The winter, snowbird season is upon us, and a parade of RVers is now underway south, many to boondock for months on end on public lands of the desert Southwest. If that’s you, then you probably already have enough solar panels to power your RV. But if you still need to get equipped, these “Rules of Thumb” from the folks at AM Solar will give you an idea of what you may need.
1. Use a minimum 65 watt solar panel for basic battery maintenance on trailers and fifth wheels.
2. Use a minimum 100 watt solar panel for basic battery maintenance on motorhomes.
3. For the more conservative consumers of electricity: Allow 200 amp-hours of battery storage capacity and 150 to 250 watts of solar panels.
4. For the more liberal consumers of electricity: Allow 400 amp-hours of battery storage capacity and 300 to 500 watts of solar panels.
5. For “hard core” boondockers with mobile offices: Allow 600 amp-hours of battery storage capacity and 500 to 800 watts of solar panels. AM Solar also encourages the use of an M.P.P.T. Current Boosting Controller.
Bear in mind that you can start with one or two solar panels and add more later if needed.