If you are interested in solar power RV tech, this article is for you. Here we are going to explain what kind of solar panels are suitable for use with a caravan or motor caravan. We will also give you an overview of how to make sure that you buy a good quality alternative power system that will last and be reliable.
Why Consider Solar for Your Recreational Vehicle
Before we get into the nitty gritty here are some of the reasons to consider investing in a solar kit for your recreational vehicle:
Without a doubt, you will save money if you use solar panels when you camp. Campsites charge far more per Kw than you would have to pay per Kw for electricity at home.
This means that it takes far less time to cover the initial investment in solar panels than it does if you were to buy a domestic system for your home. The more you travel the bigger your savings will be and the faster you will get your money back and start to save cash.
The cost of power is only going to go one way, and that is up. Therefore, the sooner you start harnessing the power of the sun the more you will save.
You can use the money you save to travel more and to go further afield. Solar power gives you the freedom to camp in all sorts of places that you would never have been able to consider before.
Not only is it nice to have the extra freedom it is great not to have to pay so much when you camp. You have the option to wild or dry camp, in the areas that allow it, or use the cheaper, smaller rural sites when you really want to get away from things.
Help the Environment
Solar energy is one of the greenest available. If you love the great outdoors and want to do your part to look after the environment, switching to solar is a great way to do it.
Easy to Install
Solar systems for RVs are extremely easy to install. It is very much a DIY job, so you will not have to pay expensive labour costs.
Quieter and Cleaner than a Generator
If you currently use a generator, you will appreciate that sometimes they can be very noisy. Solar power is clean, silent and there is no need to carry loose cans of fuel.
Cheaper to Buy than a Generator
Many people think that solar panels for RVs are expensive. In the past, this was defiantly the case, but advances in solar panel manufacturing have brought the prices down.
You can buy basic panels for as little as $100, which is less than you would pay for a generator. Naturally, these small panels do not generate a lot of power, but if all you want is a backup for dry camping a couple of small panels should do the trick.
An Overview of Solar Panels for Recreational Vehicles
There are two main types of RV solar. They are fitted and mobile or occasional systems. Fitted solar systems are normally built into the roof of RVs. Mobile systems can be set up anywhere.
Both kinds of systems have their merits. Here is an overview of each of them along with an overview of the pros and cons of each kind.
Fixed Vs Mobile RV Solar Systems
Fixed systems tend to be more expensive than mobile systems. However, they will normally generate more power than mobile panels. This is because the size of the panels is usually bigger.
On average, a panel that is in direct sunlight will generate about 1KW of power per square meter. Fixed systems can be bought that cover the entire roof. However, you have to bear in mind how much sunlight the panels get depends on where you are parked in relation to the sun.
Because the solar panels are built into the body of the vehicle, they are far less likely to be stolen than mobile versions. Some people set up their mobile panels on the floor next to their vehicle, which means if they go out they need to bring the panels in or risk them being stolen.
Tips for Buying RV Solar Kits
Now you know a bit more about the differences between mobile and fixed panels we are going to explain what you should be looking for when you buy a solar kit for your RV.
Is the Solar Kit Powerful Enough
When buying a solar power system you need to think about what you are going to use the power that it generates. If you just want to run the lights, a small TV, and charge a couple of e-readers a 100 watt system will do the trick. On the other hand, if you want to run everything in your RV on electric, the fridge, cooker and heating you will need an 800-watt system.
You need to buy your system from a trusted source. Doing so will ensure that you buy good quality panels that have a guarantee, and importantly one that will be honoured.
If you are travelling a lot and are going to be heavily reliant on your RV solar panel, you need to consider buying a system that includes a monitoring component. That way if your panel starts to fail or needs servicing you will know about it early because the power generation monitor will tell you that the panel is no longer working efficiently.
If you want a good quality RV solar panel kit, we recommend that you take a look at this system. It is competitively priced and is made by an established firm with a good reputation.