Reliable power has been the bane of this whole experience so far. I actually went through 5 deep cycle batteries because the alternator never really charged my auxilliary battery correctly. The process would be that I would plan all of my errands in one run so I could charge my laptop off of the alternator. Needless to say it has been a challenge to say the least.
The benefit from all of this is that you realize just how precious the small things are. Which is sort of the whole point of this experience, to use less by needing less and by getting more done with less. This is a great exercise because you would be surprised how fast you can get a project finished when you are on a deadline and only have 40% battery remaining.
DIY RV Solar
It came to a point when I really needed to pull the trigger on finally getting solar installed on the RV (Which I’ve recently named Loretta Lindy). The problem was that I did not want to spend $700 on a system that I knew very little about. Thankfully there are a multitude of videos on how to do it. I was able to find a good amount of information on the system itself. The technology is not all that complicated but it does come down to a few things and here is what you will need:
- Battery Bank
- Solar Panels
- 200W panels bare minimum really, depending where you live.
- A/C Inverter
- Depending on how much you really plan on using, but I bought a 400W inverter and works great for charging laptops and more. This one will really do all that you need and more.
- Charge Controller
- All in One (minus the batteries and inverter)
- All in One (plus the inverter)
All in all the system cost me about $500 total. The installation is a lot easier that you might expect. Do it yourself so that you can have that sense of accomplishment. But make sure you do your due diligence and have a working understanding of electricity (as well as a healthy respect). Knowing the layout of your rig and which wires go where is always a good idea.