When was the last time, you have been on an American Road Trip? Well, not so long ago, right. Road Trips have become a part of our lives. You will develop countless number of unforgettable memories along the way that you will most certainly be going to cherish later in your lives. Road trips have got a facelift these days as RVs now come fitted with a number of awesome features and amenities. But in order to keep these amenities (that are available in the form of electrical gadgets) accessible all the time, you need to get your RV equipped with solar panels. Since you are not going to have any access to the conventional forms of energy, you have to make sure that the solar panels that you are planning to install on the roof of your RV are powerful enough to keep your electrical gadgets charged throughout the journey.
Solar Panels for RV Reviewed
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Renogy 100-Watt 12 Volt Portable 2Pcs 50W RV Solar Panel will fit the needs of different types of users seeking a reliable and safe solar energy source while traveling in an RV. The device folds into a suitcase form. It comprises of 2 50-Watt Solar Panels which are filly water proof. In fact, these Monocrystalline Solar Panels are compliant with IP66 standard. In the package, you also get a Voyager Charge Controller. There is a tray cable laden with alligator clips. The protective casing ensures you can carry it to almost any place. At 26.60 pounds, it is not heavy.
Renogy 100-Watt 12 Volt Portable 2Pcs 50W RV Solar Panel is safe to use. Its low-voltage system ensures there is no electrical shock hazard. It is compatible with Lithium and sealed batteries. The 5-stage Charge controller has a LCD display.
Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel has an output of 100 watts. The high-performance cells have EVA and TPT layers. The panels are made with heavy-duty anodized aluminum which makes it suited for extreme outdoor usage. While on sunny days you will get maximum output even on the cloudy days, the panel will not stop working.
Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panels are made rugged and these can cope with high gusts of wind and snowfall. The company offers a long 25 years warranty. At less than 20 pounds, it is not hard to set up. For the best output, ensure all 72 cells receive direct sunlight.
Solar Cynergy Monocrystalline Solar Panel can be useful in a number of situations. It has 100-watt output and can be set on curved areas with 30-degree range. This can be set up on yachts, boat, vans, jeeps and caravans. It is durable but lightweight.
Solar Cynergy Monocrystalline Solar Panel is also receptive to weak sunlight and so you can use it on cloudy days too. Solar Cynergy Monocrystalline Solar Panel weighs just 4 pounds and so you can carry it anywhere without woes. The junction box and solar panel are water resistant and can be used in almost all climate conditions. It is also simple to install.
RICH SOLAR 100-Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel has 100 watts output. It is highly efficient and lasts for a long time. The Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame of this solar panel makes it ideal for use outdoors. It can cope with snowfall as well as strong winds without woes.
The solar panels also work on those days that are not very sunny. It is simple to set up and you can mount it on both walls and ground. You can set it up on caravans, boats, RVs, trailers. The tempered glass is anti-reflective coated and has an anodized aluminum frame. You get required accessories like Z-brackets in the pack.
Renogy 400W Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit is ideal for setting up off-grid solar power system. The Solar panel can be set atop many surfaces. This is ideal for use at boats, Caravan, RVs etc. The Monocrystalline Solar Cells in its panel has 21% efficiency. The multilayered sheet laminations and Advanced encapsulation material enhances performance and longevity.
The Corrosion-resistant aluminum-based frame is perfect for outdoor usage. It also works in low light situations. The package comprises of 100W Solar Panel, 30 ft MC4 Adapter kit, 16 ft Tray Cable, Adventurer 30A Charge Controller, Renogy Cable Entry Housing. You may pick Corner Brackets or Z Brackets.
This is a complete Solar Panel Kit with 400 watts output aimed at heavy users. It comes with Power Inverter and can be used outside easily. WindyNation Complete 400-Watt Solar Panel Kit is made of 4x Polycrystalline Solar Panel with 100-watt output, 40 feet AWG Solar Cable, 30-amp Solar Charge Controller, solar mounting hardware, 2 AWG Battery Cables.
WindyNation Complete 400-Watt Solar Panel Kit can be used in camping or on boats. The entire set weighs 100 pounds. It has robust build quality and you need not fret much about weather induced wear and tear. It is not hard to set up the kit. The battery has to be bought separately.
This is a robust solar panel powered off grid system aimed at the demanding users. WindyNation 400-Watt Solar Kit: 4pcs 100W Solar Panel is made up of a 100-Watt x 4 Polycrystalline Solar Panels, 40 feet AWG Solar Cable, 30-amp Solar Charge Controller, 4pcs 100Ah AGM, Solar Connectors and Maintenance Free12V Batteries. It can b used to power RVS, boats, cabins etc.
WindyNation 400-Watt Solar Kit: 4pcs 100W Solar Panel has an LCD display to show power usage. The solar panel is sold with a 5-year warranty. The entire kit components are covered by a 12-month warranty. The system also works on days that are not sunny.
Benefits Of Solar Panels & Kits For RV
Solar panels for RVs definitely have some added advantages –
Need Little To No Maintenance
Unlike other forms of energy generation, solar panels demand very little maintenance. They are extremely resilient and are designed to last long. All you have to do is to place them in a place where they can get access to direct sunlight and clean the dust off them and they are good to go. Since these solar panels don’t have any moving parts, they should get worn out that easily.
Surprisingly very few people are aware of the fact that solar power can have positive impacts on the battery life of your RV. Since you will be less relying on the RV battery to keep your gadgets fully charged, the RV battery will be able to extend its lifespan.
Help Saving The Plant And The Society
Our society is in a state of crisis. There are a number of factors at play that can determine the fate of civilization and the chief among them are – topsoil loss, ocean acidification, fish loss, oxygen depletion, population growth, climate change, and more. However, the most pressing factor among all these factors is the issue of climate change and the increasing level of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. The only way we can battle this crisis is by reducing our dependency on the conventional sources of energy. You can initiate the transition from fossil fuel-based energy to solar energy by installing solar panels on the roof of your RV.
It Helps Saving Money
The initial investment cost of RV solar panels is definitely on the higher side. But since there is no recurrent cost involved, it is considered to be a cheaper option than other forms of energy generation. Newer models of solar panels are designed to last long. if used carefully, these solar panels can last 20 years.
Types Of Solar Panels & Kits For Rv
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline Solar Panels have got a distinct bluish tint to them and this is what makes them unique. Its surface is covered with small rectangular solar cells. Each solar cell is made up of small crystals. However, Polycrystalline Solar Panels are not that energy efficient but they are available for cheap and this is what separates them from other forms of solar panels.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are quite popular these days. Made from a very thin silicon layer, Monocrystalline solar panels are designed to perform better even in low light conditions. Unlike polycrystalline solar panels that perform poorly in low light conditions, Monocrystalline solar panels can save your day during those rainy days or when the sky is overcast with clouds. Square-shaped solar cells cover its entire surface and this is what gives it a distinct appearance. However, Monocrystalline solar panels are a bit costlier than other forms of solar panels that are commonly available in the market.
Amorphous Solar Panels
The solar cells of the Amorphous Solar Panels are made from silicon. They are extremely flexible and thin at the same time. Compared to other types of solar panels available in the market, Amorphous Solar Panels are available for cheap but they are not that energy efficient. Poly-crystalline solar panels and Monocrystalline solar panels are both made from solid silicon wafers whereas Amorphous Solar Panels are made by depositing non-crystalline silicon. The silicon used in this type of solar panel is ultra-thin – thinner than human hair. Can you even imagine that?
Key Features To Look for in An RV Solar Panel
RV Solar panels store energy in batteries and there are only two ways, that stored energy can be accessed. Electrical equipment that is designed to function on 12-volt DC current can be plugged directly into the battery and they will start getting recharged almost instantaneously. But there are some appliances that are designed to operate on 110-volt AC power. Now, the only way you can convert the battery’s DC current to AC current is by attaching an inverter to the system.
Don’t settle for a 2-watt solar panel because that would not be of any help during your long and lonely road trip ahead. Rather you need to settle for a 10-watt solar panel because it is powerful enough to keep all your electrical gadgets alive during the trip. You might have to consider going higher watt solar panels if you are planning to use more resource-hungry gadgets like laptops, iPods, iPhones, etc. However, there is a small catch. The higher the wattage is, the expensive the solar panel would be. But higher watt solar panels should be treated as an investment because they are powerful enough to keep even your resource-hungry gadgets alive when there is no such access to grid power is available.
Your Power Consumption
First thing first – you need to figure out how much energy you are going to need during your upcoming read trip before making the final buying decision. Based on your calculation, you will have to find the solar panels that meet all your needs. We had a chat with a couple of RV campers and they have informed us that they don’t need more than 20-kilowatt hours of electricity in a day. However, it all boils down to one thing and that is how many electrical gadgets you are planning to bring with you on your next camping trip. The higher the number, the higher the kilowatt-hours requirement will be. You should be fine with two or solar panels unless you are planning to run an ac or a refrigerator on solar power.
Construction and Design
The solar panels that you are planning to attach to the roof of your RV should be able to ward off dust and other impurities from its surface since it will not be possible for you to climb up and clean them every single day. It should be waterproof too. Ideally, solar panels for RV should be easy to clean and easy to maintain. If you are to spend hours cleaning, the solar panels there is no point in going out on a multi-day road trip. Since these RV solar panels will be placed on the roof, you need to make sure that they are lightweight (unless you don’t mind seeing the roof of your RV caving in).