This 100W solar panel wiring diagram for RV and campervan conversions is a template for planning your electrical system. It covers the main parts of a solar system and shows how to lay out the components.
Explore our electrical page for deeper information on each part.
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.
Before purchasing wires and fuses, read our post on wiring your campervan.
The diagram below depicts a system with <10ft. of wire. If you need to run your wires longer, refer to the graph in our wiring your campervan post to determine the correct wire gage for you.
|100W Solar Installation Parts*||Size||Quantity|
|Monocrystalline Solar Panel||100 Watt||1|
|Solar Panel Roof Mounting Z-Rack||-||Optional (1)|
|Solar Panel Adjustable Tilt Mount||-||Optional (1)|
|PWM Charge Controller||10A||1|
|AGM Deep Cycle Battery||75AH||1|
|Multi Step Inverter||300W||Optional (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)||10AWG||1|
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
Parts of a Solar Power Kit for RV and Campers
Polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels are the best for an RV or camper. Monocrystalline panels will have a slightly smaller footprint, but polycrystalline are generally the least expensive.
Rigid solar panels are more durable than flexible ones and they also last longer.
An extension cable is necessary to connect most solar panels to your charge controller. Solar panels tend to come with short cables.
Z-brackets are the easiest way to mount solar panels to your roof.
An adjustable tilt mount will enable you to adjust panels so they are directly facing the sun. Tilt mounts can increase your solar panel efficiency by as much as 30%.
There are two types of charge controllers, PWM and MPPT. A charge controller helps get solar energy into your battery. In a 100 Watt solar panel system, a 10A PWM charge controller is the best choice.
For 100W of solar power, a 12V 75Ah deep cycle battery is sufficient to charge small electronics. To make the most of your battery, avoid discharging it more than 50%.
Battery terminal connectors are use to bond your battery to the other wires.
The multi-step inverter is an optional component. An inverter converts 12V DC electricity into 120V power. You can use an inverter to plug in household items like a laptop or TV.
We recommend a 300W inverter for a 100W solar power set up.
Wires and Fuses
The wire and fuse sizes are dependent on how far you are running your wires. The diagram depicted above shows approximate gage and fuse sizes for running under 10 feet of wire.
If you are in a large RV and running the wires longer, refer to our wiring guide to determine the appropriate sizes.