This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

To speak to a solar expert today, call us on 01209 707 392
Cart

Installing Solar To Your Campervan - To hook up or not to hook up?

Posted by Andrew Shaw on
Installing Solar To Your Campervan

Installing Solar To Your Campervan - To hook up or not to hook up?

A Friday night question posed by singletons across the globe but also a question increasingly asked by outdoor enthusiasts, seeking out their next camping adventure.  The market has seen three digit increases in campervan, motorhome and caravan purchases and rentals over the past year, as people embrace the chance to staycation in the great outdoors.

With so many campsites full to bursting, people searching for the term “Motorhome Wild Camping” on Google, has over trebled in the past couple of years, with people seeking out quieter and more remote off-grid campsites or wild camping adventures. 

Freedom vs Convenience

However, we are creatures and we need our comforts around us, so a bit of wild touring for a day at a time is more than achievable if you make sure you charge up before you head off or whilst you’re travelling but what if your adventure is more than a quick sojourn?  If you hook-up to electricity at a campsite, the average price per night for access for a touring caravan or campervan is around £5 ,or you may increasingly be met with an electricity meter.  Careful though, don’t overload the power, or you’ll trip it!  Ofgem announced in 2020 that caravan sites are not to profit from the resell of electricity but the costs associated with the access to power can mount up.  So where is the happy medium between freedom and convenience?

How does solar work on a touring vehicle?

More and more people find that it lies with installing a solar kit into their vehicle.  So how does it work?  Essentially, by positioning a solar panel on the roof, you can harness the energy of the sun, which generates current and voltage, which in turn is fed into the solar charger, which then converts it into battery voltage, allowing you to charge your leisure battery. 

What Next?

“Thanks for the physics lesson!”, we hear you shout but “what next?”.  OK, we admit, it isn’t such a hard sell for the benefits of solar.  People have been installing solar panels on their roofs for years and you will have no doubt discussed this subject at length with your pitch neighbour if you notice that they are sporting a nice bit of kit.  So, once your pros and cons list has dutifully been ticked off, what is the first step?

Which is the right equipment for my needs?

The first step to finding the right equipment is to work out what your needs are.  Essentially, what are you trying to power?  We have tried to make it easy by developing a Power Audit Calculator, which shows the types of appliances you might be needing to power and the average consumption of that item, by the time it is used for.  By identifying what you need and how long you use it for, allows you to calculate your load.

<Insert Calculator>

Once you have identified your power needs, you will be able to identify your equipment needs.  For instance, if you aren’t looking to charge any appliances via a 230V outlet, you will not require a power inverter but if that is critical to your needs, you will.  However, we have tried to do this work for you and by clicking through to our kit finder, you will easily be able to identify your power needs and we will recommend the most suitable kit for you.

How easy is it to install solar?

We have designed our kits with this in mind, aiming them at the practical enthusiast, who with a bit of help and instruction will be able to do the installation themselves and save a few hundred quid in the process.  However, if you are not confident, we would recommend that you find somebody who can help or alternatively, take it to a professional installer in your area.

If, however, you’re up for the challenge, you can find our installation video here

Why a flexible not a mounted panel?

There is more than an air of scepticism towards flexible panels on the internet, which is why we have not particularly recommended them until now.  However, it would only be a matter of time before a panel was developed, which had a good warranty (5 years), could withstand the elements and stood up to our efficiency tests.  Behold, the Verditek flexible panel!   The benefits of this panel are clear; they are lighter than a mounted panel, aesthetically, they look more pleasing and they are easier to install – just position it and stick it on – no mounting rails and clamps.  Plus, we have the reported benefit of having more freedom to travel as you are not hindered by height restrictions, which can be a problem with the mounted alternatives.

<Adopts a Braveheart stance> So, you have the dream of a life less tied to the grid, a thirst for adventure and the kit you need to make your dreams into a reality – so go forth intrepid one, go find your freedom! 

We would love to hear about your experiences installing solar or the adventures you have been able to have since you adopted it.  Alternatively, if you have any questions, get in touch with us at hello@ijopower.co.uk

Newer Post →