There are many promises made about how much you can save on electricity if you install solar panels on your used motor homes. How does performance measure up? Is it cost effective? Can you use solar energy alone to power your lights and appliances?
Are solar panels cost effective?
Solar panels are a big investment. Part of the investment includes installing and maintaining them. After considering all of the expense, is it worth it for you and for your toy hauler trailer to invest in them?
If you’re not sure you want to make a huge investment in solar, you can begin with a single panel and charge controller. That would be a help mainly with your lights – especially if you use LED lighting. If you move on to full-time RVing, your complete system might cost up to $10,000, or more. You might move into the luxury end of solar panels if you’ve got a large, expensive Class A motorhome in order to save money at campgrounds, and on maintenance.
Can you use solar panels alone for your energy needs?
You can, but you will need a lot of panels for the heavy drawing appliances such as a microwave oven. If you are going for the simple life, it would probably be sufficient. Even then, you might want to consider a generator back up, or maybe even an RV wind tower to supplement the solar panels on your fifth wheel.
If you can’t go all the way with solar panels, remember that using even a small amount of renewable energy sources will save some of the nonrenewable ones.