To comfortably run your RV, you will need an average of 400-700 watts of solar energy. With this power, you can easily power your essential devices. You could even have your AC running for a few hours.
Are you looking to live full-time in your RV? Determining the right amount of power you need may be one of your biggest challenges. Investing in a solar power system is relatively costly, so making a mistake is off the grid. So how much power do you need? Read on to discover this and much more!
Guide to Sizing Your RV Solar System
A lot of solar power systems are available in the market today. They come in different size variations, and you can choose the best suits you. Before we discuss how to size your solar power, it is worth noting that your battery capacity must always match the power produced. If your panels produce more power than your batteries can store, your investment will not be worth it.
Know How Much Power Your Devices Consume
One of the best ways to determine how much power you need is to draft an estimate based on the appliances and devices installed in your RV. All electrical devices usually have a label showing how much power they consume in watts.
Identify the number of watts on each device, and then multiply the figure by the approximate number of hours the device may run on a typical day. This gives you the daily watt-hour power usage for the device. Repeat the process for all your devices. The total will show an estimate of how much power you use. Use this data to inform your choice of how much power you need. The table below gives an example of how this calculation may look like;
|Device/ Appliance||Watts (W)||Hours Per Day (h)||Total (Watts/Hour)|
Go Camping and See How Much Power You Consume
If you do not like to spend time doing a lot of calculations, this method is for you. Just go camping in your RV, and see how much power you use. This method is more practical and shows better accuracy.
Before you go out on your camping venture, ensure your batteries are fully charged. Use your RV, devices, and appliances as you usually would to get the best results. To track your power consumption, you will need a battery monitor.
Your battery monitor will show how much battery charge you have remaining and your power consumption in amps per hour. To convert these to watts per hour, multiply the figure by your battery voltage.
If you choose to live in your RV, one of the hardest challenges you could face is power shortage. With the simple methods listed above, you can easily determine your RV’s power consumption. Use this information to make informed choices, and enjoy a self-sufficient power system in your RV.
Can my AC run on Solar Power in my RV?
Yes, it can. Although the AC requires a lot of power to run, you may have it on for a few hours. However, if you need to use the AC for extensive hours, you may need to boost the power with a generator.
What other factors do I need to consider before installing my RV solar panels?
Other factors you may need to consider are the space available on your RV’s roof, the capacity of the batteries you use, and the weight of the solar panels in relation to your RV.