180W Flexible Solar on a Camper Trailer Roof


The 180W Super-Light flexible solar panels have these benefits:

  • 12-14A maximum output.
  • For a typical 6 hour peak solar day with northern orientation, without moving the panels, this will give 45-60 Ahrs of power
  • This is the perfect size solar for a single 80L fridge, hot water, lighting and stereo
  • It perfectly compliments 210Ahrs of battery capacity

Photo shows 180W flexible solar panels on a Kimberley Kamper off-road camper trailer. It can be any model in the wide range.

The tropical roof on a Kimberley Kamper off-road camper trailer provides these benefits:

  • Airflow between the roof and the tropical roof keeps the Kamper cool on hot days
  • Air gap between the two also eliminates condensation in the winter months
  • If you are camping in the snow, the snow accumulates on the tropical roof
  • When you pack up the Kamper, there is no moisture transfer to the bedding from the roof

And now Kimberley have combined these 2 products with these added benefits:

  • The tropical roof opens automatically as you open the Kamper. The photo on the right shows the Kamper half way through the opening process.
  • The Super-light solar is concealed inside the kamper, emerging automatically as it opens.
  • The flexible solar panels can move and flex inside.
  • The super-light flexible solar panels are only 2.2 kgs per panel. This has negligible effect on the shape of the roof.
  • The flexible solar panels have an integrated solar optimizer for shade balance between panels.
  • The solar output is to an on board MPPT solar controller for maximum output.
  • Set and forget the solar system with less likelihood of theft.
  • The super light flexible solar panel has a fluorocarbon plastic base that is white and does not absorb heat.
  • The panels can be manually removed and setup as a portable solar system if required.
  • There is no impact on any other canvas accessory like the toilet suite, ensuite or second bedroom.

The best feature is the value of this flexible solar and tropical roof combination by:

  • Utilize a single MPPT controller upgraded to 20A that is switchable between the 25W glass solar panel on the front for constantly trickle charging the battery and this tropical roof system
  • Attach the panels with Australian designed “stay put” canvas to canvas toggles that allow the super-light panels to either “stay-put” or be easily removed.
  • Reducing the weight compared to glass solar panels by over 80%.

Weight saving with flexible solar panels is a key benefit:

180W Glass Portable
Solar Kit

24 kgs  

180W Super Light

4.4 kgs 82.3% weight reduction compared to glass panels

The price addition for this combination on top of the standard tropical roof is $990 incl GST

(this includes the upgrade to the 20A Mppt Solar controller which is switched from either the front 25W panel to this solar system as required. The 25W solar is generally under cover while camping)

More Technical Information:

  • Now there is an even lighter technology for semi-flexible solar panels:
  • The backing sheet is a Fluorocarbon Plastic, UV stable and taken from the marine industry.
  • This is the technology used on world travelling yachts as it is light and withstands consistent heat and UV conditions.

The Super Light 180W array consists of 2 x 90W panels that have eyelets around the edge and attach to the canvas backing through these eyelets. The panels weigh only 2.19kgs each, which is a 80% reduction in weight compared to glass panels.

180W Glass Suitcase 180W Super Light
Technology: Glass Mono crystalline SunPower cells on Fluorocarbon Plastic
Weight in Kgs 23.6 kgs 4.38kgs

In addition, the solar cells are “SunPower Cells” which are the highest efficiency in the Industry. Photos show actual panels with “shipping protection plastic layer” on the front, which is removed. SunPower makes the world’s most efficient production solar cells – 24%, which result in the most efficient modules of about 20%. These high efficiency cells result mostly from the back contact design which avoids grid lines of metal on the front of the cell and therefore more light gets converted to electricity.

There will be a digital optimiser installed with each panel, which is the latest technology for shade and balancing effects.

Read about SunPower cells here: http://solarcellcentral.com/companies_page.html

The panels have a panel output of 23.3V and 3.91Amps for each 90W panel.

180W Solar Using 20Amp MPPT Controller Battery Voltage Maximum Current charging Comment
Charging Batteries in perfect solar conditions 13.8V 12 amps Battery needs to be less than 90% full to get full charge current

This kit includes 5 components:

  • 2 x 90W Super Light Solar panels weighing only 2.19 kgs
  • 20 Amp MPPT controller which can be selected for AGM or Lithium Batteries
  • Digital optimizer for shade conditions

The system folds up with the Kamper when packing it up; (or they can easily be removed and used as a portable system in which case they can still be stored in the Kamper when folding up)

Here is what you can get from 180W of super-light flexible solar panels with an MPPT solar controller:

Fridge in Kamper Other Electrical items in Kamper Fridge in rear of vehicle Total per day
Typical power consumption per day 20-40 Amp Hrs 5-10 Amp Hrs 20-40 Amp Hrs 45-90 Amp Hrs
180 W solar with 6 hours of sun with northern orientation angle with 6 hours of sun with northern orientation angle but not moving the panels during the day. 45 -60 Amp hrs per day
210 Amp Hours AGM Batteries Will mean 4-6 days independence if fridges are using 90 Amp Hours per day & virtually total independence if efficient fridges are used at the total of 45 amp hours per day.
100 Amp Hours Lithium These charge 40% faster than AGM and therefore allow for faster recovery by solar when full sun is available.

Interested? Go see a Kimberley Dealer or visit us at shows!

5 thoughts on “180W Flexible Solar on a Camper Trailer Roof

  1. Pingback: Lightweight off road camper trailers offer more than beach travel - KAMPERS BLOG

  2. Pingback: Kimberley 350kg Quad Bike Carrier for first export to China - KAMPERS BLOG

  3. Bob Trlin

    I have a Special Edition with a tropical roof. I think the light weight solar panels on the tropical roof is a great idea. Is there any way my roof can be converted or would I have to buy a complete new tropical roof?



  4. Bruce Loxton Post author

    Yes Bob, you can upgrade your awning. We add some stay put plugs and reinforcement to it and supply the cable length to go to the front Anderson plug solar input. What you need to advise is if you have that input plug on the drivers side rear of the Delta pack and what is the rating of your MPPT controller.
    A small switch is then inserted as well in the front to switch the MPPT controller from the small 25W (generally covered when awning is up) to the 180-W in the rear. Email parts for a price. Thank you

Comments are closed.