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Love Your RV: Upgrading our Renogy RV solar system to 400 watts

From the bloggers at Love Your RV.

About a year ago I installed a simple little 200 watt RV solar kit from a company called Renogy. We didn’t have too much dough to spend on solar, but I believe I got a good bang for the buck with the roughly $400 dollar kit. Renogy panels seem to get very good reviews and after a year of use I’ll add to that with a full thumbs up. They are light weight but sturdy and put out decent amounts of power.

With the 200-watt starter kit, we were able to keep all our smaller electronic devices, camera batteries and 2 laptops all charged up plus top up our 2 six-volt golf cart coach batteries for the evening hours. We spent many weeks out boondocking where we never had to run the generator. As long as we stayed conservative with our energy use and the sun shone most of the day we could enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Why the upgrade to 400 watts?

We found that 200 watts of solar power was not quite enough to power a few of our larger electronic devices like for instance Anne’s 21” iMac computer or our 43” LCD TV. Both can draw anywhere from 50 to over 100 watts each. This is fine and dandy when the sun is strong and high in the sky, but as soon as it is gone we are dependent on our battery bank and whatever sun’s energy was stored in there. The large computer and TV can be easily run off my Champion Generator, but it sure would be less of a hassle and quieter to have the solar panels and 12-volt batteries power them instead.

To read the full story by Love Your RV, click here.

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