Installing an RV Solar Power System is one of the Big Ticket items that
is worth every penny!
Considering the ever increasing price of fuel it really is a no brainer. Not to mention the reduction or even elimination of the wear and tear on the RV generator itself!
A fairly common "irritation" out in the woods, for many RVers, is the RV "neighbor" who serenades us with the never ending drone of their RV generator.
Cut your neighbors a break and install an solar power system on your home on wheels!
With a properly designed and installed RV solar power system you can greatly reduce or even eliminate the demand to run a generator. Many times you will find that a properly sized solar panel array will provide sufficient power so that you rarely need to even fire up ol' squeal and belch to top off your RV battery bank.
(many folks feel the RV battery bank should be brought to full charge on a daily basis to maximize longevity)
Some say that the installation is a fairly straight forward thing, and that any handy person should be able to install all the related equipment.
However, although I prefer to do the majority of the work on my own RV, this is one time where I am a bit intimidated by the technology! I mean, hook up a wire wrong and a $2000 inverter goes PPPPPFFFFFFFFTTT ! and I would not be a pleasant fella to be around!
I have lined up a qualified mentor to help with my installation!
There is quite a bit involved. RV solar panels and their mounting racks need to be installed on the roof. Wiring then needs to be run down to the charge controller, the inverter and any power monitors you might choose to use. Wiring of the proper gauge needs to be run from the inverter to your battery bank. The RV battery bank! You'll need to significantly enlarge and upgrade your factory RV battery bank for a proper system.
The foundation of the whole system, in my opinion, is the RV battery bank. It doesn't matter how much solar power you collect if you lack sufficient capacity to store that power until you need it. Insufficient RV battery storage capacity will have you firing up your generator regularly to supply that little bit extra needed to top off the battery bank!
There is a bit of a tradeoff in there. Does it make more sense to simply buy gas, pay for maintenance and run Ol' Squeal and Belch? (RV generator) or does the silence, convenience, minimal maintenance, negligible operating cost and long term durability of RV solar power outweigh its higher up front cost?
For me, the fact that 5, 10 or more years down the road those solar panels are still going to be silently charging my RV batteries makes the choice for me. How many hundereds of gallons of generator fuel and how many generators would I need to buy to keep up with those solar panels?
Only the RV batteries commonly need replacement and those commonly, with proper care will last up to and sometimes over 5 years.
RV solar power is a system which I do not consider to be a luxury for RV boondockers or RV fulltimers.
The following articles will fill you in on the system we are installing on our current RV.
Solar Power Installation TAX CREDIT!
The Installation of our Solar Power System!
Correcting an Improper Solar Panel layout
RV Battery Bank for RV Boondocking
I had to replace our faulty RV Battery Cables
Ben Jensen Books
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