Installing solar panels on your RV can help you reduce your reliance on the power grid and save money on energy bills. It’s also an environmentally friendly option, so it’s a good choice if you want to leave less of an impact on the environment from gas emissions and other pollutants associated with traditional energy sources. Follow these steps to install solar panels on your RV so you can enjoy clean energy whenever you travel.
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DIY or Hire a Professional?
Installing solar panels can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Some of the steps in installing an RV solar panel are as follows:
Get a quote from an installer. Remember that installers will likely offer different options and warranties, so do your research beforehand. Check their reputation online or ask people who they have installed their systems in the past. Find out if they’re insured and certified. You don’t want to put yourself at risk by having a shoddy installation. Make sure you get a warranty too; this way you’ll know what is covered and what isn’t. You’ll also need to make sure the company you choose has experience with RV solar panels; otherwise, they might not know what they’re doing and things might go wrong very quickly.
Calculate Energy Needs
- RVs are great, but without a reliable power source, you can’t travel the country. Adding solar panels provides unlimited, clean energy that can be harnessed even while you’re parked in your spot at night. Check out these five steps to installing RV solar panels!Measure the sun exposure of your RV’s location and adjust your angle accordingly. Southern locations will require more drastic adjustments than those farther north.
- Think about where you’ll want to place the panels- it’s important to take into account which direction they face. The best position is south facing with an inclination between 30-45 degrees.
- Make sure all wiring meets safety standards (don’t forget about potential fire hazards!) before installation begins.
- Calculate Energy Needs: RVs are great, but without a reliable power source, you can’t travel the country.
Since solar panels generate electricity from the sun, it’s necessary to have them face south. Measure from the horizon which way south is and use a compass app or other simple device like a magnetic compass if you don’t know what direction south is in relation to your location. Ideally, you’ll want an angle of about 30 degrees away from flat, which will result in about 45 degrees towards the sun.
Determine Where to Place Panels on The Roof
Install the panels so that they face south at right angle between 30 and 45 degrees. Make sure you take into account any obstacles, such as trees or other buildings, before installation. For example, if there are more objects blocking sun exposure in one direction than another, the plan of putting your panels in that area may not work.
Solar Panel Installation Tools
Here are the tools you will need for installation:
- Pliers or wire cutters
- Safety glasses
- Work gloves
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Utility knife (if cutting wires)
- Electric drill with Phillips head drill bit set
- Locking pliers
- Wire strippers
- Wrench and sockets of appropriate size
How to Install Flexible Solar Panels on RV
Check with the manufacturer and make sure you know the voltage of your battery bank, panel wattage and amperage. Calculate how many panels you need using this equation: Battery V – Voltage x Panel Watts = Number of required panels
Decide where on your RV roof you’re going to put the panels. Try to avoid low hanging tree branches or utility lines as these will decrease exposure time and may obstruct sunlight from hitting the solar panels. If there are no trees in the area, then it’s best to place them so that they face south (or at a 30- 45 degree angle) towards any buildings or power poles that might obstruct their view of the sun. Remember, clean solar panels produce more energy when facing south at an angle between 30 and 45 degrees.
How to Install Renogy Solar Panels on RV
Choose the location of your panels. Pick a part of your roof that doesn’t block any entryways or windows.
Consult the manual, and remove all of the contents from inside the panel. Apply a clear protective film over the entire surface of the panel (or white paint if you don’t have access to a film). You’ll be able to remove it after installation is complete.
How Much to Install Solar Panels on RV
It will cost you about $10,000 to install solar panels on your motorhome. This cost includes all the materials and equipment required for installation. On average, a single watt of power generates 3.5 kWh per day (when used outdoors). The more watts of power a panel has, the higher energy output it can generate in a day. In order to calculate how many watts are needed for your specific RV rooftop size, multiply the surface area by 12 watts per square foot. For example: if you have 100 square feet of roof space available then you need 1200 watts worth of solar panels installed.
How to Install Harbor Freight solar panel on an RV
I’m going to show you how I installed solar panels on my RV. The first step is measuring the surface area of your roof. We’re going to install 2x 275-Watt, 24 Volt, Monocrystalline panels with an 8-amp battery which will be mounted in the front of the vehicle and connected using DC wiring. In order to attach the panels, we’ll need a set of clamps that can accommodate 16 mm or thicker material. Using a spirit level, mark the centerline and top edge of each panel, then measure the distance from that point back down to where they intersect (the hole), adding a little extra space so that it’s not too tight. Now drill holes at those points but don’t insert anything yet – just use them as guide points, so you know where you need to drill next time when inserting mounting bolts.
The time you invest in installing solar panels today can be a source of sustainable energy and financial freedom tomorrow. With the cost of renewables like solar continuing to drop, investing in this technology is becoming easier than ever before. Now that you know how easy it is, what are you waiting for? Start installing today!