Traveling in an RV or camping frequently in one can get expensive and sometimes challenging. You always have to find a good hookup to power your stuff!

And if you’re used to certain luxuries – like a television or, you know, lights – this can get kind of frustrating at times when a campground isn’t properly prepared to handle an RV.

If you find yourself having this sort of issue, you might seriously want to consider converting your RV to solar power by installing the best solar panels for RVs.

There are loads of advantages to doing so – not the least of which is dealing with that hookup issue.

Since you’re here on this site, though, I figure you’re probably already considering the possibility. You just might not know exactly what you’d be getting into if you tried it.

Converting to solar power and choosing the best panels can seem a little intimidating, but it’s really not as challenging as you might think. Take a look at the information below to learn about a good bit of what goes into installing solar power in an RV and decide for yourself.

Quick-Find RV Solar Panel and Solar Panel Kit Table

Image Product
  • Best overall solar kit for RVs
  • 4 x 100W Panels
  • High efficiency and lots of power
  • Best overall solar kit for RVs
  • 4 x 100W Panels
  • High efficiency and lots of power
VIEW LATEST PRICE
  • Best 100W Kit for RVs
  • Great starter kit
  • Easy to install
  • Best 100W Kit for RVs
  • Great starter kit
  • Easy to install
VIEW LATEST PRICE
  • Best 400W Kit that includes battery
  • Comes with literally everything you need
  • Lots of Watt-hours
  • Best 400W Kit that includes battery
  • Comes with literally everything you need
  • Lots of Watt-hours
VIEW LATEST PRICE
  • Best flexible solar panel for RVs
  • Super lightweight
  • Great for hard-to-fit spaces
  • Best flexible solar panel for RVs
  • Super lightweight
  • Great for hard-to-fit spaces
VIEW LATEST PRICE
  • Best 100W Monocrystalline Panel
  • Basic, but high quality 100W panel
  • Very durable
  • Best 100W Monocrystalline Panel
  • Basic, but high quality 100W panel
  • Very durable
VIEW LATEST PRICE
  • Best 100W Polycrystalline Panel
  • Impact resistant
  • High conversion efficiency
  • Best 100W Polycrystalline Panel
  • Impact resistant
  • High conversion efficiency
VIEW LATEST PRICE

How to Choose the Best Solar Panels for RVs and RV Solar Panel Kits

There are a few things you’ll want to consider as you shop for the right RV solar panels and/or kit.

Daily Power Consumption

The very first thing to consider for your set-up is your expected daily usage. You can calculate what you’re likely to need on average by thinking through the appliances and electronics you expect to use most frequently in the RV. Then, combine these figures together to understand how much power you’ll need.

You can look at the list we give below, or find a more comprehensive list to determine everything you’re aiming to power in your RV.

Choose the Right Panels

There are a number of types of solar panels for RV battery(s) available. You’ll want to better understand these before choosing the wattage, materials, and types of panels before you purchase.

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline RV solar panels are more expensive, so there’s a bigger up-front cost, but they last longer than the amorphous panels.

They’re all equally about the same amount of effort to install and use, however.

The wattage is probably one of the main things to look at in panels. You’ll need ones strong enough to power what you’re aiming to run, though you are likely to install multiple panels if you’re going for a larger volume of electronics and appliances.

Suits Your Budget Well

Another key element to your selection has to be determining your budget and which combination of components work for your goals and budget.

While you might want top of the line, you might not be able to afford it. However, since the whole system will eventually save you money on power, you should be able to save up and replace lower quality items later on, if need be.

Other Things to Consider

You’ll also want to verify these things before you purchase your RV solar panel kit:

  • Charge controller that suits your system
  • Portability and ease-of-installation
  • Power inverter that suits your system
  • Battery that holds enough charge

How I Decided on the Best Solar Panels and Kits for RVs and Campers

Since we only want to provide unbiased RV solar panels reviews of top-notch panels, I dug around for a while looking for the “top ten” lists by other reviewers and compared those to the hundreds of reviews I could find from real users.

You see, online reviews aren’t the be all, end all (in fact, they might be one of the least important sources I use), but they ARE good for identifying poor manufacturing practices. You can bet that if a disproportionate number of people complain about a quality issue online, that there’s a problem.

Anyway, I removed anything where the “field-tests” by these reviewers proved they were not reliable.

From here, I waded through all the specs, the expert data and tests done, and the qualifications each panel needed to have.

After all that, I’m proud to share the final results with you!

The section below is broken into 2 parts:

  1. Reviews of the Best RV Solar Kits
  2. Reviews of the Best RV Solar Panels (panels-only)

Reviews of the Best Kits for Solar Battery Chargers for RVs

If you’re just getting started with solar power, you might want to consider doing a kit instead of pulling together the whole setup individually.

Often, a kit will cost significantly less than purchasing each item individually, plus, you’re less likely to forget something critical, like a controller, mounting bracket, or cables.

So, here’s our list of the best RV solar kits ranging from a 100W kit from an extremely well-trusted brand to a more advanced 400W kit that will cover pretty much all of your electrical needs in the RV.

#1. Renogy KIT-RV400D RV Solar Kit (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking to go off-grid, this is your kit. It’s a combined 400W panel that will power your whole system with whopping power. It’s sturdy and able to withstand the elements – including heavy snowfall – and has high-efficiency. If you want an all-in-one option for getting off-the-grid, this is it.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 400W
  • Number of Panels: 4 x 100W
  • Flexible: No
  • Type of Panel: Monocrystalline
  • Weight: 88 lbs. (full kit)
  • Comes with: 1x 400W solar panel, Li 30A PWM flush mount charge controller, MC4 connectors, tray cable, corner bracket mount, and an MC4 adaptor kit

Positives of the Renogy Kit-RV400D

From everything we found, this monocrystalline system from Renogy is the best solar panel kit of all on the market.

It’s got four powerful solar panels, which are made with corrosion-resistant aluminum frames and can withstand a heavy load of snow or high winds like nothing else.

The kit quickly charges your battery and keeps things going all day and night. It’s perfectly designed for RVs, boats, and even greenhouses that run on solar power for the greenest, cleanest energy around.

With 4 separate panels that hook into one system, its versatile and easy to work with, even for reasonably new-to-solar power folks.

Plus, the kit comes with everything you need, except the battery.

Negatives of the Renogy Kit-RV400D

The only downside with such a large system is that you need the space to fit 4 panels on top of your RV.

But if you’re looking for a whopping system like this, you probably already know that. Otherwise, there’s no glaring negatives.

We love it, people who use it regularly love it. It’s reasonably priced for such a kit, so that’s not even a negative aspect.

Our Verdict on the Renogy Kit-RV400D

This is, hands-down, the best kit on the market.

It comes with everything you need – save a battery – and it’s extremely high-quality, durable, and comes from a company with a reputation for excellence.

Easy-to-install, easy-to-maintain, powerful, inclusive, all in a single kit.

We do recommend making sure you have plenty of assistance for holding things as you install, however, as it uses a bit heavier-than-average panel.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#2. Renogy 100W Monocrystalline Solar Power Starter Kit – Best 100W Solar Panel Starter Kit for RVs

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’m more than happy to rate this as the best starter solar power kit for someone getting into using solar power. who doesn’t need a ton of extra juice.

It’s easy to use, easy-to-install, and pretty straight forward on all the information you need to use it properly.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 100W
  • Number of Panels: 1
  • Flexible: No
  • Type of Panel: Monocrystalline
  • Weight: 19.84 pounds (full kit)
  • Comes with: 1 solar panel, PWM 30A charge controller, Z-brackets for easy mounting, 1 20-foot 10AWG MC4 Adaptor Kit, 1 8-foot 10AWG Tray Cable

Positives of the Renogy 100W Monocrystalline Starter Kit

This is honestly the best kit for starting out with solar power for your RV – or anything else for that matter.

It’s lightweight and easy to install and cost-effective enough for you to get a real feel for the solar power situation without spending a wad. This is especially true because everything you need to get started comes with it.

The Renogy kit is also really well built and designed to last for a long time to come. That means that even though it’s a starter solar panel kit, you aren’t getting a “lesser” quality option here that will need to be replaced later on. You can upgrade with different elements, though, of course. You can add in more solar panels for your RV – either monocrystalline or polycrystalline – to increase the power for the kit.

The Z-brackets are perfect for easy-installation, which is phenomenal. Nobody wants to run around trying to figure out the best brackets – and this kit does that for you.

Negatives of the Renogy 100W Monocrystalline Starter Kit

The first issue is that it can be a bit difficult mounting the system with the brackets as-is.

You may have to make the holes in the brackets a little larger if you need to use large screws.

Now, the screws that come with the kit fit perfectly, so this probably shouldn’t be an issue…it’s just that some people want to make use heavier duty screws.

This isn’t something we found to be an issue for most uses, but just keep it in mind.

The MC4 connectors can also be a little tough to unhook.

(To solve this issue, grab the tool designed for this issue ahead of time).

However, this isn’t really much of a deterrent, as you want your solar panels for RV to stay mounted instead of coming off easily.

Our Verdict on the 100W Solar Power Kit from Renogy

You can’t beat this for a starter kit in solar power for RVs.

They’re generally easy to mount, easy to use, and the whole thing is included to get your solar power started.

They’re well-designed, and highly durable, so we can’t help but recommend this kit to anyone looking to start out with something smaller to build on later.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#3. WindyNation 400-Watt Solar Kit (Best 400W Kit that Includes a Battery)

Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for more than just a starter kit, and want absolutely everything included, the 400W kit from WindyNation is the way to go.

It’s well loved, easy-to-install, and comes with everything, including the battery. No muss, no fuss.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 400W
  • Number of Panels: 4 x 100W
  • Flexible: No
  • Type of Panel: Polycrystalline
  • Weight: unknown
  • Comes with: 4 x100W panels, 30-amp P30L charge controller, 40-ft. UL 12AWG solar cable, MC4 connectors, 4pcs BattaMax 100Ah AGM Deep cycle 12V Batteries with 2/0 AWG interconnect battery cables, 1/5/25-year warranty

Positives of the WindyNation 400W Kit

Obviously, the first major positive about the 400W Kit from WindyNation is the fact that this thing is complete. It comes with everything you need to set up, so you can calculate the price easily and not have to hunt around for multiple additional pieces that are compatible.

The watt hours for this kit are also pretty phenomenal. You can run your whole RV off of this thing with the whopping 1700Wh. I could say more about this, but do I need to?

The kit is specifically designed with RVs, boats, and similarly large-power-sucking machines in mind. So, you’re going to actually be able to use this easy-to-install system the way you intend to.

The PWM solar charge controller has adjustable settings that you can figure out using the LCD screen. You can view and adjust things related to amperage, voltage, temperature, and even DC load draw.

The whole system is overall lightweight and easy to set up, which is a huge bonus in my opinion. That means practically anyone can do it – which is important for anyone who’s a little less mechanically-inclined.

Finally, for the full kit – especially including batteries – this is quite reasonably priced. That’s a huge score in my book.

Negatives of the WindyNation 400W Kit

There are really only two potential negatives I see for this kit.

First, because it’s polycrystalline panels, it’s not quite as powerful a solar panel kit as a monocrystalline 400W kit would be. But with the 1700Wh, I think it mostly evens out and shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most.

Secondly, and possibly more importantly, the kit just doesn’t absorb as much light on overcast days as some other kits would. Some have described the lack as the panels not pulling in much light on even “slightly” overcast days. So, this would not be a great kit for anyone in the Pacific Northwest.

Our Verdict on the WindyNation 400W Kit with Battery

If you want a kit that truly includes everything – yay for no hunting for batteries – this is your kit.

The WindyNation is easy to install and maintain, and it comes from a company that’s trusted by consumers to deliver powerful solar energy equipment.

This is probably the easiest-to-install kit, since overall, it’s lighter-weight than average, and has four 100-watt solar panels for RV which are more feasible for some. However, it does take more space to mount the full kit, since there are so many panels.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Reviews of the Best RV Solar Panels

We dug around for a variety of options to help make sure you find the best in whatever category you’re looking for – or didn’t know you’re looking for!

With everything from a 100W single panel to the 400W kit with battery, we’ve got you covered.

#1. ALLPOWERS Solar Panel Bendable 100W – Best Flexible Solar Panel for RVs (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

ALLPOWERS flexible solar panel for RVs

Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Of all the RV flexible solar panels we looked at, the Allpowers Solar Panel 100W Bendable was hands-down the best option we could find. It’s lightweight – like crazy lightweight – easy to install, easy-to-use, and higher-quality than the many amorphous flexible panels the other guys make.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 100W
  • Number of Panels: 1
  • Flexible: Yes
  • Type of Panel: Monocrystalline
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs.
  • Comes with: 1 100W panel, 18-month warranty

Positives of the Allpowers 100W Bendable Solar Panel

Obviously, the bendable aspect is really amazing on this one. The Allpowers 100W Bendable solar panel is incredibly flexible, which means that it’s going to be easier to install in tight situations than the average rigid panel.

We really love that this flexible panel is monocrystalline, too, and not the lower-quality amorphous panel. It handles foul weather and is way more efficient because of that.

It’s also incredibly light at less than 5-pounds. That means just about anyone can install it, even the mechanically inclined teen who wants to lend a hand. (OK, my 6 year old could literally hand this up to me if I was on top of the RV. You get my point.)

This panel is also cost-effective, which we love. I mean, who doesn’t love a high-quality product for less?

The Allpowers Bendable is highly water-proof and weather resistant, so it’s going to last a long time, as well, which means you’ve just saved money there, too.

Negatives of the Allpowers 100W Bendable Solar Panel

We really couldn’t find anything that we didn’t like about this panel.

It’s durable, it’s high-quality, and extremely efficient. The closest we can get to a downside is that it comes with no accessories, so you have to find your kit items individually.

Our Verdict on the Allpowers 100W Bendable Solar Panel

We really can’t say enough about these amazing flexible panels.

They’re just as high-quality as most of the rigid panels but more flexible – literally.

They’re extremely lightweight, easy-to-install, and highly durable. You can install them practically anywhere on your RV since they’re so lightweight, and that means these are probably the best choice for anyone who might have a little challenge in self-installation with the heavier, more rigid RV solar panels.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#2. ECO-Worthy 100 W Panel – Best 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel

ECO-WORTHY 100 Watt best Solar Panel for RVs

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This is easily the best straight-forward monocrystalline solar panel by itself.

It’s high-quality, moderately weighted, easy-to-install, and has a good reputation for lasting long and charging well.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 100W
  • Number of Panels: 1
  • Flexible: No
  • Type of Panel: Monocrystalline
  • Weight: 17.64 lbs.
  • Comes with: 1x panel and cables

Positives of the Eco-Worthy 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel

The big thing I uncovered during my research was that this panel from Eco-Worthy is really well-built.

It’s durable, able to withstand high winds, and heavy loads (like snow) while still being lightweight and easy to install.

It’s reinforced with an anodized aluminum frame, and reinforced safety and anti-reflection coated tempered glass that’s 3.2 millimeters thick.

The frame is also corrosion resistant, meaning it’s going to last a long time outdoors – perfect for camper vans.

It delivers the rated power consistently, which is majorly important, even when the sunlight is less intense.

Finally, it’s well-priced for the quality. It’s a great value for the money and plays well with others, so we think that’s kind of fantastic.

Negatives of the Eco-Worthy 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel

With most good things, there are likely to be at least one or two less-than-good things. We’ve found a few things we’re not as thrilled with on this, but they don’t eliminate it from our “best of” list.

The first thing we found is that the connecting cable is really short (only about three feet long). You’ll definitely need to find the right kind of extension cable to make this work.

The other thing of note is that the documentation that comes with it is a bit confusing. You’ve got to really pay attention not to reverse the polarity of the connectors as you set it up.

Now, most systems like this are designed to protect against such accidents, so it shouldn’t be too big of a deal – just adjust the polarity. Still, annoying.

Finally, if this is your first solar power project for your RV, you may want to consider getting a kit instead of a single panel. It’ll be easier to work with a kit in entirety rather than piecing something together from scratch.

Our Verdict on the Eco-Worthy 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel

From everything we know about the best RV solar panels, this 100W monocrystalline panel from Eco-Worthy is about as good as you’re going to get.

It’s durable, strong, and able to handle tough weather.

It’s also easy-to-install, budget-friendly, and powerful enough to run most anything you need in an RV, boat, or other mobile transport.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#3. HQST 100W Panel – Best 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If you’re interested in a high-quality, easy-to-install 100-watt polycrystalline panel instead of the more standard/popular monocrystalline panels, this model from HQST is the one you should buy.

Most of the reviews are stellar, they’re easy-to-use, and are very efficient at power conversion.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 100W
  • Number of Panels: 1
  • Flexible: No
  • Type of Panel: Polycrystalline
  • Weight: 16 lbs.
  • Comes with: 1x 100W panel, 5/25 year warranty

Positives of the HQST 100W Panel

There are tons of great things about this polycrystalline solar panel from HQST. In fact, there are so many that some people actually call this the best panel out there.

First off, the panel is made of anti-reflective, high-transparency low iron tempered glass that has enhanced stiffness. This combination also makes it impact resistant so that it can handle heavy snow loads and high winds.

It’s also waterproof and can even handle low-pressure water jets if you need an easy way to clean it.

The panel has super high conversion efficiency and performs well in low-light locations. That means you’re looking at this one if you plan to live in or travel often to places that frequently have heavy cloud coverage and overcast skies.

The cells are made of advanced materials that protect them from the environment. The frame is corrosion-resistant, and the whole thing is generally designed for long-lasting outdoor use.

Negatives of the HQST 100W Panel

The only real complaint about this panel is that the cord is only 10-feet long, which is almost guaranteed to be too short for most of your needs. I hate recommending the use of an extension line, but it might be impossible without one for this panel setup.

Our Verdict on the HQST 100W Panel

For a polycrystalline panel, the HQST is our highest rated, and most people who own the panel love it.

It’s high-quality, incredibly durable, and works well in low light settings. This makes it an incredibly beneficial solar panel for anyone who resides or travels frequently to low-lit areas that have tons of cloud coverage.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

What are the Advantages of Using a Solar-powered System for Your RV?

Besides the obvious answer of “power your RV’s electrical system,” running on solar power has a number of advantages and benefits that you’ll want to weigh and balance before committing to the purchase and installation of a system.

Solar Power is Quiet

First off, a solar-powered energy system for any situation is quiet. This is especially beneficial in an interior setting like an RV, however, because of the tight quarters. Having a noisy generator running all the time can drive most people to distraction and detract from the conveniences of a motorhome over a tent camping situation.

Solar Power is Clean and Eco-Friendly

The energy from a solar-powered system is also clean. It’s not harmful to the environment and uses an already existing clean energy source that’s more sustainable than human life itself. Pretty much every day, everywhere, the sun is shining. Solar power systems take advantage of this.

Solar Power Can Help Maximize the Life of RV Batteries

One way solar energy maximizes the life of your RV battery is through the regular re-charging of the battery. Since it’s damaging to let batteries run out or run too low frequently, the solar-powered system automatically helps extend that life.

Solar Power Means You Don’t Have to Rely on Hookups

There are some places – like your kids’ driveway – where finding a hookup can be challenging or problematic in some other way. When you use solar energy, however, you don’t have that issue. You can park anywhere you want or need and still keep things going. This is especially great for anyone needing to park somewhere random overnight on a trip or when you’re camping in a more primitive location that doesn’t have the right setup for your system.

What Does an RV Solar Setup Look Like?

There are several pieces for your RV solar power system setup. We’ll take a brief look at each component so you can understand everything that’s involved before you commit to using solar power.

Solar Panels

Obviously, you need solar panels for campers or RVs. There are three basic panel types that come with standard setups.

  • Monocrystalline
  • Amorphous
  • Polycrystalline

Each type is made differently and therefore has a different price range. Amorphous cells are the cheapest of the three and work better for cloudy day solar power collection. However, amorphous cells are made for trickle charging – charging at the same rate the source discharges – and aren’t always as practical as the poly or monocrystalline cells. Amorphous cells simply aren’t as efficient in collecting power to charge.

In other words, poly and monocrystalline cells recharge faster than amorphous cells.

Solar Wiring

Next, you’ll need wiring to connect your solar power system together. Just note: there’s no special wire that’s exclusively made for solar-powered systems. However, different wires are rated for different uses. For motorhome solar panels, you need THHN 10/2 tray cables because they’re rated to handle the temperature extremes that solar powering systems encounter.

As to the charge control and battery bank, any type of DC type stranded wire works. Some prefer 8 gauge, but 6 gauge can also be used. These are fairly easy for connection, though 10 gauge is probably the easiest to use since most terminal blocks are built for 10 gauge.

Digital Monitoring Unit

A digital monitoring system allows you to keep track of things like voltage, amps, and cumulative amp hours for your whole system. Many of them use indicator lights, while some just list the voltage.

Deep Cycle Batteries

There are two main types of batteries that RVs use. One is the battery used to power the RV while driving – your starting battery. This is not the same battery that’s used to run your electronics in the “home” part of your motorhome. The batteries for your living space are deep cycle batteries.

“Deep cycling” refers to the fact that these batteries heavily discharge before being fully recharged again. These provide much smaller amounts of amps to power electronics and appliances over a long period of time. Good deep cycling batteries will perform much longer than standard starting batteries – like three to four times longer – under the same conditions.

Solar Power Inverter

You’ll need an inverter to convert your 12-volt DC power into 120-volt AC power for your appliances and tech. You can simply look for “the best solar power inverters” to find the right options for your system.

Mounting Hardware

Finally, in order to actually, you know, use your system, you need to be able to mount things to your RV. For safety and efficiency reasons, you want to make sure you only use the highest quality mounting hardware. You don’t want to risk a weaker or lesser quality piece snapping and collapsing under the weight of the panels or under strong weather conditions.

The mounting needs to be absolutely secure, though you can either use flat or tilt brackets. I highly recommend tilt brackets, though, as these allow you to adjust the positioning of the panels which can allow you to charge a heck of a lot faster than an affixed position may allow.

What Can a Solar-Powered Kit Run in Your RV?

What you can run on your solar-powered kit greatly depends on the kit. But just to demonstrate what you might be able to do, think about it this way:

A heavy-duty kit – 6 x 140-watt modules and a 2000-watt pure sine inverter with controllers and proper cables – can produce up to 3360-watt hours in a single day. This kind of wattage would power a variety of appliances used in a single day including:

  • Lights
  • Laptop
  • Electric kettle
  • Cellphone charger(s)
  • Microwave
  • Television
  • Blender

That’s a lot of power, but it’s only possible from a powerful setup.

Low-powered setups – 100-watt systems, for example – can run a few high-energy things like a laptop, cellphone charger and tablets. You can also run your fridge, though you’ll be limited on what else you can run at the same time.

Of course, ultimately, it boils down to how much sun your system is getting, the altitude and other climate/terrain issues that vary the charge you get each day.

A rough list of what kind of wattage you’re looking at for common items includes:

  • Ceiling fan: 10-50W
  • DVD Player: 15W
  • CB Radio: 5W
  • Modem: 7W
  • Laptop: 25-100W
  • Drill (1/4 inch) 250W
  • Toaster Oven 1200W
  • Blu-ray Player: 15W
  • Tablet Recharge: 8W
  • Satellite Dish: 30W
  • Cable Box: 35W
  • TV – LCD: 150W
  • LED Light bulb (40-watt equivalent): 10W
  • LCD Monitor: 100W
  • Smart Phone Recharge: 6W
  • Coffee Machine 1000W
  • Fridge (16 cubic feet) 1200W

How Does It Actually Work to Power Your RV/Electronics?

Some locations are cloudier, shadier, et cetera, and this affects how much sun the panels gets. Other spots have seasonable dark days – think Alaska and Russia with their “white nights” thing going on. But most places are going to be reasonably easy to get solar power, even on cloudy days.

In some ways, solar power is extremely simple to understand: Solar panels pull in energy from sunlight and convert this energy into useable power, i.e. electricity. The sun shines every day in most places on the planet, so it’s an almost endless resource that doesn’t damage the environment.

Of course, solar energy is far more complex than this simple input=output understanding. Generally speaking, however, most of us don’t need to understand the deep science of the electrons of silicone colliding and bonding and whatnot to figure out how to hookup solar panels for camping trailers.

However, solar-powered systems do, in many ways, function like the electrical system of a house. There’s an energy source – in this case, the sun – that is harnessed to power the RV. The solar panels are that harness, and they capture, convert and convey the energy through wires into the electrical system of the RV.

This parallels the electrical system of a house like this: Electricity is fed into a house via the power source – the electric company – and sent through the electrical wiring of your house. The electrical wiring is connected to the various outlets to which you attach your electronics via metal prongs that conduct electricity.

Your RV has a similar electrical system in it, with wiring, outlets, et cetera. The difference is that the solar panels are attached to the wiring instead of an additional system of wires and connectors from a transformer somewhere nearby.

In other words, solar power systems run your RV the same way the electrical system from the local power company runs your home.

FAQs on RV Solar Power Systems

How do I calculate how much energy I need?

Use the chart provided above to see how much energy each of your electronics and appliances use. Then consider how often you use these items. Use these two figures to see what kind of wattage you’ll need.

Do I have to install a battery?

This will depend on your current setup. If your current house battery works with the system, you won’t need to install a new one.

What type of panel is most efficient?

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline batteries last longer than amorphous solar panels, and they charge faster.

Should I use flexible or rigid panels?

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are typically rigid framed, while amorphous panels have flexibility that allows them to bend up to about 30 degrees. There are a few monocrystalline frames from a few specific brands that are flexible, as well, though they tend to be more expensive.

You should use flexible panels if your setup demands these kinds of angles to work properly. They’re also lighter weight and therefore a more portable solar panels for RV – i.e. you can remove them more easily if need be – and therefore work best for situations where you need to remove and replace panels frequently for any reason.

Do you need additional hardware?

For the most part, the items listed above are sufficient for running your solar-powered system effectively.

What does a typical installation include?

A basic install will include these basic steps:

  1. Selecting your system based upon your energy needs.
  2. Disconnecting your RV battery.
  3. Installing mounting brackets designed for your solar panels.
  4. Installing solar panels travel trailer options.
  5. Installing the proper battery, if needed.
  6. Connecting the solar panels to the house battery.

Can I run an air conditioner with solar power?

You can run your RV air conditioner via solar power if you have the correct wattage system installed.

Last Updated on

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *