Having a recreational vehicle gives you so much freedom to explore the world without leaving all those comforts and luxuries you are accustomed to in your home behind. Perhaps the only thing that can hamper that freedom is a limited supply of electricity. You might need to look for places with an electrical service to camp out.
A good option is to get yourself portable solar panels for RV. With these more sustainable sources of energy, you can take advantage of the sun’s UV rays and convert that into energy in order to supply your home with the electricity you need to power up your appliances.
Thankfully, there is a cornucopia of portable solar panels for RV out there ideal for the use of people who want an alternative and eco-friendly sources of RV energy or those who want more stability and security in their energy source. Find out below which products we highly recommend.
- 1 Best Portable Solar Panels for RV
- 2 Tips in Buying Portable Solar Panels for RV
Top Benefits of a Solar Panel for RV
Aside from having more freedom to explore the world, what with a more sustainable source of energy, there are plenty of other reasons why you should get yourself solar panels for RV. First, it is a more cost-effective way to run your appliances. Sure, you can rely on your RV’s batteries but that will run out quickly and you will need to hook up to an electrical service to replenish your RV’s batteries. You can also get yourself a handy generator that runs on propane or gas, but a full tank will last you for 8-20 hours only depending on the fuel you are using. You will need to spend money to refill the generator tank.
A solar panel is still the cheapest option as solar energy is free. You just need to set it up in an area where it will receive a lot of sunlight.
Using solar energy is also better for the environment. It doesn’t emit harmful gases or chemical fumes unlike fuels like gas. It is also a quieter choice. Generators can be noisy and using your RV’s battery can also cause considerable vibrations and noise. A solar panel, on the other hand, doesn’t have such a problem.
These are just some of the reasons why you should invest in a solar panel for your RV.
Best Portable Solar Panels for RV
Now make sure you choose the following solar panels that are most suitable for RV use:
- Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Portable Solar Suitcase
- HQST Polycrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase
- Dokio 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Panel
- Acopower 120W Portable Solar Panel
Get to know more about their features:
This is a good mid-priced portable and foldable solar panel for RVs. It folds down to a small size, great for RV and camping needs. It can provide up to 500-watt hours in a day or depending on the amount of sunlight your home is getting. It can be connected to different types of RV batteries such as flooded, gel, sealed and lithium.
It stands up easily, thanks to its heavy-duty stand. You can be assured that this solar panel will last for a long time, thanks to its corrosion-resistant properties. It is completely adjustable as well, making it easier for you to find the best spot for it while camping out.
This is completely compatible with mobile homes such as RVs, trailers and boats, thanks to its negative-ground charge control system. It eliminates the danger of experiencing electric shocks, thanks to its low voltage mechanisms.
You will find this highly reliable. It comes with 2 solar panels made from monocrystalline materials that is capable of supplying 50 watts of energy for each panel.
The materials used are also resistant to corrosion and has completely adjustable functions for easier transport and installation. If you want to add more panels, don’t worry because this one can accommodate your needs with its expandable system.
It prevents the risks for overcharging as well, thanks to its solar charge controller that is built in the system.
It collects energy even during overcast or cloudy days. This system is also waterproof. Even the controller is resistant to bad weather conditions.
Many customers said it is not difficult to lift at all to your RV. Also, it comes with a casing made from neoprene that you can use to cover the panels up while configuring it.
Some said the LED lights on the panel aren’t that bright.
A slightly more affordable suitcase-style portable and foldable solar panel for RVs, this one boasts of polycrystalline panels, which is a kind of material known for its efficiency. The stands are made from aluminum materials, boasting of durability so your panels can stay upright. It comes with an HQST 20A kind of controller that is separated by wires with a length of 10 feet, ensuring that you can connect it to your batteries with ease.
It is one of the easiest solar panels to use. It has a temperature sensor integrated in the system that ensures your batteries are charged accurately.
The controller is easy to use in your RV as well. It can be operated using 12V and 24V electrical systems and even comes with an LCD display where you can easily see the information you need to check. Its plug and play functionality makes this a cinch to use. Even those who are using solar panels for the first time will find it easy to use.
A lot of customers commented on how neatly packaged this is. It comes with a bag where you can easily slide the panels and out of.
The battery charge shows how many percentages of battery power it has left. The sides are also reinforced, ensuring durability.
Customers said the customer service of this product is good.
Some said they wished it came with instructions on the wiring harness.
Affordability meets quality is what this foldable solar panel can offer. It packs a punch when it comes to solar panel capability as well. With up to 100W of power, you can power up even your most power-hungry appliances. It is also a portable option because it is thin with only 0.2 inches of thickness and has 5.2 pounds of weight.
This product doesn’t get easily damaged during transport, thanks to its fabric pocket. It also comes with a handle that you can use to lug it around with ease.
This solar panel has one of the best outputs. With its solar cell made from monocrystalline materials, you can be assured that you have a higher power output and efficiency. The design also eliminates hotspots and power loss due to mismatch.
It comes with a solar controller already. No need to buy it as an extra tool. The controller even comes with a 1-year warranty.
Its portability is also a good point. It is thinner and smaller than many standard solar panels, but it did not compromise on power output. A lot of customers also liked how lightweight it is.
The material comes with a 5-year warranty and the power output is backed by 25 years of warranty.
There is a customer who said it’s not completely weatherproof.
This is the most expensive solar panel in this list, but it comes complete with everything you might need in solar connectivity. You have the solar panel propped up by a durable stand, MC4 cables, manual for easier installation and alligator clamp cables. These are the things you need to ensure that you charge to your RV’s battery with ease.
The panels are made from monocrystalline cells, which is the best when it comes to utilizing sun power. It increases the efficiency of solar panels by as much as 25%.
This is easy to use as it has been designed with new solar panel users in mind. Both panels are high-efficiency panels that can provide your RV with the energy you need while living off-the-grid. Simply unfold it and put it in an area with plenty of sunlight.
It has a good amount of power as well. It can be used to power up smaller inverters, a/c fans and microwaves, to name a few.
It has everything you need already, which makes set-up a cinch.
It is lightweight as well, which makes this ideal to bring with you anywhere where you need an extra source of energy. It folds down to a small size as well.
It comes with a money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with it, you can return it and get your money back.
The hefty price tag can be a big setback for some.
Which One Should You Get?
Go ahead and choose the Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Portable Solar Suitcase if you are looking for something durable and loaded with safety features. It is a mid-priced solar panel though so if you are looking for the cheapest one, this isn’t it. However, that compromise between price and functionality makes this a winning option for those looking for quality and affordability.
The HQST Polycrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase is an easy product to use. Its plug and play functions make this easier to use in RVs. If you don’t like a difficult set-up, this is a good choice for you.
If you are looking for something more compact, the Dokio 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Panel is the best choice for you. It is thinner and lighter, which is what makes this easier to use and bring to your camping trips.
Get the Acopower 120W Portable Solar Panel for something that is easier to set up. It’s basically something that even those new to installing solar panels in their RV can use.
Tips in Buying Portable Solar Panels for RV
Equipping your RV with solar panels can require some careful strategizing to ensure you are getting the electrical supply you need minus the loft costs. Here are a few tips you should consider:
1. Start small and build from there.
Don’t get too hasty and buy kits with plenty of panels. It is more ideal to start with a small kit, choosing one that has the option for expandability. This way, if you think you need more power, you can simply add more panels as needed.
2. Consider whether you should go for flat or curved panels.
Most portable solar panels are flat but there may also be those that have a slight curve to them. Curved panels are better as a fixed solar panel as they don’t diminish your RV’s aerodynamics. However, for something you can just unfold as you need it, flat ones would be a better option as they are more durable and less expensive.
3. Make sure you get yourself a nice controller.
Not all of the solar panel kits you are getting comes with a controller. Before buying, find out first if this is included in your purchase. Otherwise, you will have to shell out more money to get one.
4. Make sure everything is compatible.
RV-specific solar panels are the best because they have been designed specifically for RV connectivity. Most of them can be plugged in and ready to be used. No need for conversions or to use adapters. However, make sure you still go out of your way to check whether what you are buying is compatible with your RV.
5. Choose those easier to use.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to install or use. Pick lightweight and portable solar panels that are RV-compatible, so they are easier to use.
What to Do Next?
Make sure you have everything you need in your RV, so you can ensure comfort while going off-the-grid. Aside from a portable solar panel, there might be other things you want to add to your RV such as power surge protector and appliances like an RV washer and dryer or air conditioning system. Head to our homepage to find out what products we recommend.