How Much Solar Power Do I Need for My Camper? | How to Calculate Camper Solar System Size

How Much Solar Power Do I Need for My Camper? | How to Calculate Camper Solar System Size

If you’re asking yourself “How much solar power do I need for my camper?” you’re in the right place. This video will teach you step-by-step, how much solar power do I need for my van. By the end of this video, you will have learned how much solar power you will use on a daily basis, how big of a battery bank you’ll need, and how many watts of solar you need for your RV.

*Interactive Solar Wiring Diagrams: https://www.explorist.life/solarwiringdiagrams*

If you are looking for more detailed information, here are the resources mentioned in the video:

*Blog Post (with spreadsheet):* https://www.explorist.life/what-size-of-solar-system-is-needed-to-power-a-camper/

*Our Solar Shop:* https://www.EXPLORIST.life/shop

*DIY Campervan Crew Facebook Group:* https://www.facebook.com/groups/DIYCampervanCrew/

*Referenced Solar Topics:*

Free Solar Academy: Learn How-To Design and Install a Camper Solar Setup:

How to Design and Install Solar on a Camper Van

Step 1: Learn the Basic Parts of a DIY Camper Solar Setup:

Basic Parts of a DIY Camper Solar Setup

Step 2: Learn How Many Batteries You’ll Need to Power Your Camper (Power Audit Calculator)

Choosing a Solar Battery Bank for a DIY Camper Van Conversion

Step 3: Choose the Type of Batteries You’ll Use to Power Your Camper

How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 4: Learn how many solar panels you’ll need to charge your Batteries:

How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 5: Learn how to choose the correct charge controller for your solar panels (with calculator)

How-to Choose a Solar Charge Controller for a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 6: How to size and choose the inverter for your camper

How-to Choose an Inverter for a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 7: How to add Shore Power to your Camper Electrical System

How-To Add Shore Power to a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 8: Learn How to Charge your House batteries with your Engine Alternator:

How-to Charge a Camper Van Electrical System with the Alternator

Step 9: Learn How to Choose the correct Battery Isolator for your System:

How-to Choose a Battery Isolator for a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 10: Learn how to Install and why you need a Battery Monitor:

How-to Install a Battery Monitor in a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 11: Learn how to choose wire sizes and types:

How-to Choose Wire Sizes DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 12: How to Size Fuses in your System:

How-to Size Fuses in a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 13: How to wire 12v Accessories in to your system:

How-to Wire 12v Accessories in a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

Step 14: Learn how to wire Lights & Switches (Including 2 way switches):

How-To Wire Lights & Switches in a DIY Camper Van Electrical System

See how it all works together in our Interactive Solar Wiring Diagrams:
https://www.explorist.life/solarwiringdiagrams/

50 Comments

  1. Justin Beaird on December 12, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Can you help me figure this out?? I want to buy a 12v fridge it says it uses 50 watts, how would I figure out how big an AH battery I will need to run it 24 hours? Please help I can’t figure it out..

  2. revvvrand on December 12, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    If I have a hard-wired EMS directly where my shoe power enters, and it has associated software that records how much total power I use. Can I simply use that for my overall calculation requirement?

  3. Shellie Neubauer on December 12, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    You’re amazing. Best 10 minute s of my year. Seriously, thank you!

  4. Stephen Brecher on December 12, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Going to use a 48volt all in one system with 2000 watt solar array. I should be able to run just about anything except A/C 24/7 correct??????????. This system will be placed on and in a enclosed trailer 8.5×20 v nose….Will be using 2 24 volt Battle Borns????

  5. Ok Van Custom Interiors on December 12, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    i cant seem to find the link to download that excel spread sheet, can some one help plz.

  6. Meli Moo on December 12, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you so much! This is so helpful! 😁

  7. Debbie W. on December 12, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Omg youre one smart guy
    Went over my bird brain

  8. Len Holdstock on December 12, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Very informative, concise, not too fast not too slow , easy watching and clearly described thanks!

  9. Jean L. Vayssier on December 12, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    Hi, I love your videos. Keep them coming. But I am confused. I bought two Victron charge controllers 50/100. Since they are rated for 50 A, I bought an ANL fuse to wire between battery and controller, to protect the controller from over current. But my installer tells me, that is not necessary because the Victron has an internal protection device. This is not your recommendation. Is this correct?

  10. H Louis Jones on December 12, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Newair AC list 115 v– current 9.9 A-but when I put in spread sheet it shows 99 amps -which is right ?

  11. Ricardo B. Luza on December 12, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    I can’t find the spreadsheet. Can someone help me?

  12. Len Holdstock on December 12, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Hi , this is a spread sheet for working out electrical needs for 110 volt solar pannels on a van. how do I make the spreadsheet work for 220 volts in Europe? Can how I change the numbers to make it workable for 220 volt? Thank you very much, Len

  13. EXPLORIST life - DIY Campers on December 12, 2021 at 12:49 pm
  14. Dave Kelly on December 12, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    So helpful. Thank you so much πŸ’ͺ🏻

  15. Best Bug on December 12, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    I don’t understand enough to fully know the purpose of this video D: Is it possible to over-do solar? why not as many panels as your roof can hold? Does solar get exponentially more expensive at some point?

  16. Kailah on December 12, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Hey there! for some reason when I enter my numbers into the spreadsheet it doesn’t auto calculate for me? would you know why this would be happening?

  17. Michael Lewis on December 12, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Wow. A scientist.

  18. Peter Her on December 12, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    I’ve noticed from another video where water pumps such as the Seaflo uses AC relay switch, but marketed as a DC water pump. Should I be labeling them in the same category as the AC/DC?

  19. Kellie Beckham on December 12, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Sir, you deserve some kind of metal for putting this spreadsheet together and making it available like this. Fantastic help!

  20. Micah Harris on December 12, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    God bless you for making these videos dude. You’re awesome as such a big help.

  21. Mr Rey on December 12, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Awesome video!! cant find the spreadsheet……..must be my age.

  22. Megan C on December 12, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    This is so ridiculously helpful. Thank you so much!!

  23. Rondo Cat on December 12, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    The size and number of panels in my case is very simple, all you have room for πŸ™‚ Battery size, pretty much depend on what you realistically can charge with 1260w of panel per day in this case…. Will have to save on electricity anyway and sometimes if cloudy for long time start up the engine because in the end what limits me is the amount of panels I can fit on the van. (here it can be cloudy for weeks at a time).

  24. Brian Lisec on December 12, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    With all the new solar/battery generators seems would work for the occasional user and to possibly power my travel trailer excluding the air conditioner of course.

  25. roger littlejohn on December 12, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Is there a trick to saving the power audit spread on my computer? I have saved but if offline it does not open.

  26. William Carpenter on December 12, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    A problem that I have come across is getting two different results on my power audit.

    When trying to find the power needed for an iPhone 11 Pro Max, (working out of table 1.4a and 1.4b because I’m finding the answer to both tables) I’m getting two very different answers, the answer for 15 Wh at twice a day is 2.38 Amp hours. The answer for 3,969 mAh at twice a day comes out to 7.94 Amp hours. What am I doing wrong?

  27. Go Berzerk on December 12, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    How many watts to be able power a .5 horsepower aircon for like 8hours with a mini fridge 24/7 running? Planning to transform our old van to a camper van

  28. Jake Bartley on December 12, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Nate I purchased 2 torque power 100ah lithium phosphate batteries and realize I need another battery. The company stopped making the batteries and I can’t find them anywhere. I understand it’s not perfered to mix batteries but purchasing all new batteries is not in my budget. Any suggestions on a battery that is best to mix with? Or other suggestions?

  29. William Stringer on December 12, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Just discovered your channel and subscribed. Really helpful videos. I’ve just attempted to use your power audit spreadsheet.

    I’m British…. Is there a simple equation to make it work for 230v?

    Noticed that all the tables have no option for voltage, it’s preset at 110v. Can I input all the data and then do something to make it work for 230v?

    Huge thanks for all your efforts and videos.

  30. Ezra Lock on December 12, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    You replied to a comment stating that the spreadsheet is ok to use for 240v systems for those in the UK for example. Do you have to amend anything on the spreadsheet for it to have the correct figures as I see on tables 1.1 and 1.2 it says 110v? Thanks πŸ™‚

  31. Samuel Jones on December 12, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Nate, loving your work!! But before I begin with this method, will the spreadsheet still work with UK power 240v’s instead of 110v? Thanks!

  32. John Plyler on December 12, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    I feel so lucky to have found your video’s.

  33. craig lenz on December 12, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Could you do a video on how to supplement solar, with a wind turbine as add on. Thanks!

  34. Westisthe Best on December 12, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Nate yarbrough you made me understand something which I could have naver understood. Although English is not my first language. Well done bro

  35. Coman Mihai on December 12, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Awesome video!!! I’m from Europe, Romania and we got here 220v AC, it is necessary to make some value modification on your amazing Camper Power audit chart? I don’t find the AC value formula. Thanks!!! I’m building a small floating house. πŸ™‚

  36. Tony Morrison on December 12, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Cool calculations the first thing you do take your calculations and X between 2 and 10 times to be more realistic

  37. Justin Trussell on December 12, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    I’m going to use a 48 volt solar power system on my skoolie. This is a great vid

  38. Rebecca Davitt on December 12, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, THANK YOU!!!

  39. Alicia L on December 12, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Thank youuuuuuu

  40. Nikita Keyn on December 12, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Amazing work done, many thanks for the content)

  41. GNARLOUSE on December 12, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Nice thanks!

  42. Sausage Fingers on December 12, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    i simply purchased a plug-in power meter to monitor just how much power my caravan is consuming over a 2 week period while running on mains electric, living normally after 2 weeks i ended up with a true numbers of my power consumption.. heaters, hot water and the cook run off gas πŸ™‚ lasts a long time and works out pretty cheap.

  43. Hugo's Auto Clinic on December 12, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    I’m so glad I found you! I’m about to start my van conversion, this is great info Thank you!

  44. Herm Umm on December 12, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    One of my items says % watt_hours, is it safe to record that as 5 watts?

  45. Greg Norman on December 12, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Hi, great video!! I’ve been working on a 24v solar system using Victron Multi-plus inverter charger, Victron Orion TR Smart 12/24 15A Isolated DC-DC Charger, Victron Energy Orion 24/12 DC-DC Converter 40A, Victron Battery Protect. My plans is to build my own battery bank with Electrodacus SBMS0 BMS along with DSSR20. I would like someone to review my plans and provide any corrections/suggestions if any. Is this something that you are willing to do or can you suggest way that I can get this reviewed? I have a complete diagram with wire size/lengths, fuse/breaker sizes, busbars, etc.
    Again thanks for your video!

  46. Gary McLay on December 12, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    Nice informative video my friend.
    What size controller would be required for 700w solar power?
    ie:- 4 @ 175w each?

  47. Scott Dailey on December 12, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    So stoked I found this series of videos to help guide us thru our project. Amazingly well done. Thank you!

  48. WIFIGHOST CRUISER on December 12, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    🀚 excuse me……. I was told there would be no math involved

  49. Lloyd X. Forney on December 12, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t see the link to download the spreadsheet, can you supply the spreadsheet?

  50. Tanja the Spirit Scribe on December 12, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    excellent info!

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