Best RV Solar Panels For RV Use 2019 (Kits & Flexble Options)

If you are given the option of harnessing the power from the sun without having to fill up a fuel tank, you definitively are enticed. But keep in mind that even though a solar panel uses the renewable energy from the sun, the systems to get that up and running are not necessarily cheap.  But you need not to worry. We have made a selection of the 5 best RV solar panels and kits.

Given that you are seriously considering going solar, we have hand-picked these ones that we believe meet everything you want on a solar panel. They are both efficient and cost-effective. Let us take a look at them.

Image Product
Flexible Panel Product ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 12/18V
  • Easy to carry and transport thanks to its lightweight and ergonomic design
  • The entire installation process is really simple
  • Charges 12V batteries
Complete Kit/Great price! Product OUR #1 cHOICE Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
  • Capable of withstanding harsh elements like wind and snow
  • You can connect it to other panels to provide additional charging
  • Charges 12V batteries
Foldable Panel Product ACOPOWER 100-watt Foldable Solar Panel Kit
  • Portable and easy to install and setup
  • A ton of features to meet diverse settings ( Delivers 100 Watts of power)
  • Charges 12V batteries
Complete Kit Product WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel
  • Can be easily adjusted to work, not only on RVs, but also on boats, homes and cabins
  • LCD display also monitors for any potential damage to the battery
  • Charges 12V batteries
Budget-Friendly Product HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • It's pretty lightweight, making installation even easier
  • Capable of holding heavy winds and snow
  • Charges 12V batteries

Best RV Solar Panels For RV Use

ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 12/18V

Flexible Panel

This monocrystalline solar panel has a lot of interesting traits that will really impress you. We are getting our list started with this super-efficient solar panel. Let’s take a look at all the impressive features that it has to offer to you.

Quick Summary
  • More efficient than average panels
  • Foldable to 30 degrees, making it great for closed spaces
  • Lightweight and easy to carry, transport, and install
  • For use with 12V batteries
  • Price: $$
The Good/What I like

This solar panel is a sweet combination of efficiency and price. You get yourself a panel that is higher to the average in efficiency and at a great price. The next thing we have to love about this panel is the flexibility. The fact that it can be bent to fit in corners or round spaces makes it a pretty useful piece.

Let’s not forget, of course, how easy it is to install and set up. Definitively a great choice if you are looking for an affordable option.

The Bad/What I don't like

It is almost hard to think that something so perfect could possibly have any flaws. Well, unfortunately, we found some shortcomings in the design of the ALLPOWERS Solar Powers 100 W. Yes, the glass is flexible and allows for you place pretty much anywhere. However, this property of the solar panel makes you want to bend past beyond the breaking point but you are risking breaking it.

If you follow the instructions and warning given by the manufacturer, you should be fine and ready to hit it with your new solar panels.

  • Warranty last 18 months
  • Panels with high-conversion sun power
  • Easy to carry and transport thanks to its lightweight and ergonomic design
  • The entire installation process is really simple
  • Some controls are hard to understand at first but they are fine once you get accustomed to it
  • Although it fold, you must be careful not to break it (a little fragile).

This SunPower Solar Cell uses monocrystalline panels, known to have an efficiency of 23.5%, which is above average. The reason why this is impressive is that you will get a great deal of power, comparable to larger panels, which would cost you more, of course. 

The panels on the ALLPOWERS can be bent to a curvature of 30 degrees and you can mount them on irregular surfaces, which makes it pretty convenient to install. You can still install them flat on the roof of your RV but you just need to be a bit careful as they can break from excessive force.

The panels on the ALLPOWERS can be bent to a curvature of 30 degrees and you can mount them on irregular surfaces, which makes it pretty convenient to install. You can still install them flat on the roof of your RV but you just need to be a bit careful as they can break from excessive force.

One of the great things we are sure you will appreciate about this solar panel is that it is water resistant, thanks to the sealed and waterproof junction box. This is basically a need since the panels in your RV will be exposed to the outside all the time.

The ALLPOWERS also features an internal blocking diode, which prevents reverse current drain, meaning that you have a charged solar panel overnight ready for action the next morning.

The design is pretty compact and intended for very small spaces. Not only is this convenient for installation but it also makes it pretty easy to transport. It only weighs 4.7 pounds. This makes it easy to install and remove. Thankfully, the installation of the ALLPOWERS is pretty easy and has no complication. Factors that favor its easy installation are its easy-to-handle frameless design and four metal reinforced mounting holes.

This lightweight and compact size panel delivers a total of 100 Watts and is suitable for use with 12V and 18V batteries. Do not let the size and flexible body fool you. You got yourself an excellent product that will perform when it has to. The unit, of course, includes controls, which you should quickly get accustomed to.

When you think of the ALLPOWERS 100-Watt panels, all that comes to mind is durability and flexibility. The solar panel is constructed with semi-flexible and water-resistant materials. In simpler terms, there is very low chance that your panel will end up ruined, at least not for a very long time.

The amount of power it delivers is pretty much what an average RV user requires for basic living inside a truck, a trailer, or a bus. We can’t get enough of its lightweight and flexibility.

We believe that this product will meet the demands of the most experimented users. The kit includes detailed instructions on how to use the device and an 18-month warranty. The flexibility of the product makes it super versatile and easy to install in pretty much any corner.

In summary, you get yourself a long-lasting yet flexible solar panel from ALLPOWERS. All of this at an unbeatable price. This solar panel provides the convenience, the comfort, and the price that you need to put a huge smile on your face. If installing and setting up a network of solar panel on your RV, ALLPOWERS makes it a breeze which is something we are sure you will appreciate.

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Complete Kit/Great price

Packed with useful features and playing at the top of its game, the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit is what you need if this is what you are looking for. The word that comes to mind when examining this powerful solar kit is reliability. The 100-watt mono-crystalline starter kit will probably be everything you will ever need. 

Quick Summary
  • A complete kit compatible with other systems
  • Delivers 100 W of clean quiet power
  • Built with strong materials
  • For charging 12V batteries
  • Price: $$
The Good/What I like

When you take a look at the Renogy panel, the features only seem to never end and that is something that we definitively love. This panel is ideal for off-grid applications, such as your RV. It supplies power quietly and has a pretty intuitive design with amazing features. 

One other thing that we cannot overlook is the ability for a fast, efficient, and safe battery charging. All of this and more comes in a relative lightweight and easy-to-install system. Your satisfaction is guaranteed when you get this great solar panel.

The Bad/What I don't like

We have not really heard much of a complaint about the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit. However, there are a couple of caveats that are basically small things. For instance, the charge controller looks generic and might feel not up to the challenge. But then, it does work for the number of uses you will be giving it. 

The connectors are hard to unhook. However, this is not something you will hear many complain about since there is no need to remove the panel once installed, at least for several years. These panels come with a 5-year warranty of materials and workmanship and 25-year power output warranty.

  • Great for off-grid applications
  • Guarantees a fast, effective, and safe battery charging
  • You can connect it to other panels to provide additional charging
  • Built from high-conversion efficiency modules
  • Capable of withstanding harsh elements like wind and snow
  • Not as light as other brands

You do notice that this is a kit. It includes a 30A PWM Negative Ground Charge Controller, MC4 connectors, a tray cable, and mounting Z brackets for a convenient installation on your RV. All of these gadgets have been updated to Renogy’s latest tech. 

Now think flexibility when installing this solar panel. This feature only increases its effectiveness and high satisfaction. If you are in search of the best solar panel, you can stop your search. This one will deliver 100 W of power into your 12V battery, allowing a long-lasting power service. You get the power enough to bring up all your important appliances.

If you go to the store and get hold of this panel, perhaps the first thing you will notice about it is how resistant the panels look. This is because it is made with pretty strong materials. A look at the panels might show some details. For starters, they have a high transparency and the panels are made with anti-reflective glass.

The low iron-tempered glass along with the impact resistance and enhanced stiffness make it our best quality option. There definitively is no mistake in acquiring these solar panels for your RV. Worried about your budget. These panels come at a rather affordable price and you can connect several together to add more appliances in your RV. 

For mounting and securing the panel real fast, it comes with pre-drilled holes on the back. This makes it extremely easy to install anywhere on your RV. Of course, you will want to install on the roof of your RV, but there is no need to worry as this panel is so resistant that it will withstand impacts from the wind at a pressure of 2400 Pa and even snow loads of over 5000 Pa.

With this type of sturdiness and durability, you can also expect it to be capable of withstanding harsh conditions and changes of environment. This is important if you are a heavy traveler that usually moves between time zones and weather conditions.

Acquiring this solar panel is like a mouthful of fresh air when you take a look at all the other features it has. It is able to produce power quietly and with a guaranteed grid independence. The 10AWG tray cable mentioned earlier is 8 feet long and can be used to easily connect the battery and charge the included controller.

As for the design, this one is pretty ingenious and features a gel-charging algorithm. Its battery features a 4-stage charging process, which promotes a faster and more efficient charging.

The Renogy Wanderer, the charge controller in the kit, has several features that provide protection for your system. These features include protection against short circuit, overload, reversed polarity, and overcharging. We did mention that the system offers 100 watts, but his can be expanded to400 watts.

ACOPOWER 100-watt Foldable Solar Panel Kit

Foldable Panel

Because this product is highly recommended and will really deliver what is promised on the price tag, we consider this one of great value for the money. This is, without a question, a great choice when it comes to a solar system for your RV.

Quick Summary
  • Offers great off-grid applications
  • Portable and easy to install and setup
  • Ideal for a 12V sealed battery
  • Delivers 100 Watts of power
  • Price: $$$
The Good/What I like

The very first thing that we notice about this product and totally love is the attention to details. This represents a plus when you are looking for a versatile and high-end solar panel. This panel particularly has amazing details and is thought to meet your every demand.

The versatility and ease of operation is a big plus. The enormous number of applications on this panel is simply great. Not only can you carry it on your RV to power your 12V battery but you can also easily remove and bring down to power your appliances while camping, at the beach, during a hiking adventure, and pretty much any outdoor activity that requires a bit of the modern world.

The Bad/What I don't like

When you unpack this product, you get all the complete kit with instructions. However, these instructions do not seem to be clear enough. However, this should not be an issue as installation and setup is a breeze. Also, note that the controller is preset for a sealed battery, which means that you will need to make an extra purchase if you will be using otherwise. Luckily, experts would recommend you using a sealed battery for your RV. 

  • Portable and easy to handle
  • A ton of features to meet diverse settings
  • Foldable and compact solar panels
  • Useful for a wide range of applications
  • While the panel is high-quality, connectors might be more wanting.

This solar panel kit consists of two foldable 50W high-efficiency grade-A monocrystalline with a 10A controller. This makes it into a system that can work as a battery-ready kit, a generator-ready kit, or both at a time.  

Planning on creating the best off-grid solar power system? ACOPOWER’s got you covered there as well. We believe you will love all the technology put into such a compact design. This makes it so much easier to handle and install on your RV. In case you need to remove them, this design also makes it easier for transportation. 

Speaking of transportation, this solar panel can be used for a series of applications where the off-grid feature becomes pretty useful. You can perfectly use it for dry camping, marine activities, going to the beach, and any other off-grid adventures.

Let us take a look at the content in the kit: we have MC4 connectors on the charge generators, alligator connectors to charge a 12 V car or marine batteries. You can actually use either one of them or both at the same time. A 40-W panel can be added for a more efficient battery charging. 

The pre-installed stands allow you to place this panel virtually anywhere without the need of separate mounting brackets. At 23.1 lb, it is easy to carry and place wherever it is needed. This foldable comes with a protective suitcase. Basically, you just pull it out, plug, and enjoy; all in one minute.

Of course, if you want to install it permanently on your RV, this is also done easily.  One thing that we found fascinating about the ACOPOWER 100-watt Foldable Solar Panel is the many details that add up to make it a great solar panel. 

These features included the alligator clips we mentioned earlier, corner protectors, one pair of Anderson connectors, junction box with diodes, latches, fuse, and a practical handle. Besides this, the frame is made of aluminum, which provides a sturdy, durable, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight frame. 

The ACOPOWER 100-watt Foldable Solar Panel Kit provides a 2 x 50 W of maximum power and a maximum voltage of 17.8 V. You get an open circuit voltage of 22.3 V and a short circuit voltage of 2×3.03 A. The battery current of 10A includes a preinstalled controller that offers protection against overheating, overcharging, discharging, overload, and short circuit.

The efficiency of the panel is 15.4% per space which is pretty good and performs excellently even in low-light environments. The fact that you can adjust the stands allows you to maximize sun exposure to ensure optimal harnessing of the sun’s energy.   

WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel

Complete Kit

We believe that WindyNation has manufactured a product that combines efficiency, durability, and cost-effectiveness. We have yet another kit that includes all the artifacts needed for a great charging experience. 

Quick Summary
  • Features a 30-amp P30L LCD display charge controller
  • Average of 350 watt-hours
  • Charge controller provides information on the charging
  • Ideal for 12V batteries
  • Price: $$
The Good/What I like

The first thing that we love about this solar panel kit is the price. It is impressive how WindyNation managed to bring in such high quality and so many useful components at such a low price. If you are a starter at solar panels, this is ideal for you.  

All the components for a proper installation and use are included within the kit. The technology behind this solar panel allows the effective delivery of up to 100 W of clean, renewable energy. To top it all, this panel can be adjusted and easily installed, not only in RVs but in many other places such as homes, cabins, and boats.  

The Bad/What I don't like

We could hardly find any shortcomings for this kit. Everything seems absolutely covered. You can see how hard the company has worked on details that make this panel easier to use. One thing you should consider is that you will probably have to buy more wire, but it is a worth-it investment.

  • Can be easily adjusted to work, not only on RVs, but also on boats, homes and cabins.
  • Charge controller with adjustable settings
  • Easy-to-read LCD display to monitor battery charging
  • LCD display also monitors for any potential damage to the battery
  • A temperature sensor prevents chemical overcharge
  • The battery is not included in the kit
  • Line fuse required too and not included

Each and every one of the components found in this kit is necessary for the correct functioning of this panel. Talk about effective cost. These components include a 30-amp P30L LCD display charge controller, which can be adjusted by the user. 

The kit also includes 40 ft of UL listed 12 AWG solar cable. You also get MC4 connectors, all the mounting hardware and instructions for installation. The WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel is designed for RVs, homes, cabins, boats, and to use as backup power or for emergencies. 

The average amount of watt-hours is around 350, which is also equivalent to 33 Amp hours per day. The hand controller included is capable of controlling up to 4 100 Watts solar panels for 12 V battery systems, and 8 100 Watts for 24V battery systems. 

So we have a solar panel kit at a budget-friendly price that provides up to 100 clean watts. What is the catch? There is no catch, only the best effort to provide the best experience and we believe that WindyNation delivers with this flexible solar panel. 

For remote power and backup use, this solar panel offers a prime experience. The hand controller included, integrated into the solar panel has settings that can be easily adjusted to meet user needs and demands. 

The design of the WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel provides a high efficiency in collecting solar energy. It is reliable and highly efficient. The P30L charge controller also provides convenience and practicality, let alone versatility. 

Versatility means that this controller allows you to keep track of important information, such as voltage, amp-hours, load draw, and the temperature when the device is charging. All these features allow for a better harnessing of the charge available, reducing the waste of unused power.  You can do this by customizing the functions in the controller, which happens to have an LCD screen. 

In this way, you can now control the voltage of solar disconnect or voltage of load disconnect and many other adjustments using the controller. This ensures that you are using energy efficiently by setting up your own preferences. Just make sure you handle it with care and it should last for a while. The P30L controller will become your best friend if you are serious about using clean energy. 

The P30L also monitors the battery to make sure that it does not get an overload, which can be dangerous for such batteries. When the battery gets fully charged, the controller restricts the amount of charge. When the battery needs to be charged again, the LED display on the LCD panel will indicate up to 5 Amps being sent to the battery. The controller also indicates when you have added too much charge to the battery.

This is one of the lightest solar panels we have reviewed; it only weighs less than 10 pounds, which is great for the sake of transporting the panel. In order to preserve it, you should always handle it with care. 

This solar panel is perfect if you are starting in on the RV and/or camping adventure. The performance of this panel and its simplicity is simply impressive. 

The installation of the WindyNation panel is actually pretty easy, especially if you are inclined to mechanical stuff. The kit includes all the necessary accessories that will be needed for installation.  

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Budget-Friendly

Depending on the sun’s availability, this monocrystalline solar panel can deliver an ideal 500 Wh per day. This is great and you definitively can see yourself getting this panel for your recreational activities in your RV. 

Quick Summary
  • Bypass diodes guarantee optimal performance even under the shade
  • Resists snow pressure of up to 5400 Pa
  • Optimal for charging 12V batteries
  • Pre-drilled holes make installation easy
  • Price: $
The Good/What I like

This is our choice for a solar panel that is affordable, efficient, and long-lasting. It is not as portable as other options but the installation features make it super easy to set up. There is no hassle when it comes to installing this 16.5-lb panel. 

You do not need to worry about performance, even under the shade as this panel is efficient enough to capture enough sunlight to keep your appliances performing optimally. 

The Bad/What I don't like

When unboxing this panel, one of the first things that we noticed is that it does not include bare wire MC4 connectors. Now, this means that you will need to buy yourself a pair or two. But then, when you take a look at the price tag and all the capabilities of it, you will not really feel this as a shortcoming.

Overall, this panel is a great choice as it is highly efficient, lightweight, with impressive performance and durability.

  • It's pretty lightweight, making installation even easier
  • Highly efficient and durable
  • Capable of holding heavy winds and snow
  • Works well for rural and residential option
  • MC4 connectors are not included

Just like it has to be, the HQST 100 Watt delivers optimal performance even when there is no sunlight. This is achieved thanks to its bypass diodes which minimize power drop when panels change from sun to shade. So, you have the guarantee that it will continue to operate even if the panels are not hit by direct sunlight. 

This solar panel includes features that help increase space efficiency, providing a peak 22% efficiency, which is well beyond the standard. The panels are highly transparent; hence they are anti-reflective. The low iron-tempered glass build makes it stiff and resistant to impact. It is always recommended, of course, to keep your panels from any potential blunt force.

They are resistant to wind gusts, rain, and even snow. Manufacturer’s details state that the HQST is able to resist a wind pressure of 2400 Pa, which is the pressure exerted by high winds, and it can withstand a snow pressure of 5400 Pa. It goes without saying that rain will not represent a problem if you install them on your RV’s roof.

Installing and securing the panel on your RV is actually pretty easy as the construction includes pre-drilled holes on the back. You should not find any compatibility issue as they are compatible with all types of mounting systems. 

Now, the efficiency of 22% at maximum performance is guaranteed by the monocrystalline solar cells, which are designed to capture all the sunlight instead of reflecting it off. You get then optimal power all the time.  

Not only will these frames withstand wind and snow pressure but the aluminum construction guarantees a panel that will last for many years to come. The panels can easily be installed on an off-grid rooftop or on a residential or rural environment. It provides enough power to charge a 12V battery and is ideal not only for RVs, but for caravans, motorhomes, boats, and trailers.

As the name suggests, the solar panel provides 100 W of clean power, an open-circuit voltage of 22.5V and a 5.75 A short-circuit current. 

The materials it is built with have a warranty of 5 years and the effective output warranty is 25 years. The HQST has a very compact size but an efficient space distribution. It only weighs 16 pounds which makes it very easy to install and pass around. 

When you get to see this product you will notice that it delivers a lot given its price. The high-module conversion efficiency is pretty impressive given that. Its impressive performance, guaranteed by the bypass diodes will give you the same great results of a higher-end solar panel.

High-quality encapsulation materials and multilayered sheet laminations deliver a product that will perform better than the average and live for a very long time. 

Buyers Guide

The market is full of products of all types, sizes, and shapes. As usual, this makes the job of choosing the best solar panel rather daunting. Many times, we are basically tempted to just go for whatever looks nicer on the display.

If you are purchasing your solar panel for your RV, you simply cannot go for whatever is placed before you. Yes, the market has enormous listings, but this should be seen as an opportunity to filter out those who are really worth it. 

But when it comes to an RV solar panel, the first thing you should look at is your needs. We mentioned that getting a solar panel to power the battery and then the RV, is not really for everyone. It definitively is a much greener way of charging your batteries but sometimes, maintenance and, as you have read, it sometimes poses the need to make a major investment.

Before taking a look at what you should be looking at, let’s us take a look at how a solar system for your RV work in order to better understand what it is that we are looking for. 

Types of Solar Panels

There are three basic types of solar panels.

  • Monocrystalline
  • Polycrystalline
  • Thin film
1. Monocrystalline

This is basically one large silicone crystal. It uses silicone trimmed on four sides and then cut into wafers. That look is what makes monocrystalline panels so efficient and cost-effective. In fact, they are considered the most efficient type of solar panel.

In low light conditions, this type of panels will keep your appliances working with optimal performance. 

2. Polycrystalline

These solar panels are silicon blocks containing smaller solar crystals. They are less efficient than monocrystalline but not by a too large margin, maybe a 1% less. You can instantly tell a polycrystalline for its blue appearance.

This type of solar panels is less expensive than the monocrystalline and is, therefore, the most widely used. 

3. Thin film

The third type of solar panel is also known as amorphous. This is the most inexpensive type of solar panel and it consists of silicon applied on a substrate. Because of this, these panels are a lot more flexible than the two previous ones.  

Of course, there is a price to pay for the convenience of having a flexible panel and that is that these ones are usually less efficient. We are talking about a 7-13% efficiency, which is low compared to the average 15-20%.

How do RV Solar Panels work?

In simple terms, RV solar panels transform solar energy into electrical energy. Every time the sun hits them the panels create an electric current which is then fed into a controller. The controller then controls the amount of current that is fed into the battery. 

Another component, called an inverter turns the battery’s DC electricity into AC, which is the one that will power your appliances. 

A solar system for your RV will include these four major components:

  • Solar panels to collect the sunlight
  • Solar charge controller to administer the amount of current that goes into the battery
  • Inverter to turn DC current into AC Current
  • A battery
What to look at when purchasing a solar panel

You now know what are the different types of solar panels. Now, there are some other factors that will affect your decision of choosing the best one for you. Go through each of these traits and establish what is more convenient for you. 

Your Power Needs

Most of the times, there are two things that will determine the amount of power you will be needing:

  • The number and type of appliances in your RV
  • Your geographical location

Your geographical location will determine what type of solar panel you will be needing in terms of efficiency. If you live in a location that does not get much sunlight, you need a solar system that includes a panel with pretty high efficiency. 

Your geographical location will determine what type of solar panel you will be needing in terms of efficiency. If you live in a location that does not get much sunlight, you need a solar system that includes a panel with pretty high efficiency. 

Quality

This is basically the first thing you should be looking at. Go for a solar panel that has good experiences when it comes to quality. A good solar panel will give you the best supply of solar energy. 

The concept is simple; if you want to enjoy satisfaction and less cost for greater quality, get yourself one that has the quality to back it up. 

Efficiency

This is a very important indicator of how your generator is performing. When we come to efficiency, we basically refer to a solar panel that uses little space but maximizes its output. 

Most solar panels deliver an efficiency of 15-20%. Keep your purchase within that range. If you want to get one even more efficient than that, you will have to make an extra investment. 

The percentage used refers to the amount of solar energy received that is actually converted to electricity. When choosing the right one for your RV, make sure that the power output is big enough to hold electronic devices inside your RV. 

Power output

The electrical output is measured based on the number of watts that each cell can provide. The more the cell wattage a solar panel delivers, the more efficient it is, which is something good. 

You must take note that if a panel has a good electrical output and is highly efficient, it might be a bit troublesome as far as installation is concerned. The advice then is to go for a panel designed for more versatile installations but still with a good electrical output. In fact, we recommend investing in the best portable RV surge protector in order to keep your electronics safe in you RV.

Expandability

As you have seen, solar panels are capable of delivering 100 watts per panel. Most of them the adaptation of more panels to increase the power. Make sure your solar panel has this capability. In general, a solar panel ideal for an RV will let you expand to a maximum capacity of 400 watts. 

Durability

Getting cheap and low-quality panels will always be more expensive in the long run so avoid those when hunting for your ideal one. Of course, all panels will eventually wear out and render useless.  A good-quality solar panel will stay with you for years to come. 

Portability and Weight

These two factors are very important. The idea is to get a solar panel that is both lightweight and not bulky or small. The issue here is that the smaller a panel is, the less efficient it becomes. Obviously, less weight means smaller size and less efficiency.

As an RV user, you can probably think of all the disadvantages of having bulky solar panels riding on the roof of your RV. If you do not want to trade efficiency for small size, perhaps the best move here is to invest in smaller panels. Get yourself at least two small panels to help you maximize electrical output and efficiency without having to deal with a heavy unit. 

Ease of installation

This is a factor that you must also consider because there are some solar panels that you need to remove while on the road and then install again. If the installation involves bolts and nuts and you do not have a mechanic at hand, this can be a problem.

Verify then if there is a potential issue with installing and removing the panels without difficulty. If that actually is a problem, then go for those that have pre-drilled holes so that you will not have issues removing and installing them again. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many watts of solar do I need on My RV?

This taps into another factor that you must take into account when purchasing solar panels. Since one solar panel provides 100 watts of power and produces around 6 amps during sun peak hours, per hour, we are talking about around 30 amps per day on a good sunny day. This means that you will need at least two solar panels to be able to effectively power your RV for an average day. 

What is the best RV Solar System?

This will ultimately depend on your needs, which determines what you will be looking for. As mentioned on the question above, on average, you will need two solar panels, assuming a bright sunny day with at least 5 hours of sunshine. Also, take into consideration all the factors mentioned in our buyer’s guide.

What is the best RV Solar System?

From our list, we strongly recommend ACOPOWER 100-watt Foldable Solar Panel click here to see it. It takes pride in its portability and ability to be placed virtually anywhere.

What are the best flexible solar panels?

Conclusion

There is a lot of information and points to take into consideration when purchasing your solar system. We want to narrow it all down into some simple suggestions.

We will start by stating that solar panels are a great option for RV since you get clean energy and at a roughly constant rate. As far as having a green option is, this is optimal. However, there are instances in which solar energy is not necessarily ideal.

During camp trips, you will find that it is easier and cheaper to charge your battery at trailer parks with access to shore power. If you are driving a lot during the day, it is more effective to charge your home batteries with the RV’s alternator during the day than with solar energy.

Some instances where solar energy is a great option includes dry camping without access to hookups, especially if you will be spending days in the wild. Solar panels are a much greener option when you are in national parks or other protected areas.

They are also ideal for long fishing or hunting trips and events and festivals, where you have many RVs close together. The fumes of a fuel generator will seep into your neighbor’s RV, keeping you from making more friends, however if you have the best RV generator you should be in good hands. 

There is no doubt that a solar system provides a very convenient endless and free source of power for your recreational vehicle. Let us summarize the most important points about getting solar panels for your RV. For other awesome reviews check out the best RV battery or the top rated RV deep cycle battery for the money.

  • Make sure that using solar panels match your RV use and travel style. If you usually only stay at RV parks and campground, and drive daily, using solar panels is basically unnecessary.
  • Always look for the highest efficiency without sacrificing electrical output.
  • Measure the daily amount of amps per hour you usually consume in your RV. This will give you a good idea of what must your solar system look like. The general rule is that a 100-W panel will deliver 30 amp hours per day, so consider that to establish how many panels you will be needing.
  • Seek to reduce your average consumption before going solar through the use of more energy-efficient appliances.