One of the simplest and most cost effective ways to add solar power to your RV motorhome is with a PORTABLE solar panel kit. These folding panels come with a carrying case and can be placed in the sun while your rig is parked in the shade. Two sizes, an 80 watt and a 120 watt Portable solar panel kit, are available. It is easy to connect the battery leads to your existing coach batteries and the included quick connect makes it very fast to add solar power when the sun is out.
I recently installed a complete solar power system on a 5th wheel horse trailer with full-time living quarters. The heart of the system is the IC2000 Inverter / Battery Charger manufactured by Go Power. This 2000 watt inverter is capable of surging to 3400 watts which will start up most appliances. On this 5th wheel, the generator was hardwired into the inverter. On those hot days when the AC must be turned on, the generator can be started and the 100 amp battery charger built into the IC2000 Inverter will rapidly top off the 400 amp-hrs of battery storage capacity. With full batteries, the generator can be turned off for the night (if it is not too hot outside), and all the appliances in the 5th wheel can be used. The existing converter was removed along with the automatic transfer switch. All the owner has to do now is plug his 5th wheel into the inverter and turn the inverter on using the remote control panel. He can now fire up the generator, if air conditioning is needed, and his on-board batteries get topped off while cooling down the RV. The IC2000 Inverter / Battery Charger can be wired for either 30 or 50 amp service and can be configured for a two phase 50 amp service.
Today I went to Carlsbad, CA to install an Overlander Solar Power Kit. The kit includes a 160 watt solar panel, GP-PWM-30 digital Solar Controller, cabling and mounting hardware. The 160 watt solar panel produces 9.14 amps and the digital charge controller monitors the system to prevent over charging the batteries. This kit is available at Sun Power RV. This RV has two new deep-cycle RV/Marine batteries. With just one 160 watt panel and the two batteries, the owner does not have to worry about power unless he wants to run the AC unit (he has an onboard generator for that.) Happy camping!