Worrying about electricity when you’re on the road is a buzzkill? Who nears where a faulty generator, bad transmission, or a worn-out battery might leave you stranded? To tackle that, and take a step towards a better future, a solar panel is a great choice to look into!
By effectively converting solar energy into electricity, you won’t have to worry about anything! On the plus side, they’re also easy to set up and won’t take much of your time. Let’s get right into it!
- Best Portable Solar Panels for RV Choices
- Comparison table of Top 10 Portable RV Solar Panels
- Our 10 Picks of Best Portable Solar Panels for RV
- 1. Go Power! GP-PSK-130 Portable Folding Solar Kit
- 2. Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit
- 3. Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panel
- 4. Renogy Off Grid Portable Foldable Solar Panel
- 5. HQST 4 Packs Polycrystalline Solar Panel
- 6. Newpowa Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 7. WindyNation Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid RV Boat Kit
- 8. ALLPOWERS Solar Panel
- 9. Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase
- 10. AIMTOM SolarPal Portable Solar Panel
- Things to consider when buying best portable solar panels for RV
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final Thoughts
Best Portable Solar Panels for RV Choices
2020 has introduced us to a lot of great models. However, due to such a large influx, the market saturation is at an all-time high, and you might have trouble picking the right fit for your RV.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. To help you get the best model for your vehicle, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling the best portable solar panels currently available in the market. To get you started, here’s a compilation of them featuring their main attributes!
Comparison table of Top 10 Portable RV Solar Panels
Our 10 Picks of Best Portable Solar Panels for RV
I’ve briefly reviewed all the products mentioned above down below. As a little summarizing note that’ll help you out in the end, I’ve also added a few pros, cons, and a bottom-line with my final verdict.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 picks of the best portable solar panels for RV!
1. Go Power! GP-PSK-130 Portable Folding Solar Kit
It’s customary to start things fresh and with the best. On that note, let’s go with the Go Power! GP-PSK-130 Portable Folding Solar Kit. My premium pick for all of you, here’s what I like about this model!
The Go Power comes in a carrying case that means when you’re not using this portable model, you can conveniently store it away as well. However, with an output of 130W, you might need it out more than you think.
But don’t let that hold you back. This model is durable enough to accommodate around the clock use. To supplement that, I also liked the wire cables that came with this model. Strong and sturdy, no wonder this model can perform under all weather conditions!
On top of that, the installation was a breeze as well. There wasn’t much to worry about, and I got the job done in one go. Nonetheless, for the best results, I’d highly recommend looking into online videos to help you out as well.
However, before we go further, it’s compulsory that we go over a few de-merits as well.
The Go Power has a few shiny metal components, such as the hinges and catches. After some time, they’ll start rusting. It would’ve been so much better if they were aluminium.
Another thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that the LEDs aren’t really visible in the sunlight, so you’ll have to make arrangements accordingly.
The Go Power! GP-PSK-130 Portable Folding Solar Kit is recommended for all types of users out there looking for something reliable!
2. Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit
The Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit is a high functioning model that can get a decent amount of charging done. If you choose this model, here’s what you should anticipate!
Featuring an anti-corrosion frame due to its aluminium construction, the Renogy is a great choice if you’re heading out in the rainy season. Since it can handle moisture quite well, say hello to minimal maintenance, and quality checkups post-rain!
Another great thing is the advanced encapsulation material. I think it’s a pretty neat feature to have since it makes sure that cell performance is enhanced, and the interior of the kit is durable. If you value longevity, this is a great thing to have.
Plus, I also dig the fact that the Renogy comes equipped with everything needed for a complete setup. It saves me a lot of time and double trips, and I think everyone can benefit from that.
However, there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind when making the last call.
The installation might be a little hard to work with, especially since the manual isn’t that good. I’d recommend opting for online resources.
On top of that, the Bluetooth connection app has a poor interface – I’d suggest skipping it.
The above cons aren’t much of a big deal, so if you can work with them, I’d recommend going with the Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit!
3. Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panel
Elegant, smart, and easy to use, the Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panel is a great option to consider if you’re planning to make your RV more sustainable. Here’s what I like about this model!
The best thing about this model is its compact nature. I really like this feature since it allows me to move around with the model, even when it’s not in use! This is because the foldable design has a rubber handle, which is a pretty good addition to make things so much easier!
On top of that, I also dig the fact that the Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panel has a USB port. Making camping fun and so much easier, I never have to worry about my electronics going out of charge!
Overall, this is a pretty good pick and produces enough solar power to get you by. But be careful, you won’t be able to work that many things with it since it only peaks at 60W.
Now, before making the final call, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.
The Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panel is not waterproof. If it rains, or even if there’s excessive moisture, you’ll need to pack things up.
On top of that, it’s a little bit of a letdown that you can’t charge things simultaneously, so if you’re working the generator, you can’t put on your phone!
The Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panel is a small and compact model. If that’s what you’re looking for, go for it!
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4. Renogy Off Grid Portable Foldable Solar Panel
The Renogy Off Grid Portable Foldable Solar Panel is the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality. A personal favorite, here’s what I think you’ll like best about this model!
The Renogy’s main feature is that it comes with overcharge protection. This means you won’t have to worry about keeping this model on and connected at all times. This really puts me at ease, since I can leave the charge overnight and not worry about any damage!
On top of that, the adjustable stand made out of aluminium is favorite. Sturdy and durable, it makes the setup and maintenance of the Renogy so much easier to handle and deal with!
The Renogy Off Grid Portable Foldable Solar Panel also comes in a protective casing that makes transport easier. I vouch for this case since it’s solidly made and comes equipped with alligator clips, so you won’t have to worry about it opening by itself.
Before making the final call, however, I think there are a few things on the contrary that deserve to be highlighted as well.
The handle for easy carrying and travel don’t have rubber coating, so it heats up very easily if it’s hot out.
On top of that, the folding legs, though sturdy, are a little shaky and invite doubt.
If the cons mentioned above don’t bother you, then I highly recommend the Renogy Off Grid Portable Foldable Solar Panel to you!
5. HQST 4 Packs Polycrystalline Solar Panel
The HQST 4 Packs Polycrystalline Solar Panel is geared towards optimal performance and giving you the best bang for your buck.
Manufactured from an anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron tempered glass, the HQST is notable for its sturdiness and willingness to take a hit. I like this because it puts me at ease, especially when the panel is on top and I’m driving at full speed.
Another thing that I really liked was the pre-drilled holes that made the mounting and installation a breeze. If there’s one thing for certain, the HQST is a work of art when it comes to setup.
The HQST 4 Packs Polycrystalline Solar Panel also features a corrosion-resistant aluminium frame and has encapsulated internal cells, which means when these two works together, the result is a long-lasting effect which means you’re all packed for the long run!
Before my final verdict, let’s go over a few downsides that I think you’ll need to be wary of.
The HQST is a little heavier than one might think. So, if you’re planning to go lightweight or value that feature for your vehicle, this model is a no-go.
Another thing you’ll have to watch out for is that this model doesn’t come with any mounting hardware.
The HQST 4 Packs Polycrystalline Solar Panel is a great heavy-duty model to consider if you’re planning on taking a serious adventure. I recommend it to all users!
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6. Newpowa Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Easy to use and setup, the Newpowa Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a great model to consider if you’re looking to take your first step towards a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious RV!
The one thing I really like about the Newpowa is that it’s easy to install. This makes it a great pick for beginners and people who’re just starting out with solar panels. It’ll make it easier to ease into the process!
As far as performance is concerned, the Newpowa Monocrystalline Solar Panel performs quite well. However, there’s a catch.
The Newpowa is great as long as the suns out. If it gets cloudy, this model’s capacity takes a hit, and its performance is sub-optimal. That’s why this model isn’t a prime pick. It’s good, but it isn’t great.
There are, nonetheless, a multitude of things you might need to watch out for. The main one is as follows.
I found the Newpowa Monocrystalline Solar Panel a little bit tough to deal with when it came to the RV. Generally, the setup was easy. But when it came to mounting it to the RV, I had to get my hands dirty.
To get it done, you’ll need to modify things a little bit, and I’m very much against that.
The Newpowa Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a good model to consider, but if I’m being honest, I’d suggest you look into others. It’s better than what the market has but not as good as other features on this list.
The Newpowa Monocrystalline Solar Panel is definitely a good model to consider. However, there are better models out there that I think you should consider looking over!
7. WindyNation Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid RV Boat Kit
The WindyNation Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid RV Boat Kit is a reliable and trustworthy model worth a shot. Here’s what I like best about this!
The first thing that’s noticeable and deserves a shout out is its kit. Coming equipped with almost everything you’ll ever need for complete setup and maintenance, you won’t have to worry about a thing. But remember, the keyword is almost here.
Another great thing about this model is its LCD screen. Other than its bright appearance, it has a simple interface that lets me know many different things, such as the system amperage, voltage, amp-hours, temperature, and the DC load draw.
As far as setup and installation are concerned, the process wasn’t that hard and just required a little bit of attention to detail. I don’t think you’ll have any issues with that if you’re comfortable with getting your hands a little dirty.
Before making the final call, nonetheless, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.
As mentioned above, the kit’s got almost everything – its technically incomplete. Furthermore, I found the instruction manual to be a bit lacking. For best use, hence, I’d suggest you look up resources online!
The WindyNation Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid RV Boat Kit is a solid heavy-duty model that you shouldn’t look over. Go for it!
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8. ALLPOWERS Solar Panel
Easy-to-use, simple, and suitable for all types of users out there, I now introduce to you the ALLPOWERS Solar Panel!
The best thing about this model is its super durability. The ALLPOWERS Solar Panel is water-resistant and semi-flexible, which means you won’t have to worry about its storage. This is quite favorable since it means I can place it in spaced/crowded areas without worries of it breaking.
Another interesting feature that this model has is its bendable panel. One of a kind, the ALLPOWERS can curve to a max of 30 degrees. I’m a huge advocate for that because it allows for setup on irregular surfaces.
As far as performance is concerned, this model can definitely hold its own. However, since it’s so small and compact, it only cranks out 50W. But I think that’s a plus since this model is literally so light you won’t even notice that it’s there.
On the contrary, there are a few demerits to it as well.
The plastic sheeting over the panels is a little flimsy and poorly applied. It doesn’t really do much for functionality but definitely takes up aesthetic points.
Furthermore, I found the panel wire junction on the front a little hectic to deal with. Personally, I would’ve liked it if it were in the back, it makes setup so much easier!
The ALLPOWERS Solar Panel is a great reliable model that I can personally vouch for. If you’re looking for something small and easy-maintenance, I would highly recommend going for this model!
9. Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase
Starting off the bottom 2 of the list, I first present to you the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase. Subtle, elegant, and classy, there’s a whole lot more to expect from the Goal Zero. Here’s what you should look forward to!
The best thing about this model is its premium construction. I like it a lot because it adds more durability to it and puts me at ease because I don’t have to worry about it caving into pressure.
The Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase features a rigid anodized aluminium and tempered glass. The perfect mix of the two, I’m sure you’ll also appreciate how well it’s designed.
Another great thing about the model is its folding briefcase enclosure. When not in use, you can literally store the Goal Zero under the driver’s seat, that’s how easy it is to travel with it.
Likewise, the setup is also pretty simple and doesn’t really require any technical finesse to get the job done. For this reason, this model is optimal for camping or off-grid situations!
The only downsides to this model are two.
I found the leg/stands to be a little loose, so it might swing around if there’s wind or if it’s set up improperly. Personally, I think handling would have been so much easier if there were more friction.
The second thing that bothers me is the panel itself. When out in the open sun, it gets pretty heat when fully charged, which makes moving a little bit of a hassle.
Cons aside, the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase is a great model to consider, and I recommend it for all users out there!
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10. AIMTOM SolarPal Portable Solar Panel
Last but not least, I present to you the AIMTOM SolarPal Portable Solar Panel. One of the best Solar panels for camping, here’s what I think you’ll like best about this model!
The AIMTOM SolarPal Portable Solar Panel is an eco-friendly choice that will make your RV so much more sustainable. It allows for faster and higher conversion rates, so you won’t have to wait long before this panel charges your stuff out!
One great thing I like about the AIMTOM is also that its electronics-friendly. I can charge basically whatever I want with it, which includes my laptop, smartphone, tablet, and my iPad. I think that’s a pretty solid bargain and makes my camping trips so much easier.
The AIMTOM SolarPal Portable Solar Panel is as good as it gets. However, there are a few factors that you might want to go over before making the final call for yourself.
Unfortunately, as it is, the frame isn’t waterproof, so you’ll always have to watch for moisture and surprise rainfall!
Secondly, the AIMTOM SolarPal Portable Solar Panel doesn’t cater to heavy-duty use. Yes, it’ll get the job done, but don’t expect it to charge your car battery in a couple of hours!
The AIMTOM SolarPal Portable Solar Panel is a great model that I can rely on, and I recommend it for all types of users out there!
Things to consider when buying best portable solar panels for RV
When out to buy the best portable solar panels for RV, there are a few things you’ll need to be wary of. Here are my top things to consider when making the final call!
Dimensions is an important thing to keep in mind when choosing a model. This is because dimensions will give you an idea of what you can fit on the roof and what you can’t.
Portable solar panels produce a multitude of power outputs. It’s your choice to opt for a model that produces enough output to accommodate your needs.
If you’re planning to charge and work with a multitude of your RV’s features, then it’s a good idea to shoot for anything above 150W.
It’s always a good idea to get a model that’s easy to set up. Choose a DIY kit that’s easy to work with and you’ll thank yourself down the road.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The more you know, the better. If you’re planning to make the most out of your solar panel, it’s a good idea to ask the right questions. Here, I’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions by users!
1. How many solar panels do I need to run an RV?
This depends quite a lot on how frequently you use the RV, or how you use it, and the region you live in. As an aggregate measure, however, you might need a minimum of two solar panels with a mean power output of 100W between them.
2. Are solar panels for an RV worth it?
Yes, definitely. Solar panels for your RV is a great idea to power other energy sources, especially the generators. However, be warned, this isn’t a reliable way to run things if you’re planning to operate your vehicle solely on solar energy.
3. Can you run an RV air conditioner with solar power?
In theory, yes. however, that will require a lot of solar energy to get the job done, something that can’t be easily accommodated with the current models out there. plus, you’ll need to make a lot of electrical upgrades as well.
4. What are the 2 main disadvantages to solar energy?
The two main disadvantages are the expense for optimal storage for the energy generated, and the initial investment required to get things running.
5. What should I consider when getting solar panel for RV?
The main things you’ll need to keep in mind are the dimensions of the panel and the power it generates. Everything else is secondary!
6. Are solar panels on RV hard to install?
Yes. Installing solar panels on the RV require a little technical finesse. However, with a good manual and a little bit of will-power, anyone can tackle the task at hand!
7. Can my RV run on solar panel alone?
Not really. This isn’t a good idea, since the power required for this task will mean you’ll have to virtually change the electrical layout of your vehicle. Instead, use the solar energy for other tasks!
8. Can a solar panel be connected directly to a battery?
Yes, you can. However, that isn’t it a good idea because the solar panel will be putting out more voltage than the battery can handle, something that can seriously damage the latter.
9. Are solar trickle chargers any good?
Yes, solar trickle chargers are a great option to consider. However, make sure that you pay attention when they’re charging. Since they don’t have any overcharge protection, you run the risk of seriously damaging your unit!
10. Can you leave a solar trickle charger on all the time?
No, that’s not a good idea. This will damage the battery in the long run!
A good solar panel for your RV is a step towards a more sustainable future; it’s definitely the right step forward. If you already own any of the models mentioned above and have any type of feedback, or have any general recommendations or suggestions, do share them in the comment section below!