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Many people like the idea of boondocking in the wilderness, away from civilization where there is lots of peace and quiet.
The only problem… after a day or two, the battery on the RV goes dead unless you fire up the noisy generator! (So much for peace and quiet. You won’t be impressing the neighbors either.)
The other issue keeping many RVers from dipping their toes into the world of solar power is their lack of knowledge about all things electric.
If you fear taking on a DIY project that involves wiring and mounting solar panels and charge controllers, I have good news for you…
An RV Solar Suitcase may be exactly what you are looking for!
- If you’re looking for a way to keep your RV battery viable, while using only the bare essentials power-wise, then a Solar Suitcase system may be the answer.
- If you don’t have any electrical knowledge and you don’t feel like taking a course in “basic electricity,” a Solar Suitcase is exactly what you need!
RV Solar Suitcase vs. A Solar Panel Kit
Generally speaking, RV solar systems can be complex and expensive — if you want them to provide all the comforts of home. Just keep in mind that luxuries like entertainment centers, kitchen appliances, and other non-essentials can be considered later on down the road.
No matter what you start with in solar power, you can always add more as your needs change or your budget allows. That’s exactly what I’ve done.
A portable Solar Suitcase is a good starting point. And it will always be useful — no matter how big you go with your RV solar system later on!
On the other hand, if you have some basic understanding of electricity and feel comfortable wiring up an RV solar system but don’t want to permanently mount a set of solar panels on the roof of your RV, another option would be to build your own portable Solar Suitcase from a Solar Panel Kit.
You can build a 200-watt RV Solar Suitcase for about the same money that a 100-watt Solar Suitcase would cost.
The Pros & Cons Of An RV Solar Suitcase
You might want to weigh the pros and cons of a portable Solar Suitcase before you decide if this is the way you should go:
- Convenience – It’s a simple matter to clip the power leads onto your battery terminals. You’re up and running in less than a minute. (The suitcase is easily stored in its own protective case when not in use.)
- Ease of use – Keeping full sun on the panel for maximum efficiency is as easy as turning the panel a few times during the day.
- Adaptability – You can keep your RV parked in the shade where it’s cooler, while the solar panels are set up in direct sunlight.
- Portable Solar Suitcase systems are prone to being blown over by wind gusts. It’s best to stabilize them with a weight of some kind to prevent damage.
- You need to reposition them repeatedly to keep direct sunlight on them, for optimum performance.
- A 100-watt Solar Suitcase costs about the same as a 200-watt Solar Panel Kit with controller. You pay for the convenience of having it all assembled and ready to use.
The Bottom Line
An RV Solar Suitcase is an excellent first step into the world of solar power.
It will always be a valuable asset — and even when you create your own monster solar system, there will be a place for it.
Here’s my video showing how a portable Solar Suitcase works and why it’s the easiest option when it comes to getting solar power on your RV:
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I’ve been involved in RVing for over 50 years — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs and motorhomes. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller… you’ve got a good idea of who I am. To date, I've shared my RV knowledge in over 300 articles here at The Fun Times Guide!