
Viking Ambleside Trekking bikes offer outstanding value and are a great all-rounder, for comfortable, leisurely rides from country to town and back again. Available in Ladies and Gents models. Find out more and enter our competition to win one!
||Crusader Frankie Folding Camping Chair|
A very stylish and comfortable folding camping chair, which makes a nice change from the average chair used for camping. Folds into a bag. Find out more and enter our competition to win a pair!
||Towsure 2 Bike Towbar Mounted Cycle Carrier|
Many of us would love to take our bikes camping with us if only we had space in the car, so this towball bicycle carrier from Towsure could be the perfect solution! Save a whopping £85.00 from the suggest selling price and have a chance to win one!
||Outwell Table and 4 Chair Package|
Check out this great Money Saving Package Deal, this furniture set comprises the Outwell Rupert folding table plus 4 matching Goya chairs. Available from Towsure, saving £69. Find out more and enter our competition to win a set!
||Towsure Equipment Articles|
Take a look at some of the camping and caravanning equipment available from Towsure
||Cadac Safari Chef Deluxe|
A firm favourite amongst campers and caravanners, this is a versatile portable gas barbecue, featuring five interchangeable cooking surfaces. Find out more and get a chance to win one!
||Thetford Porta Potti Excellence Toilet|
This top of the range Porta Potti Excellence chemical toilet for boat, caravan, motorhome and camping features an electric flush system for easy use. Find out more and enter our competition to win one
||20 inch Wheel Gateway Folding Bike|
This easy to assemble folding bike is the perfect product if you need a bike but are short of storage space. Weighing under 14kg it can easily be packed into any car boot, caravan, motorhome or trailer. Enter our competition to win one!
||Blaster Brush - 2 in 1 Flow Through Wash Brush with Jet Spray|
The Blaster Brush is a revolutionary new high pressure spray wash brush! Attaches to your hose to give a powerful blast of water which is completely separate from the soapy bristles, ideal for cleaning caravans and motorhomes
||Sunncamp Elan 400 4 Berth Tent|
The Sunncamp Elan 400 is a new style vis a vis family four berth tunnel tent, available from Towsure.com. Read all about it, and have a chance to win one!
||Kampa Apollo 2 Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern|
A versatile 'light port', the Kampa Apollo 2 is a free-standing or hanging LED camping lantern with two detachable torches. Available from Towsure.com, we've got one to give away.
||12V & Mains 40L Wheeled Cooler Chest|
This large coolbox has a multi-functional handle and grooved roller so transportation is particularly easy and comfortable. It will run from 12V and the mains and is an ideal fridge for camping, the car or awning. Read on and have a chance to win one!
||Towsure Portable Toilet - 19 Litre|
A portable chemical toilet in an attractive, easy-to-clean matt-platinum silver finish. Expand your camping options, no need to rely on site facilities. Enter our competition for a chance to win one.
Need extra space for your camping gear? Caddy trailers are durable and lightweight and come in a range of sizes to suit everyone. Read on and find out how you could win one too!
||Coleman Xtreme 50 Quart Cooler Box|
The ultimate in portable cooler convenience, this coolbox has large wheels for easy manoeuvrability, and can hold ice for up to 5 days. Find out more and enter our competition for a chance to win one.
||Four Bike Towbar Mounted Cycle Carrier|
The largest model in Towsure's NEW range of deluxe towbar mounted cycle carriers. Their superb tilting action means they fit all tow balls and all types of bike. Starting from £119.95 for a 2 bike carrier
||Battery Powered Porta Potti 465 Electric Toilet|
A truly portable and top quality Porta Potti. A battery operated electric pump provides true portability, and easiest flush system there is.
||Towsure Travel Comfort Double Mummy Sleeping Bag|
A Luxury double sleeping bag with warm and comfortable hollowfibre filling, perfect for two, or just one with loads of space!
||Verona Lounger from Towsure.com|
A luxurious lounger that offers unbelievable comfort at a very affordable price. Also available in pairs to save even more.
||Oggie Explorer Sleeping Bag (3/4 season)|
Oggie sleeping bags have been designed with comfort in mind
||Oggie Endeavour 800 8 Person Tent|
An affordable combination of comfort, space and stability in an easy to pitch tunnel tent structure.
||Outwell Calabash Luxury Picnic Set|
A great four person picnic set, ideal for any camping trip
||Portable Toilet Setup!|
Never get stuck short on a campsite again with this portable toilet setup!
||Towsure 12v to 500 Watt Inverter|
Get power on the move with this 500 watt inverter, for when you need mains but only have 12v
||Kampa Grande Travel Cot|
A high quality collapsible travel cot
||Rechargeable Mini De-Humidifier|
Condensation is a real problem when camping or caravanning during the colder winter months, can a Mini De-Humidifier help?
Towsure have recently launched their new 'Essentials' Range, offering "All the essentials for outdoor life"
||Combicool 3 Way Absorption Coolbox|
This fantastic piece of kit, will not only keep your food and drink cold, it will keep it cold running off the power of your choice.
||Oggie® Range of Tents|
We have summarised the complete range of Oggie® tents from the 2 berth dome to the family 5 berth.
||Oggie Sleeping Bag|
When choosing a suitable sleeping bag you need it to be durable, reliable and comfortable, see what we found
||Adelaide Woody 2 Gas BBQ|
The UKCampsite.co.uk was asked to put to the test the Adelaide Woody 2 Gas Barbecue, with its two cast iron burners for extra control and a cooking area of 2,280cm2