Custom Search

Solar Energy for Your RV - 4 Reasons Why It Might Be a Good Idea

An RV (recreational vehicle) can be a good way to de-stress and "get away from it all." Here are 4 ways that solar energy can make your RVing experience even more enjoyable.

#1 - Solar energy gives you more parking options.
If you never park anywhere but at an RV park or campground with electrical hookups then you probably don't need to invest in solar. But what if you're taking a long trip and have to spend the night in a parking lot? Or you want to go somewhere more isolated? Parking lots and "the middle of nowhere" don't usually have electrical hookups.

If you have a "house battery" that's fully charged (usually from running the vehicle engine) you may be able to get by with that - if you avoid using too many electrical "gadgets." But it doesn't take much to drain a battery. Solar panels can keep the house battery charged even when you're nowhere near a plug and not running the engine. If you have solar you won't have to worry about running out of electricity - or spend a lot of time at the end of the day when everyone's tired driving around trying to find a place with plugins.

#2 - Solar energy is cleaner than other power sources.
There is of course another way to have electricity when the RV's not plugged in - a generator. But generators have some disadvantages. For one thing, they all use some kind of fossil fuel, which when burned produces fumes that are not only nasty to breathe but also polluting. A solar panel, on the other hand, gets all its "fuel" from the sun. It doesn't make any fumes - which makes it a cleaner choice for RV power than a generator.

#3 - Solar power is quieter than other power sources.
If you've never been near a generator when it's running you probably haven't noticed this, but generators are LOUD (those capitals are deliberate). Yes, some are quieter than others. But none are going to be absolutely silent, because they're engines, and engines have moving parts that make noise. Maybe a generator won't bother you, especially if there's a thick wall between it and your living space in the RV. But if there are other people nearby there's a good chance it will bother them - and that combined with the fumes is why a lot of places don't allow generators. Which means that even if you have one you may not be able to use it.

Solar panels, on the other hand, are not engines - they don't have any moving parts to make noise. Which means they are silent.

#4 - Solar power is cheaper than other power sources.
If you need "portable power" for your RV your two main choices are solar and a generator. Generators come in different sizes and the prices vary by size, but they are probably cheaper to buy than a solar panel setup. However - generators don't have just an upfront cost. In order to keep them running you have to "feed" them with whatever fuel they use - gasoline, diesel, propane, or maybe natural gas. So generators have a regular cost as well - for the fuel. And the more you use them, the more fuel you have to buy and the more it costs to keep them going. And that's not counting the regular maintenance they need to keep everything running smoothly.

Solar panel systems can have a fairly steep upfront cost (depending on their size and complexity). But once they're up and running that cost will go way down. There's no fuel to buy for them and because they have no moving parts they don't need much maintenance. In fact, most of the care of a solar panel consists of keeping the panel surface clean, and possibly - because RVs are mobile - making sure it doesn't come in contact with anything that could damage it. If those two needs are met then a solar setup can last for a very long time - probably a lot longer than a generator, and maybe even longer than the RV! (in which case you move the setup to your new RV)

Solar energy isn't the right choice for everyone. But if you need a way to have power when your RV isn't plugged in and you don't mind spending a little more upfront - and saving a lot later - then solar may be worth a look.

For more information please see

By Catherine Adams
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...