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Best Solar Panels & Kits for RV: Top Picks for Energy Efficiency

Keep your RV powered up without worry using nothing but the sun’s bright rays.

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BYHeather Fishel/ LAST UPDATED ON June 13, 2022

Whether you’re camping for a weekend or sticking around your campsite for weeks or months, electricity is always top of mind. You never quite know what you’re getting when you park your RV as electrical connections can be perfectly reliable at some campsites, and totally unpredictable at others. If you don’t want to worry about whether or not your RV can plug in and power up, keeping everything from your fridge to your air conditioner running smoothly, solar panels are the perfect solution. You can power your camper’s electrical system with a series of solar panels or a solar panel kit made for RVs. Plus, it’ll make your RV energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, too. Imagine how much energy you can get straight from the sun with a solar-ready RV.

Best Overall

Nature Power 440-Watt Complete Solar Kit

Summary
A comprehensive and powerful solar panel kit for RVs that delivers a total of 440 watts and can power plenty of electrical appliances and gadgets.
Pros
  • Durable, weather-resistant solar panel frames
  • Plug-and-play setup makes solar easy to use
  • Includes controller, inverter, and necessary cables
Cons
  • Solar batteries not included
Best Value

Renology 300-Watt Solar RV Kit

Summary
This RV solar panel kit is affordably priced and provides you with a simple setup so you can start using solar power ASAP when you’re headed outdoors.
Pros
  • Corrosion-resistant solar panel frames
  • Easy installation and setup process
  • Includes controller, Bluetooth module, cables, connectors, and all the hardware needed
Cons
  • Fuses not included
Honorable Mention

ACOPower 800-Watt OffGrid Solar Power Kit

Summary
When it comes to serious solar power, this RV solar panel kit delivers with a standout eight panels and a total of 800 watts of energy for all of your electrical needs.
Pros
  • Includes 4 gel batteries to bank extra power
  • Includes all accessories for setup
  • Generates over 3,800 watts of energy daily, depending on sunlight
Cons
  • Extremely expensive
Best Solar Panels & Kits for RV: Top Picks for Energy Efficiency

Summary List 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

I chose the best solar panels & kits for RVs by searching for those most-loved and considered most reputable by frequent campers who’ve gone solar. Taking a look at details like user reviews, ratings, and recommendations online, the products listed below are those that are considered reliable, easy to install, and well-suited to various RVs and RV power needs by those who’ve given them a try. I also sought out solar panel kits of every size and kind to cover different needs, from single panels to as many as four panels, with all of the connections and wiring needed to get up and running. 

Best Solar Panels and Kits for RVs Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Panel type: Monocrystalline
  • Panel wattage: 110 watts per panel
  • Number of panels: 4

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, weather-resistant solar panel frames
  • Includes controller, inverter, and connecting cables
  • Plug-and-play setup
  • Highly durable high-efficiency panels

Cons

  • Solar batteries not included

The Nature Power 440-Watt Complete Solar Kit lives up to its name: It’s one comprehensive kit that’ll get your RV up and running on solar power. With four high-efficiency 110-watt monocrystalline solar panels, you’ll equip yourself with the best of the best in terms of RV solar panels. And each panel features a sturdy aluminum frame that’s weather-resistant, plus a scratch-resistant tempered glass cover to add an extra layer of protection. These panels are designed to be permanently mounted to your RV roof, but it’s an easy process. The plug-and-play design, along with an included 750-watt inverter, 30-amp charge controller, and all the cables required, will have you running on solar power in no time. Plus, this kit is so environmentally-friendly and reliable, you’ll get 80 percent efficiency (at least) for up to 25 years total.

The only drawback? There aren’t any solar batteries included, so you’ll need to purchase those separately to store excess energy.

Specs

  • Panel type: Monocrystalline
  • Panel wattage: 100 watts per panel
  • Number of panels: 3

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Includes controller, cables, Bluetooth module, and battery
  • Affordable price
  • Corrosion-resistant panel construction

Cons

  • No fuses included

You don’t have to spend thousands to equip your camper with solar, at least not if you opt for the Renology 300-Watt Solar RV Kit. Designed just for RVs, with three 100-watt monocrystalline solar panels, this kit doesn’t skimp on value. It packs both the panels and almost all of the extras you need to set them up into one nicely priced set. Featuring an IP65-rated junction box, Bluetooth module, cable housing, connectors, and a 30-amp charge controller, plus a 4-stage battery charging process, you’ll be ready to start reaping the benefits of solar power. And the entire kit is designed for easy mounting, wiring, and setup. You can pair your solar panels with the Renology smartphone app so you can check in on your system’s performance in real time and make adjustments on the go. And this system is built to last, thanks to the corrosion-resistant panel frames and the outdoor-ready components.

The only small drawback is you won’t find any fuses included in this kit. So, you will need to make a separate purchase and have a slight additional expense before installing.

Specs

  • Panel type: Monocrystalline
  • Panel wattage: 100 watts per panel
  • Number of panels: 8

Pros

  • Suits RVs of all sizes and large power needs
  • Creates over 3,800 watt-hours daily
  • Includes inverter, controller, gel batteries, and more
  • Simple, straightforward mounting and installation

Cons

  • Extremely expensive

If you’re looking for a whole lot of solar-generated electricity to power a large RV, seriously power-hungry appliances, or simply to meet big demand, the ACOPower 800-Watt OffGrid Solar Power Kit will satisfy your needs. This kit is a standout because it includes eight 100-watt monocrystalline solar panels, which are paired with a 3,000-watt power inverter and four gel batteries so you can store the excess. Designed for RVs as well as homes and cabinets, you’ll get plenty of energy to use as frequently as needed. This kit can provide approximately 3,840 watt-hours of power per day, depending on available sunlight. Plus, you’ll also get fuses, battery switches, cables, and more to ensure you can set it up with ease (and no added expense) on your camper.

However, keep in mind that this powerful and extensive solar panel kit is pretty expensive. Its price – and the whopping eight panels – may be too much for the average RVer.

Specs

  • Panel type: Monocrystalline
  • Panel wattage: 17 watts per panel
  • Number of panels: 6

Pros

  • Flexible Omni-Mount panel frames
  • Panels can be added or removed
  • Includes charge controller, wiring harness, mounting hardware, and digital LCD display
  • Simple, straightforward mounting and installation

Cons

  • Covered by 25-year output warranty

The Zamp Solar 1020-Watt Deluxe Roof Mount Kit provides a lot of solar power, which is what makes it a great pick for larger RVs. Larger RVs can have significant power consumption, and this kit is actually made to be suitable for the biggest RVs as well as off-grid cabins and tiny houses. If it runs on a 12-volt battery, this set of RV-ready solar panels can cover all of your power needs. You’ll get six 170-watt monocrystalline solar panels, each of which is made with an innovative flexible Omni-Mount frame so you can put the panels anywhere without worrying about the angle or movement. And if you’re like, easy-release feet on the frame let you take down panels without affecting the mounting hardware. As an added bonus, you can increase the solar absorption thanks to the anti-reflective coating on each panel.

Just note that there’s no battery mentioned in the product details for this RV solar panel kit. As a result, you may find that you need to purchase one separately in order to stash your extra power collected during the daytime.

Specs

  • Panel type: Monocrystalline
  • Panel wattage: 20 watts per panel
  • Number of panels: 2

Pros

  • Includes 60 ah portable battery
  • Can be used for your RV, around the house, or elsewhere
  • Plug-and-play setup takes an hour
  • Can be expanded as your power needs change

Cons

  • Doesn’t store very much power
  • Heavier use requires additional panels

If you aren’t sure just how much solar power you want or need to get started, the Kisae 1800-Watt Solar RV Battery Kit is a great place to begin. This small kit includes just two 20-watt solar panels, but its standout feature is the 60 amp-hour portable battery. You can bring both the panels and the battery on the road with you, easily stashing them inside your camper and setting them up—or mounting the panels—whenever you camp. The battery acts as both a backup power source when you don’t have electricity or the electricity fails, as well as a small standalone solar power setup. In addition to the battery and panels, the kit includes a plug-and-play design that’ll take just one hour to get set up and four AC receptacles for as much as 1,800 watts of power. And best of all, you can expand the system with additional batteries and additional solar panels as often as you’d like.

The only real complaint users have about this kit is its small size. While it can be expanded later on, the 60 amp-hour battery doesn’t have the largest capacity and can become depleted pretty quickly.

Specs

  • Panel type: Monocrystalline
  • Panel wattage: 100 watts per panel
  • Number of panels: 2

Pros

  • Compact, space-saving solar panels
  • Affordable price
  • Includes controller, mounting brackets, adapters, and more
  • Suitable for 12-volt or 24-volt configurations

Cons

  • Doesn’t include battery
  • Best for light power needs

Starting small? The ACOPower 200-Watt OffGrid Solar Power Kit will allow you to make the switch to solar without a huge expense. This budget-friendly kit is so nicely priced, it means anyone can adopt solar power for their RV, and with two 100-watt monocrystalline panels, you’ll get enough power to test it out. You can expand this kit with additional panels over time, or stick to using solar for light consumption. This cost-conscious kit includes the panels as well as a charge controller (which is waterproof), mounting equipment, an adapter kit, cables and cable housing, and connectors so you have almost everything you need to get set up. Plus, there’s a 25-year power output warranty on the panels so you can trust their reliability to collect sunlight.

This solar kit for RVs doesn’t include a battery, however, so you’ll need to buy one separately to store excess power. Additionally, because it maxes out at 200 watts, you may find that you need additional panels ASAP if you want to power your whole RV.

Our Verdict

The Nature Power 440-Watt Complete Solar Kit is the best overall solar panel kit for RVs because it’s both comprehensive and powerful. It’s also nicely reliable, able to power a whole host of RV electric devices and gadgets, and is simple to set up. If you’re looking for a lot of value, the extra-affordable Renology 300-Watt Solar RV Kit comes with a similar setup, plus added value in the form of extra accessories and equipment. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Solar Panels and Kits for RVs

RV-ready solar panels are starting to provide campers with more options than ever – but that means you’ve got to do your research before picking any set of panels. If you’re looking to take your RV solar and make it environmentally-friendly, make sure to keep these details top of mind.

Types of Solar Panels and Kits for RVs

Monocrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are the top tier of RV panels. As the most popular kind of panel, they’re also the most efficient – which means you’ll get a higher output and potentially be able to produce more power, even when sunlight is limited. These panels are made from one large silicon crystal. However, they tend to be the most expensive pick. 

Polycrystalline solar panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are made out of multiple small solar crystals, along with silicon. This makes them more affordable than monocrystalline panels, but they do produce a small amount less—about 1 percent—power in comparison. They’re very common, thanks to their more budget-friendly cost, though these panels are a little less energy-efficient. 

Amorphous solar panels

If you’re looking for the cheapest option, amorphous solar panels are the way to go. These very thin film panels are made out of silicon, and they’re the most inexpensive pick you can buy. However, they also have the lowest power output of all three kinds of solar panels. Additionally, because they tend to be larger in size, they can require double (or even triple) the roof space of a polycrystalline or monocrystalline panel on your RV’s roof. You’ll also need more amorphous solar panels to collect the same amount of power as the other kinds of panels.

Key Features of Solar Panels and Kits for RVs

Solar batteries

Getting solar panels alone won’t enable you to use the sun’s rays to power your RV’s electrical appliances. You’ll also need a solar battery, or a few solar batteries, to be able to store all of the energy your solar panels capture. So, it’s a smart move to look for solar panel kits that include solar batteries to simplify your installation process. Commonly, solar batteries are either lead acid or lithium-ion, and these both will allow you to keep running your electric items even when the sun sets with all of your stored power.

Charge controller and inverter

In addition to ensuring your solar setup comes with a place to stash all of the energy you collect, you’ll also want to make sure that it includes a charge controller and inverter. These two must-have components are key for managing the electrical current within your RV, and they properly direct and convert the solar energy you collect so it’s useable and able to power different gadgets. The charge controller helps prevent overcharging your energy storage system. The inverter, on the other hand, converts DC current to AC current that’ll work with everything from your TV to your RV’s fridge.

The ability to add more panels

Lastly, you want an adaptable and flexible solar panel kit for your RV. You might start out with just one or two panels, but quickly find that you need more to power demanding appliances like your fridge. Or, you might opt for single panels that can be customized. However you set up your solar panel system, it’s important to choose an option that allows you to add panels as needed in the future. After all, your needs can change; you might even find that when you’re camping outdoors for longer periods, you want the ability to store even more power.

Solar Panels and Kits for RVs Pricing 

Solar panel kits for RVs start at around $500. For between $500 and $1,000, you’ll be able to find reasonably priced kits that include one to three solar panels, plus accessories like installation and mounting hardware or wiring. Additionally, you can find panels alone within this price range. If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution, one that includes panels as well as in-RV control panels, all of the wiring and electrical gear you’ll need, and mounting accessories, you can expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000. The more extensive your RV solar panel setup, the more you’ll need to invest (especially if you’re looking for a lot of power).

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: How many solar panels do I need to run an RV?

A: Typically, an RV needs anywhere from two to four 200-watt solar panels to handle all of its energy consumption. If your power needs are more significant, you may need additional panels. 

Q: What will a 100-watt solar panel run in an RV?

A: 100-watt solar panels are best for light power consumption. A single panel can typically recharge electronic devices, like laptops and smartphones. It’ll also power low-energy devices like ceiling fans and LED light bulbs.

Q: What will a 200-watt solar panel run in an RV?

A: With a single 200-watt panel, you’ll have enough power to keep a 12-volt refrigerator running. If your panel is paired with a battery bank that saves extra power, you may also generate enough to run small appliances, like a coffee maker, for short periods of time. 

Q: Can you run an RV air conditioner with solar power?

A: With a suitable system – enough solar panels – you can absolutely run your air conditioner on solar. You simply may need more panels than the typical RV owner to handle the load, and you may need to upgrade or make some tweaks to your RV’s electrical system.

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