Why Install Solar Panels On Your RV – Is it worth it?

Last Updated on February 12, 2024

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Key Takeaways:

  • Battery Management: It’s crucial to maintain power in your RV’s battery, as almost everything in your RV requires electricity. Even items on standby, like the TV, can drain the battery.
  • Solar Panels: Installing one or two 100W solar panels can keep your battery charged during periods of non-use and power light appliances during your trip, eliminating the need to remove fuses from the fuse box during weekdays.
  • Energy Independence: Solar panels liberate you from traditional power sources, providing sustainable electricity wherever you go, whether at a remote campsite or exploring uncharted territories.
  • Cost Savings: While the initial investment may seem significant, solar panels offer long-term financial benefits by reducing or eliminating the need for expensive campground hookups or generator fuel.
  • Environmental Benefits: Solar power is eco-friendly, reducing carbon footprints and eliminating noise pollution associated with traditional generators.
  • Extended Boondocking: Solar panels enable off-grid adventures, allowing you to camp in secluded areas without power hookups, extending your boondocking capabilities.
  • Quiet and Maintenance-Free: Unlike generators, solar panels operate silently and require minimal upkeep, enhancing your camping experience.
  • Battery Maintenance: Solar panels can trickle charge your battery during periods of inactivity, preventing damage and prolonging its lifespan.
  • Cost of Installation: Installing a solar panel kit may cost around $400, including installation fees, but offers long-term benefits and enhances your camping experience.

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. Check Price

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 100W solar panels, you can keep your battery charged and still use some of the light 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 some 12 Volt power.

If you want to set up your own solar system and you don’t know where to start, ask my friend Dan, who is an expert when it comes to RV Solar Systems.

solar kit Energy Independence:

When you install solar panels on your RV, you liberate yourself from the traditional constraints of relying solely on hookups or generators for electricity. The sun becomes your trusted companion, supplying you with a sustainable source of power. Whether you are parked at a remote campsite or traversing through uncharted territories, solar panels ensure that your electrical needs are met, granting you the freedom to roam without worrying about running out of power.

Cost Savings:

While the initial investment in solar panels may seem significant, it is a smart financial move in the long run. By generating your electricity, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate the need to rely on expensive campground hookups or costly generator fuel. As the sun’s energy is free, you’ll witness substantial savings over time, allowing you to allocate your hard-earned money towards more enjoyable aspects of your RV lifestyle.


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Environment and noise pollution

In an era when sustainability and reducing carbon footprints are paramount, embracing solar power in your RV is an eco-friendly choice. Solar panels still need lots of energy to make, but at least you won’t have any harmful emissions or noise pollution when you camp.

Extended Boondocking Opportunities:

For those who relish off-grid adventures and boondocking, solar panels are a game-changer. Instead of limiting your stays to campgrounds with power hookups, solar panels allow you to venture further off the beaten path. Experience the tranquility of secluded wilderness, embrace the beauty of untouched landscapes, and revel in the solitude that comes with being self-sufficient in power. Solar panels extend your boondocking capabilities, opening up a world of possibilities for exploration and immersion in nature.

Quiet and Maintenance-Free Operation:

Compared to traditional generators which can be noisy and require regular maintenance, solar panels operate silently and without moving parts. Once installed, they require minimal upkeep, allowing you to focus on enjoying your travels rather than dealing with the hassles of generator maintenance and fuel refills. Simply bask in the serenity of your surroundings while knowing that your solar panels are quietly powering your RV.

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 outlet (if you don’t have an inverter), you will still need to use your generator (if you have one). With solar panels and the occasional use of a generator, when solar is lacking, you can camp remotely for longer.

My first solar kit 

solar-panel-control-panelCheck PriceI bought 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.

Last update on 2024-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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