So how much does it cost to install solar panels on an RV? Well, the main idea why you need an RV solar panel is to cut costs and save time.
RV solar panels give a chance for people to travel longer and in any direction they want without worrying about where to get electricity.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels On An RV Financially?
While it is true that some RV solar panels cost more, it is also better to understand that the higher the price, the better the function.
You can end up buying a $200 RV solar panel, but you can also end up lost on how to best install it. The frustration and time you spend on it is an associated cost too.
Careful planning is the key. Make sure that you understand how an RV panel works, because even if you buy a $1000 RV solar panel yet, you do not know how to make it work, you will just end up losing your money.
Advantages of installing solar panel on RV
RV solar panels are becoming more and more popular because they offer a variety of advantages for the road warrior and their domicile on wheels.
I could enumerate several reasons why, but you only need to understand three concepts.
A Form of Good Investment
RV solar panels are popular because they help people save money, time, and effort. The panels make it easy for people to travel long distances and reduces the need to get energy for their RV.
They also don’t have to worry about finding charge locations. They can control the situation and harness an abundant source of energy.
By using ways and techniques to help save the environment, we directly empower ourselves. RV solar panels are a way ahead, and it is a proven solution for energy problems.
Panels generate a natural type of energy; they do not cost any destruction to the environment around us.
Cheaper in the Long Run
Although one can indeed spend over a thousand dollars for one solar kit, one must not underestimate the savings that it will bring a person in the long run. Just as long as you know how to maintain and maximize the use of the RV solar panel, you can save more.
Solar panels can now power any type of gadget. Just imagine being able to use every device that you have while traveling. It can enhance the comfort of your trip immensely and in so many ways.
You can make RV solar panels even cheaper through DIY techniques. The best thing about the panels is that you can choose to create one for yourself.
Understanding the question of how much does it cost to install solar panels on an RV, in this case, takes into account the DIY option which can bring down the costs significantly. And below, we have added a tutorial on how to install a typical solar panel on an RV.
How to Install a Solar Panel on an RV
If you want to set up an RV solar panel, here are the things that you need to have a charge controller, a solar panel and an inverter. It’s possible to combine multiple solar panels to be able to create enough power for your RV.
The semiconductor material is essential in selecting the right panels. The best choice is probably the crystalline panels because they generate energy more efficiently.
Crystalline panels also have a longer life span compared to other semiconductors. You also need a charge controller, which monitors batteries. A charge controller is necessary to guarantee the condition of the cells.
Twelve volts solar panels can generate power up to nineteen to twenty-one volts, depending on the sunlight. You can store the energy that you generate in deep cell batteries, which are preferred because it can be discharged and to be recharged.
The power amount of the battery is determined by the amount of power needed. Amp-hour is the rate used for batteries.
For instance, a one-amp hour battery can provide one amp of current for one hour, and two amp hour batteries can generate a total of three hundred amp-hours, which can contain ten amps of power for thirty hours.
Just add the total amount of current of the loads in your vehicle to determine the amount of power needed. Storage battery can operate the lights in the RV because lights are usually in DC type.
However, most RV appliances require AC power, and usually, you may need an inverter, which can convert the DC power to AC. So below are the necessary steps needed when installing a solar panel on your RV.
First Step: Mount Your Solar Panels
The first step to installing the solar panels will be mounting them on the roof. The panels that you buy will come with a mounting kit that includes bolts. Rigid panels will need to be attached with screws, but flexible panels can be mounted with adhesive.
Layout your panels the way you want them to look and make sure everything fits. And don’t forget to mark off the location the screws will go into and the mounting bracket that comes with the kit.
Second Step: Install The Wiring Harness
The second step will require you to connect the panels to the charge controller using the provided cables. The thing to remember here is that you want to install and place the wires where they will not be in the way. And they can attach both units easily.
You can drop the wires in three ways.
- Install them through the fridge exhaust port.
- Install them through the waste exhaust port.
Third Step: Connect Your Charge Controller
The charge controller is going to be as close to the batteries as possible to minimize the line loss. And should be in an area that the line power line from the panels can be attached easily without interference.
Once you mount the charge controller on the wall, the next thing to do is make the connections to the power wires that you snaked through the plumbing pipe or fridge vent or any other location in step 2 above.
Fourth Step: Install your Inverter (Optional)
If you need to use AC appliances like a microwave or laptop. Then you have to install an inverter that converts the DC power from the solar panels into AC.
You will need to install the inverter in a location near the batteries. And away from any damaging elements like heat or corrosive battery gasses.
After connecting the positive and negative wires to the inverter, connect to your RV electrical system. Make sure that you connect the negative side first.
How much does it cost to install solar panels on an RV? Well, in this case, it means creating solar energy for your RV. And which has plenty of good points, including saving the environment, reducing greenhouse gases and the others below.
- It is Low to maintain.
- Clean, quiet, and easy to use.
- They don’t use fuel nor give off any waste.
- No moving parts mean no mechanical noise.
- Safe and reliable DC power.
- Save Money