Solar Panels System for Motorhomes (RVs)

We understand that motor-homes (RVs) are mostly supplied by experienced professionals willing and able to install most of the motorhome solar panel kit that we sell. However we are experienced solar system specialists and may have a wider perspective on what’s best for you. Asking is welcome and FREE.

There are 3 types of solar panels system for motorhome:

  1. rigid – the cheapest and the most efficient, but heavy
  2. flexible – three times the price but 3/4 the weight, and
  3. portable – the most expensive but needs no installation and can be deployed when and where needed.

In practice for camping vehicles, roof curve will usually militate in favour of flexible, but, despite the cost, the convenience of portable will convince many that they are the right solution – particularly for those having a power station. (See below). We advise installing as much capacity as roof space permits. We offer  an electricity use estimator, with a nifty extension that forecasts daily energy production, monthly. Please Contact Us for your FREE copy. Particularly in winter, this may well be much less than you are expecting.


There are now three ways to manage and store the solar energy from your panels.  Connect them to:

  1. appropriate simple MPPT solar energy controller(s) to charge your batteries. You will need at least 2 if you have 6Kw nominal of solar panel capacity. To have 230v mains electricity you will need to add an inverter. You will certainly need one of 3Kw and you may feel that one of 5Kw is desirable. Total system cost will be upwards of £1500, but you can use 12v batteries connected to your on-board 12v circuit. This is the best solution if the boat’s primary electric system is 12v with some 230v. This solution does NOT provide a mains battery charger.
  2. An MPPT hybrid solar energy controller(s) to charge your batteries. If you use 12v batteries, the inverter capacity is limited to 1500w. This solution is right for houseboats with a primary 12v circuit and some 230v outlets. Hybrid inverters also include a mains charger. More powerful hybrid controller/inverters need 48v batteries; the cost is the same as 12v for a given capacity. The cost of a 5Kw hybrid controller inverter is as low as £700.
  3. Directly to a power station. Those with a 2Kw inverter capacity are not expensive but as well as the limited inverter capacity, their solar input is limited to 900w. Battery cost, although falling, is still higher than for conventional batteries. However if you connect a 2Kw power station to 2 x 400w solar panels, it can act as an independent source of energy also available should the main system fail. Our houseboat has a 15Kw 48v main system with twin 5Kw inverters, backed up by a 2Kw/4048Ah power station with 4 x 400w rigid solar panels. All power stations are hugely convenient. You take them out of the box, connect them to your solar, plug in whatever you need to power, and you’re away. No installation of any kind. Those of 3Kw and more also have an automatic UPS feature – total proof against power failure. They can be charged from solar, mains, and an external battery directly. Output is both 12v DC and 230v AC. This versatility and their sheer convenience makes them our first choice in most circumstances if the inverter power rating of 2Kw is acceptable.

are, with the steady fall in price, now a much better choice for both motor-homes and camper vans since they offer longer life, less weight & volume, and much faster charging than lead/acid. We offer both 12 and 48v units from the well known Chinese company EcoWorthy in capacities up to 2400w. Care is needed if they are to be connected to an engine alternator. Please read the information at LifePo4 batteriesContact Us for advice if that is not clear.

Vans will usually be using 12v batteries, but motor-homes (RVs) may want to consider 48v for greater inverter capacity and then rely on 230v rather than 12v inside the vehicle. The use of domestic appliances like a fridge-freezer, dishwasher, or washing machine requires 220v and an inverter power rating of at least 3Kw requiring 48v batteries.

Simple Controllers.

These devices are connected to your solar array and their sole purpose is to charge your batteries. Two technical controller technologies are offered – PWM and MPPT. The former is cheaper but some 20% less efficient, and we do not advise it.

Our chosen suppliers are Epever and Ecoworthy. We have good personal experience with both and they are compatible with both lead/acid and lithium batteries. Capacities run from 20 to 60A and what you need is directly linked to the power output of your solar array. The output of a typical 400w 24v panel is 17A.

Hybrid Controller/Inverters
PowMr 12v 1500w solar hybrid inverter

combine the functions of MPPT solar charge controllers, mains charge controllers, and 230v mains inverter in a single, low-cost, easily installed unit.  With 12v batteries, the inverter output is however limited to 1500w. The 3 and 5Kw products need to be connected to 48v batteries.

Our chosen controller suppliers are Epever, EcoWorthy, and EASun with all of whom we have personal experience on solar panels system for motorhome.


What is right for you will be determined first by the nature of your vehicle’s primary electrical installation. If it is 12v with some 230v, then a hybrid controller/inverter is an excellent solution subject always to not needing inverter output of less than 1500w. If your vehicle is primarily 230v then a hybrid inverter and 48v domestic batteries will be the best solution if you decide against a power station.  If you have 12v domestic batteries and need more than 1500w of mains power then a large capacity 12v to 230v inverters will be the only viable solution.

Power Stations have long been the favourite of outdoor campers, as well as motorhome and camper van owners. With the greater storage and inverter capacities now available, they deserve the close attention of off-grid house owners.

In a single package,  they provide

  • MPPT solar controller, 
  • a large LifePo4 battery, and
  • extensive AC, DC, and USB power outlets.

They can be charged from solar, the mains, a generator, or another external battery. 

Power stations can be divided into three broad product types:

  1. Small portable units designed to be moved around for use as a mobile source of electricity. Most are usually charged by portable panels. They store 1Kw of electricity and offer the same inverter output.
  2. Medium-sized units with inverter ratings of 2, 3, and 5Kw. Batteries are of 2 and 3Kw capacities and up to 4 can be connected to a single unit. They can therefore either  be the primary source of power or form part of a hybrid solution as an extension to a main domestic solar installation. The 3 and 5Kw models also have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) option that means they take over instantly and automatically if the main system fails. The 2Kw models are keenly priced, those of 3 and 5Kw remain relatively expensive. None in this category can handle more than 1200w of solar input but mains/generator power can add another 500w.
  3. Larger units designed to be the primary energy source for your off-grid home. They offer inverters of 6Kw and more; storage options go up to 39Kw, and solar input rises to 2400w (EP600) to 9000w (EP760). The second needs professional installation – as will a large solar system based on a hybrid inverter and a mass storage device.

We are distributors of the Bluetti range. An AC200Max is part of our houseboat system. It has been invaluable. These medium-sized units offer an outstanding solution for camper vehicles of all kinds. The small 1Kw units are very keenly priced and provide a total energy solution for a camper van. The 2Kw models are very keenly priced but the inverter capacity will be a problem for some larger motor-homes. In practice it means that you cannot use more than one domestic appliance at a time. If the dishwasher is in use, no toaster or coffee machine!

Your Complete Solar Panels System for Motorhome

Our Motorhome Solar Expertise:

  • Go Beyond the Kit: We offer a comprehensive approach to RV solar, providing expert advice on system design, component selection, and even installation guidance for the do-it-yourself enthusiast.

  • Future-Proof Your RV: Our systems are designed for scalability, allowing you to easily add more solar panels or batteries as your energy needs evolve.

  • Peace of Mind & Ongoing Support: We stand behind our products and offer ongoing support to ensure your motorhome solar system operates at peak performance for years to come.

Products for Camping Cars & Vans

  • Next Day dispatch

  • Delivery in 5 to 7 working days

  • 30 days money back guarantee

Products ideal for a comfortable life on the road

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