Which solar kit should I order?
The number of solar panels needed for RV boondocking depends on how many batteries you have to keep charged. You’ll need to add up the total Amp Hours (Ah) your batteries are capable of holding. The more (Ah) you have, the more solar panels you’ll need…
If you have a single 12 volt battery, at about 100Ah, you should have 100 watts of solar panels, minimum.
With two 12 volt batteries, or two 6 volt batteries, with between 200-250Ah, you should have 200-300 watts of solar panels, minimum.
If you have four 12 volt batteries, or four 6 volt batteries, with between 400-600Ah, you should have 400-600 watts of solar panels, minimum.
Conservative RVers will want at least 200 watts of solar panels. The average installs we do are 400-800 watts. Power hungry RVers will have north of 800 watts of solar panels! When starting to use your new solar system, before you know your actual usage, it is good to keep a close eye on the voltage of your battery bank to confirm it will meet your needs and prevent from draining it too low and then expand your battery bank/solar array if necessary.
Can I Use Solar Power to Run the Air Conditioner?
Technically, yes. You’ll need a bigger battery bank, capable of holding AT LEAST 1000Ah, to run a single AC unit. You’ll also need AT LEAST 1000 watts of solar panels to recharge those batteries quickly and efficiently enough to bring your batteries up to charge to keep you powered through the evening. But because of how many watts a 13,500 BTU air conditioning unit consumes, it remains impractical to power it from battery all day. Nearly all RV boondockers still rely on a generator of at least 3200 watts to run an AC unit.