best solar panels for RV

The 15 Best RV Solar Panels for the Money in 2020

Chris Coleman

Once it comes to powering the many appliances on recreational vehicles these kinds of days, RVers have a variety of choices from batteries to generators. That being said, for people that travel extensively and wish to cut down utility bills, solar energy is usually preferred.

Overall, with a sound solar setup around, you could increase the versatility of your rig on the road and save a few bucks as well. But unless you acquire the best solar panels for RV, your solar setup may only offer negligible gains which is why you must choose wisely.

best rv solar panel kits
A guide to finding the best RV solar panel kits.

Reviews on Best Solar Panels For RV

So you know very little about RV-oriented solar panels and don’t want to waste money on mediocre products? Well, if you need a couple of suggestions from experts and experienced RVers, you have come to the right place.

This article is going to introduce you to prominent models that tend to show up in discussions between outdoor enthusiasts regarding solar panels for RV.

1. Renogy Solar Power Starter Kit (100D) – Best Of The Best

Renogy Solar Power Starter Kit
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions: 42.2 X 19.6 X 1.38 Inches
  • Weight: 16.5 Pounds

Why This Is The Best

Designed for off-grid applications, Renogy 100W Solar Power Starter Kit is held in high regard by many RVers around the globe. Due to its splendid efficiency, monocrystalline solar panel that is included in the kit could fully charge a 50Ah battery from 50% to 100% in 3 hours. Because of that, the Renogy solar panel is considered to be one of the best solar panels for RV in terms of output.

In addition, by making use of corrosion-resistant aluminum frames, the solar panel of  Renogy 100W Solar Power Starter Kit truly excels in extended operations. 

As the kit of Renogy packs everything you need, you don’t have to pick up extra hardware. Besides the panel, you would get a high-performance Wanderer negative ground charge controller with superb expandability.

Made to address issues like reserved battery polarity, short-circuit, over-discharging, overloading and so on, Wanderer keeps your delicate system safe on the road. The presence of the Wanderer charge controller also makes Renogy 100W Solar Power Starter Kit well suited for rigs with battery negative on the chassis.

For installation, the Renogy kit contains a set of Z brackets for mounting so you should be able to set it up without much difficulty.

Pros:

  • The price is fair
  • Intuitive handling
  • Dependable and reliable

Cons:

  • Quality control could use some improvements
  • A couple of users complain about controllers failures

2. WindyNation Complete Solar Charging Kit – Editor’s Choice

WindyNation Complete Solar Charging Kit
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Polycrystalline
  • Dimensions: 40 x 26.4 x 1.4 Inches
  • Weight: 19 Pounds

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Capable of producing free, renewable energy, WindyNation Complete Solar Charging Kit proves itself to be an excellent companion of RVers. Rated at 100W, the solid polycrystalline solar panel of the WindyNation kit would produce 350Wh of charge per day, depending on the availability of sunlight.

If you need more power, feel free to expand the system as the PWM charge controller of WindyNation Complete Solar Charging Kit could handle multiple solar panels (four 100W panels for 12V systems and eight 100W panels for 24V systems).

It’s noteworthy that through the PWM charge controller, RVers may apply necessary changes to various functions of WindyNation Complete Solar Charging Kit in use. As a result, it should be a breeze to adapt the WindyNation kit to a wide range of outdoor conditions.

Thanks to the bright LCD screen located on the charge controller, it’s possible to monitor key readings such as amperage, voltage, draw load, temperature, … All in all, for those that desire a versatile solar setup, WindyNation Complete Solar Charging Kit is a nice option.

As for the cost, WindyNation Complete Solar Charging Kit comes at an affordable price which is why if you have a tight wallet, you must add it to your shortlist.

Pros:

  • Economical cost
  • Impressive adaptability
  • User-friendly charge controller

Cons:

  • Several kits arrive with missing parts
  • The frames require reinforcements

3. HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel – Editor’s Choice

HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Polycrystalline
  • Dimensions: 40 x 26.4 x 1.4 Inches
  • Weight: 19 Pounds

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Featuring reinforced anti-reflective iron-tempered glass, HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel is essentially unrivaled once it comes to element resistance. From strong winds to heavy snowfalls, the solar panel of HQST would be able to take on practically everything the outdoors could throw at it.

The integrated IP65 rated junction box even guarantees complete protection against low-pressure water jets. Also, the incorporation of advanced encapsulation material with multilayered sheet laminations leads to a long service life in most settings.

With pre-drilled holes on the back, the HQST solar panel is known for having a straightforward, no-nonsense installation. Devised to match Z-brackets, pole mounts and tilt mounts, HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel is among the best solar panels for RV regarding mounting convenience. As for power output, HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel provides 500Wh daily, sufficient for usual vehicles. Using tip-top bypass diodes, the solar panel of HQST maintains stable performance and minimizes power drop caused by shade.

To reassure the users about the quality of its solar panel, HQST offers a 5-year warranty for material and workmanship. Customer service is quite responsive as well so HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel gets favorable remarks from RV solar panels reviews for sublime post-purchase support.

Pros:

  • Undemanding setup
  • Great power output
  • Preeminent endurance

Cons:

  • Barely acceptable packagings
  • Slightly short installed wires   

4. Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel

The 15 Best RV Solar Panels for the Money in 2020 1
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Specification:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions: 47 x 21.3 x 1.4 Inches
  • Weight: 16.5 Pounds

Why We Love It

Powerful and modern, Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel could be put to good use by all RVers, novices and veterans alike. Possessing first-class aluminum frames, the Renogy solar panel is going to hold together for decades, a major plus if longevity is your primary concern.

Furthermore, due to the integration of premium-grade glass, the transparency of  Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel is unquestionably second to none in its price range. By using peerless glass, the solar panel of Renogy eliminates hot spot-heating as well.

About the setup process, Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel is light so moving it into position is a piece of cake. To facilitate installation, Renogy delivers its solar panel with pre-drilled holes for mounting hardware. That is why you should be able to secure the panel to the roof of your recreational vehicle in just a blink of an eye.

Additionally, the fairly compact dimensions of the Renogy solar panel allow RVers to optimize available space on the rooftop. The humble profile of Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel naturally permits expansions.

Aside from the panel, you would receive robust waterproof MC4 connectors if you decide to purchase Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel. With the connectors, you could immediately hook the Renogy panel to other panels if wanted.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Well-built and rugged
  • Fast delivery service

Cons:

  • Minor inconsistencies between panels
  • Technical assistance seems to be less than ideal

5.  ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel

ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type:  SunPower
  • Dimensions: 43 x 22 x 1.5 Inches
  • Weight: 4.7 Pounds

Why We Love It

Could curve up to a maximum of 30 degrees, ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel is certainly a fitting model for unorthodox applications. Despite its modest appearance, the solar panel of ALLPOWERS boasts markedly superior durability to typical models on the market nowadays.

Assuming that you don’t accidentally overbend it, ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel should remain operational for years regardless of surroundings. Being both slim and sleek, the ALLPOWERS panel scores extremely well in terms of portability.

Packing advanced SunPower solar cells, the solar panel from ALLPOWERS features an outstanding efficiency of 23.5%. That lets ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel charges the battery faster than many of its competitors.

Needless to say, while experienced RVers talk about the best solar panels for RV battery charging, ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel comes up all the time. Following the trend, the ALLPOWERS product comes with pre-drilled holes that save a lot of work during the setup.

For post-purchase support, ALLPOWERS back its solar panel with an 18-month guarantee that indeed speaks volumes about its performance. In case you have issues with the panel then the customer service of ALLPOWERS  is more than willing to help.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Top-notch endurance
  • Resist elements well

Cons:

  • Some users report receiving defective junction box
  • Power output is slightly unstable

6.  Renogy Solar Starter Kit (200D)

Renogy Solar Starter Kit (200D)
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions: 47.3 x 21.3 x 1.4 Inches
  • Weight: 14.3 Pounds

Why We Love It

Like Renogy Solar Power Starter Kit (100D) but want more power? Then you need to check out its 200D cousin. With an ideal output of 1000Wh per day, Renogy Solar Starter Kit (200D) could bring a half-depleted 50Ah battery to full charge in 1.5 hours. Hence, for owners of power-hungry rigs, the kit of Renogy with its powerful solar panels is a wonderful investment. Though the price of the kit is slightly high compared to the market average, its exceptional values justify the cost.  

As an all-in-one product, Renogy Solar Starter Kit (200D) consists of everything that RVers must have to harvest clean energy from the sun. Next to the two solar panels of the kit, you should find a Wanderer charge controller designed to protect the integrity of your solar setup.

Also, since that charge controller is able to handle up to a maximum of 400W, expanding the system is only a walk in the park. A long tray cable is included in the  Renogy as well to connect the charge controller and the charging battery.

To secure the panels to designated positions, Renogy Solar Starter Kit (200D) comes alongside a set of mounting Z brackets. Overall, if you care about ease of installation, the kit of Renogy is for you.

Pros:

  • Superb power output
  • Low noise operations
  • Unambiguous manual

Cons:

  • Sub-par shipping
  • A few solar panels look damaged on arrival

7. Renogy Portable Solar Suitcase

Renogy Portable Solar Suitcase
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions: 19.9 x 27.2 x 2.84 Inches
  • Weight: 26.6 Pounds

Why We Love It

Lots of RVers genuinely wish to access solar power on the road but they just don’t have the means to build fixed solar setups. Knowing that, Renogy introduces Renogy Portable Solar Suitcase, one of the finest portable solar panels for RV available for purchase.

Being a complete solar system packed into a tough suitcase, the product of Renogy lets RVers power electric appliances in a variety of outdoor settings. In addition to that, thanks to its highly compact body, Renogy Portable Solar Suitcase fits well in regular recreational vehicles.

With the built-in adjustable, corrosion-resistant aluminum stand, the Renogy system could be deployed in a couple of moments. Moreover, the negative-ground five-stage charge controller offers overcharge protection which reduces fire risks. Through the LCD screen on the charge controller, regulating the power output is a breeze.

For connection, Renogy includes a rugged tray cable with alligator clips in the suitcase too. Last but not least, Renogy Portable Solar Suitcase is accompanied by a long-lasting heavy-duty handle that eases handling.

For battery, the system of Renogy should work with gel, sealed, lithium, and flooded batteries. Therefore, Renogy Portable Solar Suitcase is often considered to be among the best solar panels for RV regarding battery compatibility.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Rock-solid build quality
  • Splendid portability

Cons:

  • Come without documentations  
  • The cable is occasionally reported to be a tad short  

8. Newpowa Polycrystalline Photovoltaic Solar Panel

Newpowa Polycrystalline Photovoltaic Solar Panel
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Polycrystalline
  • Dimensions: 41.8 x 26.6 x 1.2 Inches
  • Weight: 19.62 Pounds

Why We Love It

Boasting high-performance EVA-encapsulated cells and first-rate low iron tempered glass, Newpowa Polycrystalline Photovoltaic Solar Panel possesses an impressive efficiency for its size. Because of that, the panel of Newpowa is relatively well-liked by RVers that have limited spaces but still desire decent outputs from solar systems.

By making use of heavy-duty anodized aluminum frames, the Newpowa solar panel also proves capable of working in most weather conditions without much difficulty. 

Considering that the diodes have already been pre-installed in the junction box, the setup process of Newpowa Polycrystalline Photovoltaic Solar Panel is pretty straightforward. To facilitate installation, Newpowa put cables with MC4 connectors on the back of the panels. That is why you could get the solar system of your recreational vehicle up and running in no time flat. As proof of confidence,  Newpowa decides to back its polycrystalline solar panels with a crack 25-year transferable power output warranty.

In use, Newpowa Polycrystalline Photovoltaic Solar Panel performs consistently but remember: You should expose all of the cells to sunlight. If even one cell of the panel is blocked, the power output would drop considerably. So it’s strongly recommended that you think things through while choosing your camping locations.

Pros:

  • Light but strong frames
  • Nice glass transparency
  • No-nonsense installation

Cons:

  • Several users receive panels with incorrect dimensions
  • May take a long time to ship

9. ACOPower Foldable Solar Panel Kit

ACOPower Foldable Solar Panel Kit
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Polycrystalline
  • Dimensions:25.4 x 19.9 x 2.9 Inches
  • Weight: 25.6 Pounds

Why We Love It

Comes with two top-level foldable polycrystalline solar panels, ACOPower Foldable Solar Panel Kit is an excellent option for expedient solar power. In spite of its modest output, the product of ACOPower could still power a number of appliances simultaneously.

But if you need more power, the ACOPower solar panels have MC4 connectors so expanding the system is going to be a piece of cake. Since ACOPower Foldable Solar Panel Kit features user-friendly pre-installed stands, you don’t need to buy extra hardware.

Using aluminum frames, the ACOPower system is known to be light but it’s also strong enough for outdoor operations. Thus, you should be able to move the kit from spot to spot essentially at will without having to worry too much about its durability.

Additionally, the kit of ACOPower contains a premium-grade charge controller designed to deal with issues like reverse connection, overcharge, over-discharge and so on. As a result, ACOPower Foldable Solar Panel Kit is the best RV solar kit in terms of all-around performance.

As for acquisition cost, ACOPower Foldable Solar Panel Kit costs more than standalone panels but in exchange, it’s ready-to-use out of packagings. So if you need a solar system in a hurry then the kit of ACOPower is definitely an outstanding choice.

Pros:

  • Good packagings
  • Tough protective case
  • Intuitive setup process

Cons:

  • Unable to fit particular outlets
  • Controller failure is a common issue

10. Renogy Flexible Solar Panel

Renogy Flexible Solar Panel
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions: 47.9 x 21 x 0.1 Inches
  • Weight: 4 Pounds

Why We Love It

Due to the curved roof of your rig, you have a hard time finding suitable panels for your solar system? If that is the case then you must give Renogy Flexible Solar Panel a look. Able to bend to nearly 250 degrees, the solar panel of Renogy would mount securely to a wide range of surfaces.

Hence, once it comes to adaptability, Renogy Flexible Solar Panel is among the best solar panels for RV money can buy these kinds of days. In most cases, you could complete the setup from start to finish in mere hours.

Featuring advanced polymer materials, the Renogy panel is 70% lighter than the average models so it naturally packs marvelous handling characteristics. From transportation to installation, Renogy Flexible Solar Panel never gives the users problems worth mentioning.

Furthermore, because of the ultrathin lamination, the solar panel of Renogy is only a tenth of an inch in thickness. In fact, the subtle profile of Renogy Flexible Solar Panel makes it one of the best RV solar panels for stealthy systems on the market.

Rigorously tested against extreme winds and heavy snow loads, Renogy Flexible Solar Panel truly holds together well in challenging climates. For RVers that travel around the year, the Renogy panel is undoubtedly a sound purchase.

Pros:

  • Versatile and flexible
  • Sublime ruggedness
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Quality control still leaves a lot to be desired
  • Certain panels come without grommets

11. Go Power GP-PSK-120 Portable Folding Solar Kit

Go Power GP-PSK-120 Portable Folding Solar Kit
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions:32.5 x 39.8 x 1.4 Inches
  • Weight: 33 Pounds

Why We Love It

Compact and robust, Go Power GP-PSK-120 Portable Folding Solar Kit is a well-made solar kit for usual applications. With Anderson-style battery charging connector, swapping charging accessory to match individual needs is just a walk in the park.

Since the charge controller is included in the kit, GP-PSK-120 is usable on arrival. Thanks to the integration of cables with battery clamps, the kit of Go Power allows you to hook it to the batteries of your rig at a moment’s notice.

For transportation, Go Power GP-PSK-120 could be folded and put into its carrying case. Therefore, you would be able to set up the kit and put it away in a blink of an eye. For RVers that like to keep everything light on the road, the kit of Go Power is a wise investment.

Regarding the output, Go Power GP-PSK-120 Portable Folding Solar Kit charge battery at a fast pace so you would have an easy time powering the appliances on your vehicle. Of course, to fully harness the potentials of GP-PSK-120, you need to think about the direction of your setup.

About post-purchase support, GP-PSK-120 of Go Power comes alongside a 25-year warranty which tells a lot about its values.

Pros:

  • Top-notch portability
  • Strong carrying case
  • Adjustable legs

Cons:

  • High cost
  • Some panels come without rivets

12. Eco-Worthy Solar Power Kit

The 15 Best RV Solar Panels for the Money in 2020 2
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Polycrystalline
  • Dimensions:16.9 x 13.4 x 0.6 Inches
  • Weight: 4.38  Pounds

Why We Love It

Designed for batteries between 5 and 10Ah, Eco-Worthy Solar Power Kit is a superb model for various low-draw appliances. So if you wish to run pumps, electric fences, gate openers, vent fans and so on, the kit from Eco-Worthy never let you down.

The waterproof solar panel included in the kit is made from polycrystalline, simple but practical. Due to the inclusion of handy pre-drill holes, mounting the panel is a piece of cake in most cases. Also, on the back of the Eco-Worthy solar panel, you should find a cable that permits immediate use.      

Aside from the solar panel, Eco-Worthy Solar Power Kit boasts a solid charge controller with charge and load indicators. That is why you could observe the key reading and make changes as you see fit.

Like the panel, the charge controller in the Eco-Worthy kit contains pre-drill holes so you would be able to secure it firmly. Proofed against over and low voltages, the charge controller handles power fluctuations effectively and efficiently. One interesting feature of the charge controller is the USB port that allows you to recharge smartphones, tablets and others.

The final item in Eco-Worthy Solar Power Kit is a long waterproof cable with high-quality clips to connect your battery to the kit. All in all, the kit of Eco-Worthy is well-suited for RV first-timers.

Pros:

  • Resilient 
  • Fair price
  • Nice indicators 

Cons:

  • Power output is mediocre 
  • A few charge controllers die quickly  

13. Renogy RV Solar Kit

Renogy RV Solar Kit
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions: 42.2 x 19.6 x 1.4 Inches
  • Weight: 33 Pounds

Why We Love It

Once it comes to extended travels in harsh conditions, Renogy RV Solar Kit possesses some of the best solar panels for RV available for purchase. With corrosion-resistant aluminum frames, the panels of the Renogy kit could take on an assortment of elements without trouble. Packing an outstanding efficiency, the Renogy panel offers excellent outputs.

Moreover, the use of premium-grade bypass diodes in solar panels ensures stable performance even in low-light settings. As a result, the consistency of Renogy RV Solar Kit is considered to be unparalleled.

The layout of your rig makes it tough to get cables from solar panels on the rooftop into the interior? Then the kit of Renogy is exactly what you need: besides typical hardware such as tray cable, MC4 adaptors, Z brackets, …

Renogy RV Solar Kit also features a convenient cable entry made from ABS plastic. Using that cable entry, it’s a breeze to arrange the cables of the solar panels to match your preferences. Additionally, being UV-resistant, the cable entry of Renogy RV Solar Kit would hold together well under the sun too. 

For smooth experiences, Renogy RV Solar Kit uses an updated flush mounting negative-grounded Adventurer charge controller that keeps you informed of the charging progress. Capable of performing self-diagnostics, the Renogy charge controller could prevent damages caused by installation mistakes, system faults and alike.   

Pros:

  • Reliability is splendid 
  • Intuitive setup 
  • Everything is included 

Cons:

  • Poor shipping standards 
  • Several controllers appear flawed 

14. HQST Solar Suitcase

HQST Solar Suitcase
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions: 40.0 x 27.3 x 1.5 Inches
  • Weight: 21.75 Pounds

Why We Love It

Engineered to be a plug-and-play solar system, HQST Solar Suitcase is often held in high esteem by RVers that cannot afford sophisticated setups. Boasting first-rate polycrystalline solar panels that fold down compactly outside of use, the product of HQST proves to be highly portable in the outdoors.

Also, because of the tough integrated aluminum stands, there is no need for you to pick up extra mounting hardware. All you have to do is to position the solar panels of HQST in spots that receive direct, unobstructed sunlight. 

Since temperatures undoubtedly influence the charging process to some degree, the charge controller of HQST Solar Suitcase incorporates a temperature sensor that accounts for compensation. Hence, the charging process will be displayed accurately on the screen of the charge controller.

As the charge controller of HQST Solar Suitcase automatically recognizes 12V and 24V systems, it’s able to adapt to a wide range of applications. Thus, it only takes a few moments to get the HQST system up and running in most of the cases.

In terms of resistance, the waterproof solar panels of HQST Solar Suitcase should remain operational after being exposed to water. Still, the charge controller of the system is vulnerable to elements so keep it covered.

Pros:

  • Reasonable cost 
  • Portable and durable 
  • Fast setup process 

Cons:

  • Some system comes with damaged parts 
  • The cable should be extended a bit   

15. Mighty Max Polycrystalline Solar Panel

Mighty Max Polycrystalline Solar Panel
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Specifications:

  • Panel Type: Monocrystalline
  • Dimensions: 41.5 x 28 x 2 Inches
  • Weight: 19 Pounds

Why We Love It

Utilizing a sleek design, Mighty Max Polycrystalline Solar Panel tends to excel in settings that have dimensions and weight restrictions. With advanced solar cells based on photovoltaic technology, the panel of Mighty Max boasts marvelous power outputs for its size.

In addition to that, as it’s built around high-quality aluminum frames, Mighty Max Polycrystalline Solar Panel is able to handle winds and snows. As a result, the Mighty Max solar panel performs admirably in a variety of conditions.

Once it comes to installation, Mighty Max Polycrystalline Solar Panel is relatively light so getting it into position is a walk in the park. Furthermore, due to the pre-drilled holes on the back of the panel, you could secure it without much difficulty.

The panel is also accompanied by a pair of cables with MC4 connectors, therefore, RVers may hook it to existing solar systems as they like. Because of that, Mighty Max Polycrystalline Solar Panel comes in handy in a lot of applications these kinds of days. 

On its own, the solar panel from Mighty Max is certainly ideal for 12V setups but if required, you could mount multiple panels in series for 24V and 48V systems.

Pros:

  • Sublime durability 
  • Highly affordable 
  • Usable out of the box 

Cons:

  • Quality control still needs some work        
  • Inconsistent output between panels

How to Choose The Best RV Solar Panels

Preferences change significantly from person to person, therefore, different RVers often have different ideas about what could be called the best RV solar panels nowadays. Nonetheless, if you wish to make rewarding investments, it’s strongly recommended that you keep the following criteria in mind.

best rv solar panels

Efficiency

In case you don’t know, the efficiency of a particular solar panel indicates how much sunshine it’s able to convert into usable electricity. So to put it plainly: the higher the efficiency, the more energy would be produced. The efficiency of the average panels on the market stays around 15% but in advanced models, it may rise well above 20%. Take into account the power consumption of the appliances you have on your vehicle in order to determine a firing efficiency for your solar panels.

Dimensions

In general, for ideal sunlight exposure, RV-oriented solar panels tend to be installed on the roof of recreational vehicles. Thus, RVers must give the sizes of the panels some thoughts before putting things together. If you have solar panels with suitable dimensions, optimizing the available space on the roof is going to be just a walk in the park. To make an informed decision here, you should definitely use the measurements of the roof of your rig as references. In addition to that, test out various panel groupings to see which one works out.

Weight

After picking up the panels, you need to move them up to the roof of your RV for installation, a tedious process if they prove to be cumbersome and unwieldy. So as to facilitate the panel setup, it’s widely advised that you consider sticking to lightweight products if possible. By getting robust solar panels with manageable bulks, you could save a lot of time and effort during the installation. Furthermore, if you keep the weights of the panels down then you would be able to avoid overloading the chassis.

Endurance

Of course, everything eventually fails but you certainly don’t want to buy replacement solar panels every couple of months. Even if they indeed seem to be cheap, flimsy models actually cost you more in the long term as you have to replace them frequently. Hence, while searching around for the best solar panels for RV, it’s essential that you prioritize long-lasting products. Panels that hold together for extended periods of time undoubtedly boost the performance of RV solar setups in the outdoors.

Brands

RVers may purchase solar panels from a variety of manufacturers but to be on the safe side, you should grab yours from reputable names such as Renogy, HQST, WindyNation, ACOPower, … In most of the cases, popular brands have superior quality controls, post-purchase support and warranties to lesser-known ones. That is why if you would like to get your money’s worth, look out for panels from the mentioned labels. Though models from famous manufacturers fail to deliver satisfaction on occasions, they remain solid options.

Common Types Of RV-Oriented Solar Panels

The market of solar panels for RV packs an assortment of models but they could be put into three types:  polycrystalline, monocrystalline and thin-film. To secure the best solar panels for RV available for purchase, it’s of utmost importance that you grasp the traits of the panel types.

best solar panels for RV

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Made by melting raw silicon, polycrystalline solar panels come at affordable prices that make them highly sought after by a number of budget-minded RVers. Being low-cost, models of the type happen to be well-suited for big applications. As for the shortcomings, polycrystalline solar panels have mediocre efficiencies. In addition, many products with polycrystalline solar cells don’t handle heats particularly well which means they may fail early if exposed to extreme temperatures.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Using pure silicon, monocrystalline solar panels have excellent efficiencies compared to other types of panels. Moreover, products of types endure high temperatures well so they would be outstanding choices in a wide range of travels. The monocrystalline solar cells also work like a charm in conditions like partially shaded, low light, … In exchange, monocrystalline solar panels tend to be accompanied by relatively expensive price tags, hence, you need to have a fat wallet to get them.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Able to be bent, thin-film solar panels prove to be unmatched regarding adaptability: you could put them to good use in lots of settings. Due to the ease of production, the fair-price panels of the type match the shopping budgets of multiple RVers. However, thin-film solar panels feature pretty modest efficiencies so in power-hungry recreational vehicles, they often have limited values. Still, for expedient power on the move, thin-film solar cells will surely come in handy.

FAQs About Solar Panels For RV

How many solar panels do I need to pick up?

To determine how many panels you must buy, you have to take a close look at the power consumption of the appliances on your rig. Make a few calculations to come up with an estimate of the amount of electricity all of your appliances require.

Afterward, divide that estimate by the energy rating of your preferred solar panel model to get the answer you seek. It’s worth noting that you likely need to make some alterations depending on the space you have left on the rooftop of your RV.

What should I use in order to clean solar panels?

Generally speaking, manufacturers of solar panels usually include in-depth instructions about cleaning in the owner’s manuals so you just have to follow them. For the average panels, soft cloths and warm, soapy waters may be more than enough.

Refrain from using cleaning solutions since they could compromise the integrity of the solar panels. By wiping clean the solar panels of your vehicle every now and then, you would be able to ensure that they work at peak efficiency.

Is it wise to install solar panels on my own?

Technically, if you lack confidence in your skills, it’s fine to bring your RV to a workshop and leave the installation to the professionals. Nonetheless, solar panels for RV roof these kinds of days have straightforward setups so you don’t have to be an expert to install them. Also, by installing the panels by yourself instead of hiring someone, you would have extra bucks for more pressing needs. All in all, it’s a good idea for you to single-handedly set up the solar panel but if possible, ask another person to hang around as a precaution.

What needs to be done to protect solar panels of my RV from outdoor elements?

Standard RV-oriented solar panels on the market could stand up to winds, snows, rains and others which is why special protection is usually unneeded. In fact, certified models should be even able to take on hailstorms without much difficulty. That being said, it’s strongly recommended that you refrain from pushing your panels to the limits on the road.

Do I need a battery?

Overall, to store the electricity coming from the solar panels, you need a power bank. In case you don’t have a battery on your recreational vehicle, get one from the local hardware store. Keep in mind that due to the instability of raw solar energy, you must never attempt to hook the solar panels directly to the appliances.

Conclusion

You can also find our guides on how to choose the best RV battery, best RV surge protector, best RV generator with detailed reviews in RV Electrical category. In these reviews, we only include and recommend the best products with the highest ratings among highly sold products on the market.

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