A set of RV solar panels & matching batteries can help you boondock for weeks at a time. These electricity producing devices are a good, if not excellent, addition for any motorhome.
Demand On Your Solar Panels
I think the trick to having enough electrical power for your rig is a combination of good planning and conservation of energy consumption. It's like you are attempting to reach the same goal from two ends. You want to make your charging and storage systems work as efficiently as possible, while you are limiting their workload as much as can be reasonably expected.
You do not want to be so conservation-oriented that you are not having a good time. However there are many things you can do to save electricity. This conservation effort with the aid of a good RV solar panel, if thought out well, should not limit your recreational activities to a measurable degree.
Even just a small inexpensive RV solar trickle charger can help offset your supply/demand issues when you are camping off the grid. An RV solar powered battery charger is, after all, free energy.
Four Distinct Elements
There are four elements required in the design and operation of a good sun-generated charging system:
Photovoltaic cells are a very reliable and clean source of electrical power. They are designed to generate a small, but steady amount of current flow for as long as they are directly in the sunlight. The more directly they point toward the sun and the cooler the operation temperature is, the more efficiently they work.
It is not hard to set up a properly sized battery bank capable of delivering 12 V DC for as long as you need. If you are good at math and are able to put ALL of your electrical demands down on paper, you could then design a system that would take care of your needs. This is not a hard process, but mistakes can cost you money.
A logical way to go about setting yourself up with an RV solar panel array and battery storage system is to to start small with the goal of growing into your system. It is pretty simple really. Go to a good retail/information site like http://www.amsolar.com/ and have them help you out with developing a system that will suit your needs. They have a variety of RV solar kits to choose from. If you are living in Northern CA there is an outfit called WholeSale Solar located in Mt. Shasta. and they are offering Kyocera's polycrystalline KD140SX-UFBS 140-watt solar panels at a reasonable price.
The advantage of starting small is that you are able to ease your way into this project.
The bottom line is, if you cannot charge your battery bank fully at the end of the day, you will have to add more photovoltaic cells to your system.
Conversely, when you get up in the morning with too deep of a discharge (over 50%) on your battery bank, you will need to add more to your storage capacity.
It just takes some time and a little experience. Go on several short trips to figure things out. You have no reason to stress over getting everything "just right" the first time.
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