Outfitting your RV with solar panels can be a very freeing thing to do. It allows you to get off the beaten path. Without the need for RV hookups, you can set up camp everywhere with solar panels. But then the problem arises, how much solar do you need to run the appliances you’re used to functioning with on your RV? It’s the biggest question from new Solar equipped RV users. While it can take some time to get used to gathering power for everything you want to be able to use, we’re here to break it down for you.

The basics

What you’ll need to outfit you RV with solar panels, doesn’t differ too much from company to company. At AM Solar, the basics that they recommend are lithium batteries, an inverter, and solar panels. If you’re struggling to understand how solar power works, or how you figure out what you need it’s important to understand that the solar power you have might be assisted by a generator, or alternator, depending on how you have your system set up.

Solar power isn’t endless, you collect what you can during the day, and then use it at night or during the day. The battery is the most important part of the system because it’s what holds the power you’ve collected. The battery is there for you all the time, storing your energy. It’s important to think of your RV system as a small grid with some storage, you’ll be able to better plan for the power you need.

Solar power

The goal for solar power is to collect energy during the day, and use that energy but no more than that. The difference in solar panels for motorhomes is that you can’t sell your excess power back to the solar power company, you can only store it.

Note that you can only fill your battery to 100 percent, it doesn’t continually store energy while you’re accruing it. Once it’s full, it’s full. It’s also important to be sure not to build a RV solar energy system that’s bigger than you need it to be. Talk to your Solar RV Kit experts, and talk about how much energy you think you’ll need. Tell them what exactly you’re expecting and needing your solar panels to do for you. If you build a system too big, and you’ll never use all of the power you accrue, chances are you’ve spend money making the system too big.

Take Away

Talk to your local solar experts at AM Solar, and find out just how much power you need. If you plan to only take a shower, and run the stove or a small kitchen appliance, chances are you won’t need huge solar panels or power for a couple of small things. If you’re planning to run AC, take a shower, and cook a full dinner every night, you’ll need more capacity for more power.