DIY: How To Install a Solar Panel on an RV

how to install solar panel on rv


Learning how to install a solar panel on an RV ensures you always have reliable, low-maintenance access to energy. RV solar panels are a sound investment for those looking for an off-grid lifestyle or who regularly enjoy boondocking. 

Kirkland RV Sales is here to teach you how to install your RV solar to gather electricity independently and successfully. 

Tasks to Complete Prior to Solar Panel Installation

Before you begin your solar panel installation, you must complete a few tasks. These steps ensure success and help you gather as much solar power as you need. Read the following to see what should happen before your solar installation.

Size Your Solar Panel System for Your Camper

You need to know how much energy you use before installation, and there are several calculators out there for this step. Once you know how much energy you use, you can decide if your RV can handle the solar panel setup.

Determine the Amount of Solar Power to Install

Once you understand your energy requirements, you decide how much solar you want to install. Consider buying fewer panels and a smaller battery bank if you cannot afford the entire setup. Try to get the correct size solar charge controller and scale up the rest when you can. 

Roof Dimensions

How much room do you have on your roof? Gather the exact measurements of your roof and your panels. Ideally, you should use the same amp, watt, and size for all your panels. 

How much room you have and personal preference will dictate if you can install rigid panels or flexible panels. Depending on your goals and preference, there are several ways to connect your solar panels to the roof. 

Make a Wiring Diagram

Map out where your panels will go, how you plan to attach them to your battery bank, and where all your wires will be. Ensure you have a solid understanding before you begin construction to mitigate damage. 

Ensure you’ve completed your plan before you purchase anything to eliminate waste and make the transition as easy as possible. 

Purchase Every Component You Need

Once you’ve thoroughly planned your solar panel setup, you can purchase everything you need. Be sure you know how to install a solar panel on an RV before buying anything for the best results. 

Are RV Solar Panels a Good Investment?

Solar panels are a good investment if you regularly camp in the wilderness or without electricity. With regular use, they pay for themselves in a few years. However, if you don’t consistently boondock or are not trying to live off the grid, they may not be worth the startup price. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours. 


Learning how to install a solar panel on an RV can help you gain access to energy no matter where you are. If you feel uncomfortable doing the task, contact a solar panel professional. 

Reach out to Kirkland RV Sales with any questions or help with the installation process in Everett, WA