Q: “Should I go with 12V or 6V deep cycle batteries for my RV?”
A: In a multi battery system, 6V batteries will typically have more reserve capacity (or run time) than 12V batteries and their cycle life (life expectancy) is usually about double. It makes sense to choose 6V batteries in a multi battery system. In a single battery system 12V batteries are the only option.
Q: “Are lithium batteries a good choice for my RV?”
A: There are definitely benefits to lithium batteries for RV owners! However, it is important that people understand what they’re getting for their investment. Lithium is very different from traditional lead acid batteries. Most people will get about double the run time with lithium compared to the same amount of amp hour in lead acid. Therefor, you could replace 200AH of lead acid batteries with just 100AH of lithium and get similar run time. Lithium batteries weigh less than half of lead acid equivalents. They also recharge must faster and have significantly higher cycle life (life expectancy) although just how much higher remains to be seen as most cycle life data is lab tested results and not real world data. It would be conservative to suggest that lithium should give most users 3-4 times the life expectancy of lead acid batteries if properly maintained. The main downside to lithium is the price. Taking into account that you can use half the AH of lithium to replace lead acid, they currently cost about 2-3 times as much as conventional batteries. Customers may have to change out charge converters or other charge sources to lithium compatible versions so this is another cost that should be considered. Whether the benefits justify the price point will vary from one customer to the next. Most people that try lithium are extremely happy with the performance.
Q: “What type of batteries are ok to leave in my RV over the winter?”
A: The answer is, none of them! Flooded lead acid batteries are the most susceptible to freezing so they should never be left in the RV over the winter. There are some who suggest that AGM and GEL do not need to be taken out because they don’t freeze. This is not true, although they do have a lower freezing point than flooded batteries. What’s important to note is that even if the batteries don’t freeze they will definitely be sulfated if they are left all winter in the RV. This will result in reduced capacity, difficulty recharging and possibly ruin the battery. Due to the increased cost of AGM, GEL and Lithium more care should be taken to make sure that they are not damaged from winter storage. Having the batteries in a garage allows the customer to take proper care of them over the winter.
RV Solar FAQ
Q: WILL ARMADA SOLAR PRODUCTS WITHSTAND HAIL AND ICE?”
A: All of our solar products are tested against hail, ice, and anything else that mother nature can throw at them. Just as important, the warranty covers hail and ice damage.
Q: “WHICH IS BETTER, MONOCRYSTALLINE OR POLYCRYSTALLINE?”
A: There are many blogs and articles that suggest that one is better than the other. In fact, the two are so close in quality and production that it isn’t worth distinguishing between them in most applications. Monocrystalline typically has higher peak values but polycrystalline is slightly higher in low light conditions. Side by side over the course of a year, a similar quality monocrystalline panel and polycrystalline panel will yield almost identical production. These are the two premier types of solar panels and will typically last over 30 years!
Q: “I’M INTERESTED IN A PORTABLE SOLAR KIT AND ONE THAT MOUNTS TO MY ROOF. HOW DO I DECIDE WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?”
A: To start, both systems are very good quality, have similar warranties, and operate very much the same. There are pros and cons to both systems. If we high-lite the advantages and disadvantages of both, hopefully it will make your decision easier.
Portable Folding Kit
- You can move it throughout the day to avoid shade and maximize production.
- No installation costs.
- If you sell your RV, you can keep your solar kit.
- If you have more than one RV you can use it with both.
- You can use it to charge other batteries at home or for other projects.
- Vulnerable to theft.
- No expansion (other than buying another complete kit)
- Requires some work to set up compared to a permanently mounted panel
- Does not work well for keeping batteries maintained while in a storage lot (due to theft).
Standard RV Solar Kit
- No need to set anything up once it’s installed.
- Most kits allow for expansion.
- Very hard to steal.
- Great for maintaining batteries while in storage (outdoors only).
- If parked in the shade there is no ability to move the panel.
- Installation costs.
- If you sell your RV, chances are the solar is going with it.
Have more questions about your product that wasn’t answered here? Contact us.