Solar Panels for RV: User’s Guide

Solar panels for RV
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Solar Panels for RV are perfect sources of energy especially if you’re going dry camping. In this article, we’ discuss its value as a power source, and give a few recommendations for your RV.

Solar Panels for RV

If you plan to go off the grid, it would be good to look into solar panels for RV. First of all, they won’t break the bank. For their price, they are quite durable and cost efficient. In fact, compared to generators, which you have to power up with fuel, solar panels for RV are more affordable investments in the long run. Additionally, they are less noisy, and easier to operate and install.

After you equip your motorhome with solar panels for RV, you’ll be capable of staying off the grid for a longer time. This is because you won’t be using fuel for power source as much. Thus, you won’t have to leave your location to get some refills as often. By installing a solar powered system in your vehicle, you create a sustainable power system that does not release fumes into the environment.

In truth, harnessing solar energy for RV is not something new. As a matter of fact, many models have made it easier for you to do so. For instance, the Keystone Montana offers solar prep, as well as upgraded solar system specifically to help you prolong dry camping.

Considerations

If you’ve decided on installing solar panels for RV in your motorhome, there are a few factors you should keep in mind.

In particular, you should look into the type of solar panel you’ll need: polycrystalline, monocrystalline, or amorphous. Because each type differs in power supply and roof space, you should research carefully about which is most compatible your needs.

Other factors you should consider are portability, space efficiency, wattage, and durability. In terms of wattage, it refers to the amount of power your solar panel can output. The higher the wattage, the better. That being said, higher wattage solar panels are usually larger, and consume more space. For this reason, you should carefully weigh their portability with their purported efficiency and durability. Moreover, make sure you choose one that will supply your energy needs.

Lastly, you should consider your location, which ties in closely with reliability on the road and efficiency. Solar panels are charged by the sun. If you know that your location will have sunlight problems, you should invest in a more efficient solar panel system. That way, you won’t have problems with charging.

Recommended Solar Panels for RV

Below, we give you three of our top solar panels for RV. Specifically, we’ll present the following models:

Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

First on our list is the Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit, which is known for its durability. As a matter of fact, it was designed with a high resistance to impact, so no matter what the price, you’ll still get your money’s worth. Actually, it can withstand harsh weather such as the wind and snow.

Additionally, its 100 wattage is capable of supplying power simultaneously to several devices that can run on 12-volts. If you need additional power, this monocrystalline solar starter kit can be wired or linked to other solar panels. It is capable of outputting 500Wh a day. Moreover, depending on the availability of sunlight, a 50Ah batter can be charged 50% in 3 hours.

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
  • Includes 100W Solar Panel + 30A PWM Negative ground Charge Controller + MC4 Connectors +8Ft 10AWG Tray Cable+ Mounting Z Brackets for RV, Boat
  • Monocrystalline solar cell efficiency: 21%;The Charge controller has been upgraded to Renogy new 30A PWM negative ground charge controller The Renogy wanderer
  • With the Renogy wanderer 30A PWM charge Controller, you can expand your system up to a maximum of 400W
  • Ideal output: 500Wh per day; can fully charge a 50Ah Battery from 50% in 3 hours (depending on the availability of sunlight)
  • Negative Grounding controller with battery reversed, overloading, short-circuit and over charging/discharging protection ensures the broader off grid applications and safety. Especially can be used on a vehicle which has battery negative on the chassis. Optimum Operating Current (Imp): 5. 29A

Prices/Images/Reviews pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel

Next on our list is the HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel. If the previous recommendation’s main selling point was its durability, this solar panel boasts its efficiency with 36 polycrystalline solar cells. That’s not to say that this solar panel is not durable because it’s also capable of handling harsh winds, snow, and heavy rain. As a matter of fact, it has waterproof junction box and a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame so you can be sure it won’t get damaged easily.

Apart from its efficiency, this model is also touted for its easy installation and affordability. With this in mind, even if you have limited electrical or mechanical knowledge, you won’t have a problem installing this. You can mount it on the ground or attach it to your roof. However, if you choose to go with the latter, this polycrystalline solar panel has pre-drilled holes so it will be easy to mount and secure.

Lastly, the fact that this solar panel costs less than $100 despite its great features, should be enough to catch your attention.

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
  • Anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron-tempered glass with enhanced stiffness and impact resistance, Withstand high winds (2400 Pa) and snow loads (5400 Pa). IP65 rated junction box provides complete protection against environmental particles and low pressure water jets.
  • Pre-drilled holes on the back of the panel allow for fast mounting and securing. Compatible with different mounting systems such as Z-brackets, Pole Mounts, and Tilt Mounts.
  • High module conversion efficiency. Ideal output: 500Wh per day (depending on the availability of sunlight). Bypass diodes minimize power drop caused by shade and ensure excellent performance in low-light environments.
  • Advanced encapsulation material with multilayered sheet laminations to enhance cell performance and provide a long service life. Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades
  • Note: Goood News! Now, if you buy one or more 100W poly panels, you could get a Lucent for free. For more details, please have a look on Special offers and product promotions below.

Prices/Images/Reviews pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Go Power! Portable Solar Kit

Last on our list is the Go Power! Portable Solar Kit. Among our three recommendations, this solar panel has the highest wattage at 120W. It comes highly recommended due to its efficiency, wattage, and ease of use.

One of its main features is the easy and quick solution for charging batteries. It’s a great kit that you can neatly store because it comes with its own carrying case. This makes it easier to move around securely. Another reason why this model is one of our top picks, is because it’s portable and easy to set up. It has a built-in solar controller that allows you to monitor the system. Additionally, this portable solar kit has a 25 year warranty.

One huge drawback is its exorbitant pricetag. At over $300 dollars, this is the most expensive solar panel in our recommendations. However, it has great reviews, so we still opted to include it in this list of recommended solar panels for RV. If you have the money to spare for it, you should definitely check it out.

Go Power! GP-PSK-120 120W Portable Solar Kit
  • Quick and simple setup
  • 120 Watts of power 6. 7 ampere DC per hour
  • Built in 10 ampere solar controller
  • 25 year warranty. XLR-style solar plug adapter
  • Includes carrying case

Prices/Images/Reviews pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Final Word

Solar Panels for RV is something you shouldn’t discount as a power source for your motor home. Certainly, it doesn’t always win against a generator. For instance, solar power may not be sufficient enough to handle some of your appliances such as the microwave or air conditioner. That being said, they are an environmentally friendly alternative that gives you more mobility because their source of power, the sun, is free.

Wherever you may be, having solar panels on your RV will ensure you have a source of power even if you choose to go to the most remote of places.  Our recommendations are worth checking out, but you’re free to do your own research based on what will be compatible with your vehicle.

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