Exploring Camper Van Electricity Options

Exploring Camper Van Electricity Options

Written by the JK Team
Published 11 June 2024
Just Kampers

Introduction to Electricity in Your Campervan 

When building, buying or commissioning your campervan one of the most important decisions is choosing a reliable and efficient energy source. Whether planning weekend getaways or extended road trips, understanding the available electricity options and all the pros and cons will mean you’ll get the absolute best experience for you and your fellow travelers!

1) Split Charge System

A split charge system will effectively use your car's primary electrical system to charge the auxiliary power system in your campervan. It’s made up of a split charge device, terminal connectors, and a robust power cord, and can be relatively easy to install if you’re doing it at the start of your campervan conversion project.

Components:

Heavy-Duty Power Cable: Connects the leisure battery to the vehicle battery,
Terminal Connectors: Securely attach the cables,
Split Charge Device: Acts as a switch, allowing power flow when conditions are right.

Advantages:
Charges the leisure battery while you drive,
Efficient and straightforward.

Disadvantages:
Added cost on installation.
Should be checked or installed by a certified auto-electrician.

2) Solar Power

Harnessing the sun’s energy through solar panels is an eco-friendly and off-grid solution. This is particularly great if you’re camping during the summer here in the UK, or you live somewhere with a lot of sunshine, but modern solar panels can work surprisingly well with even dim winter sunlight. Here’s what you need to know:

Components:

Solar Panels: Mounted on the campervan roof.
Solar Charge Controller: Regulates charging and prevents overcharging.

Advantages:
Ideal for off-grid camping,
Charges the leisure battery during sunny days.

Disadvantages:
Loss of roof space due to solar panels,
Upfront costs can be very expensive.

3) Shore Power

When parked at a campground or RV site, shore power provides 230V AC electricity.

Here’s how it works:

Process:

Connect your campervan to a shore power outlet,
Charge your leisure battery and power appliances.


Advantages:
Allows you to run devices and maintain power while stationary,
Low cost to run.

Disadvantages:
No guarantee you will get access to the power source,
Hook-up cables can be cumbersome to use and store.

Conclusion

You should think very honestly about the sort of electricity access that will be best for our travelling plans. If you are visiting campsites, shore power will be more than enough for you. If you are planning to travel for longer but in the summer months, solar panels may be a better option and for those who really relish adventure, whatever the season, investing in a split charge system may be right for you!

If you’re looking for more detailed advice on what system may be best for you, your camper, and your planned adventures, or you want to arrange an installation, talk to Rising Sun Campers about your options!

3 days ago