How Much Solar Power Do I Need For My RV

Picture of solar panels - Source Unsplash.com
"Optimists Share Knowledge Generously" - Vanessa Angel
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Last Updated on February 28, 2021 by Tanmay Sarkar

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Are you thinking about adding solar power to your rig?

Solar power is green power as carbon emission is null and you do not burn fossil fuel. But going green is not easy as there are so many things to know about solar panels and their related system.

In this article, we have provided information regarding solar panels. Let us find out how much solar power you need on the RV.

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

Generally, solar panels for installation on the RV are between 50 to 400 watts of power. A full solar panel system is about 800 watts.

So, with 5 hours of sunlight you can harvest 4000 Wh of power every day (5 x 800 = 400).

Typically solar panels do not produce their maximum power because people tend to forget to clean the panels and solar panels harvest max power when they are facing the sun at 90°, that does not happen because solar panels are placed horizontally on the RV roof.

If you manually place them on the ground they can get stolen easily and you have to manually place them at 90° facing the sun from time to time. That is not easy.

Related Reading: Best RV Solar Panels

Formula For Power Usage Per Hour / kWh

If you want to find the power usage of an appliances per hour then use the formula:

Watts x Hours = kWh or kiloWatt per hour

So, if the appliance consumes 100 W then the power consumption of that appliance for 10 hours will be:

Using the formula: Watts x Hours = kWh or kilowatt per hour

100 x 10 = 1000 kWh.

Where 100 is the Watt, 10 is hours and 1000 kWh is power usage.

Wattage & Power Consumption Of Appliances Used In RV

Below is the power consumption of common appliances used in an RV.

AppliancesMax WattageMax Unit Consumed Per Hour
1 Ton Air Conditioner1000W0.73 kWh
1.5 Ton Air Conditioner1500W1.49 kWh
2 Ton Inverter Air Conditioner2000W1.8 kWh
24 Inch LCD TV60W0.295 kWh
24 Inch LED TV50W0.06 kWh
32 Inch LCD TV80W0.08 kWh
32 Inch LED TV60W0.09 kWh
42 Inch LCD TV130W1 kWh
42 Inch LED TV90W1.5 kWh
50 Inch LCD TV170W2 kWh
50 Inch LED TV110W1 kWh
65 Inch LED TV130W1.5 kWh
82 Inch LED TV295W2 kWh
Air Purifier30W1.5 kWh
Amazon Echo3W1.2 kWh
Fridge Freezer80W0.03 kWh
Bread Toaster (2 Slice)1000W0.04 kWh
Clock radio2W0.08 kWh
Clothes Dryer5000W0.002 kWh
Coffee Maker1400W5 kWh
Deep Freezer19W0.035 kWh
Dehumidifier240W0.019 kWh
Dishwasher1500W0.45 kWh
DVD Player60W1.5 kWh
Electric Blanket200W0.06 kWh
Electric Kettle3000W3 kWh
Electric Shaver20W0.02 kWh
Electric stove2000W2 kWh
Espresso Coffee Machine1500W1.5 kWh
Exhaust Fan12W0.012 kWh
Food Blender400W0.4 kWh
Fryer1000W0.17 kWh
Game Console170W0.6 kWh
Hair Blow Dryer3000W3 kWh
Hair Straightening Iron300W0.1 kWh
Hot Water Dispenser1300W2 kWh
Humidifier40W0.03 kWh
Induction Cooktop2000W1 kWh
Iron1000W2 kWh
LED Light Bulb10W2.5 kWh
Microwave2500W0.04 kWh
Nintendo Switch AC Adapter40W2.15 kWh
Pedestal Fan70W1.1 kWh
Phone Charger7W0.15 kWh
Space Heater5000W2.5 kWh
Vacuum Cleaner900W0.022 kWh
Xbox One50W0.083 kWh

What RV Solar Panel System Includes?

Generally RV solar kit includes the following electrical and electronic components:

  • Solar Panels
  • Batteries
  • Charge Controller
  • Inverter Charger
  • Battery Monitor

What you Can Run On Solar & Battery Power?

The following Appliances, devices and gadgets can run on AC 120 Volt:

  • Microwave
  • 40 plus inch Television
  • Wi-Fi Router
  • Hair Dryer
  • Coffeemaker
  • Rechargeable devices

The following things can run on DC 12 Volts

  • Lights
  • Furnace
  • Radio
  • DVD Player
  • Inverter
  • Charger
  • Vent Fans

How many solar panels does it take to charge a 100AH battery?

If you have 12 volts and 20 amps battery then it will take five hours to charge a 100 amp hour battery.

To find out how many solar panels you need to charge a 100AH battery you have to multiply amps by volts.

So, 12 volts x 20 amps = 240 watts.

You will need 240 watts solar panels. It will take 2 solar panels of 120 watts to charge a 100AH battery.

RV solar panel size calculator

What will a 200w solar panel run?

A 200 watts solar panel can your laptop (45W) for 22 hours, a coffee machine (1000W) for an hour, a microwave oven (625W) for 1.5 hours, and a 60W light bulb for 10 hours.

For this, the 200 watts solar panels should charge the battery for 5 to 6 hours.

How long will a 100 Ah battery last?

If we add 100 Amp hour battery size then a 100 Amp battery can power 100AH x 12V = 1200 WH. That means it can run a 1200 watts appliance for an hour and 300 watts appliance for 4 hours.

So, if we run a humidifier that lists wattage of 260 on low and 450 on high. Then a single 100 amp battery can power it on low setting for over 4 hours and on high setting for over 2 hours.


"Optimists Share Knowledge Generously" - Vanessa Angel
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