Two things limit a solar install:  Cost and space.  And with all the things that litter the typical RV roof, it’s easy to see how space is at a premium.


Here’s a rough drawing (low-tech, I used Visio so things aren’t even close to scale, but it’s good enough for now and I’ll throw together a nice AutoCAD drawing in my future free time) that shows the layout of our 41’ Travel Supreme and all of the possible spots for panels.  The sides of the AC units are the obvious choices, but then we’re limited to 28” wide panels or less, and that leaves no space for walkthrough when they’re flat.  It’s a pity too, because high voltage/high wattage panels are available now that are cheap $/watt, but it seems that they all start around 39” wide which kills every mounting option available here.  I’ve currently got about 60 panels in the spreadsheet that I’m putting together, and only 6 panels over 100 watts currently fit the bill ranging from $1.24/w for a blemish Sun 120w panel to $2.24/w for a Kyocera 135w panel to $3.20/w for a compact AmSolar GS100 100 watt panel.


Quite a price differential when I’m looking at 600w output – $744 at the low end and $1,920 at the high end.  And that’s just panels.  Throw in mounts, charge controller, heavy gauge wiring, and potentially new batteries and you can see why there will be no new shoes for Jimbo!