How Do You Charge An E-Bike When Camping? 

What means can you use to charge your electric bicycle when camping?

E-bikes are becoming popular, particularly among campers. It is because e-bikes enhance the quality of camping adventures. You can gain several benefits from e-bikes if you go camping on an e-bike. You can deal even with hard terrains easily with an electric bike, carry heavy cargo that you need for camping, and go a considerable distance. Even though e-bikes are smart, they are not without their drawbacks. The main thing is battery draining which happens after a long ride. You won’t be in trouble if you go on camping just for a single day. You can go home and recharge. But the problem comes when you go on camping for a considerably longer period.  

 

Can You Charge An E-Bike While You Do Camping?

There are several possibilities. One is plugging the e-bike on the ground of camping or at a shop. Or else, you can go for the options like generators, popular solar panels, or portable battery banks, and you have the option of getting it charged from a vehicle. Even though you have several options, keep in mind that each of these has its own merits and demerits. So, before deciding which option to pick, consider your camping mode, budget, and location you choose to do camping. 

 

Electricity At The Destination 

If you choose to go on camping in hinterland areas, you won’t probably have the electricity to charge your e-bike. But, if you select a paid campsite, they usually have RVs and other things that need to supply you with enough power. So, it is your duty to check the availability of electricity at a paid campsite, if you select one. The option when you are in the backcountry is to have an extra battery fully charged so that you don’t need to push your e-bike by yourself. 

 

Amount Of Power Required For The Charging Of An E-Bike

There are a lot of charging choices in the market. But, before studying them, you need to get an idea of the amount of power required by your e-bike. This differs according to the brand and your bike’s model. The larger your bike is the heavier will be the cargo you can haul. In addition, they are faster and allow you to travel long hours. Hence, this type of e-bike needs a larger battery and consequently more for charging. 

 

Lithium-ion batteries are the common type of battery the majority of e-bikes have. They need 500-800 wh to charge fully. The charging option you are going to select should be able to output more than the needed requirements of a battery. Then only you will be able to charge the battery completely.  

 

The Capacity Of The Power Source 

The issue might get complex if you go on camping with a lot of people. For example with your family. Then you inevitably have to charge e-bikes more than one at the same time. To that end, having a power source with enough capacity is a must. For example, if you need to charge two e-bikes simultaneously that have 500 Wh batteries, you need a power source that releases 1000Wh. 

 

The average time taken by batteries to charge fully is 3.5 to 6 hours. If it sounds like too much time for you and you have doubts about whether your camping experience gets ruined because of that, don’t worry as you have an option. If you don’t need your battery to reach 100% charging, charge it up to 90%. It won’t take a lot of time. A minimum of two hours will be enough. 

 

If you are planning to do cycling along the trails that you are very well familiar with, a medium percentage of charging will be enough to survive the journey because you know the trails. However, if you wish to ride on trails that are new for you, you don’t have an alternative other than charging the battery fully. 

 

The Possible Ways To Charge Your Electric Bike While You Do Camping 

 Solar Panels

Solar panels are an efficient option for charging your e-bike. One reason is the eco-friendliness of solar panels. If you take care of them properly, solar panels will serve you for a long period of time. The need to grapple with a lot of ingredients to collect extra fuel will no more be there if you have solar panels as a power source. This becomes an ideal power source for those who go on camping during the summer season since the sun gives its maximum energy during that season. 

 

However, solar panel chargers do have several drawbacks. The first thing is you might need a considerably big solar panel for the purpose of generating power that is enough for your electronic bike. Since panels of this model are really expensive, there is the possibility of thieves taking them away if you leave them recklessly at the campsite. 

 

And, solar power is not an energy source that is available equally across a country or a region. Some parts will provide you with strong solar power while some will not. Hence, when you go camping in areas where the sunlight is not that much strong, it will take hours to charge the e-bike. On average, it is four hours. If your choice is a solar power setup, having an extra battery for overcast days is better. 

Battery Banks

There are RVs that have a battery bank. In such a case, you can charge the e-bike from that conveniently. The alternative that you have is buying a 12 V deep cell marine battery to charge your e-bike. This would be ideal for camping vacations which are shorter in time duration. Apart from that, these batteries are available on the market for a reasonable price and you don’t need to tolerate the annoying sound of a generator if you opt for this method. 

 

In case you are wondering to go for this option, check properly the calculations to be sure that you have got adequate power for all the electronic gadgets that you are going to charge off the batteries. Another thing you need to do is keep the battery pack away from damp places. Be sure it is in a secure place also. 

 

Car Battery Transformer 

This is another option to charge your e-bike. If you don’t own an RV, use a DC to AC inverter. By using it, you have the chance to charge your e-bike from the battery of your car. This option would be the most viable for those who choose to boondock (dry camping). Why would there be a need to buy an extra battery when you have your car next to you at the place where you have arranged the campsite?  All you need to do is buy a quality converter. Then, you can go camping with a peaceful mind. 

 

This too is not without its limitations. Let us explain what they are. This method is not suitable for e-bike batteries that have 30Ah. Unfortunately, the majority of e-bike models belong to this category. And also, please read the packaging of the inverter and confirm that it is made of car batteries. The reason is there are some inverters that can harm the fuses of your car. If that happens, there is a chance that you get lost in the middle of a wild forest. 

 

Generator 

You will be good to go if you can go on camping with a good generator. However, you don’t need a huge generator for this. Just a small one is enough. There are small versions of portable batteries. They are capable of giving enough power for a battery of an electric bike. However, it is your responsibility always to examine the watt-hours just to be on the safe side. The good things about camping generators are that they are available in the market for an affordable price and they are durable. The limitation of this is the bothersome noise it creates when it is put to run. However, smaller generators produce less noise. And, keeping fuel ready by your side is also a must. 

 

In case you have got plans to spend money on a portable generator for charging your e-bike, consider the following. You have to buy a generator that has an output wattage that is bigger than your bike’s battery watts.  

 

Power Outlet As An Option 

 

Check the availability of power pedestals at the place where the camping ground has located. If you don’t intend to stay at that place, you don’t need to worry because there is still the opportunity to plug into an electrical power outlet. But, you need to pay a small sum. There are other places where you can go and ask for a favor to let you use their power outlets. Several of them are bike shops, public parks, cafes and restaurants, and, fire stations. 

 

It is your politeness to keep in mind that these aforementioned places offer you a helping hand. Don’t be impolite to intrude and scatter mud everywhere. If they say “no”, you have to respect their response and come outside without making a fuss about it. If you go to a shop, you can buy something from them to show gratitude. 

 

Charging Stations For E-Bikes

In some countries like Europe, there is high popularity of e-bike charging stations. Some companies in the USA are also trying to establish this system. From these places, you can get your bike charged for two types of fees. They are a flat fee or a fee per hour. 

 

For those who cannot find an e-bike charging station, you have an alternative. EV stations for vehicles are the alternative. Use websites to find such places. It is not very difficult. However, if you go on camping in a forest area, this option won’t be available for you because, in the middle of forests, there are no charging stations. 

Another Charging Option: Wind Turbines

The issue with this option is that it is still in the developing stage. Several companies are in the process of developing this method of wind turbine. Some companies are trying to manufacture hybrid ones, combining both wind and solar energy. These are also charging stations that have similar features as same as bike stations. This method is a very eco-friendly option and will give very satisfactory facilities for charging in areas where there is a strong wind. 

 

Riding Off-Grid 

People think that off-grid means going without WiFi. However, it actually denotes the idea of not having access to a power grid. If your plan is to go on camping with your e-bike for a longer period, getting ready with fully charged extra batteries would be the most suitable thing to do. The other thing that you can do is calculate the number of watts that you will need per mile. You need to calculate this by taking the nature of the terrain on which you are going on the ride. The weather conditions, uneven surfaces, and wind have a significant potential to decrease an e-bike’s single-charge range. Don’t depend on the manufacturer’s stated range because those calculations do not come from perfect conditions. 

How Often Should An E-Bike Battery Be Charged? 

Modern technology has given facilities to produce batteries that do not deplete completely. So, you don’t need to charge them daily. If you do so, the durability of a battery goes down. In addition, you may need to change the battery frequently. Hence, rather than charging your e-bike battery after each and every ride, charge it only when it is necessary to do so. 

 

Why Is It Worth Bringing An E-Bike To A Campsite? 

You won’t regret bringing an e-bike to the camping site. It does not matter whether you expect to go on a relaxing ride or to do boondocking, for both of these activities, an e-bike would add extra pleasure. Some camping grounds do not allow e-bikes on their terrains. So, check before you go there whether you can ride e-bikes at the camp premises. The reason is campsite regulations might have been imposed to put limitations on the speed of e-bikes.

 

Overall, having an e-bike with you when you go on camping can add to your experience more fun things. The important thing is having a strong plan to use power sparingly. It will keep your mind in relaxation too.   

 

Conclusion 

Switching to e-bikes has become a trend nowadays. These e-bikes make your rides more enjoyable by preparing space for you to explore any type of terrain. They even assist you in climbing steep slopes. As an e-bike rider, you need to understand that for a longer ride, you need more battery power. So, find out a suitable option that is elaborated above for e-bike riders. 

 

You have several options to go with. If you don’t like the sound of a generator, then you can use a battery bank. No space to use solar power? Don’t worry. You may encounter shops with amicable owners who would let you in to charge your e-bike battery. Since there are a lot of options to charge your e-bike’s battery while camping, don’t be discouraged if you get a dead battery in the middle of an enjoyable ride. 

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