The Metropolitan Cathedral in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 5, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Solar Panel Price Drop!

I can't believe how much solar panels have dropped in price since we originally equipped our motorhome with them almost six years ago. It's to the point where I can't really understand why anybody wouldn't have them.

I mean, even if you always park in RV parks, wouldn't you want the option of being self sufficient if you want to be?

I suppose they're not for everyone. However, they sure are getting cheap if you find a great deal and you're thinking about getting them.

When we bought our original setup in the fall of 2008, I found a fantastic deal at Costco.ca. Now, there were quite a few better deals online at the time to get solar panels in the US...but getting a good deal in Canada was pretty tough. Long story short, I paid $950 for two 80 watt panels, a 30 amp digital charge controller, and all the wiring and brackets to install them.



Then a couple of years later I found an 80 watt add-on panel to bring our system up to 240 watts. I think I paid about $225 for the add-on panel, and that was a great deal at the time.

Now, I see this fantastic deal at Amazon.com where you can buy a 100 watt RV solar panel starter kit where you get everything you need, including a 30 amp charge controller so that you can add on to the system in the future.

Solar Panel Starter Kit

I don't understand how it can be that cheap.

And then you can buy add on panels such as the 100 watt single panel. These aren't even on sale and they're only $150...


To put it in perspective, we paid about $1,175 for our 240 watt kit.

So now, you can buy a 200 watt RV kit for only $360! Or a 250 watt kit for $430!

We love the freedom associated with RV solar. Not everybody is into boondocking and getting away from it all, but if you are, solar panels have dropped in price to where you can now enjoy reasonably priced electricity for life! Well, 25 years anyhow. Most solar panels have a 25 year performance warranty.

Enjoying our solar panel boondocking beside the river near Puerto Escondido, Mexico.



14 comments:

  1. Definitely a great deal, I don't even want to remember what we paid 10 years ago. Love that camping spot.

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    1. Yes, but think of the camping fees or electricity fees that you saved on over that period of time. We loved that camping spot too!

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  2. And US taxpayers can get 30% back as a credit on your tax return!

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    1. Really? That's fantastic. I do remember that as Canadians we could claim back the provincial sales tax paid.

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  3. Good deal for sure, we had 130 watt panel and 30 watt controller installed in 2007. $1,000.00 installed and works great for us, maybe even another panel would be better. do you have 2 or 4 six volt batteries?

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    1. We have 4 six volt batteries. Two in the original compartment under the steps, and two in the closest basement storage compartment where I built a frame for them.

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  4. I have 400W of solar and it's the cat's meow. Only stayed at an RV park once in the past six years.

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    1. I'll bet that is the cat's meow! Love that you have only stayed in one RV park in the last six years. We are really looking forward to spending most of the winter in Sherman this year. We have certainly missed that feeling you get when you are boondocking, especially in the middle of nowhere.

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  5. Some fellow View/Navion owners turned me on to Renogy panels a few months ago. They're fantastic-- low cost but still great quality. I recently got the next-generation "bendable" Renogy 100 watt panel (weighs only 3 lbs!) that I'll be using as a portable solution to supplement hard-sided panels on the roof. This should let me park in the shade, or pull in more low-horizon Winter sun. I've not had time to do a blog post on the new setup yet, but posted a few pics to my WinnieViews Facebook page if you're interested in what they look like.

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    1. Here's the link to the bendable panels. Renogy® 100W Bendable Solar Panel

      They're still a fairly new product. We have no use for one, because our rooftop solar is sufficient for our needs.

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  6. Almost four months on the road and we used our most of the time. We are using it now to watch the morning news, lights and charging our laptops while typing this. We didn't bring our generator this trip either. I want to add more than the 235W we have now. Best thing we ever did.

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    1. Don't you just love the freedom that the solar panels give you?! Our generator hasn't worked properly for a few years now and we just haven't bothered fixing it because we know that we don't need it. I think that Kevin would rather get a couple extra batteries than get and additional panel. As long as we have sunshine what we have serves us well. Glad you are enjoying your setup.

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  7. What company specifically are these prices from??

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    1. Hi Debbie...they're all available at those prices from the Amazon links included in the above article.

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