A Guide to Solar Systems for RVs

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In late 2021, 72 million Americans said they planned to take an RV trip in 2022. There’s been the “RV life” trend, which is where people pack up everything they own and hit the road, often as digital nomads.

If this sounds like a wonderful life to you, then you might be thinking of embarking on this adventure. But not only do you need to get an RV, but you also have to think about how you’ll power your appliances.

Many RV owners are turning to solar systems for RVs, which are eco-friendly!

If you’re interested, then read on for a brief guide on solar power for RVs.

Determine How Much Power You Need

Many RV owners mistakenly think they need to focus on the number of solar panels needed. But instead, you should think about the total wattage.

Because of this, your RV’s solar batteries are of the utmost importance. These are what you’ll use to power your appliances!

In general, you should have 200 watts of RV solar panels for every 100 amp hours (Ah) of batteries.

Gel vs Lithium vs AGM Batteries

You have the choice between gel, lithium, or AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries.

Gel batteries are great if you’re a low-maintenance type of person. Plus, they can be installed in several orientations and positions, so they’re very flexible. However, they have the lowest charge capacity out of all 3 types.

Most RV owners choose lithium batteries since they have higher energy densities (more capacity). They can possibly overheat though, so you’ll need to keep your RV shaded. Also, they’re pretty pricey.

AGM batteries are pretty new and are a solid choice since they’re maintenance-free. They’re more expensive than gel batteries and can get overcharged. Plus, they’re not as efficient as lithium batteries.

There’s more here on RV batteries if you’re interested.

Best Solar Panels for RVs

The types of RV solar panels available are rigid, foldable, and flexible.

The conventional rigid panels are easy to fit on your RV roof. You can always put them up when stationary, then stow them away while driving.

The foldable and flexible panels are nice and lightweight. While this is a plus, this also means they’re less durable.

RV Solar Panel Setup

There’s no doubt that the best place to put your solar panels is on your RV’s roof. If you put them on the side, then you only charge them for part of the day.

Just make sure you don’t place your panels underneath a roof rack, as this won’t be efficient at all.

Solar Systems for RVs Are Great

Now that you know more about solar systems for RVs, you can get on the road and reduce your carbon footprint while doing so.

So if you’ve been envious of people living the RV life, isn’t it time to join them? There are so many adventures waiting for you. Good luck and have fun!

Keep reading our blog page if you want to learn more about travel.