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Attaching a foldable portable solar panel to a camper van

Aligned with the sun in just a few simple steps
Author: wohn-blogger.de, Rockenberg, Germany
Online since: 24/06/2021, Number of visits: 115944
Portable and foldable solar panels are a useful must-have when camping to re-charge batteries when needed. Such as the cabin battery inside the motorhome, for example. We always travel with a foldable solar panel in our camper. When camping, foldable solar panels have the advantage over fixed solar panels in that they are lightweight and can be space-savingly stored when on the road. Whenever possible, we place them outside in the sun to charge. The portable solar panel charges faster on the side panel or the roof of our camper van.

We asked ourselves, how we could quickly and easily attach a portable solar panel to the camper van. It should always point toward the sun and not spin around in the wind.

The solution: With the rubber-coated pot magnets GTNG-66 with M8 threaded stud and M-PAH-IM8 plastic handles with M8 internal thread, the solar panel can be mounted in seconds and, through a lever action, be removed after use. This eliminates the need for attaching a permanent mount for an outdoor solar panel on the motorhome.
Our version of the portable solar panel has eyelets around the edge and in the corners that are intended for mounting. The M8 thread of the pot magnet fits perfectly through the holes. We fastened the magnetic attachment using the plastic handles with M8 internal thread. In the case of box-type vans, the shell is ferromagnetic in most spots and therefore a good surface for magnets.
Then it was time to attach the portable solar panel to the motorhome, pointing towards the sun of course, and soak up the rays! As the sun moved across the sky, we simply followed it by hanging the solar panel in a different spot.

The result: Thanks to the pot magnets in the corners, the portable solar panel hangs securely and reliably on the side panels of the camper. The high adhesive force ensures that the wind doesn’t blow it off the roof either.
Note from the supermagnete team:
Before you attach the foldable solar panel, make sure that there are no dirt particles on the car paint. This will prevent scratches in the car finish. Rubberised pot magnets will start to rust during permanent outdoor use. Therefore, you should also remove all magnets from your box-type van or motorhome when the portable solar panel is not in use. This way, they are protected from the weather. If necessary, use anti-rust paint or clear varnish to make the neodymium magnets weather-resistant.

Storage tip
To store the magnets while driving or during the off-season, we recommend our sturdy general-purpose protective cases made of ABS plastic with cubed foam on the inside. Other storage ideas can be found in the customer project storing strong magnets.

Safety tips
Only use the portable solar panel when the camper van is parked. Always remove the solar panel and all magnets before driving. If the magnets or the foldable solar panel detach from your motor home while you are driving, you are endangering other motorists and road users. When renting a motorhome or camper van, please confirm with the rental company or owner that the attachment of magnets is permitted.

With an adhesive force of approx. 22 kg, the pot magnets used here belong to a group of magnets with a strong adhesive force. Be careful not to pinch your fingers when mounting the portable solar panel. This could lead to painful bruising. Please read the safety tips for neodymium magnets carefully in advance.

Practical uses of magnets for your car, camper van, motorhome or caravan
Rubberised pot magnets with M8 thread are also perfect for attaching a shade sail to camper vans when camping. You can find out more in the customer project Attaching a shade sail to the camper van. Other ideas for the use of magnets in motorhomes and cars can be found here:

If you would like to find out more about how you can optimise the use of magnets in your camper or motorhome, visit our FAQ on the use of magnets in camper vans / caravans.

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