Guide to Choosing Off-Grid Solar System Packages With Batteries For Your RV
Are you an RV owner who needs to get an off-grid solar system? Choosing off-grid solar system packages with batteries or without batteries can be a confusing process and takes a lot of effort to fully understand. There are many aspects involved in properly sizing, designing, and building off-grid solar power systems for RVs.
In this guide, we’ll help you understand why you need an off grid solar system with battery for your RV, off grid solar system price requirements, design, and hardware selection so you can make the best possible decision for your RV lifestyle. If you enjoy the freedom of RVing and are looking for an additional way to boost your energy savings and become more energy independent, this is the guide for you.
Table of contents:
- Why you need an off grid solar system with batteries for your RV or camper in Canada?
- Off-grid solar system price requirements
- Designing, selecting, and purchasing your off-grid system for optimal performance
- Benefits of Off-Grid Power for RV Lifestyles
- Solar Power and RV Living in Canada
Why you need an off grid solar system with batteries for your RV or camper in Canada?
If you have wanderlust and are keen to dry camping (or boondocking), owning an off grid solar panel system package with batteries would be essential. Outside of a traditional campground, there’s the untouched scenic beauty and thrilling adventures but also a lack of access to electricity. Though there are several options you can use to make it through for a few days, a fully charged battery can never support power output for a week without recharging, and you won’t appreciate a 50kW diesel generator producing an 85 dB noise to break up the peace. Instead, a high-efficient off grid solar panel system can generate electricity quietly as long as there is sunlight, and stock power in batteries for later use. Whether you are in faraway mountain areas or stuck in heavy congestion, or on the way of a long journey, a solar panel system with batteries offers you the easiest access to electricity.
If you are looking for solar panels for your home, you may read another article: Are Solar Panels For Home Worth It In Canada?
Off-grid solar system price requirements
Leveraging the power of off-grid solar power for your RV is an excellent choice to reduce your RV’s operating costs, lower on-grid dependence (on electrical suppliers), and even help minimize fuel costs in certain situations. Kits typically include components such as rigid or flexible solar panels (available in different size options), a battery charger, connector fuse, battery, ANL fuse, and inverter.
But how much does an off the grid solar system cost with everything included? An off grid solar system price can range differently. One of the main differentiators comes down to whether or not the kit includes ultra-efficient lithium batteries or not. Off grid solar kits with lithium batteries provide RV owners with an ultra-efficient solar power system capable of peak performance.
Standard off-grid solar systems for RVwithout lithium batteries typically range in cost from CAD $1,700 to CAD $2,800+ – it all depends on the system’s wattage, materials, and how many accessories it comes with.
Off-grid solar system packages with batteries can add an additional CAD $300 to CAD $5,000 to the overall cost of your package. However, in the long run, a lithium battery will pay for itself through increased utilization of solar power (and a more efficient system in general).
Note: the price ranges here are based on the available quotes on Renogy store.
Designing, selecting, and purchasing your off-grid system for optimal performance
One of the first steps in selecting your RV system is to think about whether or not you actually want a complete off grid home solar system that you can use to “cut the cord” from on-shore power suppliers, or if you just need a basic package that you can use for emergencies while on the road or as a supplemental energy generator (while still relying on on-grid electrical power sources for more energy-intensive use cases). Although both scenarios will require a battery, making this distinction will help you narrow down your choices and make it easier for you to purchase a specific system that works for your current RV setup, needs, and future energy goals.
Design your own off-grid solar system
If you fall into the first category mentioned above, first thing you need is determining your exact solar power needs (how much power you will need) – our calculator page can help with this.
Presumably you are traveling on a camper van with your partner, then on average 2kWh of daily power consumption is needed. In that case, with five sunlight hours in the area, three 175 watt flexible monocrystalline solar panels and one 200Ah lithium battery will be the essential units to produce your own complete solar panel system.
Products involved in the table:
Remember, the system size and type of battery that your RV requires depend on how many appliances you want to run, how many people will be using the RV, and the time length that you will be using your RV. RV roof space available, load capacity, etc are also something you should factor in. For example, a weekend getaway with one or two people has much different energy requirements compared to a month-long trip across the country with a family of five. A curved rooftop can only use flexible solar panels.
In order to help you make purchases easier, we’ve prepared three types of solar panel kits for you to choose from. Each kit is characterized with different component combinations to cater for your unique needs. Check out their differences below:
Suppose none of these kits meet your need, don’t worry. You can still design your own system by picking the right size of solar panels as well as solar batteries.
Complete Off-Grid Solar System Packages With Batteries
If you only need supplementary energy, consider the following complete kit options that range from 100W to 300W.
100W RV Complete Solar Power System Kit
A 100W solar power system kit is enough to provide power for smaller devices such as WiFi routers, limited-use lighting units, mobile devices, and chargers for electronics like laptops.
200W RV Complete Solar Power System Kit
200W solar panel systems offer more power than 100W kits and are capable of powering bigger appliances such as small 12V refrigeration units and compact microwaves or TVs (in addition to everything that a 100W system can power) – depending on the size and specific power needs of each appliance. For RV use cases, 200W is often considered an entry-level system size.
300W RV Complete Solar Power System Kit
A 300W solar panel system will generate a significant level of power for RV usage in a medium-sized vehicle. An efficient 300W solar panel kit will be able to handle the following energy loads:
● Non-constant inverter use
● Medium-sized refrigeration unit
● Mobile device charging and recharging
● Roof vents
● Toilet fans
● Diesel-based heating systems (occasional use)
● LED lighting units
Kits that come with a battery are the easiest off grid solar power system battery bank solutions on the market – all of the leg work and component matching have already been done for you, all you need to do is install the system.
Benefits of Off-Grid Power for RV Lifestyles
Thanks to years of constant innovations in the solar industry, you can generate power for those appliances using an off-grid power system that’s connected to your RV. An off-grid power system is important for RV owners to have if they want to fully enjoy their vehicles (and the lifestyle they provide), even when there is a lack of available power. Here are some of the major benefits of off-grid power for RV owners:
● Increased freedom and self-reliance
● Solar systems are extremely lightweight and don’t require constant maintenance
● Decreased energy costs
● Potential to increase the resale value of your RV
● No need for costly fuel purchases for your RV’s generator
● Solar power is eco-friendly (and much quieter than running a generator)
Now you should understand solar panels are integral to your RV. If you need more evidence, please find it here: Should I add solar panels to my RV?
Solar Power and RV Living in Canada
Solar PV capacity in Canada reached over 3.6 gigawatts in 2021. Ten years earlier, total solar PV capacity came in at just over 490 megawatts. Solar power technology is constantly being refined and innovated, and more consumers than ever before are flocking to solar for alternative energy generation, including RV owners. Whether you want a supplemental energy source or want to become fully self-reliant and minimize your on-grid power usage, solar panel system kits are an excellent option for RV owners looking for an eco-friendly and energy-efficient way to power their adventures.
Keep in mind that choosing the appropriate solar panel system kit and battery for your RV comes down to knowing how much power you need to generate, how many appliances you have (and their power requirements), as well as whether or not you want to utilize solar as a backup power source or a fully off-grid power system.