Best RV and Campervan Solar Panels – My Free Buyers Guide!
Not all RV owners are interested in solar-powering their vehicles, but if you’re an RV owner who is looking to espouse the green lifestyle, or wishes to go off-grid, or just want to plain ol’ save some cash for the long term, then you’ll want to install a few solar panels onto your RV.
Problem is with all the choices available out there, it can be quite challenging to find the best RV solar panels for the money.
But hey, it’s a good thing you’re reading this right now because the challenge is OVER! The Road Trip Guy comes to the rescue!
I’m about to let you in on what solar panels are worthy to be hooked up to your ride.
I want to thank my 12,000 monthly readers and their amazing feedback on how they installed their solar panels on the RV’s and which brands give the best bang for the buck.
Let’s check these high-tech motorhome solar panels, right now!
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel $127.98 $136.99 in stock 7 new from $127.98 2 used from $96.92 Check it out! Amazon.com Free shipping Last updated on February 14, 2019 9:19 pm
When it comes to solar panels for RVs and other related products, Renogy pretty much sits up around the top.
Aside from their variety of solar panels, their charge controllers and deep cycle batteries are regarded as some of the best on the market.
This campervan solar panel (of course, also suitable for other uses and vehicles) happens to be one of their highly acclaimed offerings, and having been using it for a good deal of time, I can see why so many folks are gushing over it (yours truly included).
The first plus point goes to the panel’s excellent durability.
Weighing in at approximately 16½ pounds, the frame is composed of fairly thick aluminum, which gives the panel a nice weighty, solid feel that’s typically absent in solar panels of the flexible variety.
Thanks to its small size, the panel can be easily transported and mounted onto the roof of your RV or campervan.
However, mounting hardware or brackets aren’t included with the panel.
As you would expect, Renogy produces their own mounting brackets so you’ll have to purchase them separately, unless you get the “Solar Starter Kit” version which is number #2 on this list.
To generate even more power, you can link up multiple panels together and it’s a total snap to do so.
As far as power output goes, the best I’ve gotten out of a single panel is 90 watts, and that’s when the sun is at its pinnacle with the panel properly angled.
Not bad, but so far, still no 100 watts output as advertised!
And that happens to be the only beef I have with this solar panel.
Other than this non-deal-breaking issue, I would say this is one of the best solar panels for campervan out there and I’m pretty certain you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.
Click Here To Find The Best Prices For The Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit w/ 100W Solar Panel + 30A PWM… $196.99 in stock 6 new from $196.99 5 used from $180.63 Check it out! Amazon.com Free shipping Last updated on February 14, 2019 9:19 pm
This package deal serves as an introductory kit for those who are wet behind the ears when it comes to solar technology for personal-consumer use.
The solar panel found in this kit is the very same one that we went over earlier, so right off the bat, this package deal is already about 65-70 percent good.
Whether the whole deal is up to mark or otherwise is dependent on the quality of the extras included with the bundle i.e. the PWM charge controller, mounting brackets, MC4 adaptor kit, and tray cable.
So are the extras worth their salt or do they belong in your RV trash can?
Well, if you’re looking for a no-frills PWM charge controller, the one that comes with the package (Renogy Wanderer 30A PWM Charge Controller) works just fine—shame that it doesn’t have an LCD display.
Although it goes without saying that its efficiency is not up to snuff compared to an MPPT controller, but for solar panel installations that deliver under 500 watts of power, a PWM controller such as this is adequate.
With this simple charge controller at your disposal, you can put your concern about draining the battery in your RV or camper trailer to rest.
It’s interesting to note that several solar panels for RVs reviews that I read online, grumbled about how difficult it is to put together the wiring for the charge controller, but my experience was completely the opposite (though I do know a bit about electrical circuits).
Honestly, I can’t find any faults with the bundled items. They all work like they are supposed to.
The mounting brackets are solid and with the supplied wires, hooking the whole thing up was virtually a walk in the park for me.
To sum things up, this ideal for campervan solar panel kit is truly bang for the buck.
With a top notch 100 watts 12 volts solar panel aptly combined with a number of useful and reliable extras, this package deal is undoubtedly a superb choice for solar panel newbies.
Click Here To Find The Best Prices For The Renogy Package Deal
HQST 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel Off-Grid RV and Boat Kit with 30A PWM LCD… $152.09 $168.99 in stock 2 new from $152.09 Check it out! Amazon.com Free shipping Last updated on February 14, 2019 9:19 pm
Here’s another package deal but from a different company called HQST. It’s almost identical to Renogy’s bundle, but this kit does not include a tray cable (at the time of writing).
This cable is needed to link up your RV’s battery to the charge controller. Extra fuses are required as well but not supplied.
One thing I like about this kit is its charge controller which is a no-brainer to read, and the LCD provides an assortment of helpful data such as the charge progress of your battery, amps and voltage info, etc.
Like the controller that’s included with the Renogy kit, this one is also a PWM type and it’s really decent enough for the job.
Installation is easy, so long as you have a little understanding and experience pertaining to electrical circuits. If you have none, don’t worry because the setup isn’t exactly complicated.
The user manual and Google are your friends in case of trouble.
In terms of construction quality and performance of the panel, it’s about the same as well, though with this one, 86 watts is the best I’ve seen so far.
Click Here To Find The Best Prices For The HQST 100 Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel
Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100W 12V High Efficiency Module Rv Marine Boat Off Grid
Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel 100W 12V High Efficiency Module Rv Marine… $85.20 $98.67 in stock 2 new from $85.20 2 used from $83.50 Check it out! Amazon.com Free shipping
Grab two of these plus either an MPPT or a PWM charge controller, and you’ll have yourself a pair of cheap RV solar panels that are surprisingly reliable.
Since anodized aluminum is used to make the frames, the stability of the panel is first-rate all the way. It’s a very durable piece of panel and quite hefty as well—about 20 pounds heavy.
Do keep in mind, however, that by “cheap,” I mean to say that it is cheaper than the first two solar panels on this list.
At the time of this write-up, each panel is just a hundred bucks a piece!
Click Here To Find The Best Prices For The Newpowa 100 Watts Solar Panel
These are some of the best RV solar panels I’ve come across so far, and my top recommendation goes to..
#2 – The Renogy package deal!
For me, it’s the ultimate solar panel starter kit and a pretty fantastic deal considering the extras thrown in.
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