There are a few methods of maintaining house power in your RV. Of course, RV solar panels are the first and most popular choice, but a wind generator appeals to many people, because many areas with free boondocking are very windy, and when the sun is dimmed by clouds and rain, a wind generator may be a good back up.
By adding a wind generator you can double your energy output, and ensure on those cloudy days that you have enough power; there’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no power. This is especially true if you have a few essential appliances that need continuous power to operate correctly.
Wind generators are quieter than a gas or diesel generator, do not require fuel, and are cleaner for the environment. If you have a diesel or gas generator, you need to keep it serviced. You also need to pay for diesel or gas to power it.
An important benefit of a marine or RV wind generator, is that it can produce as much as 400-600W of energy. Once the wind generator is set up, power will be completely free. It will automatically charge, so you don’t need to worry about losing power.
One of the serious downsides to a wind generator is they tend to be fragile, and hard to store. They can not be left on the roof like your solar panels. Wind turbines are not designed to endure highway speeds; most marine and RV wind generators are rated for 25-30 mph winds, so a highway speed of 60-70 mph would wreck it. Consequently, they would need to be taken down and stored inside, and they can be large and fragile; it’s not recommended to rest the weight of the unit on the blades. This means it would have to be stored upright, or stored on the bed or sofa, propped up with pillows. The storage factor could make a VAWT (Vertical axis wind turbine) a better choice for an RV. Vertical axis wind turbines are a bit sturdier than the typical fan-blade type.
Another issue to consider, is wind generators perform best on a very high mast, like at least 20 feet. Managing to mount a sturdy, tall pole to your RV, without damaging it, is not an easy task. Also, you would need to find a place to store the mast pole while driving.
Many hardcore boondockers look into the wind power option for their RV, and some manage to make it work. It’s not impossible but requires a little more creativity and technical ingenuity to make wind an option for a moving vehicle, such as an RV. The best way to use a wind generator for an RV might be at a semi-permanent camp, such as land that you own, where you can park the RV for a season.