I want a solar setup for my camper, which one should I get?

I want to have a setup that will keep my batteries charged constantly. I have two batteries, and I live in sunny southern California, so sunshine is not an issue. I was thinking of a 125 Watt setup, but I am not sure if that's what I need.

frollard7 years ago
How much power do you use? (total energy measured in watt-hours per day)

then figure out how many hours of sun you get per day

say you use 1000 watt-hours per day (100 watts for 10 hours, etc), and you get 12 useful sun hours in a day...then you need 1000 watt hours / 12 hours = 83 watts of panels.

These numbers are examples only, and you'd need to do your own calculation - including a 10-30% squish factor for cloudiness, efficiency/battery loss, etc.

It also doesn't make sense to put huge solar in if you don't have the need/storage for the energy.
martzsam (author)  frollard7 years ago
Well, this is just meant to be a charger to keep the two batteries at full capacity while be are away. We never use the camper for moe than for days, and the batteries last that long. We just want something that will keep the batteries at a full charge while the camper is stored. (It is stored outside)
Again, if you're not using any power, applying 125 watts of solar power to the battery will just overcharge and cook it. To just maintain charge on a storage basis, you're looking at 1-5 watts plus charge controller. Total cost about 30 dollars.
Like Frollard said you need to know your baseline energy use before you can figure out what amount you need. I would like to suggest you look into small wind power to use also as it can keep a charge going into the batteries during the night when the panels are worthless, and can compinsate a bit during those few cloudy or rainy days. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, cause sometimes the baskets get holes in 'um.