RV Solar Panels

The first component in a solar installation for your RV would be the solar panels for your rig.  There are many name brands out there, but in the end, all RV Solar Panels have the same job.  They capture and convert the sun’s energy and deliver that energy into your RV and battery plant.

Unlike standard household solar panels, RV solar panels need to be smaller in order to fit on your RV.  While solar panels have improved immensely over the years, they still take some space on your RV’s roof.  So when you’re considering your own RV solar installation, keep in mind that available space on your roof will dictate (in part) how much power you can really generate.  The latest RV solar panels do vary in size, and the size differences also dictate price differences.  Smaller foot print panels will cost more, larger will cost a little less.

What Effects Your RV Solar Panels Performance?

There are several items that will impact your solar panel’s operation.  When planning your system there are some things that Precision RV can do to mitigate issues, but some issues will arise no matter what you do.  A short list and explanation follows below.

  • Light Intensity:  The brighter your location, the more your solar cells can produce.  The sun striking your RV solar panels directly will help you reach your maximum wattage produced.  Unfortunately, the sun moves throughout the day, and as it follows it’s daily course the actual amount of sunlight hitting your panels will vary.  Short of keeping up with the tilt of your panels all day, expecting maximum output from your solar panels all day is unrealistic.
  • Shadows:  Following along with the light intensity, it’s reasonable to expect that shadows on your solar panels will also impact (negatively) the amount of power produced on each panel.  This is an item that many DIY solar installations don’t take into consideration.  Your air conditioner can cast shadows on your panels.  Your satellite TV antenna could cast shadows.  Also, where you park your RV could introduce a host of shadows.  The more shadows cast throughout the day, the lower the output of your panels.  When evaluating your RV, Precision RV keeps “shadowing” in mind when we plan your system.
  • Temperature:  The actual temperature of your solar panels, and the cells on them, does have an impact on your panel’s performance.  As the cells heat up the efficiency of your power production diminishes.  It sounds a little strange, but heat has an impact.  So while you’re trying to get the most direct sunlight, the hotter the cells get the less efficient they become.

There are more items than the list above that will impact the efficiency of your RV Solar Panels.  The above is a “short list” of some major factors.  If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with Precision RV to discuss your solar needs.

RV Solar Panels from Precision RV

Marvin, Precision RV’s owner, bringing an RV Solar Panel onto the roof of an Artic Fox

RV Solar Panels being installed by Precision RV

“Marvelous” Marv planning out the best location for the RV Solar Panels on his client’s RV

What RV Solar Panels Are Right For You?

RV Solar Panel Airstream Installation

Most of the RV Solar Panels on this custom Airstream Installation can be tilted to help maximize sunlight hitting the panels

There’s a lot of information out there on the internet about RV Solar Installations.  There are plenty of DIY packages out there, and instructions on installing your solar system.  And maybe that’s the right approach for you.  But if it isn’t, Precision RV is here to help you plan for your entire system.

Precision RV has worked on just about every type of RV there is, from large Class A motorhomes, to 5th wheels, travel trailers, truck campers, Airstreams & other recreational vehicles as well.  Every installation had different requirements, and different spacial constraints when it came to placing the RV solar panels.

With over 14 years of experience, Precision RV really understands everything about RV Solar Power. Precision RV will help you select the right RV solar panels for your needs.  We’ll plan through your solar panel placement, we’ll keep in mind issues like “shadowing” and heat, and we’ll make recommendations based on our knowledge and experience.