Dimensions of solar panel to fit on 5.4m van

Helzie

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We are expecting to take delivery of a 2021 Globecar Roadscout in the next few weeks. We asked the dealer to supply and fit a solar panel. The dealer has said that the maximum size solar panel they can fit to the Roadscout is a 120W panel, since the Roadscout is only 5.4m long. According to the dealer, the 120W solar panel they have quoted for is 1.2m long while the next size up, the 150W, is 1.5m long and there isn't room to fit it. I think the dealer is looking at SOLAR TECHNOLOGY panels (the 120W model is 1195 × 670 × 35 mm).

I'm wondering if these solar panel dimensions are about the same for all brands of solar panel or whether it is possible to get a 150W or even 180W panel on the roof of the 5.4m Globecar Roadscout by sourcing a different brand or by finding an alternative fitter. There won't be anything additional on the roof apart from the standard skylight at the front.

Question 1: Does anyone actually have a 150W or 180W solar panel on the roof of their 5.4m Globecar Roadscout? If so, what make and model will fit?

Question 2: We do a fair bit of off-grid camping. The dealer says that the 120W solar panel should be more than enough to keep the two 95Ah gel batteries topped up when off grid. What do you think?

Thanks.
 

argoose

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If it's a rigid panel, then you have to factor for the corner fixings.
Have a look at Photonic universe's web site. You'll be able to see what panels are available and add on bracket dimensions too.
 

RichardHelen262

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a couple of years ago we were down in Spain and I was having trouble with my solar panel but parked up next to us was a Dutch couple who helped me out as he was into electrics and solar,
They had the globecar roadsscout and he had put 300w of solar on his roof,
You might be better off waiting until you have collected it and find an independent company
 

Fisherman

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My Motorhome came with a 120w panel. This was fine in summer, late spring, and early autumn, but not enough from November to March. So if you intend heading outwith these periods you will need more than 120W. Even with two 120w panels we struggle in the depths of winter up here in Scotland. Another advantage of two panels well apart (if this is possible) is one may be blocked but the other may have a clear view of the sky. Your problem may be the size of your van 5.4 m is small, and with skylights, vents, tv aerial, Wi-Fi aerial, etc space may be limited. I cannot understand why a dealer would state they can only fit a 120W when a larger one can be fitted. When you get the van obviously you would see that they could have fitted a larger panel. The dealer would be leaving themselves open to a claim at this point. Richard states he saw a globecar with a 300w panel, but that may have been a 6.3m van. Also the controllers that come with kits are not the best. I would fit an MPPT controller. This can improve solar harvesting by 30% and prolong battery life. I have the Victron 100/20 with Bluetooth, and I would recommend it.

 
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Tookey

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Maybe your dealer isnt trying hard enough 🤷‍♂️

I'm shorter than you and only the width of a transit and that is 2x180w. Potentially they only want to use glued corner brackets though which is understandable as a dealership.

Maybe they are concerned about asthetics, are you?

20210531_153947.jpg
 

trevskoda

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I have 200w of solar going into two 90ah batts, ok in high summer but almost useless this time of year, look elsewhere for panels and fitment.
Make sure they can trickle charge the starter battery as well.
 

Helzie

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Thanks everyone for that useful input. I'm going to tell the dealer to leave it and get a specialist contractor to fit as suggested. I'm sure 120W won't be enough as we have that on our current, smaller, van with a pop-top roof which can be pointed at the sun — and that struggles.

I'll check out the contractors that are recommended above. We are in central Scotland — any other recommendations are very welcome.
 

alwaysared

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Thanks everyone for that useful input. I'm going to tell the dealer to leave it and get a specialist contractor to fit as suggested. I'm sure 120W won't be enough as we have that on our current, smaller, van with a pop-top roof which can be pointed at the sun — and that struggles.

I'll check out the contractors that are recommended above. We are in central Scotland — any other recommendations are very welcome.
@wildebus may help and he's a member on here, I believe he lives in the borders area 👍

Regards,
Del
 

Fisherman

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Thanks everyone for that useful input. I'm going to tell the dealer to leave it and get a specialist contractor to fit as suggested. I'm sure 120W won't be enough as we have that on our current, smaller, van with a pop-top roof which can be pointed at the sun — and that struggles.

I'll check out the contractors that are recommended above. We are in central Scotland — any other recommendations are very welcome.
I would also recommend contacting wildebus on here. He lives not to far away from you.
David has done work for me, and I would recommend him.
You can pm him or get him here.

 

activecampers

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We are expecting to take delivery of a 2021 Globecar Roadscout in the next few weeks. We asked the dealer to supply and fit a solar panel. The dealer has said that the maximum size solar panel they can fit to the Roadscout is a 120W panel, since the Roadscout is only 5.4m long. According to the dealer, the 120W solar panel they have quoted for is 1.2m long while the next size up, the 150W, is 1.5m long and there isn't room to fit it. I think the dealer is looking at SOLAR TECHNOLOGY panels (the 120W model is 1195 × 670 × 35 mm).

I'm wondering if these solar panel dimensions are about the same for all brands of solar panel or whether it is possible to get a 150W or even 180W panel on the roof of the 5.4m Globecar Roadscout by sourcing a different brand or by finding an alternative fitter. There won't be anything additional on the roof apart from the standard skylight at the front.

Question 1: Does anyone actually have a 150W or 180W solar panel on the roof of their 5.4m Globecar Roadscout? If so, what make and model will fit?

Question 2: We do a fair bit of off-grid camping. The dealer says that the 120W solar panel should be more than enough to keep the two 95Ah gel batteries topped up when off grid. What do you think?

Thanks.

1 - depends on what else is on the roof and the position of skylights. We have 2x 150w solar on 5,4m van. If you only have front skylight you can easily get 300w. Also ensure decent MPPT controller.

2 - depends. In the summer, probably. In the winter, definitely not. Depends on the controller and how much power you take. Our last van had 120w solar, MPPT controller, 12v fridge, and in the summer was full by 10am. But over winter, never got the power back. Current van, we use a lot more power, bigger compressor fridge, charging ebike, more lights etc - and on bad summers day it does not top back up. On a good day it does easily. So totally depends on your usage. 95AH usable battery is probably more of an issue

AM-JKLUlfD0YqFOUiXX0mDYZxKwGzKHPht7VHLgFW9Qr38aMYy471sKDeScjFCLBjO0Ooyi_K919pPytp5gsUsnN0Ark3Ke_P60ysgsYX7ajtAKvKS2yKoP47bnf1h9Y7Peuj5jqp5XFy4GONJKlngwGCDY8vA=w1139-h854-no
 

Minisorella

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Different brands have different footprints. My Panasonic 245w panel is dainty compared to others. It fits across the width of my 6m van but is lean enough to fit the space right at the back, behind my rear lounge heki. Definitely worth researching or talking to someone who’s familiar with different brands. I’m guessing your dealer was simply tied in to one range 🙂
 

wildebus

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it is remarkable how much solar can be fitted on a motorhome roof.
Doing a setup for a customer who picked up their brand new Hymer a few months ago and putting 6 panels on the roof of that motorhome to give 660W in total, and all directly on the roof, no extra overhanging supports or the like.
 

Stu2

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We’ve got a 340w LG panel on a 6 metre van which is roughly 160 x 100cm. Look at domestic panels as they can sometimes be cheaper than Motorhome solar suppliers.
 

Nabsim

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The 120W limit may be something to do with the factory electrics. If so there is nothing stopping you going direct to battery’s from a n additional solar controller. Best wait til you have the van and measure up
 

Fisherman

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Maybe your dealer isnt trying hard enough 🤷‍♂️

I'm shorter than you and only the width of a transit and that is 2x180w. Potentially they only want to use glued corner brackets though which is understandable as a dealership.

Maybe they are concerned about asthetics, are you?

View attachment 103457
Love the van, you must get some looks when out and about. 👍
 

1 Cup

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I'm in the two solar seasons 200w panel summer and extra 2 place on top temp over hanging panels in winter if away for a 3day -5day . As I use van as, my go to work van, 300miles a week. why have the extra weight 30kg all year round. ?

Wildebus got me a great victron solar controller. What showed 208 and 197watts from 2x100watt cheap panles once when batteries were very low this year

Only phil needs a min 1700w all year round. But he ant leisure only.

But this is only for my xmas lights
 

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wildebus

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Having portable panels can be very handy, especially in winter when angling them is even more effective (although winter solar is still pretty poor even at the best of times compared to summer).
I'm getting around 20W from my 270W flat roof array, and 20W from my very slightly tilted 300W 'garden' array (So 600W and still not keeping up with residual demand :( - I think I have left the Truma Heater DC fan running?)
 
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