Is Portable Solar or a DIY Solar Kit Better for Powering Your RV? Posted on 24 May 07:00

Either portable solar panels or a DIY roof-mounted solar kit can give you energy independence, as you won’t have to rely on RV campground electricity hookups for power. With energy from a photovoltaic system, you’ll be able to boondock, taking your RV to any remote location.

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So which type should you choose?

Pros and Cons of Portable Solar Panels

Portable solar panels can easily power your RV — all you have to do is take them out and place them in a sunny spot. Angle the modules directly toward the sun, and you’ll maximize your photovoltaic energy output.

And you won’t have to park out in the blazing sun. Your portable photovoltaic panels can soak up the rays while you relax in the shade. As a result, you’ll use less electricity running fans or air conditioning inside the RV. However, portable solar panels can’t be used while you’re on the road, so they won’t charge your leisure batteries. And you’ll have to set them up every time you need power — an added job many RVers don’t want.

Pros and Cons of a DIY Roof-Mounted Solar Kit

With a DIY roof-mounted solar kit, on the other hand, your leisure batteries can charge while you’re driving. When you park for the day, you’ll have all the electricity you need.

Attaching photovoltaic panels to your rooftop is easy with a do-it-yourself roof-mounted solar kit. And you can install as many as your space allows.

Roof-mounted photovoltaic panels have a couple of disadvantages for RV owners. First, if you aren’t on the road, you’ll need to park in full sun for your solar kit to produce electricity. Also, since the panels typically need to be mounted flat, energy output may not be optimal when you’re parked.

What’s the Right Solar Solution to Power Your RV?

When deciding on a do-it-yourself photovoltaic power solution for your RV, consider your power needs.

Portable solar kits may be best for RVers who have modest electricity needs and those who rarely travel. After all, they can only be used when you’re parked — which may not always be during the day, when the sun is shining. If you don’t stop driving until nightfall, your photovoltaic panels won’t produce any power.

A DIY roof-mounted photovoltaic system makes sense for RVers who travel with lots of electronic devices and appliances. A rooftop solar array creates electricity as you drive, so you won’t be left without power once it gets dark.

But you’ll have to look at your roof to make sure it is suitable for photovoltaic panels. The structure must be in good shape and strong enough to support the modules. And placing the photovoltaic array could be a challenge if luggage racks and RV equipment take up much of the space.

The Solar GOODs online solar superstore offers a complete line of portable solar panels and DIY roof-mounted solar kits. To browse our affordable do-it-yourself photovoltaic power systems, visit our website today.