If you RV, you undoubtedly like the freedom of cruising around where you will. Sooner or later, however, you have to find somewhere to plug in…or do you?
The beauty of RVing is you get to wander off the beaten path and explore interesting areas. That being said, nothing is worse than being in a beautiful area where there is no place to plug in. For many people, this means cranking on a generator that sucks down the fuel. Given fuel costs these days, that is becoming less and less a good option. In fact, many people are moving away from it entirely.
Technology seems to be invading just about every part of our life for better or for worse. In the case of portable solar panels, it for the better. Vast advancements have been made in solar panel design. No longer are they used solely for homes. Yep, you can now use them to power up your RV.
Portable solar panels for an RV are pretty much what you might think. They are just like the panels you see in peoples’ backyards or on their roofs. The primary difference is these are smaller, but still pack plenty of punch to meet your energy needs. Even better, one of the weaknesses of home solar panels does not exist with an RV. Solar panels produce DC electricity that has to be converted to AC for a home. Energy is lost in the process. Since an RV runs on DC, the problem is eliminated and you get more kick out of your panels.
A portable panel system can be very powerful. In fact, it can put as much power into your batteries as a gas or propane generator. Another advantage is your solar panel system will not make the noise of a generator. On the downside, it also does not produce energy at night, so you need to do some minor planning for your energy needs.
Using solar panels for an RV is a fairly simple process. You need between one and three of them. You can try to figure out your energy usage to determine the correct number, but it is easier to just ask the dealer. Anyway, you mount your panels on the roof. They fold down flat to the roof when you are driving. When you park, you should park in the sun and in a direction where the panels will get the maximum exposure. If you prefer to park in the shade, you can buy a portable system that you can move around on the ground. Make sure you have a long cord in case the sun is a bit off in the distance.
The energy from your solar panels should be able to keep your batteries charged so long as there is sun. The only issue you may run into is air conditioning. RV air conditioners suck the power down, so use it sparingly or turn on a generator.
Adrien White is with RVRentalsforYou.com - information on RV rentals , dealers, parks and more.