Unfortunate truth about solar power
As with all things, RV solar power comes with its pros and cons. Before purchasing expensive solar panels for their roof, RVers should carefully weigh all factors.
The quieter, more environmentally-friendly RV solar power is better than using an generator. This is a great choice for those who want to camp off-grid. There are some things that RV solar power isn’t aware of.
The high price of solar power
High quality RV solar panel kits can be expensive. In recent years, prices have become a little more affordable. A good system for RV solar power can be quite expensive.
A few 100-watt panels can quickly add up. To store power, you will need deep-cycle solar cells and a charge controller to prevent them from overcharging. An inverter is needed to convert the DC power into AC power. After everything is done, you might be looking at an investment of $1500+
It can be a bit complicated to go off-grid.
It is more difficult than just pulling up to the campsite and connecting to shore power to set up your RV’s solar power. Before you buy anything, it is important to understand how much power your home uses each day. This will allow you to calculate how much power your panels require.
Ronnie Dennis, Do It Yourself shared a detailed guide that covers every step in the solar power setup.
- DIY Sunlight: What is it?
- How to Install a Solar Power System: What components will you need?
- DIY solar power: How much do you need?
- How to Install a Solar Panel System on Your Roof
- How to Install the Interior Components of a Solar Power System
A battery bank is essential
You don’t need to worry about power outages with shore power. You can plug in your laptop and coffee maker at the campsite once you have power. Your life is not affected by the weather or the time of day.
A battery bank is required if you have solar panel systems. These batteries can be used to provide power during the day, nighttime and for parking out of direct sunlight. Although they are more expensive than lead-acid, lithium-ion batteries are better options for solar energy storage. They are lighter and more compact than lead-acid batteries, and they last longer.
Parking in the shade can prove difficult
You might imagine your RV being parked in a shaded spot away from the scorching sun on a hot summer’s day. If your solar panels aren’t getting direct sunlight, however, they won’t produce nearly as much power.
You might get the best of both solar power options if you don’t require a lot of power. Because it doesn’t require drilling holes on your roof, it’s usually easier to set up. Renogy and Acopower make high-quality portable solar electric systems. To go with their solar panels, Goal Zero also makes portable electric power stations. They have an inverter built-in and outlets for electronics. Are you already using rooftop panels? You can make them portable with this simple mod from Do It Yourself RV
Is solar power really worth it?
While RV solar power does have its downsides, it is definitely worth the investment. It is expensive upfront but it allows you to be boondocking in public land instead of staying in an RV park with hookups.
It will pay off the initial investment, as you’ll be able to save camping fees and electricity costs. The solar power system is silent and easy to maintain.