For us, the appeal of boondocking is the combination of natural beauty, peace & quiet and the comforts of home. But this can lead to a dilemma… how do you power those “comforts” without the sound of your generator spoiling the solitude?
You’ve heard us say it over and over — Boondocking (or camping off the grid) is our favorite way to RV. But having the right equipment can really enhance the experience.
For most die-hard boondockers, solar panels are a big part of that. But in the winter, with the sun never rising very far off the horizon, solar panels can use a boost. Or to be more precise… a lift.
That’s where solar tilt kits come in. In this short video we’ll show you exactly how much of a power increase each of our solar panels gains from tilting. We’ll also demonstrate how a small shadow can reduce solar output by a surprising amount. And we’ll even mention a couple of other tips about aiming them and keeping things clean.
You may have seen the recent video our friends Jason & Nikki of GoneWithTheWynns made about tilting the panels on their RV (before they hit the water, of course). If not, you can watch it here, where you can also read their great post on the topic. They delve into things we never even thought about when we installed our panels over 10 years ago… such as the effects of latitude and exact tilt angle.
In that same location where we were boondocking together, they also made a great video about whether you can run your A/C off your solar panels or not. We made a cameo appearance in that video, so you should definitely watch it here!
For some of the most comprehensive information about assembling a solar system for your RV, our friends Chris & Cherie of Technomadia.com have put together a host of great content. If you’re considering solar, this is a must-read resource.
Speaking of Cherie & Chris and enhancing the boondocking experience all in the same breath, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that they are the source for the most complete information available about staying connected on the road. Learn more at RVmobileinternet.com. And should decide to join their excellent Mobile Internet Aficionados group (which we highly recommend) you’ll save $5 on your first year’s membership by using the coupon code “MIAGEEKS” when you sign up.
NOTE: When we mentioned in the above video that our solar panels were “perpendicular” to the sun, we meant laterally, as in they were facing due south and the sun was at its highest point in the sky that day, directly off the right side of the RV. To get the panels vertically perpendicular to the sun, the tilt height needs to be adjusted higher or lower depending on the time of year and current location.
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