What can I run in a caravan with solar power?

Going on holiday in a caravan is an opportunity to explore Australia with the family and visit places off the main drag and maybe even off the grid. A properly installed solar setup will give you the freedom to travel further.

At Victorian Caravan Hire, all our caravans have fixed solar systems fitted on the roof, which provide you with the power you need to run all your basic appliances. In a popular caravan, like the Starcraft, the solar system will supply the needs of an average family holidaying away from the electricity grid.

We’ve put together a video to explain how solar works, and to answer some common questions. You can also read on for a summary of the main points.

What does off grid mean?

Going off grid means you are not connected to 240 volt power. When you stay in a holiday park and have a powered site, you are connected to 240 volt mains power, allowing you to run all your appliances. If you are ‘free camping’ or staying somewhere where you cannot plug into 240 volt, you will need to rely on a battery and solar power to run what you need.

Will I be able to run my 240volt appliances on solar?

This is a common question and a concern for some people when they are thinking of going off grid. Solar does have some limitations, but all the main appliances in your caravan can be powered by solar, including the fridge, tv & radio, lights, water pump, hot water, rangehood and exhaust fan.

If you are using solar power, you will be unable to run the air conditioner, heater, microwave or an extra appliance, like a C-Pap machine. These appliances use a lot of energy, so you will need to hire a generator to supplement your power.

What can I run on solar?

  • Fridge
  • Lights
  • Rangehood
  • Exhaust fan
  • Water pump
  • TV & radio

What will I need a generator to run?

  • Extra fridge
  • Heater
  • Air conditioner
  • Microwave
  • C-Pap machine

Will my battery go flat?

It is possible for a battery to run flat, but in our many years of hiring and travelling in a caravan, this has only happened twice.  If you are using solar, it’s important to make sure that the panels are exposed to the sun during the day. Make sure they are not shaded or positioned under a tree.

A battery will go flat if it is powering too many things. An air conditioner, heater or an extra fridge will draw too much power. Hiring a generator will allow you to run any extra appliances, as well as run the air conditioner, heater or microwave. We have generators available to hire with your caravan.

Want to go off grid? If you want to go off grid, we can provide you with everything you need, including a solar setup, with full instructions and even a back up generator for extra appliances.

Got a question?

All our caravans have a comprehensive instruction booklet to refer to when you are on the road. We also provide on road assistance, should you have a problem. If you are thinking of going off grid and you’d like to know more about using solar, we’re here to help. Call us on 1300 499 588 or send us an email.

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