Camping DIY | Going Green with Solar Panels

The Happy Campers have once again gone green. We built an awesome solar panel set-up for our off road trailer but when we sold the trailer, we had to let the panels go as part of the deal. We love the freedom that camping off the grid brings so naturally we set out to get a new set of solar panels for our Xcape bush caravan.

The main components of our system consists out of two 100 watt Enersol solar panels and a 20 amp SkyKing 12/24volt controller. We use these to charge our two 105ah batteries that is installed inside the Xcape. We also used 6.0mm solar wires and gave the set-up a 7 metre charging cable, which were wrapped in 12.7mm heat shrink tubing. The rest of the material consist mainly out of rivets, clips, 25mm aluminium square tubing (for the stands), and an Anderson plug to connect the system to the caravan batteries. The total cost was R3200 and we spent approximately 3 hours to complete the set-up.

Check out the pics below to see how we went about putting our solar panel set-up together

The stands to keep the solar panels in the correct position was quite easy to put in

The two panels fold-away for easy transporting and storage

11 thoughts on “Camping DIY | Going Green with Solar Panels

  1. Hi Linda may ask why you used the type of solar charger you used and not the MPPT type? and would your system work with the MPPT type controller, would it not be better to place the controller closer to your batteries?


    1. There’s no specific reason why we chose this controller, the store where we bought out panels suggested this one to go with our panels and the size batteries that we’re charging from it.

      Personally we felt the MPPT controller is overkill for our setup. It’s really more suited to permanent and bigger installations, and it was four times the price of the controller we bought. No problems whatsoever with this setup to date.


  2. Hi Linda
    I have been bitten by camping bug since last year,I have recently purchased a good 2nd hand camping trailer, Jurgens XT 65 which came with XP tent. I would like to know which tent you had on your trailer before you had the X cape caravan. I would love to have the same setup ( patio awning with side walls.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Linda for your response, can you kindly advise me on the simplest eletrical system to install on my trailer. About 98% of the time , I will camp where 220v is available and the other 2% won’t exceed two nights. I will simply run a fridge on 12v. I get conflicting reviews online, some say I don’t need 220v, rather go solar & 12v only.Which system did you use on your trailer?Do you mind sharing the cost please!

        Once again, thank you!


      2. It’s a good idea to have a combination of the two, then you’re not limited when it comes to camping decisions. The other thing is that sometimes you get to a camp site and their power keeps tripping because your neighbor with his half million rand caravan is running two aircons, three fridges, an ice machine and a microwave and he completely destroys the 10amp circuit breaker 🙄🙄. 220v installations won’t be too expensive as you’ll need a caravan power point wired into a small distribution board. Some of these already comes with a 220v outlet so you plug your lead into it and off you go. I’d say you won’t spend more than R600 to get it up & running. And invest in at least a 30m power cord to connect to the power supply at the camp sites.


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