Solar Panel advice please (1 Viewer)

paroli

Free Member
Nov 15, 2018
20
4
Somerset
Funster No
57,227
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
Since 2017
Hi.
We have recently changed our MH. The previous van was a 2006 Autotrail Tracker EKS and it boasted a solar panel (and Battery Master) which I think ensured that the vehicle battery was topped up too. Our new vehicle; a Bailey Approach does not have a solar panel and my immediate thought was to replicate what was on the previous vehicle.
Various articles seem to be saying that no, the solar panel option would not be the best course of action (initially anyway) and that I should add a second leisure battery (plus replace the existing one) first.

I like the thought that both batteries will be continually charged (hopefully given a bit of sun) but am also aware that the vehicle is likely to move regularly and receive charge from alternator (although not always very far) and that we often pop into a site (with EHU) to water/pump-out etc

What are people's thoughts please?

Thanks

patrick99
 
Oct 24, 2011
195
78
shropshire
Funster No
18,615
MH
a class I think
Exp
10 months
I have been exploring the possibilty the possibiliy of o
putting a solar on our van but I am not convinced at the
moment. It would only be for leisure battery starter battery lights and fridge.
I dont know whether to go down the second battery route but we may hava problem with space. Like you which way to go?
 
Jan 19, 2014
9,437
24,930
Derbyshire
Funster No
29,757
MH
Elddis Accordo 105
Exp
since 2014
If the battery can last to 50% discharge from dusk til dawn that's all you need with a decent size panel. So I would fit solar first and about 150w per battery.

Edit: we go to Spain a lot mind :cool:
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,187
153,125
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 DL
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
:welco:
You don't say anything about your style of use. If like me you never use EHU fit as many batteries and solar panels you can get in/ on the van.

If you only intend to do 2 or 3 nights off grid just a second battery will suffice.

I would always go for the second battery option first, then add solar if required.

If fitting solar it is well worth the extra cost of a decent MPPT regulator like a Votronic or Victron.
 
OP
OP
P

paroli

Free Member
Nov 15, 2018
20
4
Somerset
Funster No
57,227
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
Since 2017
Thanks for your thoughts.
I do like the Solar Panel option as batteries do get constantly topped up (not quite the sun of Spain here though).
Although we do go 'off grid' for more than 2-3 days - this is not always the case - so it is only when we do this that further electricity is required and a panel.
I like the solar option though!

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Jan 19, 2014
9,437
24,930
Derbyshire
Funster No
29,757
MH
Elddis Accordo 105
Exp
since 2014
Just fitting extra batteries may leave you with inadequate charging capacity. Depends how you use it of course, but you could end up with having batteries that never get fully charged.

Ideally if you want more power fit both, but I'd sooner look after the battery first, lead acid batteries love being fully charged and will last longer with short discharge cycles and nice solar top ups every day.
 

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