Solar Power: Your RV can use it!

RV Solar Power Panels.

Rooftop mounted solar panels.

Having an RV is a great way to travel around the country with family and love ones. It is basically a mobile house but minus some of the electrical appliances you use every day…but not many.

An RV uses only a small amount of power hence it has a limited on board power source. Therefore, you cannot run multiple electronic gadgets at the same time using the existing power source or supply or it will drain the battery very fast. You would not want to be stranded by the side of the road just because your battery went dead.

To increase the power supply on an RV, many people are opting to installing a solar power kit on their vehicle. Unfortunately, these type of portable solar kits are quite expensive. A typical 330 watt system can cost upwards of $2800! However, that could be money well spent.

To save cost, you can actually make the RV solar system via a Do it Yourself (DIY) approach. The setup is quite simple with only 4 major components which are the solar panels, charge controller, battery units and power inverter.

The function of the solar panel is to collect the energy from the sun and converts it to electric current. This is done by using a semi-conductor material known as Photovoltaic (PV) cells.

You can purchase good quality solar panel from most hardware stores. For an RV, you may have to bolt the panels on the roof of the vehicle making sure it is secure. Having those panels flying off  your RV when traveling at high-speed is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation. Not to mention who ever is behind you.

The solar panel array on the roof of the RV will be connected to the charge controller. The charge controller will take the electric current generated to charge a series of batteries. The type of battery most suitable for solar system is marine type or deep cycle battery. This kind of battery is more durable and can be discharged to a very low-level without damaging the internal components. For an RV, 4 – 6 units of battery will be more than enough to fulfill the power needs.

Since all deep cycle battery can only store Direct Current (DC), the power inverter will be used to convert the DC to Alternate Current (AC). Most modern electrical equipment are designed to run on AC.

How much would it cost to make the solar system for your RV on your own? All of the parts can be purchased from major hardware stores. If you do your shopping during bargain or discount period, the whole setup can be built with a budget of less than $1,300.

If you are not much of a do it your-selfer. And want to let qualified technicians install your solar panels or a whole RV solar-powered system, look no further than your Central Pennsylvania RV Dealer. We will gladly help guide you in the your search for renewable RV power.