Harnessing the Power of the Sun: Effortlessly Add Solar to Your RV

Installing a solar system on an RV can be a significant undertaking, but what if we made it super simple?  Check this RV Pro Tip out about adding a Solar Generator to your RV gear!

To install a traditional solar system on an RV, you would need several pieces of equipment. Here is a brief list of what you would be looking at:

  • Solar panels: These are the devices that convert sunlight into electricity. You will need enough panels to generate the amount of power you need to run your RV’s appliances and electronics.
  • Charge controller: This device regulates the amount of power that flows from the solar panels to the batteries, ensuring that they are not overcharged or undercharged.
  • Battery bank: This is where the power generated by the solar panels is stored for later use. You will need enough batteries to store the amount of power you need to run your RV’s appliances and electronics.
  • Inverter: This device converts the DC power from the batteries into AC power that can be used to power your RV’s appliances and electronics.
  • Mounting hardware: You will need mounting brackets and hardware to securely attach the solar panels to your RV’s roof.
  • Wiring and connectors: You will need wiring to connect the solar panels, charge controller, battery bank, and inverter. You will also need connectors to ensure a secure and reliable connection.
  • Monitoring system: It’s a good idea to install a monitoring system to keep track of the performance of your solar system and ensure that everything is functioning properly.

It’s important to note that the specific equipment you need will depend on the size and type of solar system you are installing and the power needs of your RV. So the cost could range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand for a large system.

Enter today’s Portable Solar Generator—almost a plug-and-play solution.

The capability of portable solar systems seems to be expanding every day.  These systems are typically self-contained (with all the equipment mentioned above – excluding panels) and can be used on your camping adventures or other outings, even in emergency situations.

AC200Max
Bluetti AC200Max

Some of today’s solar generators have a 30 AMP RV plug  (like the Bluetti AC200 Max) and can be daisy chained with additional batteries for up to 600+ AH of power!!!  These portable systems can offer several benefits for camping in an RV or for other outdoor activities. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Renewable energy source: A solar generator is powered by sunlight, which is a renewable energy source. This means that you don’t need to rely on fossil fuels or grid power to charge the generator, which can be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
  • Portable power: A solar generator is typically compact and easy to move, so you can take it with you wherever you go. This can be especially useful if you’re camping in remote locations or if you need power for outdoor events or activities.
  • Versatility: Many solar generators offer multiple power outlets and can be used to power a variety of devices, including phones, laptops, lights, and even appliances like refrigerators or electric stoves.  They can even run ACs for short periods of time.
  • Backup power: A solar generator can serve as a backup power source in case of a power outage or other emergency situations. This can be particularly important if you’re camping in an area where power outages are common or if you need power for medical equipment or other critical devices.
  • Quiet operation: Unlike a gas-powered generator, a solar generator is typically much quieter, which can be important if you’re camping in a quiet area or if you want to avoid disturbing your neighbors.

While portable solar generators solve 90% of the problem, you still need a way to collect solar power.  There are three main types of solar panels RV’er may want to consider:

  • Monocrystalline solar panels: These panels are made from single-crystal silicon and are highly efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. They are known for their durability and can provide power in a small space, making them a popular choice for RVs.

Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Starter Kit with 2 Pcs 100W Solar Panel and 30A PWM Charge Controller for RV, Boats, Trailer, Camper, Marine ,Off-Grid System

Amazon.com
  • Polycrystalline solar panels: These panels are made from multiple small silicon crystals and are less efficient than monocrystalline panels but are more affordable. They are a good choice for RV owners who want to generate power without breaking the bank.

Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100W 12V High Efficiency Module RV Marine Boat Off Grid

★★★★★
Amazon.com
  • Thin-film solar panels: These panels are made by depositing a thin layer of photovoltaic material on a substrate, making them lightweight and flexible. They are less efficient than crystalline panels but can be installed on curved surfaces, making them a great choice for RVs with unique shapes or sizes.

DOKIO Semi-Flexible Solar Panel 100W 12V Bendable Thin Film Monocrystalline Lightweight(4.9lb) for Caravan RV Boat Camper Trailer

Amazon.com

Deciding which solar panels to pair with your solar generator are key to getting the most out of your system. Cost, weight, and installation method should also be considered.

When you begin to do the math on capability vs. cost for solar generators, in certain cases, the more simple solution will give you the most bang for the buck.  Of course, if your needs are for large-capacity systems, the portable option may be a few years off, and a permanent install may be a better fit.

Overall, a solar generator can offer a convenient, portable, and renewable source of power for camping, outdoor activities, and even emergency situations.

RVPro
RVPro

I'm Jay, the founder of RV Pro Source. I'm a Certified NRVIA Inspector and an RVTAA Registered RV Tech. I utilized these qualifications and first-hand experience to offer insight, advice, and services that cater to all RV owners.

Got an RV question? Don't hesitate to reach out to me via my social media platforms. I'm always here to help guide your RV journey!

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