Recreational vehicles (RV) are in high demand again, especially with Baby Boomers. Some folks are looking to down-size while others are wanting to pick-up roots and live on the road full-time. Whatever their reasons are they will be out there looking for ways to reduce the cost of lodging. One way to do this is to stay at National and State Parks. In some cases they might choose to boon-dock (camp overnight without water or power).
Boon Dock Power
If you should decide to camp where there is no water or power then you only have a couple of options. Setting aside the need for water, and lots of it, you will need to have some reliable source of power. Unfortunately, that will either be a gas powered generator, solar panels or a wind generator.
Propane and gasoline fired engines are the two most likely types of generators used today, my personal preference would lean toward propane to avoid storing gas cans. Even if you choose to use a generator you might still consider incorporating some form of solar to supplement your power requirements.
Roof Mounted Solar
Some RV’er’s have elected to permanently mount a number of solar panels on the roof. My immediate concern is with regards to drilling holes in a thin metal roof that will eventually develop a leak at some point even without drilling holes. Constant vibration and wind resistance could create just enough motion to cause metal fatigue.
Fixed Angle Solar
Mounting a solar panel on a flat surface and at a fixed position is not very efficient. In fact, you would be losing out on about 40% more power.
This might not seem like much of a difference but this could be the difference between using a 50 or 60 Watt panel instead of a 100 Watt panel. This is advantageous for RVer’s where space is at a premium.