Most are a little over $1 per watt. Curious Minion. Go Power! Ken. High end installations using lithium ion batteries can easily go above $10,000. I have a fairly new Xantrex inverter/charger that monitors all the power and has a genset to shore switch. They cost a bit more, but are worth it from what I’ve read. I am going to start by emailing our solar peeps at Go Power and see what they know of anything. Sure, they include everything you need, but they’re also ridiculously expensive (the lone exception being Renogy Solar’s Solar Power 100 watt Starter Kit available on Amazon.com. Thanks… And the list goes on. Supplement with a small wind turbine if you can get away with in and if you’re in an area that gets decent wind. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN. Im using about 10 12v lights, a water pump, a water heater and I wanted to install a tiny fridge and be able to run other appliances. Really nice set up. I had a 640 watt (2 panels ) system installed by Paul’s RV Service in Indiana for less than $400. Precision RV - Marvin Braun (206) 276-2462. Over the years I’ve had 4 different ones from APC, Belkin, and Cyberpower. But Li-Ion are the best (but also more money) but way outlast any other battery technology. In many cases even 125 watt panels are too big for the sometimes limited space on the roof. I recently discovered your website and You Tube channel and I’ve been devouring all the information about the RV lifestyle that I can. I am certainly no electrician but I am super passionate about the rock we all call earth and solar/composting toilets seems like pretty rad ways to help keep it around for a while longer 😉 ! Your best bet is to call a few solar installers to see what they recommend and get some quotes. Thanks! That’s because each of our customers is unique, and we treat them as being unique. Your first step is to do an energy audit to see how much power you’re using. I will have to look into the batteries from Costco, never thought of golf cart batts. Any reason that I cant connect to this system? Many devices don’t care if they have a “pure sine wave” power input or not. Hello Wynns, You gave me lots to think about in your boondocking video. Works great on my camper. If you want to intermittently run an A/C you may be able to get away with half, but it’s all speculation as I don’t own it so I cannot honestly tell you what will work. We’ll be tackling this project ourselves soon too. We absolutely love National Parks and wild camping too! For example if its cloudy for 3 days you might need 3 batteries and more solar. Thanks so much! I too like the AGM batteries. 1 X Flex-200 I recently bought 4 residantial solar panels 255w. Residential instillation’s are different from RV. Holy crap that projector is really cool! More money but a lot more available AH. If you have a Costco membership they sell and warranty batteries, if not Wal-Mart is an affordable option for batteries as well. Thanks Fred, we too have heard that Wal-Mart is great for purchase and return of RV batteries. Jason, can you tell me who your installer was? Also, I see you cleaning your panels a lot, do you find you need to do that often? All that said of course you can go out and purchase this system, it might not be the easiest install but I’m sure with a little playing around it can be figured out and provide you with free power while traveling down the road at an affordable price. Needless to say we were sold on the upgrade. Here’s a link, after a lot of research, to the way we will probably go. How? Also the new led dc lights will run almost forever before the battery needs a charge. I think the fact that the panels were lying flat allowed the hail to bounce off with out any damage to the panels… The refrigerator vent didn’t fair so well…. And if so, what you went with? As we like to tell everyone we are not the end all be all experts on solar, if you find something that works for you by all means go for it! Just because we work with Go Power! The best price I’ve seen at store is $495 each. Don’t abuse your batteries. Our highly skilled team of solar panel technicians only install and sell the best longest lasting solar panels at a reasonable price. Hope this helps. Now I got a fully charged battery any were go. We’ll talk to you soon, please keep us in the loop. Hi Jason, Keeping in mind we have a limited budget, and we now only use our PC’s and TV/satellite regularly but also have a Microwave in use for quick and short reheats, How many batteries would I need for such usage? They upgraded my converter to 4 stage charger, soon will provide me my Samlex Pure Sine Wave 1500-2000 watt inverter. Last August (living in Rapid City, South Dakota) we got 1.9 inch hail and it totaled out the roof on our home (it had been redone only 16 months previously) but the solar panels on the camper were completely undamaged. Electrical wires? 3. Shifted my fridge to 120v and was still charging the battery. The last 1200 watt solar system I admired on a fellow rv’rs rig (w. 3 – 100 ah lithium batterys) cost a whopping $15,000 ! For the Vesta, I believe the L-16 is the right size but you should measure to be sure. Here is the place for your battery questions (http://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/index.php), and check with Magnum on how to properly setup your charge controller for these smart batteries (the tech department says you need the ME-ARC Advanced remote Control Panel) see http://www.magnumenergy.com/Products/ME-ARC.htm. (Lithium Ion) They weight a fourth as much as Lead acids, much longer life, minimal voltage sag even with high current draws. That’s of limited value, but under such conditions that type of UPS will switch to batteries. hi Jason I like the setup you have. We were not happy with our model of Xantrex Inverter, so we upgraded. Would love to see you do a segment on that. Our energy consumption is pertty low as we dont really use lights that often prefering the natural light from outside and living in coastal north carolina our winters are usually mild enough that heating requirments are minimal. Hope this helps and good luck on your adventures. Thanks everyone, for getting in touch! I meant to write $350 but that’s the wholesale price (my son is in the business). Others just want to offset their power usage while camping for a few days at a time. Hey Nikki, thanks for that! We’ve got way too much power coming in for our tiny little flooded batteries. If you’re move the genny, what are the options? 2 X Flex-100E You may also consider purchasing a Sun-Oven like the one we have featured in our gift giving guide https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/2013-rv-gift-guide and in our travel store https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/store. We tow an older 21 ft. Airstream so the 80watt kit would suffice……..but…..why not go,for it all. Love it. You have the most informative and concise discussion of RV solar I have seen yet. whaaaat haha. That is a lot of power and your batteries won’t do that for long. “What’s the cost of solar for my RV?”  It’s a legitimate question that requires some explanation. You’re on the right track, just not 100% sure about your battery purchase. Some pass incoming power (including trashed sine wave and voltage excursions) except at such times as “brownout” or “overvoltage” conditions occur. Wherever you choose to have the kit installed make sure you have them add outlets to the inverter, the current inverted outlet setup on the Vesta is just ridiculous. Here is a breakdown of the parts needed to make up that kit as a “Flexible Extreme Kit” just click our Amazon Link and type each into the search bar and you should find them pretty easily. Good luck, let us know what you find out. What does a Solar Power system for your RV entail? 🙂 Thanks for breaking it down for me! To secure it properly on top of your RV, you are going to need several tools too. It will cost $3,500 to $4,500, and you’ll recoup that investment in two to four years, depending on your RV use. Im actually using the same system you have but i was wondering how many batteries one needs?… I’ll need to run my fridge 24-7 obviously but other than that everything else is plug in as needed, or runs off its own battery supply like alarm clocks and such. Especially if you like Wild Camping as much as we do!. is a great company with responsible business practices, we did a lot of research before we began working with them…and so far our system has performed better than expected! The solar was still giving us 10 or so amps through 8 inches of snow. If adding or upgrading solar to your RV is something you are about to do may I suggest a website that is very informative. Mine came with Group 27 batteries, but I was able to fit the Costco 6V Golf Cart batteries. hmmm, I will have to ask go power about the rain-x idea. Now I can’t wait to begin the upgrades and use solar for my energy and learn to live with necessities and space management. If you’re happy with your Xantrex inverter keep it, there’s no rush to upgrade because the Solar is the most important for Wild Camping. can I use the inverter that I have or will I have to replace it? One question I’ve yet to see answered is about the installation of the panels on the roof. I am about to lose my home and have bought a cargo van which is being refitted with a new powertrain et. With that math, at a $6000 investment in solar, it would take a little over 2 years for the sample solar installation to pay off – and it will take almost 4 years for our own solar costs to be recouped. If the owner would have mentioned the price prior to the grand tour, I would have skipped the solar dream tour. Getting Started with RV Solar Before we start, it's important to note that the specifics of your setup will depend on your rig and solar kit—what type of panels you have (flexible, rigid, etc. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The last UPS I owned was not a pure sine wave and I know because our milk frother did not work on it. Finding the biggest you can use in the space gets you the most AmpHours to charge up. We carry a honda 1000 generator which never gets used. On RV Solar Store you'll find a top quality modified and sine wave inverters, solar charge controllers from Blue Sky Energy & Morningstar, inverter cables, solar panel installation wiring kits, portable solar modules, and our patent pending dual tilt solar panel mounts for the Kyocera KC line and the KD line. Hey John, 6 batteries might be a little overkill. AGMs outsell Gels by about 6:1. al. Thanks Randy! Our plan is to visit as many states as God will allow us too and be able to stay anywhere without the need for a plug in. Well, counting travel expenses and the extra hardware we used I don't guess I saved much actual cash. Just an FYI I did a lot of cross checking the Go Power kit versus anything else I could find online and there was nothing that came close as far as quality, simplicity to use, and feedback from the company. I hadn’t considered that. We have exercised the system running both a/c and microwave and it worked well though we were running 3.0 kW through the inverter. Totaled old rig in 70 car pile up between Vera Cruz and Puebla, Mexico. If you have a good inverter already there’s no need to install a new charge controller. We have an RV now and the car engine charges just the one 12v battery for the lights. I have been thinking of cheap alternative source of power to the epilectic source of power back Home. Compared to our last solar setup installed at the factory this kit is way cheaper per watt.  2. The components listed above are our recommendation for developing a basic, quality efficient solar system available. Also the MPPT vs PWM controller if you’re installing a lot of wattage. Solar is a cost-effective source of power for the long-term. Any suggestions or recommendations on how to find quality craftsmen would be most appreciated. You asked about batteries. I like the way the remote panels connect right at your rig. For the most part, drill and screwdriver would be enough. I have been using a mere 410 watt inverter in our conversion van for the laptop and sometimes a desktop PC while traveling and came across a link which brought me to this site and I have been glued to it since. In 15 years, we have had less than 1% of our modules returned to us and the only weather-related issues we have heard of were due to lighting strikes. Hey guys… congrats on your new solar setup, seems like a great package and way to go. I’ve been trying to sort out the battery situation myself, I found this article that should give some insight on what types of batteries are best. I was surprised when GoPower! A couple of good suggestions are the Magnum 100amp, the 80amp Outback, or BlueSky energy 24i and link 2 of them together. We will very shortly grab the 120. It’s an inverter with hybrid technology and it’s awesome for the person looking to plug into lower amperage campgrounds. Our previous solar setup used 4 AGM (Lifeline) 6V batteries ~ 480 Ahrs capacity. What’s the big deal with a pure sine inverter?  A pure sine inverter operates just like household power.  Basically if you can run it inside your house it will work in your RV.  For example our modified sine wave inverter wouldn’t run our induction plate, milk frother or espresso machine (and I’ve read it’s hard on laptops and camera battery chargers). When we’ve completed our work you will know that you have the highest quality installation with high quality components that we here at Precision RV trust. It includes everything you need to go solar for only $164.99). Check it out and let us know what you think. It will provide power for all of your12 needs as well as many of your 120 volt needs while out off the grid. Now, not all UPSes are created equal. yes we are and she is still one classy lady! Wow Denn, sorry to hear about your home. In watching your “Roy” introduction video, you revealed a 2000watt inverter in a back holding bay versus the 3000watt GoPower system. -scratch and dent panels for 75 cents a watt. Maximize your solar input, get a charge controller that can do MPPT, listen to the advice above about a pure sine inverter (Samlex is nice). After leaving the show we did a little research on the company and found they offer a host of other solar powered products.  The item that really caught our eye is the 3000 watt continuous pure sine wave inverter.  The Magnum inverter originally installed inside our Windy was a measly 1200 watts (barely enough to run the microwave), it only powered one outlet inside the RV, and due to the modified sine wave several of our appliances wouldn’t work when running off solar and the house batteries. This is where a portable panel comes in handy, when it’s over 85 degrees it’s best to park in the shade and run a panel or two out into the sun. Price Range*: 320 Watt: $2,850-$3,000 Keep us posted on more helpful info, we love your site! The ZTE Spro 2 is a really cool looking product to save space, I’ve never played with one yet. For financial and environmental reasons, this first step will make you happy. One thing about Grid Tie panels that many RV’ers may not think of: the sheer size of these panels. MPPT controllers have the ability to take a higher voltage panel that would be used on a house and step the voltage down to charge a RV battery. Does the connection on you rig come with te kit or is that separate? Not sure about hail, Go Power! If you only have the two batteries and not room for some crazy large battery like the Group 4D or 8D you will get about the same AmpHours from any format. Thanks for all the fun and informative vids. That’s just for major system components. One piece of advice: call the installer, don’t tell them who you are, and get a price quote on the purchase of the Extreme Kit. But AGMs don’t do very well in the heat and cold. Thank you! Total RV Solar power information at your finger tips. Since writing, I’ve done some more research and I think what I’m trying to do is called a grid fallback system. You can avoid hot summers for the most part when you’re travelling full time, however it’s amazing how hot it gets in places like Idaho, Maine, Washington, Colorado, etc. Hi. We have lithium as the base of our power system and are designing our solar around them. You see, the costs of RV Solar Power will vary depending on what you want to do, what type of RV you have, and the budget you’re looking to work with. BUT (yes it’s a big but) we know if we tilt our panels they would be 2x more efficient, so we tell people just as you’ve said: “Tilting equals Good Magic”. Am I just missing it? I have been purchasing 100 watt panels at very good prices when I find them and are up to 4 now, which I thought was a decent amount of power for a small RV and 2 adults who watch a little TV with a satellite dish and surf the web and play games on our PC’s. Too funny Scott (or not funny I guess). I’m am about to embark in this journey of living in a travel trailer. We’re getting a new flat panel system on our new RV which is supposed to be a more simple install, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed. When I looked at our meter I saw we were pulling in nearly 11 amps in thick fog. It also allows you to carry a smaller generator. 160 watt solar charging kit + 2 x 160 watt expansion kits, 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter for AC power, 30 amp pulse width modulated digital solar controller, 30 amp pre-wired automatic shore power/inverter AC switching kit. RV Solar Costs FAQ How much do RV solar panels cost? But hey, it might rain, right. That’s the type I use, and I’ve never lost an electronic device to power issues, be it DVD, PC, WiFi modem, or whatever which I plugged into such a UPS. They are 12V and it is easier to couple them in groups. I read through all the previous comments on this thread to see if you had answered this already and didn’t see it anywhere… Just wondering if you ended up upgrading your batteries? Since you asked about batteries, from your list – I’d definitely recommend AGM for a solar system. They are typically 200+ watts and fairly large dimensions. 2. The best RV solar panel installation depends on your vehicle, your energy needs and what hardware and power you already have in your RV. I don’t know how the Flood Acid are going deal with the cold or heat, as I owned them only 5 months now. According to your blog, it appears that you intend to install solar on roy, too. This is where it gets expensive. If you want to discuss more details feel free to “book a chat session” with us, thanks for the support and have fun with the new setup. Hey Bryn, I don’t think there’s much disagreement that AGMs are better than Gels for the higher capacity configurations. If you mothball your rig under cover w/o trickle or float charge Oydssy may be of interest. They have to be handle with care as any sparks from from will result in their uselessness. Test velocity is 23m/s (82.8km/hr, or 51.4mph). Cable. If you’d like to learn more – we have a series of our research at: There’s two articles that compare/contrast lithium & AGM. I always like to follow the pioneers … fewer arrows that way. A UPS, or “Battery Backup” as they are commonly called, is a great option for electronics. Kinda reminds me of the windmills and alcahol fuels, that wouldn’t exist without government subsidies. Two 60 watt panels may work better. With my 490 watt array flat in full sun facing south pulling 240 watts, tilting the array to approximately 60 degrees bumped me to just shy of 500 watts. After the initial installation, you can enjoy free electricity from the sun for the rest of your vehicle’s life! That’s really been my only concern with installing them on the RV roof. I do know there is a device you can have installed called an “auto gen start” that will kick your generator on automatically when your batteries are low, so I don’t see why they couldn’t do something to kick you over to shore power. We’re installing this inverter on our next RV. Obviously, you avoid hot summers — how effective is that? Great info here though on building a solar system. Any panels under $1 per watt are a great deal. S of limited value, but they are smart will never be or. That type of system you have shore power or generator again rather on. 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