The RV Insider
Tips for Using Solar Panels for Your RV
Looking to reduce your energy consumption in your RV? Have you considered solar panels? Check out these tips to get you started.
Calculate Your Power Needs
First, look at your daily use. Do you need to power laptops and televisions, or do you spend most of your time outside? Do you want to be 100% self-sufficient? By finding out the exact power you need will ensure that you purchase the right number of solar panels.
Flat or Curved Panels
There are differences between flat and curved panels. While it is lighter and more expensive, curved is more aerodynamic for the road whereas flat panels are more durable. It all comes down to budget.
Invest in a Good Battery
No matter how big or small your solar system will be, you need a battery that will accumulate the strength you need when collecting energy from the sun. It is suggested that you use a battery that can support you for 3 or 4 days without having to recharge.
Buy a Controller
A solar charge controller prevents you from overcharging your batteries, because it controls the power moving from the panels to your battery storage.
It’s important to make sure you can run your appliances; this means all systems should be compatible. You might need to buy a power inverter depending on the difference in voltage between the batteries and your electronics.
Connect to Shore Power
With an inverter for your battery, you can charge on-shore power if needed. If your RV is equipped for shore power, you will always be prepared in case your solar system has issues.