- solar panels
- a charge controller
- power inverter
- and either golf cart batteries or marine batteries deep cycle
I found my solar panels and charge controller on ebay for under $600 bucks the batteries you can find at either walmart or a golf cart dealer/battery dealer. The process to install is mainly plug and play its about as easy as setting up any childs toy. Just be very careful when playing with electricity. I would love to go more into detail and if you’re a video watching person (visual) youtube has some excellent install videos. Your panels can easily be mounted to your roof with mounting brackets and the batteries i stored in my old generator box as my generator wasn’t there when i got my RV.
Ok, based upon the above, I’d like to ask the following: (again – YOU can reply below and ask MORE questions OR provide answers!)
1) Can you provide photos of each part of the system? (the panels, controller, inverter, and batteries) – and show via photos how it is all connected.
2) Where does it all connect to the RV’s power so you are running solar instead of power from the campgrounds power connection? Again – can photos be provided?
3) Specifically what brands/model numbers of each item did you purchase and what did they cost?
4) Do the panels HAVE to be mounted to the roof? Are there alternative approaches? How were they mounted? Does it affect travel in any way?
5) How many panels do you have? Is there a point of “diminishing returns” if one were to have more (or fewer) panels?
Joe Continues… When it comes to a good charge controller find one with MPPT technology..and you’ll also need a power inverter, i choose a 1000W modified sine inverter, but if you have the cash id go with pure sine wave inverters.
And more questions…
1) What is “MPPT” technology?
2) What is the difference in cost between a 1000w modified sine inverter and a pure sine wave inverter? What is the advantage of the pure sine wave inverter?
Joe Continues…You can run everything in your home with enough batteries and panels, I personally don’t use A/C unless its needed so my solar power is mainly used for the TV’s and computers and any other appliance, heck it even runs my fridge on a nice sunny or when i’m driving.
And more questions…
1) What part of the USA are you doing this in? I know that the farther north you are and the cloudier it is your results from solar will be less effective.
2) How much time can you run your tv, computer, microwave, etc. before the system is depleted? How long does it take to charge up?
3) How much space inside the RV have you lost as a result of adding solar?
4) Will this work equally well in a Class A, Class C, 5er, or trailer?
Joe’s video prompts me to wonder the following:
1) Can you do this with the 12v battery supplied by your RV manufacturer/dealer?
2) Were there any leaking issues when you drilled the roof? Is it a rubber roof?
3) Joe, you said in your video you’re running about 340w of solar panels on the roof and you want to run 1000w… yet most of the space on your roof seems to be dedicated already. How will you increase your wattage then by 200%?
By the way- Joe, I gotta say, you’ve already provided a wealth of information! And…as Joe notes in his own video, additional insights from others are MOST welcome! Again – use the “reply to” below.
Certainly this video IS inspiring – a $6 electric bill!
So, now its in YOUR hands – got insights? Share ’em (use the reply box below); got questions? ask away and it will help others to “complete” this post and make it HIGHLY valuable to all!
Category: RV Solar Power - Going off the Grid
About the Author (Author Profile)Alan Sills is a full-time RV'er and has been since 2011. A science educator at heart, Alan has realized that its important to maintain an income stream while "on the road". He writes about RV life, RV issues, and living an entrepreneurial lifestyle.
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