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RV Solar Power

You may want to consider RV solar power if you plan on "roughing it" in your RV (staying away from RV lots).


Many people use generators or wind turbines but here are five reasons for taking advantage of solar power on your recreational vehicle:

1. RV's already run on DC (direct current) so you don't need an inverter to change your DC solar power to AC (alternating current)

2. Solar power is quieter than a fuel or wind-driven generator

3. The solar panels will fit on the roof of your RV

4. A solar panel array can match the power you would get from a small propane or gas generator

5. You can move your RV to capture the best solar radiation available

Those sound like some pretty good reasons to put a few solar panels on top of your recreational vehicle. It's not all bubble gum and sunshine, however, there are a few things you should be aware of.

Now let's take a look at a few of the potential dark spots that you might run into when taking advantage of RV solar power:

  • RV air conditioners are "power hogs". You may need a generator to provide enough AC (alternating current) for your AC (air conditioner)
  • Microwaves also use AC (alternating current) so an inverter may be required
  • Only buy a marine or RV-rated inverter because inverters for home use will shut down without a static ground
  • You might want to purchase tilt mounts to increase your solar panel efficiency. This would require you getting up on the roof of your RV to adjust the tilt mounts when required.

Your best option for harnessing the sun's power on the road could be an RV solar electric kit which includes:

  • A solar panel with mounting hardware
  • A charge controller (to regulate the charge to the batteries)
  • Wiring
  • An Inverter (optional)

Here are a few Solar RV kits to check out:

  • Go Power! by Carmanah
    • The "Solar Elite" system features 220 Watts of power and a 2000 Watt inverter
    • The "Weekender SW" system features 110 Watts and a 1500 Watt inverter
  • SunWize
    • SWRV-115 (115 Watts)
    • SWRV-80 (80 Watts)
    • SWRV-55 (55 Watts)

For other solar power options for your RV check out our pages on the following:

If you're wondering weather RV solar panels are worth the upfront investment of cash required, here's something to keep in mind: Why did you get into RVing in the first place?

Most likely it had something to do with the peaceful feeling you get when you're enjoying the sights and sounds of nature in the great outdoors. What contributes more to your peaceful, easy feeling: Shouting over the racket and fumes of a diesel generator or harnessing the silent, clean, and abundant power of the sun?

Solar power offers a lot of ways to pack a portable power punch on the road. See how you can put the sun to work in your RV.



Return from "RV Solar Power" to "Portable Solar Power"



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