Solar Panels For RVs - Questions and Answers

When people decide whether or not to get solar panels for an RV, numerous questions often pop up. For quick and easy reference, we've listed some of the most common of these questions below. Along with answers of course :)

Do you have a question that is not addressed below? Or maybe you can provide an even better answer? Ask your question or share your thoughts with us!

Q. How long do solar panels for RVs last?
Q. How much do solar panels for RVs cost?
Q. How long is a typical warranty on solar panels for RVs?
Q. Will I save money with solar panels for RVs? How much should I expect to save?
Q. How many solar panels do I need?
Q. Do solar panels for RVs need direct sunlight to produce electricity?

1. Q. How long do solar panels for RVs last?

A. You should expect your RV solar panels to last at least 20 years. The average lifespan of solar panels is about 25-30 years. If you are lucky and you take care of your solar panels, they can last over 40 years!

2. Q. How much do solar panels for RVs cost?

Solar Panels For RVs

A. If you want to do it the right way it will cost around $1000 for your first RV solar panel. This includes a digital display controller, and labor cost for installation. Each solar panel after that will be an additional $700 up to three panels.

  • RV solar panels aren't cheap and you have to be the one to decide if they are the right value for you.

There are some cheaper solar panels for RVs out there that can start at around $200 but this doesn't include a controller, which is necessary, or installation cost, and I don't recommend trying to install yourself. A panel at this price will most likely not sustain you needs.

3. Q. How long is a typical warranty on solar panels for RVs?

A. The typical warranty on RV solar panels reflects their average life span of 25-30 years. You should expect a warranty of at least 20 years, but it is normal to have a warranty of 25 years.

4. Q. Will I save money with solar panels for RVs? How much should I expect to save?

A. Most of the time yes. This really depends on you so I can tell you if you will save or how much exactly, but here are some things to take into account.
    Ways you save money...

  • RV solar panels do reduce cost on generator fuel drastically.
  • If you are a "full-timer" and pay for your electricity use, RV solar panels will very likely save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run.
  • RV solar panels can extend the life of your batteries, and batteries aren't cheap to replace.
  • When storing your RV your batteries will stay charged and you don't have to worry about your batteries being dead the next time you want to use your RV. If your batteries are dead this can cost $200-$300 to replace.
  •     Ways you don't save money...
  • You don't have to pay for electricity use when you stay at a RV park for a weekend or a week so solar panels wouldn't be saving you any money in that department.

5. Q. How many solar panels do I need?

A. There are many factors that decide how many panels you need. The best thing I could tell you is start with one panel and expand as needed. If you are supporting a family of four or more consider starting with two panels. Also if you are planning on relying solely on your RV solar panel you should start with two panels. If you use this method and think you might need to expand later you will need to get a charge controller that can handle additional panels. If you don't you might have to purchase an extra controller each time you expand beyond the previous controller's capacity.

6. Q. Do solar panels for RVs need direct sunlight to produce electricity?

A. No. Although RV solar panels are most efficient in direct sunlight they still produce some power even on cloudy days. Don't rely on your panels on a cloudy day or in the shade because the little power being produce will not likely be enough to keep your batteries charged.

Have Your Own Question About Solar Panels For RVs?

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Read More Questions About Solar Panels For RVs

Click on the links below to read other questions and answers regarding solar panels for RVs. They were all contributed by visitors to this page, just like yourself.

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Robbie Warford, San Diego RV Repair

Hi, I'm Robbie. Welcome to!

Like the name implies, this site is all about helping you save money while keeping your RV in tip-top shape--and that is all about you having the knowledge to do so.

I've been a technician in the RV industry for 30 years, operating out of San Diego, California. And let me tell you, I love my job.

But I also love empowering RVers with the knowledge they need to make the right decision on repairs, or to make the fix themselves--and that, my friend, is the reason for this website. I hope you enjoy.

Or, learn more about me, my RV service practice, & this website here.