When it comes to getting the best Caravan Solar Panels or Solar Panel Setup for RV's you will want to consider how you are going to get more from your deep cycle batteries by either supplementing the charging with solar or going for a complete solar system. Using solar panels for camping with your caravan, camper, motorhome and recreational vehicle has many advantages, from receiving free power to using environmentally friendly energy. Camping with solar panels and using solar energy doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Thanks to these handy tips, you can easily get the best solar panel setup for campers, caravans, 4WDS and recreational vehicles.
1. Choosing Mounted or Portable Solar Panels for your Caravan
Camper or RV Solar panels come in two categories - mounted or portable – with both options having advantages and disadvantages. The main difference between mounted solar and portable solar panels is that portable panels allow you to chase the sun whereas a caravan with panels mounted on the roof often needs to park in the sun to receive enough sunlight.
2. Solar Power requires Solar Batteries - Caravan Solar Panels and Battery Setup
To store the energy generated by your solar panels, it is important to have batteries that are large and sturdy enough to do so. Solar batteries are designed to do just that. They are not disturbed by frequent charging and discharging, require very little maintenance, and have a high cyclic life. Generally, solar systems for caravans use AGM deep cycle batteries. Larger systems used for off grid living, require larger tubular gel batteries.
Which battery size do I need?
To work out which size of deep cycle battery to use, you will need to know the watts or amps of the appliances you’d like to run. If you know one of them, you’ll be able to estimate the correct battery size for your needs. To make a fairly accurate estimation, you’ll also need to consider the appliances’ running time. The size of your solar batteries is important and depends on several factors：
1) Estimated running time
3. Running 240V appliances with Solar Power - Getting the Best RV & Caravan Solar Panel Setup
There are several ways to power your appliances when you’re camping or caravanning, but solar power is becoming increasingly popular. Solar panels generate more than 12V and will need a solar regulator to ensure your deep cycle batteries won’t overcharge and get damaged. From the batteries, you can then run any 12V items. Most appliances though need 240V, such as fridges and TVs. In this case, you will need an inverter to safely convert the 12V power to 240V power.
4. Be prepared for bad weather conditions and emergencies
Best Solar Panels for Camping, Caravans, Motorhomes. and Recreational VehiclesIf there is one thing you cannot control while you’re on a holiday it’s the weather. When weather conditions are bad for an extended time, your solar panels may not be able to generate enough power. As such, it’s best to always have a backup plan prepared. Generators can do the trick, or you can set up a dual battery system with a DC charger. Standard dual battery systems exist of two batteries (your vehicle’s battery and a secondary battery), but they can have as many batteries as you want – within reason, of course. Adding a DC charger to this system will allow you to charge your secondary battery back up to full which increases its battery life. This device also boasts the voltage going to the auxiliary battery, so no voltage loss occurs.
Alternatively, if you prefer to keep using solar power, you can also add solar panels to your caravan set up or replace your smaller portable solar panel with a larger one.
5. Ensure you don’t run out of power - Get the Best Solar Setup for Caravans or Camping
Before you leave on your camping trip, consider how long you want to be away from mains power. The longer you want to stay off grid, the larger your solar system needs to be. As such, it’s important to take enough batteries, or the right size of the battery, to ensure you have enough power to last through your trip. Estimating the right size of battery for your setup is as simple as a four step calculation:
1) Estimate the running time of each camping appliance you wish to use over a time of one day.
2) Multiply the wattage of each camping item by its estimated running time.
3) Add the watt hours for each device together to reach an estimate of your total power consumption.
4) Convert the total watt hours to amp hours and discover which battery size you need.
Once you know this, you can double the battery size to consider a 50% depth of discharge. During camping trips where you don’t have the option to re-charge your battery, it is best to time the battery size by the number of days your camping trip will last.
Wisdom Power® is a manufacturing and trading combo, specialized in sealed lead acid batteries for over 36 years. Can provide CE, ISO9001, UL, UN38.3 and test report to our clients.
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