DIY / Home Improvement

How to Find the Best Solar Panels for RVs

So you got yourself an RV. You’re almost ready to trailblaze, but first, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll keep this bad boy running.

Many people decide to go with generators as their power source, but when you’re experiencing the great outdoors, there’s nothing less attractive than the loud hum and fumes that generators emit. Fortunately, there is an energy source that is growing in popularity: the solar panel.

With a little bit of calculation and planning, you’ll be well on your way to securing the best source of energy for your RV excursions. Keep reading to discover the best solar panels for RVs and how to find the right ones for you.

Why Use Solar Panels?

But with so much to learn about solar powers, it’s easy to get lost in the detail. You may be wondering: Why should I get solar panels?

They’re Low-Maintenance

Using generators may seem like a simple solution, but if they run out of power or break, you will be out of luck for an energy source. When you use a generator, you have to plan how much gasoline you’ll need and make sure you have that amount of gas handy. And if you aren’t regularly checking the gas levels in your generator, your power can cut off in an instant.

A major perk about solar panels is that they’re incredibly low maintenance: once you install them, they do all of the manual labor. If you plan on traveling to a sunny place, solar panels can continue to absorb sunlight as you go about your business- no need for check-ins or gas runs.

They Pay for Themselves

We’d be remiss if we told you that solar panels are inexpensive- the truth is, they usually come with higher costs than generators when you first purchase them. However, unlike generators, solar panels create their own energy, meaning you won’t have to continue to pay for gas to keep them running.

In the long run, solar panels are the cheaper alternative. And with their technology improving, solar panels are becoming both stronger and cheaper, making your initial (and only) solar panel purchase much more affordable.

They’re a Great Green Alternative

If you’re looking for a way to reduce pollution, solar panels are an incredibly environmentally-friendly choice. They produce no emissions, making your camping experience more pleasant (say goodbye to the generator’s constant noise and gas fumes) while conserving natural resources and reducing multiple types of pollution.

These panels can also be recycled if you choose to upgrade or replace your solar panels. From start to finish, these panels will drastically reduce your RV’s carbon footprint.

How to Find the Best Solar Panels for RVs

When you’re deciding on the right solar panels for your RV, there are a few areas you’ll want to consider.

Amount of Energy Needed

Think of a solar panel as a battery charger: it collects sunlight, turns it into energy, and charges a battery bank within your RV. This battery bank will then be used to power your RV and charge your devices.

Prior to selecting your solar panels and battery banks, you’ll want to determine how much energy (a.k.a watts) you’ll need during your trips.

  • Consider what electronics and devices you’ll need to charge and the length of time/frequency in which you’ll need to charge them
  • Think about how much power you’ll need to use your RV’s functions, such as water heating, cooking, and lighting

An easy formula to use when calculating the number of watts you’ll need for charging your devices is by checking how many volts and amps they use. Next, multiply those numbers to find the watts needed.

So if you have a cellphone that uses 5 volts and 3 amps, you’d need 15 watts of energy.

You can apply this same formula with your RV to learn how much power it will need. Once you factor in the amount of energy that each component of your RV requires, you’ll have a better idea about how many watts you’ll need from your panels.

To be on the safe side, it’s better to get a higher-powered set of panels to ensure that you’ll have enough energy, especially if you’re planning to go on longer trips.

Types of Panels

When you have a good understanding of how much energy you’ll be needing for your trips, you’ll be ready to select the type of panel that is most appropriate for you. There are several types of panels to choose from.

Monocrystalline panels are created with one crystal. They’re highly efficient and will typically be the most expensive option.

Polycrystalline panels use multiple crystals to create power. They’re a little less energy-efficient than monocrystalline panels, but also a little cheaper.

Amorphous panels are not made with any crystals at all. Rather, these panels are created with a thin sheet of silicon. By using silicon, these panels are very flexible and portable. However, they also provide the lowest amount of energy.

The good news is each of these options offer different ranges of watts, meaning you won’t be stuck with one option of panel type to suit your power needs. If you’re interested in learning more about the ins and outs of solar panels, check out EnergySage.

But Where to Choose From?

With many retail options out there (and many panels to choose from), choosing the right solar panels for your RV can be overwhelming.

We’ve found that offers competitive pricing, in-depth research on the best solar products, and excellent customer service. If you’re having difficulty deciding which panels are best for your RV, they’re happy to help.

Why Wait to Go Green?

With all of the benefits of solar panels, you’re destined to love the set you find for your RV. Now that you know this much about solar panels, you know what to look for when hunting for the perfect set.

So which solar panel will you choose? Enjoy the silence of this green energy provider during your next RV trip! Find the best solar panels for RVs by starting your search today.

Once you’ve figured your solar panels out, head to the Travel section of this site to start planning your road trip.