Best Wattage of Solar Panel for a DIY Camper Electrical System (and why there isn't a 'best' one)



This video will teach the best size of solar panel for your DIY camper electrical system (and why there really isn’t a true ‘best’ size of panel).

➤Solar Panel Cheatsheet/Buying Guide:
➤How to Perform a Power Audit:
➤Mixing different solar panel sizes:
➤Using multiple charge controllers:
➤@Andy Rawls Airstream Collab Tutorial:

➤Need additional & personalized help? Consider joining my private group:

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful with planning and installing your DIY Camper:

➤DIY Camper Solar Wiring Diagrams:
➤Basic Parts & Components of an Electrical System:
➤How to Cut Wire:
➤How to Strip Wire:
➤How to Crimp Wire:
➤How to Make MC4 Connectors:
➤How to Wire Solar Panels in Series-Parallel:
➤How to Crimp Wire Ferrules:
➤How to Wire an AC/DC Breaker/Fuse Box:

20 comments

  1. when calculating wire size i notice my panels have 2 voltage specs and2 amp. specs, the two that multiply up to the wattage of my panels are the rated voltage Vpm and rated current Ipm not the open circuit voltage or the short circuit current. So are these the specs i use in your wire size calculator ?

  2. Hi can 600 watts 24v solar panel work on pwm 60amp charge controller to charge two 200ah 12v gel battery bank?

  3. I have a 24v battery bank and 24v solar panels. So should I wire my solar panels in a series parallel circuit. To achieve 48v to achieve the 20v higher than my battery bank?

  4. So i want to put at least 3000plus watts of solar on my fifth wheel RV and am going to be pulling a 16 foot trailer behind my RV. I would like to put another 1000-1200 watts on the pull behind trail bumping up my solar wattage so when i dry camp (boondocks) i can plug it into my fifth wheel trailer solar system giving my tons of power to run two ac units a lot as well as tvs, microwave, and all other items in my fifth wheel. Can this be done and also adding plug in system from trailer to fifth wheel. Thank you for your great videos that has helped me so much to under stand solar systems and installation processes!!!

  5. how close in volts & amps do panels need to be effectively wired in series. ie: 1 panel at 190 watt, 19.2 volts 9.8 amps and the second panel at 110w 17.2 volts and 6.4 amps. Is it correct as 190 + 110w = 300 watt array, 19.2 + 17.2= 36.4 v but degraded by the 6.4 amps of the lesser panel. resulting 36.4v x 6.4 amps= only 232.96 watts of the 300 watt array, thus 77.6% efficiency

  6. Do solar panels mounted an inch or so off the roof shade the van's roof so cool things off, or due to the heat of the panels, do they heat up the van. I'm about to add solar panels to my 2020 sprinter. Along with all the Victron equipment you recommend in your videos! I have a question, If I mount my solar panels about an inch off the roof of my Sprinter, will the panels cause the roof to be hotter or cooler. In other words, even though the panels will shade the roof, will the heat from the panels cause the roof to be hotter, and therefore the inside of the van hotter as well. Thank you for your super great videos. If I don't see you doing it or recommending it, I don't do it with my Sprinter.

  7. Something to consider, is the analogy of why we don't have one big tooth; cause if one tooth goes bad, or gets hurt. Then the whole system is bad. If we have multiple, the others can continue to work. But obviously it's personal preference

  8. First video to figure this out, thanks for this great series. My silly son is freaking out and thinks that I'm going to die. I'm out to prove him wrong ♥

  9. Hi Nate, again I want to thank you for all the help that all your Videos you provided., I installed 840 Watts with my 4 -100 amp BBs and they work great. My class A is Almost all Electric, Samsung Fridge, Induction cooktop, Microwave, Tv, Hot Water is by Propane or Electric and force Heat is with Propane. I use approx. 30% of Bat. thru night ( Fridge and Misc) The morning I throw everything at the Array, Mr Coffee, Toaster, and Induction… check it out… I can make it through the day without running the Gen. as long as I have about 7 hours of sun.. It's working great and I am Loving it ! So again Thank you!

  10. from above description ➤Need additional & personalized help? Consider joining my private group: that link crashes

  11. Hi, great videos!
    You have helped me a lot during my van build. Could you kindly help me with a question… I’m connecting two solar panels to my solar controller tomorrow and I was wondering if I can just solder them instead of using mc4 connectors?
    I brought two mc4 branch connectors as four wires need to connect in two from the controller. The connection is just terrible and I was very tidy on crimping them. This connection is inside van so doesn’t need to be a water tight seal but I do need a strong connection! I pain on soldering two positives to the positive and two negatives to the negative. And make sure the put plenty to heat shrink so they do not connect in the wall space.

    Your thoughts on this would be very grateful

    Many thanks Justin

  12. Thank you for providing so much information! How should I go about determining my solar needs if I also plan to have alternator charging capabilities?

  13. Hello I have a question if I run two separate strings of 480w each to two separate charge controllers to one battey bank do I have only 480w total or 960w total thanks

  14. Can you hook 2 different sized MPPT chargers into the same charging system? and if so can 1 be only 20 amps (for my portable solar panels) and then my other main one is 100 amps – my main question is does a solar charge controller have to handle the ENTIRE system or only be rated for its own array of panels?

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