Finding out an electrical outlet or a gasoline generator is the last thing any RV-er wants to do on a road trip and, for many of them, solar powered rigs are the best option for full-time travel because mobile homes ensure complete independence and traveling in style. However, the mere presence of solar panels on your RV roof does not mean that customers would be willing to pay thousands of dollars on the spot, especially when you are selling a dated rig. However, you can employ a few simple ways to make your ordinary solar-powered motor home stand out to clinch a fair deal from the RV buyers. So, here are three DIY solar upgradations to consider before you put your RV up for sale:
Install a Solar Trickle Charger
If your RV remained parked in your backyard for a while, the batteries are likely to lose power or even be damaged due to months of inactivity. With a solar trickle charger, you can avoid such complications because these devices extend the battery life significantly.
Trickle chargers are standalone devices that you can quickly install. All you need to do is connect the panel with the wire and battery clips and place the system in the sun. This is important if you have an old RV as these models usually don’t have the trickle chargers. Therefore, this smart upgrade will sweeten the deal.
You can equip the rig with a 12V trickle charger at just $35 or $36. When installed, this device will enhance the functionalities of house batteries, thus increasing the resale value of your used motor home.
Correct the Panel Layout
Even if your RV solar panels are generating electrical power, it does not mean that they are installed correctly. Some RV-ers don’t even realize that the system is not producing the optimum power unless they experience bad weather.
In most of the RVs, maybe including yours, the solar panels are kept too close. Therefore, always check the layout. In poor weather conditions, when you tilt the outboard panel, the inboard one gets shaded and then shuts off completely which lowers the production level.
However, you can boost the production efficiency by employing a simple method. Take two aluminum angles and fasten them together, and then tie the frames of two solar panels to have a single, large and easy-to-tilt panel. Also, have a pair of struts to hold them at the right angle so that it can receive the maximum sunrays, especially if your buyer prefers to travel during the winter months. Correcting the panel layout is easy, and once it’s done, the output can rise to 30 percent, adding significant value to your dated rig.
Get an MPPT Charge Controller
A common belief among RV-owners is that there is no chance of battery overcharging as the solar panels are rated at 12V. However, the 12V panels produce 16V to 20V of electricity, and if the output is not controlled, t the excessive power will damage the battery while charging.
The solar charge controller prevents damage by regulating the current and voltage level produced by the panels. These devices are mainly of two types including the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) controller and the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller. The PWM controllers cause a voltage drop to charge the batteries. However, the voltage drop leads to power loss also, making the controller only 75 to 80 percent efficient.
The MPPT controllers, on the contrary, step down the received high voltage to match the requirement of your battery bank. Additionally, it uses a boost current to enhance the ampere level for eliminating the chances of power loss. Due to this method of charging, the efficiency of an MPPT controller increases by 94 to 99 percent, making it a preferred choice for RV buyers.
If there is no MPPT controller in your RV, invest in it now. The price starts from $65.The investment is obviously little considering the value it will add to your dated motor home.
ManyRV buyers prefer used rigs with upgraded solar panels owing to their numerous benefits. However, the little tricks such as changing the panel layout or providing them with add-ons such as a trickle charger or charge controller make the rig more investment-worthy to them. In fact, customers will offer you a fair market value for your RV with the best PV system accessories installed to ensure that they are not stranded in the middle of a trip owing to a dead battery.