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Tips and tricks for shade and solar power

When it comes to positioning your caravan for both, it’s all about location, location, location. Here are some tips and tricks for shade and solar power.


Always try to find a campsite that allows you to orientate your caravan such that the front faces east and the rear faces west. This way, the fridge side of your van will be shaded all day and your roof-mounted solar panels can get the maximum amount of sun on them all day.


Use External Solar Panels

If you’re camped under trees, the roof-mounted solar panels will be virtually useless. By plugging an external solar panel into your Anderson plug connection, you can augment your solar charging by placing the external panel in direct sunlight. Move it periodically as the position of the sun in the sky changes.


Fit A Fridge Shade

Fridge shades are available from most caravan accessory outlets and they are very effective at blocking the sun’s rays shining directly onto your fridge. They are a very easy DIY installation. Just be careful not to set up it up so close to the van that it restricts valuable airflow through your fridge vents.


Close your window blinds

Closing your blinds blocks direct sunlight as well as radiated heat coming in through the windows and warming up your caravan. Most modern caravan windows will have blinds that have a reflective surface on the outside making them very effective at blocking heat.


Open Your Roof Hatches

Hot air rises and, unless it has somewhere to escape, it will build up and heat the inside of your van. By opening the roof hatches, you allow this hot air to escape. This will draw in fresh air from outside through the door vent creating a slight airflow and making the van feel cooler inside.


Use Smartphone Apps

There are loads of apps that can assist you with correctly positioning your caravan on a site. A compass app will allow you to ensure your van is positioned east-west. A sun-tracking app will show you where the sun will be positioned at various times of the day allowing you to anticipate where any shadows will be cast. This allows you to position your external solar panels to the best effect.


This is an extract from an article originally published on

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