Solar panels have a number of benefits, though the benefits vary depending on the application. How does a solar panel help RV owners? Why should everyone be considering carrying a solar panel or a set of them in their RV? Here are seven ways an RV solar panel array will benefit the owner.
1. It Provides Power for a Long Time
The residential solar panels mounted on your home are typically rated to last 20 to 30 years. RV solar panels generally aren’t as rugged, but they can easily last a decade if you don’t drop them or let a branch fall on them.
These solar panels don’t have parts that wear out like wind turbines or gas powered generators. Their efficiency will degrade slowly over time. Their performance will also decline if the surface is dirty or blocked, which is why they need to be cleaned periodically and any obstructions like leaves and snow need to be removed if you want the solar panels to work.
However, this is far easier than adding fuel to a generator every night, cleaning the air filters and oil filters every few weeks, and replacing items like spark plugs at least once a year.
2. It Lets You Detach from the Grid
One benefit of solar power is that it will work almost anywhere, as long as it receives enough sunlight. Understand that RV solar panels only produce power when they get enough sunlight, and they won’t produce power at night. You must either combine RV solar panels with batteries and inverters that can double as energy storage systems or expect to shut everything down as the sun goes down.
However, if your solar panels spend enough time in the sun and you either use the energy or store it in a battery, you’re always good to go.
3. It Provides a Backup Source of Power
If you prefer to rely on shore power available at campgrounds, a set of solar panels in storage gives you a way to recharge your house batteries when there isn’t a powered campsite available or power is out at the campground. If you’ve ended up staying late in the wilderness or stuck by the side of the road, a solar panel could recharge your house batteries or recharge a smart device you can use to call for help.
In short, solar panels give you a backup source of power so you aren’t left in the dark.
4. It Reduces Your Ecological Footprint
Very few of us have an electrically powered vehicle, and there aren’t really electric powered RVs. This means you’re going to use gas to drive your RV from point A to point B.
For RVers who love nature, this can be a source of guilt. You can offset that guilt by investing in solar panels. Then you can use an endless renewable source of energy to power everything except the engine.
5. It Makes Life So Much Quieter
A generator is noisy. Even the relatively quiet generators are so loud you want it at least fifteen feet from the RV. In contrast, solar cells are perfectly quiet. This can make it easier to sleep at night. Those sleeping in the next campsite will appreciate the silence, too.
6. It May Lighten Your Load
Solar panels may be the lightest source of power at your disposal, depending on your situation. Natural gas canisters aren’t light, and they’re certainly bulky. Gas cans are heavy, and they need to be carefully stored.
If you have solar panels mounted to your RV, you may only need to carry a single spare gas can for the RV’s engine but nothing else. If you drive long distances or regularly dry camp, solar panels dramatically reduce the weight and volume of supplies you need to take.
7. You Can Be Closer to Nature
A noisy generator doesn’t just keep you awake at night. It scares away much of the wildlife, too. The fumes aren’t going to help, either. If you park the RV and rely on solar panels to power your equipment, the animals will eventually resume their normal behaviors.
Then you could wake up to deer eating grass outside the RV and other wild animals going about their business.
Solar panels are essential for RVers who want to enjoy the wilderness in its wild state. Solar panels allow you to camp in relative comfort even when you’re far from the grid or the local power lines are down. And it helps you to remain safe though you’re away from civilization.