How Much Solar Power Do I Need for My RV?

While you are in your RV, you wouldn't want any kind of hassle in terms of electricity. You will never know when you will need to charge your laptop or turn on the lights for a couple of hours.

If you use a generator for the electricity, you will have a hard time enjoying the RV. You won't have a peaceful time with yourself or your family.

As generators are very noisy when they work and along with that fumes are generated which can make the surrounding polluted and gloomy. You wouldn’t want that, right? So, to avoid this problem, the solar panel will be the best thing to use. The panel only uses solar energy from the Sun and converts it to electrical energy.

And most importantly, it is free of cost. The cost comes in terms of oil or fuel which is needed for the generator. For the solar panel, you just need proper sunlight which is a natural process.

RV Solar Panels

While using a solar panel, you will want to use the electricity for a long amount of time. To achieve that, you must know the amount of solar power you will need for your RV so that the solar panel is used efficiently. This article will cover all of it.

Let’s get started!

Advantages of Using A Solar Panel

Using a solar panel to power your RV is full of advantages. It will benefit you a lot. The solar panel is fixed, and you can easily fit on your RV and ride along with it without any problem. As it is easy to fit, you won't need any kind of installation. Charging it doesn't create any sort of noises or disturbances like the one you will see in a generator.

Solar Power For RV

Not only you but the people around you will also be free of any type of irritating sound because of the panel in place of a generator. You won't need any oil or fuel to charge it up. Just proper sunlight will do the work effectively.

As a result, you will also be contributing towards the welfare of the society as there will be no pollution released in the surrounding environment. You can fit any size of the solar panel and in any way, you want, according to your RV's requirement.

Last but not least, the charging process is free of cost. So, this shows that not only will you be saving money, you will also be making the environment greener along with it.

Solar Power Needed for Your RV

Before you go for the solar panel, you must know the amount of solar power that you will need for your RV. You can do it by finding out the number of days it takes for your battery to run out without the help of a generator.

RV batteries have different capacities. Suppose you are using two 80Ah (amp-hour) battery and the energy got drained within two days of your usage. Two batteries will give you 160Ah of energies that you can use for your electrical purpose. But you have to keep in mind that 1/4th of the energy will be lost to the surroundings and the wire due to the dissipation of heat energy.

RV Solar Panels

So, you are left with 3/4th of the overall energy for your usage. The 3/4th of energies will be stored in your batteries.

This means you will be able to use 120Ah of energy. To find out the amount of energy that you use every day, simply divide the number of days that the battery was in full use with the amount of energy it provided (120/2 = 60Ah). So, you are using 60Ah of energy per day for your purpose in RV.

Next, you should find the number of solar panels that you should be using along with the mentioned battery usage. If you are using 200-watt power solar panel, the voltage produced by the panel will be 160 volts and the current generated will be 1.25 Amps (200 Watt / 160 volts = 1.25 Amps).

The current calculated is on an hourly basis. So, for a whole day (24 hours), the current generated will be 30 Amps (24 x 1.25 = 30 Amps). In this case, you will most probably need to use double 200-watt power solar panel to provide efficient power to your RV. This is the way that you should be calculating and choosing the correct solar panel for your RV.

One important thing to note is that the solar panel should be exposed to 4 to 5 hours of peak sunlight daily for its proper performance.

Things to Check Before Getting A Panel According to The Solar Power

Follow the mentioned points to be a step ahead of any kind of problems.

Rating of The Power

After you have done the calculation, you will have an easy time finding the right solar power for your panel. So, check the wattage of the solar panel so that you can have an idea about the sizing that you are going to use for your RV.

Maximum Power in Amps

This is very important to check as this will give you the idea about the maximum power in amps that the solar panel can generate in proper sunlight. If you buy a solar panel with a maximum power of 6 amp at peak and you plan on using the electricity for 7 hours straight, you then have to charge it for 42-amp hours daily.

Maximum Power in Volts

This will give you the idea about the maximum power in volts that the solar panel can generate in proper sunlight. If it crosses the maximum voltage, the panel will start to heat up, and the heat energy will be lost to the surroundings. This will make your charging process lengthy. So, take all forms of measured steps before buying it.

A Solar Panel For RV


I hope this article gave you the necessary information that you were looking for regarding installing a solar panel for your RV. Consult with the panel supplier as they will advise you to choose the specific one according to the required solar power for your RV.

After all, solar power will be the one responsible for your overall efficiency. Choose the one that suits your RV’s requirement.

All the best!

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