I was thinking of buying a 2020 Thor Freedom Elite 22FE which is pre-wired for solar, what do I need to have it a basic RV solar system at half the cost.
With inflation being what it is these days, more pwople are looking at adding solar to their RV to allow off-grid camping. The question above comes in quite often, but with different models of campers and RVs.
The basics of RV solar sizing is as follows:
- Understand what you loads need to be powered 100%
- Understand alternate ways to charge your battery bank
- Get a total budget for your solar power system including batteries and wiring
Knowing your budget will be key for saving money
Getting a budget in line will tell you what you can expect to acomplish from the power system, even when using budget brands. Here are items that need to be purchased for a complete system.
- RV Solar Panels
- Mounting Brackets
- Branch Connectors
- Solar Wire
- Charge Controller
- Power Inverter
- Transer Switch
- Tie Wraps
- Bus Bars
- Battery Cables
- Battery Disconnect Switches
You can quickly see why a budget is important. Smaller systems don’t nessecarily mean some of these components go away from a cost perspective. Smaller capaabilites and buying budget brands are the only ways to lower your overall cost regardless of the RV brand or type.
There are kits that can help get many of the items you will need ion one purchase:This is a great entry levelf Go Power's Inverter Charger Kit. They offer the Elite and Extreme kits. These have different amounts of solar and also different size Inverter units.
The Go Power! Elite Solar Kit - IC-2000 - 380 Watts of solar
We have found these kits contain much of what you need for getting going with off-grid solar and inverter power. We have also added lithium battery and sealant as well
You could also look at a small array and a Duracube