Alternative Sources Of Power For Recreational Vehicle

It isn't likely that the first thing you think about when you need more electricity in your RV is solar panels. But consider how this could lower the operating costs substantially and make you very self-sufficient. Consider the options and then take a look at the current solar panel or solar generator kits out there and what they can do for you

Where Can I Get The Panels?

Solar panels or collectors are readily available online and through a lot of local businesses. In most cases, the panels sold in DIY kits and intended for homes can be adapted to work with your RV as well. In some cases, you can find kits that were built with RVs in mind but, more often than not, custom mounting brackets will have to be used to keep the panels secure on the roof of your RV.

Will Solar Collectors Work With My Electrical System?

The electricity stored in the batteries of the storage array for solar collectors is 12-volt, making it easy to use in a 12-volt RV. You will need to add some storage batteries to the unit if you wish to use solar power even after the sun has gone down. For home systems, there are inverters involved to turn the 12-volt power from the batteries into 110-volt current. While some of the accessories in an RV are 12-volt, you will still need to convert the power for use in electrical outlets and with appliances or other items requiring 110-volt house current.

 Weight and Durability

While adding anything to the top of an RV can be a concern, the weight of modern solar panels has lessened and mounting options are better so placing the collector on the roof is not really a big problem. Consider having a professional installer put the system together for you, even if you are using a DIY kit. The knowledge and experience that comes from a professional installer will result in a cleaner custom installation then if you do it yourself.

Maintaining Your Solar System

The solar electrical system does not require a lot of maintenance but you do need to check the batteries and service them regularly, clean the collector and check it for cracks or damage, and check to be sure the inverter in the system is turning the 12 volt power into 110 volts before it gets to the outlets.  Keeping all the components working properly will ensure that the entire system is ready when you need it.