Solar power is a useful addition that can be made to any recreational vehicle. When you are not connected to a power source, it provides you with an alternative way to store and utilize energy. You can customize almost any rig by adding a variety of different setups. Nevertheless, the installation of an RV solar kits is likely to be the least difficult way for you to begin. This will provide you with a foundational system that you can build upon as your requirements for solar power increase. Let’s take a look at these solar panel kits to determine what sort of components you might require for your RV. In addition to that, we will demonstrate how you can make use of them.
What are RV solar kits?
A solar panel kit for an RV typically includes at least one solar panel, a charge controller, brackets, and wires required for mounting the panel on an RV. A solar panel kit does not come with everything that you require in order to use the sun to power your electronic devices and other household items. This is merely a basic setup to get you started. To store the energy that the sun provides, you will need to add batteries. In order to use that energy to power appliances that require AC current, you will also need an inverter.
How many solar panels does your RV need?
The number of panels required to power your recreational vehicle is determined by the number of appliances you want to run as well as the frequency with which you’ll use those appliances. The number of solar panels you require will be established based on the number of watt-hours or amp hours that will be consumed. It also depends on the size of the battery bank that you have. It’s possible that a single panel will have an output of 80 watts, 100 watts, or even 180 watts. The amount of energy that can be stored in a battery can range anywhere between 100 to 200 amp hours, depending on the type of battery and how large it is.
In order to figure out how many watts of solar power you require, you will need to do some math.
Can solar energy power your air conditioner?
The vast majority of RV solar kits are not capable of producing enough electricity to power an air conditioner. Additionally, the size of your battery bank will need to be fairly substantial. This is due to the fact that an air conditioner needs a couple of thousand watts of power in order to remain operational for a couple of hours. As long as there is fuel in the tank, you can use a generator to power the air conditioner even if you are not connected to the power grid.
Air conditioners that operate on 12 volts and can be powered by a battery are now being produced by companies such as Coleman and Dometic. To operate it for a reasonable amount of time, however, you would require a larger battery bank in addition to a number of solar panels.
When turned on, the majority of air conditioners need between 1,500 and 3,000 watts of power. However, some campers who travel in recreational vehicles have discovered that reducing the amount of energy required to start the compressor for their air conditioner by installing a “soft start” mechanism can result in significant savings. As a result, you should consider that possibility.
You also have the choice of installing a supplementary alternator that is connected to your engine and charges your coach’s batteries while you are on the road. On the other hand, in order for this to be useful for air conditioning, you will need a sizable battery bank. This is due to the fact that the air conditioner will probably require a battery storage capacity of at least 300 amp hours.
Top 5 Best Solar Panel Kits For Your RV
- RENOGY 400W 12V PREMIUM
The panel and controller mounting kit comes complete with all of the necessary components, such as wires and a protective fuse, for installation. The panels already have holes drilled into them, which makes installation much simpler. You will need to provide your own monitor as well as a battery, and if you intend to power 120-volt appliances, you will also require an inverter.
Included in this package are a total of four 100-watt Renogy solar panels, a 40-amp MPPT solar charge controller, a Bluetooth fuse, Z brackets for mounting the panels, as well as an adaptor kit and tray cables.
- TOPSOLAR SOLAR PANEL KIT 100W
Simply add your own battery and monitor to the system, as well as an inverter if you intend to use your battery to power appliances that require 120 volts. Additionally, the cables and mounting brackets required to install the panel are included in this kit.
Included in the package is one solar panel with a power output of 100 watts, a solar charge controller with a capacity of 20 amps, tray cables, and mounting brackets.
- QDG 1200W FLEXIBLE SOLAR KIT
Each of the bendable panels can collect up to 300 watts of energy, and they can be attached to a variety of surfaces. Your battery will be protected from damage caused by overcharging by the kit’s two solar charge controllers. It comes equipped with all of the necessary cables and clips to connect the solar panels to the chargers.
Included in this package are two 40-amp solar charge controllers, alligator clips, MC4 connectors, and carabiners in addition to four flexible solar panels rated at 300 watts each. You are going to be responsible for providing batteries that have a capacity of up to 1,200 watts. In order to operate outlets that require 120 volts, you will additionally require an inline fuse, a battery monitor, and an inverter.
- RENOGY 100W OFF GRID SOLAR KIT
You also have the ability to adjust the angle of the sun with an attached kickstand. It is equipped with a solar charge controller and has the capability to be plugged straight into a power station. In addition to this, everything can be folded up into a suitcase that is twenty inches long and twenty inches wide.
Included in the package are two foldable solar panels with a combined power of 50 watts, a solar charge controller with a capacity of 20 amps, and connecting wire between the panels and the charger. Due to the fact that it is a portable panel, the kit does not include any mounting brackets or tray cables.
- WEIZE 200W
Overcharging and polarity inversion are both prevented by this feature. It comes with all of the necessary cables and mounting brackets to set up the controller and the panel. However, in order to finish putting together the solar power system, you will need to add an inline fuse, a battery monitor, a battery, and an inverter.
Included in the package is one solar panel with a wattage of 200, a solar controller with a capacity of 30 amps PWM, two extension cables, two tray cables, mounting brackets, and screws.