The Best RV Power Fuel and Energy Management Tips You Need to Avoid Going Dark

One of the things that RV families keep aware of when they go camping is their energy usage. Nothing can spoil a quiet night watching the television on the entertainment system like a dead battery. Loss of heating fuel can also give one frozen fingers and toes while trying to sleep. So, here are some energy management tips for RV vacationers?

Lighting in the RV

Campers set up in RVs by a lake
A lakeside campsite | Jens Büttner/picture alliance via Getty Images

Lighting in most modern RV pop-up campers, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, or motorhomes is the LED type today. So, that saves on energy versus the old incandescent bulbs. The LED system is typically wired to the 12volt car or coach system. But, there is another way LED lighting can be used more creatively to save on energy usage.

Hockey-puck style motion-detector lighting can be purchased relatively inexpensively. These devices have their own battery source. The pucks can be shoved in cabinets and various places around the RV. They will only come on when there is motion, and they often last more than a week.

Turn inverter off

Often people out camping think that their inverter has to be on the entire time that they are onsite in the campground. But, the inverter itself is a big drain on batteries. So, if one is going for a hike in the woods for a couple of hours and nobody will be in the RV, turn the inverter off. 

Upgrade solar and RV battery systems

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Solar has come a long way in the last 20 years. Instead of having to jerry-rig a solar system, many new RV units come with plug-and-play adapters for solar support. So, instead of wiring something up, one can just plug a system in. 

Battery technology has also advanced a lot in the same 20 years. Today, many people rave about lithium-ion battery systems. They tend to last longer, charge faster, discharge more fully, and operate consistently across most temperatures. So, if the family RV does not already have a lithium-ion consider transitioning to them.

Finding the right spot to park the RV

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This is going to sound silly. But, the best place to park the RV is not any space that will fit the RV. In the Summer, parking under the shade can do a lot to save energy consumption. Shade can drop temperatures as much as 15 degrees. So, it is generally good to park under shade in the Summer and save the strain on the air conditioner and energy usage. Conversely, parking in direct sunlight can help heat up a unit during the Winter. 

Repair window and door seals

Window and door seals get old. Over time they can crack or peel. So, it is good to look over the RV before putting it in storage for the Winter. Any cracked or missing seals should be recaulked. This will eliminate a lot of energy loss for heating or cooling. 

RV vacationers and lifers know that proper energy care can go a long way in enhancing a special trip. They also know that the lack of managing power, fuel, and energy can quickly leave people in the dark. So, consider the tips above as ways to keep the camping experience fun and not overheated or severely chilled.