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100 Watt Van Solar Power Setup

This guide for a basic 100 watt solar setup is good as a template for planning your electrical system. It covers the parts and acts as a visual reference for how things are connected. For important information on calculating electricity and individual component choices, explore our electrical page. In particular, read our post on wiring your campervan before purchasing anything. Just like baking a cake, it’s good practice to be familiar with all of the steps before diving in.

100 Watts is enough to power small electronics such as cell phones, lights, a vent fan, or possibly a small laptop. Keep in mind that if you plan on wiring in an alternator or generator the system layout changes a bit. It’s better to plan for them at the beginning than try to add them in later.

Electricity is a serious task to take on. There are many examples of things online that “can” be done but should not, so consume Youtube instructions and articles such as this one with caution. It is always a good idea to consult with experts before you buy expensive parts to make sure the way you are planning on using it will be safe.

Want a different amount of solar? We also have guides on a 200 Watt solar system and a 450 Watt solar system.

100W Solar Installation Parts*SizeQuantity
Monocrystalline Solar Panel100 Watt1
Solar Panel Roof Mounting Z-Rack-Optional (1)
Solar Panel Adjustable Tilt Mount-Optional (1)
PWM Charge Controller10A1
AGM Deep Cycle Battery75AH1
Multi Step Inverter300WOptional (1)
4 Way Fuse Block & Bus Bar-1
Battery Terminal Connectors-1
Electrical Wire Crimp Connector Assortment Kit-1
Extension Cable (solar MC4 connectors → charge controller)10AWG1

*Not included are the wiring and small fuses needed as those vary between installs and can be bought at a hardware store.

Total Cost of a DIY 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit:

When choosing to buy just the basics, you can spend as little as $350 on a 100 Watt solar kit including an inverter with all new components.
Alternatively, a Goal Zero Yeti kit can be purchased and includes everything except the solar panel mounting hardware. This would be the equivalent of a 100Watt solar suitcase paired with a 100Ah AGM battery and 1200 Watt inverter. Our estimate that the DIY pieces separately for this would be easily under $100

The most detailed wiring guide and shopping list for a solar panel system! I wish i had known about this before I started by campervan build! This #vanlife hack makes the electric layout look so simple.
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