Should You Add Solar? Solar for RV is a great fit for some, but not for everyone
If you are like me, you have considered adding solar to your RV, but just aren't sure it is worth the investment.
I just added solar to my 30 foot Class A. This is my third RV; the first one was a 19' Roadtrek van style RV, the second one was a 26" Born Free Class C RV, and the one I bought a few months ago is a 30" Class A. All are 1990 era so similar in age. So why solar now?
The primary reason I decided to invest in solar now is because of the way I am using my RV. I started full-time RV travel last year which is the reason I upsized to the 30' Class A, and it is also the reason I added Solar.
It is worth mentioning that for four years before I started full-time I would travel a couple months once or twice a year, as well as extended weekends, and averaged approximately 7,000 miles per year. This was alot of travel compared to most people I meet who were doing long weekends and maybe one or two week long trips each year, and mostly at locations where they had full hook-ups. Also, about half or more of my travels during those four years I was staying plugged in at family, friends, or parks. So the benefit of solar at that time was not worth the investment.
My full-time plans will still include a few months each year plugged in at family, friends, and parks, but I will spend the majority of each year "boondocking".
Over the past few years RV solar quality and options have increased and prices have decreased, so it is much more budget friendly now!
I purchased my Renogy 200 Watt RV Solar Kit from Amazon for about $400. I was visiting my nephew in Salt Lake City at the time so I had the install done by State Trailer in Taylorsville, Utah. The total labor for the solar install was about $250.
It has been a couple weeks and I still have not plugged into shore power or run my generator. And I am still surprised each day that the solar system keeps my two 12 Volt deep cell batteries fully charged!
So for me there were a few years of RV travel where solar was not the right choice, and now for my use it is Great to have Solar keeping my Batteries Full.