CVC 12V Solar Kit
2-3 Batteries | 600-800Ah

Complete setup for a 12V Off-Grid RV electrical system.

CVC 12V Solar Kit
2-3 Batteries | 600-800Ah

Complete setup for a 12V Off-Grid RV electrical system.

Complete Large Size 12V Component Kit

12V | Three 230Ah Lithium Batteries | 400W Solar Panels
12V | Two 400h Lithium Batteries | 400W Solar Panels
Estimated Cost $5,000-$7,000

This package will suit a larger Vans or RVs; it will run the majority of appliances*, even 12V or 120V air conditioners and is well-suited for off-grid camping.

Two additional DC-DC Converters connected to the alternator/starter battery, will enhance the charging capabilities greatly, and are a minimum requirement.

This kit is self-explanatory, but you need at least some basic electrical skills. If unsure, always consult a professional! Virtually all needed components are listed below for easy ordering (some are affiliate links that will support this site at no cost to you). Most work left to you, is deciding where to place the items in your vehicle and calculate the wire gauges and lug sizes.

You can post your questions in the comment section.


Acid vs Lithium batteries

Lithium batteries have developed so quickly and their prices have come down so much, that lead-acid batteries should not be considered anymore in most cases.

Inverter Capacity

A logical choice for your RV would be a 2kW or 3kW inverter. The 2kW version may not be enough to power a cooktop or microwave as its output is much lower than 2kW.

System Voltage

Usually 12V, 24V and 48V electrical systems can be found in RV’s. The difference is mostly a lower installation cost for a 48V system (less expensive cables and appliances); 24V has fewer advantages.

While low amp, 12V systems are usually fairly safe to work on, installation of 48V electrical systems with/without high amperage in/outputs should be left to experienced professionals.

System Sizing

While system sizing (calculating the anticipated power needed to run your appliances) is of less importance nowadays, making a list of your power needs (both in winter and summer) will help you better estimate your battery capacity, the required number of solar panels and/or the need for an additional DC-DC Converter (to charge the batteries while driving).

Alternator Use

Using the existing alternator of the vehicle in combination with a DC-DC Converter, will charge the battery bank much faster than with solar panels and is a not-perfect, but relatively inexpensive solution.1

Especially with 600Ah or higher lithium battery banks, one should consider a separate alternator in addition to the existing one. These expensive devices can charge at a much higher amperage and won’t interfere with the internal workings of the vehicle.2

1current alternator capacity impacts effectiveness of the additional DC-DC converter.
2high amperage in/output battery BMS required (>100Ah).

Wiring and Appliance Location

Decide well in advance of the installation, the best location for the wiring and appliances. Build with upgrades in mind. Distance between different 12V or 48V components is usually critical.

Choosing the right wire size for your DC electrical project is very important, since a wire that is too small can overheat and possibly start a fire. Also use good crimping tools to create wiring connections that can withstand, the impact rough roads will have on your installation.

On-line Blue Sea Wire Calculator

  • Determine the circuit in Volts (12V, 24V or 48V).
  • Determine the current in Amps.
  • Determine the circuit length in feet (roundtrip distance from power source to the product).
  • Select allowable voltage drop.*

*Circuits, with up to 3% voltage drop, include:
– Panel main feeders
– Electronics
*Non-critical circuits, with up to 10% voltage drop, include:
– General lighting
– General appliances

Estimated Cost

*Other, less expensive options are available, but with fewer upgrade possibilities and less reliability.

The solar panels can be attached directly to the roof or placed on a roof rack. A space between roof and panel will increase panel efficiency.

Glass Panel – 400WFlexible Panel*
Easy to mountEasy to mount
High efficiencyLower efficiency
Life expectancy 25+ yearsLife expectancy 5-10 years
Increased drag from moving airAerodynamic
Somewhat bendable
Tendency to overheat
*unless ‘stealth look’ is important, the regular solid glass panels are preferable.

Keeps the solar panels cool in high temperatures; the optimum height creates a proper air circulation between the solar panels and the surface of the roof.

Package includes corner mounting brackets (4), side mounting brackets(2), solar cable entry gland (1) and 12 self-tapping screws.

cable gland installation

Always use welding wire or other multi-stranded, flexible wiring products.

Driving your vehicle puts a lot of stress on the wire connections; make sure that lugs and other connectors are installed correctly.

Regular AC house wiring has no place inside a home-on-wheels. Connections are prone to fail, creating hazardous conditions.

Bus bars come in different forms; be sure their capacity (A) exceeds the maximum wire amperage.

Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100V 30A Solar Charge Controller

It gathers the energy from your solar panels, then maximizes its output and stores it in your batteries.

Choose a Smart model appropriate for your system specifications.

A choice between lead-acid, AGM and Lithium batteries has become irrelevant. Only Lithium batteries are recommended for RV use, for their overall low cost, low weight and their high charge/discharge capacity.

With a medium battery bank, I would prefer two 200Ah over one 400Ah battery, just in case one breaks down, but battery size could determine your choice.

Victron Energy SmartShunt
Connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and easily modify settings or monitor your batteries and save space (and money) by not using a dedicated display.

The new Victron Energy SmartShunt IP65 is waterproof and displays battery State of Charge % and acts like a fuel gauge for your batteries.

All Victron Smart appliances allow for monitoring and settings access through an App, virtually eliminating the need for a physical device like this.

Calculate the required fuse amperage as follows:
– Appliance Max. Wattage / 12V = Max. Current.
– Max. Current x 1.25.
– Round up to next fuse size.

Ex. 2400W Inverter / 12 = 200A (max. current)
200A x 1.25 = 250A -> 300A fuse.

Required 12V-48V Circuit breaker for ​Solar Charge controller to Battery.

For this system, you will need a circuit breaker for the DC DC charger at the input and output.

Used as a main shutoff between solar panels array and solar controller.

Appropriate sizing is required for each system.

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