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Solar Panels For A Motorhome

 

All charged up and raring to go, then after a couple of days you start to think about having to charge up the batteries again & because you are going to stationary for awhile, you have  no engine charging.

If you don’t want to or are in a place where you can’t get EHU (electric hook up) & you don’t have or want to run a generator, there is one simple solution to keeping your batteries charged up.Get yourself a solar panels for a motorhome kit !

 

 

 

Solar Panels – How do they work

An electric current is created when the sun rays hit the solar panel. The electric current flows through a charge controller, which controls how much of the current goes down to the battery or batteries.

The charge controller gives a steady charge to your batteries, in exactly the same way as your battery charger works, when you are on “electric hook up. This is how batteries are supposed to be charged & it maximizes the life of your batteries.

How Solar Panels Work

How Solar Panels Work

The batteries store the DC power for all the 12 volt systems on the motorhome, such as lighting, water pump, toilet flush, electric step, TV etc & maybe an inverter. Inverters changes the power from DC into AC power. AC power is what runs things like your toaster, hair dryer, laptops, and phone chargers etc.

Without being charged, if a battery sits for too long when it’s flat, it loses its battery life and it may not be able to hold a charge even after being charged back up.

 

 

There is a wide choice online & you will be able to get exactly what you need by clicking on either of these platforms.

 

laidbackleisure.co.uklaidbackleisure.co.uk

 

 

 

 

So What Size Panel Would I need ?

If you use your motorhome mainly in the summer months & tour in the UK & Europe using camp sites with EHU & only occasionally spend a few nights “wild camping” & you only need your solar charging kit to keep your batteries topped up when your motorhome is not being used, for example at a storage area where there is no electric. Then a small panel & a PWM solar charge controller would be ideal.

What Size Panel Do I Need ?

 

If though you use your motorhome all year round touring in the UK & Europe spending the bulk of your time “wild camping”, using European Aires, or on site without EH, then you are going to want to get all of the charging capability from your solar system. To run lights, pumps, fridge, blown air heating & an inverter for sat tv, laptop, hair dryer etc, day after day requires a lot of battery power.

Most people will use their motorhome somewhere in the middle of these two examples.

 

So What Are The Most Popular Kits ?

The most popular solar panel kits are 120 to 180 watt systems. This gives enough power to keep your leisure batteries & start battery topped up, if using a dual split charger. It is a good compromise for size, power & cost. If you have a 3 way fridge on gas a 12v tv & radio, water pump & lighting, you basically won’t need electric hook up.

One point worth noting is that you can’t store excess electric power, so when the batteries are charged, the control unit will stop putting power to the batteries.

So even if you have a very big solar panel, with a high charging power, when the sun has gone, you only have the power capacity that your batteries hold. For example if you have 1 x 120Ah battery & you really only ever want to flatten any battery to 50% to prevent damage, so you have 60Ah to use.

 

What Different Solar Kits Are There ?

There is a large choice of solar kits to suit everyones power needs, motorhome roof space & budget.

What Solar Panel Kits Are There?

  • Ultra efficient MPPT Kits for Motorhomes
  • Motorhome Solar Kits to Charge Two Batteries – Leisure & Start battery
  • Motorhome Kits to Charge One Battery
  • Free Standing Solar Panel Kits for Motorhomes

 

You will see that a lot of the kits give a choice of which charge controller you can have.

This is probably the most important piece of kit in a solar panel charging system for your motorhome. It is also probably the least understood part of the system.

 

 

Please read this article (click on the link)What is a Solar Panel Charge Controllerto help you make the right choice of charge controller for your own motorhome. A charge controller can be very cheap or fairly expensive & there is a reason why!

For Solar Kits for Campervans click here:  Solar Panels for Campervans

There is a wide choice online & you will be able to get exactly what you need by clicking on either of these platforms.

 

laidbackleisure.co.uklaidbackleisure.co.uk

 

 

 

 

So lets have a look at what’s what;

 

Ultra efficient MPPT Kits for Motorhomes

MPPT solar kits for motorhomes optimise the panel power. The MPPT charge controller is up to 30% more efficient & get the maximum power available from the solar panel, down to your batteries.

MPPT solar kits are ideal where maybe space is at a premium on the roof of your motorhome, due to sat systems, hatches, air con, etc and/or the motorhome is going used for winter touring.

In the winter, the sun power to your panel is around 15 times less than in summer meaning every amp of power is precious to properly charge your batteries.

Using a MPPT solar kit gets you the most available power when you need it the most.

These solar panels for a motorhome kits are available to charge both leisure battery/batteries & start battery or just the leisure bank.

Think about it, when you are out & about in the long lazy days of summer a lot of time is spent outside & in the evening having a BBQ & a well deserved beer, your solar panel has done it’s job & the batteries are fully charged.

 

All of these kits below are UK designed kits & come with everything that you need. They are specifically designed for use on Motorhomes. These use high quality solar panels & charge controllers. Being premium quality kits they are a bit more expensive, than some that you will see online.

 

SUNPOWER 110w Semi Flexible MPPT 12v Solar Panel Kit

SunPower produces the highest efficiency monocrystalline solar panels available. They have record-breaking efficiency, making them the best performing panel on the market today. They are extremely reliable & produce more energy over the course of their lifespan than many other panels. They achieve this in several ways. The company use a positive tolerance, which means the panels always produce at least as much power or more as their rating when they are new.

110w Semi Flexible

110w Semi Flexible

The SUNPOWER 110w Semi Flexible 12v Solar Panel Kit is suitable for
higher battery use . Typical use includes extended touring off hookup with
satellite TV, lights, pump and a fridge.

In UK summer the  110w Semi Flexible 12v Solar Panel Kit will charge your battery around 77amp hours per day & will maintain your batteries state of charge year round.

The  110w Semi Flexible 12v Solar Panel Kit comes with everything required for fitting to your converted vehicle. This kit is perfect for these types of vehicles because it is easy to install & lightweight.

This 12v 110w Monocrystalline Semi Flexible Panel, made with SunPower cells are resistant to power loss via cracking and corrosion. SunPower® flexible panels are lightweight and durable & carry a 5 years limited power warranty

 

 

120w 12v MPPT Dual Battery Solar Charger Vehicle Kit
120w MPPT Solar Charge Kit

120w MPPT Solar Charge Kit

120w 12v MPPT Dual Battery Solar Charger Vehicle Kit available in two panel sizes and three mounting options. Suitable for larger vehicles with heavy use including fridges, satellite and TV’s. This dual MPPT kit comes with everything required for fitting to your vehicle. Suitable for motorhomes where you will be charging both your leisure and vehicle battery. In the UK summer this 120w 12v solar battery charger kit will charge your battery around 84 amp hours per day.

240w 12v MPPT Solar Battery Charger Vehicle Kit

240w 12v MPPT Solar Battery Charger Vehicle Kit available with two mounting options and two solar panel sizes. Suitable for higher use vehicles using up to 140ah per day. MPPT charge controller can generat up to 30% more power in shade or overcast conditions. Typical use includes one week off hookup with satellite TV, lights, pump and a fridge. Complete with all electronics, cables, connectors, mounting and fixing systems as well as full and easy to follow instructions.

 

305w 12v MPPT Solar Battery Charger Vehicle Kit
305w MPPT Solar Charge Kit

305w MPPT Solar Charge Kit

Suitable for off grid “Van life” vehicles. This MPPT kit comes with everything required for fitting to your vehicle. Ideal for all motorhomes, as well as VW Crafter, Mercedes Sprinter and Fiat Ducato type van conversions. In the UK summer this 305w 12v solar battery charger kit could supply over 200 amp hours per day.This amount of power will allow you to run pretty much anything that you need, when away from EHU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great deals online for MPPT Solar Kits – click the link below :

 

 

Motorhome Solar Kit to Charge 2 Batteries

These kits are used to charge both the leisure battery bank and the engine battery. The advantage to this is full automation and increased battery life throughout. When you have a motorhome solar battery charger kit for 2 batteries fitted, leaving your motorhome in storage over the winter is no longer a worry.

You can safely return in the knowledge that both your leisure battery bank & the engine battery will be fully charged and ready for action as well as the alarm will still be functioning and protecting. Once at a site the main focus is then on the leisure battery. Every day the battery is topped back up to full allowing no hookup to be required. Wild camping is now a real option.

120w 12v Solar Vehicle Kit Duo
120w dual battery charging kit

120w dual battery charging kit

120w 12v Solar Battery Charger Vehicle Kit Duo available with the option of two panel sizes and two mounting options. Charges two battery systems, typically engine and leisure batteries (house batteries). Suitable for vehicles using up to 84ah per day in the summer. Typical use includes touring off hookup with satellite TV, lights, pump and even a fridge. In the winter it will trickle charge both batteries and will support alarm and tracker systems. Complete with all electronics,cables, connectors, mounting and fixing systems as well as full and easy to follow instructions.

175w 12v Vehicle Kit Duo

175w 12v Solar Battery Charger Vehicle Kit Duo charges two battery systems, typically engine and leisure batteries (house batteries). Suitable for vehicles using up to 120Ah per day in the summer. Typical use includes touring off hookup with satellite TV, lights, pump and even a fridge. In the winter, it will trickle charge both batteries and will support alarm and tracker systems. Complete with all electronics, cables, connectors, mounting and fixing systems as well as full and easy to follow instructions.

Great deals online for Solar Kits For Dual Batteries – click the link below :

 

 

Motorhome Solar Kit to Charge Single Battery

Motorhome Solar Panel Kits to Charge 1 Battery. This is typically a single leisure battery or a pair of leisure batteries as long as they are connected together on the same circuit. This is then described as a battery bank.

With a motorhome solar panel kit to charge one battery the advantage is an easy install with only one battery to connect to. All the power form the panel will end up in the battery bank of choice and be maintained all year round. There is a choice of regulators and monitors available with every kit.

 

120w solar panel kit

120w-Solar Panel Kit

120w 12v Solar Battery Charger Vehicle Kit Deluxe

120w 12v Solar Battery Charger Vehicle Kit Deluxe in two panel sizes
and three mounting choices. Suitable for larger vehicles with heavy use
including fridges, satellite and TV’s.

This Deluxe kit comes witheverything required for fitting to your vehicle. Suitable for caravans,motorhomes, boats etc.

In the UK summer this 120w 12v solar battery charger kit will charge your battery around 84 amp hours per day.

160w 12v Solar Panel Vehicle Kit Deluxe
160w Solar Panel Deluxe Kit

160w Solar Panel Deluxe Kit

 

160w 12v Solar Battery Charger Vehicle Kit Deluxe. Suitable for
larger vehicles with heavy use including fridges, satellite and TV’s.

This Deluxe kit comes with everything required for fitting to your
vehicle. Suitable for caravans, motorhomes, boats etc.

In the UK summer this 160w 12v solar battery charger kit will charge your battery around 112 amp hours per day.

 

 

 

 

Great deals online for Solar Panel Charging Kits – click the link below :

 

 

Free Standing Motorhome Solar Panel Kit

Free standing solar panel kits for Motorhomes are specifically designed with the practical motorhomer in mind. Easy to install &connect; when you arrive on site. They come with thin but strong and lightweight aluminium frame to protect from any knocks or bumps as well as the option to use a security device for peace of mind.

Free standing solar panel kits have the advantage of easy stowing away when not in use. Being able to face directly at the sun, increases the power that can be generated in one day

 

45w Free Standing Kit

 

 

45w 12v Solar Battery Charger for Caravans and Motorhomes

12v 45w Solar battery charger designed to stand outside the vehicle when stationary.

The perfect size and power for 2-3 people touring in the UK summer and away from a hookup for up to a week to 10 days at a time.

 

80w Briefcase Solar Battery Charger

 

 

12v Solar Battery Charger – 80w Briefcase

The 80w Lightweight Solar Battery Briefcase Charger is a self contained, compact and portable solar 12v battery charger.

Ideal for Motorhome or Caravan use with high power requirements for prolonged use off hookup.

 

 

100w Briefcase Solar Charger

100w Briefcase Solar Charger

 

 

12v Solar Battery Charger – 100w Briefcase

The 100w Solar Battery Briefcase Charger is a self contained, compact and

200w Briefcase Solar Battery Charger

200w Briefcase Solar Battery Charger

portable solar battery charger.

Ideal for Motorhome or Caravan use with high power requirements for prolonged use off hookup.

 

 

 

 

12v Solar Battery Charger – 200w Briefcase

The 200w Lightweight Solar Battery Briefcase Charger is a self contained, compact and portable solar 12v battery charger.

Ideal for Motorhome or Caravan use with high power requirements for prolonged use off hookup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great deals online for Free Standing Solar Kits – click the link below :

Something You should Know –

solar panels for a motorhome

Solar Joke- 600w This is not remotely possible

Most people don’t realize that with a cheap kit, when they claim a panel is capable of 600w, that is when the sun is directly above the panel on the sunniest day for a decade in the sahara desert or in a science lab.

The rest of the time you are lucky if you average 40w & so your batteries go flat if you have a week of cloudy weather.

A proper solar panel, kit with the correct charge controller, will look after all of your batteries, all of the time.

This is from their own product description – Note:

“The labeled 600 W is the peak power calculated based on the chip, and it is only possible to test accurately under strict laboratory conditions. When used under general conditions, the output power may not reach 600 watts due to the limitation of temperature and sunshine. Under normal circumstances, this solar panel is completely ok for charging mobile phone batteries, car battery, and other batteries of 12V/24V and below.”

 

AreThey Worth The Money ?

Just about every motorhome has free space on the roof for a solar panel. Solar panels for a motorhome means that when you are out & about you don’t have to book expensive pitches with EHU. This gives you so much more freedom. I personally did 9 days on a beach aire in the Carmague & never once had a power problem. It also means that when your motorhome is in storage or even on your drive, your batteries will always be charged up, ready to go. As the solar panel greatly increases the lifespan of the batteries, so reducing the replacement frequency & cost, the panel actually pays for itself over time.

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