Most people who own an RV will consider it as their home away from home. In actual fact, an RV is almost like your house on wheels but minus some of the electrical appliances.
Due to the limited on board power supply, you can only use a couple of electronic gadgets on your vehicle. Your kids may want to bring along their Playstation, Xbox or Nintendo Wii along on long RV trips.
Tapping on the existing RV power supply will drain the batteries very fast. You won’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere just because your battery went dead.
How do you create more power on your RV?
The easiest way to get more power on your vehicle is to purchase an RV solar panel kit. All you need to do is install the kit on your RV and you’ll have instant power on the go.
The only drawback is the cost of the kit. A 330 watt RV solar power system will cost upwards of $2800! It’s fair to say you can ask your kids to leave their gadget behind.
A cheaper alternative is to build the RV solar panels via a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach. A portable solar power system is actually quite simple. The main components are the solar panels, charge controller, battery units and power inverter.
The solar panel is made from small Photovoltaic (PV) cells soldered together. The PV cell has a natural tendency to generate electric current when exposed to direct sun light.
The charge controller will then use the current from the panel to charge the backup battery bank. For a small RV, you may need 4 – 6 units of 12 volts deep cycle batteries.
Since batteries can only hold Direct Current (DC), you will need the power inverter to change the DC to Alternate Current (AC). Most of the modern electrical equipment run on AC and all you have to do is plug them into the power output from the inverter.
How much will the homemade RV solar power system cost?
It depends on where you can find good bargain for the solar component. Nonetheless, a DIY solar power system would cost less than $700.
To reduce the cost of the system, you can actually make the solar panels on your own. You can do so by purchasing cheap or used PV cells from Ebay. The next step is to solder all the cells together and put them into a custom build solar panel box.
For a complete step by step instruction guide and blueprint, check out Michael Harvey’s Earth4Energy guide. It comes with PDF file e-books and High Definition (HD) instructional videos. Check out the Earth4Energy review on this blog for more information.