Caravan Solar Panels

Top Caravan Solar Panels Australia (2023)

This post was updated on: September 1, 2023

Are you a caravan owner looking to harness the sun’s power for your energy needs on the go? Investing in a fixed solar panel can provide a reliable and sustainable solution.

This article will check out the best caravan solar panels in Australia. We will explore some top-tier options available in the market. From Enerdrive and iTechworld to Camec, Hardkorr, Renogy, and MaxRay, we’ll delve into each model’s features, benefits, and drawbacks.

Whether you prioritise warranty, support, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, or durability, this comprehensive review aims to assist you in making an informed decision for your caravan’s solar panel needs.

Our Pick

Our Pick

Our Pick

Model

iTechworld 150W  Solar Panel 42V

Enerdrive 180W Mono Fixed Solar Panel

MaxRay 200W 12V Mono Solar Panel

Camec Fixed Solar Panel 100W

Hardkorr 170W Fixed Solar Panel

Renogy 175-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Price

$219

$315

$249

$255

$190

$260

Wattage

150W

180W

200W

100W

170W

175W

Cell Type

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Price Per Watt

$1.28

$1.75

$1.24

$2.55

$1.11

$1.48

Open Circuit Voltage Voc(V)

42V

24.2V

18.5V

22.4V

24V

 21.6V

Short Circuit Current Isc(A)

4.36A

9.98A

9.19A

N/A

10.58A

9.67A

Warranty

1 Year

5 Year

1 Year

1 Year

1 Year

5 Year

Weight (kg)

9.32kg

12kg

14kg

7kg

9.98kg

9kg

Dimensions (mm)

1160x670x30

1482x680x35

1480x680x35

664x1006x35

1320x 664x 17

1262 x 699 x 35 

Enerdrive 180W Mono Fixed Solar Panel

Product shot of the Enerdrive 180W Mono Fixed Solar Panel

Enerdrive has been in the solar panel business since 2003, allowing Australians to take advantage of natural energy. If you’re familiar with the name Dometic, the company acquired Enerdrive, so expect some top-tier products to go along with the typical camping gear.

Compared to many other camper solar panels in the 150W – 200W bracket, this Enerdrive model outdoes them where the warranty is a concern. You’ll be getting a five-year warranty here, which is much superior to the 12-month variation you are more likely to receive from other providers.

On that note, you’ll notice that the customer support after your purchase is top-notch. Considering that warranty claims are handled locally, your issues should be resolved quickly.

You will want to verify your spatial accommodation capabilities since you will be dealing with 179 W/m2 here, which is more space per W than you would typically find with other models. Additionally, at ~$1.50/W, there are better options than this on the market.

However, at only 11.7 kilograms, you’re getting a solid rigid monocrystalline option with a respectable 180W power output.

Pros

  • Only 11.7 kilograms
  • Brand name is synonymous with reliability
  • Five-year warranty
  • After-purchase support is top notch
  • A full set of spare cables is offered with each purchase

Cons

  • Not the most cost-effective model
  • You’re not getting much space efficiency

MaxRay 200W 12V Mono Solar Panel

Product shot of the MaxRay 200W 12V Mono Solar Panel

As far as monocrystalline fixed panels go, it’s hard to deny the MaxRay. It offers a solid option. Efficiency is the name of the game, and the company has done a great job in representing that with a 222 W/m2 power output per area. Additionally, unlike the previous model, the cost-effectiveness is good, at ~$1.10/W.

It stands to reason, then, that if you are looking for a respectable combination of reliability and affordability, this MaxRay offering may be a good idea to check out. You’ll notice that there are lifetime power output guarantees, which aligns with the fact that these designs are here to last the test of time.

MaxRay has even gone on record saying that, unlike other brands, there is no decay in conversion efficiency to be expected throughout the panels’ lifetime.

Even so, you should take a moment before you get too excited. That’s because even considering the guarantee saying you’ll never have anything to worry about, you’re still only getting a one-year warranty. That’s not necessarily the kind of timeline you would expect from a product that is meant to last a lifetime.

Pros

  • Light sensitivity and conversion efficiency are great
  • 11.7-kilogram weight is great
  • 200W power output
  • Cost-effective design

Cons

  • Warranty does not align with the guarantee

Camec Fixed Solar Panel 100W

Product shot of the Camec Fixed Solar Panel 100W

Camec throws its hat into the market here with a respectable design. As far as warranty support goes, what you’re getting here tops even Enerdrive in terms of length. Five years was impressive, but You’re getting a 25-year warranty, which is effectively a lifetime purchase.

Whenever there is sunlight available, you’ll find that the power output is maximised, which is down to the Class A cells that are used in the design. A diode bypass is included in the panel, which is meant to mitigate the power drop you would typically experience with shade.

This works through a redirection of the power around shaded cells, and thanks to a toughened glass composition, the cells stay protected.

You can see that your caravan is meant to have these permanently fitted, so you shouldn’t expect any issues here. It is possible to use it in a portable manner, but you would have to have a stand designed.

The operational temperature here is between -40 and 85 degrees Celsius, meaning there are only a few contexts in which they won’t work. Expect these panels to outlive your vehicle.

Pros

  • Incredible 25-year warranty
  • Class A cell composition
  • Power drop minimising with diode bypass

Cons

  • Not cost-effective

Hardkorr 170W Fixed Solar Panel

Product shot of the Hardkorr 170W Fixed Solar Panel

Here is yet another solid fixed solar panel design with an interesting brand name. As far as the cost side of things goes, this model is not too dissimilar to the Camec. Of course, there is the fact that you’re getting an additional 70W. This is complemented by a supposed 9.5 amps of power output.

That said, some users have reported 2 amps of power output when there are overcast conditions. There is no diode bypass to report here, so expect the shade to impact the panel’s functionality.

As far as warranty support goes, you’re getting an impressive 10-year warranty. The class A monocrystalline cell design stands at 17mm, which means it’s a slimline form factor. That means you don’t have too much wind drag to worry about, which is great for the fuel economy of your caravan.

Pros

  • Class A cell design
  • Good overall value
  • Aerodynamic setup

Cons

  • No mechanism to assist with functionality during the shade
  • 1.3m length means mounting on some vehicles may be problematic.

Renogy 175-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Product shot of the Renogy 175-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

If you already have a Renogy solar connector adapter kit, then you’ve hit the jackpot since there is compatibility. The design is meant to withstand unfavourable conditions such as strong wind loads and heavy snow. An involved quality assurance process ensures a respectable level of longevity and safety.

The design features a corrosion-resistant aluminium frame, which makes it perfect for outdoor use. This is complemented by an IP65-rated junction box, which offers protection from low-pressure water jets and other environmental factors.

Your installation process should be a breeze, thanks to pre-drilled holes on the back of the panel, which allow for quick securing and mounting. EL testing means there is no hotspot heating to worry about, and bypass diodes allow for the power drops.

The panels come with a five-year material and workmanship warranty and a power output warranty ranging from 5 to 25 years with progressively lowered percentile guarantees.

Pros

  • Able to withstand harsh conditions
  • Easy to mount
  • It can technically be used for a series of different operations
  • 7-kilogram weight is incredible

Cons

  • Warranty can be a bit complicated to understand
  • Wattage can greatly differ based on position

iTechworld 150W Hard Frame Solar Panel High Voltage 42V

Product shot of the iTechworld 150W Hard Frame Solar Panel High Voltage 42V

The best high-quality solar panels were saved for last. iTechworld is typically proud of its Australian-developed and designed implements, and this one most certainly fits the bill. With the utilisation of shingle solar cells, you’re getting a higher power per square meter than other options and less shading-related energy loss. It also helps that the aesthetic is pretty sleek.

Your fuel efficiency should be optimal at a weight of 9.32 KG and with a welcome form factor. The operating temperature is excellent, ranging from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius.

Remember that your purchase does not come with the mounting brackets you’d need to fix to your caravan, so there will be an extra spend for that. 

This is a good time to mention that this is an impressive 42V design, which should go over well with those looking for something with high voltage. It’s an overall great value and is priced well.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Design is conducive to aerodynamics
  • No concerns about energy loss
  • Very welcoming aesthetic
  • Impressive 9.32-kilogram weight
  • High power per square meter

Cons

  • One-year warranty

How To Choose The Best Solar Panels For Caravans

Camping solar panels are a valuable investment for caravan owners seeking a sustainable and reliable energy source on their travels. However, with various options available in the market, it’s important to consider several factors when choosing the best solar panels for your caravan. Here are some key considerations to help you make an informed decision.

Panel Cell Type

The type of solar panel cell plays a significant role in determining its efficiency and performance. There are three main types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.

Monocrystalline:

Monocrystalline solar panels are known for their high efficiency and sleek appearance. They are made from a single crystal structure, which allows them to convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently. While they tend to be more expensive, monocrystalline panels are ideal if you have limited roof space on your caravan and are seeking maximum power output.

Polycrystalline:

Polycrystalline solar cells are made from multiple silicon crystals. Although they are slightly less efficient than monocrystalline panels, they are more affordable. Polycrystalline panels are a good choice if you have ample roof space on your caravan and are looking for a cost-effective solution.

Thin-Film:

Thin-film solar cells are lightweight and flexible, making them suitable for curved or irregular surfaces. They have a lower efficiency than crystalline panels but perform better in low-light conditions. Thin-film panels are a suitable option if you have limited space and require flexibility in installation.

Types of Solar Panels

When it comes to choosing solar panels for your caravan, you have a few options to consider. Here are the main types of solar panels used in caravan applications.”

Fixed Solar Panel

Product shot of the iTechworld 150W Hard Frame Solar Panel High Voltage 42V

Fixed solar panels, also known as rigid solar panels, are the most common type used on caravans. These panels are typically mounted permanently onto the roof or surface of the caravan. Fixed panels offer excellent stability and durability, as they are securely attached to the caravan’s structure.

One of the main advantages of fixed solar panels is their high power output and efficiency. They are available in various sizes and wattages, allowing you to choose the right panel based on your energy requirements. Fixed panels are usually made of monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells, ensuring efficient conversion of sunlight into electricity.

Fixed solar panels are ideal for caravan owners who require a consistent and reliable solar power source. They are well-suited for long-term use and can provide sufficient energy to charge batteries, run appliances, and power electronic devices during your travels.

Flexible Solar Panel

Flexible solar panels, also known as thin-film solar panels, offer a versatile and lightweight option for caravan owners. These panels are made of thin layers of photovoltaic material, which are integrated into a flexible backing material. This design allows the panels to be bent and curved to fit irregular surfaces, making them suitable for caravans with curved roofs or limited installation space.

The main advantage of flexible solar panels is their lightweight and portable nature. They are significantly lighter than fixed panels, which can be beneficial in terms of fuel efficiency and load-bearing capacity. Flexible panels are also more resistant to impact and can withstand slight bending without damaging the cells.

However, it’s important to note that flexible panels generally have a lower power output compared to their rigid counterparts. They are typically less efficient in converting sunlight into electricity and may require larger surface areas to generate the same amount of power. Despite this, flexible solar panels are a convenient option for caravan owners who prioritise portability and flexibility in their solar setup.

Portable Solar Panel

Portable solar panels or folding solar panels provide the ultimate flexibility for caravan owners who desire a portable and versatile power solution. These panels are designed to be lightweight, foldable, and easy to transport. They often come with built-in handles or carrying cases for convenient mobility.

product shot of the iTechworld 200W Solar Blanket Kit with Raptor Skin

Portable camping solar panels can be set up outside the caravan, allowing you to position them in the sunniest spots while keeping your caravan in the shade. They usually come with adjustable stands or legs, enabling you to tilt the panels for optimal sun exposure throughout the day.

These panels are typically smaller in size and have a lower power output than fixed or flexible panels. However, they can still generate sufficient power to charge batteries, operate small appliances, or charge electronic devices during outdoor adventures.

Portable solar panels are an excellent choice for caravan owners who value versatility and the ability to use solar power in different locations. They are handy for camping trips or when you need to recharge your batteries while parked away from your caravan.

Power Output

The power output of a solar panel is measured in watts (W) and indicates the amount of electricity it can generate under standard conditions. When choosing a solar panel for your caravan, consider the energy requirements of your appliances and devices.

Calculate your average daily energy consumption and select a solar panel with a power output that can meet or exceed this demand. It’s recommended to choose a solar panel with a slightly higher power output to account for potential energy losses due to factors such as shading or suboptimal positioning.

Weight

The weight of the solar panel is an essential factor to consider, as it directly affects your caravan’s load-bearing capacity and fuel efficiency. Opt for lightweight solar panels specifically designed for mobile applications, as they will exert less strain on your caravan’s roof and chassis.

Ensure that the chosen solar panel’s weight is within the permissible limit specified by your caravan manufacturer. Additionally, lighter panels can contribute to improved fuel economy, allowing you to travel longer distances without compromising on efficiency.

Cost

While cost is an important consideration, it should not be the sole determining factor. Consider the overall value offered by the solar panel in terms of its efficiency, durability, and warranty. Cheaper options may have lower efficiency or shorter lifespans, which can result in higher long-term costs.

Evaluate the cost-effectiveness by comparing the price per watt of different solar panels. Additionally, factor in the warranty period and after-sales support offered by the manufacturer to ensure peace of mind and reliable performance.

Other Great Features

Apart from the core considerations mentioned above, here are some additional features to look for when selecting solar panels for your caravan:

  1. Durability: Choose solar panels with robust construction and materials that can withstand various weather conditions during your travels. Look for features such as corrosion-resistant frames and tempered glass protection.
  2. Installation Flexibility: Consider solar panels that offer flexible mounting options to suit your caravan’s layout and space limitations. Some panels come with pre-drilled holes or mounting brackets for easy installation.
  3. Warranty and Support: Opt for solar panels with a comprehensive warranty, including material and performance guarantees. Ensure the manufacturer provides excellent customer support for any inquiries or issues you may encounter.
  4. Efficiency in Low-Light Conditions: If you often travel to regions with less sunlight or encounter shading from trees or buildings, select panels that perform better in low-light conditions. These panels can maximise energy generation even under suboptimal sunlight conditions.

By considering these factors and assessing your specific requirements, you can choose the best solar panels for your caravan, ensuring a reliable and efficient power supply during your travels.


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Wade & Dani

Hi! We’re Wade and Dani, We’re currently travelling around Australia in our 2017 Mercedes Sprinter Camper van and sharing our best experiences, stories, reviews and adventures as we go along. Make sure you follow us on Instagram @wadeanddani