Go Off-Grid! Camper Van Solar System Guide For Beginners

...And Stay Off-Grid! Sizing your system, product recs, & setup diagrams.
Learn the basics of van solar system here.

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Welcome to the beginning of your solar system adventure. This post is the introduction to our 8-part solar series designed to help you build your DIY camper van solar system from scratch.

Who Is RV Solar Panel Guide For?

If you are planning to build your own solar power system in your campervan, this solar series is for you. Here you’ll learn how to determine the correct size of solar panels you’ll need, how to connect your panels together, how to select the right size wires, and more.

Consider this solar series your “Camper Van Solar Panel 101” course.

Camper Van Solar Series

Part 1: How Much Solar Do You Need?

Everybody’s energy demands are different. So it’s no surprise that the total wattage of someone’s solar array may not be a good fit for you. In this post, we discuss how you can calculate a solar system size that works for you.

Part 2: Best Camper Van Solar Panels

In this post, we review some of the most popular camper van solar panels used in the van life community. We list out why we love our particular solar panels and also discuss some things to consider when selecting solar panels.

Part 3: Series vs. Parallel Connections For Solar Arrays

Should you connect your solar panels in series or parallel? Actually, it depends! In this post, we delve into the differences between the two types of connections and give our suggestion.

Part 4: Best Wire Size For Solar Arrays

In this post we talk about what is the ideal solar wire size to use when setting up your solar panel system. And the answer depends on the total wattage of your array and connection type. Check out our post to learn more!

Part 5: Fuse Guidelines For Van Solar System

Fuses are a vital component to any electrical system. They prevent short circuits and other electrical anomalies from turning into dangerous fires. This post discusses the basic guidelines for whether or not a fuse is required for your camper van solar array.

Part 6: Solar Charge Controllers & Why They're 100% Needed

For the vast majority of solar panel systems, a solar charge controller is a must have to keep your batteries healthy. Check out our post to learn what a solar charge controller does and why they’re critical to have for your PV system.

Part 7: Product Review: Victron Solar Charge Controller

We love our Victron solar charge controller. So much so that we dedicated an entire post to documenting what makes Victron controllers so great. If we were building a second van, 100% we are getting the same charge controller for our solar system.

Part 8: Installing Solar Panels On A Camper Van Roof

You’re solar panels finally arrived and now you’re ready to mount them on your van’s roof. This post provides step-by-step guidance for how to install solar panels on your camper van and how to prevent leaks.

Part 9: Complete Solar Wiring Installation Guide

You’ve done all your homework and now you’re ready to wire together your solar panels and all the different components and devices. Read our post to learn how to successfully complete the solar panel wiring process.

Final Thoughts

When we first began thinking of adding solar panels to our campervan, we thought it was an incredibly daunting task!

The difficult terminology, and so many different products and required connections. It was a bit overwhelming.

But step by step, we were able to build a robust solar power system that fits our campervan life needs and lifestyle. And if we can do it, we’re confident you can, too!

If you have any question, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email in the Contacts Page.

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