Powering Your Caravan: Things to Consider When Choosing Solar Panels
One of the benefits of owning a caravan is that you can explore nature and the great outdoors. One problem of exploring the great outdoors in your caravan is that there are no electrical hookups in the middle of nowhere. Installing solar panels will allow you to power your caravan wherever you decide to set up camp. Below is a guide to 2 things you should consider when investing in solar panels for your caravan.
Type of Solar Panel
Solar panels for caravans will either be designed to fit on the roof of the vehicle or to free-stand next to it. Rooftop solar panels are permanently attached to the top of your caravan. The benefit of this is that you do not have to set up the solar panel once you have parked your caravan. However, a drawback of having rooftop mounted solar panels is that they can make it difficult to charge your battery during the offseason when the vehicle is stored in a garage or under a carport.
Free-standing solar panels are mobile, which means they can be placed in the best position around your caravan in order to gain maximum exposure to any available sunlight. The downside is that you will have to set up a free-standing solar panel every time you park your caravan and wish to charge the battery. However, free-standing solar panels do make it easier to charge your caravan during the offseason, as they can connect to your caravan and placed outside of the garage or carport.
One danger of using solar panels on your caravan is overcharging. If a battery is charged to full capacity and then left attached to a solar panel, the capacity of the battery can be reduced, meaning it will not be able to hold as much charge. You can prevent this by installing a charge controller on your caravan's solar panel. The charge controller will stop the solar panel from providing energy to a fully charged battery.
The charge controller will also help to prevent the solar panel from drawing power from the battery during dull days. If the solar panel you wish to invest in doesn't have a built-in charge controller, you should give serious consideration to purchasing one.
If you require more information about how best to install and maintain the solar panels on your caravan, you should contact a caravan service centre.