Adding solar panels to your campervan can help you really go off-grid. It’s something you might consider if you intend to spend extended periods in your campervan – or if you intend to live in it.
In this post we’ll discuss some things you should consider when attaching solar panels to your campervan, including what size to choose, and where to place them.
Does Adding Solar Panels To a Van Affect Insurance?
Adding solar panels to your campervan may affect your insurance. Want to discuss your campervan insurance needs with an experienced expert? Our friendly team is always on-hand to find you exactly the cover you need at a price you can afford. Call us on 0208 290 9086 or email us at email@example.com.
Two Types of Solar Panels For Your Campervan
There are two major types of solar panel for your campervan:
- Monocrystalline – These are made from one single piece of silicon, which some argue makes them the most efficient option. They’re small, lightweight, and highly reliable, so they can deliver effective energy generation without taking up too much space.
- Polycrystalline – These are made from a combination of different silicon fragments. This might make them less efficient than monocrystalline panels, but it also means that they can be considerably more affordable. However, as they’re larger than monocrystalline panels, you’ll need more space on your campervan to install them.
Pros and Cons of Rigid or Flexible Solar Panels?
As well as choosing between mono- and polycrystalline solar panels, you can also choose between rigid and flexible panels.
Rigid panels are designed for installation on roof racks and other support structures. Because they’re rigid, they’re strong and reliable, and less likely to get twisted or damaged by heavy loads and excess pressure.
Flexible panels can be fixed directly to your campervan’s roof. And because they’re flexible, they’re also suitable for curved roofs. You can use tape or glue if you want to attach a flexible panel without drilling into your roof, though you will have to leave a small gap between the panel and your roof you allow for adequate ventilation.
Should I Choose Permanent or Temporary Solar Panels For My Van?
Rigid and flexible solar panels are designed to be attached permanently to your campervan. But if you don’t want to make any permanent alterations to your campervan, you could also choose a temporary panel.
Look out for folding solar suitcase panels. As the name suggests, when not in use they fold away into an easy to carry and easy to store lightweight suitcase. But when you’re parked, you can unfold them, place them on your campervan’s roof, plug them in and enjoy some clean, green, free energy direct from the sun.
What Size Solar Panels Do You Need For a Campervan?
Solar panels for campervans generally come in a choice of 50w, 100w, or 200w 12 volt varieties. They appear to come in standard sizes, ranging from approximately 23 x 20 x 1.2 inches (580 x 510 x 30 mm) to 42 x 21 x 1.4 inches (106.2 x 53.0 x 3.5 cm).
What size you choose, and the number of panels you install, will depend on your power requirements. Work out your minimum required Watt-hour capacity and you’ll be able to figure out how many panels you need, and what size to get.
How Much Will It Cost to Add Solar Panels to a Campervan?
If you’re trying to work out how much it will cost to convert a van to a campervan, then you’ll want to know how much you should expect to pay to install solar panels to your campervan. You should expect to pay around £100 per panel, though the amount you pay will vary depending on what sort of panel you choose. Rigid panels are generally cheaper than flexible panels.
Don’t Forget To Tell Your Insurer!
You need to tell your insurers about any changes you make to your vehicle. They will need to know if you add a bank of solar panels to the roof of your campervan. It may mean you end up paying slightly more for cover, as panels can cost a lot to repair or replace in the event of an accident. But the good news is that campervan insurance is generally cheaper overall than standard van insurance.
Want to discuss your campervan insurance needs with an experienced expert? Our friendly team is always on-hand to find you exactly the cover you need at a price you can afford. Call us on 0208 290 9086 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.