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Solar Power in a Rest Stop

Getting some grub cooked up using our solar power system

On the road with Rolling With The Whitneys, usually involves cooking with solar power. There are lots of times when we want to stop fix lunch or just take a break. This is usually at a rest stop or some kind of park along the way. Got to stretch the legs and fill the belly. A man has gotta eat!

None of these places offer or do we find electrical outlets or any kind of electricity. Luckily we have 320 watts of RV solar on our van that allows us the freedom to use solar power to accomplish most of our goals in a rest stop.

Here are the things to know along the way if you plan on cooking with solar power in a rest stop:
Not all rest stops have security – this is an important consideration especially if it is late at night. We travel with children and usually try to not stay at rest stops that do not offer security. There are more secure areas to dry Camp including staying in Walmart parking lot or BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands or other types of arrangements.

When we stay in a rest stop for a short period of time to make lunch we often consider what items that we want to cook so we can minimize the amount of power that we will use.

For example, if we were making grilled cheese sandwiches we would probably use our induction cooktop plug it into our inverter charger and use our battery bank. This would be an especially useful choice if we have great weather and a whole day of charging ahead of us.

Lunch at park powered by solar panel

Solar Tip: Always try to use your heavy loads early in the day. This allows more charge time for your batteries to recover.

Always be very mindful of the nature of a rest stop with people coming an going. Lots of animals can be out and there will often be a lot of activity. We usually keep our kids reading at a table or in their seats while we prepare lunch. Rest stops are great for many reasons like bathrooms and stretching out the old legs, but keep in mind the random comings and goings.

We are using the Solar Elite Charging System in our van. It the solar kit that has two 190 watt solar panels with the IC-2000 inverter. You can check out the this kit and other in the links below.

This is a great entry levelf Go Power's Inverter Charger Kit. They offer the Elite and Extreme kits. These have different amounts of solar and also different size Inverter units.

The Go Power! Elite Solar Kit - IC-2000 - 380 Watts of solar

We have found these kits contain much of what you need for getting going with off-grid solar and inverter power. We have also added lithium battery and sealant as well

Lithium batteries have come down a lot in price over the last 10 years. When we first started selling these batteries, they were hard to come by and a 100 Ah battery would cost over $5000. Today they are much lower cost and the power denisty is getting greater.