Published: 30 June 2019
“DIY Folding Stand” A DIY Stand for Kings Solar Blanket.
A simple and cheap DIY way to get up to 30% more efficacy out of your Adventure Kings Solar Blanket from the 4wd SupaCentre!
When I first transitioned over to a slide on style camper and sold off the old soft floor camper trailer, I realised that there were going to be some sacrifices that had to be made. Weight and space were once again at a premium, just the same as they were prior to owning the trailer.
So how could I cut down space and weight with my camping gear. Well with the average 160w solar panel weighing in at over 20kg and being a god awful thing to lug around, this seemed like a good place to start.
I ended up buying one of the Adventure Kings 120w folding solar blankets which seemed to be pretty decent value for money. I didn’t expect them to be outstanding, which was good, because they aren’t, but they pretty much what I expected for the money I paid. They tend to put out somewhere around 70w to 100w according to my RedArc Manager 30 battery management system. The only problem is they would only produce that much power when they were angled towards the sun, you know, like laying on the windscreen. If they were flat on the ground, they were pretty hopeless, generating under 50w even in ideal conditions.
So what to do? I can’t just keep moving the car all of the time trying to point it into the sun, my house because my house is on the back! Besides, that would seem to be extraordinarily inconvenient and the constant starting of the old Patrol would probably annoy my mates as well as any unfortunate campers that were silly enough to setup near me.
The whole point of this solar blanket appeared to be redundant, because adding a stand would add weight, be difficult to use and be a pain to store. Well it could have been…. But after a few refreshing thirst quenchers I came up with an idea. An aluminium stand, that could fold almost flat that weighed almost nothing.
What’s great about this stand is that it’s cheap to make from readily available Bunnings parts, takes less than 5 seconds to put up or take down and can slide into almost any drawer system or be put away behind seats or almost anywhere in any vehicle. It allows you to move the solar panels towards the sun, or adjust the angle in seconds with very little effort.
If you want to see how to make your own, feel free to watch my YouTube video above where I take you through the whole process from buying the bits to putting it together. It’ll take you less than an hour to do, and it’s well worth your while if you have already bought or are planning to purchase the Adventure Kings 120w solar blanket.