Our Ultimate Caravan Solar Setup Guide

Happy caravan owners in Queensland know that nothing beats the thrill of hitting the open road and chasing nice weather around the state. However, sometimes staying powered up during your explorations can be tough, especially when you’ve taken your van off the beaten track. That’s where solar can come in handy, though. We’ve put together our helpful caravan solar setup guide to shed light on harnessing the sun’s power for all your caravanning adventures.

Top Reasons to Install Caravan Solar Panels

There are plenty of reasons why it’s worth adding caravan solar panels to your van. If you like the idea of spending endless days and nights checking out the best spots around our beautiful country, you’re probably going to end up doing some off-grid camping. When out in nature, the last thing you want is to stress about running out of power for essentials and toys such as lights, your fridge, other appliances, and tech gadgets. With a quality caravan solar setup, you can spend weeks off the grid if you’d like to.

Friendly on Your Wallet

Another big plus of using solar is that it’s friendly on your wallet. You can save plenty of money by having a solar setup for your caravan and not having to spend a lot of cash on generator fuel and campground or caravan park hook-up fees. Even when you’re holidaying in areas with lots of different campgrounds to choose from, you don’t have to spend money on these places if you don’t want to when you have the best solar panels for your caravan.

Friendly on the Planet

You might have decided to install a caravan solar setup because solar panels are eco-friendly. You won’t be using up so many earth-impacting resources when you use them and can have the satisfaction of knowing you’re simply harnessing the sun’s power to fuel your adventures.

If you’re putting your van in for a caravan service, you can have some solar panels added while it’s there, making the transition quick and easy.

Different Types of Solar Panels You Can Use

When it comes to choosing the best solar panels for your caravan, you’ve got plenty of options. It’s also worth asking if panels are already installed when you go to purchase a caravan in the first place.

Option 1: Flexible Solar Panels

Flexible, lightweight solar panels might be just the ticket if you’re looking for a solar set-up that moulds to the contours of your caravan roof. These versatile panels suit camper owners who want to make the most of their roof space without impacting the visual look of their caravan.

Option 2: Rigid Solar Panels

Another option is rigid solar panels. These traditional, mounted panels are fixed to the roof of your machine and are known for durability and efficiency. They’re usually made from aluminium frames and tempered glass. You can also choose portable solar blankets. These foldable panels are designed to be set up wherever the sun shines brightest on the day, so they’re particularly flexible, as well as lightweight and portable.

    Pros & Cons: Flexible Solar Panels v Rigid Panels

    When comparing flexible solar panels with rigid ones, keep the pros and cons of each in mind. For instance, flexible panels can be mounted on curved or irregular surfaces, so they suit today’s sleek, modern caravan designs. Their low-profile style makes them great for reducing wind resistance while you’re travelling. They’re also easier to move and generally less expensive than rigid fixed panels. However, they can be more prone to weather damage and more likely to be stolen.

    As for rigid units, these solar panels are known for being durable and efficient. They constantly operate, so you don’t have to think about them much, and their materials make them great for offering protection against the elements. They provide long-lasting performance, so they’re reliable and provide great power output. Plus, you can’t easily remove them, which can sometimes create an issue but, more importantly, keeps them safer from thieves.

    Alternatively, if your biggest focus is on flexibility and convenience, portable solar blankets may be the best caravan solar panels for your needs. You can easily stow them away when they’re not in use and chase the sun as necessary.

    How to Choose the Best Solar Panels for Your Caravan and Needs

    After learning about caravan solar setup options, the million-dollar questions become, what size solar panel is best for your caravan, and which one should you buy? The answers to these queries depend on a few things, such as:

    • How much sunlight you’re likely to soak up while you’re away
    • Your typical power consumption
    • Your budget
    • The size of your caravan’s roof

    As a general rule of thumb, it pays to aim for a solar panel that’s big enough to generate enough power to keep your batteries topped up on cloudy days. Think about what size solar panels will fit on your caravan and look okay, too, as well as the weight, durability, and ease of installation of different products.

    Sunny Side Up: Harness the Sunlight Anywhere!

    The right caravan solar setup can help you stay powered up during your Queensland adventures and beyond. With a bit of solar savvy and a whole lot of sunshine, there’s no limit to where your travels might take you! If you need some assistance with all of this, feel free to get in touch with us to book a free onsite quote for a caravan renovation, and we can suggest and install suitable solar panels at the same time. If you’d like more info or help adding solar panels to your caravan, contact us today.