Last week, we started talking about innovations in RV technology that help with Internet connectivity and allow you to stay connected no matter where you’re at. We also introduced you to some RVing experts who can help you assess your connectivity needs and develop a system for meeting those needs. This week we’re going to look at some of the other big technology breakthroughs that can change your RVing life for the better.
RV Solar Panels: Saving You Money & Giving You More Freedom
We’re big fans of Gone With the Wynns Resurrecting Dinosaurs blog series. When you’re thinking about full time RVing, keep their website bookmarked for easy reference and be sure to check out the blog “ Resurrecting Dinosaurs – Our RV Modifications and Technology” in which they answer the question: If you could have any options you want installed on your RV, and cost doesn’t matter, what would your upgrades be? As part of their quest to be off the shore cord and out in the wild, they installed a 960 watt solar system made up of six 160 watt panels that are wired together in a series and put out over 100 volts DC. The panels are tiltable, to provide up to 40% more power from each panel, so they can get the maximum power even in cold weather. If this interests you, the up front cost can be significant, but for full timers, the payoff is huge. A number of RV manufactures install solar pre-wire kits, but if your RV is pre-wired for solar, you need to find out how much power your pre-wired kit can handle. The Wynns use a GoPower! pre-wire kit with a 10 gauge cable that can handle all those panels. An additional solar controller allows them to convert the high voltage from the panels down to charge a 12 volt Lithium battery back.
Also check out the solar electrical system at Technomadia.com. By using a combination of an 800 watt RV roof system with traditional solar panels and a separate system of flexible panels that can be set up on the ground, they’ve achieved their goal of having enough solar and battery power to go for extended periods without running the generator or connecting to shore power.
This all might be overkill for your RV lifestyle, but if you can see yourself out on the high desert or up in the mountains away from the traditional RV park, then a serious solar option might be exactly what you need, and today’s new technology makes solar a very viable and ultimately affordable choice.
Composting Toilets: You’ll Never Have to Empty a Black Water Tank Again
Composting toilets don’t sound very “high tech” but the new technology that goes into today’s models make them game changers in the RVing world. Not only are composting toilets great for the environment, they help RVers by not using water and allowing you to combine your RV black and gray tanks, so you can actually have more water storage. And the best part is you’ll never have to deal with emptying your black water tank again! If you’re into boondocking, a composting toilet also opens a world of possibilities for where you can park. Fortunately, Jason and Nikki Wynn have a great tutorial on using a composting toilet in an RV, including what to purchase, how to install, how to combine your RV black and gray tanks, problem solving and more.
Automatic Generator Start (AGS)
An AGS allows you to set a voltage number on your RV batteries and when your batteries fall to that voltage, your generator will start automatically, charge the batteries and then turn off. An AGS also has an automatic A/C setting, so if the RV temperature gets too hot inside, the generator will automatically turn on to run the A/C and simultaneously charge your batteries. When the temperature is cool enough, the generator turns off, saving your battery power for when you need it later. This can be a lifesaver for RVers who travel with their pets; you’ll never have to worry about Fido and Kitty getting too hot in the RV while you’re outside, and it also gives you more time away from civilization if you’re boondocking. An AGS can also be used with some solar charge controllers for ultimate energy savings. Call our service department if you’d like to learn more about getting an AGS in your RV.
Sometimes It’s the Little Things: RVing Apps
It might seem like all the new technology options are about big, life-changing RV upgrades that cost a pretty penny. But there are also plenty of new apps for RVers that will make your day-to-day RVing better without breaking the bank.
Explore apps like Allstays’ Camp & RV for finding campgrounds and other overnight stops, as well as RV services. Take a look at InRoute’s Intelligent Route Planner, Alltrails Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails app, a whole variety of apps from Coleman, etc. There are apps for finding RV sites, RV navigation, finding gas stations, tracking your route, planning for local weather, and so much more. You can find all of these and more in the blog 50 Must-Have Apps When Camping and in Tachnomadia’s blog “ Our 2015 Mobile App Essential for RV Travel”. Or just head over to the iTunes or Android app stores and search for RVing apps. And of course don’t forget to download Guaranty’s free RV Owner App to keep track of your RV’s service schedule.
Technology is changing the way we all live, so it’s no surprise that it’s impacting RVing as well. Whether you’re looking to stay connected on the road, or you want to find someplace remote and quiet, today’s technology can help you have it all. If you’d like to talk about good options for your RV, or if you’re interested in seeing the highest tech RVs on the road today, come by Guaranty RV!
Photo: Pete Hoffswell