Best RV Solar Panels Reviewed & Rated for Quality

Solar panels were first discovered in 1839 by Edmond Becquerel, a French scientist. Over the next 100+ years, technology-focused solely on solar power advanced and continued to develop. The advancement in product development and improved solar materials made solar panels more economically usable and efficient. You can just imagine how people back in those times got their power and light source. They only had candles and burned wood for heat and energy. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that solar power energy really took off. With the launch of the Vanguard 1 weather space satellite, the solar power game changed. This solar power satellite orbited in space for one year that powered radios and other equipment. This jump in solar power advancement caused the space age to now depend on solar power. Coupling that revolutionary advancements in mobile home technology we were inclined to provide you with the guide on the best RV solar panels. 

Solar panels are designed to capture sunlight and convert it into energy/ power. Today, solar panels come in a variety of sizes and designs. There are many different uses for solar panels as well. We found that many people are not only adding them to the roof of their houses to save on their energy bill each month, but there are people who are purchasing recreational vehicles and traveling off the grid with them.

 

Featured Recommendations

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  • Renogy 160W 12V
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Zamp
  • Zamp
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  • Renogy Starter Kit
  • 4.5 out of 5
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  • Quick Power
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Are you thinking about buying a recreational vehicle (RV) one day or already own one? One of the most important factors you’ll have to consider is how you’ll get power to your RV. There are two options to get power to your RV, (1) connect to shore power at an RV park or campground and (2) purchase solar panels. Connecting to shore power may save you some money up front but by purchasing solar panels you will have more freedom on and off the grid.

RV solar panels will supply your RV with free, that’s right…FREE power from the sun. Purchasing a solar panel is extremely cost-effective. After extensive research, we have put together this guide to share with you the Top Ten RV Solar Panels on the market today. Continue reading to see what RV solar panel(s) will work best for your next adventure and say good-bye to traditional fuel-powered generators!

 

10 Best RV Solar Panels

 

Renogy 160W 12V

Renogy’s 160W 12V Solar Panel provides the most reliable and efficient solar panel on the market today. This is very important because if you are traveling off the grid and have no access to shore power, you will want to make sure you do have power just in case. This solar panel has a sleek but very durable design. From our research, we found that this solar panel can withstand heavy winds and snow, so no matter where you are or what conditions you are facing, you will have power.
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Durability and Effectiveness
Renogy’s 160W 12V Solar Panel is strong, built from durable materials, and is very popular due to its high energy conversion rate. You will find that this RV solar panel is the most favorable to consumers because of how reliable its 12V battery charger is, which gives you one less thing to worry about when you’re traveling off the grid and need a power supply.

Ease of Use
Renogy’s 160W 12V Solar Panel is very easy to install and use. What makes the installation of this specific solar panel simple is the MC4 leads that extend from the junction box, this can be found behind each panel. Connect these MC4 leads to an adaptor kit and voila - you are connected and ready to charge.

Cost and Value
Renogy’s 160W 12V Solar Panel is rated number 1 on our list of top ten solar panels because we believe you’ll get the most bang for your buck with this solar panel. Renogy’s 160W 12V Solar Panel is priced below many other 100W+ solar panels on the market and you honestly can’t beat this price.
Pros

Made of durable materials that can withstand storms

Can connect multiple devices to solar panel

Easy installation because of the pre-drilled holes located on the backside

5-year material & workmanship warranty + 25-year transferable power output warranty

Cons

Weight of solar panel, heavy

Zamp

Coming in second is Zamp Solar 160P Solar Portable Charge Kit. This solar panel lands itself in the top three on our list because of how sufficient this product is. Whether you are off exploring nature in a cloudy area or an open field with no trees in sight, Zamp Solar 160P Solar Portable Charge Kit guarantees that you will still charge up. This solar panel is user-friendly and is ready to use right out of the box.
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Fast Installation
Are you searching for an “open and go” portable solar panel for your RV? Are you frequently traveling off the grid? We believe that this solar panel on our top ten list is the best option for you because it sets up very fast, just open and go. Whether you are purchasing the single large panel or the flexible open panels. After you

Ability to Charge on Cloudy Days
The Zamp Solar 160P Solar Portable Charge Kit ensures charging on not so sunny/partial shade days. This solar panel is very popular for those who are traveling off the grid.

Cost and Value
Zamp Solar 160P Solar Portable Charge Kit is the most expensive solar panel on our top ten list. This solar panel is constructed by top quality materials and will give you peace of mind while off the grid.
Pros

FULL manufacturers warranty

Can be placed on the roof of RV or moved around for maximum sun exposure

Includes an easy to use portable carrying case

Cons

Weight of solar panel, heavy

Renogy Starter Kit

If you’re in search of a beginner solar power kit for your next off the grid experience, we believe that Renogy’s 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer may be the best choice for you. Below you’ll find some features that make this solar panel the best.
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Best for Beginners
As stated above, this solar panel is best for first-time solar panel buyers. It is ready to use right out of the box and even includes a PWM 30A charge controller with the brackets you need to easily set up your solar panel(s) and charger. The brackets included with this specific solar panel is unique because it has a Z design that allows you to charge your battery with no issues and at the same time also mount your panel(s) safely.

All-in-One Kit
After thorough research, we believe that this kit is perfect for your next adventure because it includes everything you need to run a new solar panel system for your RV. This versatile 100W 12V Poly/Mono solar panel can be temporarily or permanently mounted on the roof of your RV and you can connect up to 3 solar panels if needed to the charge controller included. We have found that this solar panel is very favorable to customers who permanently mounted their solar panel(s) to the RV because while they were driving, they were still able to charge up their system, rather than having to disassemble and reassemble when they have reached their destination.

Cost and Value
Renogy’s 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer is exceptionally priced. Purchasing this solar panel will help you enhance your next road trip.
Pros

Full solar panel system assembly is included in this kit

Charge controller included can be replaced and upgraded to one that is bigger

Easy installation

High energy conversion rate

Cons

Does not include tilt mount

HQST

HQST
Are you planning on travel out west during the winter? You may already know this but you will be in for fast winds and heavy snowfalls. With that in mind, we believe that HQST’s 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel is one of the solar panels on our list that you should seriously consider. Our favorite feature on this specific solar panel is the waterproof junction box that is located on the rear of the solar panel. You will have no regrets with this product!
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Top Quality Product
HQST’s 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel is another solar panel that will operate in low light environments. This solar panel is made out of low iron, high transparency, anti-reflective tempered glass with firmness and impact support. With this solar panel, you will feel comfortable knowing that you will have power under severe weather conditions due to its corrosion-resistant aluminum frame.

Easy to Use
This HQST solar panel unit is very easy to use. HQST’s 100W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel measures 39.7 X 26.7 X 1.4 In and only weighs 16.5lbs - lighter than other solar panels on our top ten list. Being much lighter makes this solar panel easier to maneuver while traveling. HQST’s 100W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel is extremely easy to install. This solar panel comes with pre-drilled holes in the back for swift mounting and security.

Cost and Value
HQST’s 100W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel is very well priced compared to other solar panels on our top ten list. It’s hard to pass this 100W 12V solar panel up because of the quality and price.
Pros

Has the capability to attach to a variety of different mounting systems (Z brackets, tilt mounts, or pole mounts)

High energy conversion rate

One of the more affordable solar panels on the market

5-year material & workmanship warranty + 25-year power output warranty

Cons

Recommended to purchase more than one solar panel for maximum use

Heavier than most solar panels on the market

WindyNation 100W Kit

WindyNation 100W Kit
We have another solar panel kit that presents exceptional quality and impeccable performance. WindyNation’s 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit includes everything you need to go on your next adventure on the road. Continue reading to see why we believe this solar panel landed on our top ten list.
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Optional Adjustability
WindyNation’s 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit is designed with the customer (you) in mind! This solar panel has easily adjustable up and down buttons on the charge controller which allows you to customize your system settings. You will have control over your system amperage, voltage, amp-hours, temperature, and more.

Size and Weight
You may be wondering how come this solar panel is much lighter than its other competitors on the list right? WindyNation’s 100 Watt Solar Panel measures 40 x 1.4 x 26.4 inches and only weighs 10.86lbs. Its lightweight capability will make set up quick and painless.

Cost and Value
WindyNation’s 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit is competitively priced. It is not the most expensive or least expensive on our top ten list, but this 100W 12V solar panel will assist in getting you the most power out of your charger.
Pros

Weight of solar panel is only 10.86lbs

User is able to adjust system settings via LCD Screen on the charge controller

Charge controller includes a battery temperature sensor

Easy installation

Cons

Must purchase additional wiring components to complete kit

Go Power! GP-PSK-120

Go Power! GP-PSK-120
Go Power has been the leading innovators of solar and mobile solutions since 1996. This portable solar panel is very favorable in today’s market because it sets up very quickly, has a 10-amp charge controller built in and is already designed with adjustable folding legs for maximum sunlight exposure. Also, if you don’t plan to mount your solar panel to the roof of your RV, this solar panel may be the perfect one for you!
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Effectiveness
This particular solar panel is unique on our list because it comes with the Anderson-style battery charging connectors. These connectors allow for easy interchangeable charging components that will best fit your charging needs. Knowing that you do not have to purchase additional connectors for this solar panel makes this one very favorable.

Ready Out of the Box
Go Power! GP-PSK-120 Solar Kit is extremely easy to use and is ready to go right out of the box. One of our favorite features of this particular solar panel is the adjustable folding legs that you can open up if you want the solar panels to tilt for more sun exposure. Many solar panels on the market do not have this feature built in - this can save you some money since you do not have to buy any additional mounts.

Cost and Value
After doing our research, this is much more expensive than its other solar panel competitors. We considered the quality of the materials and installation. It is ready to go right out of the box. Go Power! GP-PSK-120 Kit would be a great investment if you aren’t too worried about spending a few more extra bucks!
Pros

120 Watts

Portable folding unit

Multiple charging connectivity options

Easy to install and use

A built-in charge controller and adjustable legs

25-year warranty

Cons

Weight of solar panel, heavy

SUAOKI 100W

SUAOKI 100W
The SUAOKI 100W Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel is one of the most popular flexible solar panels on the market. This solar panel is made from top quality materials and will be a must on your next outdoor adventure. You’d be surprised, the SUAOKI 100W Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel is ultra light (under 10lbs) and has a high energy conversion rate of 20%, this is above average for solar panels in this price range. Continue reading to find out what other features makes this solar panel popular.
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Heavy Duty Materials
We were surprised to find out how durable this solar panel is. The SUAOKI 100W Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel can bend up to 30 degrees. It’s made up of ultralight, industrial strength EVA wraps that ensures it is protected at all times. Out of all the solar panels on our list, this is the lightest. Having a solar panel that can bend can be very convenient because you have the ability to install it anywhere and even on uneven/ bent surfaces.

User Friendly
The SUAOKI 100W Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel weighs less than 10lbs. For customers who are looking for a solar panel that is lightweight and efficient, this solar panel should be highly considered. Its compact size and lightweight design makes this solar panel easy to maneuver around and use. It is also flexible so you are not constrained to mount this on surfaces that are only flat.

Cost and Value
This option from SUAOKI is one of the more affordable solar panel options on the market. This solar panel is made up of industrial strength materials and lightweight design that makes this solar panel one of the top ten best solar panels on the market.
Pros

High energy conversion rate

Flexible up to 30 degrees

Lightest solar panel on our list (under 10lbs)

Easy to install

Cons

Can only be flex/bent up to 30 degrees - anything more will break

Renogy 400W 12V

Renogy 400W 12V
Another Renogy product makes its way onto our top ten list of best RV solar panels! This solar panel kit is the only solar panel on our list that is sold in a 4-pack, yes that’s right, a 4-pack. Research shows that this kit can ideally output 2000-watt hours/ day. To put this into perspective, you can fully charge a 100Ah battery that is at 50% in 1.5 hours. Renogy’s 400 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit includes the Adventurer charge controller. This is a very popular charge controller because it is specifically designed for RVs and has a built-in self-diagnostic and electronic protection functions to prevent damage.
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Easy to Use
After extensive research, this Renogy product has outstanding quality and is highly recommended. This solar panel is ready to use out of the box. If you are a beginner and just learning about solar panels/energy, this would be a great kit to start with. This kit includes everything that you need to start your off-road adventures.

Safety
Renogy’s 400 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit is very safe to use. As stated above, the charge controller has a built-in self-diagnostics and electronic protection functions that prevent damages. If you are thinking about running cables through your roof, this solar panel should be highly considered. It is safe to run the cables because the cable housing is UV resistant, offers dual entry, made of very strong ABS plastics and is water resistant.

Cost and Value
After extensive research, we believe that the Renogy 400 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit - with Adventurer offers the best quality and value for your money.
Pros

Customer saves money with 4-pack

Easy installation

Great customer service

One of the quieter solar panels on the market

Cons

Weight of solar panels, heavy

KOMAES 200W 12V

KOMAES 200W 12V
The KOMAES 200W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel Kit includes two 100W polycrystalline solar panels. We believe that you will get your money's worth with this 2-pack kit because like the other kits on our top ten list, it includes everything you need to get started. From our research, we discovered that many people who own RV’s are turning to solar panels for power and steering away from the traditional sources of power, like gas or connecting to shore power. Below we discuss some features that really make this specific solar panel stand out.
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Ease of Use
The KOMAES 200W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel Kit is ready to use right outside of the box. Whether you are traveling off the grid or on the road you can mount this solar panel on the roof of your RV or on the ground. These panels come with pre-drilled holes for fast mounting and security.

Durability
This solar panel is very strong - it’s designed to last for years. The KOMAES 200W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel Kit is one of the more unique solar panels on our list because its design includes a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame that is made to withstand mother nature's different elements.

Cost and Value
The KOMAES 200W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel Kit will help you save money and also help the environment. It is not only easy to use but also very easy to set up. Keep this solar panel it in mind for your next adventure!
Pros

Easy installation

Responsive customer service

2 sets of solar panels

Cons

Aluminum wiring vs. copper wiring

Weight of solar panels, heavy

ALLPOWERS 100W 12V

ALLPOWERS 100W 12V
ALLPOWERS designed the lightest solar panel on our list. This 100W 12V Solar Panel is ultra light and is also bendable up to 30 degrees. You will be able to use this while you are traveling off of the grid.
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Flexible and Convenient
ALLPOWERS 100W 12V Solar Panel is the lightest solar panel on our list. This solar panel weighs in at 4.7lbs and can also bend up to 30 degrees. With that being said, this solar panel can be easily moved around and mounted on or off of your RV.

Safety
This solar panel has FCC, RoHS and CE certifications. Also, to ensure safety, ALLPOWERS solar panels include technology that will keep you and your solar panels safe. To ensure safety they by have added a surge protector and short circuit.

Cost and Value
This USA made ALLPowers solar panel is the lightest solar panel on our list and it is worth every penny of yours. We can assure that you will not regret purchasing this solar panel for your next trip.
Pros

High energy conversion rate

Flexible up to 30 degrees

18-month guarantee

Light weight panels

Cons

Panels are flexible but if bent too much it will crack

 

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best RV Solar Panels

 

When it comes to purchasing an efficient and reliable solar panel for your RV you may be overwhelmed with all the different brands, sizes, designs, etc. that are out there in the market today. Continue reading to learn about the different criteria we used to determine the top ten best RV solar panels.

Solar Panel System Input & Output

You may be wondering how much power you will get from “x” amount of charge hours on your solar panel. From our research, we found an easy way for everyone to calculate that. For instance, we can assume that if you have a 100W solar panel and you get 4 hours of power, to calculate the amps you divide the 400 watt-hours (100W x 4 hours)  by 12V, very common voltage, which brings you to 33 amp hours. With that being said, the rule of thumb is that a 100W solar panel will generate about 30 amp hours which equals about 4 hours of energy time for your RV.

Size of Solar Panel

Firstly, you must determine what solar panel size and features will accommodate you and your RV. We have researched the best variety of solar panels that will charge multiple items once charged. Size options for your solar panel vary from, single large portable, nonportable, or flexible open panels. If you are planning to mount the solar panel on the roof of your RV you must first determine the appropriate size and go from there. It is important that you choose the right size so you can choose which solar panel will be the best and effectively get as much power from the sun as possible. Also, keep in mind that just because the solar panel may be the biggest, does not mean it is the most efficient.

Safety

All solar panels researched for this buyers guide has been extensively tested for top quality for guaranteed safety. All the solar panels on this list are also made out of very durable materials and can be UV and water resistant. Most solar panels are constructed with superior tempered glass which provides firmness and impact support. Other solar panels may include built-in self-diagnostics and electronic protection functions that prevent damages.

Other Factors to Consider

 

Installation/ Ease of Use

From pack and go, to installing a complete roof mounting kit to your RV, you have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing which solar panel(s) do you want to install. Our top ten list consists of the best options on the market right now. Whether you are looking to travel off the grid or just looking to go camping, it is best to choose the solar panel(s) that you feel comfortable installing.

Budget

Everyone’s budget varies so we recommend that you determine what your specific needs are first. During our research, we found solar panels that are less than $100 and some that are close to $800. On our list, you will also find solar panels that come in kits and some that are stand-alone and require you to purchase additional hardware/ connectors. Not everyone’s budget is the same so what works for one person may not work for the other. Just like we mentioned above criteria, size, just because the size of the solar panel is large, doesn’t mean it’s the best. The same could be said for the price of a solar panel, the most expensive solar panel may not be the best. In conclusion, it is best that you determine what you are looking for first.

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What do solar panels actually do?

A: Solar panels are devices that capture sunlight and turn that sunlight in electricity. Once the sun hits the solar panel(s), this creates electricity currents. These electrical currents travel to the charge controller where you can control how much electricity will go through the battery. The battery will produce DC power and then the connected inverter will change the DC power to AC power. We use AC power to power our household items such as our refrigerators, blenders, phone chargers, etc.

Q: What is the difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels?

A: We have learned from our research that all solar panels are are made of silicone but we see monocrystalline and polycrystalline options on the market. Like the name itself, mono-crystalline is made up of one crystal. Monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive than polycrystalline solar panels because they generate more energy and are more efficient. The total cost may be high up front but you will see the benefits a few months after you install your solar panels. Monocrystalline solar panels work very well during sunny and shady days.  On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels are made up of smaller crystals, this doesn’t mean they are a bad choice. Polycrystalline solar panels are much cheaper to produce but you will need to purchase more than one if you want to capture the same amount of solar power as a monocrystalline solar panel.

Q: What is the best RV solar panel?

A: We discussed the differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels above, and we recommend that the best solar panel would be the one that best suits your needs. Not all RV’s are the same so depending on which RV you have or plan to buy, it is recommended that you determine if you are mounting the panel on your roof or are you storing it away after each use. Also, you must take into consideration what you will be using the solar power for, are you needing it to only charge your RV battery or do you want to charge multiple items at once.

Q: What are the solar panels with the best easiest installation?

A:  Over the last 50 years, innovators have been making the installation of solar panels easier and easier. Almost all of the solar panels on our top ten list above are ready to use right out of the box. If they are not ready to use right out of the box, their installation is very basic and can be used by beginners.

Q: How much do solar panels weigh?

A:  Solar panels can weigh anywhere from 2 lbs all the way to 50lbs. We recommend that you determine what you need the solar panel for before you purchase one. If you are looking to mount the solar panel to your RV, you will have to make sure your roof or walls can hold/ support the weight. On the other hand, if you want to stow the solar panel away and only take it out when you need it, you may want to take into consideration features such as length, width, does it include a carrying/ protective case, etc.

Q: What are some benefits of purchasing solar panels for your RV?

A:  Solar panels can help you travel longer without having to stop for power at a campground. Buy having solar panels with you on the road, this gives you the convenience to mount the panels to your RV or only take them out when needed.

Q: Are there any items in your RV that you should not power with your solar panels?

A: From our research, we discovered that it is not recommended to use heating appliances such as hair irons or dryers. Using these items could possibly cause your appliances to blow up.

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