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Using the Sun to Power Your RV

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Recreational Vehicles

Using the Sun to Power Your RV

Rick Chapo
February 28, 2006

Jumping in your RV and leaving the rat race for the weekend is an American tradition. Did you know you can provide power to your RV with the sun while getting away from it all?

The Sun is Everywhere!

One of the biggest misconceptions regarding solar power is that it is limited to large panel systems on roofs. Au contraire! With new nanotechnology, solar power systems will soon be applied with the paint you use to improve your home. That’s still two or three years away, so what about now?

If you enjoy taking the RV out for an excursion, you can use solar power to provide your electrical needs. Whether you are going camping or to a NASCAR race, it is an exceedingly simple process.

Unlike homes, RVs run on direct current electricity. This makes them perfect for solar electricity since solar systems produce direct current electricity instead of alternating current. Put another way, there is no need for bulky converters to flip the electricity from direct to alternating. Instead, you can use the sun to power up your batteries directly.

Portable solar systems consist of pop-up solar modules with four or five panels. Essentially, they look like small ladders with solar panels instead of steps. You just pop them up on the roof of the RV or in an area where the sun hits them. The systems tie directly into your batteries and power them up during the day. Super easy and super clean.

The real advantage to solar RV systems has to do with noise. The traditional method for recharging your RV batteries is to turn on a generator and generators can be very loud. Even the quietest generator makes enough noise to make you feel like you live next to a construction site. Solar systems make no noise at all. There are no moving parts, just the sun beating down on the panels. You’ll never know they are even there.

If RVing is your thing, portable solar modules are worth taking a look at. With high fuel prices, you need to save a buck wherever you can.

Rick Chapo is with SolarCompanies.com, a directory of solar energy companies. Visit us to read more articles on solar power and renewable energy.



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