If you’re new to RV electrics, finding the right solar panels can seem like an endless maze of questions and unknowns. Which brand should I choose? How many solar panels watts do I need? What does “single crystal” mean?

Fortunately, choosing solar panels for your RV isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You just need to know all the facts before you can make a decision. Here’s an overview of everything you need to know to choose the best solar panels for your RV.

Why buy a solar panel for your RV?

By installing solar panels, you can convert the sun’s renewable energy into electricity to support your daily life. In short: solar panels for campervans = freedom to live and travel off the grid.

I tested, even if you don’t have direct sunlight, the photovoltaic cells of your van’s solar panels absorb energy. I noticed, this energy is then stored in your battery and you can use it to power your devices.

The amount of electricity produced depends on many factors, but you can start using green electricity with just one panel. Plus, hooking up solar panels is a lot easier than you think and a very worthwhile investment!

ImagesProductFeatures
Bluetti PV120 Solar PanelMonocrystalline solar cells with an efficiency of up to 23.4%
Long-lasting ETFE coating
Foldable and portable
12 months warranty
Solar Generator 2000 PROlean and Unlimited Solar Energy
Easy to Use
Safe & Reliable for Outdoor Camping
5-Year Warranty
625 Solar Panel with Adjustable KickstandHighly Durable
High Conversion Efficiency
Smart Sunlight Alignment
Made for PowerHouse
Solar Apollo 100WThe universally compatible solar panel has improved
Waterproof and durable
Portable base, portable use
Smart IC and high energy conversion
Renogy Solar Panel 200 Watt 12 VoltWeatherproof
High Efficiency
Reliable & Durable
Built-in Bypass Diodes
HQST 100W 12V Flexible Monocrystalline Solar PanelExtremely flexible solar panels
Optimized conversion efficiency
Waterproof and dustproof
Ultra-lightweight design
Allto Solar 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar PanelsReady to Install
Widely Application
Full Protections
Intelligent 20A MPPT Controller

7 Best solar panels for campervans

One of the biggest benefits of using fixed solar panels for an RV is that it allows travelers to be self-sufficient and independent. I checked when by installing a camper van solar system, RV owners can park their vehicles in remote locations without worrying about running out of solar power. This allows them to last longer without power, which is ideal for those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors.

1. Bluetti PV120 Solar Panel

Most of all I liked this model, connect and go. The BLUETTI 120W solar panels are configured to run your solar generators as long as there is sunlight.

These solar panels PV120 are made of monocrystalline solar cells and can convert up to 23.4% of sunlight into solar energy, allowing you to charge your solar generators even in bad weather. Open the solar panels PV120, lock the bases, adjust the angle to maximize sunlight, and you’re ready to use solar power for your generators.

The solar panels ETFE cover and IP65 junction box are scratches and splash-resistant and ideal for camping, fishing, hiking, and more. Thanks to the durable solar panels ETFE surface, PV120 has a longer lifespan and, more importantly, a light transmission of 95%, allowing solar energy to be harnessed even in low-light conditions. Do not expose it to rain or other liquids for a long time.

Pros

  • Durable and easy to use
  • An excellent option for people who need power on the go
  • PV120 panel comes with its 9.5-foot cable
  • This panel is more affordable

Cons

  • This panel feels quite heavy, weighing in at over 12 pounds

2. Jackery Solar Generator 2000 PRO 2160Wh Capacity with 1XSolar Panel SolarSaga 200W

100% clean and unlimited solar power with a smart MPPT controller to secure your home or campsite. I tested, and I noticed the power station can be fully charged in 15 hours with 1xJackery SolarSaga 200W solar panels or in just 2 hours via an AC charging socket. Fully charged with 6 SolarSaga 200W solar panels (5 additional solar panels sold separately) in less than 2.5 hours.

The ergonomic shape of the handle ensures a comfortable grip. Use one touch with easy and quick setup within 60 seconds to enjoy unparalleled charging efficiency. Explorer Solar Panels 2000 PRO delivers less than 53 dB of energy for silent and hassle-free charging.

Includes industry-leading cylindrical batteries (popular with EV manufacturers) that meet UL safety standards. Impact class 9 and UL drop tested (withstands three drops from a height of 3 feet onto any surface). A pure sine wave inverter provides a constant voltage that protects devices from damage.

Power 99% of all home appliances with 2160Wh (2200W AC power output) and 8 outlets (3 AC sockets, 2 USB-A Fast Charge 3.0, 2 USB-C PD 100W, 1 car socket). The Jackery 2000 PRO solar generator warranty can be extended up to 5 years to give you a hassle-free experience.

Pros

  • Large battery capacity
  • High-output AC inverter
  • Fast loading
  • Modern appearance with a beautiful display

Cons

  • Difficult
  • Plastic container
  • No Anderson Power Pole (APP) port
  • The 8mm connector has been replaced with DC8020
  • No mobile app support

3. 625 Solar Panel with Adjustable Kickstand

The Anker 625 (100W) solar panel has a sleek black design and uses advanced monocrystalline silicon technology to deliver an impressive 100W of power, making it a reliable and eco-friendly choice for all your energy needs.

I checked, and with a voltage of 26.5V and a current of 3.77A, it ensures efficient and stable operation, and its four panels can be easily installed freely. What sets this solar panel apart is its portability and adjustability with its foldable design and adjustable base for optimal positioning.

With a smart solar tracking system, it maximizes solar charging efficiency and ensures durability that can withstand scratches and harsh weather conditions, making it perfect for outdoor adventures or backup power during power outages.

Pros

  • Very compact and portable
  • It is easy to use and charges portable power stations remarkably well
  • It comes with adapters for more than one style of power stationCons
  • The little support legs

Cons

    4. Solar Apollo 100W Portable Solar Panel

    The EBL solar panel is compatible with most generators on the market, including some famous brands, and also has connectors of different sizes to fit several computer models.

    Suitable for charging all kinds of products to meet your daily needs. An improved single-crystal cell, different from the old one.

    The EBL portable solar panels 100W solar module consists of advanced high-purity solar cells with an efficiency of up to 23% and performs significantly better than conventional modules in strong sunlight. Smart IC protects against overcharging, overheating, and short circuit.

    The dual base design allows the solar panel to be mounted at a 45-degree angle. By tilting the base at an angle of 45 degrees, the EBL 100W solar panel can receive 20% more sunlight than when placed horizontally. The magnetic handle design makes it easy to fold and store, and it can be folded tightly with a soft rubber handle.

    EBL 100W solar panel is made with advanced lamination technology and durable ETFE material. I analyzed, that IP65 waterproof can protect against splashing water, but please don’t put it in rain or submerge it in water.

    Smart chips portable solar panels protect against overcharging, overheating, overvoltage, overcurrent, and short circuits. Multiple protection measures to fully protect portable solar panels and systems.

    Pros

    • Magnetic handle – easy to carry
    • Security and reliability
    • It charges very quickly
    • Equipped with various charging connectors

    Cons

    • The only problem with rigid panels is the weight

    5. Renogy Solar Panel 200 Watt 12 Volt

    Renogy makes some of the best solar panels for RVs and this solar panel kit is no exception. First, RV solar panels are monocrystalline, providing highly efficient solar energy.

    The kit includes two 100-watt rigid panels, a 20 amp MPPT charge controller, wiring solar panels, and mounting brackets.

    Solar panel kits are great for beginners and can take the guesswork out of solar powering your caravan. The 200-watt output of this solar camper kit is a good power output for any solar system in a van.

    The rigid panels are durable and have a thin rectangular shape that can easily be installed on a ceiling rack. Overall, this is the best van solar panel kit for RV because of its efficiency and affordable price.

    Pros

    • Includes everything needed for a complete solar camper setup
    • Light and durable panels
    • With MPPT solar charge controller (Maximum Power Point Tracking)

    Cons

    • Limited to what’s included in the kit
    • Premium price for MPPT charge controllers (other charge controllers available in other Renogy solar panel kits)

    6. HQST 100W 12V Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel

    These HQST flexible solar panels can be a good choice for those who want to set up their solar system economically. It is much cheaper than other options but offers the same reliable and efficient performance.

    Although a polycrystalline panels lens doesn’t perform as well as a mono lens, it works very well in low light conditions – ideal for dark days. These solar panels are strong and durable and can withstand any weather conditions.

    The special feature of these flexible solar panels is that it is almost square. The compact shape is ideal for some van roofs as it can easily be placed on a roof rack.

    It may not fit all vans, but it’s nice to have different options if the regular rectangular option doesn’t work. Overall, HQST makes some good solar panels for campervans or RVs at an affordable price.

    Mounting flexible panels directly onto a metal van roof could reduce their power output and shorten their lifespan. 

    Pros

    • The price is right
    • The square shape is ideal for some vans.
    • Completely waterproof and very durable

    Cons

    • Monocrystal is not effective enough
    • The square shape does not work on all vans

    7. Allto Solar 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panels, High Efficiency 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panels

    The 100W solar modules are made of 100% grade A+ monocrystalline solar cells that have passed the EL test, ensuring the highest energy conversion efficiency and long life. Using advanced PERC cells for superior cell efficiency of 22%.

    Included in this package is a 20A MPPT smart solar charge controller with a high tracking efficiency of up to 99% and maximum conversion efficiency of 98%, as well as improved energy efficiency of up to 30% compared to the PWM charge controller.

    I checked, and advanced sealing material with multi-layer sheet lamination protects the elements from physical damage and deformation and ensures a long life. By designing a thinner strip, increase the receiving area of the element while reducing the loss and resistance.

    The MPPT solar charge controllers have built-in protection features to charge your battery up to 100% quickly, efficiently, and safely. Compatible with multiple 12V/24V batteries, such as sealed deep cycle (AGM) batteries, gel batteries, sealed lead acid, and Lifepo4 lithium batteries.

    Pre-drilled holes on the back of the solar modules allow for quick and secure installation. Ready to use a 100W solar starter kit.

    This package includes a 12V 100W solar panel, a 12V/24V charge controller, an MC4 connection cable for the solar panel, and an M8 O-ring connection cable for the battery charging port, which is easy to connect and install.

    Pros

    • Easy installation and performance of the panel and charge controller
    • Enhanced Performance
    • High Efficiency

    Cons

    • Mounting parts are not included in the delivery

    How does a solar panel work?

    Install solar panels are a very popular and environmentally friendly way to charge RV batteries. With the right electrical system and good sunlight exposure, solar panels can completely unplug your RV, allowing you to relax at your favorite campsite, and explore your country. or even travel the world without worrying about plugging into an electric hook-up.

    I checked solar panels used in off-grid electrical systems are photovoltaic (or PV), meaning they convert sunlight into electricity. A solar panel consists of a group of interconnected photovoltaic cells made of a semiconductor such as silicon.

    When light particles (photons) reach the solar panel, they remove electrons from the silicon, resulting in the generation of electricity. The higher the light intensity, the higher the current flow.

    Since the voltage and current of the solar panel are variable, you always need a charge controller to filter the energy before connecting to the battery. The charge checker adjusts the panel voltage and draws the ideal current to effectively charge your leisure battery.

    What size solar panel do I need for campervan?

    Now that you know which type of solar panel you need, it’s time to decide what size to go for, or more precisely, how much power rating.

    Choosing how much power you need from your campervan solar panels will depend on the size of your battery bank and how long you want to last off-grid. But it may also be limited by your budget and how much space you have on your roof.

    For small RVs with limited roof space and minimal power needs, consider one or two 100-150-watt monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels. For medium-sized RVs with moderate power needs, consider installing two to four 150-200-watt monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels.

    FAQ

    Is a 200W solar panel enough for a campervan?

    A 200-watt solar panel might be enough to power a small van or RV, but it doesn’t leave you much wiggle room. It is generally believed that 200 watts of solar power is the minimum required for an RV installation.

    What kind of solar panels do campervans use?

    In general, I prefer rigid solar panels.
    Because they are more efficient, cheaper, and more reliable than flexible alternatives. However, there are several cases where flexible panels are the best solution. Flexible panels are lightweight, thin, and bendable.

    Which is better monocrystalline panels or polycrystalline panels?

    Monocrystalline panels are better in quality but more expensive. Polycrystalline panels are more affordable but have lower efficiency rates – from 14% to 17%.

    Conclusion

    By installing solar panels on your RV roof or campervan, you can capture solar energy and use it to charge your battery, which can then be used to power your devices and electronics. Not only is solar energy good for the environment, but it can also provide you with fuel and energy savings while on the go.

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