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Discussion Starter #1
Advice gratefully received.
Cant make mind up whether to have a solar panel fitted to pop up?
What do others do?/or think about the cost vs Value of a solar panel?
Would be using it on the continent so lack of UK sun not an issue!!
Obviously not needed if electrical hook up available, but possible roadside/event camping?
Could I use £500 elsewhere or is it a good move?
:*
 

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Would recommend one. Last year went to a campsite and no hook ups left, even though promised one. Off grid for 3 days, no running of the engine, ran lighting, heating, fridge etc still had 60% charge when we left. Also if van standing keeps the battery ticking over.

I would say 500 quid is a lot of money to spend, agree with above 160 - 200 for something decent.
 

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I pulled the cables in before carpeting ect so was easy to do put the controller in the cupboard next to my other bits.

 

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If you decide to fit a panel on the roof, fit two! For the additional cost it is way worth it, I have 2 x 100w and have never had to plug in.
 

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Hi,
I'm in the middle of converting my van and am really interested in this.
How do you fit these panels onto the van or is it best to have them freestanding to catch maximum sun?
Thanks
Rob
 

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Definitely a good idea. I've got a 140 watt semi flexible panel connected via a sunworks controller to a gel battery. It runs lights, sockets, USBs and fridge/freezer and we've never felt the need for a hook up. With many sites charging up to £5 a night extra for EHU it won't be long before you've got your money back.
 

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Hi,
I'm in the middle of converting my van and am really interested in this.
How do you fit these panels onto the van or is it best to have them freestanding to catch maximum sun?
Thanks
Rob
Rob, it's a tough one, most people just want to install and forget and not have the bother of moving them around and all the cables etc. but of course you don't always get the best sun angle or you may be in the shade. I find that even in full sun here in Oz with the poptop up and vents open it's quite pleasant in the van so don't desperately need shade so the panels get exposure.

I sikaflexed mine to the roof, I have a UK Poptop which has small ridges down the length of it so just packed out the middle with some lightweight plastic board and just glued them down.
 

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Thanks zebt,
I think I'll fix mine to the roof, getting a sunroof fitted Friday so will wait for that first.
I'm thinking a 80w just for a fridge and led lights and mainly I'll be hooked up anyway. I don't want shade, an awning is enough for me and the van is white so never gets too hot.
PS. I bet your winters are better than our summer:D
 

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pretty much what they all said, mine was around 145, later changed my controller to charge 2 batteries and only use a hookup if i want 240v, otherwise i never run my charger. i have a 100w semi flexi panel and used brackets stuck with CT1 so when the panel dies i can (hopefully) fit another the same size. all really easy to do. these also allow airflow under the panel to lose heat which affects the charging, mine are hardly noticeable from the ground.

my build here http://just-t4s.co.uk/showthread.php?348-Solar-panels
 

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If you decide to fit a panel on the roof, fit two! For the additional cost it is way worth it, I have 2 x 100w and have never had to plug in.
How many batteries and what size are you running behind these two panels? I'm just about to install 2 x 120w and I'm not sure if my single 110Ah battery will be enough to go totally hook up free.
 
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