Powering a home, office, or urban project with solar power has become a popular way to save on energy costs and do one’s part to help save the planet over the past few years. But while the solar power market may be mostly geared towards these applications, there is one use for solar power that takes advantage of these great benefits while also being a convenient solution to common powering problems: the RV, or recreational vehicle and camping.
Many RV owners and campers are already keen consumers when it comes to cutting costs and finding creative ways to live, work, and play efficiently. When traveling, having an adequate and affordable source of power is paramount to a comfortable and convenient experience. The use of a solar energy system can take advantage of an RV’s exposure to sunlight and translate that exposure into significant savings and convenience.
The first step toward setting up solar panels and required accessories for an RV is to take an inventory of the specific items you’d like to power with the solar array. Most appliances found in an RV can be easily powered via a solar energy system.
Many manufacturers sell special “RV solar kits,” which include solar panels and basic accessories such as a battery bank, specifically geared towards use in recreational vehicles. If you’re concerned about cutting costs, you may wish to create your own set of solar panels and accessories. Choose quality components adequate for your specific application, be mindful of corresponding voltages, and you’re sure to have a blast while you prepare to reap the benefits of free, clean energy that both you and nature can enjoy.
When thinking about solar power to equip your RV or camper, think outside the box. In addition to the traditional solar systems for RVs, you might also consider buying gadgets that would supplement your solar energy system. Here’s a list of some readily available solar powered items:
Water Bottle & Night Light: Take this ingenious solar water bottle on your next camping trip. While it absorbs solar energy during the day with its built-in solar panel, you can use it as a water bottle. After dark, it comes in handy as a spare LED lantern.
Light String: Want to make your RV more festive and welcoming? Hang a string of solar powered LED lights on your awning to welcome friends and neighbors. These lights can be used indoors or out.
2-in-1 Hybrid Solar Power Flashlight & Radio: The best of both worlds! Can be run on solar power or hand crank. These combo flashlight and radios come in a variety of sizes and with a range of options. Some even have cell phone charger connectors.
LED Flashlight: Solar charged LED flashlights come in a variety of sizes and brightness levels. The smaller ones are often found with keychain attachments and the larger ones have handles to hang up at night.
Cell phone and MP3 Player Chargers: Readily available in most camping stores, these chargers often do double duty, charging both cell phones and other MP3 players. These are very handy for RV users because you always like to have your cell phone fully charged and using a solar powered charger keeps your energy usage down.
Solar powered gadgets and traditional solar panel systems are readily available, reasonably priced and are a convenient source of power for those in the RV community. Consider supplementing your RV and camping power sources with some solar power.