RV Solar — Is It Right for You?
RVing has never been more popular. According to the Associated Press, RV sales hit record levels in 2021. In November alone, over 49,000 units shipped — a 15.6% year-over-year increase.
However, with all those new RVers hitting the road, it’s becoming much harder to find a full-service campsite where you can settle in and power up for the night. RV Lifestyle reports that, to ensure a reservation for the peak times in summer and fall, you need to have made a reservation at least six months in advance.
The good news is that solar power can enable RVers who value independence, privacy, and unspoiled scenery to skip the RV park hassle and travel off the beaten path with few limitations.
There are solar options to fit almost every RV application and budget, and at Go Power!, we’re here to help you find the perfect setup for your rig.
Understanding the Benefits of RV Solar Power
If you’re an RV owner, chances are that exploring what nature has to offer is high on your list of priorities. And with solar power, you can go further off the grid than ever before.
However, it’s important to assess all the benefits of solar to determine how they align with the way you use (or want to use) your RV:
Free Energy and Cost Savings.
While there are upfront costs to adding a solar system to your RV, most operators see it as an investment. Solar systems can significantly reduce costs such as generator fuel and plug-in charges at campgrounds. And the more you take your RV on the road, the faster the return on that investment.
Using solar can also reduce the cost of battery replacements. Ask any long-term RVer, and they’ll tell you that battery costs can quickly add up. However, adding only a single solar panel to your RV will keep your lead–acid batteries healthy and triple their effective lifespan.
‘Go Anywhere’ Flexibility.
Most RVers agree that the most compelling benefit of adding solar is freedom. With a solar system, you can set up camp in more remote places, enjoy stunning, untouched vistas, and truly get away from it all without worrying about how to keep the lights on.
Liberated from campgrounds as your only basecamp option, you have the freedom to explore and set up camp anywhere, from public lands to national, state, or provincial parks.
Standing Up for Mother Nature.
One of the biggest knocks against traditional RV setups is the need to use portable generators or idling engines to provide power. Both increase fuel consumption and emissions, and the noise from a portable generator won’t make you any friends with your camping neighbors.
Silent and non-polluting solar systems need only the sun’s rays to charge your batteries. And their compact size means you’ll save space and weight in your vehicle.
But how much power will your solar system generate? As an example, a 190-watt solar kit like the Go Power! Overlander (paired with the proper battery) will allow a family of four to use lights, fans, slide-outs, and a 3-way fridge for 4+ days without plugging into shore power or using a generator. And the Overlander kit costs about the same as a small generator.
Finally, quality solar panels can last up to 25 years. And the materials that make them up can be continuously recycled, further shrinking carbon footprints.
Enable Your Adventures — And Your Lifestyle
Adding solar power to your RV allows you the freedom to travel — and live — wherever your heart desires. From powering your fan 24/7 at the height of summer to keeping favorite beverages cold, solar has you covered.
Perhaps you dream of joining America’s estimated 15.5 million-strong digital nomad community? (A number that grew 49% between 2019 and 2020.) If your adventure includes work, solar will keep your laptop, printer, and other devices powered up.
Is Solar For Everyone?
Some campers who stay exclusively in parks or recreational sites with full hookups believe they wouldn’t benefit from adding solar to their rigs.
However, that may not be the case. Many RVers have stayed at sites where the power went out. Others have stories of sites where ten neighbors patched into the same overworked power source.
Even for campers who prefer full–service sites, solar can be a wise investment. A small solar kit — even a portable one — will keep your batteries charged in most unforeseen circumstances.
Setting Up Your Rig
Many RVs, coaches, and travel trailers are already pre-wired to support solar panels and include a quick-connect port on the roof or side of the RV. These ports make installing a rooftop solar panel or plugging in a portable solar kit a breeze. Both options can provide greater go-anywhere flexibility and keep your rig’s batteries charged while on the road.
If you want to take your mobile power setup even further, consider upgrading your battery bank, adding more solar panels, or installing a high-performance pure sine wave inverter. You can even adopt Bluetooth technology to simplify operations and system monitoring.
Get Rolling With Solar
Is solar power for your RV a good investment? In most cases, absolutely. Adopting solar will reduce your carbon footprint, give you the ultimate freedom to explore and connect with nature, and save you money in the long run.
Want to learn more? Click here to explore the full range of Go Power! solar panel kits and find the right fit for you and your rig. Whether you plan a cross-country road trip, a weekend getaway, or life as a digital nomad, the sun has your back.