Gear guide: Caravan and motorhome solar panels

Published in Caravan Guard News, Guides on   - 15 Comments

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  1. Alan Gosling says:

    Reference Peter’s comments. I used for 5 years with great success in the USA with my RV, 2 x 100w Renergy panels connected on a “wandering lead” Hence as the sun moved I could move them and also when in sites with overhead cover they could be placed in the sun. Using standard Mc4 connectors on the panels the extension cables were wired into the RV and stored above the external position battery which was in aoutside locker. One thing to note that whilst the Mc4 connectors are marked +ve and -ve when using Y connectors for several panels ignore these markings and just fit male and female ends as required. Never a problem boondocking (off grid).
    This combination was great cheap alternative. Cannot believe how much some panels cost when Renorgy works.

  2. kelper6 says:

    Surely one of the big drawbacks of roof mounted panels is, particularly for those of us who holiday on the continent, we regularly seek a site with shade. Midday sun in southern France, Spain, Italy etc can turn your caravan/MH into an oven if totally in the sun. But, if in shade, then the solar panels are rendered ineffective!

  3. peregrinatorx says:

    I have 330w really black Solar panel, The two Leisure (Deep cycle) and starter Batteries are fully charged by 10am even on over cast days, it’s a big panel, but once I took the 100w semi-flexible panel off, I had the room to put this up, needed a large Panel because of wild camps and on sites with no power, very happy with it.

  4. Peter Hollingworth says:

    I enjoyed the article, but would liked it to cover portable solutions such as briefcase setups, not just those mounted on roofs.

  5. John says:

    Hi I have been offered a solar panel wich normally would be put on a house, can I put it onto my motorhome.

  6. Nigel Charles says:

    Unless the CIGS versions can significantly offset the low sun angle issues months the best way of overcoming the sun angle problems is to tilt the panels. With no tilt the peak sun angle at midday in mid winter in southern England is only about 30 degrees. At best normal solar panels can only produce half their rated output in those conditions. This becomes about three quarters in March and September. These figures get worse the further north you go and remember the solar day is a lot shorter in the winter months. The lower sun angle before and after midday adds to the losses. A recent side by side test done by two motorhomes last winter showed huge benefits by tilting the panels towards the sun.

  7. Carmel says:

    Really helpful article. Thank you

  8. David Lewis says:

    I’ve just fitted a 120w solar panel to the roof of my caravan, done it my self not a hard thing to do. Got a complete kit from sun store solar, well pleased as the battery is at full charge all the time.

  9. John Rowland says:

    Trouble is, after explaining the difference between CIGS and silicon and the advantage of CIGS, you do not tell us which system is used in these panels!

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      The NDS 110W SolarFLEX has mono-crystalline silicon cells, as highlighted in the description.

  10. Garry Irvine says:

    Very disappointing as the article made a big deal of CIGS yet no supplier or offer!

  11. Graham Stone says:

    I’ve used a 165w home PV panel, second hand and producing 45v in peak sun. Used via an adjustable Charge Controller it keeps the leisure battery and cab battery (via a battery master) in top condition.
    Total cost doing it myself, including fixings was no more than £250. It pays to shop around……!

  12. Bob Maloney says:

    Interesting guide to commence further investigatio .
    Does put the question of whether solar, though ecologically good, is worthwhile. Wild campers …yes.
    Leisure campsite electric connection…no.

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