Types of Solar Panels for Caravans & Campers
Hi guys, Briohny here from Accelerate Auto Electrics and Air Conditioning. Today we’re going to talk to you about solar panels, and what the different types of options are and which panel will meet your situation. The reason we need a solar panel is that we might be camping off the grid, we might be going away for a couple of days, or a week, something like that, and the power in our dual battery systems might only last for three days.
If you’re at a caravan park, it’s great because you can plug into 240 volt and recharge them, but if you want to do free camping or off the grid camping, going more than three days quite often you do need to charge them up. Previously we looked at options like generators, which can be noisy and smelly because of the fuel, so solar panels really are a great option now to recharge all the power in your dual batteries.
Recreational solar panels fall into three main categories, so we’ve got the flexible here, we’ve got the fixed, and then we’ve got the folding behind me. When deciding on the best panel system for your caravan or camper, it’s important to calculate your equipment’s power usage to determine the amount of power that all of your equipment will draw from the battery, the regulator, and what the panels are made to cope with.
These portable solar panels are really convenient, easy to install, and can be moved to maximise sun exposure and also the angle. They do need to be set up and pulled down with each camping trip, and they are quite heavy, and they do take up valuable storage space.
Fixed panels are mounted to the roof of either your caravan or four wheel drive. After installation, they require no setup and can charge the batteries while the vehicle is stationary or on the move. As caravan roofs can be quite big, they can hold a system which covers the majority of your power’s need. These guys also help insulate the caravan, they’re quite strong, and they don’t overheat, and they’re one of the panels that last the longest.
Flexible solar panels can either be portable or mounted. The glass panel is fixed to a flexible material, and as a result, they’re perfect for curved roofs and surfaces. As a portable option, they come out in rolled mats of varying shapes and sizes, some are small enough to fit in a backpack, or big enough to throw over a tent. These are really great because they’re light, so they’re suitable to pop top caravans because there’s not too much weight on the roof. They’re easy to mount, they do suffer from overheating sometimes because there’s not a lot of airflow between this and the surface on the caravan, and they are a little bit more fragile.
Hopefully this helps you work out which solar panel is going to meet your needs. If you do need professional advice, give us a call on 1-300-CAR-ELEC or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s Briohny from Accelerate Auto Electrics and Air Conditioning, and for any more tips and tricks, follow our YouTube channel or check out our blog, amae.net.au/blog.