🥇[TOP 5] Best RV Solar Panels Review – Panel, Suitcase And Kit

Best RV Solar Panels

Best RV Solar Panels

Renewable energy source popularity is on the rise lately. Just for a small investment upfront, you can save a lot of electricity fee in the long run. And to people that enjoy traveling in the RV, this means they will be less dependant on shore power and alike. So do you want to cut down your RV operating cost as well? If you do then this article will show you some of the best RV solar panels you can find on the market. Check them out and see if anything that catches your eyes.

Generally, the solar panels may vary a lot from one to another. From the panel material to its size, not everything is the same. The difference can be partially explained by their price tags. A functional solar energy system consists of solar panels, control box, inverter, cables, wires and batteries. So besides the panel, you will eventually need to purchase additional components.

The way that solar panels work along with features that you need to consider

How the entire system operates is pretty simple, actually. When sunlight touches the panels, the solar panels will start generating electricity and transmit it to the control box to the batteries. These batteries then run the electricity straight to the converter. The DC power from the batteries will be converted to AC power here for the RV electric appliances usage. That should cover the basic information that you should know about solar energy principle.

Next, it’s time to talk about solar panel specifications. These numbers are very important if you want to successfully equip your RV with solar power. For the most part, you shall need to inspect the panel size, its material, power and weight. Each RV in each condition may make one type of panel the better choice than the rest. Therefore, pay attention and think carefully before you come to the final decision.

Top 5 Best RV solar panels

WindyNation Solar Panel

B00FE45FD4

  • Panel sizes: 40 x 26.4 x 1.2 in
  • Weight: 18 lbs
  • Energy: 100W
  • Panel material: Poly – crystalline

This is another quality solar panel you can find around. A minor downside is that it uses a less efficient panel material. To overcome this disadvantage, the panel size is quite large. Hence, it’s maybe difficult to install on a small size RV. Instructions are easy to follow and installation is simple. You will also find it in a more affordable price tag too.

Pros

  • Less expensive than other panels

Cons

  • Panels efficiency is not very good
  • The panel size is substantially larger

HQST Flexible Solar Panel

B017OMTAV6

  • Panel sizes: 41 x 21 x 0.2 in
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Energy: 100W
  • Panel material: Mono – crystalline

This one is among the best and popular solar panel on the market. It got this reputation due to high-quality material and excelled output. Made from Mono-crystalline, the panel has employed the most effective solar technology available. The energy conversion rate is powerful and fast. At only 4 lbs, the panels are very light and portable. It also makes it easy for transportation purpose.

While classic solar panels use aluminum to encase the cell, HQST uses thin plastic sheets. Aluminum increases the panel durability but makes it heavy and hard to transport. So to avoid end up with too much weight, HQST laminated it Mono – crystalline cell into the plastic panel. The result is a light, flexible product that you can conveniently carry and install. Even with the plastic, the panels still remain strongly built.

Pros

  • Very light and mobile
  • Can’t be unintentionally shattered or broken
  • Possesses high energy efficiency
  • Affordable to most people wallet

Cons

  • If you don’t secure it properly, it may be blown away

Renogy Solar Suitcase

B00HR8YNK6

  • Panel sizes: 32 x 27 x 3 in
  • Weight: 29.8 lbs
  • Energy: 100W
  • Panel material: Mono – crystalline

A product with priority on mobility, this innovative solar panel can provide your RV with electric wherever you go. The panel is built with a portable mindset and off – the – grid occasions. The solar panel will constantly charge your batteries and keep your appliances operational at the same time. It’s also an all – in – one system. You want a portable solar charger. This is the best you can get.

Pros

  • Manufacture with high standard and quality material
  • There is no need for installment

Cons

  • It can’t be used as permanent energy source. Suitable only for occasion usage
  • The panel provides less energy than any of the above panels

ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel

B013E07FNM

  • Panel sizes: 42 x 22 x 1.5 in
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs
  • Energy: 100W
  • Panel material: Mono – crystalline

ALLPOWERS is a well-known corporation in the solar energy. So you can expect that this product from them will employ efficient designs and top – of – the – line materials. With a 100W output at 12V, this is a lot of power considering the panel lightweight. It is claimed that the panel efficiency can reach between 22 – 25%. This is a very high conversion rate, it may even stay among top solar panels in this aspect. The use of Mono – crystalline cell can be said to be a large factor in the product success.

Utilizing plastic sheet and durable laminate, the panels is both tough and flexible. You will have little trouble installing it on uneven surfaces. Since there isn’t any glass in or around it, shattering is no longer a concern. There is also mounting hole so you can secure with anything you like from rope to screw and bolt.

Pros

  • Extremely light
  • Possesses mounting holes
  • Got strong laminate coating

Cons

  • The delivering service needs some improvements. There are complaints about damaged products by customers when they receive it.

Go Power! (GP-FLEX-100) Solar Panels

B00HSLZRWK

  • Panel sizes: 41.7 x 21.3 x 0.6 in
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Energy: 100W
  • Panel material: Mono – crystalline

If you feel that flexibility, light weight and durability can’t get along, this panel will prove otherwise. GP-FLEX-100 can be bent up to a 30-degree angle and still intact. It’s also extremely tough that even if you drive a car over the panel, there’s hardly any damage. The panel is just that tough and still remains very light.  With the offer of a large saving in electricity cost in off – the grid trip, it appealing is undisputable.

Pros

  • Easy to adapt to any surface
  • At minimum weight, carrying the panel is easy
  • Installation is straightforward and simple

Cons

  • The panel quality is not consistent. Some may generate lower electricity than it should be

A recommended solar panel kit: Renogy Solar Panel Kit

B00B8L6EFA

  • Panel sizes: 47 × 21.3 × 1.5 in
  • Weight: 16.5 lbs
  • Energy: 100W
  • Panel material: Mono – crystalline

If you want something basic and efficient, this product is for you. The Renogy solar panel kit offers a considerably faster charging rate compared to any other. With components in the kit, you can expand your current solar system or a start a new one, depend on your taste. It versatility hence fit in well with an RV. This kit includes solar panels, adaptor bundle and control box. Since the control box is designed to be close to the control box in the setup, you no longer need an extension cable.

The high energy conversion feature of the Mono – crystalline panel will significantly shorten the recharge time. In normal condition, it can fully charge the usual 12V battery in less than a day worth of sunlight. The kit is also well – protected from the weather and very durable. So it’s another big plus for outdoor environment such as a traveling in an RV.

Pros

  • The kit comes with pretty much all you ever need
  • With powerful panels, the charging time is relatively short
  • Quality and durability of the component are respectable

Cons

  • Quite bulky and cumbersome compared to other more flexible systems

 

Buying Guides – How To Choose The Best RV Solar Panels

High Wattage Cells

The output power of solar panels is dependent on how many watts each panel cell produces. The cell and the solar panel will both be more productive if the wattage is greater.

High-efficiency panels must be purchased with higher wattage to get more electricity. However, there are some issues that can arise during the installation of solar panels.

You should therefore consider solar panels that have high wattage ratings, both for flat and angled installations.

Power

Power self-sufficiency is our number one reason to install solar panels on an RV. There are limitations on how much solar energy you can capture and the power output that you can expect to get, but a decent kit with solar panels will provide everything you need to be self-sufficient.

Solar panels allow you to recharge your batteries without worrying about whether you are boondocking most of the time or just a few days a month away from power.

There are limits to the amount of power you can produce. A solar power system makes it easier to be self-sufficient for dry camping or boondocking.

Batteries

You will need additional batteries if you plan to use solar panels to power your RV. Most RVers prefer 12v batteries. There are two options for RV batteries: lead-acid or lithium-ion. Each has its own pros and cons.

The most common battery for RV campers is lead-acid batteries. They are inexpensive and long-lasting, which is why they are so popular. They should be replaced every 5 years and, depending on which type, may require frequent maintenance.

The cost of lithium-ion batteries is significantly higher than that of lead-acid. They are also more durable, more efficient, and store more energy. Lithium-ion batteries can be worth the extra cost for those who boondock full-time.

However, if you only use the batteries for a few trips per year, you may be able to get away with just a few lead-acid batteries.

Efficiency

An efficiency rating is a measure of how much sunlight a solar panel can convert to usable electricity. Higher efficiency means more energy. While the efficiency of average panels is around 15%, advanced models may achieve a higher level of efficiency at well over 20%. To determine the firing efficiency of your solar panels, you should consider the power consumption of any appliances on your vehicle.

Credibility

It is important to verify the information regarding the brand from which you intend to purchase a solar panel. It is important to verify whether the panel is bankable, how it has performed in the past, and what its annual performance is. Many companies offer warranties for 25 years on different parts of solar panels. It is important to choose a panel from reliable manufacturers. It can be difficult to find the right company that produces high-quality solar panels.

Voltage

The voltages for RV solar kits range from 5V to 9V, 12V to 18V, 24V to 48V, 48V to 55 Volts. Solar panels operate on 12V, 24V, and 48V inputs. You can match the panels in parallel or series.

A solar panel with a higher voltage (24V/48V) is more efficient than one that runs on 12V. A 12V solar system draws a greater current and requires thicker cables to transport that much current. If you plan to run the panel at higher voltages, it is necessary to reduce the wire gauge.

Dimensions and shapes of RV

A solar panel that will fit an RV’s roof is the first requirement. It is essential that the panel can be installed on a roof that has sufficient space and can hold its weight.

Smaller panels may work better for smaller vans and RVs. A larger panel may be more practical for larger vans that require greater energy.

Before you can decide which product is best, measure the area where the panels will be installed. The panel’s use is dependent on the area of your roof. These restrictions can be matched with panels by looking at the following list with dimensions and weights.

Durability

Because solar panels are exposed to the elements, they can easily wear out and age. However, choosing a durable kit can prolong the life of your solar power system. Do not settle for cheap models. They won’t last as long as you expect. It’s not a good idea to go back and read reviews in order to find a replacement. If you look at it this way, you won’t be able to save much money. It might cost you even more and add on the hassles and inconveniences.

Portability

Make sure you check the portability of your solar power system before you sign the contract. A portable system is essential for your recreational vehicle. You will be carrying it around with you, so it is important to make it easy to transport.

It’s likely that it will be portable so it will be simple and easy to install. If you are already looking for a large solar power kit, don’t let that discourage you. I recommend that you get a kit with cables to move it around.

Warranty

A solar panel must have an extended warranty. Most companies offer a warranty for all parts of the panel. You can contact the company to have any damage or problems repaired or replaced. You can also request maintenance free of charge.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are solar panels?

Scientists discovered something called the “photovoltaic effect” in the 1800s. This is when certain materials produce an electric charge and current under sunlight. There were many attempts over the years to make “solar engines,” but they had low efficiencies. Scientists discovered that silicon, which is found in sand, could be used to create a more efficient solar panel in the 1950s.

The initial discovery led to the creation of solar cells that harness sunlight’s energy to generate electricity. Although technology has changed over time, the basic concept of solar cells remains unchanged.

A solar panel is a panel that contains solar cells. These solar cells capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. This energy can be used to power homes, businesses, coffee pots and even your RV!

Is it possible to use an RV solar panel for my AC unit?

If you have a solar panel/battery/inverter set-up that generates enough power, you can use it to power your AC unit. AC units can drain a lot of power so you won’t likely be able run it continuously for many days.

What number of solar panels are required to operate an RV?

A 100-watt solar panel can produce approximately 30A hours of electricity per day. You can now easily calculate the number of panels required to run your RV. You can also compare your battery capacity in Ampere Hours with the solar output of watts. This will give you an idea of how many panels you need to place on top of the solar kit.

How much power do I need?

This is a difficult question because everyone has different power requirements or wants. You will need more solar panels and battery if your RV is to be fully powered. This article will help you calculate your power requirements.

Can solar panels be used at night?

To produce electricity for your RV, solar panels require sunlight. It will not work in darkness. You can access power through the solar panel system overnight thanks to net metering or solar storage technology. This is possible if the solar panel’s production is interrupted by either an electric grid connection or a battery.

Is my solar panel weather-proof?

Because solar panels are likely to be exposed to the elements, manufacturers make them waterproof. There are different levels of weatherproofing available for various pieces, such as brackets and controllers.

Are higher voltage panels better?

It depends on what you mean when you say “higher voltage”. Nearly all 12-volt panels work at 17 volts. We have recently seen some places that tout their high voltage panels (of the order of 21-23 volts) on the basis of better performance in hot and low light conditions.

It is not true. It is simply not true. Panel voltage drops very little under low light. The amps are what drop. Modern panels must reach temperatures above 175 degrees F in order to drop below 15 V, which is more than enough to charge a standard battery.

One of these same companies claims their 100-watt panel produces more power that a Kyocera 130-watt panel. They neglect to mention that they used an MPPT control on their panel and a standard Morningstar control on the Kyocera panel for their “test”. This is similar to saying our pump pumps faster into a 2-inch line than the competitors. Some claims are borderline unethical. We leave that up to you. It is hype at best, not fact.

Are my solar panels maximizing their potential?

For the best solar panel performance, place them where they will receive the maximum sunlight exposure. This is the case for RVs. Avoid parking in shaded areas or places that block direct sunlight. You should also make sure to clean your panels of any debris or dust that could cause them to work less efficiently.

Are solar panels portable worth the investment?

You should make your calculations. However, portable panels rarely produce more than 200W and only a few hours per day to generate the entire 24 hour period of electricity. While portable panels are most beneficial for people who want to prolong the life of their batteries while boondocking but not for those who intend to live off solar power in their RV, they can also be useful for anyone else.

What amount of solar energy will my recreational vehicle require?

Camping without an AC generator is the easiest way to determine your recreational vehicle’s power requirements. This will allow you to determine how long our batteries can last without the use of generators.

It is possible that your batteries can provide energy for about 200 hours, but it will take you 3 days to drain them. This energy is not fully utilized. This energy can only be used at 75%.

This means that a 200 amp battery will yield 150 amps of usable power. This is divided by the time it takes for your batteries to run dry. This is 150 amp/hour divided by 3 days. Now you are aware that 50 amp-hours of electricity is consumed every day.

A 100-watt solar power kit can provide approximately 6 amps per hour during high sun. The kit can provide about 30 amp hours per day. To fully charge your vehicle, you will need to purchase a pair 100-watt solar panels.

Are the solar panels safe to use while driving?

Each setup is different, and each one has its own limitations. However, regardless of where the battery is connected, and how the panels interact with the RV’s other systems, the general answer to this question is yes. The solar panels will still charge even if you are on the move during daylight hours.

All of this is subject to sunlight exposure. If you are trekking in a shaded forest, they may not charge much.

It would be ideal to stay stationary in direct sunlight all day. They should still work if the panels receive sunlight and are properly connected.

Which type of solar panel works best?

There are three types, each with a different price range and efficiency. The best RV solar panel type depends on your energy requirements, budget, installation, and weather conditions.

Monocrystalline solar panels are made from the purest silicon possible and have the highest efficiency. Monocrystalline solar panels can withstand high temperatures and perform well in low-light or partially shaded conditions. Their only problem is their high price.

Polycrystalline solar panels are more affordable than monocrystalline panels and can be used for large-scale applications. They have smaller efficiencies than monocrystalline solar panels, but they aren’t as efficient as monocrystalline. They also don’t do well with heat.

New technology has made thin film solar panels more affordable, which makes them attractive for larger installations. Thin-film solar panels can be bent and are very adaptable. You could use them in many settings. Thin-film panels have a lower efficiency of 7-13% than crystalline panels, which are higher at 15-20%.

 

Conclusion

And those are among the most popular solar panels you can get in 2021, see anything you like? With solar energy, you don’t have to frantically search for shore power every time you part over in your RV. Now, you will have more freedom planning your trip across the land. And you can achieve that simply by examining the product above and purchase what you feel to be the best RV solar panel for your vehicle.

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