Today RV camping is very famous among every generation. Many love to be free from their everyday life and enjoy nature or wild traveling for days. Even though RV camping is a very interesting activity it can be problematic when we want to power up all the equipment we take with us. As a solution, we can use solar power as an energy source while you are going camping. But the real question is can you use solar power during the winter season. In this article, we hope to talk about all things you should know about using solar power for RV camping during the winter season.
Yes, you can use a solar system for RV during the winter. But the efficiency of the solar system may be lower during the winter than during the summer. Always solar power efficiency depends on the sunlight. Because solar panels are fully activated by the sunlight.
There are two main reasons why solar panels lose efficiency during the winter season,
- Low Sunlight
- Snowfall on the solar panels
Both of these factors contribute to reducing efficiency during the winter. Do not hesitate to use it even if your efficiency is low. This is because even the worst winter in any area is a maximum of 3 months. Removing the fallen snow on your solar panels will keep the efficiency of your solar panels on RV. The cleaning is only required when there is heavy snow falling. If the snow layer is very thin it will melt and slip down as the solar panels generate heat. This process will be boosted by the dark material used to manufacture the panels.
Why do you need to install a solar system for RV?
When you go RV camping, the most important question that comes to your mind is how do you get electricity?. Even though many popular campsites have power outlets they may not available in some areas. The best option for you to deal with those situations is to use solar power. There are many benefits to using solar power.
1.Freedom to travel
If you power up your RV using solar power, the big advantage is that you can use it to generate power anywhere. If you use solar energy, it will be easier for you. If you plan to camp outside the main camps, this is an advantage for you. If you are using a fuel generator power, the power you can get will be limited according to the amount of fuel you have. But the solar system only needs sunlight so it can be used for any length of time.
The only costs you have when using solar panels is the installation cost and does not require a subsequent cost. Therefore, we can refer to the establishment of solar power as an investment.
But if you use a fuel-powered generator, you will incur an installation cost as well as a subsequent cost. It needs fuel forever to power it. But you do not need any extra fuel when you use solar power.
When you use a solar system, you can use it for more than 15 years without any problems. The average panel comes with at least a 20+ year warranty.
Also, with the advancement of solar technology, this system can be installed at a relatively low cost. Depending on your financial situation, you can set up a system that suits your budget.
3.No noise for production
One of the main goals of your camping campaign is to reduce your stress while being free. If you use a fuel generator, it will make a lot of noise. But when electricity is generated using a solar system, no such noise is produced. It has no moving mechanical parts. It is powered by a solar panel, stored in a battery, and generated electricity through a silent process.
Also, if you use a generator, it can be a nuisance to other RV campers around you as well as the animals. In some national parks, generators are banned. Then if you are only dealing with a generator it is a problem. Then you will not be able to generate electricity. But if you use solar power you can use it at any time without producing noise.
4.Renewable energy source
If you are using a fuel-fired generator, you will need to use fuel such as gasoline or diesel. Then we have to spend our limited natural resources on it. When we burn this fuel it produces carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide which causes environmental pollution and global warming.
But if you use solar power, it generates electricity using renewable energy. It generates electricity using sunlight. Because it does not use fuel to generate electricity, it does not contribute to environmental pollution and global warming.
When you use a solar panel, it does not need maintenance as it has no moving objects. The only maintenance required to keep it efficient is to keep the solar panels clean.
Can you use portable solar panels for RV camping?
If you use a portable solar panel, it will not cost you much like a roof-mounted solar system. You also need to keep in mind that the power expected from a roof-mounted solar system cannot be obtained from a portable solar panel.
If you use a portable solar charger, you can park your RV in the shade and place the solar panel in a place where there is sunlight and you can charge a battery, or you can connect the device from it through the wires.
You can charge a battery using a portable solar panel and use it at night or anytime you need it through an inverter.
Another advantage of using a portable solar panel is that it can be used only when we need it and is of great benefit to us during the winter season. At that time you do not need to remove the snow on the solar panel like a roof-mounted solar system.
How does the RV solar system work?
It is important to know how a solar system works in an RV when you are installing a solar system. Then, depending on your knowledge, you can install a solar system on your RV as you wish.
When you install a solar system, First, you have to install the solar panels on the roof of your RV and the batteries are installing inside your RV to store the electricity generated. After the electricity is generated from your solar panels, then the energy will be stored in your batteries via a charge controller.
But your solar panels produce direct current (DC) only. However, most electrical appliances are designed to be powered by the alternative current (AC). Therefore, we have to convert the electricity stored in the battery, using an inverter to the alternative (AC) current.
Why you need to use a charge controller
A charge controller is a device that can protect your batteries from any damage that can happen while charging. And it continues the cycle of charge On/Off. No matter how good a solar panel you use, it will produce more electricity than they mentioned.
For example: if you use a 12v solar panel. It produces 14-18 around volts.
That can harm your batteries. So the charging controller can prevent your batteries from those effects.
How do we maintain the solar RV system?
The lucky thing is the solar system does not require a lot of maintenance. The only thing you have to do is clean the solar panels. Normally solar panel needs to be cleaned 3 times or 4 per year. Because the accumulation of dust or dirt on the solar panels can block the sunlight on the solar panels and reduce the efficiency of the solar panels.
But if the RV is traveling in an area where it often rains, the rain will remove all dirt.
But if snow falls on the areas where the RV is traveling, you should go beyond the normal cleaning pattern and check it regularly and remove it when there is snow on the solar panels.
| Conclusion |
Today RV camping is very famous among everyone because it gives you an interval from your busy schedules. Even though getting power while camping was difficult in the past, now solar power makes it easier for you. Some may reluctant to use solar power during the winter season and snowy areas. But you don’t have to worry about it because you can use a solar power system also in the winter season. Also, it generates pure energy which reduces environmental pollution and gives you all the power you want without a cost.