Investing in clean energy products, like the best portable solar panels for RV, is a wise move because they promote zero emissions and eco-friendly solutions. While there is an upfront cost involved in the purchase, its long-term benefits, including a clean power source, ease of use, and efficiency.
However, you might find it confusing to find the right portable solar panel if you’re unaware of the features to check and things to know before buying this product. It is why we’ve created a buying guide to help you select from one of the options available. After reading, we’re hoping you can get the right solar panel for your RV. Let’s get started in the following reviews.
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|Preview||DOKIO FFSP-200||Renogy STCS100D-VOY20||Go Power! GP-PSK-130|
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- Best RV Portable Solar Pane Reviews
- 1. DOKIO 220W 18V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit
- 2. Renogy 100-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 3. Go Power 130-Watt Portable Solar Kit
- 4. Zamp Solar Portable Kit
- 5. ACOPOWER Portable Solar Panel Kit
- 6. ECO-WORTHY Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 7. Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse Solar Suitcase
- 8. DOKIO 100w Foldable Solar Panel
- What Is An RV Portable Solar Panel And Who This Is For
- How Does It Work
- What Are The Different Types Of Portable Solar Panels For RV
- Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Portable Solar Panel For RV
- How We Picked And Tested
- Type Of Solar Panel
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best RV Portable Solar Pane Reviews
1. DOKIO 220W 18V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit
- Impressive 220-watt, 18-volt power output
- High-efficiency monocrystalline solar panel with an ETFE layer
- Extensive battery and generator compatibility
- Reliable and safe charge controller
- IP65 waterproof for resistance against light rain and snow
- Might be blown over by strong winds
The DOKIO 220W 18V RV portable solar panels can convert even the most demanding RV owner into a loyal follower. This solar kit is the real deal, being able to deliver up to 22oW of clean energy. Its portable design makes the product a top choice among portable solar panels survival enthusiasts.
My favorite aspect about this solar kit is its monocrystalline silicon panels, which are highly efficient. The transparent and stain-resistant ETFE layer also ensures that a maximum amount of solar energy can enter the panel. As a result, I can expect optimal system output from this foldable solar panel.
Another impressive feature is how this kit can connect to different batteries. One can have lLifePo4 or AGM, and this system will work seamlessly. It is also compatible with GEL, lithium, and lead-acid units. As the product can connect to 95% of different solar generator models, I never worry about mismatched outlets.
This portable solar panel’s versatility doesn’t stop there. Equipped with 5-volt and 2-amp USB ports, the product allows me to conveniently and quickly charge my tablets, smartphones, e-readers, and other USB devices.
I am thankful the company included a charge controller with adequate protection against electrical hazards, such as short-circuit or reverse current. The IP65 also offers peace of mind, as it means the product can resist light rain and snow. And despite being lightweight, the panel is durable enough to withstand dropping impact.
While I love the lightweight constructions of these suitcase solar panels, I’m slightly discouraged by how easily strong winds can knock them over. As a result, I often need to use stakes to keep the panels in place.
Overall, it is challenging to fault this portable solar panel. Its power output and safe and effortless operation make it an excellent buy for RV and homeowners anywhere.
2. Renogy 100-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Durable construction and lightweight design
- Comes with a charge controller
- Easy to install
- The solar panel does not offer a good warranty, and the customer support is hard to reach
If you are looking for the perfect portable solar panel to have with you during trips and adventures using your RV, I would highly recommend the Renogy 100-watt solar panel. This type of solar panel is known to deliver high efficiency in harnessing solar energy to provide you with much-needed power.
One of the reasons why I prefer the Renogy panel is because of its portable and lightweight design. The folding solar panels for RV are not heavy that makes it easier to transport and use it whenever needed.
I particularly like the quality and durability that the Renogy 100-watt solar panel offers. It is sturdy and made of high-quality materials. Its stand is corrosion-resistant with heavy-duty handles and latches that ensures the longevity of your product.
No matter what type of battery you have, you can always count on the Renogy solar panels to do their job. These portable solar panels for electricity are compatible with gel, lithium-ion, and flooded batteries. It is a smart investment considering its full applications.
I also like that the Renogy solar panel comes with a charge controller. With its LCD screen, it makes it easier to monitor the state and data of your solar panel and power input.
The Renogy monocrystalline portable solar panel is also easy to install. Everything you need, including cables and connectors, is included in the package so you can easily connect the solar panel to your battery.
Despite that, I would still recommend the Renogy panel. It is a great product, well-built with high-quality materials, cost-effective and energy-efficient. The Renogy monocrystalline solar panel, with its quality, is a smart investment. It gives you an eco-friendly, off-the-grid power solution at a reasonable price.
3. Go Power 130-Watt Portable Solar Kit
- Compact and lightweight design
- Guaranteed durability
- Adjustable folding legs
- Comes with a solar controller
- Has a good warranty and excellent customer support
- Some customers had to use the warranty of the product
If you’re looking for portable solar panels camping, you should consider this item. It is another 8portable power solution I would highly recommend. The Go Power portable solar kit. You never have to worry about running out of battery while you are on an RV trip, you can always count on these solar panels to top up your battery for your continued use.
The rugged durability of the Go Power portable solar kit is guaranteed. This solar kit is compact and sturdy, made only of top-quality materials for the longevity of your solar kit. It is corrosion-resistant and works well under a wide range of temperatures.
Another plus about the Go Power portable solar panel is its compact and lightweight design. It is easy to store and carry. You can always store it in your RV or camper to bring with you whenever you go on trips.
The Go Power portable solar kit has adjustable folding legs, which I like. It makes everything easier. You can easily adjust the legs of the solar panel and angle it in the direction that it can receive the most sunlight to charge your batteries effectively.
Monitoring your solar panel and batteries is made more accessible by the included solar controller. With its smart design LCD, you never have to guess second; you can quickly know the state of your panels and the power input through the digital display.
The excellent warranty and reliable customer service the Go Power offers are what made the Go Power portable solar kit more appealing. If you have issues and problems with your product, you can just easily reach out to their responsive customer support to assist you.
Overall, I think the Go Power portable solar kit is a great product. With its performance, the money you spend on it is justified.
4. Zamp Solar Portable Kit
- Portable design
- Durable construction
- Easy to install and use
- 25-year power output warranty
- Product is a bit heavy
The Zamp Solar portable solar panel kit is another highly recommended choice for a solar panel. You can always rely on Zamp solar to provide you with a top-quality product that is guaranteed to perform and satisfy your needs.
The Zamp portable solar panels are compact and easy to use. With their portable design, you never have to worry about running out of batteries when you go on a trip. You can bring them in your RV to provide you with an off-the-grip power whenever you need it.
The installation process of the Zamp kit is relatively easy and straightforward. You don’t have to be an expert. You can just simply connect the battery using the included clips and cables to your solar panel and place the panel under direct sunlight, and your batteries will automatically charge.
Another reason why I like the Zamp solar panel kit is because of its excellent quality and durability. This product is made only of high-grade materials that ensure the longevity of your product. The support legs feel sturdy and can be easily adjusted. The panel is also protected with a nylon casing. This product is guaranteed to service many times of uses.
I also like the Zamp portable solar panel because of the full protection if offers to batteries. This solar panel kit efficiently increases battery life 2 to 3 times longer. In the long run, this is more cost-effective because you do not have to buy frequent replacements for batteries.
With its 25-year power output warranty, the Zamp solar portable solar panel kit is a bang for your buck
Overall, the Zamp solar panel kit is a great product. It is built well with the top-rated materials and works well to satisfy your power needs.
5. ACOPOWER Portable Solar Panel Kit
- Accessible to is install and use
- Good tech support
- Package does not include the necessary instructions
If you still haven’t found the perfect solar panel for your RV, I would suggest that you consider the ACOPOWER portable solar panel kit. ACOPOWER is among the brands you can trust that can deliver high-quality materials at a reasonable price.
One of the reasons why I prefer the portable solar panel kit is because it is waterproof and weather resistant. With its IP6 waterproof rating, you can be confident that your solar panel will not be easily damaged under some precipitation. You can always count on this solar panel to work under any outside weather conditions.
The quality of the ACOPOWER solar panels portable is highly trusted. This product is made of high-grade materials with advance technologies to deliver you with an eco-friendly and energy-efficient solution to your power needs while on an RV trip.
I also like the easy setup and installation process of the solar panel kit. The solar panel has a simple plug-and-play design. The set up can be done under a few minutes without much hassle.
The ACOPOWER solar suitcase for RV is also expandable up to 200 watts. You just have to buy the necessary materials. Set up is simple and easy. Under a few minutes, you can have for yourself a reliable and more powerful solar panel to efficiently charge your batteries.
The excellent technical support that ACOPOWER solar panels for RVs offer are also a plus. If you have any issues or difficulties with your product, you can always count on their reliable customer service to assist you.
Despite that, the panel kit is still one of your most trusted options for a solar panel. This solar panel is made with high-quality materials with excellent durability. It is entirely eco-friendly and affordable. It works well, and with its guaranteed longevity, this product is definitely worth your money.
6. ECO-WORTHY Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Durable and made of premium materials
- An affordable but high-quality solar kit
- Easy to use and install
- Portable and lightweight
- High-efficiency output
- Legs of the solar panel are a bit weak
You do not need to look too far for a great solar panel that can efficiently meet your power needs while on the road. The ECO-WORTHY monocrystalline solar panel may just be the perfect product for you. You will not regret choosing this product with its excellent quality and great features.
The ECO-WORTHY monocrystalline solar panel is highly reliable. What I like about this solar panel is its high charging efficiency. On a sunny day, you can expect the top performance of your solar panel. But even under dim weather conditions, this solar panel can still generate some power.
Another thing that I like about the ECO-WORTHY solar panels for an RV is their durability. Made only of the top-rated materials from its legs to its casing and handles, they are guaranteed to last for a long time and can survive some years of usage.
I also find the pre-installed charge controller in the ECO-WORTHY monocrystalline solar panel helpful. It helps in the optimal performance of your solar panel. It also offers protection to your batteries for extended battery life.
The ECO-WORTHY portable solar power is also natural to install, which I particularly like. You don’t have to possess any expert knowledge. With the plug and play design of the portable solar panel for camping, you can do the installation yourself under a few minutes without any sweat.
The ECO-WORTHY monocrystalline solar panel is also just the right size and weight to make transport and storage easier. You can always bring this power solution anywhere you go with your RV to ensure that you do not have dead batteries on your trip.
7. Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse Solar Suitcase
- 5-year material and artistry warranty
- Low electric shock hazard and fire risks
- Compatibility to almost all batteries
- Easy come and go installation
- The charge controller is attached which means you can’t leave it exposed to rain or moisture
With all the sonar panels for RVs right now, the Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase is pretty impressive. I like how performance, aesthetics, and quality were all rolled in perfect balance. This 100-watt foldable solar suitcase comes with two very durable and rugged solar arrays. Being German made, you can expect nothing less. Still, it is stable and reliable, boating a module adaptation efficiency of 15.5 percent.
It is one of the things that you might have read from users in their portable RV solar panels reviews. It is fully adjustable, and it comes with a corrosion-resistant aluminum stand with a heavy-duty handle and latches for stability. This solar suitcase is perfect for folks who are frequently on the move as it is well designed for temporary installations only. If you are ready to go, so will your Renogy solar suitcase.
With a manageable weight of 27 pounds, the portable solar power is compatible with flooded, Lithium, sealed, or gel batteries. When it comes to safety, Renogy covered it nicely too. Aside from coming with a protective casing, its low-voltage system also ensures that electric shock hazards are well prevented. It also comes with a 20A built-in 4-stage solar control charger that gives overcharge defense, decreasing any fire dangers.
Since it has its LCD, you are in control and always on top of the information and the data being processed by the system. No second-guessing because what you see is what you get.
8. DOKIO 100w Foldable Solar Panel
- Canvas bag comes with additional pockets for cables
- Very easy to carry and transport
- Compact and smart design
- Ideal for solar panel beginner users
- Lack of available manuals online
Dokio is gaining popularity nowadays, and it’s no wonder because everything seems to be positive and refreshing about it. A Chinese company, Dokio Solar manufactures portable solar power units that are polycrystalline and monocrystalline with expected power output for each panel of 100W.
It boasts high power in such a small package. It has a monocrystalline solar efficiency of 21 percent and 17.9 percent for polycrystalline. It is also very convenient to carry it with courtesy of its easy-grip handle. You can take it with you during caravans, RV trips, hiking, boat adventures and the like.
Using it is very simple too. You simply have to open or unfold the solar panels and use the battery clips that come along with it. The battery controller is already pre-installed and thankfully pre-wired as well for 12V battery charging. Hence, you need not worry about having to figure this portion out.
Another simple but smart feature of the Dokio portable solar panels for RV is they come with pre-drilled holes at the back, so you can just safely mount it on the spot. No need to spend hours drilling that hole. Also, I like how it is entirely compatible with on-grid and off-grid inverters.
You will also surely get your money’s worth because this waterproof source of energy is built with corrosion-resistant aluminum, so using it for extended periods outdoors will pose no threat to its performance and made. This panel should more or less provide you with excellent service for up to a decade with proper use.
What’s top-rated here is it has an after-sales service where any potential problems can be addressed in short resolution time. It is an additional reason for you to consider trying the Dokio foldable solar panel and for you to experience its power personally. To give credit to where its due, the price of the portable solar systems for RV is pretty amazing too for everything that you in this stable power. For an affordable price, you have power when you need it.
SUNGOLDPOWER 130W Solar Panel Suitcase (Outdated)
- User-friendly and simple installation
- Durable and waterproof
- Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame
- Stylish, suitcase-style design
- Perfect for the outdoors
- The solar controller can be improved
Suitable and best for outdoor use, the SunGoldPower is the most reliable source of solar energy when you are out and in the middle of camping, hiking, cruising in your RV, and out of the comforts of your home.
I recommend its plug and play system where there is no required fuss just to get it started in generating energy. Even a novice can set it up by merely folding the panels and having its solar exterior face the sun, and it starts working. It comes with its exclusive legs letting it endure snowfall and even high winds. It is also waterproof, so anytime, anywhere, you can take it with you. I’d say it is a perfect companion for your adventures.
When it comes to safety and security, these portable solar kits for RV will top the list. It provides overall protection from reverse current, overcharges, incorrect polarity, and even short protection. Thanks to its LCD, you have a visual display complete with the current data and information being processed.
When it comes to longevity, its aluminum parts are corrosion resistant, so you are guaranteed that even if you leave it outside exposed to the elements of human nature, it will still function at its best. It also has heavy-duty legs making it a durable purchase.
For its quality warranty, you can have peace of mind knowing that it has a 1-year warranty. Although chances of it being damaged are slim thanks to its smart design and robust built, it is still nice knowing that you can get support at no cost at all. Noteworthy is its case excellent too. It is made in neoprene material that gives perfect protection whenever you have to transport it or carry it along with you.
Another star is given to this portable solar power because of its high conversion efficiency. So long as you can expose it to the sun, then you can have power on your fingertips.
HQST 100-Watt Solar Panel (Outdated)
- Lightweight and portable design
- Rugged durability
- Easy plug and play installation
- Has an integrated temperature sensor
- Lacks a reliable customer service
Another excellent alternative for an RV solar panel that I can recommend is the HQST 100-watt solar panel. HQST is committed to delivering top quality products to its customers. If you want a cost-effective, off-the-grip power, this product is just what you need.
One of the reasons why I like the HQST portable solar panel is because of the high level of efficiency it offers. Its monocrystalline solar panel works well to harness energy from the sun and provide you with the power you need, completely eco-friendly.
The quality of the HQST solar is something you can trust to provide you with a long-lasting product. From its heavy-duty aluminum stand to its durable protective case, the rugged durability of the HQST solar panel is uncompromised, providing you with long service life as compared to other brands.
The integrated temperature sensor in the HQST solar panel is also beneficial. It helps in maintaining the proper temperature in your product always to provide you with the highest charging efficiency.
I also like the easy and convenient installation process for the HQST solar panels. It is easy to setup; just make sure that your panels are placed in an area with direct sunlight exposure. In the package are the clips and cables you need to connect it to a battery. A user’s manual is also provided to serve your reference.
The HQST monocrystalline solar panel is also just the perfect size and weight. It is easy to handle and store with its portable and compact design. You can always bring it with you in your RV in case of emergencies.
Overall, the monocrystalline portable solar panel is one of the most suitable options for a solar panel you can find. With its excellent quality, guaranteed performance, and overall features, this monocrystalline solar panel is worth your buck.
Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explorer (Outdated)
- Power on the go for green living
- Foldable and portable for hiking and camping
- Durable and reliable power
- Lightweight at 3.3 pounds
- High conversion efficiency
- Not waterproof
One other option for you when in the hunt for the best portable solar panels for RV users will be the Jackery SolarSaga. Founded in 2012 in the state of California, Jackery is slowly but surely making a name as a provider of green and portable power solutions.
I would say that what stands out is its performance. Its conversion efficiency is up to 23% making it one of the top-tier choices for life in the roads and the outdoors. RV users are especially avid fans because they need not stop and postpone road plans just because of the lack or non-existent power.
It also gives you that power on the go as this solar panel has two adjustable kickstands which you can slightly adjust in an angle so you can get better and more sunshine. It also comes with a storage pouch where you can safely keep your cables and not lose them.
With its power comes the actual solar panel. Sporting a completely foldable design complete with a TPE rubber handle, easily transport its 3.3-pound weight anywhere and anytime you need backup power. My personal favorite is its USB outputs. Since everything, especially our smartphones and power banks, run on USB, this makes it all the more convenient as you can charge several devices at the same time.
This SolarSaga 60W solar panel is made of hard-wearing cloth, PET material, and the zipper is designed to be high temperature resistant, so hanging on your RV or tent should be no problem at all. Once done, you can simply fold and store it away.
What Is An RV Portable Solar Panel And Who This Is For
Solar power has increasingly become popular due to the benefits they give. For those with RVs and motorhomes, going solar might just be the ideal setup for you.
Portable solar panels for RV batteries, for instance, basically collect and convert solar energy into electricity. With this, you can power up several devices for a specific time, depending on the panel’s capacity.
Solar panels enable you to be self-sufficient. While RVs and motorhomes can charge their batteries when driving, the power inside them will eventually run out. Not every place you travel to or camp in guarantees a stable power source. As such, it’s essential to have a backup power source.
A solar panel primarily offers that kind of reliability. With this, you can still power up your phones, gadgets, and other devices, depending on the solar panel’s capacity. As such, a solar panel enables you always to browse. While camping and traveling are about connecting to nature, browsing your phone or watching TV is a great way to end your day.
Having a backup power source will also mean that you will have electricity during emergencies. As such, during power outages or blackouts, you can still power up your lights, communication devices, and other safety tools and gadgets.
Aside from RV and motorhome owners, solar panels are also useful for those who want to try living off-the-grid. It can be a great start to try your hand in solar energy. It is because solar panels are small and easy-to-use devices.
How Does It Work
A portable solar power system for RV is essentially one of the parts of a bigger solar system and are mainly used to collect and convert solar energy into electricity. Depending on the amount of energy they receive, they can power up several devices for a specified period.
To generate electricity, the solar panel needs to allow photons, or light particles, to knock electrons out of their atoms. This disruption causes the photovoltaic cells, already magnetized due to the presence of certain chemicals, to generate their electrical flow.
Solar kits, such as a portable RV solar battery charger, are composed of tiny units, the photovoltaic cells. These cells are all linked together in the solar panel. They have two semi-conducting metals (usually silicon) on each side.
On their own, photovoltaic cells cannot produce electricity. For this to happen, the cells must first create a magnetic field and which, in turn, generates an electric field.
Aside from the metal, the photovoltaic cells also have extra components like phosphorus and boron. With these two, the cells are basically atomized. It means that it now has a positive and negative charge and thus, creates its magnetic field.
Once sunlight enters the cells, the solar energy knocks the electrons free from their atoms. With this, the magnetic field is disrupted, which, in turn, generates an electrical field.
As the electrical field is created, the metals located on each side of the photovoltaic cells collect the electricity and transfer them to the wires of the solar system.
Electricity then runs down this wire until they reach your devices. Depending on the solar panel’s capacity, this electricity can power up a certain number for a specified period. However, not all of these are used by your devices. Some end up in the battery and are stored for later use.
What Are The Different Types Of Portable Solar Panels For RV
Due to their increasing popularity, portable solar panels come in different types. This section will list all of these accordingly.
Crystalline Solar Panels
One of the most popular types is the crystalline panels, which are known for being efficient and active solar energy collectors. Aside from their construction, solar panel kits, such as a kind and portable solar charger for RV, also have a more significant surface area, which, in turn, allows for more light to be absorbed.
For best results, it’s recommended to ensure that they get strong and direct sunlight. As such, it’s best to use them during the summer months.
Crystalline solar panels are further classified into monocrystalline and polycrystalline variants.
Monocrystalline solar panels are made out of purer silicon crystal, which, in turn, generates a higher power output. As such, a small monocrystalline solar panel is more than enough to power up your RV and your devices. However, due to their pure material, these panels tend to be more expensive and durable.
On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels are not purely made out of silicon. Instead, they are made with a combination of different materials. As such, they tend to have a bluish compared to the monocrystalline’s pure black exterior.
Moreover, due to the combination of materials, polycrystalline solar panels produce less power compared to the monocrystalline solar panels. However, they tend to cost less.
Thin-film Solar Panels
Compared to the other types enumerated, thin-film solar panels are generally cheaper. It is because they are made out of a mixture of different components, such as copper, gallium, indium, and selenide. With this, they are also quite flexible and can be applied in several situations.
However, cheap doesn’t mean that they are ineffective. Thin-film solar panels are more sensitive compared to the other two. It means that they can detect and even absorb the slightest bit of light in overcast weather. For those traveling and camping in dark places or places with colder climates, this type of solar panel is ideal.
The downside to these types is they are not as durable. The combination of plastic, flexible fabric and other materials means that these types quickly deteriorate overtime, more so when those panels are exposed to harsh weather and elements.
Solid vs. Flexible
Portable solar panels, such as that for a solar panel camping setup, also differ in terms of elasticity. As in their name, flexible solar panels can accommodate curved surfaces. You can even place them out of sight compared since they are usually thin. However, they are more expensive.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Portable Solar Panel For RV
Solar panels have increasingly gained popularity. However, if you are planning to purchase a solar panel for your RV, it’s important to note both the advantages and the disadvantages this offers. That way, you’ll make an informed decision. This section will list all of these accordingly.
One of the benefits of portable solar panels for home is that they run on solar energy, which is a renewable and endless source. With this, you wouldn’t have to worry about running out of energy supply since the sun will always shine.
Increase your Savings
Solar panels also provide an opportunity to generate savings. With this, you wouldn’t have to worry about purchasing extra gas for your RV. With this, you just soak the panel under the sun, and you’ll have electricity in a few hours.
Stable Power Source
Traveling and camping in new places does not always guarantee that you have a steady source. With a solar panel installed, you wouldn’t have to worry about this problem.
With your solar system, you can generate your electricity and power up your gadgets and RV.
Solar panels also enable you to live off-the-grid. Since you can produce your energy, you wouldn’t have to connect to your local electrical grid. This method not only helps you save on expenses, but it’s also an efficient way to get electricity.
Of course, solar power is eco-friendly. With solar energy, you don’t produce any greenhouse gases nor use any of Earth’s already-dwindling resources.
For Daytime Use only
One of the criticisms of solar energy is that they are not constant in the sense that they won’t work well at night or during cloudy or winter months.
As such, you have to ensure that you recharge your gadgets and electronics before the sun goes down. If you want a constant supply, you can opt to purchase a solar battery to store excess electricity.
Solar panels are quite costly since they’re a relatively new technology. As such, you might want to consider if you can purchase as well as maintain your solar panels with your budget.
How We Picked And Tested
Portable solar panels are a great addition to your RVs and motorhomes. With this, you can depend on a constant supply of electricity and even lesser expenses. Moreover, it also helps you save on costs since you just produce your electricity.
Aside from that, this device provides numerous other benefits. As such, they are quite popular among the RV and camping community.
Their popularity resulted in a surge of different types and styles of solar panels available. The myriad of choices might be confusing, especially for beginners.
However, you don’t have to worry. Here are some tips and factors to keep in mind when shopping for one.
Solar panels come in many wattages that can cater to different needs. The smallest wattage available is 2-watts, and the largest you can get is 30 watts or more.
A 7- to 10-watt solar panel is recommended if you want to charge and use multiple devices. More power-hungry gadgets like iPads, iPhones, laptops, and the like require more power to fully-charge. If you have these devices, you should go higher.
Of course, the higher the wattage, the more expensive it is. However, if you are concerned about the cost, solar panels with higher-wattages are a good investment. Small-watt models may help save money, but they take a significant chunk of time to charge. These models take about 3-6 hours, while larger models only take 1-2 hours.
Type Of Solar Panel
Solar panels differ in the kind of material used. The two most common types are the crystalline solar panels (monocrystalline and polycrystalline) and the thin-film variants.
The crystalline solar panels generally produce higher power output since they are made of silicon. However, if you compare the two variants, monocrystalline solar panels are more energy-efficient since they are composed of purer silicon. The downside is that they tend to be more expensive and are rigid.
On the other polycrystalline solar panels are more flexible, making them suitable for numerous applications. They also produce a lot of electricity which is enough to meet your needs. However, these types tend to be not as durable as monocrystalline panels.
Thin-film solar panels are cheaper and are more lightweight. They produce a decent amount of charge, which is perfect for those who are only powering up a small number of devices. However, they are more sensitive and deteriorate faster.
Regardless of how many watts and volts your solar panels have, it’s essential to purchase a solar panel that provides at least 1-2x of the daily output. With this, you can power up all of your devices while still sparing a little extra electricity.
Construction and Design
Aside from its features, one must also consider the development and design of your solar panel. To get the most out of your money, purchase a solar panel that is weatherproof and resistant to various elements like rust, dust, etc.
It’s also essential to purchase one that is easy to maintain and clean. That way, it won’t take up too much of your time to clean it.
Weight isn’t too much of an issue since these solar panels are probably attached to your RV. However, it’s still recommended that you get something that is light and easy to carry.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size solar panel do I need to keep the RV battery charged?
A 100-watt solar panel is usually sufficient for campers and travel trailers because of its affordability, convenient installation, and size considerations relative to the RV. Typically, a 100W panel can produce 8 amps/hour at most. So if you need to charge a hall-full 100Ah RV battery, this panel will take around 6 hours (50Ah/8A) to finish the job.
However, this solar panel size might be insufficient for RV boondocking because you will live in your travel trailer for many days off the grid. The number of RV occupants, prevailing weather conditions, appliances requiring solar power, and battery type can also impact your choice of solar panel size.
Seasoned RV owners recommend doubling the power output required to account for unexpected increased energy demand. This means you’ll need to double the required 50Ah in the example above, and expect that you may need to actually charge a 100Ah. In other words, a 200W panel with battery and inverter technologies will be a better fit.
Do portable solar panels work in winter?
Yes, fixed and foldable solar panels work in winter. A common misconception about solar panels is they cease functioning (i.e., collecting and transforming solar energy into electricity) when environmental temperatures drop. In reality, these panels are more efficient in cold temperatures, given they receive enough sunlight.
Even cheap portable solar panels can collect and transform photons into DC electricity in the winter. However, winter has shorter days and poses risks of snow buildup, which can affect the photovoltaic cells’ efficiency.
Is it better to have more batteries or solar panels?
The choice between “more solar panels” and “more batteries” depends on your energy requirements.
With more batteries, one can store more DC electricity for home use, RV applications, or commercial-industrial consumption. For example, five 2400-watt batteries will give you 12 kilowatts, sufficient to operate even power-hungry appliances.
However, without enough solar panels to sufficiently charge these batteries, you can’t realistically achieve the 12 kilowatts threshold. On the other hand, if your panel’s energy conversion exceeds 12 kilowatts, there might not be enough batteries to store the electricity.
Hence, increasing either battery or solar panel requires a corresponding increase of the other component.
How long do portable solar panels for RVs last?
Portable solar panels for travel trailers, camper vans, motorhomes, and other RVs have an operating lifespan of at least 25 years. High-quality products can continue generating clean power for RV owners for years beyond that.
However, we recommend checking the solar panel’s warranty to get a rough idea about its longevity. For example, between two products with a 15-year and 20-year warranty, it’s safe to assume the latter has a longer lifespan. Otherwise, the company will not stake its reputation on mobile solar panels that do not last long.
What are the most trusted portable solar panel brands?
If you’d like to use a portable solar panel, such as solar panels for RV battery charging, you might also want to check out the brand to ensure the integrity and long-term performance of the product that you’re buying. A few of the top choices around include DOKIO, Jackery, SUNGOLDPOWER, and Renogy, among the others, featured earlier. They are reputable brands that commit to the satisfaction of their customers.
How many watt solar panels do I need for RV?
If you’re buying a solar panel that has about 100 watts of power, you can expect it to produce six amps per peak sunlight hour on the average. In this case, you can also look forward to about 30 amps daily. With this example, it can be safe to say that you are going to need two solar panels of about 100 watts each to supply power to your recreational vehicle on an average day.
What is the warranty?
There is no specific warranty that applies to all the products available right now on the market. For example, you can find products that come with a five-year warranty on the materials and 25 years on the power output. You can check for and compare them before buying a solar panel for the recreational vehicle.
How to install and use?
You can easily install and operate the folding solar panel for your camper or RV. In many cases, they come with battery clips for a quick and straightforward connection to your RV battery. The top-tier ones also come with a pre-installed controller as well as pre-wired for charging the battery. For specific instructions, you can also check out the user manual that comes with your purchase.
How to care & clean?
These products are easy to care for and clean. Many of them are also maintenance-free, at least to those that we’ve encountered. Nevertheless, you just have to take care not to break or drop it as well as dust the solar panel surface off for efficient charging.
Where to buy?
You can buy portable solar panels in Walmart, Lowe’s, eBay, Amazon, and other supplies stores. But for the best deals, you can find these in online marketplaces as well as on the manufacturer websites.
If you’re looking for the best portable solar panels for RV, you can refer to this buying guide that features excellent choices in the category. Each of these reviews also contains what to know about a specific product’s strengths and weaknesses as well as their unique features. With information, you’ll have a better idea of how these items differ from each other and how they suit your needs. Using it, you can select the right portable solar panel that matches your requirements. We’re hoping you can make a thorough comparison of these products and later select the perfect RV solar panel for your needs today!
Hi, I am Eddie, Cleanenergysummit’s content editor. It’s so much joy to work alongside Justin, as the idea of providing knowledge about using clean energy excites us.
I’ve been working to address any concerns or questions you may have as you transition to using solar electricity to power your home. Tune in to hear our advice and suggestions on anything clean energy. Welcome!