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Solar Electric Panel - Letting The Sun Energize Your RV

Any seasoned RVer knows the importance of electricity and water in your RV. Most camping grounds and RV parks offer hook up facilities to meet these needs. Most government-owned campgrounds do not have such facilities. Your rig may have large self-contained systems and deep cycle batteries to provide power. They too need periodic replenishment. What do you do to replenish your electricity, especially when you are out in the boondocks? Solar electric panels may be the answer. Let the “Sun God” – Sol – do the work for you.

Solar power provides you the freedom to go to more remote locations, without relying on a plug-in power source. Solar Systems for recreational vehicles may be small for charging batteries only, or large enough to power the entire vehicle.

Solar Panels – Zero Maintenance Generators
You may have often wondered - "how do solar panels work?" A solar electric panel is a set of silicon cells arranged in a series to produce electric power when exposed to sunlight. Solar electric panels have no moving parts. They require no maintenance, and have cells that last for decades. They are left out in the sun, wires hooked to collect power. The process by which solar panels use sunlight to recharge the batteries of your RV is called Photovoltaics (PV). Surprisingly, no one knows the life of solar electric panels. The first photovoltaic panels are still producing power today!

The sun’s energy is converted into electricity through these panels. Each panel has cells containing silicon. Silicon absorbs sunlight and the energy in this absorbed light produces a small electric current. 33 to 36 cells are hooked in series to generate sufficient voltage to charge 12-volt batteries. The solar heating panels are equally efficient and reliable. They are more cost effective if you have an electric water heater in your vehicle.

Solar Panel Mountings for RVs


The roof mounted solar panels for RVs can be tilted to face the sun. During travel, they should be laid flat on the roof. Four adjustable mounting pads are bolted to the roof of the recreational vehicle. There is an arrangement for tilting the solar panels at various angles to face the sun.

Many makers of solar electric panels and solar heating panels offer do-it-yourself (DIY) kits to incorporate solar energy into your RV’s systems. These DIY kits come with durable aluminum frames for universal mounting, are equipped with a battery discharge prevention circuit and easy connect battery cables.


Types of Solar Panels
There are three types of solar panels:

  • Monocrystalline is made from a single large crystal. Though quite efficient, it is also very expensive.
  • Polycrystalline is the most common of all types. Blocks of silicon that contains many crystals, it is slightly less efficient than Monocrystalline, but the actual difference in watts per square foot is negligible.
  • Amorphous is cheaper to produce and is much less efficient.

All panels do only one thing. They produce electricity when the sun hits them. You buy the solar panels based on how much power you need, how much room you have on your RV, and where they will be mounted.

Check out our recommended resources below for attractive deals and offers on these and many other models of solar electric panels and solar heating panels.

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