“Sun is the secret of my Energy”, that is what my RV must think while riding under the bright sky. Well, to have a great experience make sure you get solar panels installed on your RV. In this way, you will be able to generate your own power and make use of it in whichever way you desire. Imagine traveling to a deserted space where there is barely any trace of human life and you are as close to nature as anyone can possibly get. How wonderful and easy would it be to live in such an area if your RV has electricity, fans, heaters, tow max RV parts, and other facilities? I am not bluffing and this is actually possible. All you have to do is use solar energy to power your RV.
Now that you are about to set on an awesome journey, here are a few tips regarding the use of solar panel. This guide is supposed to help you in exploring various options to make the most of the sun’s energy. Not to mention, by meeting these basic requirements, you will be able to stay on the road for a longer time. Isn’t that great news? This is literally every traveling enthusiast’s dream and you are about to live it! Keep reading to discover the amazing ways in which you can use solar energy and derive numerous benefits from it.
Table of Contents
#1 Go with a smaller solar
This particular step requires you to ascertain beforehand how much power you would need during the entire trip. This rough estimate is necessary and after this, you will be able to decide how many panels you require. To begin with, you need to understand that too many panels mean investing a huge sum. And obviously, you do not want that. Therefore, start with a single or a triple solar panel that is sufficient to charge your phone and laptop. Again, as I mentioned before, it entirely depends on your requirements. Also, since you would be out most of the time, there is no fun in spending a large amount unnecessarily.
I will make it easier for you if you are confused or uncertain. You can consult any solar panel dealer and they will help you calculate how much energy you would need during the trip. That’s all! So, you get exactly what you need to make it through the whole journey. Show the backdoor to all your worries and start packing!
#2 Purchase a durable battery
Since you have worked so hard and invested a fair amount of money to install solar panels, you want to make sure that all of this does not go to waste. Installation was only half of the job as there is more to cover. Here, I am referring to a good battery. No matter the size of the panel, if you do not have a durable battery then all the energy will be lost. To avoid that, make sure you get a long-lasting battery that does not need to be charged again and again.
This is because you never know how the weather might turn out to be and it may not be sunny all the time. So, the battery should be such that once you charge it, you have enough power to sustain for 3-4 days. In addition to this, find a battery that retains all the power that it collects from the sun and is able to use it efficiently when needed.
#3 Make sure to get a protector
This is a crucial point and your battery’s life depends on it. To put it in another way, controllers are like guardians of your battery. They have a number of advantages and I will discuss some of them here. First and foremost, a protector shields your battery from overcharging itself. This is because these controllers keep in check the amount of energy traveling from the panels into the battery. So, when you are purchasing a controller, do not compromise on quality. Even if it costs you some extra bucks, it is totally worth it. After all, you have worked very hard on building the whole set up and you do not want to mess it up in any manner.
#4 Compatibility is a must!
You have got solar panels and a good battery, how exactly do you plan to run your devices? This can be achieved by making sure that everything is compatible. Since solar energy is in the direct form, you will not be able to charge your alternating power appliances and therefore you need to convert the solar power beforehand. Don’t worry! There is no problem in this world that does not have a viable solution. And that is exactly what I am going to provide you with: a great solution! To tackle this seemingly difficult predicament, consider using an inverter. This power inverter will ensure that all the equipment is running smoothly. It will make this happen by regulating the energy and making sure that there is no difference in voltage between the devices and the battery.
This is an essential step as there is no use of the power generated unless you are able to use it. That is why you need to consider this at all costs. So, get a good inverter and use any device you want!
#5 Get the angle right by tilting your solar panel
To make the most of the sunlight, you might need to consider the position of your solar panel. Studies have shown that when solar panels are positioned at a 90-degree angle to the sun, the results are far better. Since in summers, the sun is placed directly overhead, the panels can just remain flat and you do not need to fix them at any particular angle. On the other hand, during winters when the position of the sun changes, it is better that you tilt the panel accordingly.
This is a relevantly easier step but has high importance. You do not want to miss out on any chance of collecting as much energy as possible.
#6 Know your limits while operating the solar panel
Now that you are done with assembling every piece of equipment required to complete the setup, it is time that you know about your operational limits. All of this can go perfectly well unless one of the components shuts down or stops working. I am not trying to scare you but it is important that you are ready for every situation so that you do not face any problems while you are in the middle of your journey. To avoid this, know your limits and do not try to overrun the setup. Let’s understand this point in more detail.
If the weather is too harsh, it is better that you do not try to run the controller or the solar panels. For instance, solar panels will not work if the temperature is too hot. So, avoid using the setup or otherwise there is a risk of fire. Apart from this, highly humid conditions are again not feasible for running the system. By keeping these small things in mind, you can dodge an uneventful circumstance. You know what they say, prevention is better than cure.
#7 Weather conditions matter
Weather conditions matter a lot while you are trying to generate solar energy. Therefore, solar power is considered to be cheaper though it is not that easy to harness it. If there is no sun, there will be no solar energy. As simple as that. Other than this, it won’t work if there is too much sun or high humidity. All in all, extreme weather conditions prevent solar panels from working properly.
Also, know how the whole thing works as your efforts may not bear any results at all. What I am trying to say is that if you park your RV underneath a tree, chances are proper sunlight may not reach the panels and you’re wasting your strength for no reason at all. So, stay smart and make full use of the favorable weather. I hope sunshine never leaves your side.
#8 Don’t forget to get a battery monitor
Battery monitors are quite beneficial and you should make sure that you have one in your set up. Now, what exactly do these monitors do, you might ask? Well, for starters, they tell you about the amount of energy flowing from your battery. So, in this way, you can determine at what rate the battery is charging and detect if there is any problem. Additionally, you will also be able to know if your battery is undercharged so that you can plan everything according to that. A battery monitor will also let you know if the batteries are not getting enough power and hence are unable to recharge.
So, make sure you get the battery monitor to avoid any kind of problem. And there is no harm in making sure that everything proceeds in a perfect flow. Do not leave anything behind if you want to enjoy every moment of your journey.
#9 Curved vs Flat Panels
You have two choices at your disposal when it comes to deciding which type of solar panel you want for your RV. These include curved and flat panels. Both types differ in various features and have different advantages associated with them. The curved panels have a more aerodynamic shape and therefore are better suited for your road trip. However, the problem with curved panels is that it not possible to turn them as they are bent to cover the vehicle’s body. So, you cannot position them to different angles in order to get maximum sunlight. In comparison to their counterpart, curved panels are light in weight and are more expensive.
Anyhow, when it comes to durability, the clear winner is the flat panels. So, choose based on your requirements keeping in mind every important point. And yes, your budget will also decide what is apt for you.
#10 Be on the safer side by connecting to a shore power
Just like we checked the compatibility of all the devices in the setup, it is important to buy an inverter that makes it possible for your battery to charge through shore power. This will be a backup plan in case there is a problem with the solar panel system. Also, it is better to have two options at hand in case one of them fails to operate. Apart from this, make sure you have not plugged in appliances that are not in use just to save energy. Every small act makes a huge difference and you do not want to take any chances.
#11 Make use of alternative energy sources
Just because you have a good solar setup installed on your RV, you do not want to overuse it even when you have other options available at your disposal. For instance, you can make use of the car’s charging system to charge devices like your phone or laptop. This is a great way to save solar power in cases of emergencies. It is better to exhaust your additional options before exploiting the main resource. So, whatever alternative source of energy is available to you, make full use of it. You will thank me later for this wonderful advice!
Getting a solar panel on your RV can create a huge difference as you can still use your gadgets even if you are in the midst of a forest. No kidding! So, no need to lose touch with the outside world. Not even in the remotest corners. Imagine if you are camping in some woods and you could have access to electricity. How thrilling that experience can be! It would be like living at home away from home. Use TOW-MAX RV accessories, where value meets the road.
Follow these simple tips to avoid any kind of untoward incident and have the best trip of your life! Believe me, this will transform your whole experience and you will find it easier to survive even in harsh conditions. All this is possible if you get a solar panel for your RV. I hope you have a wonderful trip!
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