Are you an RV enthusiast who is also environmentally conscious? If you are, then you’ll be pleased to know that a new solar-powered RV storage facility has been installed in Menifee, California, that is helping to address some of the environmental concerns associated with electric RVs.

EVs are becoming more popular for towing due to their instant torque and smooth acceleration, but they do have limitations when it comes to towing heavy loads. One of the main reasons for this is because of the EV’s limited range, which can be significantly reduced by towing. Moreover, EVs typically have lower towing capacities than gas-powered vehicles, although this is changing with newer models.

Apart from the challenges of EV towing, the environmental impacts of electric RVing must also be taken into account. Local driving can easily be covered by a home solar installation and charging in the driveway, but longer journeys mean relying on whatever the local grid’s generation mix is, which may not be as clean as what is available at home.

Thousand Trails, the operator of RV resorts and campgrounds in over 23 states and British Columbia, Canada, is addressing this issue by installing a solar-powered RV storage facility at the Wilderness Lakes Campground in Menifee, California. This new facility, topped with almost 3,500 solar panels, is part of Thousand Trails’ ongoing efforts to boost the use of renewable energy sources.

The 1,469-kilowatt solar project is expected to generate approximately 2.4 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy each year, enough to power around half of the total energy consumption at the campground, which has over 500 sites and various shared amenities, such as a swimming pool, hot tubs, fitness center, clubhouse, and game room.

Working alongside DSD Renewables and Black Bear Energy, solar panels were erected across 82,000 square feet of the newly constructed RV storage facility, which accommodates 30′ and 45′ rigs on a month-to-month basis. RVs can be housed in covered spaces with topped-solar panel covers equipped with heightened security measures such as controlled access points and surveillance cameras for comprehensive protection against inclement weather conditions.

The solar-powered EVs are much cleaner than those powered by grid electricity because they don’t rely on burning fossil fuels. Solar energy is renewable and doesn’t produce harmful emissions, making it a much more sustainable option for powering electric vehicles compared to energy from the grid, which often comes from a mix of fossil fuels, nuclear, and some renewables.

While solar-powered EVs are often more efficient than their grid-powered counterparts as they can take advantage of the sun’s energy directly, the limited space on a vehicle’s surface means that you can’t get much in the way of useful power. The only way to even get the power needed for the average commute is to make the vehicle super efficient, like an Aptera.

Stationary solar power is king for most uses, as there’s plenty of space on rooftops that could be used to charge cars, and solar canopies can be used to make something like an RV park more pleasant. Moreover, getting the RV under the shade of the solar panels mean things like air conditioning need less power. It’s a win-win all around.

There’s still a lot of room for environmental improvement in the RV industry. Many more efficient shapes are needed to help EV tow vehicles get better range. Providing cleaner power along the way and at destinations is another key way to lower the environmental impact of RVing. What we really need to see is not only Thousand Trails, but other popular RV park chains put in solar power at all of their parks. It would also be good to see government-run campgrounds install solar power throughout all government run campgrounds and even some of the more popular BLM camping spots.

What do you think? Is the future of RVing really solar?  Will RVs soon become all-electric like passenger vehicles?