I did a post a week or so ago about calculating your Amp Hour requirements. But what do you do with that information? To reiterate: I am not a Professional!! Double check everything...
AH = Amp Hours
V = Volts
WH = Watt Hours
Panel V = Panel Volts
Panel A = Panel Amps
Panel AH = Panel Amp Hours
Okay so here are the calculations for Solar and how many panels (of a specific panel you will require). The Solar kit we have chosen for our needs is here.
AH x V = WH
WH /Panel V = Panel AH
Panel AH / Panel Amps = number of panels required for 1 hour of sun.
Number of panels required for 1 hour sun / Number of hours collecting sun (check online for your specific area) = number of panels based on the specs used in calculation (so make sure they are right).
So I will use a few of our own numbers and the panels we have chosen to show you the calculation:
In order to run everything we have at the same time we will use 440 AH (won't likely run it all at the same time)
440AH x 12V(RV system (some are 24V)) = 5280WH
5280WH / 12V = 440AH
440AH / 8.8amps (our particular solar panels) = 50 panels for one hour of sunlight
50 per hour / # hours of sunlight (5 average but check your area online)
= 10 panels
Now we are not putting 10 panels on the roof. In fact, our kit is 3 - 160W panels. We don't expect to be running everything at the same time and we will have to monitor our energy usage for the first while. If we find it is not enough, we can always add more later. However, according to all things Google it seems that the 480W is enough for most full-timers. Our particular RV runs most of its systems off Propane or electric but some newer RVs are coming off the line now strictly electric which will obviously require a lot more solar to operate.
Trouble with getting Solar before you leave is that you really have no idea how you will use the space and what your energy consumption will be. So we are starting at 480W and we'll see where we go from there... I will update as we progress.