Sprinter Van Solar Systems
A more cost effective alternative to the SxP100, this kit delivers the same wattage in a slightly larger footprint.
Operating Voltage: 18.0Vmpp
Size: 47.4″ x 21.3″ x 1.38″, 16lbs
Frame: Silver Anodized Aluminum
Connection Type: MC4
This is a Purchase for ONE 47.4″ x 21.3″ x 1.38″ Solar Panel only.
If you’re an Sprinter Van Lover who likes to green and help our environment, meaning traveling to places without electrical plug-ins, generating your own power is necessary.
You can create your own electric power using:
What are RV solar panels and what are they used for? This is a great place to start. RV solar panels are devices that convert light (sunlight) into power (electricity).
In the diagram above: The sunlight hits the solar panels, creating an electric current. The electric current feeds into a charge controller, which controls how much current goes through the battery. The batteries produce DC power, and an inverter changes the power from DC into AC power. AC power is what runs things like your blenders, laptops, and phone chargers.
For most RV users, there are two main reasons you may consider adding solar panels, or wanting an Sprinter with them already installed:
- To charge your “house” batteries — Solar power provides a slow, steady charge to your batteries. This is actually the way batteries are made to be charged, which in turn maximizes the life of the battery. It is the same concept as a car battery. If it sits too long, it loses its battery life, and it may not be able to hold a charge even after being charged back up.
- To provide electrical power — Whether or not you are in remote locations, wanting to explore breathtaking views, or as back-up power for emergencies.
Why do I need solar panels and what are the benefits of adding Sprinter solar panels to my Sprinter? Is it necessary that you have them? Of course not. But if concepts, such as cutting the cord, going off-grid, going green, and living under the radar, interest you, then looking into solar-powering your RV is for you. Okay, it may not be for everyone… maybe you are not ready to take the plunge to go all-out off-grid just yet. However, if you would like to extend your battery life, cut down on generator use, or maybe save a little money, your pocketbook will thank you. Here are some of the benefits to adding a solar-powered system to your RV:
- It’s a cost-effective means of power. Alright, let’s face it, you do have the initial part of the setup, but it is free, as free can get… straight from the sun. What is not to like about FREE?
- The resource is pretty much inexhaustible, even during the winter months, and on cloudy days we still see some sunlight.
- It’s clean, quiet, and it is good for our planet. It does not burn fuel, therefore does not put off waste or smells.
- Systems are virtually maintenance-free. No moving parts means nothing to break, and once systems are set up, they could last for decades to come, plus there are practically no recurring costs. Let’s say in the future, you decide you want to expand your solar panel system, to produce more power. It can easily be done without a whole revamp of your system.
- It extends the life of your battery. Most RV batteries will last anywhere from two to three years, and they are expensive. With using solar power, you can expect that to increase from 50% to 75% longer. That means not having to replace that battery for 6, 8, or maybe even 10+ years.
- It allows you the freedom to enjoy living in natural settings with breathtaking beautiful views.
- Lastly, it is so easy. The panels are there, the sun is out, and like magic, you are generating free power. It just does not get any easier than that.
What are the different kinds of RV solar panels? In the RV world, there are presently three types of solar panels on the market.
RV Solar Systems – Advantages and Drawbacks
An RV solar system can provide ALL the power you need while camping, without needing a generator, if you’ve designed your electrical system efficiently and have a good solar setup and good sun. But is an RV solar system right for you? Depends on several factors:
- Do you camp in RV parks and campgrounds with electrical hookups? If most of your RVing is in places with easy access to electric power, you don’t need a system like this. Use the plug-in at your campsite for power from a 30A or 50A “shore power” pedestal.
- Do you need a rooftop air conditioner (A/C) system, or absolutely must have a large microwave? If you want A/C and/or a large microwave, you’re really going to need many solar panels and lots of battery storage. You’re better off plugging into shore power or using a generator, if you really need these things when you’re out camping. If you want a fairly cheap, simple RV solar system, then the more you can save power on your RV (for example, changing all your interior lights to LED lights will shave off 80% of your lighting power use), the cheaper your system will be.
- Do you always camp in shaded areas? Your solar panels need sunlight, good direct sunlight with no shading. Sometimes, slightly hazy days will generate even more power from a solar system than a clear day, because of what’s called “edge-of-cloud” effect, but in most cases you want lots of direct sunlight hours to make the best use of a solar system.
- Do you camp in remote places most of the time? If so, an RV solar system might be a good choice for you, provided your electric power needs are not excessive. You’ll also want to have some roof space on your RV, some RV roofs are cluttered with exhaust vents, stacks, antenna, etc., which makes placing solar panels difficult.
Once you’ve calculated the loads, you’ll need to think of:
- How many days do you need to go without power?
- What temperatures will you be camping at?
- What type of batteries will you use to store power?
- How many solar panels can fit on the roof of my RV?