How many solar panels do I need to run an RV?

4 solar panels will be required for recharging or providing full power to the RV daily on average. On average, a solar panel having approximately 100-watt power will be able to generate almost 6 amps every peak-sun-hour. One can translate this to almost 30 amp-hours every single day.

It will be a good idea to make experiments with energy usage and also receive assistance from other individuals having solar panels out there. This will allow you to get a rough idea regarding how much solar power will be required by your RV. In case you know how do RV showers work and how other parts of the RV function plus how much energy is consumed by them, it will become easier for you.

Power Needs

The power necessities of your RV can be calculated in a number of ways. Venturing out for camping for several days without using an AC generator will be one surefire method to figure out the power requirements of the RV. You simply need to figure out the amount of time it takes to operate the RV without any generator while only making use of batteries.

In case a couple of days are needed for draining 50% of the batteries, it implies that approximately 200 amp-hours of energy are provided by them. The issue with certain batteries happens to be the fact that discharging past 80% tends to result in life-shortening effects. It can be more detrimental past 50% since it can shorten the life of the battery.

Having said that, up to approximately 100 amp-hours can be used up by you if the need arises. You will be getting 50 amp-hours by dividing that figure by the total number of days taken by it for draining the batteries while camping (100/2). You are actually spending this amount of energy on a typical day.

Once your battery’s storage capacity is known to you, you need to determine the number of solar panels needed for replacing the 50 amp-hours that is consumed daily on an average. In case the RV is used during spring and summer, it is likely that you are going to be exposed to as many as 5 peak-sun-hours on an average daily.

The big user of power is air conditioner as shown below. You will not be able to power the ac with solar alone.

Device Power Used
Fridge 200 watts
A/C 1700 watts
Fan 40 watts
Led lights 10 watts
Toaster 1100 watts
TV 100 watts
Laptop 50 watts
Coffee maker 900 watts
Electric water heater 1200 watts
Microwave 1300 watts


Avoid Generator Use

Solar panels are imperative in case you would like to avoid generators and noisy backgrounds while enjoying your RV experience. They will allow you to camp out in any location for a long span of time. In case you would like to avoid RV parks and do not have any intention of driving the RV on a regular basis, then it makes sense to have solar power.

It is possible to enjoy yourself without sacrificing a lot. You will be able to minimize the carbon footprint without using a generator. In fact, solar panels aid in converting solar energy into electricity without spending a considerable amount of money. For this reason, it will not be a bad idea to invest in solar panels.

Solar power will allow you to go off-grid in the RV for some time. Nevertheless, make it a point to have a comprehensive idea regarding your RV’s solar power requirements. This will help you to get hold of a solar panel which can satisfy your needs on a daily basis.


The best way to have your RV solar panel last for a long time is by ensuring that it is well maintained. A regular examination can help reveal any potential problem like exposed wires, loose cracks, and much more before there becomes something big that can cost you a lot of money to fix or even cause permanent damage to the solar panel.


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