The recent boom in RV sales is causing campgrounds to fill up quickly. RVers are looking to RV solar to help them camp off-grid without the kinds of hookups they’d have at an RV park.
Choosing the right installer for your RV solar system can make or break your off-grid camping experience. Today we want to look at why it’s so hard to find a reputable RV solar installer.
Why Is It So Hard to Find a Good Solar Installer?
Finding a suitable RV solar installer can be a challenging task. There are plenty of installers willing to take your money to attempt an install. However, good solar installers not only install but will also tweak your solar setup for optimal performance.
One of the many reasons it’s challenging to find a good solar installer is because some of the best installers are mobile. Many certified RV solar installers travel the country installing solar systems on RVs along their route. It will require a little flexibility and luck on your end to get one of these installers for your system.
It’s also challenging to find a good solar installer because there are so many “DIY experts” out there. You’ll have to separate the experts from the amateurs during your search. Do your due diligence to make sure your installer is up to snuff.
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is the most well-known certification for solar installers. This certification proves the installer’s competency, but it’s not a requirement for most residential installs, let alone RV installs. Even an individual with residential solar install experience may struggle to install an RV solar system, as the two often use different components. Therefore, finding an installer with RV technician experience and RV solar knowledge can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Why Do You Need a Professional to Install Your Solar?
Solar equipment can be costly. You don’t want to trust your gear to just anyone. Hiring a professional helps ensure that you’re getting the best results for your money. Electrical wiring can be finicky and, if not done right, can lead to inefficiencies in your solar system. A professional solar installer will know the correct and most efficient way to set up your system.
You not only want your system to be efficient but also safe. An incorrectly wired system can create a hazardous situation. The larger the system, the more opportunities for errors, potentially including melted components or even a fire. Professionals know the wiring and equipment to use to get the job done correctly.
What Qualifications Do RV Installers Need?
RV solar is a relatively new industry, so there’s currently no specific certification required to be an RV solar installer. However, most of the time, qualified contractors will have a general electrical or plumbing license. There are voluntary certifications that solar installers can earn as well.
The NABCEP program and NABCEP PV Installation Company certification are two qualifications that make installers more desirable. A professional RV installer will likely have an RVIA/RVDA certification or other master RV technician qualifications.
Can You Just Install Your Solar Yourself?
There are plenty of DIY solar communities and YouTube videos to help you build your knowledge of solar installs. It’s possible to save a considerable sum of money and do a DIY solar install yourself. However, it’s also possible that your system will be inefficient or a potential fire hazard if you don’t know what you’re doing.
We advise that if you plan to attempt a DIY solar install, you do your due diligence in terms of research. Using under-rated wires or inappropriate components can be incredibly dangerous. Having a detailed plan for your install is essential, but it may also be worth consulting with a professional to verify your parts before starting the install process.
Is Hiring a Professional to Install Your Solar Worth It?
Knowing the difference between a DIY project and one you should entrust to a professional is essential, especially when electrical components are involved. Hiring a professional can give you the added assurance that your system is not only optimized for efficiency but safe to use. The peace of mind provided by hiring a professional is priceless. When in doubt, go pro.
We expect to see RV solar continue to gain popularity in the RV community in the coming years. If you’re looking to add solar to your RV, be sure to do your research and make a knowledgeable investment in your system. The freedom that RV solar provides is an incredible feeling that we wish more RVers had the opportunity to experience. Do you plan to invest in RV solar soon?
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