The Basics of Using Solar for Your RV

Powering your RV is a great way to camp in comfort, no matter where you’re parked

Imagine cruising through your favorite parks on a scenic road trip in your RV. Do you picture yourself with guidebooks, maps, and scrolling through your phone to locate a campground?

Plan to locate and reserve camping spots can take up a lot of time. For many RV travelers, the spontaneity of RV life is half the fun. If you enjoy hopping in your RV and seeing where the road takes you, don’t let a lack of power hookups drag you down.

If you don’t want to be dependent on finding space at a campground, consider powering your RV with solar power. With solar power, you can use the amenities in your RV no matter where you are.

The benefits of solar power

There are a lot of perks to outfitting your RV with solar power. Some of these include: · Quiet. Solar power is quiet, especially compared to other “off-the-grid” power methods like generators. Using solar won’t disrupt your peace and quiet while you camp. You and your neighbors will be thankful not to hear the loud rumbling of a generator at night while you try to sleep.

· Clean. Solar is clean energy, which is great for the environment and easy to upkeep. There are no fuels, fumes, or difficult to clean parts on solar panels.

· Easy. Along with providing clean energy, solar panels are generally easy to use. You won’t have to think about them too much – when it’s sunny out, your panels are harnessing energy.

· Freedom. Solar power gives you freedom. You can go anywhere and camp anywhere when you aren’t dependent on hookups to power your RV.

Solar power is an investment

The most important thing to keep in mind when considering solar power for your RV is the cost. While it is easy and efficient to soak up the sun’s rays for energy, getting a system installed can be expensive.

The sun’s energy may be free, but solar systems aren’t! There are several parts to a complete solar system. These include:

· Solar panels
· Charger and battery
· Monitoring and controlling devices
· Installation labor cost

Prices and systems vary but outfitting your RV with a solar system will generally run you a few thousand dollars. If your primary goal is to save money and travel frugally, then campgrounds with hookups will almost certainly be cheaper.

If you love boondocking (dry camping away from campgrounds), then a solar system for your RV might be a great thing for you.

But, if you like to stay in populated areas with lots of options for camping, make sure solar is worth the investment.

Is solar power right for you?

How do you know if it makes sense to use solar? Start by thinking about the type of camping you enjoy most.

If you camp a few times a year or on long, holiday weekends, staying at campgrounds with hookups may be the better choice.

On the other hand, if you love boondocking in remote locations or RV full-time, spending extended periods of time at campgrounds may not be the cheapest and best option. For full-time RVers, solar power can be a wise long-term investment, resulting in untold savings over the life of the RV.

The next thing to consider is the size of your RV and the number of appliances you’ll need to power.

If you have a big RV that uses a lot of energy, you’ll need a big system to power everything. Even with a great solar energy system in place, you may not be able to power big appliances like an air conditioner – this is something you may need a small gas generator for.

If the benefits of freedom and easy, clean, energy outweigh the expense, then you’ll know solar power is right for you!

In the end, solar power can be a great option for anyone who wants to boondock, RV full-time, or not be bound by planning and campsite reservations. If that sounds like you, solar energy is the way to go.

Are you thinking about installing solar power in your recreational vehicle? Use this guide to using solar power in your RV. If you need more tips on enjoying your RV adventure, reach out to RV Advisor today to become a member.