Solar Panels – The Solution to Travel Greener in Motorhome

Quick Access to Content – Summary

Traveling in a motorhome is the perfect entertaining experience to get away from it all. In van, van or caravan, the need to supply energy to the on-board equipment is permanent. In general, campers are forced to make stops to refuel their energy. However, opting for solar panels definitely fixes the issue. While being an ecological alternative, free of costs and a guarantee of autonomy, the solar panel allows you to benefit from savings on your budget.

What type of solar panel to choose for a motorhome?

The identification of solar panels that may be functional on a converted vehicle is done in terms of technology and design.

Choose your solar panel by referring to the technology criterion

Listed among photovoltaic panels, monocrystalline solar panels are the most used when it comes to equipping a motorhome. There are also polycrystalline models, unfortunately unsuitable for this purpose due to their minimal yield.

More compact in appearance and with a dark surface, the monocrystalline versions consist of an arrangement of large silicon cells. Compared to the polycrystalline type, these panels show significantly better performance. The minimum yield provided by these copies is around 18-19%.

Manufacturers also offer variants that provide 23-24% energy efficiency. These are panels modeled using back contact technology. They are adequate to generate energy flows, regardless of the position of the sun.

The multi-wire monocrystalline is a combination of the two previous versions. It provides an average productivity of 21% and is operational even in cloudy weather.

Choose your panel according to the design structure

In this register, there are monocrystalline panels provided with a flexible structure and those with a rigid reinforcement. Both are designed according to the same assembly method.

The flexible solar panel is an electricity supply material that is best suited to camping vehicles with small dimensions. It is simple to set up and easy to handle due to its low weight. The rigid type panels are fitted with a frame that promotes cooling following the action of solar rays. It is suitable for large volume motorhomes. It has a better longevity thanks to its strength.

What solar power for a motorhome?

Knowing precisely the energy needs to supply the devices mounted on board your motorhome is the prelude to be carried out in order to define the power of the panels. This variable is calculated by multiplying the number of ampere-hours by the operating voltage.

A battery capacity assessment is then recommended. At the end of this, power sizing must be done to ensure satisfactory daily production. It will generally take into account the season in which you plan your nature getaway.

On the strip of the Mediterranean coast of France for example, a dimensioning of 100 W offers 48 ampere-hours in summer. On the other hand, on the northern perimeter, a similar power is rather equivalent to approximately 32 ampere-hours. The values ​​adapted in summer are to be divided into four in the winter season, ie 12 ampere-hours, against 24 during the other two seasons.

Why put a solar panel on a motorhome?

The use of a solar panel for motorhome is above all an eco-responsible reflex. This power source emits no pollution and does not require fuel to operate outside the sun. It guarantees you savings on your cash outflows. You are in fact exempt from stops on the way to recharge the batteries.

Being an ecological accessory, the motorhome solar panel offers assurances of durability. Well maintained, it can accompany you on your family outings over two decades. With it, you become autonomous under all the skies, countryside, forest. The only daylight is enough for your happiness. Finally, it is a tool that lends itself to use, regardless of the range, brand, size, model of camping vehicle.

How to install solar panels on a motorhome?

Man installing photovoltaic panels

It is not essential to hire a professional to install solar panels on a van or van. Start by targeting a suitable spot on the roof so that the cable route is as short as possible. Then remove the various electrical connections to the batteries.

Once on the roof, use sandpaper to clean the contact surfaces between the vehicle and the panel. Using putty, assemble the bases of the panel to the roof and hold firmly for good adhesion. Route the cables inside the caravan or keeping in mind that the panel is already functional.

Make the cable connection between panel and regulator. Finish by connecting the terminals to the latter and then associate them to the battery.

What are the other solutions to help the environment by motorhome?

Most camp rolling stock runs on fossil fuel. The manufacture of variants running on biodiesel appears to be a healthy alternative to remedy harmful emissions in nature. You can also buy an exhaust filter, making sure to change it if necessary.

Ban all use of plastics. In addition, manufacturers are looking into the creation of a fully electric motorhome in terms of motorization.

Scroll to Top