When I first started using my RV for weekend trips, I realized that it is very important to have some juice in the home battery at all times. Nearly everything you use on your RV requires power and all these things can drain your home battery very quickly. Even the TV on standby will drain your battery in a few days.
During the weekdays, when I didn’t use my RV, I removed the fuses from the fuse box to conserve battery power. With solar panels that will no longer be necessary. With just one or two solar panels, you can keep your battery charged and still use the appliances you need for your trip.
Having solar panels allows you to camp in places that don’t have electricity. If you’ve ever been in a situation where your RV battery died while you were camping, you know how frustrating and inconvenient it can be. You can’t even turn on your propane heater without 12 Volt.
Always keep your battery charged
Properly installed solar panels can benefit your RV in two ways. First, they can be used for a trickle charge to your home battery when it’s sitting for long periods of time without use. This will prevent a dead battery and damage to the battery from sitting too long while dead. The second benefit is using solar panels as your main source of power to run most things in your RV. For your AC and power outlets, you will still need to use your generator (if you have one). With solar panels and the occasional use of a generator, for when solar light is lacking, you can camp remotely for extended periods of time.
Camp remotely for extended periods of time
A solar panel will come with a controller that shows when the panel is charging. Installation isn’t too difficult and can be done by most who are handy, in a couple of hours. Those who aren’t inclined toward mechanics can hire a professional or RV dealer to install the panels.
I bought WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel kit, took it to Camping World and it cost me around $400 to install. The reason why it is so expensive is that all cables inside need to be installed seamlessly while connected to the solar panel. The controller inside is connected to your home battery. My control panel was installed inside a cabinet. I wanted it elsewhere but I was told it would be more work. The kit included everything I needed. If you are installing it yourself, you probably will need to buy some extra cables. The cable in the kit is most likely not long enough. Once you’re able to use your solar panels, it’s likely you’ll wonder how you ever camped without them.