How to Choose RV Solar Panels for Going Off-Grid

how to choose rv solar panels for going off grid

Did you know that more than 11 million people in the United States currently own an RV? And, today, RV solar panels are becoming a standard feature in RVs.

RV solar panels can help you power the amenities and fixtures that make your RV seem like a true home away from home. Many campers are aware of using RV solar panels but are wary of the cost. So, before we get into the nitty-gritty, you may be wondering if they’re worth it.

Installing RV solar panels allows you to travel outside of the conventional campgrounds. Read this post to learn all you need to know.

What are RV solar panels and why use them?

RV solar panels turn sunlight into power. The sunrays hit the solar panels, producing electricity. The electricity flows through a charge controller, regulating the battery’s charge. Batteries create DC electricity, which an inverter converts to AC power. It’s  AC electricity that allows you to use your appliances etc.

For most RVers, there are two significant reasons to use solar panels. One is solar power slowly charges your batteries. This is how batteries are designed to be charged, maximizing battery life.

Two, to supply electrical power wherever you are.

Benefits of RV solar panels

Installing a solar-powered system to your RV, such as with Blue Raven Solar installation, has several advantages. Let’s go over some of them:

  • The source of power is virtually limitless
  • It’s environmentally friendly
  • RV solar systems require little to no upkeep.
  • RV solar panels can help you get more life out of your battery
  • It allows you to travel in natural and remote surroundings

While RV solar panels are not required, they do provide several advantages. Installing RV solar panels may let you pull the plug, so to speak, and travel off-grid.

How many solar panels do I need on an RV?

A typical RVer will bring 1 to 3 100-watt solar panels on their trip. Each peak-sun-hour can generate approximately six amps, resulting in around 30 amp-hours per day when used correctly.

It goes without saying that a small travel trailer consuming 30 amps will not require the installation of as many solar panels as a bigger RV truck.

The RV Solar Panel System

Installing an RV solar system isn’t as straightforward as sticking some panels on the roof of your RV, and voila. Even by just purchasing some portable solar panels. There is other equipment required, such as a  controller and an inverter. To save the day, there is a choice of purchasing an RV solar panel kit.

Essentially, the RV solar panels connect to a solar charge controller. This controller then directs the energy generated by your panels to the onboard battery system. It’s termed a “controller” because it controls the amount of energy that reaches the battery not to overload it.

After that, the inverter converts the energy from DC to AC power, allowing you to use all of your onboard appliances and electronics. But, first, let’s look at the basic parts needed for your RV solar panel system. 

First thing’s first. Your solar panels. They are available in various sizes, and you can even add more later.

Secondly, you are going to need a charge controller. This controller is responsible for controlling the flow of electricity to your batteries.

Then you will need a battery monitor. This monitor measures your battery levels. Next, add an inverter that converts the DC power from your RV solar panels into AC power. Last but not least, a wire harness to help carry the power from the panels to the batteries.

Keep On Rolling!

RV solar panels are an excellent complement to your RV ownership. They will not only help you to enhance your camping experience, but they are also beneficial to our environment and will save you money down the road, pardon the pun!  

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