RV Solar Panel Kit: How To Choose


rv solar panel kit

Kits are a really good way to build a solar project, and depending on what you have in mind, there are probably a lot of good choices, and with a little searching, you may find kits you didn’t even know existed. For hobby projects, you will find kits that offer everything from building a solar cell to putting together a fun toy like a solar-powered toy boat, a robot, or design kits that use a wiring harness and attach the solar panel to a motor or light. Hobby kits like these offer unequaled experiences for young builders and introduce them to how solar panels work and how electrical systems work together to use energy.

RV Solar Panel Kit

A person holding a baseball bat

Maybe you would like a kit to provide solar power for your RV or boat so you can use free power while you are vacationing. Kits are available to do small jobs, like charging a battery or using small appliances, too much bigger jobs like providing power to drive your vehicle. One RV uses electric motors to power the bus, which is charged by solar panels on the roof and backed up with a diesel generator. A boat with solar panels on its canopy glides silently through the water on solar power. The advantage of purchasing a pre-made kit for these applications is that you will receive the specialized mounting and connection hardware without having to scrounge it up on your own.

Design Of The Kits

A sunset over a body of water

Some kits are designed to provide power for a shop, cabin, or even a home residence. If you are thinking of an RV solar panel kit to power a home or shop, there are some considerations about buying a whole system kit or buying the individual parts and designing it yourself. Just because a complete system kit has all the parts in it does not mean you are getting any discount on the individual parts; in fact, you may pay more. For instance, a small system kit that sells for $9600 has nine solar panels, an inverter, AC and DC disconnects, connectors, mounts and wiring, and a magic box of some kind. If you factor in the average cost for all the extra parts, it looks like you will pay around $900 each for those panels. No batteries or mounting frames were mentioned with this kit, so it’s really only part of a kit that will really only power a small part of your home – for $9600.

The fact is you can get about everything that is included in the above kit right in your own home town except the solar panels themselves, and for an as good or better price. If you look on the Internet for kits to build just the solar panels, they can be found for around $400 per panel, with free shipping. But what if you could build that, too?

Bottom Line

Building a solar panel from parts is a really pretty fun and easy project that you can do right in your shop or even on the kitchen table. If you look on the Internet, it’s not too hard to find solar cells for less than $1.50 each, and you can get free shipping. Everything you need to build a weatherproof enclosure and wire it up is easy to get right downtown where you live. The fact is, you can build a solar panel by putting together your own kit for little more than $100, and it will work just as well as the kits you order pre-made.

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