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Basic Solar Parts Needed for a DIY Camper Van or RV Solar Instal…

Basic Solar Parts Needed for a DIY Camper Van or RV Solar Instal...



This video is about the basic solar parts needed for a DIY Camper Van or RV Solar Install. By the end of the video, you will be able to identify and understand the very basic principles of the solar parts and components for a DIY Camper Van Solar Setup.

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

*Blog Post:* https://www.EXPLORIST.life/basic-parts-of-a-diy-camper-solar-setup/

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

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

*Referenced Solar Topics COMING SOON:*

How to Determine how many solar panels you need

How to Determine the Charge controller size you need for the amount of solar panels you have

How to Determine how many batteries you need

How to Determine the size of inverter/Charger you need

How to charge your Solar batteries with your engine alternator

How to Wire a Battery Monitor and Shunt

How to wire Lights, Fans, and...

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List your electronic components at BuySellComponents.com

Tags: solar components

About the Author

49 Comments

  1. Date: December 13, 2018 at 00:24
    Author: EXPLORIST life

    IMPORTANT 10% off EXPLORIST.life & Battle Born Lithium Battery Collaboration kits. More Info: https://www.explorist.life/10-off-battle-born-lithium-solar-kits/
    Here are the resources mentioned in the video:
    Blog Post: https://www.EXPLORIST.life/basic-parts-of-a-diy-camper-solar-setup/
    ????????? THERE'S MORE
    Our Solar Shop: https://www.EXPLORIST.life/shop

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

    ? ? Referenced Solar Topics COMING SOON: ? ?

    How to Determine how many solar panels you need

    How to Determine the Charge controller size you need for the number of solar panels you have

    How to Determine how many batteries you need

    How to Determine the size of inverter/Charger you need

    How to charge your Solar batteries with your engine alternator

    How to Wire a Battery Monitor and Shunt

    How to wire Lights, Fans, and other accessories

    How to determine what size fuses to use

    How to determine what kind and what size of wire to use

    How to wire the 110v side of your camper solar setup

    How to wire shore power in a camper van

    How to wire switches for lights

  2. Date: December 19, 2018 at 11:43
    Author: DaHÄNGER

    One of the best Van solar system explained videos out there. You killed it. Awesome, Super informative. Thanks

  3. Date: December 19, 2018 at 19:10
    Author: Maxima

    Great job. Whats the diff if i want to use this on my shed and not an rv?

  4. Date: December 21, 2018 at 04:03
    Author: Chasin Cloud 9

    Thanks for your fantastic explanation! I have an AIMS Power 2000 watt 48VDC pure sine inverter charger with 6000w surge. Can I use this in my van conversion to run 12 volt appliances AND my regular coffee maker I use in my home? I will also be running a refrigerator, maxxair fan, tv & dvd, player, lights, water pump for the sink, and electric hotplate. Thanks again!

  5. Date: December 22, 2018 at 01:17
    Author: Randy Best

    Great video. But as seems to be common with vanlife stuff, there is a bit of a disconnect between what is in use in other realms. IE. Carbon foam or lead carbon batteries, such as those from Firefly (popular in the boating world). Currently they offer many of the advantages of lithium (specifically DOD) at a lead acid price. Certainly a great option for those just building out and until lithium becomes reasonably priced.

  6. Date: December 22, 2018 at 02:05

    Great video it will help me understand what I'm getting myself into a little bit better, thank you. Can't wait for your next video!

  7. Date: December 22, 2018 at 05:15
    Author: Terry Novack

    Awesome and informative without all the silly, irrelevant chatter! Love this guy. Have been looking for this.

  8. Date: December 23, 2018 at 05:49
    Author: greg lumsden

    liked your vid, i have a question for you but first a little back ground: i have an old harbor freight 90 watt (3 panel ) kit(3 panels, 2 12 volt lights, charge controller), i use it when the power goes out from storms, would it do any good to change the charge controller to a mppt, or should i just use it as is?? my system has 2 lead acid batteries.

  9. Date: December 23, 2018 at 17:47
    Author: Frans Van

    Very good job on your video! As an electrician for over fifty years and a educator who instructs in the electrical field this video was very informative, understandable, and set at beginner pace of instruction. Have you ever thought about becoming an subject matter expert (SME) ?

  10. Date: December 24, 2018 at 17:24
    Author: KFStreich

    You've really sold me on that yeti, eventually. My overall plan starts with 2 extra lead acid golf cart batteries from Sams Club, they have a better manufacturer, and run everything off the alternator for now, down the road when more money comes in I can upgrade them, the originals will only cost around $200-250 and I can go into the replacement with more knowledge, instead of guessing capacity I will have a better idea of my needs.

    All options to run off 12v will, fridge, phone chargers, ect, and I already have a Honda eu2000 generator to fill in the gaps.

    The easiest solution is to get everything up front, when that isn't available you can spread the cost out over time as needed.

    *Sams club, a friend who does too much research found these were a high quality battery rebranded, Costco offered a lesser quality battery for as I recall a few dollars more.

  11. Date: December 24, 2018 at 19:10
    Author: KFStreich

    As I look out the window of the warm barn onto the wintery wonderland outside I got to wondering, have you guys ever pulled off a winter snow camping video? I recall a ski adventure trip, we're you hotel and airbnb most of the trip or finding places to camp? Other than the northern Oregon Coast I've never had trouble finding a place to spend the night in the summer, winter could be a bit of an issue in the snow, many areas away from people simply aren't accessible, especially in a 2wd sprinter.

  12. Date: December 25, 2018 at 19:19
    Author: Cynthia Flick

    In all my on-line research I have only seen one other person mention an inverter charger. Most solar "tutorials" are only interested in pure solar like we all only boondock and there is something wrong with us if we actually plug in somewhere. If they do talk about hooking into shore power it is just a mention with no instructions on how that works with the solar or they throw out that you need to use a battery charger. I have questions: If the Solar Charge Controller is charging the batteries from the solar panels, how do you get the Inverter Charger to "play nice" when you are plugged into shore power and it wants to charge the batteries instead? Do you wire the 110 outlets only to the Inverter? Do you need a breaker box as well for the 110 or does the Inverter act as the breaker box?

  13. Date: December 27, 2018 at 03:14
    Author: Briane Alt

    Ok newbie but still going to dud ask anyway is it possible to set up a rv for 50amps i have a 1987 airstream 345 motorhome its 34.5 ft long ?

  14. Date: December 27, 2018 at 18:59

    This is really good information. Very inclusive, but at the same time it gave only the 'need to know' information. Any one that has questions on solar I will direct them to this video. Thankyou

  15. Date: December 27, 2018 at 20:18
    Author: Dallas Thomason

    Loved the video. You describe 3 ways to charge the house batteries (solar panels, shore power and engine split charger via the alternator). Can you employee these 3 methods for the same vehicle? If so, how do you keep from over charging the batteries with 2 or more of this methods employed at the same time. Example (1): Driving to your next destination with solar panels charging and split charger also charging. Example (2): Camped in an RV park on shore power while solar panels also charging. Thanks in advance.

  16. Date: December 27, 2018 at 22:08
    Author: Fly ingDutch

    Well explained
    Amazing how many people gloss over everything after panels, MMPT and batteries

  17. Date: December 28, 2018 at 14:54
    Author: biff322

    Thanks for explaining this stuff, it really helped me. One question though… Some other videos I watched said the safest batteries, as in ones that don't off gas, were gel batteries? But you didn't mention that type… or are they just a type of lithium or something?

  18. Date: December 28, 2018 at 16:04
    Author: calisdad3

    Wow- Thanks Professor. You just gave the info in a 150 page textbook in 15 minutes! Excellent.

  19. Date: December 28, 2018 at 17:45
    Author: Karim Teran

    Great video, but basically the suggestion is to get the expensive and best things… I could have guessed that tho ?

  20. Date: December 29, 2018 at 15:40
    Author: Gordon McLellan

    I was gonna ask, why not use Victron lithium batteries, but I see, sponsored by the battle borns.

  21. Date: December 30, 2018 at 02:01
    Author: Kerry C

    I rarely take the time to comment, however this is the best video that I've seen on this subject. It's simple and incredibly informative. Thank you!!

  22. Date: December 30, 2018 at 13:03
    Author: Joseph Dinaso

    I would like to help people understand something. In the video he mentions getting a inverter/charger, because you can run appliances and charge the battery at the same time. Most travel trailers and rv's come with a inverter/charger, because what an inverter does is that it takes the shore power of 120 VAC and inverts that to 12 volts to run your 12 volt equipment inside your rv or trailer and charge your battery. I am pretty sure what he meant to say is a Converter to change your 12 volt battery system to 120 VAC. I do agree with the Pure sine wave converter, not the standard modified sine wave converter. The pure sine wave converter does have actual true AC output, it will also be more efficient for running your appliances. Which will mean a longer running time for your batteries, and appliances.

  23. Date: December 30, 2018 at 16:11
    Author: Vinnie Carter

    Awesome video Excellent information thank you.
    I'm a Machinist for over 25 years carpenter before that I can built and create pretty much anything but when it comes to electronics my knowledge is equivalent to a rock! My wife and I are considering building a home off grid and we will be using solar energy so your information is invaluable. I will be referencing this and any other videos you have. You explain things in a simple way that is easy to comprehend. Thanks again for taking the time to share your knowledge.

  24. Date: December 31, 2018 at 02:10

    Does anyone know if using a large Uninterrupted power source as an inverter is a viable solution? I have an almost unlimited supply of these and could wire the UPS battery to my AGM battery bank and should be able to use it as a simple inverter while charging my batteries.

  25. Date: January 2, 2019 at 00:14
    Author: lsavvy33

    Awesome! Just came across you today…lucky for me! I’m planning on getting my van in the spring and this topic is the one I’m most concerned with…getting it right! Thanks so much… I’m sending your video to my son in California…I’m in NY and he’ll be doing my install while home for a week! Thank you so much! Happy New Year!

  26. Date: January 2, 2019 at 00:25
    Author: darryl hines

    First off, great video, made a lot of sense to me, but I do have a question; I have a fridge and microwave connected to my inverter/charger. If I add sure power, how do I switch the fridge and microwave over to AC?? Can I have the microwave and fridge on an outlet connected to the inverter, then when sure power is on unplug them from that outlet and plug them into the AC sure power outlet?? I am thinking that I can have an “DC outlet” connected to the inverter/charger and an “AC outlet(s) for sure power once I turn on the AC circuit breaker??? Am I making sense??

  27. Date: January 2, 2019 at 04:29

    From what I understand both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels have their advantages and disadvantages. The mono panel is more efficient but will begin to falter during higher daytime temperatures. The Poly will remain consistent during daytime temp fluctuations.

  28. Date: January 2, 2019 at 05:41
    Author: Dean Midlick

    Finally an easy, informative, and great video on solar and 12v setups! Thanks for the video, best one I've seen yet!

  29. Date: January 2, 2019 at 08:16
    Author: Ratheon Hudson

    I've got two solar arrays and I have learnt a lot from this video. Thank you. I really need distribution boxes

  30. Date: January 6, 2019 at 16:33
    Author: Vin S

    Excellent video, loved the way you explained everything. Very informative it's just when it comes to electronics my mind just goes blank. I'm not a van owner or ever going to own one but loved watching the video. Thank you. In UK we don't have the weather for camping. Too wet and cold.??

  31. Date: January 7, 2019 at 15:15
    Author: Simon Templar

    Curious why you didn't add the option of flex panels. I watched a video of a guy installing two of them on a RV.
    I did watch another vid that explained that the flex panels don't have as good a warranty and are more likely to suffer damages during its use. But they are a space saver for travelers

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