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RV Electrical System: Batteries & Solar Panels

rv electrical system

PREVIOUS: RV Electrical System: Design



Central to the system and most visible are the batteries, which have to supply the electricity during the days when a hookup is not available. Two basic types are currently used in RV’s:

Solar Panels

The other main component for boondockers. They will produce electricity for many years, without interruption and virtually no maintenance. Their efficiency can increase dramatically by aligning them with the sun, but most of us will compensate by installing more panels.


The importance of correct wiring is undervalued, yet critical for the electrical system. A complete system has many components, each with their own efficiency losses (solar panels, combiner box, MPPT controller, monitor and batteries). Correct wire thickness will ideally limit voltage drop to less than 2%. Always use voltage drop charts to calculate the appropriate wire size.

UPCOMING: RV Electrical System: Sizing

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