Solar panels for a caravan are perfect for creating an affordable and easy-to-use power solution. Having these installed means that you can enjoy getting off the beaten path and see more of what Australia has to offer. You can use them to charge your batteries so you can have access to power at night without needing to run a portable generator (although those are great as a backup system during poor weather). Solar panels give you the freedom to take your caravan to many remote locations without worrying about finding a suitable caravan park for power.
This can help you be more flexible when it comes your ultimate outdoor adventures, and you’ll have access to many places that others simply can't reach.
You’ll find all you need to run your solar panels and power systems in the Outbax online store. It is available 24/7 and from anywhere that you can get an internet connection, and we can ship solar panels to anywhere in Australia; this includes many remote locations. All our orders are packed up and ready to ship in under 24 hours, with postage taking around 3-7 days, depending on your delivery address. With Outbax, you have access to the many types of solar panels and lithium batteries highly suitable for caravans. They are durable, lightweight, and perfectly suited to operating in the Australian climate. At Outbax, we are your outdoor power specialists, and we stock everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors, all while experiencing some at-home luxuries!
How to set up solar panels for a caravan?
Setting up solar panels for a caravan is reasonably straightforward, especially if you have an existing lithium battery or AGM battery supply. However, depending on the type of solar panels you have chosen for your caravan, the way you go about installing them can be very different. For example, if you want something portable and not permanently attached to your caravan, you can pick either foldable solar panels or a solar blanket (these can be found in our camping solar panel range). For these, all you need to do is find a sunny spot, connect the appropriate solar panel cable from the panels to your battery, and then you’re all good to go. The benefit of having this type of set-up is that you can park your van in the shade to keep it cool while not suffering any loss when it comes to power production.
If you prefer having roof mounted solar panels for a caravan, you have several choices. You can choose to use flexible solar panels (which will conform to the roof of your caravan and will not contribute to any air drag while you’re driving) or you can use fixed solar panels (which generally last longer due to its sturdy and durable frame).
Flexible solar panels can be attached using double-sided tape and suitable duct tape. Clean the van and position the panel while marking its placement. Then lift the panel and remove the backing from the tape, then place it back into position and apply even pressure. Tape the edges to make sure not too much air can get underneath (don’t block everything as airflow is still required for cooling the panel), and then you can connect all the wires and check that a charge is being generated.
For fixed solar panels, the installation is pretty much the same, except you’ll need a flat surface to install them, which makes them ideal for camper trailers and compact caravans. These can also be installed onto a set of suitable vehicle roof racks if you prefer to have them on your towing vehicle. Instead of tape, these are attached using mounting brackets and screws, which can make them more stable at higher speeds.
How many solar panels do I need to power a caravan?
The exact number of solar panels for a caravan that you need will be reliant on how much power you’re planning on using and for how long. While it is possible for a solar panel to provide direct current to many of the devices we have inside a caravan, it can be a good idea to pair the system with a suitable lithium battery (these can come in 50Ah, 100Ah, and 200Ah). To work out how much power you’re going to use, have a look at all your appliances; these should be marked with either watts or amp hour (Ah) to show how much power they’ll use in an hour. Add up everything you think you’ll be using, and this will give you a figure for the day. All solar panels for a caravan are sold with a certain wattage; this indicates how much power they can generate in an hour of quality sunlight. For example, a 200w panel will create 200w of power in one hour. Therefore, on an average day in Australia, where you get about seven hours of sunlight, you can generate 1400watts of power or about 116Ah in a 12v system. When you make your calculations, it is best to add approximately 25% to your power consumption; this makes up the difference for when your panels cannot operate at peak efficiencies, such as during cloud cover or poor lighting.
If you’re not sure how to pick solar panels for a caravan, you can give our team members a call during business hours (Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm), and we can assist you.