Imagine having rain barrels to collect rain water to store and use over time. With Solar power you are collecting electricity from the sun via the solar panels, and using the batteries to store all that power.It’s important to find a balance between the number of solar panels and batteries you have. Sometimes people think having more batteries is better, but since you have to collect electricity first, it doesn’t matter if you have lots of batteries (or a large rain barrel) if you don’t have enough solar energy to collect in the first place. You definitely want more solar panels than batteries so that the batteries are always full!
Take Care of Your Batteries
Be mindful of your energy usage. When you are using solar power only, it is important to take good care of your batteries. Remember, you are living in a van!
Don’t drain the batteries. Keep an eye on the battery monitor. AGM batteries are not recommended to go below 50%.
You can connect your batteries to the alternator with a battery isolator. If the batteries are getting low, turn on the engine to give them some charge and keep the batteries in good condition.
Winter Is Coming...
Be prepared for less sun in the Winter. In Colorado, the sun shines for 16 hours in the Summertime, but only 7-8 hours in the Winter.
Accurately assess your energy needs. Make sure you have enough solar panels to serve your needs.
What You Can Expect with PataVans
Our Basic & Full Conversion packages come with 3 solar panels (100w each) and 2 AGM batteries with 100amps each. This is enough to power 12v outlets, a mini fridge, LED lights, and water pump. Space permitting, you do have the option to upgrade to more or larger panels and batteries.
The solar panels we use are Monocrystalline, which have the highest efficiency rates and are space efficient. We do not use the flexible ones that glue straight on the roof, since those are less efficient (when there is no airflow between the panels and van, they overheat and produce less energy).
For more information fill out our Pre-Conversion Questionnaire.