If you’re shopping for a new RV, you might be spotting the phrase “solar prep” in the descriptions of many of the rigs you’re browsing. It has increasingly become a popular feature in RVs as the demand for sustainable energy and environmental consciousness grows. Even if a greener planet isn’t at the top of your priority list, there are still many perks to installing solar panels on your RV. While installing solar power on your RV is an up-front investment and will require some extra research, they can bring about long-term benefits such as camping freedom and savings – two things most RVers love! Read on to find out what you can expect from solar equipped RVs and how they can improve your camping trips.
The scoop on solar
When an RV is described as “solar ready,” it means it is wired in order for you to install after market solar panels. These rigs are typically wired in one of two ways: with a solar ready sidewall port or a roof port. Then, it’s up to you to purchase and install the solar panels themselves according to your needs. Typically, a roof port can handle a more powerful solar power system. With the increase in demand for solar power in RVs though, some manufacturers are catching on and providing factory-ready solar options. Airstream, for example, has a solar option where you can monitor your battery percentage and solar activity with a display screen inside your rig. Features like these will only become more and more popular as the use of solar power in RVs continues to rise.
Extend your battery life
The main function of solar panels is to recharge the battery bank that powers your RV. Without solar panels, you’re likely going to rely on an on-board or portable generator to recharge your batteries, both of which require gasoline. With your solar panels keeping your battery bank topped off, you’ll save on gas and be able to save your generator for rainy days or days when you just have to have high-powered appliances like your air conditioner. What’s even more is that powering your battery with solar can extend your battery life by years. This means paying to replace your battery less over the course of your RV’s lifetime, which is definitely a win.
The main reason people choose to invest in solar energy for their RV is for the freedom it brings. If your RV is equipped with solar power, you’re no longer tied to looking for RV parks with electric hookups. When your RV is self-sufficient, you can camp pretty much anywhere. You’re able to boondock or dry camp worry-free without shortening your trip to get back to gas or electric. Some of the most scenic and solitary places to camp in the US are on public lands, and solar power gives you the freedom you need to enjoy them. Another perk of boondocking on public lands? It’s free! Goodbye to the days of paying hefty RV park fees only to feel like you’re camping right on top of your neighbors. It’s also worth noting that RV solar power makes no noise at all. This means you can connect with the quiet of nature instead of the constant buzzing of your generator.
Better for the environment
Most RVers hold the outdoors in high regard. We love national parks, fresh air and immersing ourselves in nature. For many of us, it’s why we got into RVing in the first place! It would stand to reason then, that RVers would also have a concern for keeping the environment clean. RV solar power is one way to do that. Solar power is on the rise all over, not just in RVs, because people are becoming more conscious of how fossil fuels affect the environment. Solar power provides a renewable alternative and reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Switching to solar power on your RV can reduce your carbon footprint and help keep the nature we love happy and healthy for years to come.
The Future of RV Solar
Whether you’re concerned with savings, freedom or the environment, there are many reasons why solar power is growing in popularity with RVers. When you’re shopping for your next rig, try using RVUSA.com’s advanced search feature to search for RVs that are equipped with solar prep. A greener and freer camping experience awaits!