System Options

Solar Panels

Solar panels installed on a roof of a converted van.
Discover our range of efficient and reliable solar panels tailored to power your Sportsmobile adventures sustainably. Engineered for durability and performance, our solar solutions offer seamless integration for off-grid living.
Solar Panels

What to Know

What’s the Purpose of Solar Panels?

Solar panels collect the sun’s energy and store it in your auxiliary battery/batteries.

Are Auxiliary Batteries Standard?

AGM batteries are included with Sportsmobile’s Standard Package.  The energy stored from solar panels is the same as when you run your van’s engine to have the van’s alternator charge your batteries. Or, when you are connected to a 110V hook-up or generator, your power converter/battery charger will keep your auxiliary batteries charged.

Do You Need Solar Panels?

The question is, “Will you be camping for a long period of time, three to four days or longer, without starting the van’s engine or plugging into a 110V hook-up to charge the batteries?” If yes, solar panels are right for you.

What Do I Need to Keep in Mind?

If you are in the shade or your panels are dirty, panels are not producing much power, if any.

What Technology is Involved?

Solar Panel technology is changing rapidly. Photos show examples. Please contact Sportsmobile for latest wattage, dimensions, weights and colors.

Can You Pre-Wire for Solar Panels?

Yes we can pre-wire for fixed mounted panels to a solar controller then to the auxiliary battery system. Or we can do an exterior solar port that is wired directly to the auxiliary batteries system for portable solar panels.

How Many Amp Hr Do I Need?

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing your typical daily 12-volt needs. See our typical 12/110V requirement examples below. Knowing how many amp hours you will be using in a 24 hour period is critical in knowing how large a solar system is needed.

Amp Usage:

  • One panel will produce about (depending on variables) 5 amps of 12 volt power.
  • If you have 8 hours of sunlight, you will be able to put a max of 40 amp hours into your battery system.
  • A 4 CF refrigerator uses 2.8 amps when it’s running. Most refrigerators will run for about 16 hours (or 65%) in a 24 hour period. 16 hrs x 2.8 amps = 49 amp hr. This is average daily amp consumption of the refrigerator.
  • If you put in 40 amp hr per day in the auxiliary battery and the refrigerator uses about 49 amp hr, you will have a negative battery charge of about 9 amp hr over 24 hours.
  • Most customers like the security of a second solar panel, which will provide additional amps for 12V lights, water pump, TV, etc. Some order four panels.

Also, solar panel output will vary with location, time and date as the sun’s angle changes. Note — product design can change. The specifications below can also change.

Typical 12 / 110V Requirements
Refrig. 3E – 2.7CF, Elect 3.6 (1) 0 30
Refrig. 4E – 3.6CF, Elect 5.4 (1) .7 34
Refrig. 7E – 7CF, Elect 5.9 (1) .8 132/1560 N/A Chevy Van.
Refrig. 6EP – 6CF, Elect/Prop 12 (1) 13 38.5 12/110V & Propane Refr. use lots of battery power. N/A Chevy Van.
TV – 22″ Flat Screen 4.2 50 TV can use .2 amps even when switched “OFF.” Unplug TV to eliminate drain.
LED Lights .1 0 1.1
Water Pump 4 (1) 48
Fan 1.7 21
Attic Fan – On Low 1.9 23
Attic Fan – On Medium 2.3 28
Attic Fan – On High 3 36
Detectors: LP, CO, or Propane .2 2.4
A/C Danhard (ON HIGH) (S) 24 (1) 8.4 1,008
A/C Danhard w/Gen. option (S) 24 (1) (2) 6.8 816 (2) For 12V Blower Fan and Condenser Fan
Roof A/C 12,500 BTU (1) 12.9 1,425
Furnace (1) 56
Microwave 8 1,000
Water Heater, 110V (1) 12.9 1,500
Hair Dryer 3-4 350-500
Electric Blanket (1) .5-1.5 50-200
Computer .5 30-50 Depending on 12 volt load
Power Converter/Charger Inverter/Charger 0-4 0-500

Note: some items shown are options.
(S) not available for Sprinters
(1) These items will cycle on and off as power is required. Amp x Volts = Watts
Please keep in mind we offer over 20 different chassis sizes and models. All options are not available for all chassis. For details on compatibility please contact Sportsmobile.

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With more than 60 years of experience, we can help you choose the right options for your needs.

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