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Solar System Parts List | What You’ll Need For Your Installation

This post provides a parts list of what you will need to install a solar system in a camper van and RV. We use many of these exact same parts in our camper van conversion and our solar system has been running great for the past five years.

First, Download Our Free Electrical Wiring Ebook

This solar system parts list post accompanies our electrical diagrams ebook. You can download this ebook for free by visiting our electrical wiring diagrams page.

You’ll find a wiring diagram like the one below in our ebook. This post will introduce all the components in this diagram and describe their function within this system.

Solar wiring diagram for medium systems with max 4400W solar array
Solar wiring diagram for medium systems (max 440W)

200W Solar Panel

Newpowa solar panels are among the most affordable panels online ($ per watt). We use Newpowa panels on our campervan and have been happy with the wattage output and their lifespan (five years and counting).

We recommend using the larger 200-watt panels instead of the traditional 100W ones. They are typically more space-efficient on the vehicle’s roof and require you to install fewer physical panels.


Mounting Brackets

Purpose: Attaches solar panels to either your rooftop or a roof rack. These brackets are only intended for rigid panels, not flexible ones.


MC4 Connectors

Purpose: These connectors crimp onto solar wire ends and attach to solar panel source wires, branch connectors, and MC4 in-line fuses.

Our recommended connectors come with the spanners required for assembly.


Branch Connectors (2-1)

Purpose: Required to wire multiple solar panels in parallel. Panels connected in series DO NOT need these components.

Branch connectors combine multiple positive and negative solar panel source cables into a single positive and negative output line.


Solar In-Line Fuse

Purpose: Protects the solar panels and source cables from overheating during overcurrent events.

In-line fuses are ONLY required when three or more solar panels are wired in parallel. Not for panels wired in series.

The amp rating of the fuse you require depends on the “Maximum Series Fuse Rating” listed on your specific solar panel.


Solar Entry Gland

Purpose: Protects solar wire pass-through entry point from water leaks.

Sealant not included. We recommend using Dicor Lap Sealant.


Rubber Grommet

Purpose: Protects solar wire from rubbing against the rough sheet metal edge of the van roof.

Drill a half-inch hole in your van’s sheet metal roof and squeeze this rubber grommet through the hole. Then thread the solar wire through the grommet.


Solar Wire (10 AWG)

Purpose: Transmits power from solar panels to the solar charge controller.

If the total amperage of the power coming from your solar array is less than 20 amps, we recommend using this 10 AWG wire. This will align your solar system with US National Electric Code (NEC) standards.

We recommend marine-grade wires. These wires have an outer jacket that better resists the harsh outdoor environments from UV rays, rain, dust, and salt spray.

Ancor 10 AWG Stranded Copper Wire Product Review (Marine Grade)

Solar Disconnect

Purpose: Protects solar wire from overheating during overcurrent events. Also allows users to manually disconnect solar panels from the charge controller during maintenance and storage.

This 40 amp disconnect breaker is appropriate for with 10 AWG wire and solar arrays outputting less than 20 amps of power.

Product Review - DC Solar Disconnect 40A (CHTAIXI)

Solar Charge Controller

Purpose: Receives power from the solar panels and controls the leisure battery charging process.

This recommended charge controller is an MPPT controller for more efficient charging and is Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to view your solar statistics from your smartphone via the Victron app.


8 AWG Wire

Purpose: Transmits power from the solar charge controller to the bus bars (and leisure batteries).

We recommend using 8 AWG wires for electrical safety when using solar charge controllers rated 30 amps or less. Our recommended wires come from Windynation, which are pure copper wires with high-quality EDPM insulation.


40A Circuit Breaker

Purpose: Protects wire from overheating during overcurrent events. Also allows users to manually disconnect the solar charge controller from the leisure batteries.

This 40A breaker is appropriate when using a solar charge controller rated for 30 amps or smaller.

Product Review - DC Circuit Breaker 40A (T Tocas)

Bus Bars

Bus bars distribute and collect the flow of electricity and act as a wire organizer to simplify the wiring process. This makes your wiring cleaner, safer, and easier to maintain than wiring all devices directly to the batteries.


Lug Set

Connects solar wire to the circuit breaker and bus bars. If you follow the rest of our diagrams, this lug set will have the connectors you’ll need for the other sections of your electrical system.

Alternative Solar Parts


Solar Charge Controller (15A)

Purpose: Regulates the voltage from the solar panels to manage the leisure battery charging process. This 15A charger is perfect for solar arrays up to 220 watts.


Circuit Breaker (30A)

Purpose: Prevents the 10 AWG wire from overheating.


M10 Ring Connector (10 AWG)

Purpose: Connects the 10 AWG solar wires to the bus bars.


M6 Ring Connector (10 AWG)

Purpose: Connects the 10 AWG solar wires to the circuit breaker.


Solar Charge Controller (50A)

Purpose: Regulates the voltage from the solar panels to manage the leisure battery charging process. This 50A charger is perfect for solar arrays up to 700 watts.


Circuit Breaker (70A)

Purpose: Prevents the 6 AWG wire from overheating.


6 AWG Wire

Purpose: Connects the 50A solar charge controller to the bus bars.


Branch Connectors (3-1)

Purpose: Required to wire three solar panels in parallel. Panels connected in series DO NOT need these components.

Branch connectors combine multiple positive and negative solar panel source cables into a single positive and negative output line.


Connecting The Bus Bars To The Leisure Batteries

You must wire the bus bars to the leisure batteries to complete the solar system. For a list of components required to complete this connection, please read our 12V system parts list.

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