Part of the appeal of a caravan or motorhome lies in its ability to let you enjoy the world while away from home. However, the experience of camping with them would not be complete without the opportunity to spend time connected to an electrical network. In these cases you have a energy generator or, better yet, a photovoltaic system which you can place in your caravan as a solar panel (or several).
The tendency to stay at home and the isolation imposed during the health crisis meant that mobile homes, vans camped and other types of motorhomes, were extremely popular. Actually, more recreational vehicles were built in 2021 than at any other time in history. That is why more and more companies are born to build the dream motorhome of a rich person, although fortunately the possibilities for a more modest audience have also expanded.
Returning to the case, to achieve his goal, a motorhome needs electricity to power appliances and keep it comfortable. This means staying in places that have access to electricity or making your own using a generator or photovoltaic system. In many cases and for the common traveler, the generator works well because it is a simple and economical solution. On the other hand, if you want to stay off the network for an extended period of time, you may want an alternative.
we say it because a generator is usually noisy and only works as long as there is enough fuel. You probably don’t want it to work at night while you sleep. In addition, the generator needs some maintenance and sometimes breaks down when you need it most. A photovoltaic energy system, on the other hand, is a maintenance-free, clean and quiet system., despite the slower generation of power. But on the other hand, it also proves that it is more profitable if used more often.
Choosing between a generator and a solar panel system depends not only on your camping habits, but also on the budget. That is why one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to installing solar panels on the caravan is: “How much?” However, there is no easy answer to this question and it all depends on what you want to do and how much you are willing to spend.
If you want the cheapest solution to power a few things like your caravan’s LED lights and maybe your TV, a 400W It will be enough. This means that you still need a generator for larger consumers such as your refrigerator, microwave, oven and air conditioning. Such a photovoltaic system it should cost between 3,500 and 5,000 euros in total. With $1,000 more, you could afford an 800W system that could power more devices while giving you some wiggle room to work.
We recommend that you manage money better and opt for a system of 1200W instead of. This is similarly priced from 4,500 to 5,500 euros in total, but you can switch on almost everything in the caravan, except the air conditioning itself. You will still have to keep an eye on the total fuel consumption as you switch on more power-hungry devices. You will then no longer need a generator, although it is still a good idea to carry one on board in case of an emergency and you need electricity right now.
With larger systems you run into a wall with the limited space on your caravan roof. This prevents you from installing more or larger solar panels, which limits the total power that the photovoltaic installation can supply. If you have a very large caravan, you can install it a system that can generate more than 20,000 W per day for a price that could be around €10,000.
Depending on kit you buy you may need a charge controller and an additional inverter, but these are the cheapest components you can find for about 500 euro. Batteries, on the other hand, are the most expensive and are not included in any case kit photovoltaic Depending on the type of electrolytic batteries – flooded, gel or AGM batteries – and their capacity, the price varies between 150 and more than 1,000 euros. This is practically everything, and all you have to do is close with the homologation certificates to enjoy it.