The 10 Best RV Solar Kits Reviewed
Solar Kits for RV’s allow you to go camping off-grid and still have power with the help of the sun. The panels below take watts of energy from the sun and turn them into electricity to run powered items in your RV. Now you can spend extended periods out in the wild, still use electrical items all without increasing your carbon footprint.
We did all the research to help you find the right solar panel kit for your RV in multiple price ranges to save you time and money. Find out why a solar panel may be a better option for you than an AC generator too. Get the most use out of the sun by finding the best solar panel without massive costs, noises, sounds, or maintenance.
With solar panels, you get a one-and-done system because you pay upfront, and then you are done! Start saving money now by picking an option on the list as we did all the research for you to save you time, so you can go set up the panels and start enjoying extended trips in your RV. Just remember, solar panels power items inside your vehicle but do not replace the RV battery and you may still need to look for a battery storage unit and an inverter.
The Best RV Solar Kits
The Suner 12 Volt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit comes with several wattages to meet your needs, including 20, 30, or 50-watts to get the right amount of power for your camper. We are going to focus on the 50-watt. It comes with intelligent solar charge controllers to optimize the three-stage charging system, and it prevents battery overcharge or discharge, voltage, and short circuits.
With photocell control and work time settings, this set up turns on at dusk and turns off at down without manual operation. You can set it to work 1 to 13 hours, depending on your needs. It also includes a plug and play SAE connector that is easy to install and almost maintenance-free.
The basic start kit does not require professional installation and was built to last for 20 years. Its made of polycrystalline solar cells for longevity and an aluminum frame with a sealed junction box. Furthermore, it comes with a solar charge controller for a trickle charge and works with deep cell batteries. The single panel weighs just under 10 pounds and measures 26.3 x 20.9 x 1.4 inches.
Attach this to the top of your camper and enjoy easy installation according to many customers. It comes with an extended 12-month warranty and lifetime support. Though honestly, many solar panels come with significantly better warranties, but it’s super affordable, and you could even buy two or three for the price. It does not come with an inverter that you may want instead of the charge controller.
With the SunGoldPower Solar Panel Module Kit, you get 200-watt panels with 12volts to fill your batteries up completely with a 100% charge. If you only need an additional panel, you can also choose the 100W solar panel set instead. The larger kit includes 2 panels for a combined 200W, a 20-amp PWM solar charge controller, 2 10-feet MC4 connector cables, 2 set of mounting Z brackets, and a pair of MC4 W branch connectors.
It provides a 20A output controller with 2 USB ports so you can plug in your phones for a full charge. This set also includes a PWM charge management system, 12/V/24V auto-sensing system, an LCD display that indicates the battery voltage and current charging levels, and provides multiple electrical protections. All this and you get a 25-year transferable power output for the solar panel and 1 year for the rest of the module kit.
Installation is easy as it has pre-drilled holes on the back of each panel for quick mounting and securing to your RV. The price is a little higher than the first kit, but this provides everything you need and an LCD display to monitor overcharges and other electrical processes. Finally, it comes with a mono-crystalline cell type, and each panel weighs 16 pounds and measures 47.2 x 21.8 x 1.4 inches.
Megsun offers a 200W 12V foldable solar panel kit perfect for RV,s boats, and any other kind of off-grid needs you may have for charging 12v batteries. The panel comes in four sections that fold up for easy storage although, they are weatherproof and can handle decades outside. It also comes with a fabric pocket and handles for easy storage.
Using mono-crystalline solar cells, it provides high-efficiency to convert the sun into a charger for your battery with an 18V optimum power voltage. However, the panel is smaller than the traditional size as it’s only 29 x 25.5 x 3.5 inches and a weight of 20.4 pounds, but you still get all the power you need on sunny days.
The kit includes 1 solar panel, 1 battery charge regulator, and 1 set of insulated crocodile clips with 5 meters of cable. It installs easily and can stay on or come off depending on your needs. A few customers complained they didn’t get the stated wattage, but remember the stated wattage refers to optimal conditions and maximum possible output.
The Renogy Solar Starter Kit has ha high price but offers four panels, so it’s actually a very good deal considering what you get. Make sure you have a large enough RV as these panels measure 48 x 23 x 10 inches and will not work on a smaller camper. It comes with mono-crystalline solar cells with an efficiency of 21% with an ideal output of up to 2000 watts per day. The company made this set for people new to solar power and offer easy set up.
With all four panels, you can charge a 200Ah battery from 50% in just three hours, depending on the available sunlight in your location. The Wanderer allows you to expand your system up to 400W with a 30A PWM charge controller. Moreover, the controller offers negative ground with battery reverse, overloading, short-circuit, overcharging, and discharging protection to ensure full safety.
The kit comes with an 8-foot 10AWG tray cable to connect your charge controller to the battery. It also comes with mounting brackets for easy installation of the mono-crystalline solar panels. The price might be a sticking point for many customers but if you divide the cost by the four panels it’s really quite reasonable and it comes with a 25-year warranty to extend the value as does an almost unheard of 10 year warranty for parts.
Eco-Worthy’s Solar Panel Kit comes with everything you need to set up your camper with two panels to charge your battery. Although, you can also choose from 1, 3, or 4 panels to better suit your needs. You will also find in the kit z style mounting brackets, a 20A solar controller, with cables and connectors. Everything is plug and play design for a fabulous renewable power system even beginners can set up.
The 20A charge control comes with built-in LCD display and dual USB port, short circuit protection, open-circuit protection, reverse protection, and overload protection. Each panel offers 100W and measures 39.8 x 20.1 x 1.4 inches, and each weighs just under 19 pounds. Installation is a breeze with everything in the box and simplistic setup.
Finally, you can find plenty of uses for this set if you ever decide to take them off your RV, for example, you can put these durable units on a boat or even your home. They use mono-crystalline solar cells for a very reasonable price that won’t break any budget. A few customers had issues with the battery controller, but the majority loved the system.
The WindyNation Solar Panel Kit allows you to go off-grid with minimal costs as this is one of the lower-priced items on the list and yet still highly rated. It comes with a single solar panel perfect for smaller RV’s or campers. The panel puts out 100 watts and 30 amps with user adjustability.
As usual, the panel includes a charge controller, but this kit comes with a battery temperature sensor. The kit also includes solar cable, connectors, mounting hardware, and an installation guide. Altogether, the kit can provide an average of 350 watts hours or 33 amp-hours of charge per day depending of course on the sunlight available. Add in more solar panels to get better charging ability. With the included charge controller, you can add up to three more 100-watt panels at 12V.
The solar charge controller includes adjustable settings and an LCD screen to show you the system amperage, voltage, amp-hours, temperature, and the DC load draw. Lastly, the panel weighs 19 pounds and measures 40 x 1.4 x 26.4 inches.
Thanks to a fabulous price and system, the Powereco Solar Kit is a super popular choice for RVs. The set comes with a single 100W solar panel, but it’s rather large at 49 x 22 x 3 to get more sunlight, and it’s slightly heavy at 21.7 pounds. This 12V solar system uses mono-crystalline solar modules and a 20A PWM charger controller to power your camper.
Inside the box, you will also find cables, connectors, and Z-brackets to set up the kit on top of your RV. Installation couldn’t be easier with pre-drilled holes and 35-inch cords. Although, you will still need a cable from your battery and fuse, preferably an 8AWG cable. Don’t worry about the weather as the panel comes with an anodized aluminum frame with reinforced and anti-reflection glass 3.2mm thick, as is the junction box to improve the lifespan of the panel.
Furthermore, you can add up to two more panels if you want to expand the system as the charge controller can handle up to 300W. It has the ability to charge most 12V batteries, including gel, sealed, flooded (also called wet cell), and lithium-ion.
If you don’t mind a high price and need more power, try the XINPUGUANG Solar System Kit. It comes with ten panels, so trust us, you get your money’s work and without having to order multiple sets in different boxes. This off-grid solar system can be wired in series to allow for 24/48 volt battery charging or for a grid-tied application if you need. Now that’s power.
Another unique feature of this set is it comes with curved panels that can fit irregular surfaces. It also comes with enhanced cell performance due to multi-layered sheet laminations through an advanced encapsulation material for longer service life. All this with mono-crystalline cells for more power per square feet. Each panel has a maximum power of 100W for a combined total of 1000W and also 18V each too.
Additionally, the bendable panels come with 1 45A solar controller, 1 2000W inverter, 1 MC4 connector and cables with an alligator clip. You will need to supply the brackets. Each panel measures 46.3 x 21.3 x 0.1 inches and weighs 42.3 pounds. Make sure you have enough room for all the panels before purchasing this massive kit.
The Zamp Solar Power Kit offers 1 portable panel to go off-grid without the hassle. It’s ideal for medium RVS as this panel can generate up to 140 watts at 7.8 amps. It weighs 32.75 pounds and includes a collapsable stand to stand at an angle to better wrangle in a little sunlight. At 32.4 x 21.5 x 3.1 inches, it’s certainly not the largest option that may work for many people’s needs.
This kit is also weather-resistant and offers a 5-stage, 10-amp charge controller integrate into the panel to protect 12-volt batteries from overcharging. The screen also offers a digital display so you can keep tabs on power usage. Even better, it comes with a 25-year output warranty.
Connection is easy and one step for those who don’t want to attach a panel to their roof. Simply connect it directly to the battery with the included alligator clips or connect it to the sidewall solar port using the built-in SAW plug. Some RV’s even come with ports already installed for Zamp kits. Bigger RV’s may want to consider adding in additional panels.
Like the previous kit, the Dokio Solar Panel Kit folds up and doesn’t attach to the RV, though you have the option. Instead, you can set it up in a way that will best catch the sun. It has a negative-ground charge controller for compatibility with your camper, but if you have a large RV, you may need multiple panels, which could be a pain to set up every day or very helpful to catch more sunlight.
Although, this one purports to offer excellent performance in low light conditions and use alligator clips to connect to your battery easily. The panels are made of corrosion-resistant aluminum with a heavy-duty handle and latch for easy carry and longevity. The panel also boasts a high conversion efficiency at 100 watts, which can charge 12v/ 24v batteries.
Finally, the folding panel measures 41.7 x 26 x 2.8 inches and weighs 20.4 pounds. Moreover, it’s made of monocrystalline solar cells that can mount to the roof with pre-drilled holes if you want to install the panel to your roof. It comes with a 25-year transferable power warranty and 5 years for materials.
Questions About RV Solar Kits
What’s the difference between an AC generator and solar kits?
An AC generator is an electric generator that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy and works on the principle of “electromagnetic induction.” They tend to come with several problems such as battery failure, coolant leaks, low fuel levels, low oil levels, closed shutoff valves, and dirty air filters. Basically, they require a lot of work and energy, make noise, have moving parts, and come with a smell.
Solar panel kits pull power from the sun to create power in the form of watts. Also, solar power has no moving parts, doesn’t make noise or have smells, and requires very little maintenance. You are, however, beholden to the sun for your energy. If you get rain for several days in a row, you might be hurting!
Another advantage of solar power is it can double or triple the life of your RV batteries. You can add in an inverter so you can have AC power while dry camping without an AC generator. Solar power can also be cost-effective as it doesn’t require any other parts after set up and only requires the sun that is free.
How many cells do I need?
First, let’s define what solar cell is before talking about how many you need. A solar cell is a device that converts the energy from light into electrical energy through photovoltaic energy conversion. Basically, a solar panel is made up of solar cells that rake in energy and convert it into a usable electrical form.
Solar cells are made of silicon, which offers increased efficiency, a low cost, and longevity. Another aspect of solar cels is they do not utilize a chemical reaction or require a fuel to produce electric power, this means no moving parts or energy expended in the conversion. Most RVs will do well with just find with two to three panels, especially if you add in a battery bank storage to store the power. This will also help if you run out of sunshine.
With 36 standard cells, a solar panel can create enough voltage to charge a battery fully. A 160-watt solar panel can charge two 12 volt batteries. Knowing this, you need to figure out how many batteries you essentially need to charge in your RV and try to fit as many on the roof as possible since the sun only provides about 5 hours of light on a good sunny day and the more panels to accumulate when the sun disappears.
How do I hook up solar panels to my RV Solar Panels?
How to hook up the panels to your batteries varies depending on the make and model of your RV, the types of panels you use, and the inverter too. You can find plenty of videos on Youtube to help you with step-by-step instructions like this one:
Another option is to consider talking to an RV salesperson as they may have some information and know some people you can ask for help.
Are solar panels waterproof?
Yes, most solar panels are waterproof and weatherproof. You do want to make sure that the solar panels are secure for multiple reasons. First, you don’t want the panels to fall off while you are driving. Second, you don’t want the wind to knock the panels around. Solar panels are made up of an aluminum frame, glass front, EVA capsules, silicon cells, a back sheet, junction box, and connector ribbons, all meant to withstand nature.
Not only are solar panels waterproof but designed to withstand the elements for decades, not just years. Even if your solar panels are damaged by water, they are often covered by warranties. Make sure to keep your receipt and register your panel if there is an option to do so online or through the mail. If not, you can call the company to make sure the warranty covers water damage in the off chance you have an issue as this would be with the construction of the panel.
Your solar panel should be able to handle more any weather thanks to the silicone used to harvest energy. Furthermore, you should not have any issues in extreme temperatures in either direction. Even hurricanes and hail stores should not have a significant effect on solar panels when properly installed and with a good glass covering. All this and they are still good for the environment too!
What are inverters and chargers?
The inverter is one of the most important parts of any solar system as it converts DC output into photovoltaic so it can turn into AC electricity, which is what you need in your RV. Basically, the inverter is the brain of your solar power system with a two-way exchange. A charger also converts power, but it’s only one way to charge batteries.
Wrapping Up RV Solar Kits
If you want your options narrowed down even further, consider our two favorite options: the XINPUGUANG Solar System Kit and the Zamp Portable Solar Kit. Both work for different needs and offer unique options not seen in other solar kits. The XINPUGUANG Solar System Kit offers ten panels and an inverter instead of a charge controller.
Next, the Zamp Portable Solar Kit is collapsable and stands outside of the RV to catch sunlight without having to move your RV, which can be difficult in the woods. It also works with some RVs with ports already installed to may your life easier. No matter what your needs are or the size of your RV, you can find the right option on this list at reasonable prices to start garnering power from the sun.