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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am new to this forum, so any help would be reall helpful. I am thinking of having the Skyline roof and roof mounted solar panel installed. It seems like a good price and looks good.

I have seen the threads on the roof, which appear to have good reviews and look good.

Has anybody any experience of the solar panel - 150w version? Is it worth it and will run a fridge and lights easily when not on hook up?

Thanks
 

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Is it worth it
You'll make that a bit easier for someone here to answer if you say how much it is.

I've got a 100W panel on one van and it runs the fridge fine if the conditions are right. I've also just DIY fitted a 150W panel to another van and it's working well, but it's too soon to say if it will provide enough power right in the middle of winter...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your response. It's £400 to supply and fit a semi rigid panel. I don't want the hassle of fitting it myself and if they do the roof it makes sense. My neighbour has been dealing with them and is getting a roof fitted and says they are really good at communicating and dealing with questions. Sound like a really good company and other reviews would suggest that too. I'm not expecting miracles with it but a 4-5 days away without electric with the panel would be good.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for that. £140 doesn't sound too unreasonable to have it fully fitted. Just want to know if they are worth having before paying.
 

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I got the 150watt solar panel fitted by Skyline at the same time as they did my roof.
They are great at communicating and really helpful - they gave me all the advice they could when I called them from the south of France last summer because my panel didn't seem to be doing what I expected of it. Ultimately we figured out that it was the control panel that was the issue and once back home they sent out a replacement FOC and it was a straightforward swap.

I've also got a split-charge system and between that and the panel I really don't need the hook-up, although I haven't been able to test that longer than a weekend at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for that information. Very useful. I have seen the correspondence from them to my neighbour and they seem very attentive. Can I ask if you were running a fridge, lights etc from the split charge and solar panel?
 

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With split charge in the mix I can run lights, fridge and TV overnight without a problem. I haven't had the TV long enough to have tested that for a weekend but after one night there was plenty of juice left in the battery. It had been fully charged before I used it that evening and i'm afraid I can't say exactly what the voltage was in the morning but it wasn't a worry - in fact the TV was on again for an hour in the morning too.
It's all very unscientific i'm afraid but the bottom line is that if i was doing another van i'd definitely fit the solar panel again.
 

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With split charge in the mix I can run lights, fridge and TV overnight without a problem. I haven't had the TV long enough to have tested that for a weekend but after one night there was plenty of juice left in the battery. It had been fully charged before I used it that evening and i'm afraid I can't say exactly what the voltage was in the morning but it wasn't a worry - in fact the TV was on again for an hour in the morning too.
It's all very unscientific i'm afraid but the bottom line is that if i was doing another van i'd definitely fit the solar panel again.
Just realised that the above bit of "info" is completely useless as the split charge would have been played its part in getting the battery up to full charge too, and then what i ran off the battery overnight is irrelevant because the panel sure as hell wasn't doing any charging! What i can say is that the panel does do a good job as there have been times when the van has been sat on the drive for 2 - 3 days with the fridge on and the TV on standby and the battery is still full. Beyond that i'm not sure I can actually give you any better than that with the use i've given it.
 

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I think having a solar panel on a camper is very worthwhile if you intend to not usually use campsites. No point if your pattern is drive from home to campsite to campsite, etc. Nothing wrong in doing so, just the solar will do nothing for you.

Having the panel on a tilting roof will be handy to improve the power harvesting as long as you point the tilt south - otherwise it could be counter productive (although you may well be leaving the roof flat during the day?)

Finally, things do fail - ask the company how easy it will be to remove the panel if it needs replacing. depending on how the flexi panels are fitted, removal can be very very awkward and leave a big mess behind - and you don't want that to happen on your expensive pop-top.

(the above may sound all negative, but just things to bear in mind - if all the boxes are ticked, go for it 100% A: )
 
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