Solar tracker for campers/campervans

Hi all,

My name is Brian and I’m building my own van conversion from a 1975 Opel Blitz. I’m combining school and hobby by designing/fabricating a way to get more solar from less square meters. The goal is to have more and more efficient solar power without having your whole roof full of solar panels.

I was wondering if there would be interest in a solar tracker system with fold/slide out solar so you can get about 600Wp of solar on a space that would originally house 200Wp, and have it track in the sun. This way you could increase the output with about 260% adding the efficiency of the tracker.
Are there people interested in such a system as a DIY kit or the thing as a whole? I’ve also thought of sharing build plans to get more impact on a larger amount of people.

Also what would your demand be in this area. Is full automation a priority, or do you not mind manual setup?

Another idea was a foldout solar awning.

Feedback would be appreciated!

Greetings & Welcome!

While the promoters like to push solar because it pays so well, it’s still the least effective, and most expensive route to go. Solar alone really sucks without other more reliable charging sources like charging while driving, a generator, or shore power, all of which are also cheaper.

I’ve completely ditched solar myself, since simply driving keeps my house battery charged 99.9% of the time, even though I don’t drive that much. For the other times, a combination of my $99 generator and my $29 battery charger can keep my house battery charged, plus have the advantage of charging my house battery, providing shore power, and charging other people’s batteries.

The few that use solar panels seem to usually just mount them flat and permanent to minimize user intervention. Many people don’t have easy access to their roofs. But even with all that being said, build a better mouse trap, and it might just sell like hotcakes.


"Proper Planning is preferable to premature failure" ~ DreamLife

Hi Brian,

I am interested. I’ve been thinking about building something like this myself for a while, but not sure where to start or how to go about it.

One question (I don’t know much about how it works) - would it use your GPS location to track the sun? Or is that not important/is it more manual than that to get it started?

I think a DIY kit would be pretty cool if it was simple enough. I’m really good at building things myself and electrical, but probably not everybody is so it would depend on how complicated the kit would be.