RV Solar Panels – Pros and Cons

Should you consider RV solar panels? Solar power is looked at as an eco-friendly way to power your home and reduce costs.

However, like all things, solar power has its pros and cons that should be carefully considered before buying an expensive solar pane kit, especially for RVers.

rv solar panels

For RVs, a generator can be louder and less eco-friendly than solar power. While solar power is great for boondockers and camping off the grid, there are some unfortunate truths that are unknown to most and should be kept in mind.

RV Power is Complicated While Off-grid

Setting up RV solar panels is more complicated than hooking up to shore power at a campsite. In order to buy and install the right number of solar panels, you have to know how much power you use on a daily basis.

RV Solar Power Comes at a High Cost

The price of having RV solar panels is high. A good, long-lasting solar panel kit can be pricy by itself, but it doesn’t stop there.

You also must get solar batteries for storing the power, a charge controller to not overcharge, and an inverter to turn the solar power into usable power for your rig. All in all, eco-friendly power is an investment that comes at a major cost.

You Have to Purchase a Battery Tank

When you have solar power for your RV, you need a battery tank for backup power. This is needed to provide power for cloudy days, parking in the shade, and nighttime.

The cost of a good battery tank alone is something to keep in mind because solar power is very different from connecting to shore power where you never have to worry about having power.

These are the best RV batteries I recommend.

Can You Park in the Shade?

Parking in the shade on a hot summer day sounds like a dream. However, when you have solar panels, parking in the shade will decrease power generation since they are not in direct sunlight.

If you don’t need a lot of power, you could use portable solar power units, but that isn’t always a guarantee you can get the amount of power you need, especially on days when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

RV Solar Panels – Final Thoughts

So, the question remains, is solar power worth it? That depends on the amount of power you normally use, and the amount of time, effort, and money you’re willing to invest.

If you use a lot of power and never want to worry about running out, solar power is not for you.

However, if you’re a person who likes to go boondocking or camping off-the-grid, it can be worth the cost and save money, in the long run, you would spend on camping fees and electricity costs.

Renogy 300 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit with 30A PWM......
  • Designed for off-grid solar panel system, caravan, RV, boat, Green house solar panel system. Monocrystalline solar cell efficiency: 22%
  • Corrosionresistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades as well as withstand high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa)

Last update on 2022-05-15 / Paid Affiliate Link / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need for Your RV?

Glad you asked. In this video, you’ll learn all you need to figure out how many solar panels you’ll need for your camper.

Additional Resources:

How do solar panels work?

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Ray Roman

Ray Roman is the co-owner/author of Go Travel Trailers. He is the main contributor of content and an avid researcher of travel trailers and the RV lifestyle. He loves fly fishing, vacationing in Red River, NM, and spending time with family and friends.