Best RV Solar Panels
Best RV Solar Panels

5 Best RV Solar Panels

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Researchers claimed that most people take a break from the hustle-bustle of their life in the form of traveling. RV is the best possible solution for your long journey. You would generally need several accessories while moving around in an RV, like a heater, dehumidifiers, and much more.

In this case, a solar panel can help distribute the load of accessories, and your traveling could become much better. We have researched a list of the best RV solar panels. Let’s take a look.

Best Choice

4.6/5

Newpowa RV Solar High-Efficiency Panel

Premium Choice

4.2/5

DOKIO 300w Charging Solar Monocrystalline Panel

Best in Budget

3.9/5

DOKIO 18V Foldable Monocrystalline USB Output Panel

Top 5 RV Solar Panels

Getting the best RV solar panel is a hectic task, as you would have to go into details of multiple items. Our research is based on the reviews of previous buyers and our own experience.

1. DOKIO 300w Charging Solar Monocrystalline Panel

Pros

  • Lightweight & Portable 
  • Waterproof & durable
  • Efficient 
  • Complete kit
  • Foldable

Cons

  • The maximum output is 116W, not 300W.

DOKIO provides one of the best solar panels in the market. Most customers usually complain about the incomplete kit of solar panels, which they have to buy afterward. No need to worry as this model has a complete kit for you.

The kit of this panel comes with a pair of SA connectors, bag, and transmitter.  So you don’t need to go the extra mile to buy any missing item. It is equipped with all the accessories needed for setting up a solar panel. 

Similarly, a new thing about this solar panel is that it is flexible. It is surrounded by safe packing and can be folded for charging it. So while traveling, you can place it on the roof, or while camping, you can charge the panel easily. 

It is made up of a monocrystalline material which allows more light to be stored in it. This helps provide greater efficiency than the classical solar panels while increasing its efficiency than any other classical solar panel. Hence, monocrystalline solar panels can store more light and work at greater efficiency

The best thing DOKIO has provided in this solar panel is its design. It is extremely thin as its thickness is only 0.9 inches. Its weighs only is 17lb, making it portable, and easy to mount anywhere you want. 

Furthermore, it can handle photovoltaic power of 300W and is the best source of charging for 12V batteries. However, an 18V power voltage for increased safety helps limit the overcharging and avoid short-circuiting. 

Features

  • Monocrystalline Material: Monocrystalline material allows more light to be stored while increasing the efficiency of the solar panel. 
  • Free Solar Controller: It can hold up photovoltaic power of 300W and is the best solar charger for 12V batteries.
  • Foldable: DOKIO 300w Solar Panel is surrounded by safe packing and folds up easily, making it easy to transport, mount and store.
  • Complete Kit: Comes with a pair of SA connectors, bag, and transmitter.
  • Dimensions: (41 × 21 × 1.1)inches

So far, you can see that this solar panel has exceptional features like extremely thin and high power dissipation. In our list, it is overall the best product because of its increased safety and high energy storing capability.

2. Newpowa RV Solar High-Efficiency Panel

Pros

  • Reliable 
  • Versatile 
  • Efficient 
  • Monocrystalline material 
  • Waterproof junction box
  • Air resistant

Cons

  • Inadequate packaging
  • Provides 160W power instead of 210W

Being human, we always wish to get the best for ourselves. Normally, the issue is the cost of the panels. The more features the solar panel has, the more costly it is. Newpowa gives you premium quality panels at low prices. 

This solar panel is based on classical design but has improved features compared to the new generation solar panels.  It has improved light storing and catching capability. You just need to mount these solar panels and make proper connections.

If you are looking for an efficient solar panel, then this is the best option available for you in the market. These cells have higher efficiency as they are the latest designed cells to capture photons of light and store them.

Most of the previously designed solar panels were damaged after some time owing to exposure to the atmosphere. For this purpose, this solar panel is made up of an aluminum frame that is highly corrosion resistant and keeps panels safe.

These panels are resistant to high winds of 2400pa and are waterproof as well. Moreover, they can sustain any kind of atmospheric effect due to enhanced durability.

It is a flatbed solar panel that can be set up on your RV’s roof. As you move around, the solar panel mounted at the top would continue to store energy, and you can use it for multiple accessories like heaters and dehumidifiers. 

The 3ft MC4 cable comes within the kit for establishing a connection with devices. Once connected, the solar panels tend to provide energy that t has stored all day long. The maximum power of this Newpowa solar panel is 210W.

You just need to mount it through the built-in mounting holes and establish the connection through the waterproof junction box.

Features

  • Highly Efficient: Most latest designed cells provide higher efficiency as they are the most latest designed cells for capturing photons of light and storing them.
  • Improved light Storing and Catching Capability: Comes with improved features such as light storing and catching capability compared to the new generation solar panels.  
  • Aluminum Frame: This solar panel comprises an aluminum frame that is highly corrosion resistant and keeps panels safe.
  • Air Resistant and Waterproof: These panels are resistant to high winds up to 2400pa and are waterproof, which helps sustain any atmospheric effect.
  • 210W of Power: The maximum power of this Newpowa solar panel is 210W. 
  • Dimensions: (64.57 ×  26.57 × 1.38) inches

In the end, we would recommend you to buy this highest-rated product because it is cost-effective and the working efficiency is off the charts. If you plan to travel in your RV soon, you should get this highly reliable and safe solar panel.

3. DOKIO 18V Foldable Monocrystalline USB Output Panel

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Reliable 
  • Efficient 
  • Monocrystalline material 
  • Foldable
  • USB output powering
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Cables are too thin
  • Delivers only 55W to 60W, instead of 100W

DOKIO presents you with yet another remarkable and classy solar panel. This solar panel is one of a kind, and its features exceed the expectation of many customers. It comes in black and red colors with attractive packing.

Kit of solar panels holds prime importance when it comes to the installation of the panel. The reason is that most of the kits are incomplete, and you have to get the connectors and cables afterward. However, it comes with a full set of cables and connectors.

Similarly, this solar panel is quite easy to carry and move around. It is not compulsory to mount it on the roof of your RV. You just need to place it anywhere you camp.

Moreover, it is extra thin with 0.5-inch thickness, and its weight is only 6lb. We don’t think so that there is another panel of this kind in the market. You might know now that how much it is easy to carry around. 

Many accessories are dependent on the battery of the RV. They might consume all of the power during your journey. So at a time like this, a highly efficient solar panel could become handy and reduce the risk of any incident.

Features

  • Lightweight & Portable: This solar panel is quite easy to carry and move around.
  • Complete Kit:  This unit comes with a full set of cables and connectors, making it easy to install and user-friendly. 
  • Ultra-thin: This solar panel is extra thin with a 0.5-inch thickness, and its weight is only 6lb, making it easy to carry.  
  • Monocrystalline Material: Monocrystalline material allows more light to be stored while increasing the efficiency of the solar panel.
  • Foldable: DOKIO 18V Solar Panel is surrounded by safe packing and folds up easily, making it easy to transport, mount and store. 
  • Dimensions: 27.95 x 13.78 x 0.2 inches; 5.73 lbs.

The smart PWM charging helps you charge the cells at a fast rate without damaging the battery. The protection system prevents overcharging that might lead to short circuits or reverse current.

4. Newpowa High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Pros

  • Weatherproof
  • Versatile
  • Reliable
  • Efficient
  • Modern design

Cons

  • Incomplete kit

Newpowa brings you another variant of its exclusive solar panels. This panel is similar in design and shape to most of the solar panels. However, its features are far better than other solar panels of its generation.

This solar panel comes with a mounting hole. The purpose of these mounting holes is to create ease for you in mounting at the roof of your RV. Once mounted, you don’t need to look after it; rather, enjoy its benefits.

As far as the durability of this solar panel is concerned, no need to worry as this one is resistant to water and snow. It can bear high wind pressure till 2400pa and won’t get damaged owing to its premium quality manufacturing.

It is capable of handling 180W at most with the protection system. This protection mechanism allows the current at max to be 11.75A for the safety of the panel and the associated accessories. It would reduce the risk of short circuits and reverse current.

The junction box has already installed diodes for better and simple connectivity. This junction box is exposed to the atmosphere, so it is made waterproof. The aluminum casing ensures resistance against corrosion. 

More to its features, the solar panel is directly attached to the battery using the charge controller. It acts as a regulator and provides the necessary current to the battery when required. The charge controller ensures that your RV battery remains safe. 

Features

  • Mounting holes: Mounting holes create ease for you in mounting the panel on RV’s roof. 
  • Waterproof: As far as the durability of this solar panel is concerned, no need to worry as this one is resistant to water and snow. 
  • Air Resistant: It can bear high wind pressure up to 2400pa and won’t get damaged due to its premium quality manufacturing.
  • Maximum power & Security System: It is capable of handling 180W at most with the protection system. This protection mechanism allows the current at max to be 11.75A. 
  • Installed Diodes: The junction box has already installed diodes for better and simple connectivity. 
  • Aluminum Casing: The aluminum casing ensures resistance against corrosion.

Finally, this solar panel has all the important accessories, and the power regulation makes it safe to use. It would act as a source of separate energy other than an RV battery. Our team reviewed this product, and we highly recommend it for personal usage. 

5. DOKIO Monocrystalline Portable Foldable 100 Watt Panel

Pros

  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Efficient
  • Foldable
  • Waterproof  
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The controller doesn’t work.

So far, you would have observed what the best qualities of a good solar panel are. This one has all-in-one features and is a top-of-the-line product. It is a formidable partner of your RV battery, and you can enjoy the entire tour without any stress. 

The monocrystalline cells play a major role in determining the efficiency of this solar panel. The monocrystalline cells have a better capability to store photons of light and transmit energy. It is best for charging your 12V RV battery.

Similarly, this solar panel is durable to withstand any kind of atmospheric effect. It is completely waterproof and is in an aluminum casing. The purpose of using aluminum casing is to make it corrosion-resistant,

Moreover, it is foldable, and you can carry it anywhere, like a handbag. It is light in weight and easy to move around. You can mount it over the top of the RV, and it would be charged while traveling to your destination.

It is a power bank that supports your RV battery to supply the necessary current to all of the accessories. These accessories can be heaters or dehumidifiers. These accessories can consume most of the battery’s power, so to avoid that, this solar panel is the best replacement.

Furthermore, it is an off-grid solar panel that you can take with you for hiking or camping. You can use it to illuminate your camp at heights where there is no electricity. You can also use it for other power-consuming items. 

Features

  • Monocrystalline Material: Monocrystalline material allows more light to be stored while increasing the efficiency of the solar panel.
  • Weather Proof & Water Proof: This unit is durable enough to withstand any atmospheric effect and is completely waterproof due to its aluminum casing.
  • Corrosion-Resistant: The use of aluminum casing makes it corrosion-resistant.
  • Foldable: Folds up easily, and you can carry it like a handbag, anywhere you like.
  • Lightweight and Portable: It weighs only 18.5 lbs. making it lightweight and easy to move around. 

Lastly, this solar panel is one of the best on our list and has suitable costs depending upon its features. Get this foldable and highly efficient solar panel at an exclusive price. 

Things To Consider When Buying A Solar Panel For RV

Here is the list of all the key features you need to watch out for when shopping for a solar panel for your RV.

  • Types of Solar Panels

The first thing you need to know is the types of solar panels available in the market. To get the most value out of your money, you must have a gist of different types of solar panels and their efficiency. There are amorphous crystalline panels, monocrystalline panels and, polycrystalline lenses.

Amorphous panels are the cheapest of all solar panels and hence are not as efficient as monocrystalline panels and polycrystalline panels. Although, if you are off to some hot climates or low altitude areas, they will be a great option because they work pretty well in areas with high temperatures and low lighting.

However, if you do not have a budget to stick to, we suggest you Monocrystalline panels because they tick off all the boxes in terms of efficiency. They are worth their cost as they can work everywhere and in all weather conditions.

Whereas, if you want solar panels that are affordable yet decent in working efficiency, then polycrystalline is your way to go. They are more efficient than amorphous panels in energy consumption and cost less than monocrystalline panels.  

  • Installation of RV Solar Panels

Most RV solar panels come with an installation kit consisting of all the components needed to set them up. You can also choose either portable solar panels that need to be set up manually or flexible solar panels mounted on your RV’s roof.

Portable solar panels are easy to install; however, you will have to set them up every time you go on a trip. Plus, while you lay them on the roof and connect them with a battery, make sure they face the sun. You will also have to move their direction towards the sun every few hours to increase their productivity.

On the other hand, flexible solar panels are permanently installed on your RV’s roof. Unlike portable panels, you cannot move or put them away after the trip. However, they produce enough energy to power the entire RV and hence are expensive, but their convenience is worth the money.

  • Required Power Output

Before you buy solar panels, another most important thing to note is your required power output. This will help you make the right choice and will go a long way in your traveling journey. However, if you are not sure how much power will be sufficient for your trip, you can go for a basic RV solar panel for a test run and then increase or decrease the panels as per your need.

If you need to power your RV’s battery and some other small appliances, then a smaller system would benefit you. But if there are big amenities like a refrigerator and an air conditioner, you would need a bigger setup.

  • Batteries for Solar panels

Batteries are a must with solar panels for RV to store the additional solar energy. You can choose between lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries depending upon how much you go camping on your RV.

If you travel a lot, then lithium-ion batteries will be worth a shot. However, they are expensive but are incomparable in terms of energy production and efficiency. Plus, they do not need to be replaced after a few years.

On the other hand, lead-acid batteries are cheaper but will require a replacement every five years. They are durable and ideal for those who travel a couple of times a year.

  • Size and Weight of Solar Panels

Solar panels kit can be heavy depending on the type of setup you are getting. Therefore, it is important to measure your RV’s dimension beforehand and choose panels that will fit your RV to avoid overburdening your vehicle.

FAQs

  • Do RV solar panels work similarly to household solar panels?

In one way, they work similarly to household solar panels as they produce power from solar energy, but they differ in the overall functioning. Solar panels for RV require two extra components to work effectively: solar charge controller and solar inventor.

The primary function of the solar charge controller is to ensure the battery is not overcharged. It modifies and controls the amount of energy getting to the battery hence not letting the battery get overcharged.

The inventor is responsible for converting the DC power supply to AC, enabling you to use different gadgets and amenities on your RV.

  • How do I know if my RV solar panels are of good quality?

As per the primary rule of thumb, the expensive it is, the better productivity it yields, but sometimes it is not the case. Therefore, to quality check your RV solar panels, carefully look at the joints. If there are any gaps, then they are of low quality.

You can also check the back of the panel to make sure there are no bubbles between the glass and the solar cell. If there are any or the back is not flat, and even then, it will hinder the energy production to a great extent. 

Lastly, do not forget to check if the cables are heavy-duty and covered with silicon seals because if the cables are not up to the standard, then there is a higher risk of short circuit and fire accidents.

  • What is the best way to charge RV solar panels effectively?

The efficiency and power production of solar panels highly depends on how well the panels are manufactured. But still, to increase the charging efficiency, it is best to give the panels maximum exposure to sunlight. 

This means instead of parking the vehicle in the shaded area, try to park in direct sunlight. Another important factor to consider is the mounting of the panels; try not to set up the panels near any other aerial appliance such as TV antennas.

  • Are RV solar panels weatherproof?

Almost all solar panels are manufactured to be weatherproof because they are installed outdoors and are exposed to severe weather conditions.

However, different types of solar panels differ in levels of weatherproofing and come with additional features such as brackets and controllers for added protection against rain and snow. Therefore, you do not have to go out of your way to weatherproof your solar panel.

  • What is the average cost of setting up solar panels in an RV?

Solar panels can cost as little as $100 and as much as $1000; it all depends on how much you are willing to spend on your energy requirements. If you want to supply power to bigger amenities like a refrigerator or an air conditioner, you will need a bigger setup. But if your electricity requirements are limited to a few gadgets, then a basic solar kit would be sufficient for you.

A basic solar panel kit costs around $100-$500, depending on the quality and type of the solar panel. This kit will include all the necessary installation components as well as a solar charge controller and cables. This initial setup will power a couple of small appliances; you can gradually increase the panels and batteries as your energy requirements expand.

  • Is a 100-watt solar panel enough for RV?

As per the primary rule, a 100-watt solar panel can yield 30-amps hours per day effectively. So if that is your energy requirement in a day, then you are good to go. But if you need more than 100-watt energy, you can either install more panels or get a panel with more power capacity.

It all depends on your energy requirements; you can scale up or down as per your needs.  

Conclusion

All in all, having solar panels installed on your RV is the ideal way of having extra electricity stored up while you are off to have some relaxed time. They are convenient and eco-friendly as no harmful gases are emitted or any waste is produced. So it is a win-win situation for the planet saviors.

We have addressed everything from products to your main considerations about setting up solar panels on your RV. We hope you have found the information helpful and can easily make the right choice to make your trips memorable and stress-free!

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