Solar on the Road

Solar on the Road

Solar on the Road: Power Your RV with Sunlight

There’s nothing quite so thrilling as loading up the RV and heading off into the unknown. The freedom to drive and stay wherever you wish, in the comfort of a place designed by you and for you, is powerful. Perhaps something about your travels have you wondering whether solar power for your RV is a suitable option for your lifestyle? The bottom line, as you will see, is that it depends on you, your travel lifestyle, and your budget; but it could very likely be a responsible, efficient, and life-giving option for you and your RV travels.


The Benefits of RV Powering Your RV with Sunlight

There are several reasons you might explore solar power options for your RV, and we explore the most significant below.

  • Freedom! If you’ve never traveled into the unknown without a plan for electrical hookups, you’ll be invigorated by the thrill. Traveling with a solar-powered RV allows you to travel and camp off-the-grid without worrying about electrical connectivity, and without the usual generator noise.
  • The electricity generated by solar power is gentle and noiseless, unlike gas-powered generators that are typically used to charge the battery banks. This can make for an even more pleasant camping experience. The only noise you’ll hear is the quiet hum of your appliances running.
  • Eco-friendly. The most obvious benefit of the solar-powered RV experience is the positive contribution you are making to the environment. By harnessing the energy of the sun, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, solar energy is the only completely renewable energy source.
  • Customization. To run your RV with solar power will require a certain level of customization to outfit your RV with the energy it needs. This means you can have it exactly the way you want it, and your travel can be exactly the experience you need it to be.


The Benefits of Sticking with Traditional Travel Power Options

As with any decision, there may be valid reasons to stick with what you know. In this case, the solar-powered RV decision requires some cost-benefit analysis and intentional lifestyle choices.


  • DIY Danger. Some manufacturers come equipped with connections to run your RV on solar power, but often they come without the actual kit installed. Making this decision may lead you down the path of becoming a master at assembling your solar power kit which could lead to frustration or even disastrous results. This doesn’t always have to be the case, though, and you can opt to take it to a dealer that will customize your solar panel to fit your RV.
  • Cost Recovery. The initial investment in solar power for your RV can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 depending on the extent of your needs. Because solar power requires several components to make it work, there should be no skimping on this investment if you want the best experience possible. If you travel frequently and rely on solar power for your electricity generation, the cost may be recovered relatively quickly. However, if you don’t RV all that often, it may not make as much sense to rely on this option.
  • Tradeoffs. If you choose to power your RV with solar power, you must still be somewhat strategic in your travel plans. For starters, traveling to someplace sunny is a must if you’re wanting to rely on the power generation of your solar panels. Additionally, by going off-the-grid, you do have to trade certain amenities for that breath-taking freedom. But with careful planning and strategy, you can mitigate the impact of these tradeoffs.


Final Thoughts

The whole purpose of getting an RV is the freedom it offers to travel and stay wherever the wind blows your fancy. By upgrading and outfitting your RV with solar power, you grow that freedom, make a positive environmental impact, rest easy without noise, and customize your RV to exactly fit your wants and needs. The drawbacks are minimal and can easily be mitigated, and the best part is, the more you use your solar-powered RV, the faster you recoup your investment. Now, get to traveling!


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