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Solar Panels and Leisure Batteries


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We are new to Motor Caravanning.


I have a Burstner IXEO IT664 and want to instal a solar panel and change from 1 to 2 leisure batteries.


I have already installed an Internet & TV Satellite Dish - works brilliantly; but we have plans to achieve maximum flexibility and independence for site or wild camping.


I would appreciate any input on how choice of solar panels and batteries.



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Have 2 x 110ah leisure batteries, just had a 135w solar panel fitted last week along with a morningstar controller and remote meter, well pleased, as others with the service from :-




Much cheaper than dealer (by £130+) top of the range Kyocera solar panel, would recommend and the company have an arrangement with a C&CC site in the Kielder forest area so not that far from you should you wish to combine a mini holiday with a fitting. (be aware should you go this route the Sikaflex used to fix the solar panel mounts requires 24 hours to set before driving motorhome).



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Hi Homer & welcome to the forum

Solar Panel

There are 3 types of Solar panels, the cheapest & least efficient are Amorphours, the dearer, more efficient are Crystalline.

Roadpro usually give good information on supports ystems in general. They recently supplied copies of their Catalogue with MMM, so check out that if you have it.

Alternatively you can get a copy here:-



or have a look at their "Products on Video" feed.


2nd Battery

Again the Roadpro catalogue has some good information

General wisdom is that both Batteries should be the same age, type, make and Ah rating.

Try the "search" above for "additional battery" & posts in "one year"

There are also many previous threads on pro's & con's of the different Battery types.


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I suggest you check current payload, and fully laden axle loads, before you go too far. Your van has a fair, but not excessive, ex works payload but you have already added extras, so will have eroded it somewhat. Batteries are heavy, and it would be a shame to arrive at complete autonomy because the van has become unusable, rather than because it is autonomous in use!
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I agree with StewartJ above re Aire and Sun. He (Stephen Gilmour) has installed panels on our last two vans and I find his service and charges very good. We stayed at Bellingham CCC site a couple of weeks ago and he came to the site to fit panel - he lives about 5 miles away from site.

I live in Perth, note you are in West Lothian, and in my view he is your nearest and best expert to supply and/or fit.


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Hi We have a folding 40 watt panel which we carry. It is not as heavy as a second battery by a long way, and supplements our battery requirements , giving 2 amps in full sunlight when parked horizontally on the vehicle roof.. It is not fixed to the roof, but we put it on the roof when parked up ,through the rooflight. The lead runs down over the side of the van and onto the locker containing the battery. We put it on the roof during winter months and it keeps battery up to speed offsetting and static drain.


Of course when we move, we have to remove it and pack it for travelling.



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We thought we were OK with 2 x 80ah batteries but last September in France we were only doing 30/40 miles between 1 & 2 night stops after a week batteries got low one night, we just weren't doing enough mileage to charge then.


So over the winter I've fitted an 80 watt solar panel, used the Schaudt charge regulator a bit expensive but it just plugs straight into my Elektroblock & charges the engine battery once the leisure batteries are charged total cost of install was about £260.


At the moment it charges at 3.5 amps for a few hours either side of midday in bright sunlight, reduces to 2.5 amps with light cloud, drops to around 1 -1.5 amps by 4:00pm in sunlight, it's giving better performance than I expected for the time of year. In January was only getting 1.5amps midday in bright sun.

I reckon from March to October should be able to survive just on the charge from the solar.

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