Ultimate Guide to Motorhome Solar Systems in Australia

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Ultimate Guide to Motorhome Solar Systems in Australia

One of the best things about motorhomes is The freedom to get away from it all and be as far away from the noise and chaos of the city as possible.

 

But when you're out in the middle of nowhere, power becomes the biggest problem. Don't worry; solar energy has become the best way to power motorhomes. Adding a solar system to your motorhome will let you get power for free while you're on the road. You won't have to pay extra to connect your motorhome to the power grid.  

 

You can use your appliances and devices whenever and wherever you want and take it easy on vacation in the comfort of your motorhome. You can find everything you need about motorhome solar systems on this page. Also, the Jackery Solar Generator is a great compact solar system for charging your motorhome's electronics while you're away.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

Solar energy can run your motorhome while you're on the road because it is clean and can be used repeatedly.

Solar panels are put on top of the motorhome to collect energy from the sun and turn it into electricity.

There are portable and permanent motorhome solar systems with relatively pros and cons.

Jackery Solar Generator is a portable solar system for your motorhome. We highly recommend Solar Generator 1000 Pro and 2000 Plus for your trip.

When building your motorhome solar system, determine how much solar power is needed, choose the proper components, and put your solar array.


What Are Motorhome Solar Systems? 


Solar energy can run your motorhome while you're on the road because it is clean and can be used repeatedly. So, what are solar panels for motorhomes? You may charge your batteries with energy collected from the sunlight by installing solar panels on top of your motorhome. 

When you want to go off the grid and try bush camping, dry camping, or backwoods camping, motorhome solar systems are a great way to power your motorhome. Sunlight is good for the environment and can save you money on gas and electricity while you're travelling. 

You can power your motorhome's lights, tools, and even the air conditioner by installing solar panels and a solar system in your motorhome. 

Products

Capacity

Rated / Peak Power

Size

Weight

 

Solar Generator 2000 Plus

2 - 12 kWh

3000W / 6000W

37.36*35.94*47.3 cm

61.5 lbs (27.9 kg)

 

Solar Generator 1000 Pro

1002Wh

2200W / 4400W

25.5*26.2*34 cm

11.5 kg (25.35 lbs)

The following section will discuss mobile and stationary motorhome solar systems. We also strongly suggest the Jackery Solar Generator for your motorhome. SolarSaga solar panels and an Explorer portable power station work together to power a motorhome and can meet all of your energy needs.

The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus works with the Explorer 2000 Plus portable power station and the SolarSaga 100W solar panel, which can hold up to 12 kWh of power. 


How Does A Motorhome Solar System Work? 


Solar panels are put on top of the motorhome to collect energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. This electricity is then stored in a power station and used to power or charge electronics and gadgets in the motorhome.

For a very long time, motorhome solar power systems have been around. Photovoltaic cells (PV), or solar panels, turn sunlight into electricity. They are the most popular type of solar system. Solar panels can be put on your home's roof or your motorhome.

how motorhome solar system works

The panels will take in energy as the sun moves across the sky if you park your motorhome on the road or in the sun during the day. Silicon and other semiconductors are used to make solar photovoltaic cells. Light from the sun knocks electrons off of atoms in a solar cell.

Metal plates on the sides of the battery pick up these free-flowing electrons, which make an electric current. The solar panels send electricity to the motorhome's power station through lines. This electricity can be changed into 12 volts DC so your motorhome batteries can be charged. The batteries serve as a reservoir of energy that may be utilised to supply power to your RV, including its lights, tools, and appliances.  

To power 120V electronics like coffee makers, the transformer changes 12V DC to 120V AC. Sunlight, solar panels, batteries, and transformers can all be used to power a wide range of electronics.

Last but not least, you'll need a charging device. A charge controller's main job is to ensure that energy can only go in one direction. The charge driver sends the power from your solar panels to your battery bank for storage.


What Are The Types of Motorhome Solar Systems? 


If you've already decided that a solar power generation system is the best way to power your motorhome, there are still more critical decisions. Currently, there are two central solar power systems for motorhomes: portable solar systems and fixed solar systems. These two options each have their pros and cons.

Portable Motorhome Solar System


The portable solar system for a motorhome is the easiest to set up and use. Typically, these systems consist of a solar plug compatible with the RV and one or more solar panels that may be secured to the roof using Velcro straps. Some carry-on solar panels are made to fit in bags. The screens can be wired together and put where they will get the most sun.

A portable solar system for a motorhome gives you options and freedom. Usually, these systems include solar screens that can be folded up and a separate charge controller.

If you park your motorhome in the shade, you can still move the panels to get the most sun. In other words, you can park it anywhere. Portable units are great for motorhomeers who move around because they are easy to set up and take down.

portable motorhome solar system

Portable solar systems for motorhomes are an excellent choice for motorhomes who don't need a lot of power but still want to keep their lights on, their tablets and phones charged, and their trailer batteries charged. This is usually the least expensive way to get in. We strongly suggest Jackery Solar Generators, which are made up of Jackery Solar Panels and a Portable Power Station and use high-quality parts to turn sunlight into power.

Permanent Motorhome Solar System


Getting permanent solar panels for your motorhome will cost more than the other choice but will save you the most money. It puts solar panels right on top of your motorhome's roof. This makes the answer more straightforward and streamlined.

When permanently installed, panels are always there and ready to make power. You can get the most out of each solar watt, you can put panels on any roof space that isn't being used, the panels will always be collecting sunlight (even while you're driving), and you don't have to set them up when you park your car. 

permenant motorhome solar system

They are perfect for motorhomeers who want to avoid setting up their camp often and want an easy setup. But if you want to place it permanently, you should think about how heavy it is and how strong the structure of your motorhome roof is.

Professional companies that install motorhome solar panels are usually the ones that install permanent solar systems in motorhomes. People who want to get the most out of solar energy can use these systems to charge not only their phones and tablets but also equipment like fridges, microwaves, coffee makers, and even air conditioners.

Whether you choose a portable or permanent solar system for your motorhome depends on your needs, how you like to camp, and your tastes. Consider how you want to travel and how much flexibility and ease you need before choosing the best tour.


Jackery Solar Generators - Portable Motorhome Solar Systems


Jackery Solar Generators are comprised of Jackery Solar Panels and a Portable Power Station. This is a portable motorhome solar system. It has a premium lithium battery, an MPPT regulator, and a pure sine wave inverter to ensure that your outdoor tools and personal electronics always have power.  

The best models are the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro and the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus. They have a lot of power and last a long time. They are great for living in a motorhome because of this.

Appliances

Working Hours

Solar Generator 1000 Pro

(1002Wh)

Solar Generator 2000 Plus

(2-12 kWh)

Microwave (700W)

1.2H

2.5-14.6H

Kettle (850W)

1H

2-12H

Portable AC (1080W)

0.8H

1.6-9.4H

Coffee Maker (550W)

1.5H

3.2-18.5H

Light (60W)

14.2H

28.9-170H

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro


The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro is more than just a gadget—it's your ticket to steady power on the go, thanks to its vast 1002Wh capacity and 1000W output power. It can easily hold a full wall charge in just 1.8 hours and has been charged a thousand times. This is a game-changer for people seeking efficient and environmentally friendly energy options.

Include two SolarSaga 80W solar panels to increase the energy you generate by 25%. This is a cost-effective and sustainable option for trips outside or backup power for your home.

To make things easier for you, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro portable power station has a handle that can be folded up for easy storage and travel. This makes it the perfect thing to take with you on your outdoor adventures. This small power source promises to keep you fired up with its impressive 1,000-charge cycle life and lightweight design.

It also has two 100W PD connectors and two USB-C ports, which let you charge devices like computers, smartphones, and iPads quickly and reliably. The MPPT technology guarantees that sun charging will work 99% of the time.

jackery solar generator 1000 pro

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus


Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus significantly enhances the available choices for portable electricity with its exceptional performance. With its substantial capacity and impressive power output, this device can provide electricity for outdoor excursions or home backups.

Integrating battery cells into the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus enhances the capacity from 2 kWh to 12 kWh, leading to a significant transformation in providing backup power for households.

The Explorer 2000 Plus has a power output of 3000W, 30% higher than other 2 kWh versions with similar ratings. The bulk of critical household appliances are powered gadgets. Although the Solar Generator 2000 Plus is commonly used, it may get a complete charge within 6 hours by utilising 6 SolarSaga 100W solar panels. The power source achieves self-sufficiency by harnessing solar energy rather than relying on the power grid.

The supplementary battery pack can be recharged using solar panels, offering increased versatility while enhancing charging efficiency and reducing time consumption. Jackery Solar Panels have a high sunlight conversion efficiency of up to 25%, which allows them to provide more lifetime energy.

jackery solar generator 2000 plus

How to Design & Install A Motorhome Solar System?


Add a charging device that can be put on your roof or shed. Generally, 100W of solar will make about 25Ah of charge per day, which is 300Wh. To know everything you need about designing a solar charging system, read the steps to design and build a motorhome solar system.

Step 1: Determine How Much Solar Power Needed


Solar systems for motorhomes are usually limited by room, cost, and the amount of energy they need to produce. Solar panels must be mounted in an area that is big enough. This is because the system can be expanded over time. 

Consider a budget limit if you are sure using all the rooms on your roof will be too expensive. If you're only going to power a few small loads and don't think that will change soon, you should do some output math and set a goal for how much energy you want to make.

A 100W solar panel that is tilted will make an average of 295Wh per day over a year. We are further north than most of our customers and live in a somewhat cloudy climate, so we feel comfortable using a 3x ratio to keep the math simple and get a good idea of how much solar power we produce each day in watt-hours based on the wattage of our solar panels.

This means if you have 400W of solar panels daily, they will produce about 1200Wh of energy. Of course, in the summer, you get more than this; in the winter, you get less; if you park in the shade, you get none.

Add up the power of the solar panels that will fit on your roof and any portable panels you can add. Then, use that number to choose the fitting charge controller kit.

Step 2: Choose A Proper Solar Charge Controller


You rarely have to worry about the limits of maximum open circuit voltage (Voc) or maximum short circuit current (Isc) when working with small solar panels that are linked in parallel and have a Vmp of around 20V. You can get by with a simple calculation:

Charging Current = Array Wattage / Battery Voltage x Efficiency

Wattage: Add up all the wattages of the solar cells in your array. The wattage stays the same whether you connect the screens in pairs or series.  

An MPPT charge controller only lets the voltage and current of the solar array match the output voltage and current of the MPPT charge controller. Put another way, your charge processor will not output 10A just because the current in your solar panel is 10A.

Voltage: This will be either 12V or 24V in an AM Solar setup. You may have a 12.8V lithium battery bank, but round it down to 12V.

Step 3: Build Your Solar Array


If you have a 12V battery bank, ensure all your solar panels are linked in parallel. Connect your solar panels in two parallel groups if you are using a 24V battery bank or running into an ISC limit.  

It's best to connect up to two panels in series, as the higher voltage may mean you need to use different cords and disconnect switches.

Different combinations of our screens can work in the same system, but some are better at what they do than others. Using one type of solar panel or connecting solar panels with the same VMP in parallel is most efficient.  

It doesn't matter if you link two panels with different VMPs or two panels with different Imp. The combined panels must work at a weighted average Vmp (parallel) or Imp (series). It could be better, but close enough, this new starting point. 

The odd screen will add much more wattage than it loses because of the less-than-ideal configuration.


How to Choose The Best Motorhome Solar Systems?


When picking out the right motorhome solar system for you, there are a few things you should think about. Each has pros and cons, and some factors can't be combined. It would be best to look at your choices and factors to see which fits your needs best.

jackery solar generator for motorhome

Solar Panel Wattage: You should consider how much power you need and get panels to make as much of it as possible. Each choice will have a different maximum power output per panel, changing the number of needed panels.

Setup: Setting up some panels will be more complex than setting up others, but setting up others will only take a few steps. You should also consider how much space the setup needs and make sure you have it.

Materials: The panels' efficiency will depend on what they are made of. The more they work, the more power they give off with the same amount of sun. The best solar panels are monocrystalline, but they cost more because they are perfect.

However, you only need a few screens to get the power you need. It costs less to make polycrystalline than monocrystalline, but they are not as efficient. But you'll have to buy more to get the same power. The thin-film solar panels are then solar panels that are thin, flexible, and cheap. They need to work better and much more to do the same job.

Usages: Portable and permanent solar cells are different in crucial ways. A loop fastener and hook can be used to briefly attach portable solar systems to the roof of your camper. On the other hand, some portable power sources aren't meant to be put on roofs.  

In sites, you park your motorhome and plug the panels into it. The panels should be in a sunny spot. PV kits for motorhomes are best for people who don't need a lot of power because they are only used when connected. 

Solar panels that last a long time are attached to your motorhome's roof. Even while you drive, they can soak up the sun all day. Putting in solar panels for this choice costs more, but it gets you a lot more in return.  


Motorhome Solar Systems FAQs


The following are the frequently asked questions about the motorhome solar systems:

  1. 1. Can you run amotorhome entirely on solar power?

Motorhome solar panels and a solar system in your motorhome or camper will let you power all or some of your electricity needs, like lights, appliances, and even the air conditioner.  

  1. 2. How many solar panels do I need to power my motorhome fully?

If you use 3,000 watts of electricity daily, you'll need at least three 100W solar panels to power the electronics and tools in your motorhome. Remember that it's likely that you will get less than 7 hours of peak sunlight every day. Solar panels can still collect energy on cloudy or rainy days, but they will produce less.

  1. 3. Is a motorhome solar system worth it?

Is it worth it to put a solar system on a motorhome? That is a great question. When deciding between a motorhome generator and a solar system, consider cost, efficiency, ease of use, environmental friendliness, and battery upkeep. So, you should fully understand and think about your options before choosing.

Sunlight is a clean energy source that doesn't pollute the environment when it's used. Solar systems don't need much upkeep and can be used for long without problems. They also do a great job keeping your motorhome's backup battery safe. The solar panels need some room, which could change how your motorhome is set up.


Final Thoughts


Besides being more eco-friendly, solar systems for motorhomes are also a great way to reduce pollution while on the road. You can be sure your system will provide power for years because it is stable and doesn't need much upkeep. There are fixed and portable solar systems. If you are on a tight budget, we recommend getting a Jackery Solar Generator to power your outdoor gear. 

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