Tesla Powerwall for RV (a guide)

In this article, we will discuss using Tesla Powerwall in an RV. We will explain how a Powerwall battery works and what are its advantages. 

Can you use a Tesla Powerwall for an RV?

Yes, you can totally use a Tesla Powerwall for your RV. Tesla Powerwall batteries incorporate a power inverter that allows stored energy to be converted directly into ready-to-use energy. You can see below the batteries main characteristics: 

  • Installation: Indoor or outdoor. On the wall or on the ground.
  • Capacity: 13.5 kWh.
  • Inverter: Integrated. Manufactured by Tesla.
  • Power: 5 kW continuous, 7 kW peak.
  • Optimum temperature range: –20 ° C to 50 ° C.
  • Warranty: Unlimited cycles: 10 years.
  • Dimensions: 1150 x 755 x 155 mm
  • Weight: 122 kg.
  • Scalable: Up to 10 Powerwall units.
  • Depth of discharge: 100%.
  • Efficiency: 90% full cycle.
  • Certification: International Standards Regulations of the electrical network.

The batteries’ operation is totally autonomous since Powerwall has a measurement system. It detects whether the captured energy exceeds what is being consumed or vice versa, thus managing household consumption.

Advantages of using Tesla batteries

Everything is so easy and straightforward. The advantages were already offered by Powerwall in its initial version and later improved with its second-generation Powerwall, which is ahead of its predecessor in many respects. 

Although all its technical characteristics impress us, one aspect stands out: the capacity of 13.5 kWh in the case of Powerwall 2. It is calculated that this technology allows covering the needs of a house with between two or three rooms. In addition, the system is scalable, since up to 10 Powerwall units can operate connected.

You can control your energy from anywhere. Tesla has an app from which you can automatically monitor your Powerwall, solar panels or your Model X or S car, at any time and from anywhere.

In addition to their capacity, which exceeds, for example, that of LG Chem’s BrightBox (9.8-kilowatt hours), Powerwall 2 batteries have several strengths, including their ten-year warranty or their containment in size and weight, which stands at 125 kilos.

It is a very safe battery to the touch, it is not dangerous for children or pets: it does not have exposed cables or vents with high temperatures.

The facilities for mounting, indoors or outdoors and, in addition, on the floor or wall; As well as the mechanisms that this technology introduces to withstand inclement weather, add to the advantages of Tesla batteries that, in addition, have another of their strengths in another product of the firm. 

The presentation of Powerwall 2 coincided in time with that of a new product: the integrated sunroofs that would work precisely in conjunction with Tesla batteries. In fact, Powerwall and these roofs are designed to blend naturally and easily.

Price of Tesla household batteries

The price continues to be to the domestic energy storage capacity on the part of the common of the families like that little china that gets in the shoe. The options available in the market still require a high investment to be truly accessible. However, Tesla also competes on price and offers one of the most affordable possibilities.

For $6,500 you can buy the latest generation Powerwall battery. To this amount, $580 should be added for support equipment and $450 in deposit per unit purchased. For comparison, the higher capacity units of the Mercedes-Benz Energy Storage are around $10,000.

How does a Tesla Powerwall work?

If you are not familiar with the idea of ​​the Tesla Powerwall, its installation and operation are very simple.

You can put a Tesla Powerwall – or a third-party product – in any home, even in an RV. Quite simply, these “energy walls” are a set of batteries contained in an electronically controlled package. This package is connected to a power generator – like a solar panel. 

The Powerwall is the one that acts as the interface between your solar panels and all the appliances in your motorhome.

This system ensures that the electrical flow is always the same for your entire house. At night or when the weather is terrible, the batteries will maintain the flow that the panels cannot offer. They do the same during the day, in the event that the panel system cannot provide all the electricity demanded by the appliances that are in operation at home.

In fact, a Powerwall or similar can even save money even if you don’t have solar panels. There are houses that have systems like this to store electricity during off-peak hours – the time intervals in which energy costs the cheapest, such as late in the morning or at certain times of the day. Obviously, the savings are not as dramatic as if you had solar panels.

In some places, having a Powerwall with solar panels will allow you to completely disconnect from the electrical network – although it is always important to be connected in case of emergency

How is energy generated in an RV?

Most RVs have two batteries. The engine (for starting) and an auxiliary battery (for the passenger compartment). Although it is increasingly common to equip the motorhome with a third additional battery.

The auxiliary battery generates 12v for the lights, taps, television, USB connections, but it does not generate 220v so the plugs do not work with the power of the auxiliary battery.

If we want 220v plugs to work (and use many of the appliances we use at home such as a dryer, juicer, blender, etc.), there are different alternatives:

  1. Connect the motorhome to the electrical network of a campsite or service area using the typical electrical connector cable.
  1. Install a 12v to 220v power inverter. The inverter is generally used for not very long uses, although it all depends on the power of the accessories we want to use and the inverter itself (150W, 1000W …).
  1. Use a gasoline generator. Very popular for prolonged uses.

Returning to the batteries, one of the most frequently asked questions is to know how long the auxiliary battery, of the “house”, lasts. The theoretical answer is simple: it is a mathematical formula, it charges less discharge, that is, if the consumption (of lights, television, taps) is higher than the charge, we will end up using the battery.

The bottom line

Cutting the wire between your home and the hungry power companies that operate around the world has other benefits beyond savings. It is the perfect trifecta: you save expenses, you send the electricity companies to take wind and your heart will feel better for having done your bit against climate change.

Knowing all this, I cannot understand how these types of batteries – from Tesla or from other manufacturers – are not mandatory in all new homes, especially in RVs. 

Not only would it help families and the planet, but it would also make a new industry grow exponentially, with what this would mean in economic and employment terms for millions of people. In short, one of those measures that everyone would support without reservation.

Please let us know what you think about getting a Tesla Powerwall for your RV!

FAQ about Tesla Powerwall for RVs

How many solar panels does it take to charge a Tesla Powerwall?

You don’t need too many solar panels to charge a Tesla Powerwall. Even 1 solar panel could suffice!

How does the electrical system of an RV work?

The sockets that are used on a day-to-day basis are generally 220v and the RV only generates 12v. This means that during the trip, with a fully charged battery, you will probably have 2 hours with the lights on and 2 hours with the television. At the end of this time, the battery will run out.

How many solar panels are needed for a motorhome?

So with approximately 2 solar panels of 150W, it would be enough, but what about winter? In winter we have less sun, so we tend to calculate it, for security more or less in half and each plate would give us about 250W, so you would need 4 plates of 150W.

How does a camper work?

The camper has a 200 amp auxiliary battery that can be recharged in the following ways: By starting the vehicle’s engine. Through the charging cable, in conventional sockets (campsites, motorhome areas, etc.). 


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!