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Why do my Batteries Keep Dying in my RV? A Case Study, Running a CPAP and Electric Refrigerator from Solar & Batteries.

It is important when RV dry camping that you have enough power storage (batteries) and production from solar and/or a fuel generator to power all your needed appliances, medical devices and equipment. You need to do the math before you go to avoid unexpected problems that can result in your CPAP quitting in the middle of the night or your fridge defrosting and your food spoiling.  Know before you go. 


Customer has a new travel trailer with a factory installed 100 Watt solar panel (installed flat on the trailer roof), PWM 30A charge controller, 1000W inverter and one 12V 100Ah deep cycle silicon dioxide battery.

They tried taking it out for a weekend without plugging in (off-grid/boondocking/dry camping) and the battery ran out of power the first night. They wanted to be able to camp away from power for up to a week and to use their fridge, CPAP and fan every day. They mostly camped in the summer and were willing to locate the trailer to get good sunlight on the rooftop solar panel.

A quick analysis of the system showed why they were having issues.

The customer was a heavier power user and this system was sized for a light power user, or a user who mostly camped in powered campsites.Continue reading