This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy.

This Solar Powered RV Shows The Eye-Opening Possibilities Of Energy Independent RVing

This post was updated on April 18th, 2024

What if your life could be totally energy independent, from heating your water to powering your computers to going places in your car? Less ambitious people would think it’s a pipe dream, but one solar power RV inventor shows DIY RVers what’s possible.

This solar powered RV is energy independent (almost!)

Solar power RV inventions
Rene Agredano

Energy Independent RVer Demonstrates How to Live Off-Grid

Thomas “Tim” Lemieux is one such off-grid enthusiast who can show you how energy independence is done. Based in San Diego, California, this 70-years young retired electronics engineer and solar power advocate lives and works from his solar powered 1997 Winnebago motorhome.

His solar power RV is covered with enough photovoltaic panels to charge everything from his water heater to his evaporative “swamp cooler” – and even his electric smart car!

Sign up for the newsletter today!

Please enter a valid email address.

An error occurred. Please try again later.

× logo

Thank you for subscribing to the Do It Yourself RV newsletter, keep your eye on your inbox for updates.

About the only thing in this RV that isn’t powered by the sun is the kitchen stove. Read on to find out how he’s going to fix that problem.

His RV charges his electric smart car!

Solar RV charges electric car
Rene Agredano

Go Places with RV Solar Energy

Since his first solar-powered bicycle invention in the 1980s, Lemieux has been preaching the gospel of off-grid living long before most environmentalists made it fashionable. Now that solar electric power is becoming more common in ordinary people’s lives, Lemieux’s rolling solar living demo RV is making it easy to find all-new mainstream audiences. He loves showing them how to harness the sun’s energy for even more unconventional uses – like powering an automobile.

You’re likely to find him parked around San Diego, offering free electric car charges from his RV or just entertaining passing strangers with his spirited guitar playing and drumming. Lemieux invites everyone who stops to ask questions about his RV solar power system. He’s always happy to extend an invitation to climb his RV’s ladder and tour the rooftop array that powers his lifestyle.

For extra kicks, he’ll flick a switch that raises and tilts his panels for maximum solar exposure, which is especially helpful during winter.

These roof-mounted solar panels harness energy from the sun.

RV solar array roof panels
Rene Agredano

His existing configuration features 10 RV batteries. When fully charged the batteries hold enough juice to allow his smart car to travel a distance of about 15 to 20 miles. He’s currently outfitting his toad trailer with an additional solar power system that will enable his smart car to charge its batteries up to three hours longer, and after it gets dark.

Beyond Solar Power: The Poop Stove

Another solar power RV living project of his that’s slowly taking shape is a methane-powered kitchen “poop stove.” Lemieux gets animated and happy when describing the stove invention, which will capture methane gas from his toilet’s black tank and convert it to cooking fuel for his conventional RV stove. This methane powered gadget will enable him to stop using propane entirely. It might also reach far beyond the RV marketplace to help people with limited fuel resources survive off the grid.

Look for this rolling solar powered RV in San Diego, California.

RV solar power inventor Tim Lemieux
Rene Agredano

As an energy expert and inventor with a non-stop entrepreneurial passion for cleaning up the environment, Lemieux has been living as a nomad for the last 35 years, and has no plans to stop now. He balances his zest for solar power RV inventions with teaching water aerobics to seniors, giving motivational weight loss seminars to veterans and repairing antique church organs. Solar power is one way he enjoys changing lives, he says.

Energy Independence Is Real

If you’re like many RV’ers, you probably have the ingenuity and determination to make solar power part of your RVing lifestyle. Lemieux and his solar powered RV are all the proof anyone needs to understand the fascinating realities of energy independent living.


2 thoughts on “This Solar Powered RV Shows The Eye-Opening Possibilities Of Energy Independent RVing”

  1. Hi Wayne, on the bottom of the article there’s a link to another newspaper article about his motorhome. You should be able to find more information about his setup there.

  2. I wish this story had more details about his solar installation…how many watts of panel, what size batteries, etc., etc. Are you aware of any other articles on his system?

Leave a Comment

Welcome! Please follow these guidelines:

  • Be kind and respectful.
  • Keep comments relevant to the article.
  • Avoid insults, threats, profanity, and offensive remarks.
  • Refrain from discussing gun rights, politics, or religion.
  • Do not post misleading information, personal details, or spam.

We may hide or remove comments at our discretion.