Best RV Solar Kits of 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Power is a valuable thing when traveling the open road. It might be miles before you can recharge your batteries to operate your appliances.

But why wait? You could continuously power your devices by using a solar kit that absorbs the sun’s energy and turns it into power you can use.

The following article will discuss the features that make a solar kit standout and an in-depth description of a handful of products we think are some of the best on the market.

Comparison Chart of the Best RV Solar Kits

PRODUCT DETAILS
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HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel

  • Anti-reflective material
  • Withstands high winds and heavy snow
  • Outstanding 25-year power output warranty
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Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer

  • Eight-foot tray cable
  • Output of 500Wh per day
  • Plenty of effective safety features
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WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel

  • LCD screen
  • 350Wh per day
  • 40 ft of solar cable
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Go Power! Valterra Power Us

  • 25-year warranty
  • Helpful carrying case
  • Portable kit with an easy setup
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WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit

  • LCD display
  • Provides up to 350Wh
  • AGM deep cycle battery
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Renogy Starter Solar Panel Kit

  • 8 ft tray cable
  • 1000Wh per day
  • Built-in safety features
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WindyNation Complete 400 Watt Solar Panel Kit

  • LCD display
  • 1600Wh per day
  • Sine wave power inverter
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ECO-WORTHY 600W 12V Off Grid Solar Power System

  • Bypass diodes
  • Monocrystalline
  • Corrosion-resistant material
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What Can You Power and For How Long?

Depending on how big your solar panels are and what appliances you want to charge, your ability to absorb energy and amount of energy required may vary widely. However, for the purposes of answering this question, we will use a standard solar panel as an example. The following section will discuss the different products that you would be able to power.

Air Conditioner

If you’re looking to use your air conditioner for the warmest part of the day, which usually lasts around five hours, you’d need to have your solar panel running for seven hours every day and creating 107 amps, which is only possible on clear, sunny days.

Backup Battery

You could also power a backup battery to be used during emergencies or to power your simple devices, such as tablets or game consoles.

Refrigerator

To power your refrigerator, you would need the power of nearly four large solar panels to continuously power your appliance. This would only work during sunny days and would need to utilize reserve power at night in order to keep food fresh.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

There are a few considerations that need to be thought about before going ahead and buying your next solar power kit. The following section will discuss all of these aspects and why they’re so important to understand.

Appliances

As you might be able to tell, general appliances can use up a lot of power and sometimes a lot more than what any solar panel kit is able to provide. By understanding the varying demands of your appliances, you’ll know which appliance you will be able to power continuously without fail.

Type of Panel

There are two main types of solar panel on the market, Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline. The former type is generally considered a higher quality since it uses a more pure silicone than that of the Polycrystalline type. Silicone allows the panel to absorb solar energy more efficiently and can be a great choice for when you’re working with limited space. However, they’re far more expensive than the polycrystalline type.

Safety

A solar panel kit will still face the same electrical problems that other devices could face, such as overcharging, electric shock, or even fire. These can all be dangerous for both the RV and your family. However, a decent solar panel system will have all of the best safety features built into the appliance or controllers.

Quick Take - The Best RV Solar Kits

Review of the Best RV Solar Kits

Below is our review of the best solar kits for your RV or travel trailer. Let's take a closer look at each model and see what makes it stand out compared to competing models. 

HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel

Pros

  • Long lifespan
  • Durable material
  • Resistant against many environmental situations

Cons

  • Polycrystalline panels

This solar panel is overall one of the most effective and durable products on the market. The panel can withstand some of the heaviest of snow storms, high winds, and even has decent impact resistance.

The IP65 rated material means that it will be able to withstand some of the most problematic weather conditions or environmental situations, such as dirt and rain. It can create up to 500 Wh per day which isn’t affected even when you’re sitting in shade, due to the bypass diodes that ensure excellent performance.

There’s also a thing called advanced encapsulation material, which is a multilayered sheet that will enhance the cell performance and ensure a long lifespan for the solar panel.

Bottom Line

This product most definitely does what it was made to do, which is produce around 500 Wh of energy each day. A huge benefit of this panel is that it can withstand even the greatest environmental pressures like water, dirt, sand, snow, and even heavy winds.

Its long lifespan will ensure that you get your money’s worth; this is due to the advanced cell material. The only real problem with this product is that Polycrystalline is the least effective type of panel to create energy from the sun’s power; more energy would be created if you used the other type of panel with better silicone.

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit w/ 100W Solar Panel + 30A PWM Negative ground Charge Controller + MC4 Connectors +Tray Cable+ Mounting Z Brackets for RV, Boat

Pros

  • Extremely safe
  • 500Wh per day
  • Pure Silicone panel
  • Eight-foot power cable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Easily damaged

This is probably one of the safest panels on the market and the most efficient at creating energy from the sun’s rays. The Monocrystalline panel uses a more pure silicone that absorbs energy far better.

The safety features for this device are also great; it has protections against overloading, short-circuit, and overcharging. Better safe than sorry. The greatest output per day would be around 500Wh per day and can charge a 50Ah battery from 50% in just three hours. The upgraded charge control can now increase the system maximum to around 400W.

Bottom Line

This panel is one of the safest currently on the market as it has a plethora of features that stop it from overheating, overcharging, short-circuiting; all of these things are common issues that are not a problem for this panel.

Another benefit is that the material the panel is made from uses a more pure silicone, which ensures increased effectiveness regarding energy creation. Other benefits include the 500Wh power creation per day and the eight-foot power cable that’ll allow you to be more flexible as to where you place your panels.

The only downsides to this kit are that it’s more expensive due to the more effective material; this material is also more sensitive to damage, which is a problem that is harder to fix.

WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit with LCD PWM Charge Controller + Solar Cable + MC4 Connectors + Mounting Brackets

Pros

  • LCD display controller
  • Decent power output
  • Battery temperature sensor

Cons

  • Polycrystalline
  • No effective safety system

This solar panel is an excellent option if you are looking for a decent, all-around solar panel that gets you your money’s worth. It gives out around 350Wh of charge a day; this is obviously dependant on the availability of sunlight on the given day.

The LCD display screen allows you to adjust the settings depending on your preferences. On the screen, you can see important information such as the system amperage as well as the voltage and temperature, amongst other things.

Bottom Line

This product has a battery temperature sensor which is the only proper, highlighted safety feature. It also has an effective LCD display controller, this controller will allow you to monitor all of the vital information that the panel is relaying and collecting, such as the battery temperature.

In general, the power output is quite decent but not the most powerful. The downsides with this product are that it isn’t really powerful enough because of the lack of pure silicone. Also, as we mentioned, there isn’t a very good safety system in place either.

Best Portable Solar Kit:
Go Power! Valterra Power Us

Go Power! Valterra Power Us, LLC GP-PSK-120 Solar Kit 120W Portable

Pros

  • Portable
  • Easy setup
  • Control panel
  • Monocrystalline
  • 25-year warranty

Cons

  • Not as powerful

This portable solar kit is one of the easiest systems to set up, you’ll have everything included in your kit that you need to set up. The Monocrystalline panels can produce 120 Watts of power with 6.7 Amps of direct current per hour, which is relatively high for such a small kit.

The kit also offers a built-in 10 amp solar controller which you can monitor all the information that the panel is collecting; this is vital to ensure that the panel is working at a safe rate. If you do ever find yourself in a situation where the panels have broken, you’ll have the 25-year warranty to fall back on. Another smaller bonus is that you get a helpful carrying case to use when moving it around.

Bottom Line

This portable solar panel kit is a real helping hand when you really need some backup power while on the road. It’s portable and comes with a compact carrying case, which is helpful when moving it around.

The simple design means that it’s more or less effortless in setting up. Despite being a small kit, the monocrystalline material is what gives it that extra kick to provide more energy than its counterparts.

You can also monitor any information being provided via the control panel which is a huge benefit when making sure everything is safe. The only downside is that, because of the size, it’s not as powerful as other solar kits on the market.

WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit: 100W Solar Panel + 20A LCD PWM Charge Controller + MC4 Connectors + Z Brackets + AGM 100ah Deep Cycle Battery for 12V Battery Off Grid, RV, Boat

Pros

  • LCD display
  • 12V battery
  • AGM deep cycle

Cons

  • Not a lot of energy created

This solar kit comes with all the essentials you will need to provide clean, renewable, and, most importantly, free energy. The kit includes a 100 Watt solar panel, LCD display screen, 40 feet of UL listed solar cable and a AGM deep cycle 12V battery, as well as all the necessary connectors, mounting hardware and much more. With all this, the kit will be able to provide you with an average of 350Wh each day. The charge controller, which is included in the kit, can handle up to 3pcs and 6pcs 100W solar panels.

The PWM solar charge controller that comes with the kit allows the user to adjust any settings featured. The LCD screen displays all essential information needed to track your energy such as the voltage, battery state of charge, the status of the solar panel, and the DC load draw. This is compatible with multiple types of batteries including lead acid, gel, lithium, and AGM batteries.

Bottom Line

The main attraction of this system is that the AGM deep cycle battery can charge up to five times faster than others on the market. Also, the LCD display will be able to display plenty of information and allow you to monitor any information that is collected by the panels.

The 12V battery is a standard battery that is strong enough to power medium-sized appliances. The only downside to this panel system is that you shouldn’t be expecting a lot of energy to be created.

Best 200W Solar Kit:
Renogy Starter Solar Panel Kit

Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer

Pros

  • 8 ft power cable
  • 1000Wh per day
  • Plenty of safety features

Cons

  • Breaks easily
  • More expensive

This solar kit offers great protection to ensure safe usage. One of the best features of this kit is the negative grounding controller, which has battery reversed, short circuit, overcharging, and overloading protection to ensure the wider off-grid applications and safety.

These panels produce 1000Wh per day, given that the weather is fitting. The kit also features accessories for your solar panels, one being the 10 AWG tray cable. This measures 8 ft in length and can be used to connect your charge controller and battery.

Bottom Line


This 200 Watt solar panel can provide you with 1000Wh per day, which is amazing for such a small solar panel. The main attraction of this panel kit is that there are plenty more safety features that can be accessed and the panel can be monitored via the control system.

You’ll also have the flexibility of choosing where you want your solar panel to be set up as the 8 ft power cables are accommodating. The only downsides with this system are that the monocrystalline panels are easy to break; they won’t survive harsh weather and they’re far more expensive than other types.

WindyNation Complete 400 Watt Solar Panel Kit with 1500 Watt VertaMax Power Inverter RV, Boat, Off-Grid 12 Volt Battery

Pros

  • LCD monitor
  • Sine wave inverter
  • 40 ft of power cable
  • Amazing power output

Cons

  • Polycrystalline

This solar panel kit comes with all the essentials you could need. In addition, it comes with a sine wave power inverter, which is an electronic device that helps to transform DC to AC. This outputs clean power much like utility-supplied electricity.

These panels can, with the necessary sunlight, give out an average of 1,600Wh each day. The LCD display screen lets you manually adjust any settings, as well as monitor things like temperature and voltage.

Bottom Line

With an average 1,600Wh per day, this solar panel has a great power output; with help from the sine wave inverter that’s included, you’ll benefit from transforming that direct current straight into alternating current for your many appliances and devices.

The LCD monitor is the closest thing you’ll get to a safety feature, as this will be able to display all of the key information you need to determine the safety of your panels and also the overall effectiveness.

The 40 ft power cable will allow you to set up the solar panels anywhere you want on the RV. The only downside is that you could benefit from a lot more efficient energy by using the monocrystalline panels because of the pure silicone that’s used.

ECO-WORTHY 600W 12V Off Grid Solar Power System: 4pcs 160W Poly Solar Panel+45A Charge Controller+1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter+MC4 Solar Cable+MC4 Branch Connector Pair+Solar Panel Mounting Brackets

Pros

  • Durable framework
  • High-efficiency silicon solar panels
  • Partial assembly allows for fast set-up

Cons

  • Easier to break

This solar kit is extremely efficient, and not just in the ideal weather conditions. It has bypass diodes that have been already installed for your convenience. These are protected in a waterproof casing and are designed to provide top performance even on dull days and help to lower the risk of a power drop caused by shade.

The kit is built on an aluminum framework which is designed to resist corrosion and allow the product to last longer outdoors. This also provides protection during high winds and heavy snowfall. The solar cells themselves are made of solar modules that are high performance and are designed to give off the maximum power output.

Bottom Line

This solar kit uses some of the most efficient monocrystalline panels on the market; the pure silicone is what makes sure you get the most power possible. The partially assembled system is what provides such a fast setup; no one wants to spend hours fixing their solar panel system. Thankfully you’ve got the benefit of only spending a few minutes on this one.

The aluminum framework is also something that makes it so durable and resistant to poor weather conditions. The only real problem with these systems is that they’re both easy to break and far more expensive than the polycrystalline panels.

How to Install an RV Solar Kit

We will use the example of a panel system being installed into a 19 ft RV. Installation doesn’t need to be hard and can be done by yourself; just follow these steps and you’ll do fine.

  1. Decide on the location of your solar panels, ideally on a flat surface like your roof.

  2. Drill four holes that will be used to screw in the bolts to hold your solar panels down; make sure to patch these up with some sealant to make them water resistant.

  3. The panel is now in place and now it’s time to run the two positive and two negative wires from the panel into the circuit system. This is usually done by creating another hole and then sealing it off to stop any leaks.

  4. When connecting your solar panels, you could use any battery you want but it’s recommended you get the best battery possible so that way you can run as many appliances as possible. A 24 Volt battery would be recommended for this.

  5. Once you’ve got the batteries hooked up, you’ll soon realize via the control panel that the solar panels are now generating energy.

  6. By installing an inverter you’ll be able to access the power that’s generated and use this to power some of your appliances, like a toaster or something like that.

Conclusion

Choosing your RV solar panels and installing them doesn’t need to be a hard task, simply follow our well-researched instructions and you’ll find that it was far easier than you had anticipated.