Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

12V Battery And Solar Panel Installation Guide

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

After receiving some much needed advice from user - BeeJay (many thanks) - I have installed a battery and Solar panel in my 2003 Hobby Prestige 560 caravan.

I thought I would share the pictures, short discription and wiring diagram for anyone else who would find it useful.


I have a 7 pin plug to my vehicle as the 13 pin plug had been replaced so I could not run the 12v electrics from my vehicle when on the move. I required a 12v supply as we attend several music festival every year and they charge a fortune for electrical hook up. I decided last year with my Elddis hurricane to invest in a good cheap solar panel to keep the battery topped up for phones, showers and lighting.

After buying a 2003 hobby prestige 560 this year for the extra room I was sure I could instal a battery and my solar panel to ensure i get the most from my caravan. I do not require to charge the battery from the mains hook up as the solar panel will be fixed and control the charging of the battery


Here is how I done it. ..


Shopping list

110Ah Leisure battery - go outdoors - £74. 99

80w Solar Panel and 10A control Panel - ebay - £89. 99(last year)

red and brown roll of 27amp cable - Halfords - £ 7. 78

mixed box splice connectors - £3. 89

positive and negative battery terminals - Halfords - £7. 98

total cost - £184. 63


I disconnected the mains hook up and opened the main electrical box to see the incoming wires. I sourced the 12v cable going to main electrical board from the car hook up cable. The wires were the thick red+ and white- wires

I opened the 12v distribution box under the fixed bed at the front of the caravan.

I connected a splice connector to each wire with a length of 27amp wire and connected the to the battery - red to red (positive) and white to brown (negative)



I attached the crocodile clips for the solar panel from the control box to the battery and that was it.

it took me about an hour to figure it all out and complete the job. It was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be and I am no electrition.



I am in the process of making a battery box in work and intend to vent it through the floor and place it under the fixed bed beside the 12v distribution board.

I intend to tidy up the wiring from the photo's and put them on the bed sides to keep them off the floor as the water heater is under the bed also and the seals blew in the vents the first time I used it. This flooded under the bed so I think keeping everything sealed and off the floor is for the best.


If any one has any comments advice or would like any advice please feel free to comment.


2003 Hobby Prestige 560 Wiring Diagram with mods



Solar Panel 10A Control box



Edited by peterannal

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The output from the controller should go directly to the battery to minimise any losses.

Are you going to put the panel on the roof? - It will not be very efficient behind a window.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good.

How will you get the cables from the solar panel (on the roof) down to the gubbins under the bed?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have gone from the panel to the controller and then from the controller I would have hard wired it to the battery, I don't like the idea of crocodile clips.


I'm going to fit a couple of my spare panels to roof when I can source some brackets and a gland, I'll be going from panels to controller, the controller is already in position close to the battery.


I've tried panels behind the windows and didn't get enough power to the battery (40w)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Solar panels loose a lot of power behind windows, are you going to roof mount this long-term?

Edited by dreadly

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all. .. Thanks for the comments. ...

In reply to some of your questions. ..


I use crocodile clips as I only use the solar panel at festivals a few times a year. .. There for I can unclip and run off the mains hook up when we are touring. And I can unclip it, take it out and use it elsewhere.


I keep the solar panel behind the window for winter top up of the battery and the rear window is south facing during storage. So it tops up the battery nicely. I put the panel outside at festivals through the window and keep it at optimum angle for recharge throughout the day. - 6 people with showers, lights and phone charging ( not to mention the mrs's 12v hair straighteners) for 3 full days on a 110a/h battery. It's brilliant and saves me the electrical hook up charge of £80+ at each festival.


I don't intend to mount the solar panel on the roof at the moment. .. As I would like to keep it separate and use it as I upgrade caravans over the next few years.

But if I was to mount the solar panel I would put it above the wardrobe and seal it there. Take the cable down and run it behind the cupboards on the floor to the space under the bed.


I have just installed 5 x 1m led strip lights direct to the solar panel controller (£25 eBay) - 3 around the bed and two to the seated area - with a wireless remote control (25, 50 and 100% power settings- £3. 99 on eBay) to save on battery usage during festival season. I also intend to replace the 12v halogen bulbs with led lights to keep the usage down.

I will post photos shortly.

Keep the questions coming.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the controller "fused" to the battery? I see a fuse in a photo, but not sure whether it is protecting that circuit.

I could not live with "Scotchlock" type connections in what could be quite high continuous current feeds, I would use proper "chocolate block" connections.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

The solar pane controller has 3 connections-

a fused connection to the battery.

The solar panel input

And a 12v switched output.


I looked at the 12v distribution board again and I could spade the battery connection to it rather than scotchblock connections. Thanks for that thought.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...