Summer brings a host of amazing opportunities that just aren’t there during the colder winter months. As soon as the ground begins to thaw and the temps get above freezing, we’re the first to pack up our bags and hit the road to begin exciting new journey. Sometimes our journey is right in our backyard at a local hiking spot or biking trail. Other times, our summer journeys take us to remote places, those places where we simply don’t want to be “found.” In this new age of electronics, where people are expected to be constantly available, it’s nice to take a break and go off-grid. Sure, your boss won’t be able to find you, but you’ll get a well-deserved mental and emotional break for the hum of everyday life.

If you own an RV, no doubt you’ll take it on a summer road trip. Since fuel prices have declined, it’s a less costly alternative to purchasing airfare for an entire family. Adding to that, you won’t have to pay for an expensive hotel room, which can run upwards of $300 per night. Many camp grounds charge around 10% of that for electrical and water hook ups each night. There are some great RV parks located along the Appalachian Trail, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. But what do you do if you enjoy taking your RV on trips but need to park away from an electrical hookup? Many state parks place certain noise prohibitions, making it difficult or impossible to run a traditional gas generator. Traditional generators also deplete fuel and emit pollution.

Solar panels are a cost-effective, long-term investment for an RV, especially if you enjoy docking away from electrical hookups. Renogy recommends installing smaller solar panels on RV rooftops, 100W or less. The 100W Monocrystalline or Monocrystalline Eclipse Solar Panels are great options, both weighing less than 17lbs each. Theoretically, you can install as many solar panels as possible that can fit within the roof space (assuming that they meet weight restrictions). However, most people only choose to install 4. Since many RV owners opt for the Eclipse Solar Panels, which are more efficient than traditional panels, 4 panels may be all that are needed to continuously maintain battery charge or power a few smaller appliances while off-grid.

So how do you get the solar panels installed on the RV rooftop? Renogy sells Z-Brackets, lightweight aluminum brackets that are designed specifically for Renogy off-grid solar panels. The Z-Brackets feature predrilled holes, making installation simple. Regardless of the simplicity of the Z-Brackets, Renogy always recommends that you use an RV professional to perform the installation. If you do not use a professional, you will risk unnecessary damage to the RV. You can also contact your RV dealer to see if they offer installation services or are aware of a manufacturer or third party professional that can safely take care of installation.

Renogy makes purchasing an off-grid RV solar kit simple. Renogy offers five different RV kits, ranging in size from 100W-400W. Each RV Kit contains 100W Eclipse Solar Panel(s), all the wiring necessary for the system, Z-Brackets, a PWM Charge Controller, cable housing, and MC4 Branch Connectors. You can upgrade to an MPPT Charge Controller or Open Brackets for an additional charge. Each Kit contains all that is necessary to install a new system, except the battery (which should already be in the RV).

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