Traveling in an RV can be a lot of fun; you'll always have a place to stay no matter how crowded the hotels may be wherever you go. But traveling in one of these vehicles can also mean having some questionable power supplies if you have to boondock, or stay outside an RV park that provides power. RVs can be rigged to be nearly self-powering; you'd still need gas to drive it, but solar panels can provide a lot of the electricity you'd need to run the appliances inside. The power intake through those solar panels, though, can be affected by a few factors that can make it harder to extract all the power you need.
It's important to remember that solar panels need daylight and not necessarily bright sunlight to extract at least a low amount of power. That being said, if you're dealing with a series of cloudy or rainy days, or you're in a northern location that doesn't get much winter light, your solar panels might not be very reliable. As you use more power and as more cloudy days reduce any stored power supplies that you have, you could notice that appliances aren't working as well as they should.
There's not much you can do about the weather; even if you were to try to drive to another location where the forecast was for sunnier skies, you could find that another weather system is moving into that location just as you arrive. What you would want to do first is try to optimize your solar panels' ability to grab solar energy by using a power optimizer. That could provide enough power so that you don't have to constantly be on the move, searching for an open spot in an RV park.
There's no doubt that being in a park that provides full services including power hookups is nice. But when you have to boondock, or when the only spots available are in older parks that provide less power than your vehicle needs, having that optimizer will be incredibly helpful.
Shady Spots in Summer
There's one other issue that you may encounter. Picture a perfectly sunny day in the middle of summer. It's hot, so you want to find some shade, so your RV doesn't bake, and your air conditioning doesn't experience excess strain.
But that also means that your solar panels' exposure to the sun will be restricted, and you'll have less power generation. It's a frustrating situation if you don't have a way to move the panels into direct sunlight. But again, having a power optimizer can help your array extract more energy and provide more power.
If you don't yet have a power optimizer for your RV, have one installed now. As winter continues -- and even when spring and summer arrive with their usual supply of storms -- that optimizer will help keep your RV appliances humming along.
Contact a company that carries solar edge power optimizers for more information and assistance.Share