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How to Design and Install Solar on a Camper Van

How to Design and Install Solar on a Camper Van

New here? Welcome! This blog post houses all of our DIY solar and electrical tutorials for campers, vans, truck campers, and RVs.

Been here before? Welcome back. The page has a new look. There was SO much information here it was getting messy, so the topics have been broken up into individual topics so they are easier to find and gives a better user experience.

Our interactive solar wiring diagrams have been a real hit, but most of you want to know more about the ‘why’ behind the interactive diagrams. Perhaps you’re building something completely off the wall and are looking for some more, general learning about solar and mobile solar systems. You’re in the right place!

Keep reading to see our step-by-step guide for how to install a mobile solar and electrical system in a camper, van, truck camper, or RV.

DIY Camper Solar System Guide

This DIY Camper Solar System Guide is a multi step, complete educational series that by the end, you will know what all of the parts of a solar system do, how they work together, what you'll need for YOUR specific system, and what to expect during the build. These lessons go in order so I recommend starting from the top.

Varghese Eyadiel

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

All I can say is you guys are awesome! Thanks for all the great information, especially on van power/electricity.

David Campbell

Friday 30th of July 2021

Unrivaled Solar's high-quality solar panels are built with the best materials and craftsmanship, which is why they are backed by a 25-year manufacturer warranty. Each of these unrivaled panels is made from tempered glass and monocrystalline cells that generate up to 360-watts of electricity every hour that they receive sunlight. Whether you want to save money on your utility bills or contribute to a cleaner environment, these solar panels can help you do it all. see more


Wednesday 28th of July 2021

Hey! Do the solar panels need to be grounded up on the roof? I'm seeing conflicting advice online. Thanks!


Friday 23rd of July 2021

What Solar charge controller should I get, for two 100W 18V solar panels. Used to charge 12v battery on travel trailer.

Brian Whalen

Thursday 17th of June 2021

Curious about being able to charge an electric truck like the F-150 Lightning. The most limiting component would seem to be solar panel square footage/capacity unless one duplicates Matt Damon in "The Martian" with trailer dedicated to supplemental solar panels. Cnet guessed the batteries would be 110kwH or 150kwH for either the 230 mile or 300 mile battery. Ford can provide an 80amp at home sationary charging station and a 32amp portable "shorepower" charger when on the road. What are your thoughts? Was thinking a aux. generator may need to be considered as charging source if the RV solar system can only trickle the truck batteries.

Nate Yarbrough

Friday 18th of June 2021

Most of those require 120V/240V split phase to charge, so you'd need a setup that could put out that kind of power, which would be something like this: but potentially even larger. At this time... a generator would definitely be necessary to recharge 'in the wild' as you'd need 18,000W of solar panels to recharge a fully depleted 110kWh battery in 6 hours of solar charging time.