Living on wheels is wishful thinking for many, and if you already live this life, consider yourself among the luckiest ones.
That being said, life on the move directly means more fuel consumption, which is an explicit addition to your carbon footprint. Not if you get the best RV solar kits!
A recreational vehicle (RV) consumes about 12-30 liters of fuel for every 100 kilometers. According to research, non-road engines contribute almost 33% of the carbon monoxide of the country. Plus, another study shows about 22% of volatile compounds and 5% of carbon monoxide emissions by RVs.
Opting for solar kits will help reduce your carbon footprint and eliminate the unwanted noise of engines. Walk through the detailed RV solar kits reviews and buying guide to make your pick and lead a favorably eco-friendly life!
Read on for our expert reviews of the best RV solar kits available. Check the latest prices to ensure you get a great deal!
- 1 Our Picks of the 7 Best RV Solar Kits
- 2 Best RV Solar Kits
- 2.1 1. Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
- 2.2 2. ACOPOWER 100W Mono Lightweight Portable Solar Panel Kit
- 2.3 3. DOKIO 150 Watts Solar Panel Kit
- 2.4 4. WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit
- 2.5 5. ECO-WORTHY 120 Watts 12 Volts Solar Starter Kit
- 2.6 6. WEIZE 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit
- 2.7 7. SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel Solar Module
- 3 RV Solar Kit Buying Guide
- 3.1 What Is A RV Solar Panel Kit?
- 3.2 How Does A RV Solar Panel Kit work?
- 3.3 How To Calculate Your RVs Solar Needs?
- 3.4 What Are The Benefits of Solar Panels & Kits for RV?
- 3.5 Installation Types of RV Solar Panel Kits
- 3.6 Installation Process for RV Solar Panels
- 3.7 Types of RV Solar Panels
- 3.8 Types and Purpose of a Charge Controller
- 3.9 Different Types of RV Deep Cycle Batteries
- 3.10 Features to Look for in RV Solar Panel Kits
- 3.11 Conclusion
Our Picks of the 7 Best RV Solar Kits
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
ACOPOWER 100W Mono Lightweight Portable Solar Panel Kit
DOKIO 150 Watts Solar Panel Kit
WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit
ECO-WORTHY 120 Watts 12 Volts Solar Starter Kit
WEIZE 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit
SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel Solar Module
Best RV Solar Kits
1. Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
With a cell efficiency of 21% and an optimum operating current of 5.38A, the Renogy Solar Kit is an excellent purchase. Especially if you are getting a solar kit for the first time, this one-piece solar panel is the easiest to maneuver. Read along to learn about its excellent features.
The Renogy 100 Watts Solar Kit has a monocrystalline panel, which is relatively more efficient than its counterparts. Its cells are made from single-crystal silicon, ensuring a smooth energy flow. Moreover, with a 30A PWM charge controller, your system can produce almost 500Wh per day, charging a 50Ah battery within 3 hours.
Its negative grounding controller keeps problems like short-circuit, overcharging, and overloading at bay. So, you can use the kit on the go without any concerns. Additionally, this allows you to use it on your RV with a battery negative on the chassis.
Durable, Lightweight, and Easy Set-Up
One of the best features of this solar kit is its corrosion-resistant construction. The aluminum frame is of high quality, perfect for long-term use. Moreover, it weighs as low as 20 pounds, so you can easily use it on your RV, boat, cabin, trailer, and more.
An All-Inclusive Solar Kit
The Renogy Solar Kit comprises all the supplies you would need. These include a ground charge controller, mounting brackets, panel connectors, and tray cable, along with the 100W 12V Mono solar panel.
- It provides a good value for money
- The panel produces a considerably high output of up to 500Wh per day
- Lightweight and easy to use
- The kit includes all the essential components and accessories
- It has a quick battery charging time
- The system is safe to use for vehicles on the run
- It does not include a battery
2. ACOPOWER 100W Mono Lightweight Portable Solar Panel Kit
If you are looking for a premium quality RV solar kit, look no further. The ACOPOWER Mono Solar Kit comes with three output plugs allowing usage diversity.
Dual Power Outlet System
What makes the ACOPOWER Solar Kit stand out from the lot is its capacity to charge two devices simultaneously. You can connect it with a solar generator or freezer using a DC power cord. At the same time, power your RV, trailer, or boat’s battery with the alligator clips.
100Wh not enough for you? You can expand this fantastic solar panel by adding another panel (without any extra charge controller). All you need to do is connect the additional panel with the MC-4 adapter along with your already setup initial panel. Voila! Your solar kit of 200W of solar power is ready!
Portability and Flexibility
One of the best features of this solar kit is its portability. The entire unit weighs only about 17 pounds, with its folding panels only weighing 12 pounds. Plus, it comes with a bag so you can carry it around easily. The solar kit has upgraded features like a built-in controller and cables, making it highly convenient for you to set up and use.
Safety and Compatibility
Apart from the built-in setup, the kit also wins points for high compatibility. You can use it to charge eight different battery types, including lithium-ion, LTO, AGM, Crystal, LiFePO4, Calcium, LTO, Flooded, and Gel. To top it all, its 20A solar charge controller offers safety features like protection from overcharge that significantly reduces fire risks.
- This unit is lighter than the other available options
- It comes with a carry bag for ease of portability and storage
- You can expand the power output by adding another panel
- It allows you to charge two devices at the same time
- The kit includes three types of power outlets to expand user range
- It is a waterproof charge controller and solar panel
- It stands among the pricier options
3. DOKIO 150 Watts Solar Panel Kit
The DOKIO 150 Watts Solar Panel Kit includes one of the lightest solar panels on the market. Furthermore, it is highly flexible such that you can fold it and also efficient enough despite a low-medium price range.
Its high efficiency is one of the top features of the DOKIO Solar Panel Kit. It features a monocrystalline solar cell that converts energy with maximum effectiveness. Moreover, the 150W solar panel has the capacity to provide as much as 23% efficiency for the perfect application.
If you are worried about the solar panel’s longevity, do not worry. The product is made from a durable nylon material that is also waterproof. Other layers include ETFE, EVA, insulating resin, and the monocrystalline layer. Therefore, rest assured and use it in any weather condition for traveling, camping, or other daily situations.
Accessories and Compatibility
This kit includes all the accessories you would need to be compatible with multiple types of devices. These include a solar controller, solar charger, panel, and different cables. Thus, it is highly compatible with power stations having varying types of connectors. Plus, it includes a cord to connect with all kinds of 12V batteries.
Lightweight and Maneuverable
With a total weight of 9 pounds, the DOKIO is among the lightest solar kits you will find in the market. Plus, you can easily fold it into a compact device to store and carry around in a bag, which is included. This is a thick bag made from quality materials, so you need not worry about the panel’s protection and coverage.
- It does not require a controller for charging power stations
- The kit comes with a carry bag for ease of maneuverability
- It includes all the vital accessories
- This solar kit is compatible with multiple devices
- The unit is waterproof and is made of durable materials
- It is highly efficient, providing long-lasting charge
- Not suitable for long environmental exposure
4. WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit
WindyNation Solar Kit is one of the all-inclusive, valuable options for off-grid power solutions. Whether you need a backup battery or an eco-friendly source for your RV and boat, this unit got you covered.
Controller with Digital Display
The kit includes a charge controller with an LCD that has user-adjustable settings. You can find multiple readings on the screen like the voltage, temperature, system amperage, amp-hours, and more. This makes it incredibly easy for you to monitor the system.
Apart from a 100-watt solar panel and charge controller, the kit bears all the necessary accessories you would require. You will find attached a 40-feet cable, multiple connectors, mounting hardware, and a perfect instruction manual. Rest assured, you will have a fantastic time setting up your eco-friendly system.
Battery Temperature Sensor
What makes this solar kit unique is its solar charge controller with a built-in battery temperature sensor. It lets you monitor the temperature of the battery so you can adjust the load accordingly.
Efficient and Expandable
The WindyNation Solar Kit provides up to 350Wh of power a day. This is comparatively high as well as effective. Moreover, if you wish to amplify solar energy, you can easily expand the system. Just add another 100W solar panel, and you are good to go. This unit can handle a total of 4 100W solar panels with a 12V system. If its system is 24 V, you can add up to 8 pcs of solar panels.
- It has a wide range of applications
- The solar kit includes all the required accessories
- It has an LCD for ease of monitoring
- You can expand the solar panel system up to 4-8 pieces
- It is waterproof and bears a built-in battery temperature sensor
- Comprises quality construction material
- It does not come with an inverter
5. ECO-WORTHY 120 Watts 12 Volts Solar Starter Kit
The ECO-WORTHY is one of the best RV solar kits on the list. Apart from an efficient performance and maximum power output, it also comes with a warranty of 1 year.
Maximum Energy Output
This piece of solar panel produces the highest output of energy in this list. With a mere difference of 20 watts from the other options, this solar kit gives you 500Wh power under ideal conditions. Nevertheless, rest assured that you will experience exceptional performance on cloudy days as well.
Easy Plug and Play Setup
Are you using a solar kit for the first time? You need not worry about setting it up as ECO-WORTHY is highly beginner-friendly. It is a plug-and-play setup that you just need to connect in a few simple steps and get going!
Warranty and Customer Service
The value of a product significantly rises if it comes bearing a warranty, especially if it is a tech device. Well, you can consider this solar kit highly valuable as it comes with a 1-year warranty. Moreover, the brand offers diligent customer service, so you can reach out in case of any queries whatsoever.
Wide Range of Applications
The solar charge controller of this kit can handle multiple types of systems. These include up to 360W of 12V systems and 720W of 24V systems. So, whether you want to use the solar panel for a camper, boat, trailer, or cabin, it got you covered. Additionally, it can power DC loads like lights, pumps, fans, and more.
- It is a mono solar power system with high efficiency
- The solar panel can offer up to 500Wh energy
- You can use it for multiple applications with its DC and battery outlets
- The kit comes with a 1-year warranty
- It is effortless to set up and use
- The frame may be flimsy
6. WEIZE 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit
The WEIZE 100W Solar Kit is one of the most budget-friendly options you can get your hands on. Plus, you can use it for multiple applications and set it up with the utmost ease. You get all of this with significantly high power output.
The WEIZE Solar Kit is one of the top efficient options in the market right now. Despite being 100W, it can produce total energy of about 300W-600W a day under ideal conditions. Moreover, it features monocrystalline cell construction, giving roughly 21% higher performance than polycrystalline.
The entire solar kit offers nothing but top-quality material construction. It features anodized aluminum frames that are resistant to corrosion.
Moreover, its tempered glass and the junction box are also weatherproof for better outdoor performance. So, you need not worry about the usage and durability.
It is an industrial-standard unit that is highly versatile. It generates up to 5.3 amp power that you can use to charge 12V battery, cabins, RV, trailers, and others. Moreover, it is considerably easy to set up. You get all the accessories like a charge controller, tray cable, connectors, brackets, along with a 12V solar panel.
Reliable Customer Service
One of the best things about this brand is it will solve your product-related problems until you are satisfied. All you got to do is inform the customer service personnel, and the support team will provide the required solution.
- The 100W panel can produce up to 300-600Wh a day
- It features quality construction, offering a long-lasting use
- The company provides a warranty in terms of satisfactory solutions
- It comes with all the necessary accessories
- The solar kit is anti-corrosion and waterproof
- It may be comparatively heavier than other options
7. SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel Solar Module
The SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt Solar Kit is one of the best RV solar kits featuring polycrystalline cells. It is a 2-piece model, so you can automatically expect higher efficiency and ease of application.
Highly Durable Construction
One of the core efficiencies of the SUNGOLDPOWER Solar Kit is its durable construction. The solar panel features a robust aluminum frame that is corrosion-resistant, sure to last long. Additionally, its connectors are waterproof, bearing an IP67 rating. The entire kit is waterproof, too, so you can use it in all kinds of weather.
Unique Charge Controller
The 20A output controller of this kit features 12V and 24V system auto-sensing. Plus, its LCD allows you to monitor a host of measurements for greater efficiency. These include battery voltage, charging current, etc. To top it all, the controller offers electric protection for complete safety.
Easy Installation with Accessories
The kit bears a host of accessories like plastic connectors, extension cable, z-brackets, solar controller, and two panels. The solar panels come with pre-drilled holes, so you can easily mount them as required. So, you can easily use them for RVs, boats, yachts, tents, and multiple other devices.
Two-Piece Efficient Solar Panels
Without a very high addition in cost, you get a two-piece solar panel set which is highly efficient. The two 100W polycrystalline panels are sure to provide consistent power output. Plus, it comes with a service life of 25 years, which further reflects its quality.
- The kit includes two pieces of solar panels for grid-free power
- Its charge controller has features like auto-sensing and LCD
- With its corrosion-resistant frame and waterproof design, this kit is highly durable
- The product comes with a service life of 25 years
- Its charge controller also provides high-level electric protection
- It is significantly heavy
RV Solar Kit Buying Guide
Did you enjoy the exclusive reviews of the 7 best RV solar kits? Each of these products has been hand-picked by a team of experts, so you get only the top ones to choose from. That being said, you still need to consider a couple of things to make the most optimum choice.
Walkthrough this extensive RV solar kit buying guide to make your way towards the best pick!
What Is A RV Solar Panel Kit?
RV Solar Panel Kits are your one-stop solution to reducing carbon footprint and powering your recreational vehicle with minimal noise. The kit is a blend of solar panels and all the accessories you would need to start the system.
The best RV solar panel kit comprises the following components:
- One or more solar panels
- Solar charge controller
- Cable tray
These are plug-and-play kits that require minimal effort for set up. All you need to do is connect the solar panel and the battery you have to charge using the cables. You will keep the controller in the middle, so it allows you to monitor the progress and fluctuations, if any.
How Does A RV Solar Panel Kit work?
The solar panels are made from cells that convert the sun’s energy into direct current (DC). When you join multiple solar panels, the solar array produces a considerable amount of energy. Thus, when you connect it to your RV batteries, they can get charged within a few hours.
So, how does this power become capable of being used for your RV’s appliances?
Once you have installed the solar charging system, you need to pair it with a power inverter. Doing this will convert the DC power into alternating current (AC) to power all the lights and appliances in your RV.
How To Calculate Your RVs Solar Needs?
Calculating your RV’s solar needs is one of the prime factors to consider before purchasing your solar kit. Moreover, you need to understand that a 100W Solar Panel will not only produce equal output. This is the maximum potential output that only stands true under bright sunlight.
Still, it all comes down to the appliances you have to use. Check out this table of energy usage by each device, and calculate your RV’s solar needs.
|Item||Standard Power Usage|
What Are The Benefits of Solar Panels & Kits for RV?
Are you still skeptical about purchasing a solar kit? Perhaps its price tag makes you hesitant. Well, once you go through the excellent benefits of solar kits for RV, all your doubts will vanish!
Save Some Money
One of the prime advantages of a solar kit is the amount of money you save on fuel. Moreover, the best RV solar kits come with a life of 20-25 years. So you can rest assured that the free power generated will help you save big time within a few months.
Save The Planet
The benefit that comes without saying is a significant reduction in your carbon footprint. If you love spending time amidst nature, you might as well opt for renewable sources and minimize green gas emissions.
You may have often come across issues like garbage in the fuel engine, heating-up, etc. Well, using solar energy significantly decreases such problems and other maintenance requirements as it does not get worn easily.
If you are tired of constantly worrying about electricity sources and other types of energy, it’s time for a solar kit! It is one of the best off-grid options for living on the wheels and being self-sufficient.
Installation Types of RV Solar Panel Kits
When you get to purchasing, you will come across a wide range of solar panel types. One of these bases is the types of installation.
Fixed Solar Panels
If you are constantly on the move, getting a fixed solar panel is your best bet. You can mount them on your RV permanently and adjust the angle with tilt mounts. Still, leave enough gap between the solar panel and the roof to ensure airflow.
Flexible Solar Panels
What makes flexible solar panels than rigid ones is the absence of a frame. The cells in these panels have a layer of plastic covering for protection. Still, they are lightweight and easy to mount on curved surfaces like a boat. Moreover, they are excellent for stealth camping.
Portable Solar Panels
Portable solar panels are the best options for those of you who wish to add to their current usage. Moreover, if you wish to hide the fact that you live in the camper van, you can remove these panels. However, they may reduce the sun exposure of your panel.
Foldable Solar Panels
If you think storing or carrying solar panels around requires effort, check out the best foldable solar panels. You can fold most of these panels in two half or even a quarter of their original size. Plus, they come with a convenient carry bag. This way, they are highly easy to store and carry around.
Installation Process for RV Solar Panels
Once you have made your pick, make sure to install them correctly. A minor fault in the setup can lead to these panels falling off and getting damaged. Plus, you surely do not want to mess the wiring and configuration, only to ruin the entire system.
Mount Your Solar Panels
Once you are ready with all the components, your first step in RV solar panel installation will be mounting the panels. Drill holes on the panels and attach z-brackets. You can now mount your rigid panel on your RV roof with screws or use adhesive for flexible panels.
Run Your Wiring
Tightly mount the cable entry tray to your roof, so you can run the wiring without any scope of leakage. Moreover, it is waterproof, so you need not worry.
Connect Your Charge Controller
You have to install the solar charge controller inside your vehicle and connect it with the solar panel and batteries. Use the long cable to connect the panels and controller, while the other cable connects the controller to the battery.
Install your Inverter (Optional)
Besides charging your battery, you can also use solar panels to charge an inverter for future use. It can help power up a host of appliances in your RV. Connect the battery with the inverter using another set of cables, and your solar setup is ready!
Types of RV Solar Panels
Depending upon the silicon cell construction, RV solar panels are further divided into four types. This construction can significantly impact the solar panel’s efficiency, and thus, holds immense value.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
These solar panels are made from multiple silicon crystals, reducing the freedom of an electron to move. This makes them relatively less efficient. Though they may be a little space-consuming, they are pretty reasonable and hence, excellent options.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
These solar panels are relatively more expensive as they are made from pure silicon crystals. Though the construction process takes significantly longer, this type of silicon cell is more efficient. Plus, it takes less space, so it is ideal for those of you with a space shortage.
Thin-Film Solar Panels
These solar panels are made from extra-thin layers of semiconductors neatly deposited on a glass or plastic base. Therefore, these are incredibly light and flexible, primarily used in flexible solar panels that can be curved.
CIGS Solar Panels
The copper indium gallium selenide solar panels feature thin cells that absorb a large amount of sunlight to convert into electricity. These are lightweight and highly flexible and more resistant to wear from heat than silicon panels.
Types and Purpose of a Charge Controller
A charge controller primarily regulates the voltage transfer from the solar panels to the batteries. With this device, you can prevent overcharging and monitor the readings closely.
A single-phase charge controller only connects to devices belonging to one class of voltage. It converts the voltage range of a fixed phase to a variable range.
Single Phase Trickle
The single-phase trickle controller converts the single-phase voltage into a lower range. This enables the current to get distributed evenly.
A multi-phase controller can connect more than one device of varying voltage ranges at the same time.
Different Types of RV Deep Cycle Batteries
If you have devices like microwaves, induction heaters, and other such power-consuming appliances, you need a deep cycle battery for your RV. These batteries provide regular power over a prolonged period. But, which one is the best option?
The most common type of RV deep cycle batteries, flood batteries, are the ones that have lead plates immersed in the electrolyte. These batteries have multiple advantages like low cost, easy availability, and versatility. However, they might emit poisonous gases, so you will have to place them such that they are vented towards outside.
In these batteries, the electrolyte present is in the form of a gel that eliminates the chances of spills or ventilation requirements. Moreover, they are sealed, so you need not worry about emissions. Keeping all of that on the side, these batteries may be relatively slower at charging than AGM.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries are spill-free, as its glass mats absorb all the electrolytes. These batteries charge up pretty quickly and discharge at a relatively slow pace.
Features to Look for in RV Solar Panel Kits
That was a long list of picking the correct type of RV solar panel kits, wasn’t it? Well, here are a few prime considerations that you need to make. Have a quick look!
One of the first things you need to consider is the amount of power you are likely to consume. You can calculate an approximate range with the appliance power consumption table mentioned above.
If you opt for a portable solar panel, its installation will be relatively easier. However, if you wish to mount the system over your RV’s roof, it will require rigorous installation. That being said, in the latter situation, you will not be able to park your RV in the shade as the panels require constant sunlight.
Solar Panel Type
Do you want to fix a rigid solar panel on your RV’s roof, or would you prefer a flexible one? Apart from these two types, you also have to consider the cells they are made from as it dramatically impacts efficiency.
Another important thing is the dimension of the solar panel. While monocrystalline panels are relatively narrower, polycrystalline may be somewhat larger but cheaper.
Opting for a lightweight RV solar kit is undoubtedly your best bet. It is highly maneuverable, easy to set up, store, and carry along. However, a few premium quality kits may be significantly heavy. Plus, if you are looking for panels with higher output, they may be comparatively weightier.
You will come across multiple types of charge controllers included in solar kits. These vary in the unique features like battery sensors to the LCD and the different kinds of phases. Choose a controller that meets your voltage requirements and offers battery readings for easy monitoring.
Waterproof Solar Charge Controllers
The best RV solar kits come with top-rated waterproof solar charge controllers. It is the heart of the solar power system. You certainly do not want it to ruin due to rain or other weather conditions. Therefore, make sure the solar charge controller has a waterproof tag.
Does your chosen solar kit have an inverter? Moreover, do you need an inverter for the RV? An inverter lets you save up the energy and use it for later. You can look for kits that include an inverter or buy it separately.
Apart from the three types of deep cycle batteries mentioned above, you will come across two prime categories—lead-acid and lithium-ion. While lead-acid batteries are cheaper, li-ion ones are relatively more efficient. So, if you are constantly on the wheels, you might as well invest in a pair of good batteries.
While some solar panels may produce a power output of 400-600W (under good weather conditions), others might only produce 200-300W. Additionally, the kind of cells that the solar panels are made from also impact the solar kit efficiency.
It would be best to make sure that the solar kit you choose is made from quality materials. The best solar panels feature corrosion-resistant frames and robust bodies that are sure to last long. Especially if you plan to leave the panels on your RV roof permanently, they’d rather be resistant to heat and wear.
Ease of Installation
Whether you are a beginner or have ample experience in this field, look for an easy to install kit. Most options in the list mentioned above are perfectly beginner-friendly. All you need to do is connect the panels, controller, and batteries using the cables, and you are good to go.
Even a budget-friendly RV solar kit doesn’t come cheap, and you cannot afford to damage it. Therefore, opting for a solar kit that comes with a warranty is your best bet. This will not only let you enjoy the device for a longer-term, but it also reflects the product quality.
Whether you are an ardent lover of camping or the van life is what you love, solar panels prove to be extremely helpful. You not only get a free source of power for your daily chores but also reduce your carbon footprint to a great extent.
That being said, choosing the best RV solar kit is not an easy job. You have to consider a host of factors to ensure flawless functionality and long-term use.
Well, you need not hit the search button as this guide includes each point in detail. Walk through each specification and make your pick from the top 7 RV solar kits now!