Over the several years, the price of installing solar panels has come down enough that more consumers are exploring solar energy options. People who own RVs find solar enticing because it allows them to experience more freedom.
If you can use solar power on an RV, you can travel places relatively few people can access in a recreational vehicle. You can also enjoy the solitude of off-the-grid travel for more than a day or two.
Before you jump into installing solar panels, you’ll want the answer to one question: how many solar panels do I need for my RV?
While every RV (and RVer) has unique energy needs, this guide offers tips on determining the number of solar panels you’ll require to meet those needs.
Solar Panel Tips and Tricks
The number of panels needed for an RV depends on two factors.
First, you’ll need to calculate your RV’s daily watt-hours. Second, you need to assess how much energy solar panels can supply to the RV house batteries.
Your goal is to calculate how much energy each appliance and device in the RV uses. You can use an electricity usage monitor to get the most accurate calculations.
Multiply the amount of energy by the hours you use each device or appliance to get the number of Watt/hours used. Add all the numbers together for the total Watt-hours consumed.
You also need to figure out peak sun hours in the location where you’ll travel.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for My RV?
You don’t need to lose sleep over solar panels for an RV. Just remember that one 100-Watt solar panel produces an average of 350 Watt-hours of energy every day. To estimate how many panels you need, divide your total Watt-hours by the number of peak sun hours.
Estimates and rough calculations suffice for the research phase of your project. To get an accurate picture of how many solar panels you’ll need, it’s better to contact a solar panel installer in your area.
Unless you only plan to use a solar panel to charge your phone or laptop, you’ll need to set up a solar array consisting of 4-5 panels.
Solar Panel Cost for an RV
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, solar power is more affordable today than ever. To power an RV, you’ll spend between $600 – $2,000.
Cost is based on the number of solar panels you need and labor for installation.
Tip: Your solar panels may cost more than $2,000, depending on the size of your installation.
Ready for Your Off-Grid RV Adventure?
We hope we’ve enticed you to experience the fun of RVing in areas where most people can’t go. Installing solar panels means you can travel further and stay longer.
Now that you’ve answered the question of “how many solar panels do I need for my RV?” why not explore the rest of the blog? You might even find inspiration for your next trip!