Just because you have a new or an old motorhome or camper, doesn’t mean that you can’t consistently add on to it, modify it, or customise it exactly how you want it to be. Solar Panels are a great way to add something productive and efficient to your motorhome or camper and the kind of customisation that pays off in real-world benefits.
There are a ton of reasons that solar panels are a great addition to your Motorhome or Camper. They’re eco-friendly, energy-saving, money-saving, easy to maintain, and they run quietly, avoiding the noise of generators.
It’s also a great time to make the jump from gas-powered or AC power into solar panels as the technology is constantly improving. Solar panels are no longer extremely heavy, bulky, and undependable devices of the past.
- Why are Solar Panels Beneficial for Motorhome/Campervan Owners?
- Best Solar Panels for Motorhomes/Campers
- Final Thoughts
Why are Solar Panels Beneficial for Motorhome/Campervan Owners?
There are a lot of good reasons to jump into the alternative energy universe of which solar panels are a mainstay. This is especially true when it comes to camping of any type, from motorhomes to pitching a tent in the wilderness.
You Get Peace and Quiet
No more generators breaking the peace and quiet of nature. Of course, if you park your motorhome/camper in a major campground, there will always be the typical hustle and bustle of other campers within the park.
Even so, the quiet that replaces the constant noise of a roaring generator is a little bit of bliss in and of itself. If you want to use solar power as a primary source of power, you’ll have to install multiple panels, enough to keep your batteries charged to peak throughout the day.
Saves Money in the Long Run
There are some significant upfront costs to purchase and install a solar panel system, especially if you want it to become the primary source of power for your motorhome. However, it’s not much more—and in some instances, it’s less—than the cost of a premium generator.
Also, with a generator, you have a finite energy source that has to be frequently replaced with fuel, which costs more money in the long term. None of that includes the fact that generators require far more maintenance and repairs can be very costly.
Your upfront costs for solar panels will include:
Once you have all of the tools necessary and everything is installed, you’re good as gold and the only maintenance that you will have to concern yourself about is keeping your solar panels nice and clean.
Speaking of keeping your solar panels clean, the maintenance required on solar panels is negligible in comparison to owning generators. With generators, repairs are usually pretty expensive and it generally means it will be labor-intensive.
That’s not to mention the amount of fuel required. With solar panels, there are two levels of concern when it comes to taking care of them. The first one is keeping your batteries in top condition, checking for corrosion, and keeping them topped off.
Also, you want to keep the solar panels clean. You don’t need anything special to do the cleaning either. You want to keep dirt, debris, snow, mud, sticks, and leaves clear from your solar panels at all times.
The best part is that there is no fuel involved, no spark plugs, no oil changes, and no air filters that will ever need changing, adding to, or any additional maintenance.
There’s something to be said about not consistently burning fuel and oil in order to power your motorhome needs. Solar panels only need sunlight and they will deliver the power you need quietly, efficiently, and cleanly.
There is a valid argument to be made concerning the chemicals that go into manufacturing solar panels. They are highly toxic to humans and wildlife in general, however, so long as you maintain your solar panels and don’t toss them on the side of the road, it should be ok.
More Freedom of Movement
Campground options diminish when it comes to generators because there are plenty of viable options that won’t accept generators, or that allow “primitive” versions of camping, and generators wouldn’t be allowed.
There may be some really nice campgrounds out there that you would completely miss out on if you are wholly dependant on generators for your power consumption. With solar panels, you can have all of the power and luxuries of a generator in a campground that won’t allow them.
You could also run into campgrounds where they’re available spots that have electrical hook-ups that are all filled up. Thanks to the benefits of solar power, that won’t ever be a problem for you.
Best Solar Panels for Motorhomes/Campers
This is a very flexible solar panel that gives you plenty of installation options that other, rigid solar panels can’t do. They have 248° of flexibility which means you could almost wrap them around a telephone pole if it floats your boat.
It has a light transmittance and a higher efficiency rate than standard solar panels. It comes with an efficient—if not mind-blowing—LCD screen and the entire setup weighs less than 70% of standard solar panels. Of course, that’s an outstanding advantage in portability for RV traveling.
The HQST is the polar opposite of the Renogy in that it is a heavy-duty solar panel. Despite its size and rugged durability, it’s designed for ease of use with plug-n-play features on the opposite side of the panel.
These panels are also designed to easily expand the system and add more solar panels at your discretion. Along with its durability, it is also rated at IP65 in terms of water and weatherproof, so if you catch a mean wave of rain, no harm no foul.
This 130 Watt solar panel is unique on the list for its fold-out setting for easy assembly when you’re ready to plant roots and take a breather for a while. This is the perfect setup if you don’t want to see a bunch of solar panels on your roof or just don’t want to install them.
It’s also a good accessory for solar panels that are already installed, especially if you just need a little extra juice for your accessories. It also comes with a large number of connection options so if you already have solar panels installed, there is probably a way to connect them.
The last one on our list is a 100-Watt solar panel system and is designed as a stand-alone or as an expandable unit. It comes with a 100 amp-hour AMG, 12-volt battery. The setup is designed as a backup system or to supplement a larger design.
There are far more positive reasons to install a solar panel system on your motorhome or campervan than negative ones. If you decide to go with a solar system, you’ll have more versatility on the road and it will give you that go-anywhere mentality.
Solar panels are unique in that they are the perfect, portable accommodation for a portable lifestyle traveling across the country.
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