So we mentioned in our last post that we were looking for a way to keep our RV powered away from campsites and civilization.  We got some estimates on solar panels and the results weren’t good.  It would cost upwards of $15,000 to get the RV outfitted with enough panels to power our stove, air conditioner, water heater, etc.

This is how we learned to install our system..

What we did find was a how-to for making our own RV solar panels.  It worked pretty well, we have 6 panels up and running, which is plenty of power to keep us powered over night from one day in partial sunlight.  Building the solar panels was pretty simple.  It took us a bit of time to get the hang of it, but we got them done, even with no great handyman expertise.

We built the solar panels during a rainy weekend outside of Tacoma.  We were staying with our daughter and her husband so we had a bit of space and basic tools.  Except for the solar cells themselves, we were able to find all the parts at the hardware store down the street.  The solar cells themselves can be bought all over the web for about $70 each.  All together, the project cost us about $800 dollars for six solar panels, with all the batteries, wiring, and electronics.

According to the manual we used, the same method can be used to make solar panels for a home, boat, RV, or whatever else you want.  We found that they were pretty easy to build and they work great.  If you’re interested, you can read about Green DIY Energy here.

Good luck with your travels.  Until next time, may the roads rise up to meet you.

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