Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > 4WD Overland Tech

4WD Overland Tech GENERIC 4WD / 4 wheel TECH discussions and info that is valid for ALL brands. See brand specific forums.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Visit Matt Savage for VIAIR compressors, Air Lift Helper Springs, Tyre Levers, Chris Scott's Books & DVDs, KC Daylighters, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Preparation and lots more!

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 9 Apr 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canmore AB
Posts: 15
Solar Panel?

I am wondering what brand of solar panel people are having the best luck with. I am living out of my 06 Tacoma with a 04 Northern Lite 6-10 camper on the back. It is my sole residence on a 6 month rock climbing trip that I am currently on. I will couple it with a optima gel cel yellow top rv battery for running lights and music. Any suggestions?
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Apr 2011
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Leicestershire,UK, or in my Iveco Daily 4x4
Posts: 461

Type of panel may be more relevant than brands

Monocrystaline are the most effective panels I believe but of course also more expensive

And don't forget the charge controller too

Iveco Turbo Daily 4x4 40-10
Ex Owner LR101 300Tdi Ambi 'Tiggurr'
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Apr 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Far North Queensland Australia
Posts: 80
solar panels

The brand of panel is not so important but a reputable brand will be better. It is the size of the panel that is extremely important coupled with the size of the battery. You will need to work your usage of power and size the battery and solar panel accordingly.

Also the location of where you live/are going to is important when sizing panels as the maximum number of sun hours per day as well as the sun strength is required for the sizing calculation.

Cable sizing from the panel to the charge regulator to the battery etc is also critical.

Dont know what your technical knowledge is like but here is a good article that gives solar basics and is written in a way that even the layman can understand. Solar panel basics

Solar panel suppliers will be able to help you size it.

An idea comes suddenly and in an intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier experience.
Reply With Quote
Old 12 Apr 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canmore AB
Posts: 15
Thanks for the info.
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Apr 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: sussex
Posts: 11

hey. Me and bro both have this set up:
80W, 5A monocrystalline panel, solar panel controller with temp correction (essential) this is charging a pair of optimas (Yellow and red) with IBS split charge. Main power draw was engel 4 fridge (45L)
This will just about keep you in charge for 2-3 days if static with usual health warnings about fridge temp set etc.
Also, i have recently added waterproof 240V socket so can use hook-up facility if available.
With this setup, i am happy if driving during day, will be good solution. Acid test was ice cold corona in Morocco! (50+ cel)
Reply With Quote
Old 2 May 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 946
You'll find the solar electricity handbook by Michael Boxwell an absolute mine of information on this sort of thing.
by size I presume you mean it's output. the physical size is irrelevant. there are also other factors to consider such as panel efficiency etc.

read the book and all your questions will be answered, but you'll probably think of some more!!
Dorset Solar Power Ltd
Welcome to Dorset Solar Power | Dorset Solar Power
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
2012 Hilux, mountain top and bedrug with GG AT2s
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Jun 2011
nomadic's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 47
Thumbs up

In 2003 i started of with 2 expensive A-brand 120 Watt solar panels. Supplied power for 8 years now, no problems.

In Nepal i discovered cheaper Solar panels - and was in the position to a do a comparison with some-one who just bought two 120 watt panels with the same STECA charger.
Bottom line : The Asian version had more Amps in the same sunshine with batteries in comparable state of charge.

Difference is a less rigid frame and thinner protection surface.

Now i took a gamble and bought myself two 180 watt panels from E-bay from Chinese origin. Lets see.

I can recommend MPPT solar chargers - upto 30 % more Amps on cloudy days compared to standard solar battery chargers.

Overland by 4x4 truck
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Jun 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 946
The performance of solar panels will deteriorate over time. the better quality ones suffer less than cheapies.
some of the chinese manufacturers have been making panels for over 20 years and they are comparable to german or japanese products, but cheaper, others are s***
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
2012 Hilux, mountain top and bedrug with GG AT2s
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1VJ side panel wanted. Tenere99 Yamaha Tech 0 18 Jul 2010 11:09
1VJ Side panel wanted Tenere99 TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 0 18 Jul 2010 11:07
A better way to secure side panel? Mark Yamaha Tech 0 6 Apr 2010 13:25
side panel Tenere99 Yamaha Tech 0 24 Apr 2009 13:30
Sale - Solar Panel 12v 50w Paul W TRAVEL Equipment for Sale / Wanted 0 21 Aug 2007 17:29


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:47.