Bucars Blog — May 25 2016

How Much Solar Power do you Need for Your RV?

Hi there, I’m JC with Bucars RV and today we’re going to talk about how much solar do you actually need?

It’s very, very common that we’ll have people come in here and say “How much power do I need to run my microwave?”. Well, unfortunately, that calculation is a little bit
trickier than most people want to get into so we try and break it down a little bit more simple here.

When we talk about solar the first thing we’re going to ask you is: how many batteries do you have? and how long can you dry camp on those batteries? Your average RV will have a 27 series battery. That battery has a hundred amps of storage in it your average camper is going to say okay I can go camping for two days on that hundred amp battery. So what that tells me is you are consuming 50 amps a day every time you’re out camping. Now we’re going to take that information, we’re going to look at say a panel like the 160-watt panel and we’re going to say you’re consuming 50 this panel on average is going to put 30 back into your batteries. So what does that mean to you? You used to consume 50 a day, now you’re only consuming 20 a day. So you’re now going from 2 days to 5 days just from adding the 1 panel.

Now, on the larger systems like your motorhomes, we’ve got much larger banks of batteries where we have upwards of 2 to 800 amps of storage. But let’s just use two 6 volts as an easy calculation, the two 6 volt batteries have on average about 200 amps of storage. A large 5th wheel or motorhome is going to consume those batteries in approximately 2 days. So that tells me that you’re consuming a hundred amps a day. Now, that’s drastically more than our standard travel trailer but we do have options for those larger consumption units as well. The larger panels like our 250-watt here is going to put out upwards of 50 amps a day. So you’re consuming 100, this is putting 50 back in we’ve just taken away half of your consumption every day so we have effectively doubled it with the one panel.

If we really want to get big then we can add multiple panels and we can actually make it so you are self-sufficient for very long periods at a time.

Thank you very much and if you have any questions please feel free to ask any one of the staff at Bucars to help you out with your personal solar calculation.

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