Solar Power in my Eriba Puck


I'm often asked what arrangements I have for generating power when I'm touring 'off-grid' in order to keep the 12v electrics operating. This equipment needing 12v includes the lights (all bulbs changed to LED), my 12V TV, and inverter (which powers my MacBook), and also for charging of phones and speakers etc. 

I have a 100W folding panel which even over a good few days, I find this works fine with my fairly small leisure battery and I've never ran out of power yet. I've used this panel for years which is an advantage of a portable panel. I've used it on 4 different Eriba's I've owned, and a camper van before that. Importantly, it has a solar charge controller mounted on the rear of the panel. This is essential for any solar panel.

I do move the panel during the day to get optimum light and try to avoid shadows from the van or trees and buildings. It fits behind the cars front seat when travelling.

I didn't want to have an arrangement where I ran the cable from the panel through a window, or using crocodile clips to the battery, so I fitted an Anderson Connector under the van beneath the battery. I simply push the connectors together.

The cable is also fused just in case there is a problem with the panel.

I've also fitted the optional grip for the connector.

Under the van, I oriented the connector to the rear of the van in an attempt to avoid excessive debris entering when on the road, and I also have a protective cap when disconnected.

I drilled through the floor close to the battery, and sealed it with mastic. The ends of the cable have rings fitted which I connected to the battery.

I monitor the state of the battery with a cheap 'cigarette plug' voltage and temperature gauge.

I've had this arrangement on all my vans, and it works great!

Off Grid


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