7 Benefits of Solar Power for Your RV
Since the dawn of time, humans have tried to harness the power of the sun, and for the most part, modern science has been pretty successful. While most RV owners stick with good ole fossil fuel for actually getting their motor homes from point A to point B, solar power can still play an important role in your comfort and enjoyment once you’ve reached your destination. Let’s take a look at why you should invest in solar power for your RV.
1. Say goodbye to electric hookups
As convenient as RVing is, once you’ve reached your destination, you have to deal with the hassle of finding a site with an electric hookup. Even when you do, you may be subject to faulty wiring, surges, or hookups that just aren’t appropriate for your RV.
Solar panels do away with all that, allowing you to use all your electronic appliances without having to worry about finding a hookup. You can also travel as far as your RV’s batteries will take you without stopping to recharge.
2. Solar panel systems can fit most budgets and needs.
Investing in a solar panel system doesn’t mean splurging on an all out high-end system. A popular 160 watt solar charging kit includes a solar panel, mounting hardware and 30-amp digital charge regulator. It costs around $700 and produces 9.14 amps her hour in peak sunlight which gives you plenty of electricity to power your lights, run fans, and keep your house batteries charged!
A higher end, heavy use solar setup, which allows you to keep your lights on, run your fans, charge all your electronic devices, use the microwave and other appliances, and watch a few hours of television every day, will cost closer to $13,000.
That’s quite the gap, leaving plenty of room for you to shop and find a system that fits your budget and provides all the energy you need.
3. RV solar panels will save you money.
Even if you do decide to invest in a hefty solar power system, you’ll ultimately come out on top. As much as the system will cost initially, remember that once your panels are installed, you have a free and inexhaustible source of energy for years to come. You can easily recover your investment within the first couple years.
You can also receive a 30% tax credit if your solar panels have been installed some time between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2016.
4. You don’t have to depend on gas generators.
Gas generators come with a lot of problems.
- You need to spend more on gas.
- They emit unpleasant, unhealthy, and dangerous fumes.
- They are potential fire hazards.
- Running a gas generator creates a lot of noise, which can bother neighbors and keep you from relaxing.
5. Solar panels extend the life of your RV.
RV batteries are fickle things. They are designed such that they shouldn’t be discharged below 25% their normal capacity, and recharging should happen gradually. Batteries that are consistently undercharged can suffer from sulfation, which reduces your battery’s overall life and capacity. Solar panel systems give your batteries the steady charge they need while also keeping them above 25%.
6. Solar panels are easy to maintain.
While the technology that goes into solar panels may be complex, taking care of them is not. They only ever need an occasional dusting, ensuring that each panel gets maximum sunlight coverage. Compare that to the maintenance a typical gas generator requires and you’ll be saving time, money, and headaches.
7. You’re helping the environment.
You can balance out the fossil fuels you’re consuming by using safe, sustainable energy inside your RV. This not only gives the environment a boost, but also helps to preserve the ecosystems that you plan to visit in your motor home.
Solar panels are quickly becoming one of the best tools in any RVer’s arsenal. What do you think of solar power? How has it helped you on your RV adventures?