Travelling by RV can be a truly liberating experience. It allows you to hit the road and explore new places on your own terms, without the need to worry about schedules, flight times or hotel bookings. However, travelling by RV can also be challenging, especially when it comes to energy consumption. You need to have a reliable source of power to keep your lights on, charge your electronics, run your appliances, and keep your fridge and freezer cold. That’s where RV solar panels come in.
RV solar panels are a great way to power your RV off-grid. They capture the energy from the sun and convert it into usable electricity, allowing you to power your RV appliances and devices without the need for a generator or plugging into an electrical outlet. Not only is this more eco-friendly, but it can also save you money in the long run by reducing your reliance on paid campsites with electrical hookups.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how RV solar panels can change your travelling experience for the better. We’ll explore the benefits of RV solar panels, what to consider when choosing a solar panel system, and how to install and maintain your RV solar panels.
Benefits of RV Solar Panels
- Cost Savings
One of the biggest advantages of RV solar panels is the cost savings they provide. When you’re travelling by RV, you have two options for power: a generator or an electrical hookup. Generators can be noisy and require fuel, which can be costly over time. Electrical hookups are usually only available at paid campsites, which can also be expensive. With RV solar panels, you can generate your own power for free, wherever you are. This means you can save money on fuel, campsites, and generator maintenance over time.
Another benefit of RV solar panels is that they’re eco-friendly. By using the energy from the sun, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and helping to preserve the environment. Plus, you’re not contributing to noise pollution, which is especially important when camping in natural areas.
RV solar panels also offer convenience. Once they’re installed, you don’t need to worry about fuel or electrical hookups. You can park your RV anywhere you like and still have access to power. This gives you more flexibility in choosing your campsite and allows you to travel off-grid for longer periods of time.
- Better Battery Life
RV solar panels can also extend the life of your RV batteries. When you’re running your appliances and devices off your RV batteries, they can drain quickly. This means you need to recharge them often, which can shorten their lifespan. With RV solar panels, you’re constantly generating power, which means your batteries will last longer and require less maintenance.
Choosing a Solar Panel System
When choosing a solar panel system for your RV, there are a few things to consider:
- Power Needs
The first thing to consider is your power needs. How much power do you need to run your appliances and devices? Make a list of everything you need to power, including your fridge, lights, TV, laptop, and any other devices. This will give you an idea of how much power you need to generate.
- Panel Size
The next thing to consider is the size of the solar panels. The larger the panels, the more power they’ll generate. However, larger panels can be more difficult to install and may not fit on all RV roofs. Consider the size and shape of your RV roof and choose panels that will fit comfortably.
You’ll also need an inverter to convert the DC power generated by your solar panels into AC power that can be used by your appliances and devices. Make sure you choose an inverter that’s compatible with your RV and can Battery Capacity
Finally, consider the capacity of your RV batteries. Your solar panel system should be able to generate enough power to charge your batteries fully each day, and your batteries should be able to store enough power to run your appliances and devices overnight.
Installing and Maintaining Your RV Solar Panels
Once you’ve chosen your solar panel system, it’s time to install it. Here are the steps to follow:
- Choose a Location Choose a location on your RV roof where you want to install your solar panels. This should be a spot that gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day and is free from shade.
- Install Mounting Brackets
Install mounting brackets on your RV roof to secure the solar panels in place. Make sure the brackets are sturdy and can withstand wind and vibrations while you’re driving.
- Install Panels
Install the solar panels on the mounting brackets, making sure they’re securely fastened in place.
- Install Wires
Connect the solar panels to your inverter using wires. Make sure the wires are properly insulated and protected from the elements.
- Test Your System
Test your solar panel system to make sure it’s generating power and sending it to your batteries and inverter.
To maintain your RV solar panels, keep them clean and free from debris that could block sunlight. Check your system regularly to make sure it’s working properly, and replace any damaged or worn-out components as needed.
In conclusion, RV solar panels are a game-changer when it comes to off-grid travel. They provide a reliable source of power that’s eco-friendly, cost-effective, and convenient. By choosing the right solar panel system for your RV and following the installation and maintenance steps, you can enjoy the benefits of RV solar power on all your adventures. Happy travels!