Go Power

Power Terms: Watts, Volts, and Amps

Are you confused by why solar products are rated in watts, amps and volts? This short video gives you an analogy to visualize these terms and how they work together in your RV power system. Press the ‘play’ button to get started!

Note: Go Power solar kits are designed to charge your batteries to 100%. Go Power utilizes 3-stage charging: Bulk, Absorption and Float.  At 100% charge, the solar controller will drop to a float voltage of 13.7V to prevent over-gassing of batteries (excessive loss of distilled water in the battery).


Electricity isn’t an easy concept to grasp. Some of the terminology, people tend to glaze over when you mention voltage, amperage, battery banks, and wire size… in this video, we will explain these terms to make them easier to understand.

First things first – the battery. It’s just like the fuel tank in your car. In your RV, if you have a 100 amp hour battery, think of that like it’s a 100-gallon gas tank. We consume gallons of fuel out of a gas tank in our car when we run the motor. Just like we consume amp hours from the battery when we run anything like a water pump, furnace fan, or lights. The more you use from your tank, the more you need to refill.

To refill your battery, you have a few different options. In an RV, you will likely plug into shore power to recharge them.

This is where voltage becomes important, it’s often overlooked and that’s actually the reason many people have battery issues in the RV industry.

Voltage is similar to the pump pressure at the gas pump. You pull into a gas pump and that pump doesn’t have enough pressure behind it to fill the tank back up to 100 percent full. You can’t drive as far the next time you go on the road. The same thing goes with refilling your batteries.

When your batteries are depleted, or your gas tank is empty, you plug in for a recharge. Most RVs come equipped with a charger, but most stock chargers don’t quite have the power to get your batteries, or gas tank, 100% full. Which means you can’t go as far on your next trip.

This is why a lot of people go back to the RV dealer and ask “what’s wrong with my batteries? I can’t stay out as long as I did the first time”.

Every battery type has an ideal level of “full”. Most batteries can be recharged to a voltage of 14.4. Make sure you check the label on your batteries to make sure your charger is set to refill them correctly and get as much power out of them as you can.

Getting power out of the battery can also be somewhat technical. And this is where wire sizing comes in. The size, or gauge of the wire in your power system is like the fuel lines of your car.

For example, if your car uses fuel lines from the gas tank to the motor that are too small, and you hit the accelerator, your car is not going to perform at its best because it’s not getting all the fuel it needs.

The same concept goes for having the correct size, or gauge of wire, running from your battery to your inverter to run your outlets and appliances.

Now, how does all this work with solar? We have videos on that too.

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