Monday, January 30, 2023


Does your RV have at least one permanently mounted solar panel?

Do you have at least one solar panel permanently mounted on your RV? Solar panels are becoming more and more popular with RVers, as more switch to boondocking to avoid crowded, expensive campgrounds.

If you’re always connected to shore power, you probably don’t have and don’t need a solar panel. If you only boondock occasionally, perhaps you have a portable solar panel kit, not one that is permanently installed. These are great for those few times a year you go boondocking!

Please tell us in the poll below if you have a permanent solar panel. If you have any questions about solar, leave a comment! There’s a good chance you’ll get it answered.


If you value what you learn from, would you please consider becoming a voluntary subscriber by pledging your support? Every contribution, no matter how modest, helps us serve you better. Thank youLearn more here.

Facebook Groups you might like
RVing with Dogs
RV Tech Tips
RV Advice
Towing Behind a Motorhome
RVing Over 70
. . . and the official Facebook page

Winterizing your RV this season? Amazon has a wide choice of RV antifreeze.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dave J
2 years ago

We boondock at Quartzsite, and are ready to respond as disaster recovery workers for the Red Cross.

Wayne James
2 years ago

I have 3 permanent solar panels for 450 watts for our Shadow Cruiser. If we have propane and sunlight we don’t normally need power hook up. I stored it at a friend’s farm for two weeks and it needed nothing. We have four 95 amp hour batteries lead acid sealed and they are five years old. I hope to get many more. Next batteries are lithium for sure. We also have a 2000/3000 inverter.

2 years ago

We have 2 on our roof but we haven’t the foggiest idea what to do with them or how to use them!

2 years ago

One, supposedly, 200 watt permanently mounted panel that charges (4) deep cycle 12v batteries. It is excellent at keeping our full size refrigerator going between locations in our full-time travels in a 5th wheel. In one instance, the batteries and solar panel kept the refrigerator working for 48 hours without any shore power, although it did use up more than 50% of the batteries, in 110 degree temps in Las Vegas.

David Barnett
2 years ago

No, however I have a 160 watt “ZAMP” carryout/foldout unit which I can move around during the day for peak efficiency.

Judy S
2 years ago

On my class B I have no propane or generator. Only solar, which powers a
12v Cruise n Comfort air conditioner, two Dometic fridges, heated floors, induction cooktop, microwave, water heater, water pump, two ceiling fans and espresso maker.

Everything is run on 400 watts of fixed rooftop residential grade panels and 420 amps of lithium batteries. (And 30 amp shore power, rarely used.)

If I had more room I’d double it, but only because my home area is the Pacific northwest. It’s more than adequate when I follow the sun.

Last edited 2 years ago by Judy S
Jeff Craig
2 years ago

No, but I do have three 15W Battery Tender all-in-one panels that I place in the front windows of my Class A, so the batteries keep a charge, even in the dead of a Seattle winter.

Steve Kight
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

I don’t know why so many people DON’T do that. There are about a dozen motor homes where I store my trailer and not one has a trickle charger. I know 1 or 2 that had to replace the batteries at the start of the camping season.

Bill Coady
2 years ago

I carry my portable solar panels with a 50′ cable (and a 50′ cable lock) so I can collect the sun even when my trailer is parked in the shade and move it around during the day to maximize solar charging.

Grant Graves
2 years ago

I too have a small factory installed one. I discovered when I went on the roof. I need to check with the manufacture to see what it powers.

2 years ago

a small factory installed panel designed to keep the house batteries topped off.

Neal Davis
2 years ago

Yes, but it is tiny to power the CO2 detector. Certainly it is insufficient for boondocking.

2 years ago
Reply to  Neal Davis

I can guarantee that you do not have a CO2 detector, but I bet you do have a CO detector.

2 years ago

Solar panels on top of our truck camper put weight right where we don’t want it, put holes and stress on the roof, and require parking to avoid shade. Best option (for us) is to carry two 100W panels inside the camper, and deploy them outside in best sun. A 30-foot wiring cable and quick connectors make it a fast, easy job. During short & cloudy winter days, the panels stay home and a suitcase generator makes the trip.

2 years ago

Two 100 watt roof mount and one 160w portable solar panels. Two 100 amp hour lithium ion batteries. Supplies all our power needs except AC unless cloudy or shady for several days. We have a gas refrigerator. We really enjoy the independence of solar power.

Jim O'Briant
2 years ago

Our 2005 Bounder has one solar panel, but it’s almost small enough to answer “no” on this poll. It produces enough current to be a “trickle charger” for the batteries, and that’s all.

2 years ago

I think getting one solar panel for an rv is a great way to promote interest in solar energy. I had 2 X 100watt panels and 2 X 6volt batteries (in series for 12 volt) and it powered all my 12volt things (lights, propane fridgerator, water pump, detectors etc.) Now that I don’t have my rv anymore my interest in solar is still going, especially by how successful my setup was with only 200 watts of panels!

Tom H.
2 years ago

Just installed a lithium 100 ah battery. Hope to get 2 100 watt panels in near future.

2 years ago

We are not getting the polls again. We have Chrome set to allow popups from, and Javascript. Is there another setting we should have on? By the way, we have a small solar panel mounted on the roof (OEM) to keep the chassis battery charged.

Jim O'Briant
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill

I always right-click the link for the poll, and select [Open Link in new Tab.] A new Chrome tab opens, on the poll page. (This is on a PC running Windows 10. Hope this is helpful…_

F. B. B.
2 years ago

8 x 200 watts ( 1600 w total ) panels and 555 AH of Lithium battery.

Ed K
2 years ago

Had one small one on the front A/C housing, Didn’t work so I removed it when servicing the A/C and have not replaced it. Probably not large enough to do too much any way.

2 years ago

I have 320 watts of solar installed on the roof but it represents the only thing I would change in my setup. To do it again I would purchase the same or more but as suit case units that I could setup and tilt for best alignment. Winter is fine with the setup but in the summer we of course try to stay in the shade and that is the incorrect setup for solar panels.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.