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What’s The Deal With RV Solar?

If you’re an avid RV camper, you know how important it is to have a reliable source of power to keep your appliances and devices running while on the road. While traditional RV power sources such as generators and campground hookups are common, many campers are turning to solar power as a more sustainable and cost-effective option. However, selecting the right solar panel for your RV can be a daunting task with so many options available. In this blog post, we’ll explore some important factors to consider when selecting RV solar panels to ensure you choose the right option for your needs.

How Does a Solar System Work?

RV solar panels are designed to convert the energy from the sun into usable electrical power for your RV. The panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are made from silicon and other conductive materials. When sunlight hits the PV cells, it causes a flow of electrons, creating a direct current (DC) of electricity.

This DC power is then sent through wiring to a solar charge controller, which regulates the amount of power flowing into your RV’s battery system. The charge controller ensures that the batteries are not overcharged or undercharged, which can damage them.

The batteries are the powerhouse of your solar system – they collect all the energy from your solar panels and store it for use now or later. The larger the batteries you have, the more energy you are able to store!

Think Of A Rain Barrel

One helpful analogy for understanding the relationship between RV solar panels and batteries is to think of them like a rain barrel. Just as a rain barrel collects and stores rainwater for future use, your RV’s battery system stores the energy produced by your solar panels for later use.

Think of your solar panels as the rain – when the sun is shining, they collect energy and send it to your battery system just as rain fills up a barrel. The larger the solar panel array, the more energy you can collect, just as a larger rain barrel can store more water.

Your batteries, on the other hand, are like the rain barrel itself. Just as the rain barrel stores water until you need it, your battery system stores the energy produced by your solar panels until you need to use it to power your RV’s appliances and devices. The larger your battery bank, the more energy you can store for later use, just as a larger rain barrel can store more water for future use.

By understanding this analogy, you can see how important it is to have the right size solar panel array and battery bank for your RV’s needs. With the right combination, you can ensure that you have a reliable source of power for all your adventures on the road.

Portable vs. permanent

When it comes to RV solar panels, you have two main options: portable or permanently installed panels. Each option has its pros and cons, and choosing the right one for your needs depends on your camping style and energy requirements.

Portable solar panels are easy to transport and set up, making them a great choice for those who like to move around frequently. They can be positioned to capture the maximum amount of sunlight, which can be helpful in areas with limited sun exposure. Portable solar panels are also less expensive than permanent installations and can be easily replaced or upgraded as needed. However, they do require more manual labor to set up and take down, and they take up storage space inside your RV when not in use.

Permanent solar panel installations, on the other hand, are more convenient and efficient in the long run. They are usually mounted on the roof of your RV, so they are always positioned to capture the most sunlight. They require minimal maintenance and do not take up any storage space inside your RV. However, they are more expensive than portable panels and require professional installation, which can be an additional cost.

In summary, portable solar panels are more affordable, flexible, and easy to set up, but require more manual labor and storage space, and they aren’t generating any power until you set them up. Permanent installations are more efficient and convenient in the long run, but require a higher upfront cost and professional installation. Their main benefit is that they are always generating power when there is sunlight. Ultimately, your decision will depend on your budget, camping style, and energy requirements.

Do I Need An Inverter

An RV inverter is an electrical device that converts DC (direct current) power from your RV’s battery bank into AC (alternating current) power that can be used to run your RV’s appliances and devices. Most RVs come with a built-in inverter, but you can also purchase a separate inverter to upgrade your system.

When your RV is connected to shore power or running a generator, your appliances and devices run on AC power. However, when you’re boondocking or using solar power, you need an inverter to convert the DC power from your battery bank into AC power. Inverters come in different sizes and capacities, and it’s important to choose one that can handle the wattage of your appliances and devices.

Some RV inverters also include a built-in charger, which can recharge your RV’s batteries when connected to shore power or a generator. This can be a convenient way to keep your battery bank charged and ready to use.

Overall, an RV inverter is an essential component of any off-grid or solar-powered RV setup. It allows you to use AC power from your battery bank to power your appliances and devices, making it possible to enjoy all the comforts of home while on the road.

We’re Here To Help

If you’re looking to upgrade your RV with a solar panel, battery, or inverter, Edmonton RV Service is here to help. Our team of experienced technicians can guide you through the process of selecting the right components for your specific needs, from choosing the right solar panel size and battery capacity to selecting the right inverter for your appliances and devices. We can also provide professional installation and maintenance to ensure that your RV solar system runs smoothly and efficiently.

At Edmonton RV Service, we’re committed to helping our customers get the most out of their RVs. Whether you’re looking to go off-grid or just want to reduce your reliance on shore power, our team can help you find the right solution for your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more about our RV solar services and how we can help you enjoy your RV to the fullest.