Whether you are an avid RV enthusiast or a part-time weekender, solar panels are a beautiful convenience that can add safety and security to your road trips. It’s a great investment to create electricity on the road no matter where your RV takes you. 

The installation process is little to be desired, but it opens up more opportunities for you to return to nature and save money on energy whether you are on the move or parked for the night. It’s also better for the environment. 

The cost for a solar panel system even for an RV can reach upwards of $3,000. While this isn’t anywhere close to the cost of putting solar panels on a house, it’s still a hefty upfront cost. It’s an investment and, if it is not utilized properly, is a waste of money.

The good news is that RV solar panels systems can be eligible for a federal solar tax credit. Although, if you are heavily relying on this credit, make sure you and your RV specifically are eligible and act fast as tax credits for solar panels are hastily disappearing.

With increased demand and popularity of #vanlife, there are tons of options out there to choose from. But no need to get too overwhelmed searching for the best RV solar panels. Once you evaluate these important factors, your decision will be more clear and you’ll be able to pick out something that works for your needs.

Top RV Solar Panels

# 1
GlobalSolarSupply.com 150 Watt 12 Volt DC RV Solar Panel Starter Kit

For those who may not be experienced with solar panels, the 150W RV solar panel from Global Solar Supply is a great option for beginners. This starter kit is easy to install, and includes a high quality charge controller, mounts, and cabling in addition to the solar panel.

You won’t want to travel without a solar panel, for off-grid power on-the-go – regardless of where you travel. Included mounts make it easy to install this solar panel onto boats, campers and RVs, with 50 foot of #10 solar wire. Global Solar Supply’s 150W panel weighs 32 pounds, and measures 59.6”x26.57”x2”, and features a sturdy housing.

Sale # 2
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable 2Pcs 50W Solar Panel Suitcase Built-in Kickstand with Waterproof 20A Charger Controller

The Renogy 100W 12V Foldable Solar Panel offers a portable power solution, with a suitcase style, travel ready solar panel. Simply unfold it, and prop it up on top of your RV, or on the ground, and utilize power while you adventure off-grid. With a 20Amp waterproof Voyager Charge Controller, there’s no need to worry over potential water damage.

Featuring a negative-ground charge controller, means this solar panel from Renogy is safe for use on your RV or camper. Plus, the built-in 20Amp, 5-stage solar charge controller offers reduced fire risk, through overcharge protection. This foldable solar panel measures 19.9”x27.2”x2.8” while folded, and 27.2”x19.9”x2.8” unfolded, this compact solar panel weighs 25.6 pounds.

Sale # 3
AIMTOM SolarPal 100W Portable Solar Panel for Power Station, Solar Generator, Phone and Laptop, Foldable Solar Power Charger for Camping, RV, Home with QC USB, 18V DC Port and MC-4 Output

Travel anywhere in confidence, with a SolarPal Portable Solar Panel from AIMTOM. Whether you are camping off-grid, or enjoying time in your RV, you can’t go wrong with foldable solar panel. Utilize the sun’s power, and never risk a dead device battery again, by using clean, eco-friendly energy.

The SolarPal is a 100W, foldable solar panel, that’s capable of charging phones and laptops in your RV. It’s a lightweight solar panel, that’s easily portable, providing over-charge protection as a safety precaution. Measuring 22”x21.3”x1.3” unfolded, AIMTOM’s SolarPal weighs 7.19 pounds, and folds up for easy storage in your camper or RV.

# 4
PAXCESS 120W Portable Solar Panel for Jackery Solar Generator/Rockpals Power Station/Goal Zero Yeti with USB QC 3.0, Typc C Output, Off Grid Solar Charger for Camping Travel Emergency Backup CPAP

TP-solar’s 100W Foldable Solar Panel is lightweight and easy to carry, which is great for power outages as well as travel. Because this panel is fully laminated, it is waterproof for a variety of weather conditions, and highly durable. Featuring dual, 5V USB ports with smart charging QC 3.0 technology for quick charges – where applicable.

Ideal for several uses, TP-Solar’s panel features hinges, and grommets for ease of hanging, mounting and transport. This foldable solar panel measures 11”x7.8”x2.9” folded, 12.48”x8.74”x3.78” unfolded, and weighs a mere 6.6 pounds. Compatible with current smartphones, tablets and GPS, to name a few, during your off-grid adventures.

# 5
TP-solar 100W 12V Solar Panel Kit Battery Charger 100 Watt 12 Volt Off Grid System for Homes RV Boat + 20A Solar Charge Controller + Solar Cables + Brackets for Mounting

True outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate all of the features provided by the TP-solar 100W 12V Solar Panel Kit. Designed specifically for RVs, boats and campers, this solar panel offers pre-drilled holes for fast securing and mounting. In this kit, you’ll find all of the hardware you need, including: 4x Z mounting brackets, 1x V mounting bracket, and 1x 16′ red and black solar cables.

Housed in a sturdy aluminum frame, this solar panel is great for extended periods of outdoor use. The 20A charge controller features an LCD display, with PWM function, also prevents over-voltage, over-charge, short-circuit, and reversed polarity protection. Measuring 45.5”x20”x1.37”, TP-solar’s solar panel kit weighs 15.48 pounds and makes a great off-grid option for RVs, and campers.

# 6
Renogy 50 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel - Ultra Lightweight, Ultra Thin, Up to 248 Degree Arc, for RV, Boats, Roofs, Uneven Surfaces

For an utlra flexible off-grid power option, the Renogy 50W 12V Flexible Solar Panel works well on boats, roofs and RVs. Offering up to a 248 degree arc, uneven surfaces are no longer an issue, especially if you are camping where terrain may be uneven. Because it is made with advanced polymer, this flexible solar panel weighs 70% less than other panels, which makes storage a lot less complicated.

This Renogy flexible panel measures 26.5”x20”x0.16”, and weighs 2.87 pounds, for lightweight power on-the-go. This solar panel is built to withstand extreme environments, wuch as snow loads up to 5400 PA, and wind up to 2400 PA. Never risk a dead device battery again, with a flexible solar panel from Renogy.

How much power do you consume in your RV? 

The unit of measurement AH (amp-hours) is a formula that plays a big role in how many panels you need. The formula to find AH is:

kWh/volts= AH

By dividing kilowatts per hour by volts, you reach the number of amp-hours. If the AH rating level is low, the amount of power you need is also low. If it is high, however, you are going to need to put in more solar panels to get the power you need. 

But knowing your average output based on the appliances you use in your RV will be necessary to evaluate energy efficiency when comparing the output of RV solar panels. 

What type of RV solar panels are you looking for? 

Polycrystalline: Mostly used for recreational vehicles, these are made from many blocks of silicon and a small amount of crystalline. It produces less power than monocrystalline panels, but not by much. 

Monocrystalline: One of the more effective types as it has a higher charge output and powerful enough to supply energy even in low light conditions. 

Amorphous: Also known as thin-film panels, these are made from spreading silicon on a large surface. This type is less costly to make, however it needs more roof space and produces the lowest power output. 

What other parts do you need? 

Besides the panels themselves, you also need to assess what you are committing to based on the hardware parts you have or don’t have. Some RV solar panel kits include a variation or all of these three key components: 

  • Charge Controller: This will take the unsteady power generated from the sun and regulate the power received by your RV’s batteries. 
  • Battery: Solar panels can work with either 12V or 24V deep cycle batteries. 
  • Power Inverter: Batteries typically run on direct current (DC) so you’ll need a power converter as you likely need to convert DC to alternating current to operate most of your appliances. 

Are the solar panels compact and portable? 

When it comes to solar panels for an RV, the more portable the better. It’s easier to install and transport if need be. It’s also important to measure the roof of your RV, along with the placement of other items such as air conditioners and antennas to make sure it will fit. 

Are they reliable and strong against hard conditions? 

Given the fact that you’re going to be driving and parked outside, sometimes in locations with different weather patterns, you want to factor that in when assessing RV solar panels. Are they waterproof? Corrosion-resistant? UV protected? You want to see if these are key features listed in a product to ensure it’s ready for anything. 

Now that you have the necessary key information, you’re ready to assess the best RV solar panels below. Choose the one that is most beneficial for you – then you can go back to soaking up the open road (and it’s free solar energy) in no time!