Best Solar Panels For RV Reviews of 2019
Owning an RV is great, but without a power supply source, this could make your vacation or camping less enjoyable, pretty expensive, and it could also limit your travelling. During a long RV vacation, some go as far as taking numerous charged batteries because they don’t want to run out of electrical power.
Installing of the solar panels on your RV comes as one of the best ways to enjoy your road trips and vacation. With this, you also don’t have to worry much about electricity supply. The RV solar panel operates quietly and provides free electrical power without pollution and odor. It provides power as it converts sunlight into electricity. Also, it is easy to maintain, install and has a very long life span.
For RV owners, this will be a worthy investment as it allows you to run your entire onboard electronics with just solar rays. And you can extend and enjoy your trip as much as possible. With this said, it is certain you will want to get this device for your RV right? But you should know that numerous solar panels for RV have flooded the market, making it difficult to choose the right one.
For this reason, we have compiled a list of the best RV solar panels and buying guides to help you make the right choice. Read on as we reveal to you the top 5 best solar panels for RV of 2019 you can buy.
Top 5 Rated Models Comparison Table
Reviews of the Best Solar Panels for RV of 2019
#1. Renogy 100 Watts Monocrystalline Solar Panel
When it comes to RVs solar panels, Renogy stand as one of the most popular brands on the market. They produce solar panels with high modules of conversion efficiency and this 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel is no exception. The solar panel comes in a sleek size and well-made from advanced anti-reflective low tempered glass. For this reason, it has a high impact resistance that can withstand harsh weather condition including high wind (2400 Pa) and snow loads (5400 Pa).
If you’re worried about solar panels installation on RVs, this is a perfect choice for you. It comes with essential solar kits that make it pretty easy and inexpensive to install. This solar panel has great features which makes it highly efficient and a perfect item for off-grid applications. What makes it stand out from the others on our list is that it performs excellently even in a low light environment. Another great thing is that it comes with decent 5-years warranty on its material parts.
The downside to this solar panel is that it is bulkier than the regular or flexible models. Also, the biggest complaint by some of its users is that it does not produce up to 100watts even in direct sunlight with no clouds or obstruction.
Overall, it is easy to install, maintain and produces a high power output.
- Decent 25 years warranty on power output
- Can withstand harsh weather condition
- Has a sturdy and solid frame for a wide variety of DIY mounting
- No mounting bracket included
- It is pretty heavier and bulkier when compared to flexible models
#2. Renogy 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
Here comes another incredible RV solar product from Renogy. This solar starter kit includes a 20A MPPT charge controller and 100W 12V monocrystalline Solar Panel. It also comes with 10AWG MC4 Adaptor Kit and one set of Z-brackets for mounting. With this model, you don’t have to worry about low power output as it can provide a generous 100-watt power output. The panels are made from anti-reflective low-tempered glass, high-transparency with enhanced impact resistance and stiffness.
This is an excellent choice for those looking for stronger solar panels. The reason is that it has sturdy construction with high impact resistance that can withstand harsh element including high wind and snow. One exciting part is its 20A MPPT charge controller which gives you the freedom to expand your system up to a maximum of 400W. Also, with its 100-watt power, you can run many of your onboard devices.
However, this is pretty heavier than regular solar panels. The charger controller does not work great as advertised and get faulty within a short period. Another down turner about this solar kit is that you will find it pretty hard to install.
Overall, this RV solar kit comes with significant components to provide a high power output. But one thing you will find uncomfortable with this model is its charge controller.
- Great output of 100-watt power
- You can easily link to other panels for more power output
- High quality and sturdy construction that enables it to withstand harsh weather conditions
- A cheap quality charge controller
- The charge controller does not stay tight to the wiring
- Pretty difficult to install
#3. HQST 100 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
We recommend the HQST 12-volt 100-watt polycrystalline solar panel because of its portability, high efficiency and affordability. This polycrystalline solar panel has tempered glass protection that can withstand harsh element including high winds, heavy rain and snow loads (5400 PA). In high sunny days, it can produce up to 500Wh of output per day. The back of the panel has pre-drilled holes which makes the whole mounting process pretty easy.
What stands out is that it has a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame that makes the panel last longer under harsh conditions. Also, you can install it with different mounting system such as pole mounts, tilt mount and Z bracket. Another big plus is that for every single purchase, you will get a 5-year warranty on its material parts and a 25 years output warranty.
What you might find uncomfortable with this model is its bulky size. Also, some users complained that it does not produce up to the advertised watts even on a bright sunny day.
Overall, on our list, this model stands as the best RV solar panel under $100. Although it comes at an affordable price, it produces a high power output.
- Pretty easy to install with different mounting system
- Comes at a more affordable price than other models on our list
- Portable and easy to carry
- Good warranty
- Excellent performance in a low light environment like cloudy areas
- Sturdy construction and it feature a corrosion resistant aluminum frame
- Does not come with a charge controller
- Pretty heavy and bulky
#4. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Panel Suitcase
Here comes the third Renogy product which makes up a great contender on our list. As the name suggests, this 100-watt monocrystalline solar panel comes in a protective eclipse suitcase for safe portability. With a single purchase, you get to have essential components such as 20A LCD charge controller, 10ft cable and two 50 watts Monocrystalline solar panels. It is equipped with a carrying handles and a corrosion-resistant aluminum adjustable stand that allows you to tilt it to any angle to get enough sunlight.
One thing we like about this product is that you can easily fold it up in its suitcase and carry it around. The handle and its adjustable stand make it a perfect choice for those that don’t want a fixed or semi-permanent installation. Also, you get a 5-year warranty on its material part.
One possible drawback is that its fold-out legs are not sturdy. Also, the adjustable stand does not stay firm to the panel. Another biggest complaint is that its charge controller does not stay firm and it usually swings down.
Overall, it’s easy to set up, very portable and work great with batteries such gel, sealed, lithium, and flooded batteries.
Verdict: Best Overall
- Adjustable solar panel bracket stand
- High power output
- Lightweight and compact
- Comes with a sturdy zippered case
- Wires are very stiff and do not stay tight to the charge controller
- The hinge and legs do not hold up firmly
#5. WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel
The last on our list goes to this highly efficient solar panel, the WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel. This solar panel comes with essential kits for easy installation. It comes equipped with a sturdy PWM LCD charge controller that allows you to monitor the amp, battery voltage, and temperature when charging.
With a single purchase, you will get to have 4-solar panel mounting bracket and fasteners.
This makes up our list because it is a perfect choice for beginners in need of solar energy for RV. Its charge controller has easy to use user settings. Also, it gives you the freedom to add more solar panels in the future.
The downside to this solar kit is that the panel easily gets damaged by harsh element due to its less quality.
Overall, highly efficient solar panel and the charge controller come with cool features that make it easy to use.
- Easy to set up
- Comes with a decent warranty
- The solar panel has easy to use user settings
- The controller only works when it is hooked up to a battery
Things to Consider When Buying Good Solar Panels for RV
Since RV solar panels have become popular, many car owners have installed these products on their mobile homes. This product allows them to feel comfortable as they would in their homes. Now let's show you some of the things to look out for when buying solar panels for RV.
Although an RV can carry amenities and facilities, it has less space than your home or apartment. This means you need a highly efficient solar panel as this uses less space while offering excellent services.
The efficiency in solar panels for mobile homes or camping trailers is defined as the amount of solar energy converted to electric power. This amount is expressed as a percentage.
When searching for these products for your RV use, make sure that the electrical output is sufficient enough for the onboard electronics in your RV. You will instantly know that the solar panel is highly efficient if your RV will receive enough voltage. When identifying the efficiency of a solar panel kit, check its type.
When shopping for one go for a brand that offers enough electrical output that can power the electronics on your mobile home. If your RV gets an ideal amount of voltage, this means your solar panel kit is highly efficient.
Easy to Move Around
Another feature to consider when buying this device is its portability. It's ideal if you choose a lightweight solar panel kit as these models are easy to install. However, if you prefer a more massive solar panel kit, you should choose one with cables to enable easy installation.
You should also look at the geographical location you intend to use the solar panel kit. For example, if your RV is in an area with sunlight problems, you should get an efficient solar panel that works great in a low light environment. With this panel, you can handle such issues quickly.
Amount of Wattage
Wattage is another feature to consider before you buy the solar panel for RV. The wattage is defined as the current your solar panel can produce.
It's advisable you get an RV solar panel with high wattage as this offers enough power to various electrical devices on your RV.
But before you choose a high watt solar panel, ensure it comes with the voltage you need. You should consider this suggestion as such solar panels cost more than regular models. Start with smaller solar panels before you upgrade to a two-panel set.
Solar panels wear out after a period; thus you should go durable models which last for a long time. Do not invest in cheap or low-quality models as they wear out quickly which means you have to buy a new unit regularly. Problems like these can affect your finances.
Types of RV Solar Panels
Before you choose a solar panel kit for your RV, you should know about the different kinds of kits and how they work. When you have such information, you can choose the best solar panels kits for your motorhome easily. Here are the various RV solar panels on sale and how they work.
Polycrystalline Panels: This type of panels is made from silicon and contains few solar crystals. It’s also used in most mobile homes.
Although these panels supply less power than monocrystalline variants, they serve as a great option since the difference in ratings is negligible.
Monocrystalline Panels: This type is made from large silicon crystals; these panels serve as the most efficient solar panels since they have a high charge output. It even produces and supplies more power when used in locations with low light.
Amorphous Panels: Known as thin film panels, this class of products is produced by spreading silicon on a large surface. Although they are not expensive to produce, they deliver the least power than other panels listed here.
They also require about three times the roof space than other types of panels when supplying the same amount of power.
Final Word For You
RV solar panels and kits act as a free and available power source with which you can use to recharge the battery bank of your mobile home. Purchasing these devices is a great idea especially if you engage in activities such as dry camping and boondocking.
Also, they give you a steady supply of power during your road trips. This makes you feel at ease and relaxed as you would in your home even if you are far away from it.
When visiting your local store for an RV solar panel, try to make a list of all the factors you wish to consider. However, it’s advisable you seek additional information from the sales rep.
Now, you can see that these solar panels do not come with special features; instead, they work based on the factors of your preference and your mobile home.
After thorough research and careful testing the Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Panel Suitcase stands as our best recommended model. The reason we choose this is that it is pretty easy to use, install and carry. It is a perfect choice for those who don’t want a permanent or semi-permanent installation. You also get a protective suitcase that you can use to store the solar panel kit when not in use.