At Sun Power RV we believe every RV should have some solar power. Without it you pretty much always have to plug in or fire up the generator. The solution is simple:
- Install Solar Power,
- Upgrade and Add Batteries,
- Install an Inverter.
This simple three step process is all you have to do to fully enjoy your off-grid, unplugged, relaxing in the boondocks lifestyle.
ASSUMPTIONS FOR STEPS 1 – 3.
- Your RV is not plugged into electricity,
- Your refrigerator is running on propane not electricity,
- You will require a generator to continuously power the air conditioner. See FAQ.
STEP 1: INSTALL SOLAR POWER
Please don’t get bogged down calculating how much solar you will need. With the correct layout you can always add additional solar panels to the RV roof. If roof space is limited or your RV is in partial shade you can add a PORTABLE panel that can be placed in the sun. If all you need to run are DC appliances such as lights, fans, USB charger for phones, water pump, and the DC ignition for the propane furnace and fridge any of the following panels will work. If you also need to run coffee makers, TVs, computers, microwaves and other AC power appliances you will need at least two to three of the following panels:
- ROOF MOUNTED SOLAR PANELS like our Overlander-160 Watt Solar Panel Kit (best value, 25 year warranty, and expandable to 480 watts)
- PORTABLE 80 and 120 Watt Folding and Portable Solar Panel Kit (great for pop-up trailers, tear-drop trailers, Chalet trailers, parking in the shade and requires no installation)
- SOLAR FLEX 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit (great for curved surfaces, marine environments, and streamlined applications, two more 100 watt panels for a total of 300 watts can be added to the same system)
STEP 2: UPGRADE AND ADD BATTERIES
If you are just using DC power (no inverter) and you already have 2 existing batteries that are fairly new, the best plan is to install the solar and wait until your existing batteries won’t hold a charge anymore. The solar that has been installed and the PWM charge controller will insure you get all the life left in the batteries. There are many types and sizes of batteries. RVs require heavy-duty deep cycle RV/Marine batteries. Cheap batteries will not last very long and will have to be replaced. Batteries should always be of the same type and upgraded all at once. Adding two new batteries to two old batteries will result in the new batteries holding the same charge as the old ones. Sun Power RV is an authorized representative for East Penn Deka Batteries. We offer two choices both of the same size and manageable weight:
- MARINE MASTER DC27 Heavy-Duty Deep Cycle Marine and RV Battery (flooded lead-acid battery that delivers excellent performance when properly maintained)
- INTIMIDATOR 8A27M Heavy-Duty Deep Cycle Marine and RV Battery (AGM battery that delivers good performance and does not require maintenance)
STEP 3: INSTALL AN INVERTER
The last step is installation of a pure sine wave inverter. An Inverter draws DC current from the batteries and converts it to AC electricity that is identical to what the grid would provide. Having an inverter will allow you to operate all the appliances on your RV. Sun Power RV offers two choices of pure sine wave inverters:
- GP-HS1500-12 High Surge Inverter (for smaller RVs that would normally only require a 30 amp service)
- GP-IC2000-12 Inverter Charger (for large RVs that would normally require a 50 amp service)