Coffs Harbour Auto Electrical has spent some time and effort researching and installing solar setups on caravans and motorhomes.
The Basic Setup
In our opinion a reasonable set of requirements for the majority of Caravans is,
1 x 100AH Deep Cycle Battery (Remember it must be sealed unless you have a sealed and vented battery box)
2 x 80 Watt Solar Panels
1 x 20 Amp 3 Stage Charger 240 Volt
1 x 20 Amp 3 Stage Charger 12 Volt
An Alternative to the 12 volt battery charger is :-
1 x Smart Battery Isolator so the caravan battery can be partially charged from your veheicles electrical system
The most common request we get is “I need an extra battery for my caravan”, really the question should be “how can I better charge my caravan battery?”……
Fact – Most caravans do not have adequate facilities to properly charge a deep cycle battery.
The Ideal Solution
The ideal solution to charging your battery really comes in 3 distinct parts;
1. Charge the battery while driving
2. Charge the battery when connected to mains power
3. Charge the battery from the sun
Redarc (yes, we love Redarc products :)) make an excellent product to acomplish this, the BCDC1220 is a Battery Managment System or BMS, that accepts inputs from your 12 volt car or motorhome, the 240v mains when you are at a caravan park or running on generator and also has a built in solar controller. The BCDC1220 is a fully automatic 3 Stage battery charging solution that is selectable for Wet, Gel, AGM and Calcium Batteries.
The Redarc BMS also monitors your battery useage/charging and displays estimated battery status on its remote mounted LCD Screen.
We believe that the best feature of this product is that it automatically selects the best input for charging, this means that the unit is “set and forget”.
Nothing to switch on or off, no boiled batteries and best of all a charged battery when you need it!
We have bundled a some Solar Packages that include the Redarc BMS, Solar panels and cable etc.