6 Common RV Solar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them 

The beauty of solar panel systems is the limitations it removes from your travels.

Solar panels let you go off-grid for longer to discover parts of the world you might otherwise miss. The sun can guide you on your journey.

Once installed, they provide a free energy source that requires little maintenance, takes up no room, and requires no fuel or repairs to moving parts.

Before you hit the road with your environmentally friendly power source, though, make sure you prepare by reading these 6 RV solar mistakes that are more common than you might think.

Limited Sun Access

We all know solar panels are powered by rays of the sun, but sometimes issues appear that we might not consider.

Solar panel positioning is one. If you think sticking them flat on the roof is the way to go then you’re mistaken.

Flat means the output of the panel decreases, which means it won’t perform as well. In the winter the sun is lower and a tilted solar panel maximizes exposure.

Also, consider where you park. Shaded areas block the rays from hitting your panels and you may get as little as 10% of potential energy.

Choosing the Wrong Solar Panels

To get the right RV solar panels, it’s important to understand your power consumption. How much energy does your RV use? Which appliances draw more energy?

Once you know how much energy your rig requires, then it becomes easier to build your RV solar system design. Knowing what size battery is needed, tells you how many solar panels are necessary.

There’s no point in purchasing solar panels that don’t match your energy needs, and understanding the wattage requirement, is the best place to start.

Buying Cheap Products

Maybe you want to be economical with your spending, but your solar system budget isn’t the place to scrimp. If your solar panel is cheaper then it means they’ve cut costs in some way. Solar cell prices are the same and those savings come from somewhere.

As well as your panels, put thought into your controller. You want a good heat sink rather than a fan to prevent it from overheating. A broken fan is a risk not worth taking.

It may cost extra to build your solar system design, but for longevity, it’s better to pay at the start, otherwise, it costs more over time.

Take a look at these kits, and get solar parts that work well together. After all, a great way to deal with different aspects of a solar panel system is by buying it altogether.

Improper Installation

Installing solar panels is possible to do yourself, but don’t forget that there is electrical wiring to think about. If you don’t feel confident then hire a professional to install your system.

It might not be a complicated system, but safety is key, so ensure you understand how to attach components properly. The last thing you want is a malfunction when you’re off-grid.

Unprepared Travels 

Planning your road trip isn’t the only thing to think about.

When traveling in your RV, you need to be prepared. Test your batteries and take extra. Check your charge controller too.

Portable panels are also a good idea because you can move them around to find the sun.


Little maintenance doesn’t mean no RV solar maintenance at all. Dirty panels limit charging capabilities.

The buildup from your travels gathers grime. Things like bird droppings, fallen leaves, and weather changes can impact energy production. If your RV is stationary in a dry climate, prepare for dust.

RV Solar Mistakes Explained

A lot of parts go into building your solar panel system, and understanding how it works can go a long way to avoiding the most common RV solar mistakes.

Now you’re aware of what to look out for, you’re on your way to hassle-free solar energy.

Safe travels and we’ll see you on the road.

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