Caravan solar panels are one of the best ways to power up when you're on the road. You only need to buy one upfront cost and you get free renewable energy every time you decide to go on camping or road trips. Typically, when going for a solar panel as your power source, campers pair it with a caravan battery bank like a lithium battery or AGM battery. To install this, a solar charge controller is required—either an MPPT solar charge controller or PWM regulator.
Given the number of solar panel types available in the market, how do you know which ones best suit your caravan? Let’s have a look at the models that topped the rank of the best caravan solar panels category over the recent years.
What Is the Best Solar Panel For a Caravan?
Among the most prominent solar panel for caravans would be the Photonic 80W Caravan Solar Panel. This weather-proof module is a favourite of campers for its sturdiness and efficiency even in low light and shady settings. It's perfect for pairing with a 12V battery and since it's portable with provided crocodile clips, you won't have to worry about installation—simply pack away when you're done and it's all good. The next type would be a 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel. This particular model comes as a complete solar panel kit, with everything you need for installation included in the set. It contains a 10A charge controller, aluminium brackets, a cable pass, and a 6M anti-UV cable. Generally, monocrystalline panels are also known to be more effective than polycrystalline ones because of their higher conversion efficiency that produces more kilowatt-hours of electricity. Here at Outbax, our solar panels for sale are made from monocrystalline and sold at a more affordable price so you get to enjoy quality outdoor gear without breaking the bank.
The last type considered to be the best solar panel is the Falcon Technology 100W Portable Folding Solar Panel. Campers love how handy this is and that it comes with a charge regulator to prevent overcharging. Each side of this panel has 50W, making it a great option for topping up your 12V leisure batteries or even gel and sealed lead-acid batteries as well. Most of the mentioned panels are portable, however, if you want a solar panel for a caravan roof, you can go for flexible solar panels or fixed solar panels instead—these would be ideal for a caravan battery setup too.
What Size Solar Panel Is Best For a Caravan?
Typically in a caravan solar setup, you will need 20W to 60W solar panels but most outdoor enthusiasts usually go for 80W up to a 200-watt solar panel especially if they have a lot of appliances and gadgets on board. Sizing your solar panel is an important step to take before buying one to make sure that you get the most out of it. When choosing your solar panel size, have a good estimate of how much wattage you will need first. A caravan solar panel setup has three main stages: First is the power generation which is the job of the solar panels, then the power storage which is taken care of by the battery, and power use, which pertains to the items you want to run via solar power. In order to work out the wattage you need, make sure your panel is sized according to the amount of power you need for your outdoor trip.
Let's use a 12V system in a step-by-step guide to determining the size of solar panel you need for your caravan. The number one thing you need to do would be to list down all the 12V appliances you use on a normal day and include the watts they need. Then, work out how many hours you would usually use each one of them for about a week, then divide by 7 for a daily rate. Multiply each of your appliance's wattage to the number of hours you want to run them, add the sums and you have your everyday watt-hour requirements. It's now time to calculate your solar panel size. Compute the number of peak sun hours you have in a day and divide your daily watt-hours by it. If you're pairing your solar system with a battery, you need to know the perfect battery size as well. To do this, simply multiply your daily watt-hours requirement by 7 to get a weekly rate, divide by 12 to convert it to Amp-hours, then multiply by two.
What Can a 100-Watt Solar Panel Run?
A single 100W solar panel can usually run small devices like mobile phones, portable fans, lamps, and laptops. For bigger appliances like fridges, heaters, and air conditioners, you would need a solar panel with higher power output. You can also opt to pair it with a battery system. Also, keep in mind that the amount of energy generated by panels is highly dependent on how much sunlight they receive. Some campers use a solar panel tracking system to follow the sun’s path and get the maximum amount of energy during the day.
More from Outbax
Installing a caravan solar system takes a lot of work but with the right equipment, you can make it easier and worth the effort. When you’re ready to set up yours, visit Outbax for the best RV solar panels and solar panel accessories. These are guaranteed to be of great quality and are available at a cheaper price for anyone who wants a reliable power system for their travel vehicle. Aside from solar panels, we also have a range of LiFEPO4 batteries and inverter generators for those who are looking for alternative power sources. Happy camping!