by | The Lills, VW Bus

One of our main concerns before heading out on our cross-country adventure was keeping our dog, Sunday, cool from hot temperatures. Our VW bus didn’t have air conditioning, so we had always just kept the windows down, which circulated natural air pretty nicely, as long as we were driving.

We saved and spent around $500 on the 110 watt folding solar panel kit and around $100 on the 1100 watt inverter. We picked up a marine battery and #4 gauge cables. Getting everything installed and connected wasn’t too complicated. We recommend anyone traveling in a VW bus or other camper van to invest in solar power. It has made life on the road much more comfortable and homey.

The setup uses solar panels to charge a marine auxiliary battery, which then transfers energy to two electric jacks on the inverter. This allows us to plug in an air cooler and fans that keep our pets happy and cool. The best part is, we can turn off the bus and still have power. Our bus can be parked and the air cooler and fans can still be kept on. We are able to charge all of our electronic devices and as we use up power, we refill by simply letting the solar panels sit in the sun.

It would be a very different trip without solar power in our VW bus and we’re so thankful we were able to find such an easy kit to use. We have seen a lot more large-scale solar panels, even fields full of them, while driving West and we’ve met many others who travel using solar panels or even wind turbines, which is a great sign. The more humans use clean energy sources, the more we can wean off of the harmful ones. Little steps will take us there.