900W Solar Panels on a Van Conversion : Eat Sleep Van 23

Eat Sleep Van Episode 23

900W Solar on a Sprinter Style Ford Transit Van Conversion

This episode we show off our solar panels, why we chose them over flexible panels. We’re using 3x 300W panels, although it would be possible to go to 320W at the same size.

Even more expensive LG 320W panels that look amazing:

The ultimate guide to everything solar – by altE:

Victron 2500W Inverter
Victron MPPT Controller 75/15
Renogy 100W Panels
Allpowers 100W Flexible Panels

Rivnut Gun
Step Drill Bits (Imperial)
Step Drill Bits (Metric)
Dewalt Compact Cordless Drill
Kreg Jig K4
Pocket Hole Screws 1-1/4” Perfect for 18/19mm Panels

BMS by Zeva
Batteries by Boston Power
Victron EasySolar
Victron 75/15 MPPT controller for 200W of solar
Victron 150/60-Tr for up to 60A of charging
Blue Sea 24/12V USB charger
Victron BMV-700 Battery Monitor
Victron Colour Controller
Raspberry PI

Sony A7ii
Sony FE F4 16-35mm Lens
MeFOTO Tripod
Sony Wireless Mic for A7 Cameras
Giant Squid Microphone

Nanoleaf Aurora. Get $10 off your order with this link!
Philips Hue Bridge 2nd Gen
Philips Hue Tap Switch
Maxxair MaxxFan Deluxe
Dynamat Sound Deadening




  1. Nice set up Di you think that would charge up batteries for cordless power tools I'm going fully electric including my van

  2. No one ever talks about how the panels give you some much needed shade in the summer time , glad you did. I want to do this myself when I get a van but not for Vanlife but because the power gets knocked out here so much, would be nice to have a mobile office space and off grid back up.

  3. This is great, we’ve got this transit van, H3L4 ‘Jumbo’ and looking at 2 X LG 320W NeOn panels so what would be the best to wire them in parallel or series and does that then change the MPPT controller we would need? We have 280ah LiPo4 batterys and looking how to best finish the electric set up but 100% these 60 cell panels are the way I think! NZ LOVE HERE 🇦🇺💙

  4. One advantage of rigid panels over flexible you didn't mention is that constant exposure to sunlight rapidly (5 years) clouds the clear plastic coating on the flexible panels. You need to cover them up when not in use to prolong their lifespan. This happens due to a chemical reaction happening in the plastic, driven by sunlight. Not a problem with glass.

  5. Which battery are you using? I want to plan on using at least 900 Watts of solar on my next RV build, but I’m not quite sure which battery or inverter I should invest in.

  6. Hey Eat Sleep Van. Was hoping you could help me with this question. Would 900W be enough for a Toyota hiace ZL? Not the mini bus just an everyday tradie van. Not running much things apart from a small/medium pull out fridge, Maxxair fan for hot days & maybe a tv & an single burner induction cooker. Look forward to your reply. Cheers!

  7. I noticed a pair of aerials tucked in behind your solar panels. Do you have those hooked up to a 4G router by any chance? If so where did you get them from?

  8. Why stack your whole roof with solar and a huge battery system? Because in the winter you get half the sun and some times where it's cloudy 2 days in a row or more. If you're full time vanlife, you don't want to be rationing power all the time so go big if you can

  9. Nice… As they get bigger and prices drop I've always felt solar panels would make a great open roof coverage from elements for ventilation. I see everybody trying to work around their panels and needing to be careful with the roof layout. Solar panels are water tight and they do stop the sun. I recently upgraded my small and modest van conversion with a single giant 320 watt solar panel that also serves as the roof lid for my fan and extractor. The redesign allowed me to also downsize watt consumption by a 1/3 while increasing air flow by 3.. all at about 1/4 of the cost of one Maxair fan. I am also anticipating an improvement in fuel economy thanks to better fuel economy. My prior setup look stupid and rattled in high wind and screamed somebody is in that van. In the end IMO, my van looks stealthy and will be easier to maintain with no moving parts and a replacement fan motor is now $5 on ebay 5 minute swap install. You can find that build here: https://youtu.be/HnBreDEpmaM

  10. How far off the top of the van did the panels end up being at the middle of the roof (or how much lift at the sides did you create)? I am working on mounting mine and am wondering if spacing them too close to the top of the roof will create any wind noise/whistling or undesirable noise. I was surprised how much lift at the sides of the van was required just to clear the hump in the middle of the van. I measured it at around 2.5" on each side to get above the middle of the van roof. Thanks!

  11. Auf Jedenfall der schöne Leistung auf dem doch damit kann man auf den Campingplatz sogar E-Bikes aufladen

  12. Awesome build. I am 6'4 as well so heading for the same Ford. In terms of solar, I am thinking about flex panels, which must fit in between the bars of the roof. Can you tell me how wide this van is exactly? Like demonstrated here: https://ibb.co/JnvxQcC

  13. Would it be stealthier if the panels we closer to the roof? Maybe this is a bad question but why not mount them directly on the roof?

  14. where in NZ are you? I'm planning a build for down south and wondering how much my solar requirements would differ from yours

  15. A disadvantage of a single series string is that if only one cell is blocked from light (or dirty) the effect extends to the whole array. Apparently even a single dark cell poorly conducts the power otherwise available from the rest of the string. Don't park with any part of the array in the shade 🙂

  16. How does voltage work from the solar panels to mppt to the rest of your system/ battery bank/ inverter charger? Example: If you have a 48v solar panel does your mppt controller step down to 12 volt? Or do you need a converter? Or do you have to make your battery bank 48v, inverter charger 48v? Any help would be great thanks.

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