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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!
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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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.