What You Need To Know About Adding Solar Power To A Fifth Wheel

Whether you're looking to be a little more self-sustaining, or to live off the grid, solar power can help you keep many of the comforts you're familiar with while being away from home. With the right know how, you can install solar panels on a camper or fifth wheel.

The Anatomy Of A Fifth Wheel Solar Energy System

Solar panel systems designed for fifth wheels are available as kits for convenience's sake. However, if you want to do it yourself you'll be surprised at how simple these systems are to set up. Often, you'll save money. Solar energy systems typically have a few components, so these are solar panel supplies you will need:

Solar Panels Solar panels come in many forms now, the best ones to use with a fifth wheel are the ones that tilt. This allows you to clean under them or angle them toward the sun.

Battery Bank The most difficult part of installing a solar system is your fifth wheel's capacity for carrying the added weight of the batteries. If you plan to run your entire fifth wheel with solar, plan to invest in several batteries.

Inverter This component converts the solar power to energy that your fifth wheel's electrical panel can use.

When you set up your solar panels you will run wire from your roof, to your control box, to your battery supply. Ask someone with electrical experience to help you with this step. It's critical you use the proper wire or your system may not work in the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, your electrical box may blow or start a fire.

How Much Power Will You Need

When determining how many panels you may need you'll have to take stock of what you plan to run. Energy intensive items like a refrigerator, air conditioner, or computer will have a large impact on how many panels you need. Calculate how many watts you think you'll need to use per day, then purchase your solar panels to allow for a little extra. You should also account for how sunny your location will be with the panels in use.

Asking For Help

If you get stuck, ask your solar panel dealer. Often, they have experience using solar themselves, or at the very least they can point you in the right direction.  With the right supplies, you'll be able to harness all of the energy you need from the sun. This will allow you to go a little further off the beaten path.