This 200W solar panel wiring diagram for RV and campervan conversions is useful when planing your build. It lays out each component of the electrical system and details all the main components.
Read our electrical page for detailed information on each part.
200 Watts is enough to power small electronics such as cell phones, lights, and vent fan as well as a couple of larger items such as laptops and a refrigerator. 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.
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.
|200W Solar Installation Parts*||Size||Quantity|
|Polycrystalline Solar Panel||100 Watt||2|
|Solar Panel Roof Mounting Z-Rack||-||Optional (2)|
|Solar Panel Adjustable Tilt Mount||-||Optional (2)|
|MPPT Charge Controller||20A||1|
|AGM Deep Cycle Battery||150AH||1|
|Pure Sine Inverter||400W||1|
|10 Way Fuse Block||-||1|
|Battery Terminal Connectors||-||1|
|Chassis Ground Wire||2AWG||1|
|Electrical Wire Crimp Connector Assortment Kit||-||1|
Total Cost of a DIY 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit:
When choosing to buy just the basics, you can expect to spend about $800 on a 200 Watt solar kit including everything except the wires themselves (this can vary depending on how much wire and how many devices you’re using).
If you want to save some time, Renogy offers a partial solar kit with MPPT controller. Renogy pricing is usually quite good for the convenience that it offers if they have a kit that matches your needs.
You can also buy a solar suitcase with charge controller. This is portable and would not attach to the roof. With this suitcase you would need to purchase an inverter, fuse block and batteries.
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 $1000.
Solar Power Kit Parts
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.
For the simplest set up, wire your solar panels in series as shown above. The exception to the rule is if you are using a PWM charge controller.
An extension cable and 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 200 Watt solar panel system, a 20A MPPT charge controller is a good choice.
For 200W of solar power there are a few different battery options to choose from:
- 12V, 150Ah Deep Cycle Battery (x1)
- 6V, 150Ah Deep Cycle Battery (x2 wired in series)
- 12V, 100Ah Lithium Battery (x1)
A single battery will be the easiest to install. Deep cycle batteries can be discharged up to 50% capacity, while a lithium battery can be discharged up to 90% capacity.
A lithium battery is more expensive than a deep cycle battery. Two 6V batteries are smaller and easier to move.
Battery terminal connectors are use to bond your battery to the other wires.
The pure sine wave 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.
If your inverter takes more than our recommended power out of your batteries on a frequent basis, the batteries will wear out quickly.
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.