How to Use Solar Panels to Power Your RV

A white RV icon on a green background

Solar energy currently accounts for only a small percentage of the electricity produced around the world, but the use of solar panels is growing exponentially. Consider that from 2014 to 2015, more solar panels were installed in the US than in the preceding 38 years combined. The current 480,000 solar systems across the US generate enough electricity to power roughly 2.4 million homes.

But permanent dwellings aren’t the only things solar panels can power. In fact, many outdoor enthusiasts use solar panels to power their RVs. The biggest benefit of this alternative power method is the ability to enjoy electricity in the middle of nowhere. In this way, solar panels offer off-grid flexibility to allow for travel anywhere in the world without giving up conveniences such as lighting, battery-charging capabilities and kitchen appliances in your RV.

Here’s a more in-depth look at RV solar panels and the benefits of using this alternative power method.

How Solar Panels Power RVs

The ability to carry around an endless power source on top of your RV opens up a world of possibilities. RV solar panels can range from a very basic setup used to power a handful of electrical devices to an extreme setup complete with solar power storage to avoid ever using a generator again, even at night.

Solar panels can power just about everything you need in your RV. The amount of power available to you depends on solar panel capacity and whether you have a battery for energy storage purposes. Examples of things solar panels can power include:

  • Lights
  • Fans
  • TVs
  • Cell phone and laptop batteries
  • Electric kitchen appliances, including blenders, kettles and microwaves

Benefits of RV Solar Panels

Solar RVing has many benefits that can take your outdoor lifestyle to a whole new level. Consider the top advantages of RV solar panels compared to traditional power methods:

  • Stop worrying about electric hookups: Have you ever pulled into an RV park with an electric hookup that’s faulty, prone to surges or not compatible with your RV? Worse yet is when a campground doesn’t even offer electric hookups. These problems disappear when you generate your own electricity with RV solar panels.
  • Stop relying on gas-powered generators: In a pinch, generators are better than nothing, but they produce environmentally harmful fumes and create a potential fire hazard. They’re also noisy, cumbersome and require frequent refueling. Solar panels, on the other hand, generate electricity safely, cleanly and silently. This is good news for the environment, your health and your ability to fully enjoy time out in nature.
  • Enjoy free power: Purchasing RV solar panels and all the necessary accessories such as cables, fuses, batteries and mounting hardware requires an upfront investment, but once you power your RV with solar panels, they begin to pay for themselves. After breaking even in just a few years, your solar panels start putting money back in your pocket.
  • Forget about maintenance: Put the time and money you oncespent maintaining your generator toward something else once you switch to RV solar panels. These are so maintenance-free that an occasional dusting is all you need to worry about.
  • Extend the life of your RV battery: Like car batteries, RV batteries need to recharge gradually and shouldn’t be allowed to discharge lower than 25 percent capacity. With the right setup, your RV solar panels can recharge the battery to help extend its lift.

For more information about choosing RV solar panels and benefiting from this alternative energy source, please contact Mr. Electric® today. We offer different types of solar energy systems to meet your outdoor lifestyle needs.


For Further Reading:

10 Ways Solar Panels Benefit Your Home

How Do Solar Panels Work?

5 Decorative Deck Lighting Options

It’s Time for an Electrical Safety Inspection