Are you looking to upgrade your Recreational Vehicle (RV)? Also, do you want uninterrupted power supply at economical rates while on the go? If you have answered YES to both questions, then consider installing solar panels in your RV. Then, you can get your required dose of electricity when vacationing with your family in your RV.
Using RV solar panels, light (sunlight) is converted to power (electricity). This means you have electricity for your entertainment and work purposes too. So, never a boring moment then as you drive around in your RV going about doing your routine business.
The best shopping strategy is to check all the available portable solar panel varieties and take your pick from the lot after considering your requirements and preferences.
Best 7 Solar Panels for RV
Note: This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
The portable Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase 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.
The portable Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase 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.
This 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.
The 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.
The 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. The 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.
It 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. The set 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.
This off grid 12v solar power system 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 Using RV Solar Panels
1. Cost Effective & Eco-Friendly
Now, many people remain wary of RV solar panels for they perceive them to be expensive; and, hence, they do not seem keen on availing their option. However, RV solar panels offer a host of benefits to RV users in the long run. Yes, RV solar panels are cost-effective, eco-friendly, and maintenance-free.
2. Long Lasting
Now, do you want more reasons for setting up solar-based systems in your RV? Well, then know that RV solar panels can make your RV battery work for longer as well. Normally, RV batteries last for 2-3 years; also, they are costly. Even so, you can extend the life of your RV battery by 50 to 70 percent with solar panels. As such, you may not need to replace your battery for 8 to 10 years – especially, if you mount lithium batteries when refurbishing your system.
3. Cut Down on Generator Use
Further, RV solar panels help to cut down generator use, which again translates to greater savings.
More so, with RV solar panels, you can charge your gadgets, appliances and watch television while you’re on the move. All this at affordable rates too.
RV Solar Panels Buying Guide
Choosing RV solar panels from among the different available options is no cakewalk. You should take into account several factors before zeroing in on a particular brand. So, here we have compiled some tips and guides to help you make the right decision when you go shopping for RV solar panels.
Here are some considerations before purchasing RV solar panels.
The bigger the better right? Well, not always. Imagine end up purchasing a RV solar panel kit which is larger than the width of the RV. In that case, the RV solar panel will be left hanging out from the edges and believe me this is not a pretty sight to behold. Moreover, protruding edges run the risk of getting damaged during the journey. It might get hit by other vehicles.
2. Weatherproof and Waterproof Aspects
As you go about from one place to another in your RV, you have to brave different kinds of weather. While weather can be highly unpredictable, you can be wise and prepare beforehand. As such, look for portable solar panels that are resistant to snow, dust, and water.
If nothing else, at least make sure the solar panels are waterproof. The waterproof models are more durable and, in turn, worth your investment in them.
However, if you go for weatherproof and waterproof RV solar panels, then notwithstanding rain or dust storms, you can continue using your gadgets without any hiccups or interruptions or disruptions. Would you not like that now?
At the end, it boils down to one thing and that is efficiency. The RV solar panels should be able to convert sunlight into electricity fast and it needs to be done efficiency. You need to understand that you can’t postpone your journey for hours just to allow your RV solar panels to produce enough electricity for the rest of the journey. It will kill all the time. There is no point in purchasing RV solar panels that are extremely inefficient. You need to get a RV solar Panel kit that has a minimum 20% efficiency.
To install RV solar panels, you will have to carry it up to the roof of the RV and believe me this is not an easy job. Unless you have a powerlifter, lifting a heavy RV solar panels is not going to be an easy feat by any means. Try to stick to lightweight RV solar panels.
5. Standing System
If planning on taking your solar panel along as you drive around in your RV, you’ll need a bag and loops. Nonetheless, if you want a solar panel exclusively for your RV, then a simple one will suit your purpose. Only use a frame that can hold it and keep it secure. Yes, that’s how convenient RV solar panels can be.
Even so, make sure to follow all the safety precautions as advised by the manufacturers. Then, they can serve you for many years to come and efficiently.
RV Solar Panels FAQ
What are the varied types of available RV solar panels?
Among RV solar panels, you can choose between three kinds: Mono-crystalline, Poly-crystalline, and Thin-film ones.
Mono-crystalline solar panels: They are designed using a single large-sized silicon crystal. Also, they rate high in effectiveness and offer high output (in the range of 15 to 20 percent) benefits. All the same, they can be beneficial because they remain functional even when the temperatures run high. Besides, they can generate higher amount of power even when sunlight supply is low or limited.
Poly-crystalline Solar Panels: Polycrystalline varieties are derived from silicon blocks that are filled with a couple of small-sized solar crystals. As compared to mono-crystalline solar panels, the polycrystalline varieties are less effective; their effectiveness rate is pegged around 15 percent. Though, they are the most common types of solar panels that are used nowadays.
Thin-Film Solar Panels: Another option in RV solar panels is the thin-film models. These varieties use silicone for creating a panel after being spreading on a bed. As compared to the other alternatives, they are the least inexpensive and offer the lowest yield. Their efficiency rate is approximately 10 percent. Besides, they require 3 times more space than the crystalline varieties.
What is the mode of operations of RV solar panels?
RV solar panels absorb light when exposed to the sun’s rays. Next, they convert sunlight into power for generating electricity.
As part of the working of the RV solar panels, sunlight hits the solar panels to generating electric currents.
The electric current has to pass through charge controllers, which determines how much current goes through the battery. In turn, the batteries generate DC power, following which inverters convert the DC into AC power. AC is required for running household appliances, phone chargers, laptops, among others. In other words, you can get your required supply of electricity to continue your fun run in your RV.
How are RV solar panels beneficial?
With RV solar panels, you can enjoy a range of benefits. RV Solar panels are easy-to-install and easy-to-use. Also, they are not noisy. They do not generate mechanical noise because they do not contain any moving parts.
Additionally, they do not need fuel for their operation. Nor do they produce waste.
Besides, they can generate SC power when subjected to sunlight; and, in turn, they help in maximizing the life of your RV battery. Moreover, you can enjoy the convenience of parking your RV wherever you wish with RV solar panels.
Many people prefer RV solar panels for they gain electrical independence because they have access to power everywhere, they go. Other than that, RV solar panels offer many benefits; they are safe-to-use, reliable and do not require much maintenance.