Solar Camping Van

The story of a solar camping van. 

I meet a lot of nice people who buy my products. Vern Modeland is no exception, and has an interesting story I thought I’d share. 

An interview with Vern Modeland, the owner of this solar camping van.

A retired writer and photographer, Vern is still an active traveler and philosopher. He had this really cool RV Solar Project in front of him. He wants to do quite a bit of dry camping or “boon docking” in his Class B Camper Van RV. 

This van has all sorts of hi-tech gadgets including an Engel fridge and Hughes Satellite internet system. What he lacked was the charger for his batteries. He wanted something small to easily mount to top of the van without being visible on the road. 

This is where I come in. 

It was instantly apparent to me that he needed to look at our new Go Power 95 watt solar kit. This 21 X 42 inch panel is small, but packs a lot of punch. Producing 5.4 amps of power, it can recharge batteries pretty quickly. With available expansion solar kits, this system can expand to 380 watts of solar charging power.  

Here’s what Vern had to tell me about his easy solar kit install: 

“Installation went as I had it planned. The one panel leaves room for the second to fill the space within the existing luggage rack. Leads go through the roof to the inside through an electrical weather-proof box mounted to be between the two panels when done. The charge controller sits just about on top of the Group 27 battery case, which is sealed and vented to the outside just behind the driver with hose and fittings from the farm supply store’s applications department.I’m very pleased. Can’t wait to get on the road later this month to the High Plains and mountain country to see how it does although powering mostly just the Engel refrigerator and Hughes Internet modem is hardly much of a load. It all gives me the freedom to roam and stop where ever I want.”

Vern has now installed one solar kit on his roof and is considering adding a second one. He will decide on the expansion when he gets back from an extended mountain camping trip in the next few months.

We’ve talked a lot over the phone and through e-mail about his project and life in general. I just wanted to share a few pictures of his solar panel install on his camper van.  Notice how well the panel is hidden by the roof rack. Nice work Vern! A Solar Panel barely visible from the street. High Efficient solar panels make the panel smaller. 

Vern used a vented battery box and mounted panel in a knockout box. Great view of camper off-road with solar panel charging up his batteries.

A selection of pre wired solar kits

Read more articles about adding solar to your campervan

Join us for upcoming webinar on designing the perfect off grid RV solar power system.

More Information on Panels from our RV solar guide

A selection of articles that may be helpful when building and installing a solar system in your solar ready RV.

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