Winnebago’s 2022 RV Solar Guide
Winnebago’s 2022 RV Solar Guide
What off-grid power capabilities to expect in the newest line-up.
By: GoLife Staff
Off-grid RVing has come a long way in recent years. With larger tanks, better solar capabilities, and more efficient systems, RVers are boondocking longer and enjoying it even more!
Winnebago continues to innovate and find ways to make it easier to camp longer without hookups. In this guide, we’re sharing some of Winnebago’s most recent solar offerings in the latest RV models and why these upgrades will improve the way you RV.
Solar Upgrades to Improve the Way You RV
As you browse Winnebago’s latest RV lineup, you will notice some key trends when it comes to solar. These upgrades are based on owner requests for more power and improved efficiencies. Here are some of the top features to lookout for as you shop for your next RV …
Additional Solar Panels
In many Winnebago RVs, solar panels now come standard and there is often roof space purposefully left available in case you would like to add another panel or two. For example, the Winnebago EKKO comes with three solar panels already hooked up and ready to power your off-grid adventures!
While you could also use your generator to recharge your batteries, solar power offers a clean, quiet option and a longer-term solution when boondocking - since a generator requires fuel to work.
Lithium Ion Batteries
You could have dozens of solar panels, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t have batteries to store the power. However, not all batteries are equally as efficient. That’s why Winnebago uses lithium ion batteries in many of their RVs. This option allows you to store more power and the batteries weigh significantly less than lead batteries. The power storage is also used more efficiently which helps give you more electricity for longer.
For example, Winnebago’s lithium-based Pure3 Advanced Energy Management System (available in the Travato 59GL or 59KL and the Boldt) provides more than 9,000 useable watt-hours of power.
An inverter is a key component to your solar setup because it converts the power stored in your batteries from DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current). If this is sounding a little too much like science class, all you really need to know is that many of your appliances require the AC electricity to work – likely including your microwave, coffee maker, and computers.
When using an inverter, you need to make sure you are not using it to power too many things at once or it will overload your system. That’s why having an inverter that can handle more wattage is ideal for anyone boondocking, since you could use it to power more appliances. However, it is always important to know how much power your various appliances need and manage your usage based on that.
With easy-to-read control panels, controllers, and even remote monitoring, using your solar setup is simpler than ever. There are even system-specific apps available to check your power conveniently from your phone.
The Pure3 Advanced Energy Management System comes equipped with Bluetooth hardware that allows you to download the myVolta app to monitor your system – this includes estimated running time, power pack temperature, charging status, and power usage. You can even receive alerts straight to your phone.
The Winnebago EKKO and Micro Minnie FLX come with Lithionics batteries which also have an app available for Bluetooth monitoring. Learn more about the Lithionics batteries here, and get tips for using and monitoring the Lithionics batteries in this video.
In addition to more solar power, Winnebago has also made appliances, lights, and other RV components more efficient to make your power last even longer when off-grid. Some RVs (like the Micro Minnie FLX) can even run appliances on 12-volt power to avoid the power loss associated with an AC converter.
There are also Winnebago models that come with a second alternator that is dedicated to charging the batteries while driving – further extending how long you can go between having electric hookups.
Examples of the Solar Capabilities in Winnebago’s 2022 RVs
While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the solar features available in the latest Winnebagos:
- EKKO: Three solar panels pump out 455-watts of power to the EKKO, a second alternator is dedicated to charging the batteries while driving, and the standard lithium-ion batteries provide further energy independence.
- Micro Minnie FLX: The system includes two 190-watt solar panels to charge the 320-amp-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which in turn powers all the appliances. The Micro Minnie FLX is also prewired for an additional portable panel.
- Travato: The Travato comes with 215-watt solar panels, solar charge controller with junction box, and plugs for additional solar panels. The lithium-based Pure3 Advanced Energy System (available in the 59GL and 59KL) uses safe, dependable automotive-grade technology to provide more than 9,000 useable watt-hours of power (over 12,000 with optional four-module energy pack) for extended off grid stays.
- Solis: A one panel, 220-watt system is fitted to the top of the pop-top roof – while the pop-top optional model features a 170-watt system – for a sleek and unique look.
- View/Navion: This Class C comes standard with 200W solar, Group 31 batteries (or available lithium smart batteries), and a 2,000W inverter to help extend your escape.
- Journey: Although Class A RVs have traditionally been used with hookups to power all the residential-style appliances, Winnebago does offer a solar upgrade package on some of the Class A lineup. For example, the Journey has an optional lithium system upgrade which includes 4 x 125 AH batteries and three roof-mounted solar panels at 115-watts each.
- Boldt: Enjoy over 12,000 useable watt-hours of clean, quiet power with the lithium-based Pure3 Advanced Energy System. The Pure3 System now also comes equipped with Bluetooth hardware that links to the monitoring app. This camper van comes with two 115-watt solar panels plus a plug for an additional portable panel.
We hope this guide helps give you an idea of some of the solar options available! Happy travels!