If you want to go camping and need to run power to your RV, you will likely be looking at installing solar panels. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on the panels for a permanent install on your house, why not just buy portable ones for your RV?
These are some scenarios where they would be sensible, and the top 5 solar panels I reviewed for RV’s. You might use these to power your RV, your camper, or your small cabin.
Any way you slice it, it’s cheaper and better for the environment to power your RV with solar panels rather than propane or gasoline.
1. RICH SOLAR 2 Pieces 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel High Efficiency Solar Module Charge Battery
- The Rich Solar 12 Volt solar panel is a fantastic choice for RV owners, and it beats many of its competitors in terms of power output
- A two best solar panels for rv 2020 is perfect for camping, boating, and other outdoor activities
- Check the reviews to see how users have found it to be a massive time saver, both during camping trips and when powering their RVs at home
- Easy to install and use – this solar panel has a rating of 80 ampere for a maximum output of 100 watts and is waterproof to IP65 standards
- This solar panel is easy to connect to your existing 12 Volt batteries, as they come with a battery clips, which you can also buy separately
- The customers love this because it provides the functions they look for in solar panels, including flexibility, reliability, and ease of use
- The Rich Solar is one of the best solar panels for rv because it is a highly efficient pan-compatible and can be used in multiple mobile applications
- The sales will include everything you need to get this solar panel quickly installed and running
- This solar panel is made of high-quality materials, so you know you will get the best value possible
- Your purchase of this solar panel will last for a long time, making it a fantastic investment in yourself and your family
2. HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel with Solar Connectors High Efficiency Module PV Power for Battery Charging Boat, Caravan, RV and Any Other Off Grid Applications is my top pick for quality solar panels for this year.
This solar panel uses a high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells that are made from 99.99% pure mono-crystalline silicon, providing superior performance in all weather conditions and better conversions than traditional polycrystalline solar cells.
This HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel with Solar Connectors High Efficiency Module PV Power for Battery charging Boat, Caravan, RV and Any Other Off Grid Applications can be upgraded, allowing you to use it for different power sources, such as a briefcase-sized suitcase, a boat, caravans, RV, and many other sources.
3. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable 2Pcs 50W Solar Panel Suitcase Built-in Kickstand
- Has an eco-friendly design
- Comes with a certified 30-day money back guarantee
- Offers high-quality service
- It is affordable
- Features a strong and sturdy design
- You can use it as many times as you want
- It comes with 12V 20A MPPT charge controller
- Features a portable design
- Easy to set up
- You should buy a battery for this solar system because it will not work if you don’t have one
- Does not come with a battery
This Renogy 100-watt 12-volt monocrystalline off-grid portable foldable 2-packs solar panel suitcases is one of the top-quality solar systems that you can get in the market today. It has a high rating on the market as it has many advanced features that will meet all your needs and preferences.
It has an eco-friendly design. It is flexible enough to be used for on the camper, RV, automobile, on a boat, and within your house as well. It includes a water-resistant 30AMP charge controller that directs a cool breeze through the solar panels for maximum power output.
4. Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100W 12V High Efficiency Module Rv Marine Boat Off Grid
- Comes with cable and MC4 connectors
- Very easy to use
- You can install it without a lot of tools
- You can see how many watts your panels are producing in real time through your phone app
- Solid customer service
- Doesn’t have a long lifespan
- Quite expansive
- Subject to damage during shipping
This is my top pick for best RV solar panels for the year 2020, and these bad boys are my favorites for several reasons. The first being that they are quite easy to use and install. These panels can easily be installed on a camper, boat, or even to the roof of a house. All you need to get it working is to connect it to a charge controller and your batteries.
This system is very easy to set up and doesn’t need any hardwiring or complex configurations. And the best part is that you can see the voltage you’re putting in your batteries real time through your cell phone app.
As easy as this system is to set up, it’s also very reliable. The panels have a high level of efficiency and can re-charge your batteries within 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. The system also comes with a standard 12 months warranty and free shipping.
5. Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
- Efficient and lightweight
- Has a 20-year warranty
- Comes with a solar panel, a controller, and a battery charger
- It can be challenging to mount the solar panel
- It doesn’t come with the battery cables, so those need to be purchased separately.
Solar is becoming more and more popular for RVs out on the market and the Renogy 100 watts 12 volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit is definitely one of the top contenders. The Renogy 100 watts 12 volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit is lightweight and made from high-quality components, making it one of the top panels to consider.
This solar panel is amongst the most efficient on the market thanks to the high-quality polycrystalline material used in its design. The Renogy 100 watts panel has a 20-year warranty that ensures the panel will stand the test of time, allowing you to use it for a very long time.
The Renogy 100 watts 12 volts lighted solar starter kit is designed for use with a variety of different situations. It’s ideal for small appliances, but might not be able to power larger appliances. There are other kits on the market that are designed to work with larger appliances.
6. Goal Zero Boulder 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Small and lightweight
- Easy to set up and use
- Can be used at home or in your van, boat, or RV
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kit is my top pick because it is the highest rated solar panel kit with good customer reviews.
When it comes to solar panels that you can take with you on the go, this Goal Zero solar panel kit is one of the most compact and lightweight ones available on the market. This solar panel kit is designed to easily fit on a backpack or on top of a vehicle roof.
It comes with a Nomad 13-watt solar charger where you can charge your cell phones, GoPro, tablets, and laptops up to 3-6 times. Due to the USB ports, you can also charge your other electronics like your AppRadio, solar lighting, portable bluetooth speaker, cameras, smartwatch, drone, and more.
7. Mighty Max Battery 100 Watts 100W Solar Panel 12V
Idea for construction, emergency power source, hunting cabin with solar generator, boats, RVs, campers, tents, sheds, etc.
Nominal Power: 100 watts
Maximum Power: 100 watts
8. Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
- Can cut down on your monthly energy costs
- Compatible with both 12 volt and 24 volt battery systems
- Includes easy step-by-step directions, and mounting poles
- You’ll need a battery of some sort to collect your solar energy
- You’ll need a solar charge controller
Renogy’s 200W starter kit is DIY ready to install in your RV.
The included solar panels are made by Sunforce, a leader in innovative solar products. These flexible monocrystalline panels allow you to angle them to maximize your climate advantage.
The kit comes with a high-quality 40A Charge Controller that helps you get the most out of your systems. It prevents overcharging and protects your batteries from sustained high temperatures.
9. ECO-WORTHY 100 Watts Solar Panel Off Gird RV Boat Kit :100W Mono Solar Panel +20A LCD Charge Controller+Z Brackets
This kit comes with everything you need to create a solar power system for your RV. It’s very easy to set up and is the ideal package for anyone who doesn’t have any solar experience.
It’ll fit onto any RV, motorhome, truck camper, trailer, etc. The extra long cable makes it easy to set up the solar panels in the most convenient place for optimal sunlight exposure.
This will be the best system for you if you’re a first-time RV solar panel buyer looking to get everything in one purchase.
10. SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel Module Kit：2pcs 100W Mono Solar Panel Solar Cell Grade A +20A LCD PWM Charge Controller Solar+Solar Panel Connector Extension Cables+2 Sets of Z-B
- Easy to follow setup instructions
- Excellent customer support
Solar power offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to charging your vehicle. You may not have considered solar power for your RV before, but so many people are increasingly looking for eco-friendly options and on top of that RVers love to save money.
The SunGoldPower kit is a unique option that allows you to charge your RV batteries directly from your solar power system.
This means you get to keep your vehicle’s battery running without having to use any fuel to charge it. This also means you get a smaller CO2 footprint and can extend your time away from a power supply.
11. Go Power! GP-PSK-130 130W Portable Folding Solar Kit
- Extremely easy to assemble
- Portable and lightweight
- Less than 5 pounds
- Very compact when folded
- Waterproof and dustproof
- Compatible with 12-Volt lead-acid batteries
For RV, Camper, Boats and More.
This folding solar panel set is the best of the best, for the sole reason that it is extremely portable and can be taken nearly anywhere.
Whether you’re going for a weekend getaway or a two-month camping trip to the Grand Canyon, you can sneak this lightweight panel into your RV (provided it’s less than 40 inches in width). It even comes with a carrying case.
12. Renogy Solar Panel
- Comes with cables and a battery along with a powerful inverter
- Plenty of room to attach extra equipment
- Good customer service
Renogy has a great single-phase 100w solar panel that is incredibly easy to install.
You can install this on most roofs with an RV.
It comes with a built-in blocking diode to prevent any reverse current to protect your electronics.
13. WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit
- Best For The Money
- MPPT charges battery multiple times faster than PWM
- 30% efficient
- Only protects against short circuits
- Lightweight materials but durable in use
- 1x 100W RV Solar Panel
- 1x 30A PWM Solar Charge Controller
- 4x Fused MC4 Connectors
- 2x Mounting Brackets
- 1x 30ft 10AWG Solar Cable w/MC4
- 2x 20ft 10AWG Solar Cable w/MC4
14. BougeRV 170 Watts Monocrystalline Solar Panel 12 Volts Mono Solar Cell Charger High Efficiency Module
- You can nest multiple solar panels on your RV
- Water Resistant
If you own an RV, you are going to need the best solar panels on the market. The BougeRV 170 Watts Monocrystalline Solar Panel 12 Volts Mono Solar Cell Charger High Efficiency Module for RV Marine Boat Off Grid is a good bet.
It is sold with three years warranty, which means that you will have at least three years to use it if you want it. The biggest benefit of this solar panel is that it’s water resistant.
That’s not to say that you should test the toughness of this solar panel by putting it underwater. That’s not the idea.
15. HQST 100 Watt 12Volt Off Grid Monocrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase
- Longer lasting panels
- Very lightweight panels
- Includes a free 10A charge controller
- Includes a 12 months warranty
- Has an anodized aluminum frame
- Can match most cars
- Can charge 12V and 24V batteries and devices
- Maximum wattage is 100W
- Panel needs to be folded in four pieces to fit into the provided carry bag
- Need to buy a mains adapter to plug in to the panel
- Does not come with a rain-proof cover
- Not waterproof
HQST has release a 100W monocrystalline portable foldable solar panel in portable luggage bag. It is designed for all 12Volt application, multiple users and multiple purposes. It contains a strong free 10A charge controller, which can effectively protect the solar system, and greatly extend battery duration.
The panel comes with a 1-year warranty and support. This solar panel suitcase can charge 12V and 24V batteries and devices.
16. Renogy 160 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Extremely strong at 12 volts
- Thin and light
- Can be bend around and placed on awkward surfaces
- Very reasonable price
- Less likely to fall on your head
- Can be warped from wrinkling
- Can be damaged from folding
Solar power is one of the smartest things you can do to live a sustainable, carbon-neutral lifestyle that’s also dependent on the sun. Although you can install solar panels on your home’s roof, living in an RV doesn’t allow you that option. But if you can install panels without interfering with its structure, it can provide the sun with a really great source of power.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who makes the best RV solar panels?
The best Rv solar panels are made by:
MPPT: These panels convert power from the solar panel into energy that’s more suitable for your RV battery. A higher voltage is produced in the process. So a 200W MPPT panel will produce approximately 400W of electricity.
Charge Controller: A device that charges designated batteries from the power generated. It prevents overcharging and is substantially more economical than the alternatives.
Warranty: If your solar panel lasts 10-20 years and then breaks, that simple statement means a lot. Don't settle for poor-quality individual components from big box brands. Their panels and controllers may last, but they won't work as well, and their warranties are not as good.
The Cheaper Option: Buying panels and charge controllers separately can sometimes cost slightly less than reputable brands.
Are solar panels for an RV worth it?
The short answer is yes. With an RV solar panel system, you can keep certain accessories in your RV turned on even when your engine is off. For example, you'll be able to charge an electric cooler, a phone, or a TV.
Electric disconnect switches are a part of RV solar panels. A disconnect switch allows you to turn the solar panels on or off from a separate location. For example, you'll be able to turn the disconnect switch off when you're not using your camp site.
When it comes to efficiency, solar panels systems for RVs might not be that efficient since they're installed on vehicles that move around a lot. If you're going to be parked in one spot for a few days, however, they'll definitely make sense.
How many solar panels do I need to power my RV?
Your RV solar system draws power from the battery or batteries. Once your panels start producing excess power, your RV's onboard inverter will then send the excess power to your AC and DC appliances like the refrigerator, TV, lights, etc.
Before you install your RV solar panels, you need to know how much power you will need for your appliances. To accomplish this, you will need to run a power load test on your RV. The load test will tell you how many amps your AC or DC appliances are drawing from your RV's system and will allow you to purchase the right size solar panels and/or batteries.
You might consider purchasing larger solar panels than you think you need simply because you can never have too much power in an RV. Finally, when deciding on which RV solar system is right for you, think about how you use your RV, what you use in your RV, and where you are going to use your RV.
What is the most efficient solar panel on the market?
The most efficient solar panel is probably one that you haven't heard of, developed by a solar company in China. Not much is known about the company, Simpa Solar, but the product, called the CST-10, is impressive.
It has a conversion efficiency of 22.5%, which is the highest in the industry. Here is how it stacks up against other popular panels on the market.
Another reason we resist giving you lists of products is that things change so fast. One day, something is the best in its category and the next day a new product replaces it. For example, the best solar panels have changed dramatically over the past few years. Many of the panels we recommended in 2014 and 2015 have been swallowed by the competition.