Four ways of RV power source

Four ways of RV power source

Regarding the power source of the RV, first of all, we need to understand that the RV is generally divided into two modes: 12V DC ( 24V or 48V) and 220V/110V AC. There are two kinds of batteries in the RV, the first is the starting battery for the front car, also called the main battery. The power of this battery does not supply power to the home appliances of the RV. So it needs to be equipped with a second battery, usually called a life battery, to store the electricity required for the life of the RV.

So, where does the electricity in the living battery come from?

There are four main ways, including front vehicle power generation, commercial power, generator power generation, and solar power generation. These power generation methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. The power obtained is stored in the living battery of the RV.

RV enthusiasts can match the corresponding power supply scheme according to their personal travel habits and power demand.


solar energy generation

Solar panels are installed on the RV roof, and the electricity generated is used to charge the life battery through the controller.

Advantages: quiet and environmentally friendly, can generate electricity when there is light. The power generation depends on the power of the solar panel and the lighting environment, and the service life is long.

Disadvantages: Can not generate electricity on cloudy days and at night, limited by the RV roof area (some RVs can not install a lot of solar panels),  limited power generation, can only be used as an auxiliary power supply method.


Front vehicle power generation

A DC charger (also called a battery isolator) is installed between the main battery and the life battery. When the vehicle is running, the front car engine charges the main battery, and the main battery will also charge the life battery through the DC charger. When parking, you can use the power in the life battery to maintain the electric power of the RV for life (there will be no situation that the power of the main battery will be consumed by the life power so that the vehicle cannot be started).

Advantages: convenience, the electricity generated during driving can be collected and stored in the living battery, and the size of the generator in the front car affects the amount of electricity generated.

Disadvantages: It cannot be charged during parking and rest, and the amount of power generation will be affected by factors such as the size of the generator in front of the vehicle, driving speed, and road conditions.


commercial power

External commercial power charging is to directly charge the living battery with a commercial power supply. There will be an interface of "external commercial power supply" on the side of the RV.

Advantages: it can be charged as long as there is a socket. After connecting the socket, the RV can freely use high-power appliances such as an air conditioner.

Disadvantages: RV travel is limited by charging pile and camp, and the travel is not free enough.


Generator power generation

Use the fuel generator to generate electricity to charge the life battery

Advantages: the fuel generator can generate electricity with oil, can be carried with the vehicle, and has a good effect in combination with a life battery.

Disadvantages: high noise affects life, high cost of repeated purchase of fuel, heavy taste and great environmental pollution. It's heavy and requires a lot of strength to carry.


It is recommended that solar panels, front vehicle power generation, and commercial power should be combined to supplement each other, so as to maintain sufficient power. Generator power generation is not recommended. Noise affects life and it pollutes the environment.

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