RV camping is an American tradition. Okay, maybe not RV camping, but the art of camping is an age-old tradition. But did you know you can power your RV with the sun?

What’s better than using the sunshine for power? It’s everywhere and it’s free.

One of the biggest misconceptions about solar power is that it’s limited to large panel systems on roofs. New nanotechnology will soon allow solar power systems to be applied with the same paint you use for your home. So, before that hits the market, what can you do?

Unlike homes, RVs run on direct current electricity. This makes them perfect for solar electricity since solar systems produce direct current electricity instead of alternating current. Put another way, there is no need for bulky converters to flip the electricity from direct to alternating. Instead, you can use the sun to power up your batteries directly.

Portable solar systems consist of pop-up solar modules with four or five panels. Essentially, they look like small ladders with solar panels instead of steps. You just pop them up on the roof of the RV or in an area where the sun hits them. The systems tie directly into your batteries and power them up during the day. Super easy and super clean.

The real advantage to solar RV systems has to do with noise. The traditional method for recharging your RV batteries is to turn on a generator and generators can be very loud. Even the quietest generator makes enough noise to make you feel like you live next to a construction site. Solar systems make no noise at all. There are no moving parts, just the sun beating down on the panels. You’ll never know they are even there.

If RVing is your thing, portable solar modules are worth taking a look at. With high fuel prices, you need to save a buck wherever you can.