Which are the best solar panels for RV battery charging? Your RV’s battery has many ways of use, like giving power to the fan, pumping the water, and even running the TV. There are also several ways of charging it, and the most common is with a gas generator.
When you are going dry camping or boon-docking, it might be the best option to choose an electricity-free solution, especially if you are going on a long trip.
Opting for the best solar panel to charge your RV’s battery is the best option. Not only will it guarantee you a quiet, peaceful, friendly environment, but it will also save you a lot of money.
There are also portable solar panels, which are a great option if you want something more practical or you just don’t want to mount anything on your RV.
Of course, looking for the best solar panel might be a bit overwhelming and even confusing if you are not familiar with this side of the market.
In this article, we will be showing you some information about solar panels, and we made a list of the best ones to charge your RV’s battery, just for you.
How do solar panels work?
Solar panels go through a process known as Photovoltaics (PV) after they capture sunlight. They convert the sunlight directly into energy, which then goes through to the charge controller and is fed to the battery. Solar panels are actually made of numerous photovoltaic cells.
The power that the solar panels generate will be stored in the battery, which will be accessible in two days.
Immediate access is only available for appliances that operate on a 12 volt DC, but most of the appliances require 110 volt AC power. To converter the current from DC to AC, we recommend an inverter.
Benefits of solar panels
Going green is always the best option. Nothing can go wrong when camping in a friendly environment; this can definitely help you save some money and offer some benefits along the way. Here are some of these benefits:
- They guarantee safely charging your RV’s battery, which might be slow but steady, and prevent your battery from draining.
- They increase your battery life from 50% to 75%; the majority of RV batteries will last from two to three years, and with this, you can expect it to increase a bit longer.
- Great source of energy.
- Quiet and friendly for the environment.
- Easy to install.
- They don’t cause any bad smells.
- They don’t have any risk of burning or chemicals.
- They can last a long time.
- Affordable and can even help you save money on electricity bills along the way.
- They don’t need extra costs to maintain it, and you won’t need to check for any mechanical parts.
- They are easy to customize and expand without needing extra power or wattage and modifying your system.
Even though there are a variety of solar panels with a few different characteristics, there are still some buying criteria you should always keep in mind when looking for the best solar panel, such as:
Best portable solar panels for RV battery charging
1. Renogy solar panel
Renogy solar power starter kit is one of the best solar panels overall. Its monocrystalline solar panel can fully charge a 50Ah battery in 3hours, from 50% to 100%. It also uses frames made of corrosion-resistant aluminum.
The Renogy solar power kit comes with everything you need, so you won’t have to pick anything extra from the hardware store.
Apart from the solar panel, you would also get a Wanderer charge controller with high performance and excellent expandability. It keeps your systems safe and addresses any issues you may present, like short-circuit, overloading, etc.
The installation shouldn’t be complicated; the kit contains a variety of Z brackets for mounting.
2. Acopower 60W foldable panel
This one is a 60W portable solar panel and the smallest one on the list, which makes it the easiest to deal with in terms of weight. It’s a great mix of successful solar charging and portability.
It’s made up of two 30W monocrystalline panels. It also has a built-in solar charge controller, which protects your battery from overcharging. Although this solar charge controller is not waterproof, it still has great resistance.
It has a built-in kickstand, which makes it very easy to set up and properly angle it towards the sun.
You can even get a reasonable charge when the sun is low, which is very helpful when camping during the winter.
This portable solar panel comes with a built-in handle and carrying bag to keep it protected during the trip, and it makes it easier to carry around.
It also comes with alligator clips, which you connect to your battery. They are fused to protect your battery and the charge controller as well.
3. Topsolar Solar Panel Kit
This 100W solar panel is able to produce free, renewable energy. Its solid polycrystalline panels can charge 350Wh per day, depending on the sunlight.
The WindyNation complete solar charging kit comes with a PWM charge controller that can handle several solar panels, so you can expand the system if you need any more power.
With the PWM charge controller, you can make any necessary changes to various functions of the solar panel. It also has an LCD screen that allows you to check critical readings, like the voltage, temperature, amperage, and so on.
This solar panel is a very nice versatile option at a very affordable price.
4. TWELSEAVAN Portable Solar Panel
This solar panel is one of the most versatile and flexible there is. It’s very lightweight, at 8 pounds, which makes it perfect for campers or travelers who don’t want to mount anything on their roofs.
And even though it has a built-in solar charge controller, which protects your battery from overcharging, you can still connect it directly to power stations or solar generators.
It’s effortless to set up and angle towards the sun. And if your battery capacity is of 100Ah, this panel can generate about 70-80 watts, which means it would recharge it in about 8 hours from 50%.
Aside from the MC4 and alligator clips, it also comes with eight different DC output adapters, so you will be able o connect anywhere.
The charge controller has USB ports, so you can also charge your devices, like your phone, speakers, and tablet, by connecting them directly to the solar panel.
5. Renogy monocrystalline solar panel
For beginners and veterans alike, this solar is very powerful and modern. Its frames are made with first-class aluminum, so they can hold together for a long time.
It comes with premium-glass integrated and uses peerless glass, which helps eliminate hot spot heating.
Setting it up is a piece of cake; it’s very light, and it comes with pre-drilled holes, so you should be able to move it into place, mount it and secure it to the roof of your RV without much difficulty.
The Renogy solar panel has very compact dimensions, so it won’t take much space on your rooftop. And it also allows you to make some expansions.
The MC4 connectors are waterproof, and with them, you can connect the panel to other panels immediately.
6. ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel
This 120W solar panel is very lightweight, easy to store, and portable. It’s made of three 40 watt panels that can fold and become flat. These panels are monocrystalline.
It comes with MC4 connectors, which you can connect the solar panel charge controller to. With this, you can also connect the panel to solar generators directly.
The 10A charge controller has two USB ports, so you will be able to directly charge your other devices, such as tablets, phones, speakers, and even lights.
The Acopower 120W has a kickstand, so you can tilt it any way you want to improve the charging when the sun is low. It’s also very flexible; you can hang it up or put it on the ground.
This panel is not the kind you can leave out in the rain, and the charge controller is not waterproof, but you can pack it up and fold it in a couple of seconds.
It also comes with a built-in bag and a handle, so you can store your cables and carry the panel more easily.
Overall, it’s an excellent and impressive portable solar charger.
7. Renogy flexible solar panel
This panel is able to bend to 250 degrees; it can securely mount to several surfaces, it’s very adaptable, and you can completely set it up in a couple of hours.
It’s made of polymer materials, and it’s lighter than most panels, so it won’t give you any trouble when installing or carrying it.
In addition, this solar panel is only 10ich thick because of its ultrathin lamination. Its stealthy and subtle system makes it one of the best solar panels in the market.
It also holds well together against extreme winds, heavy snow, and challenging climates. So this is without a doubt the solar panel you should purchase if you travel around the year.
8. Go Power GP-PSK-120 Portable Folding Solar Kit
The Go Power is a well-built portable solar panel. It’s very compact and strong. It has Anderson-style charging connectors, which you can swap to match your needs.
This solar kit includes the charge controller and cables with battery clamps, so you will be able to connect the panel to the battery quickly.
It’s also easy to transport, set up and put away. You can fold it and put it in its case without any trouble.
This panel charges at a fast pace, so you won’t have a hard time giving power to your appliances.
The Go Power comes with a 25-year warranty, which tells you a lot about it.
9. HQST Polycrystalline Solar Panel
This solar panel counts with a reinforced anti-reflective iron-tempered glass; it has more resistance against extreme weather than most panels, from heavy snowfalls to strong winds.
It even has protection against low-pressure water jets with its integrated IP65 junction box. It also comes with encapsulation material with multilayered sheet laminations, which guarantees a long life.
The HQST solar panel provides 500Wh of power daily, which is enough for the usual vehicles. It also minimizes power drop, which can be caused by shade, and maintains a stable performance.
This solar panel is known to have a pretty straightforward installation. It comes with pre-drilled holes, and it’s made to match Z-brackets, tilt mounts, and pole mounts.
HQST solar panel offers a 5-year warranty for quality and materials.