Solar Power
Repairs & Installation

Caravan Solar Power Installation and Repairs

Solar power gives caravan owners the opportunity to visit some of Australia’s incredible country even when power is not available in the local caravan park.  Whilst solar power will run every appliance in your caravan it will power most of the important things that we need.

Solar power is reliant on your caravan being fitted with one or more solar panel that converts sunlight into electricity and then stores this power to a battery within your van.

Whilst the sun is shining, you can see as much of Australia off the grid as your battery storage capacity will allow you to.

What components make up your Solar Power System?

Solar Panels

Seen all over residential roofs, the solar panel for caravans is very similar to the one at homes.  Solar panels are generally installed on the roof of your caravan for hardtops, alternatively they can be portable or fixed to your vehicle.

How many solar panels you need, will depend on the appliances that will use it and how long you plan to be off-grid, remembering that your battery is being charged every time the sun is shining.


Your solar system is made up of at least one battery with around 100-amp hour of capacity. For more and if you have the space, you can add another battery.  Batteries range in price starting with the less expensive acid batteries which are larger and heavier to Lithium batteries which are more expensive but smaller, lighter and better performing.

Solar Regulator

Solar panels are designed to output around 17V to 20V which is more than your 12V battery can handle.  The regulator essentially converts the input from the solar panel into approximately 13.6V which is perfect to chare your battery without creating damage.

Difference Between Fixed Panels and Portable Panels?

Generally speaking, fixed panels are extremely convenient as they are always charging whether you are driving or camped. Fixed panels are also safer as they are mounted to the roof of your caravan.

Portable panels are somewhat more flexible as you can easily adjust them to always face the sun, but they need to be stored either inside your caravan or in your vehicle. There is the option of installing the panel to the roof of your car, providing it is safe and then having a connection between our panel and the regulator so that the battery is still charging when you are driving.

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    How Big A System Do I Need


    We get asked this question every day and the answer depends on each individual user, expectations, how it will be used and of course budget.

    For caravan owners who spend a large amount of time in powered sites, your caravan solar system will receive plenty of charge and therefore your usage is predominantly in between powered sites.

    For owners looking to spend a large amount of their time off-grid, then the size of your caravan solar system will depend on your daily usage and the number of days you want to be off-grid at a time.

    What Is A Charge Controller

    A charge controller also known as a battery charger and or regulator, is a small box that is placed between the solar panel and a battery. The charge controller stops batteries from being overcharged and ensures they don’t get damaged. It does this by regulating the amount of charge coming in from the panels.

    There are two types of charge controllers to consider: Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) controllers and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controllers. PWM charge controllers are an older technology and are cheaper, but less efficient than MPPT charge controllers. Both are widely used, have similar lifespans, and preserve the life of your batteries.

    Charge controllers are sized based on the solar array’s current and the solar system’s voltage. You typically want to make sure you have a charge controller that is large enough to handle the amount of power and current produced by your panels.

    Charge Controller for Caravans - Jacks Caravans

    What Is An Inverter

    An inverter converts the direct current (DC) produced by your batteries or solar panels to alternating current (AC) so you can use them for your 240V appliances whenever you go off the grid.  Generally for caravans and recreational vehicles you will require an inverter that converts 12V DC to 240V AC.

    So what this all mean. Put simply if you venture into your favourite off-grid camping area and you want to use something that requires mains power, then you will need to have an inverter as part of your caravan solar system installation. This will allow a device with a normal 240V socket to be connected to your inverter using your caravan battery.


    Lithium Batteries

    Lithium batteries provide a worthy alternative for caravans for anyone looking for a solar system that will be responsible on your caravans’ overall weight.  Lithium batteries can weigh as much as 60% less than your traditional lead-acid batteries. 

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