Jump to content
ultraglide

Solar Panels

Recommended Posts

Is it possible to add solar panels to the roof of the RV in order to help with the A/C units.

We will be staying in Phoenix and would like to help with the electric bills at the campground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really. You would need a lot of panels to run an AC unit - a 13500 BTU unit requires 1400 to 1700 watts. I have 750 watts of solar and it takes up nearly 150 square feet on the roof and there just isn't room for much more. My 750 watts wouldn't run half of one AC unit. Solar would help keep your batteries charged and assist all 12 volt use (lights and control boards) reducing your power requirements somewhat but not much - perhaps $5-10 a month - not really worth it.

Solar is only a viable option if you boondock a lot. However, if boondocking and you want AC, your going to have run a generator - solar WILL NOT do do it.

Some more sophisticated coaches have inverters that can use battery power (charged by solar) to assist running appliances like AC units but I am nor familiar with how they work. I think they just kick in when pedestal power is lacking so you wouldn't gain anything with that either. Perhaps someone else can chime in on that subject.

Lenp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can check this link out if you like. It has more than just the solar upgrades but has a pretty good look at a high power solar set up

http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-modifications-technology​

960 Watts of GoPower! Solar Panels with Tilting Kit
  • 960 watt system with six 160 watt panels are wired together in series putting out over 100 volts DC. This allows us to use smaller cable for the long run from the solar panels to the solar controller because the amperage is still very low.
  • We have a potential of 54 amps of power per hour when in good sun, that’s a lot of power!
  • Tiltable for providing up to 40% more power from each panel.
  • Several manufactures are also doing solar pre-wire kits, but make sure to verify how much power the pre-wire kit can handle. Our GoPower! pre-wire kit that Fleetwood is using has 10 gauge cable that can handle our beefy system.
  • Product Cost – $611.00 each panel = $3,671.94
  • Install Cost – $2,200.00 22 hrs of labor billed (includes our Outback Solar Controller too)

Pricey and does not include the Hybrid inverter but wow what a solar setup for off the grid power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All my panels are 45Vdc open.

Total 960 watts installed over 3 years

Midnite classic 150 controller (Installed April 2015)

Cost of panels - $1200

Controller - $600

Labor - $0 - DIYer

Brackets - $50 for material

Misc - $300

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, to address the OP's question, no it is not practical to run a roof A/C by investing in solar.

Very true wolfe, but still a pretty good alternate power source. If they are looking to reduce there semi-permanent electricity cost at a winter park it would pay off in the long run. I see most parks will charge you the electric rate when you stay longer than a week or are a monthly camper. This was one of the OP's concerns as well. A good solar set up like any of the ones suggested here would reduce the cost and within a few years more than likely pay for its self in the initial purchase and install cost. If I am wintering then A/C should not be a big deal since even in the winter spots it is cooler and the solar would power most furnace blowers on a propane heat or the electric fireplaces in most coaches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, those are all good solar installations, BUT, when your parked at an RV park, are you going to plug into their power outlet to run your AC? If so, then all that solar power is just sitting there doing nothing but charging your batteries (maybe - depending on charge controller settings and converter settings).

Lenp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible to add solar panels to the roof of the RV in order to help with the A/C units.

We will be staying in Phoenix and would like to help with the electric bills at the campground.

Some day it might but right now there just isn't enough space to put enough panels to power the ac. I don't know of any way to use some solar and some shore power or some generator. Unfortunately it is one or the other. Solar is grate if you are camping off the grid but won't power the ac.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lenp, that is my point, if its winter you wouldn't need your A/C and the solar set up can power your coach just fine other than the A/C. Sure stay connected to the pole for needs but flip the breaker off on the pole and run on your solar. Saving for the monthly electric bill would be much greater for winter stays in long term parks. Just a thought for how to help justify the solar and help go a bit more green on energy use for your RV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...