best rv solar panel

The 15 Best RV Solar Panels for the Money in 2020

Chris Coleman

Even with your RV batteries and generator in place, opting for energy efficient and even electricity-free solutions is always a wise move while you are camping, especially on long trips off the beaten path or dry camping. Choosing the best solar panels for RV will not only save you up to thousands of dollars each year on electricity bills but also is a quiet, sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for your power needs.

With increasing demand from the market, there are a wide variety of solar panel kits available for purchase, plus components are easily available and simple to assemble. You’ll enjoy having topped off batteries without the noise, odor and pollution.

While browsing for the best RV solar kit might be an overwhelming task if you’re not familiar with the terminology, we have done all the hard work to compile absolutely everything you need to know about solar panels for RV trailer in order to pick out the best kit for your power needs and budget. 

First, you’ll learn about RV solar panel basics: how they work, a comparison of common types, their benefits for camping and important buying criteria. Next is a list of the most reputable brands on the market, followed by a detailed review of the best solar panels for RV, updated for 2020, where each product will be accompanied by highlighting features as well as pros and cons so that you can easily make comparisons. 

At the end of this guide, you will find frequently asked questions by fellow campers, including handy installation, usage and maintenance pro tips.

best rv solar panel

Best RV Solar Panels Comparison Chart

NoTop-Rated RV Solar PanelsPricesOur Ratings
1Renogy Solar Power Starter Kit$$*****
2WindyNation Complete$$*****
3Renogy Monocrystalline$$*****
4ALLPOWERS Flexible$***
5Renogy Solar Starter Kit$$$*****
6Renogy Portable$$$*****
7Newpowa Polycrystalline Photovoltaic$$*****
8ACOPower Foldable$$$*****
9Renogy Flexible$$***
10Go Power GP-PSK-120$$$$$****
11Eco-Worthy$***
12Renogy RV Solar Kit$$$$*****
13HQST Solar Suitcase$$****
14Mighty Max Polycrystalline$****
15HQST Polycrystalline$$$$*****

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With the mission to help our readers save time & money, our buyer guides here focus on featuring the most outstanding products in the market. We extract the most genuine & accurate data from our extensive market research, RV expertise/consumer interviews and real product testings to hereby compile a list of best picks only for you. We do the hard work so that you don’t have to. Learn more


Reviews on Best Solar Panels For RV

As an excellent starting point, you could refer to our handpicked list of the best RV solar panels in order to make a wise purchase. These are the products receiving highest ratings from professionals and full-time RVers, and are offered by major manufacturers that have earned their reputation over the years. 

For easy comparison, each product is outlined with its pros and cons, plus notable features.

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, a 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.

Installed this on my Lance Camper 815. This panel is just the right size to fit on my roof. The other polycrystalline 100W panels are too wide and is too close to the AC unit or or too close front escape hatch. Installation was fairly easy and had it all mounted and hooked up in about three hours. Ran wires through the roof right next to the waste vent. I drained my Optima 34 battery to about 50% in the morning and noticed the controller topped off the battery and went into float mode after about 5 hours. According to my multi-meter I am getting around 4 amps charging in full spring sun. My guess I will get a little better during the hot summer months. I am extremely satisfied with this unit. The extras I had to buy was different screws for my roof (#10 1″ sheet metal screws), RV lap sealant for the roof screws and where the wires fed through the roof, zip ties to fasten down the loose wires, and 30A,7.5A inline fuses as recommended by the manual , The screws it came with didn’t grab well to my roof. I think this is perfect for a small RV or an RV with a single battery bank. One of the best purchases I made in a while. I like to dry camp mostly and I think this will help to reduce or eliminate generator usage.

Shared by Nor Cal

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.

We live full-time in a travel trailer and while in Florida (we’re Canadians) we sometimes dry camp at free sites. Our first attempt was miserable as our battery didn’t last long enough to support the fridge so we had to keep running the truck about every 10 hours to replenish the battery and we didn’t use any lights, etc.

Now with the solar panel life is good. Our battery charges up completely in a few hours when it’s sunny. We have our water pump on all day, run the water heater and use all the lights we need in the evening. We even can run the furnace in the morning to warm up the rig. We LOVE our panel and it is sufficient for our needs. If we had a second battery, it would be able to charge it too

Shared by Amazon Customer

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

3. Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel – Editor’s Choice

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.

I put 15 of these on the roof of my RV. I wired 5S(series) 3P(parallel) meaning 3 sets of 5 connected in series or “in a string” which gives me somewhere around 15 amps at 100 volts going into my charge controller. I bolted them to racks that I built out of unistrut or powerstrut which I used 3/8″ lag bolts to bolt down to the roof and covered liberally with lap sealant.

I utilized Victron equipment for the rest of the install and absolutely love the results.

My system consists of the following main components:
2 – Victron Multiplus 12/3000/120-50
Victron Blue Solar charge controller MPPT 150/85
15 – 100 watt Renogy solar panels
Victron Color control gx
Victron BMV-702 battery monitor
4 – 1000Ah LifePO4 Winston battery cells

Shared by AN

I mounted this panel flat on the top of a camp trailer. I love it. I don’t have to plug in the trailer anymore to maintain the batteries. Connected through a cheap PWM controller and heavy 10 gauge stranded wire, it will put out over 5 amps of charging power during the day in full sun. It also gives me enough capacity to run a TV, DVD and stereo off an inverter for hours at a time without running down my two 12V batteries.
I’m very happy with it.

Shared by SC

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

4.  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

5.  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

6. 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 best 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 batteries, 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  

7. 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

8. 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 packages. 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

9. 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 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

10. 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

11. 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  

12. 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 

13. 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   

14. 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 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

15. HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel

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   

RV Solar Panel Basics

How does it work?

A solar panel, or a group of them, called an array, captures sunlight, converts it directly into electricity and passes it through to the charge controller which is then fed at just the optimal current to your batteries for storage.

This process is referred to as Photovoltaics (PV): converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage). Solar panels actually comprise many, smaller units called photovoltaic cells. 

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

In more details, simply put, a solar panel works by allowing particles of light, or photons, to knock electrons free from atoms, thereby generating a flow of electricity.

As photovoltaic technology continues to improve, the efficiency of this process is increasing. Many panels operate with a range of 10-15% efficiency, that is 10-15% of the sunlight that is captured can be converted into usable energy for your rig. The latest technologies used in high end applications can reach 21% efficiency. 

Batteries are where you’ll actually store the power generated by the solar panels. Solar power is so sporadic that you simply can’t use it effectively straight from the panels.

Energy stored in your batteries is accessible in two ways. Direct access is available for appliances designed to operate on 12 volt DC current. However, many appliances require 110 volt AC power, like the household appliances in your house.

To convert the current in your batteries from DC to AC you’ll need an inverter. This device makes it possible to run your AC devices. 

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 to determine the most suitable kit for your camping needs.

All solar cells are made from silicon. The purity and construction are what determine the efficiency and cost of the cell and therefore the panel.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Poly-crystalline solar panels have a characteristic blue look. The cells are rectangular in appearance. 

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 for size. The crystalline structure isn’t as pure as the monocrystalline type and therefore they offer slightly less efficiency. 

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

Mono-crystalline solar panels have a characteristic wafer-like look. Using the purest form of silicon available, monocrystalline solar panels have excellent efficiencies compared to other types of panels. The silicon is trimmed on four sides prior to being sliced into wafers to reduce cost of and increase efficiency of a panel. 

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 often perform better than a poly-crystalline solar panel in partially shaded or low light conditions. 

In exchange for such superb performance, monocrystalline solar panels tend to often cost more as the added purification process of the silicon is costly.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin film is a later technology where silicon is applied to a substrate surface to reduce manufacturing cost, requiring less than 1% of the silicon of a same sized polycrystalline or monocrystalline panel. Due to the ease of production, this type of solar panels is offered at a reasonable price range. 

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. Thin film’s lower cost also makes it attractive for larger installations where size becomes an issue. 

However, there is a trade off in efficiency. Thin-film solar panels feature pretty modest efficiencies, which is around 7-13% compared to the higher 15-20% of crystalline panels, 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.

CIGS Solar Panels 

Copper Indium Gallium Selenide is a particular type of Thin Film solar panels which produces considerable output compared to regular Thin Film formats, with efficiency nearing 10-12%. 

Another benefit is that it also contains less cadmium, a toxic substance used in making panels. CIGS solar panels are ideal for applications such as portable and foldable solar arrays.

Benefits of RV solar panels to RV camping

In case you haven’t heard, going green is the way to go, not just for camping but for every aspect of life in general. You cannot go wrong by living and camping in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, and such a lifestyle definitely offers substantial dollar saving and enjoyable benefits in the long term.

Below are the many benefits of opting for the best solar panels for RV:

  • Safely charging your rig’s battery: A solar panel kit will deliver slow but steady charge to the battery, preventing it from draining.
  • Maximizing the life of your battery:  Most RV batteries will last anywhere from two to three years, and they are expensive to replace, costing a few hundreds to well over a thousand dollars for a system. With solar power, you can expect that to increase from 50% to 75% longer.
  • Reliable energy source, especially when you are boondocking or dry camping or is nowhere near a campground with power outlets.
  • Huge saving on electricity bills in the long term.
  • Low maintenance: You don’t need to check for any mechanical components. There are also no moving parts, so no breakages. Therefore, there won’t be recurring costs to keep it in top condition through the years.
  • Easy customization: Solar panel systems are also expandable so that you can connect it to multiple solar panels if you need additional wattage or power. You can do it easily without modifying your system.
  • Long lifespan.
  • Quiet.
  • No risk of burns or chemicals.
  • No stinky odors.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Components are widely available and installation is relatively easy.

To enjoy such long term benefits, there are certain requirements and limitations that you should take into consideration: 

  • Initial cost can intimidate many potential buyers.
  • Requires installation.
  • Sporadic outputs can be unpredictable.
  • Limited space for arrays and battery banks.

Inside the Kit: The Charge Controller

Because the energy produced by solar panels has peaks and lows, it is vital to control the power entering the batteries to ensure optimal charging and to protect both the solar panels and the batteries from damage, as well as maximizing throughput. 

A typical solar panel kit will come accompanied by a charge controller, a device that performs this function and can handle many panels being attached to a single unit. Also included in the kit is an inverter, which converts the current in your batteries from DC to AC to power many appliances that require 110 volt AC power, like those in your home.

Whether your power source is solar, generator or shore power, a controller understands the charging state of your batteries to get the best charge with the available current from your power source, as well as many other charging-related functions. 

The best RV solar panels nowadays should come with a controller using a form of smart charging called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This type of controller automatically regulates the speed and width of the pulses so that depleted batteries get charged quickly. For the last bit, the controller will switch modes to fully top of the battery and then effectively maintain full charge level.

Single phase chargers

Single phase chargers have a single output. They typically charge at a high voltage during the entire connection time and charge continuously at the same rate regardless of the charging condition of the battery. 

Single phase chargers are ideal when you need a short burst of current, or amps, to get a dead battery up to charge quickly. However, they are not very efficient at restoring a battery to a full charge. Once you remove the charge, the battery doesn’t have time to absorb fully. 

Single phase trickle chargers

Compared to single phase chargers, trickle chargers also have a single output rate but usually at a much lower voltage such as the mid 13 volt range. Instead of bringing a dead battery up to charge quickly,  trickle chargers slowly bring a battery up to full charge. 

These chargers are ideal when you often hook your rig to shore power, thus you simply need to keep batteries topped off and rarely need to restore them from a deep discharge. An advantage compared to single phase chargers is that as the lower voltage will help the battery fully absorb the charge, a trickle charger is much more efficient at topping off a battery. 

The drawback is a trickle charger can take hours to charge a dead battery fully because they don’t charge at the higher voltage. This means if you opt for this type of charger, you need to use the generator to give the batteries a boost. 

Multi phase chargers

Multi phase chargers incorporate the benefits of both single phase and trickle chargers with many added benefits such as a better mechanism to cycle batteries and adjust output based on the current being fed into them. Note that solar currents vary wildly through a day depending on sun exposure, clouds, shade and more. 

A good multiphase charge controller will be able to get the batteries up to peak voltage quickly and then switch modes to help the battery absorb that last tiny bit of voltage stored and finally maintain the battery at full capacity. 

A solar multi phase charger is unique because it has a more complex mechanism to handle the constant varying of current coming from the solar array due to varying sunlight input, and at the same time maximize the charging potential of the batteries.

How to Choose The Best RV Solar Panels

Despite varying camping needs and priorities, any camper must keep these important buying criteria in mind before starting to browse the market for the best solar panels for RV. 

best rv solar panels

Efficiency

The efficiency of a particular solar panel indicates how much sunshine it’s able to convert into usable electricity. 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. Also note that chances are, solar panels will fight for space with other hardware on your RV roof, such as an antenna or air conditioner, so take these into consideration.

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.

The Accompanied Inverter

As mentioned above, energy stored in your batteries is accessible in two ways. Direct access is available for appliances designed to operate on 12 volt DC current. However, many appliances require 110 volt AC power.

To convert the current in your batteries from DC to AC you’ll need an inverter. This device makes it possible to run your AC devices. Solar panels kits often come with a paired inverter.

Inverters are rated in watt output. A 1500 watt inverter can operate most small appliances requiring about 10amps AC current such as a TV, coffee maker, laptop, computer, radio and interior lights. 

To get more current you’ll need a higher wattage inverter. A 3000w inverter creates a maximum available power of 30ams AC current which can power many types of energy-consuming appliances such as vacuums and air conditioners.

An important note is that the inverter must be paired with a properly sized battery bank so as not to discharge the batteries too quickly. The inverter does not affect which size of solar panels is optimal for your rig, which should be chosen based on the amount of energy you’ll consume in a given day. 

In addition, an inverter needs to be sized on the max draw on your batteries at a given time, depending on how many appliances you’ll be powering at the same time. 

Waterproof Solar Charge Controllers

The best RV solar panels should come with a solar battery charge controller that is waterproof, which makes things less complicated while you’re camping out in the open.

Your Charge Controller’s Amp Output Rating

A 400 watt RV solar system typically comes with the smaller 30-35 amp charge controllers, which are adequate to handle moderate energy needs. However, if you have heavier consumption, they won’t be adequate. You’ll need a larger solar array, perhaps as high as 800 watt, and with it a larger charge controller  with an amp output rating of 60-80 amp. 

If your charge controller is too small then it’s a bottleneck of the energy output from your solar panels. If your panels can produce 35 amps, but your controller can only handle 20, then you’re wasting potential charging power. 

Your Rig’s Battery

If you want to use solar power, you’ll need a deep cycle battery in your RV to store the generated power for later use. 

Solar panels can work with 12V or 24V batteries. An RV typically has a 12V battery or two 6V batteries wired in series. The capacity of the battery bank is measured in Amp hours. For instance, a 100Ah battery can provide 100 amp for one hour, or 1 amp for 100 hours.

In an ideal installation, your solar panels can provide enough energy to recharge your batteries to always keep them above a certain safe level. This is because regularly fully discharging a battery will impact its performance and cause permanent damage. And remember, RV batteries cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to replace. 

If you keep using more energy than your solar panels provide, you will ultimately deplete your batteries unless you can get access to shore power or a generator to give the batteries a boost.

To ensure this, it is best that you estimate your maximum energy use on a given day by adding the amp hours of all the appliances you would be using at the same time. This will help you determine the size of your battery bank and also the size of your inverter. 

For instance, at most, you would be using the laptop, interior lights and water pumps for 2 hours straight at the same time, requiring a total of 103.5Ah of current to power them. If you cannot let your batteries dip below 60% without doing damage, you would need a charging system with a capacity of at least 258Ah (40% ÷ 103Ah). Ideally you’d have plenty of reserve power so it’s best to get as many Ah of current possible with the available space. 

Say, you opt for a system of four 225Ah 6 volt batteries, which when wired in series and then in parallel will create a 450Ah 12 volt system. This means on a given day with maximum energy consumption as estimated above, you’d only draw the batteries down to about 80%, which is within the safe limit for discharging. 

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.

Expandability

Another thing to look for when buying a solar panel kit is its ability to let you add more solar panels into the system to increase energy output without time-consuming and costly modifications.

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, and 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.

Best RV Solar Panel Brands

best solar panels for RV

Zamp is an industry leader in portable solar power so they are a natural choice for inclusion. Zamp produces an awesome product and a wide variety of panel sizes, but they are the most expensive ​portable RV solar panel kits.

Renogy offers a much more limited selection of portable solar panels, but ​they have more affordable solar power kit options. Renogy offers a great combination of price and performance with their portable solar panel kits. 

Renogy offers one of the most recommended and top rated kits around in many RV solar panels reviews for their long lifespan, which is thanks to durable and heavy-duty components that can deal with varying weather conditions.

WindyNation solar power kits are often rated as one of the best RV solar panels on the market for their top performance and durable components, making them an ideal and versatile choice for homes, boats, mobile homes and RVs. 

HQST solar panel kits are designed and built to last longer than its counterparts on the market. They are reliable and solid to withstand tough and varying outdoor elements. If you need something that will work for years with outstanding service, HQST might have one of the best RV solar panels for your money.

Eco-Worthy portable solar panels for camping are one of the most affordable ways to get solar energy into your RV. They are better suited for campers with low to moderate power needs and would like to save a few hundred dollars on a functional solar panel.

ACOPOWER has some of the best portable and foldable solar panel kits for camper trailers. With great design and solid, compact construction, as well as reliable and supreme performance, the brand offers great options if you’re looking for an off-grid solar system.

RICH SOLAR uses advanced technologies and exquisite craft to deliver high-quality solar panels. Their monocrystalline solar panels perform well even under gloomy or cloudy weather conditions.

FAQs About Solar Panels For RV

1. How much does it cost to add solar panels to an RV?

RV solar panels come in different prices, depending on the brand, wattage size, model and so many other factors. The cost can also easily add up if you have to buy separate hardware that does not come with the kit that you have chosen. 

In general, complete RV solar systems can range from around $600 for the simplest, smallest set-up to well over $2,000 for larger installations. 

A basic DIY 150-watt, 10-amp system with a 200Ah AGM battery for a small Class B or Class C motorhome could be done for less than $600. Stepping up to a multi-panel 200-watt, 30-amp kit could easily double the price. To get a 200-400-watt system professionally installed, prepare to spend $3,000-$5,000. Meanwhile, a 600-watt or bigger solar system typically costs $7,000-$15,000. 

2. What type of solar panel is best for RV?

There are three types of solar panels for RV with different price range, efficiency and adaptability. Which type makes the best RV solar panels depends on your energy needs, budget, and installation and weather conditions.

Using the purest form of silicon available, monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiencies. They also endure high temperatures well and often perform better in partially shaded or low light conditions. The only drawback is their high cost.

Compared to monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels come at more affordable prices, making them well-suited for big applications. However, they have mediocre efficiencies for size, as the crystalline structure isn’t as pure as the monocrystalline type. In addition, they generally don’t handle heats particularly well.

Thin film solar panels are offered at the most reasonable price range thanks to new technology that reduces manufacturing cost, making it attractive for larger installations. Able to be bent, thin-film solar panels prove to be unmatched regarding adaptability, so you could put them to good use in lots of settings. However, thin-film solar panels’ efficiencies are only around 7-13% compared to the higher 15-20% of crystalline panels.

3. How long do RV solar panels last?

As mentioned above, solar panels are known to be no- to low-maintenance and are proven to last for decades. The typical warranty for solar panels on the current market is 25 years. During this period, manufacturers guarantee that panels will operate at or near peak efficiency. 

Most panels are covered to produce at least 80% of their rated output over the life of the warranty. Therefore, despite the initial investment, you are investing in a long-term device with long-term benefits and a lot of savings down the road.

4. How Much Solar Power Do I Need For My RV?

A solar panel typically which has around 100-watt power and is capable of producing around 6 amps per peak-sun-hour on average, which can also be translated to around 30 amp-hours daily. 

Of course, how much power you need depends on your energy consumption, so it’s best to calculate your consumption on an average day, as well as the maximum energy requirement on a given day when you use many appliances at the same time. In most cases, you will most likely need at least 2 solar panels with around 100 watts each to power your RV on an average day.

5. Can Solar Panels Power an RV Air Conditioner?

Air conditioners typically have a power of around 2000W and draw a lot of current and even more when being powered on. You’d need a high-performance power inverter of at least 3000W and more surge power to run an air conditioner off a DC battery. 

An RV air conditioner cannot be hooked directly to solar panels to consume energy. The solar panels have to be connected to a battery and inverter to provide power to your fridge. The solar panels will charge the battery and keep it ready to supply power to your fridge.

6. How many solar panels do I need to run a refrigerator?

The average full-sized refrigerator takes about three or four average solar panels to run, or one to two panels if you’re using a mini fridge for short trips.

To find out how many solar panels you would need to provide enough current for your fridge, first you need to figure out the wattage rating of your refrigerator. You can do this by finding the amps and the volts on the electrical label on the device: Amps x Volts = Watts. This will give you the watts required to run. 

Refrigerators require more power to start than they do to run. You can estimate the starting wattage by multiplying the watts required to run by 1.5.

7. How to install an RV solar panel?

Safety first:

  • Always review any safety instructions included with your solar kit before beginning installation.
  • Avoid touching electrically active components, such as terminals, when the panel is exposed to light, even indoors.
  • Only install your panels in dry, good weather if installing outdoors.
  • Cover panels with a cloth or other material, such as the boxes the panels came in, to prevent them becoming charged during installation.
  • Don’t sit or step on your panels.

Installation process:

Step 1: Mount Your Solar Panels

Rigid panels typically must be affixed to the roof with screws. Flexible panels can be mounted with screws but can also generally be mounted with adhesive. Note that your roof membrane material will determine the type of adhesive required. Because of this, many kits only supply the mounting hardware, not adhesive.

Lay out your rigid or flexible panels the way you want them and make sure everything fits. Mark the panel locations when you have them the way you want. If you are bolting the panel on the roof, install the mounting hardware included with your kit to the solar panel frame.

Secure the panel to the roof. If using brackets, apply a sealant under each bracket to create a water-tight seal. The proper sealant depends on your roof material. Screw the panel to the roof.

Step 2: Run Your Wiring

The power cable must be run from the solar panels down into the RV to the charge controller with a few common methods:

  • Refrigerator vent: This is usually the simplest method and the most common since you won’t have to put extra holes in your RV.
  • Drilling: If nothing else, you can always drill a new hole where you need it. Try to drill near a cabinet or interior wall so you can hide the wire inside the RV. Make sure to use sealant.

Step 3: Connect Your Charge Controller

Choose a mounting location as close as possible to your batteries to minimize line loss. Once your charge controller is mounted to the wall, it’s time to make your connections to the power wires you dropped through the fridge vent or drilled holes.

Nest, use a multimeter to test your wire polarity and mark each wire appropriately with tape or other indicator. Then make your connections to your solar panels and batteries as recommended by the manufacturer of your kit.

Step 4: Install your Inverter (Optional)

If you want to use your AC appliances like your microwave and laptop, you’ll need an inverter to convert your solar panels’ DC power into AC. Your inverter should be installed near the batteries, away from heat, and other damaging elements.

Connect your positive and negative wires to your inverter. Then make the connections to your RV electrical system. When connecting the inverter to your house battery posts, be sure to connect the negative side first.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

You can also find our guides on how to choose the best RV battery, best RV surge protector, best RV generator, best RV converter, best RV inverter, best deep cycle battery chargers, best RV battery monitor, best solar charge controller for RV 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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3 Comments

  1. Avatar Ann Warner May 15, 2020
  2. Avatar Loni Hale June 1, 2020
  3. Avatar Brit Conley June 8, 2020

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