Solar Panel Mounting Kits
What Type of Panel is best?
Solar Panels need to ventilate to work efficiently, our testing showed that ALL SOLAR panels lose over 50% of their power as surface temperatures go over 50 degrees Celsius. For the majority of Australian environments - this rules out Slimline panels.
Household Panels run at typically higher voltages (36V) to get maximum power to your batteries (Higher voltages mean less resistance) and are available up to 400W. While RV Panels run at 12V and can typically be purchased at power ratings up to 160W.
Adding 2 x 160w (12V) panels should give you 360W. However this is not the case. The high resistance present in 12 volt panels will halve the efficiency of the 2nd panel. Delivering more like 240W max from 360W of surface panels.
So we prefer to run household Voltage panels and combine them with household spec chargers like Victron to get major power improvements over traditional RV Rubbish.
Whats the best way to fit a Solar Panel to my tent?
The simple Aluminium Box frame design of most panels available is not suitable for mounting to vehicle roofs. (there is no base to fix too.) The Slimline glue down panels get too hot to quickly to be any use at all, and the plastic block mounts you can buy point load roof tents roof structure - as well as requiring you to drill into your roof for mounting - all leading to leak and impact damage to the roof of the tent being likely.
Tough Touring Solar Kits - why are they the go for caravans and rooftop tents?
While we experimented with 50x50 aluminium angle - we needed a wider footprint to get a good bond surface for adhesives to connect - so we designed 2m long single rail mounting plates - with a 70mm wide base providing a great adhesive surface.
We started to make them commercially, in volumes that make them affordable :)
Mounting points are at high points on the tent roof - preventing potential water ingress.
Check them out in the video on this page.
We presently make kits to suit:
Eezi Awn Stealth and Blade
Bundutec King and Standard Bundutop
The Bush Company Alpha and Black Series tents
Conqueror Trailers (UEV 490, 440 and Lightning Models.
Most caravans also would benefit from decent solar mounting systems.
Picture above is of a 400w Longhi Household Panel. This panel runs at 36Volts - Max Op Voltage is up to 44Volts - Requiring a Victron Smart MPPT Regulator. It can deliver a massive 24AMPS per hour when regulated back to charging current of 13.8Volt... Its physical size is 1900mm long and 1100mm wide.
If you find Panels claiming 300W/12Volt that are any physically smaller than this - this is physically impossible - take it for the bullshit that it is!!