Best RV Solar Panels

Best RV Solar Panels & Kits Reviewed 2018

The best RV solar panels generate enough electricity to take your camper off-the-grid for days if not weeks. This complete freedom allows you to experience the great outdoors with the comfort features of a mobile home. In some cases you can even power your AC through these panels.

Since RV solar panel kits can be so beneficial we had to write a review of the top solar kits on the market. Down below we have thoroughly tested and reviewed each product. We recommend finding a solar kit that best matches your energy needs.

 

RV Solar Panel Comparison Guide

Picture:Name:Technical Details:Warranty:Price:
Renogy 400W Solar Panel Kit- 400W
- 30A
- 88 Pounds
- 49 x 24 x 10 Inches
- 25 Year Performance
- 10 Year Material & Workmanship
$$$
Renogy 100W Solar Panel Kit- 100W
- 30A
- 16.5 Pounds
- 47 × 21.3 × 1.5 Inches
- 25 Year Performance
- 10 Year Material & Workmanship
$
WindyNation 100W Solar Panel Kit- 100W
- 30A
- 19 Pounds
- 40 x 1.4 x 26.4 Inches
- 25 Year Performance
- 1 Year Materials
$
HQST 100W Flexible Solar Panel- 100W
- 4 Pounds
- 41 x 21 x 0.2 Inches
- 1 Year Materials & Workmanship$
ALLPOWERS 100W Flexible Solar Panel- 100W
- 5.5 Pounds
- 42.2 x 24.3 x 4.3 Inches
- 18 Month Quality$
Renogy 60W Solar Briefcase - 60W
- 17 Pounds
- 32 x 29 x 2.5 Inches
- 25 Year Performance
- 10 Year Material & Workmanship
$$

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Best RV Solar Panels

1. Renogy 400W Solar Panel Kit

First on the review is the Renogy 400W RV solar panel kit. This is possibly one of the best kits you can buy online. Reason for is because it generates a lot of power and is made specifically for RVs and campers.

This kit comes with four 100W monocrystalline solar panels. These panels are highly efficient and have an energy transfer rate of 18.4%. This high-efficiency allows them to produce more power with less surface space.

In addition to being very powerful the panels are also extremely durable. They are built with corrosion resistant aluminum frames and high quality tempered glass. This frame allows the panels to withstand high winds up to (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa).

The Renogy 400W kit also comes with the Adventurer 30A PWM flush mount charge controller. This charge controller regulates the power that goes to the batteries. They ensure the batteries charge quickly and safely without over charging.

This kit comes with almost everything you need to install and wire the panels. It comes with a 30 ft. 10AWG MC4 adapter kit, a 16 ft. 10AWG tray cable, three pairs of branch connectors, and four sets of Z Brackets for mounting. The only other items you to complete this kit are batteries and an inverter.

Overall the Renogy 400W solar panel kit is a great option. It generates enough electricity to power most of your energy needs.  Even if you have a large RV or camper. In addition the kit is relatively inexpensive considering other competitors on the market. We highly recommend this option and advise you look into it if you need a power solar kit.

Pros
  • Complete kit comes with everything you need.
  • Powerful panels produce 400W of power.
  • Built specifically for RVs and campers.
  • Uses high quality and durable materials.
Cons
  • None.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 49 x 24 x 10 Inches
Weight: 88 Pounds
Power: 400W
Charge Controller: 30A
Panel Type: Monocrystalline

 

2. Renogy 100W Solar Panel Kit 

The Renogy 100W solar kit is a complete charging monster! Whether you’re camping, are off the grid, or just looking to power some appliances, the Renogy 100W solar panel is there for all your charging needs.

This particular bundle is equipped with the components you need to start or expand your current solar system. Since this is so we found it to be perfect for an RV solar system.

The package contains an 100W monocrystalline solar panel, a 9In MC4 Adaptor kit, and a 30 Amp PWM charge controller. (It should also be noted that this kit allows for the charge controller to be close to the solar panel so you may or may not need an extension cable.)

The 100W solar panel is extremely efficient and gives you tons of power. Since the panel made with monocrystalline cells, it has high energy conversion rates up into the lower 20s. This allows the panel to charger your battery in a short amount of time compared to other panels on the market.

When testing this device we plugged in into a 12V battery that our camper utilizes. We were able to get a full charge in less than a full day of sunlight. It also powered most of our electric appliances in the Camper with ease.

One thing that we loved is that this kit is extremely durable and weather proof. Which is perfect for an RV since you will be using it outdoors a lot. Overall the Renogy 100W solar kit is one of the best solar packages you can buy for your RV. It has everything you need for you solar installation. We highly recommend this to anyone who needs a complete charging kit.

Pros
  • Small kit is ideal for smaller vehicles.
  • Utilizes quality and durable materials.
  • Can be expanded if more solar panels are needed.
  • Very cheap compared to other models.
Cons
  • None.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 47 × 21.3 × 1.5 Inches
Weight: 16.5 Pounds
Power: 100W
Charge Controller: 30A
Panel Type: Monocrystalline

 

3. WindyNation 100W Solar Panel Kit

Second on the list is the WindyNation 100W solar kit. This is another top solar kit on the market. It comes with everything you need for complete RV solar. The only negative is that it uses an inferior type of solar panel.

This particular kit uses a 100W solar panel. It’s very powerful and can power a 12V system effectively. The only negative aspect is that it’s a polycrystalline panel. Meaning it is less efficient than other models on the review

To overcome this efficiency the panel is a little larger than the other panels on the review. This might be an issue for some as they want the smallest panel possible on top of their RV.

Other then the panel itself this kit also comes with a 30 Amp charge controller, 40ft solar cable, MC4 connectors for wiring, and 4 mounting brackets and fastener sets. Together they make this kit a full solar charging system.

When testing the WindyNation solar kit we found it to be convenient that it had all the parts you needed. Instructions were easy and installation wasn’t hard. It charged our 12V battery quickly and just did its job effectively. The only negative aspect about it was that the solar panel is much bigger then the other panels we tested.

With that being said this is still a great solar kit. It isn’t our number 1 choice, but it provides a lot of value and is a top contender for a full solar kit. It’s also slightly cheaper than the above solar kit so that’s a plus as well. So definitely check it out as it could be the product for you.

Pros
  • Cheaper than other options on the list.
  • Comes with a complete kit.
Cons
  • Less efficient solar panel.
  • Extremely large solar panel.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 40 x 1.4 x 26.4 Inches
Weight: 19 Pounds
Power: 100W
Charge Controller: 30A
Panel Type: Polycrystalline

 

4. HQST 100W Flexible Solar Panel 

Third on the review is the HQST flexible solar panel. This is by far one of the best solar panel on the market. Reason for is because of its quality materials and high output.

The HQST is a 100W solar panel with an output of 12V. The panel is a monocrystalline panel which means it utilizes the most efficient solar technology on the market. It’s extremely powerful and can convert energy very well.

The mono-crystalline cells on this panel have been laminated into a thin plastic sheet. This gives the panel the ability to be very flexible and durable. Along with this the panel only weighs 4 pounds and is great for effortless transportation.

Most traditional solar panels use glass and aluminum to encase the cells (like the options above). While this does add an extra layer of durability, it makes the panels extremely heavy and not portable. Another added benefit to laminated panels is that there is no risk of shattering or cracking the device. The only thing you have to worry about is sharp objects cutting or scraping the laminate.

One thing we do want to mention is that this option isn’t a complete kit. Instead its just a simply panel that would require extra components like a charge controller. With that being said its a wonderful option for those with RVs and the panel is flexible and can form the roof of your RV.

Overall the HQST flexible solar panel is perfect for those who need light and portable solar charging. We found it to be best suitable for RVs and boats as it can be effortlessly installed. This option is also very affordable, making it a top product to choose from. So we definitely recommend this product and advise you to check it out!

Pros
  • Extremely portable solar panel.
  • Can’t shatter or crack.
  • Super efficient solar panel provides a lot of power.
Cons
  • Only comes with the panel itself.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 41 x 21 x 0.2 Inches
Weight: 4 Pounds
Power: 100W
Charge Controller: Not Included
Panel Type: Monocrystalline

 

5. ALLPOWERS 100W Flexible Solar Panel

Next on the review is the ALLPOWERS flexible solar panel. ALLPOWERS is a reputable company in the solar industry. Their products are known for using quality materials and efficient designs. This same quality and design extends into this particular product as well.

The ALLPOWERS flexible panel has an output of 100W at 12V. This is a lot of power considering how light the product is. The solar cells on this panel are monocrystalline. This is the best type of cell on the market as it gives you the best energy conversion rate possible.

ALLPOWERS claims their panel efficiency rate is around 22-25%. This is very high and possible one of the best transfer rates in the industry.

The panel itself is coated is durable laminate. On the back of the panel is a thin plastic back sheet. This setup allows the panel to be extremely flexible and bent to a maximum of a 30 degree arc. This is perfect for uneven surfaces that are on RVs and boats.

Durability for this panel is very good. The laminate protects the solar cells from the wear and tear of the outdoors. Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about shattering the device. There is no glass so there is no way for it to shatter like traditional solar panels. For extra support there are reinforced mounting holes which allow you to easily hang the panel on a rope or simply install it permanently.

Overall the ALLPOWERS flexible solar panel is a great product. It has a lot of power and is extremely light. While we don’t think this panel is better than the one above, we do think its a great choice and a possible option for you.

Pros
  • Very light and portable design.
  • Coated with durable laminate.
  • Comes with reinforced mounting holes.
Cons
  • Only comes with the panel itself.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 42.2 x 24.3 x 4.3 Inches
Weight: 5.5 Pounds
Power: 100 Watts
Charge Controller: Not Included
Panel Type: Monocrystalline

 

6. Renogy 60W Solar Briefcase

The Renogy 60W solar charger is another top charging device. This particular gadget is extremely portable and is great for all off-the-grid occasions. No matter what environment you are in, the portable Renogy will be there to charge your devices.

The great thing about this device is that it’s an all in one charging system. The lightweight suitcase comes equipped with two 30W monocrystalline panels, a 10A charge controller with a LCD display, a 15 ft tray cable, alligator clips for easy connection to a battery, and a durable casing for safe use.

With its adjustable aluminum stand, latches, heavy-duty handle, the Renogy’s 60W Solar Suitcase will make solar on the go as easy as possible.
 .
When actually testing this device we were very impressed. The two 30W solar panels would keep our 12V battery charged at all times. It powered almost all of our appliances and was easy/simple to use.
 .
Another great thing we like about this device is its portability. We were able to take it every place we went too. Since it’s a 60W charger, the panel consistently kept our devices charged with ease. We also liked how durable it is. It can withstand almost any environment you take it through.
 .
Overall we enjoyed this charger a lot. We recommend it anyone who not only wants a camper charger, but a portable one as well. Just remember that this device isn’t meant to be installed on your RV. Instead it’s suppose to be a portable charger that you take out when you want to use it.
.
Pros
  • Built with durable and quality materials.
  • Requires no installation.
Cons
  • Produces less power then the above panels.

Technical Details:
Product Dimensions: 32 x 29 x 2.5 Inches
Weight: 17 Pounds
Power: 60W
Charge Controller: Not Included
Panel Type: Monocrystalline

RV Solar Panels: What To Look For

Power Output:

One of the most important things to contemplate is the power output of the solar panels. In most cases monocrystalline panels are the best. They provide the most power with less space. Meaning they are perfect for smaller areas like the roof of your camper.

In addition to the efficiency of the panels the number of panels is essential. This number completely depends on how much power you need to generate. Most larger RVs need at least 4 panels or more. Smaller vehicles like vans generally use 1-2 panels.

 

RV Solar Kits:

While buying items separately might seem like a cheaper option, it’s not. There are a lot of quality solar kits online that relatively cheap. These kits include all the essentials to start a solar system. Making the process of installing the panels a lot easier and hassle free.

The best RV solar kits typically include solar panels, mounting brackets, cables, a charge controller. Other essentials that you will need are inverters and batteries. You should try to buy the most batteries possible if your energy usage is high.

 

Expandability:

When looking at RV solar kits its best to find ones that can be expanded. Your energy needs might change over time and you might want to buy more panels. In order to do this you must have parts that can handle higher power outputs.

This is especially true for items like the charge controller and the inverter. If you produce too much energy you can damage these devices and possible the whole system in general. To do your research and find RV solar kits that can expanded.

 

Durability:

The durability the panels and other parts is essential. Traditional solar panels are typically best since they use aluminum frames with durable glass. Flexible solar panels, on the other hand, don’t shatter since they don’t use glass, but are more likely to break the solar cells themselves.

It’s also important to find panels with weather resistant materials. They must be water-resistant and dust-resistant. This allows them to handle the wear and tear that the outdoors offers.

 

Warranty:

Since the cost of RV solar panels can add up, its essential to find ones with the best warranty available. You to protect your investment and not be screwed if your panel dies within the first few years.

Most solar panels online at least a years warranty. The best manufactures have warranties up to 25 years for the solar panel. Other parts like inverters and charge controllers typically can have warranties from 10-15 years.

 

RV Solar: Other Essentials

While RV solar kits come with many items, you still need a few other essentials to completely run off solar energy. These other items include batteries, a battery monitor, and an inverter. Down below we’ll discuss these items and where you can find them yourself.

Batteries

Deep cycle batteries are essential to an RV solar setup as they allow you to store large amounts of energy. This is important as you won’t always have direct sunlight to generate energy. This is especially true when at night or on rainy/cloudy days.

These batteries give you another source of energy to rely. Allowing you to power your RV and any appliances that are in it, even if the sun isn’t out.

If you plan on completely relying off solar energy than it’s a good idea to buy multiple batteries. The more batteries you have the more energy you can store.

The only negative thing is that these batteries are pretty expensive and extremely heavy. You want to make sure you find the right balance between power and weight without breaking the budget.

 

Battery Monitor

While a battery monitor isn’t required for your solar system, its highly recommended. These devices display critical information when charging your deep cycle batteries.

The best battery monitors typically display the voltage, watts, amps, and watt hours of the batteries. With all this information you can successfully run your solar system without overloading it.

So if you want to get the most out of your batteries then a monitor like this is essential. It allows you to keep your batteries at peak performance for years without any issues.

 

Inverter

An inverter is another essential to any RV solar set up. This device converts the direct current (DC) power from the battery into alternating current (AC) power.

This AC power is the type of energy that comes from a traditional wall outlet. Once you convert this energy you can use it fo power your electronics devices and appliances.

If you plan on using a lot of energy than its wise to purchase a powerful inverter.

In most cases a 2000-3000 watt inverter will be more than enough to power your devices. Larger inverters also come with multiple outlets. Which is ideal when powering multiple devices at once.

 

RV Solar Panel Installation

The truth is installing RV solar panels isn’t that difficult if you have the right equipment and tools. To do this successfully you simply wire the solar panels to the charge controller, the charge controller to the batteries, and the batteries to an inverter. This 4 system setup is relatively easy to do and can be accomplished with a full days of work.

In most cases you will need minimal tools to set up this solar system. Some tools we recommend include an electric hand drill, drill bit kit, keyhole saw, wire cutters, pliers, wrench, sealant, a pencil/pen, and a digital multimeter (for troubleshooting only).

Overall installing solar panels on your RV isn’t too difficult. Most solar kits come with instruction on how to install these kits correctly. If these instructions aren’t good enough or you would like more information then you can find other resources online to help you as well.

 

Top RV Solar Panel Brands

If you’ve been searching for the top RV solar panels then you probably have seen the many different brands to choose from. The truth is RV solar is becoming more popular so more brands are popping up to cater to the industry. With that being said not all of these brands are created equal and some generate better products than others.  Here’s some helpful info about these brands to give you a better idea of type of panels they create and their quality:

 

Renogy

Renogy is by far the most popular brand when it comes to RV solar. They are the largest manufacture on our list and produce high quality solar products. In addition to this they offer a wide variety of options allowing you to find a kit with the right amount of power output.

Since Renogy is such a big manufacture they offer some of the best warranties. Most of their solar panels come with a 25 year performance warranties. This is essential as these warranties ensure your investment last decades without any issues. For these reasons Renogy is always our number one choice when choosing high quality solar panels.

 

ALLPOWERS

ALLPOWERS is a great new brand that as been taking over the RV solar industry. They offer a wide variety of RV solar panels and are a popular option for most DIY RV solar installers. ALLPOWERS offers some of the highest efficiency solar panels on the market and specialize in flexible solar units.

One negative thing about ALLPOWERS is that they typically offer shorter warranties. While they produce quality products, it’s always nice to have a warranty to protect your investment. So keep that in mind when looking at your options.

 

WindyNation

WindyNation is another good brand to choose from. They are very popular in the DIY community and make a variety of solar and wind products. Most of their products are perfect for off-grid-living, but they have a good set of flexible solar options. Their panels are not only quality, but also sell at a great price.

Like Renogy, WindyNation offers long warranties on most of their products. Most of their solar panels come with 25 year warranties which ensure years of use. Overall WindyNation is a good brand to look at as they have cheap products that work efficiently.

 

HQST

HQST is another newer brand that is growing in the solar industry. HQST offers multiple different flexible and rigid solar options. All of their products are made with high quality materials and offer high energy conversion rates. They also offer long warranties for most of their solar panels.

Like Renogy, HQST offers different solar kits. They are one of the very few manufactures that produce a flexible solar kit. This is ideal as they make it so you don’t have to buy other essentials separately.

 

RV Solar Panel Benefits

RV solar panels are becoming more prevalent as time passes by. This is due to the many benefits that these solar panels provide. They are super useful and are perfect for when on the road for weeks or months. Down below we discuss these benefits more and why you should purchase these devices yourself.

The most obvious benefit of solar panels is that they are good for the environment. By purchasing solar panels you are helping reduce climate change. Solar power is a renewable source of energy. Meaning it never runs out and will always be here. In addition solar energy doesn’t produce harmful waste like oil or coil.

Instead of relying on gas for you engine to power your RV, you can use clean energy from the sun. This eliminates harmful wastes like CO2 from going into the atmosphere.

Another benefit to RV solar panels is freedom. Freedom to go anywhere in your RV and still have power. Want to camp in the mountains for a month? If there is sun, you’re RV can do this and you’ll have plenty of power. You don’t need a plug, you just need the power of the sun and the freedom of the outdoors.

The last benefit is RV solar panels is that they are easy to install and super portable. Installation only takes a few hours and lasts you years if you do it correctly. In addition many RVs use flexible solar panels, which allow you to install them in areas that traditional solar panels can’t.

Overall RV solar panels are a great addition to your RV or camper. They allow you to generate energy anywhere the sun in shining. Meaning your trips will be longer with more adventure. We highly recommend purchasing these devices and advise you to choose one matching your energy needs.

3 thoughts on “Best RV Solar Panels & Kits Reviewed 2018”

  1. I’ve heard that these panels are vulnerable to hail storms….are there any around that can withstand this kind of physical force?

  2. Hi Michael. Traditional solar panels, like the Renogy solar panel, can withstand most weather conditions. These are the same type of panels that are used on houses. They are built with both durable aluminum frames and tempered glass.

    So yes, most traditional solar panels can withstand hail storms and snowy conditions.

    Flexible solar panels on the other hand will most likely not be able to withstand large hail storms since they are not built with an aluminum frame or tempered glass. Instead, they are laminated to make them more portable and flexible. They are the best option if you’re going to be in regular environments.

  3. I bought the 100W Rengoy solar kit for my RV before the beginning of summer 2017. It worked like a charm and was able to charge my batteries all summer long.

    Since then I have bought more solar panels and more batteries. I want to be able to go completely solar and not rely on propane at all.

    For all newbies I would recommend buying the larger 400W kit in the beginning. It will simply save you time and money as 100W isn’t a ton of power.

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