Empowering Off-Grid Adventures: Unveiling the Superiority Fixed Solar Panels for RVs and Caravans

Solar power is as much a part of modern RVing and caravanning as fresh water and spare tyres. Slim, lightweight photovoltaic panels have largely replaced petrol-powered gen-sets and oversized battery banks with off-gridders; that’s because they require little more than sunlight to produce all the power that even the most extravagant off-roader could want.

The fact is, we’re taking more, and larger electric devices off the grid with us than ever, and that means the popularity, and ultimately the potential of photovoltaics has grown. They’re the only option capable of viably and economically satisfying the kilowatt-sized consumption that a lot of today’s environmental and recreational appliances demand; and you don’t have to look far to find a reason why investing in your own solar panel system could be one of the best decisions you ever make.

Fixed Solar Delivers the Power you Need Off the Grid

caravan with solar
source: slashgear.com

Let’s be honest: regardless of whether you’re caravanning by the beach or RVing around the big lap, you probably didn’t take to the highway expecting to spend every evening in a powered campsite. That’s why a high-quality, fixed RV or caravan solar panel solution is what you need to keep all your accessories and amenities powered, your storage batteries charged, and free to go wherever you want without the need to search for powered sites.

Innovation has been instrumental in making fixed solar panels lighter, more efficient, and suitable for the widest possible range of off-road/off-the-grid applications. Nowhere is this more recognisable, however, than in Australia’s own easy-to-mount 170W panels which, measuring only 1320mm (l) x 664mm (w) x 17mm (h), and weighing just 10kg, boast an array of heavy-duty built features that include:

  • A tempered, impact-resistant 3.2mm low-iron glass cover;
  • An aerodynamic, aluminized frame with reinforced end caps; and,
  • An operating temperature range of -40°C to 75°C.

With their low profile construction, and weighing almost 30% less than standard 30mm tall fixed panels, these fixed solar panels for camping are the perfect size for any ute canopy, RV, or caravan. And while a panel’s appearance has nothing to do with its performance, its black-on-black frame, photovoltaic cells, and substrate construction do, in fact, help make it the perfect optical accent that also delivers the power.

Specs for a Long Lasting, Super Efficient 170W Solar Panel

Installation of solar panels on top of a camper van
source: juniatavalleyrv.com

Make no mistake: a poorly constructed, failure-prone, or massively underpowered fixed solar panel setup can leave you in the dark at the worst possible moment. The sheer size of Australia means that you can easily find yourself hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest stationary power source; that’s why there’s no room for compromise when it comes to employing the best-fixed panels and accessories in your vehicle’s system.

High-efficiency, Australian-made 170W panels are manufactured from A-grade monocrystalline solar cells and are designed to deliver 20.31% solar cell efficiency. That’s as much as a 25% increase in solar conversion over standard photovoltaics, and it’s supported by a range of key performance specs that also include:

  • A maximum working voltage of 17.8V;
  • A maximum power output of 9.55A;
  • An open circuit of 25.00V; and,
  • A short circuit of 10.58A.

Ideally, with their maximum system voltage rating of 1000V, you have the ability to mount one of these superior quality photovoltaics either as a standalone RV or caravan solar panel, or as part of a powerful 5 – 6 fixed panel array. These optimized fixed panels are also compatible with all types of wet cell, lithium, or AGM batteries; that means you only need the proper selection of connectors, fasteners, and charge controllers to give you and your battery bank the solar security needed to stay charged.

Choosing the Right Fixed Panel Installation Accessories

solar panel for caravan
source: wp.com

Installation plays a big part in both the performance and reliability of every fixed panel setup. And aside from the potential for a panel to become dislodged or to suffer physical damage, a poorly engineered RV or caravan solar installation can lead to a host of unwanted, and potentially dangerous problems, including:

  • A reduction in battery bank reliability and lifespan;
  • An obvious drop in power output; and,
  • Extensive charge controller problems.

A proper functioning, no-fault install begins with the right selection of caravan solar panel kit accessories, and for Oz’s premier 170W panel, those include:

  • Sturdy mounting brackets. Low-profile, corrosion-resistant mounts allow you to safely secure your panels without being concerned about their stability, or whether there’s sufficient air circulation under and around the panel.
  • Proper cabling. Regardless of whether you need an MC4 to Anderson-type cable, or Anderson-type to Anderson-type, you want to be sure that you’re using cables with the correct length and gauge of wire and is flexible enough to make ensure a stable connection.
  • IP-rated MC4 connectors. IP-67-rated, 30A plugs with crimp-type terminals are the right choice for setting up secure 12-48V simple, series, and parallel campervan solar panel connections and making sure that they’re clearly marked as positive and negative to prevent dangerous polarity reversing.

The fact is, even with the highest quality panels, unless they’re correctly mounted and connected, you’re not going to get the best possible performance out of them. A proper installation is the key to safely getting the most from your fixed panel system, which is why you only want to use the best installation materials.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re going camping with just a fridge, a light, and a laptop, or taking a fully loaded caravan off to the outback for a week, you’re going to need a source of electricity. And while there’s no question about solar’s superior attributes, knowing which panel is best can be daunting.

A high-quality, fixed RV or caravan solar panel solution with optimally designed 170W panels at the centre is a system that you can count on for scalable, reliable performance. Regardless of how many appliances or accessories you need to power, it’s the most worthwhile investment you can make if you’re going off-grid.