Solar Power System

for $2,000

Get started powering your RV's full 50 amp AC power off grid.

Let's be clear – when we talk about a “solar power system” what we really mean is a 'battery power system' and the use of solar panels is only one of several ways we can charge and maintain our batteries.

  • You can charge your batteries by plugging into pedestal power (shore power) and letting your converter do its job.

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  • When you run your RV's AC power with a generator, your converter can charge your batteries.

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  • If you have a motorhome, your rig is probably wired to use your engine's alternator to charge your batteries while you're driving. If you have a towed RV, your rig probably automatically uses the power wire on your 7-pin trailer wiring harness to charge your batteries. But not a whole lot of power flows through the 7-pin connector, so some people use a 'DC to DC' charger that is powered by your tow vehicle's alternator through more heavy duty wiring. Sean at Long Long Honeymoon does a good job describing how these work: https://youtu.be/KTGDCSu1kwI

  • There are small wind turbines that install on your RV that can send charging power to your batteries, but none of the RV equipment companies have really developed this technology to its full potential.

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  • And of course, the most effective, cost-efficient, off-grid way to charge your batteries is with solar panels.

So now that we know that what we're really looking to install is a battery power system that can power not just our DC power but also our AC power, we can get the system functional with a single battery and an inverter that can turn the battery's power into AC power that will feed our RV's entire electrical system. But we want to do it in a way that we can continue to build the system as time goes by until it can power almost anything we want to do with our RV.

We're all going to end up using lithium batteries in our RVs. The old battery technology just doesn't make sense anymore. The cost of lithium batteries has come down considerably and will probably continue to approach a more manageable price range. But they're low enough now to bring them into a feasible price range for a lot of RVers, particularly people who would like to have the ability to spend more time off grid sooner rather than later.

Lion makes a great high quality option [get a 15% discount here] and SOK has an option that is nearly the same high quality but comes at a lower price.

The second piece that will get your system up and running is this inverter/converter. Jared at All About RV's has done a great job of designing and installing his system using the Victron MultiPlus 3000:

Then he did a follow-up to elaborate more:

You can install this inverter/converter with a single lithium battery and start having power off-grid immediately. Then, as your budget allows, you can build the rest of the system Jared shows here, or even move up to the idea he mentions in the first video to use two of these inverters to power nearly your full 50 amps of AC power.