For too many people, a recreational vehicle (RV) is an important parts of their lives. As so, the global solar generation trend reach this sector as well, to improve the overall energy efficiency and bring solutions to everyday energy problems for off-grid activities proper of an RV trip. 

These solar systems appropriate for RVs, bring different types of solutions to different types of requirements. For overall solar systems you might be searching for an easy to install kit, while if you’re looking to expand your solar power, you might be searching for a solar module that fits your needs.

If you just want a portable, reliable and independent source of electric energy for your outdoor activities, the portable or flexible panels might be what you’re looking for. 

This article gathers some of the best products available on the market for RV solar systems to help you improve your RV experience. 

10 Best-Selling Solar Panels for RV

1. Renogy 800 Watt 12 Volt Off Grid Solar Premium Kit

Renogy 800 Watt 12 Volt Off Grid Solar Premium Kit

Renogy figures as a California based, recognized brand and manufacturer, which throughout the years has been consolidating in the U.S solar market.

Among its top products we now find the Renogy premium kit, perfect for installations on an RV, boat, or camper, and suitable for any off-grid system. 

The kit consists of:

  • Eight 100w Eclipse OR Monocrystalline (Mono) Solar Panel.
  • Rover Li 40A MPPT Charge Controller.
  • Mounting Z Brackets (Set).
  • Adaptor Kit.
  • Tray cables.
  • BT-1 Bluetooth Module.

The 100-Watts panels come with a high-efficiency, up to 22%, eclipse monocrystalline cells, and bypass diodes, which minimize the power drop caused by shade. They are secured by anti-reflective, high transparency and a low iron tempered glass, along with a Tedlar film- PET – Tedlar film (TPT) backsheet. Finally, the panel is framed with corrosion-resistant aluminum for extended outdoor use. 

Its Rover 40A MPPT charge controller offers a peak conversion efficiency up to 98%, and a high tracking efficiency of 99%. While the BT-1 Bluetooth Module, in combination with the BT APP offers a remote monitoring tool.

The mounting Z brackets, adaptor kit, tray cable, and the inline fuse with its cover, complete the kit, featuring virtually every component you need for a complete off-grid system installation.

2. Richsolar 160 Watt 12V Solar Panel High Efficiency Polycrystalline Module

Richsolar 160 Watt 12V Solar Panel High Efficiency Polycrystalline Module

The mounted rigid panels made of the solar modules a reliable and easy to install product that every customer can take part of.

RichSolar is another American distributor brand that is one of the leading suppliers of off-grid solar equipment. 

Their polycrystalline solar panels feature one of the most cost-efficient options of the market. The 160-watt panel, 12-volt solar panel is perfect for 12-volt battery charging, even though, it can deliver a maximum voltage up to 18.2 volts, with charge. 

The polycrystalline cells are enclosed in the tempered glass, framed by a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, with an IP65 rated waterproof junction box, and IP67 rated waterproof MC4 connectors. The pre-drilled holes on the frame are compatible with ground mounts, Z-brackets, pole mounts and tilt mounts, perfect for easy installation. 

This robust enclosure of the panel makes it perfect to withstand challenging environmental conditions. The total weight of the panel averages around 25.5 lbs. (11.57 kg), and measures 58.3 x 26.2 x 1.38 inches.

The brand offers a 25-year power output warranty and 5 years/95%, 10 years/90%, and 25 years/80% efficiency rate warranty. Finally, RishSolar also offers 5 years of materials and workmanship warranty and 1 year on materials for accessories.

3. HQST 100 Watt Monocrystalline 12V Solar Panel

HQST 100 Watt Monocrystalline 12V Solar Panel

High-Quality Solar Technology (HSQT) is one of the most recognized brands in the solar panel market due to its extraordinary repertory of modules, models and devices.

Their 100 watts monocrystalline, 12 volts panel is also compatible with 12V battery charging or 24 volts battery charging systems. This panel is made out of highly efficient monocrystalline PV cells, which increase the space efficiency of the module.

The tempered glass and corrosion-resistant aluminum frame allow each panel to withstand high wind (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa), increasing durability and value.

The panel integrates a waterproof IP65 junction box, with its bypass diode, IP67 MC4 connectors, and the mounting holes, which allow fast and easy mounting and securing with z-brackets, pole mounting or tilt mounts. 

The dimensions of this panel are 35.6 x 25.9 x 1.18 inches, and its average weight comes around 17.1 lbs. (7.76 kg).

The product includes 25 years guarantee output, 5 years material and workmanship warranty for the panel, and a 1-year material and workmanship warranty for the accessories.  

4. ACOPOWER 100W Portable Solar Panel Kit

ACOPOWER 100W Portable Solar Panel Kit

ACOPOWER is a popular brand based in Los Angeles with more than 5 years of solar industry experience. They dedicate to provide off-grid and portable power solutions to the market.

In the portable market, one of their most popular products is the PTK 100-Watts portable solar panel kit. The whole kit fits in a briefcase design for transportation and storage, and consists of:

  • Two 50 watts solar panels attached in pairs for portability
  • 20A pulse width modulation (PWM) waterproof charge controller, with an LCD display.
  • Built-in supporting legs, adapters (MC4 connector, Anderson plug, alligator clips) and 10A fuse.
  • Expansible for another 100-watt panel.

The whole kit is IP65 waterproof, so the kit is suited for outdoor applications. You can leave your solar panel kit out in the rain without worry.

This easy to use lightweight briefcase solar kit weighs around 11.9 lbs. (5.4 kg), and measures 23.8 x 20.2 x 1.6 inches on the corners, when folded.

ACOPOWER offers an 18-months workmanship warranty and a 25 years 85% output warranty. 

5. BougeRV 100 Watt Solar Panel

BougeRV 100W Solar Panel

BougeRV is a brand that specializes in accessories for recreational (RV’s) and electric vehicles (EV), which offers a wide variety of products for your electric system. 

Their 100 Watt, 12 volts flexible panel utilizes SunPower Solar cells with a higher efficiency than average (23% to 25%). The more built-in strands between solar cells make the module stronger and tighter than other flexible panels. 

Besides, the TPT anti-corrosion frame, EVA and PET layers, make the cell water resistant, semi-flexible and durable, perfect for tight and irregular spaces, where normal panels cannot be installed. These polymer materials allow flexing the panel in an arc against curved areas to a maximum of 30 degrees.

The complete panel, with its junction box with diodes, safety MC4 connectors and 31 inches cables, weighs as little as 6.7 pounds(3.04 kg). On the other hand, the panel dimensions are 41.3 x 21.3 x 1 inches.  

The whole BougeRV flexible panel counts with three corrosion-proof metal mounting holes that enables it to be mounted on a rooftop of any vehicle, accompanied by its lightweight features that make the panel a logical choice for even camping or hiking. 

6. ALLPOWERS 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel

ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 18V 12V Bendable Flexible Solar

For flexible solar panel, we highlight the ALLPOWERS, a well-recognized brand in the solar online market, which offers their super thin and ultra-lightweight 100-watts, 12-volts flexible panel.

This panel offers a high 23% efficiency, superior to the 17%-19% efficiency of conventional monocrystalline panels. Besides, its durable materials make the panel as resistant as any aluminum framed counterpart. 

This bendable panel can be curved to a maximum of 30-degree arc, perfect for uneven surface or irregular RV roofs.

In particular, this panel wins a high spot on the list due to its lightweight of only 4.7 lbs.(2.15 kg) and its super-thin shape. The dimensions of the panel are 41 x21 x 0.11 inches.

This feature makes the panel easier to transport, hang or remove. Wining the highest weight-efficiency of the list. This product comes with an 18-month guarantee to cover any manufacturing or product issue.

7. Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

For customers who are new to solar, again, Renogy offers an easy to install and complete starter kit. 

This 200 watts, 12 volts kit offers:

  • Two 100 watts, 12 volts monocrystalline solar panels.
  • Renogy Wanderer 30A PWM charge controller.
  • Mounting Z brackets.
  • Renogy 20ft 10 AWG MC4 adaptor kit
  • Renogy 8ft 10WAG tray cables. 

The monocrystalline cells feature an 18.4% efficiency. Due to its corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, tempered glass housing, and IP65 rated junction box, make the panel great for outdoor use. 

Moreover, the Renogy wanderer charge controller is programmed with the 4-stage battery charging process and multiple protections, such as overcharging, overload, short-circuit and reversed polarity. With this Renogy controller, you can expand the system up to a maximum of 400 watts.

The kit offers a 25-year power output warranty with, and a 5-year material and workmanship warranty for the panels. On the other hand, offers a 1-year material warranty for the accessories.

If you are looking for the perfect beginner’s kit, this Renogy Solar kit may feature what you’re looking for.

8. ECO-WORTHY 200 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

ECO-WORTHY 200 Watt (2pcs 100W) Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Another kit solution is delivered by ECO-Worthy, an American manufacturer and wholesaler of solar and renewable products based in Los Angeles. The brand is recognized by its complete line of home solar power systems, solar panels, and solar panel kits.

Their 200 watts off-grid system includes:

  • Two 100-Watt monocrystalline solar panels.
  • One 20A PWM Solar charge controller (12V/24V auto detection feature).
  • 1 pair of 12AWG extension solar cable (5mts long) with MC4 quick connectors.
  • 1 pair of Y MC4 PV Solar Cable Branch connectors. 
  • Z style mounting kit. 

As we have seen, this kit covers a little bit more than the standard solar kit. The monocrystalline solar panels reached a high efficiency of up to 18%, and its tempered glass and corrosion-resistant frame are proper for outdoor usage. 

The ECO-Worthy 20A PWM solar charge controller is what makes this kit stand out from the rest. The 12V/24V system automatic detection feature makes charging and adjusting protection features easy to set. 

The controller also comes with an LCD screen display, DC 12V, and USB 5V charging output connections, completing the excellent functionalities of the kit.

As for the installation part, the kit wraps up with solar cables, connectors, and a Z mounting kit to simplify the installation process even more.

9. WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit

WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit

WindyNation is a manufacturer and distributor of wind and solar components, and generators. On the cost-efficient side of the spectrum, this company offers the perfect solar kit for solar enthusiasts.

Their 100-watt solar panel complete kit offers:

  • A 100-watt polycrystalline solar panel.
  • PWM 30 Amp solar charge controller with digital display. 
  • Solar panel mounting brackets and fasteners. 
  • Solar cable and MC4 connectors. 

Their 100-watt solar panels cover the standards combining good efficiency with long term reliability and stability.

WindyNation’s P30L charge controller provides systems setting by using MODE, UP and DOWN buttons, while the LCD digital display provides system information (amperage, voltage, temperature, etc.).

Included mounting brackets, connectors, and cables complete the mounting hardware of the installation process.

This kit will provide on average 350 watts-hour (Wh) of energy per day. You can easily add more solar panels in the future as well since the included charger can handle up to four panels 100-watts solar panels at the same time in 12 volts systems, and eight 100-watts solar panels in 24 volts systems. 

10. Newpowa 200 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Newpowa 200W Monocrystalline 200 Watt 12V Solar Panel High Efficiency Mono Module RV Marine Boat Off Grid

Finally, a higher power requirement, NewPowa, offers an interesting affordable 200-watts monocrystalline panel.

This tempered glass and corrosion-resistant aluminum-framed panel makes this one the perfect choice for a large space where the outdoor ambient is expected to be aggressive. The panel is rated to resist high winds up to 2400PA and snow load up to 5400PA.

The 12-volts panel output is compatible with most of solar systems and is suitable for 12-volts battery charging once it has been properly connected to a charge controller. 

Panel dimensions are 64.57 x 24.61 x 1.38 inches with its frame. Besides, the total weight averages about 31.8 pounds (14.43 kg).

A proper sizing of the solar system should be considered when installing this panel, but connection wise is compatible with any 100-watts solar systems.

The panel also comes with the standard IP65 junction box, with its bypass diode and a pair of 3ft, 10AWG pre-attached solar cables with MC4 connectors. 

This NPA200S-12H panel comes with the typical 25 years performance output warranty, proper of framed solar panels.

Which factors should I consider when purchasing solar panels for RVs?

When purchasing solar panels for an RV there are many things to take into account, dimensions of the panel and space on the roof, power output, efficiency, your system voltage, mounting system and other parameters.

  • Power Output and efficiency.

Out of all, the first specs you want to look out for are the power output in watts and the total efficiency of the panels.

These aspects dictate how much energy you can convert from sunlight into electricity to deliver to your appliances.

As a rule of thumb, the monocrystalline cells always achieve higher efficiencies than polycrystalline ones, but they are more expensive. Nowadays some flexible panels can achieve up to 23% efficiency, therefore, they are not the cheapest ones.

Must commercial panels are 100-watts, but as you saw on the list, there are 50-watts or 200-watts panels. The more power the panel can deliver, the bigger it needs to be to do so.

  • System Voltage.

When dimensioning your solar system one key factor is to decide the working voltage of system, or as the markets names it, the nominal voltage of operation.

The key element to decide this parameter is your energy consumption.

12-volts systems are enough for most consumers, as no future grow of energy consumption is expected. A 12-volts DC system is hard to upgrade or resize once it is installed.

A common practice is to oversize your system to a 24-volts one, as the requirements for a 12-volts system are minor. As so, on the market most hardware and equipment’s are labeled for 12/24 volts systems, but you should pay attention to this feature, as not all of them are for both.

For large energy consumption systems we recommend the help of a professional to size your solar generation. If the consumption is big enough, most likely, the dimensioning will result in a 24-volts or even 48-volts system.

Keep in mind that the system voltage does not need to be exactly the voltage of the panel, however, the series/parallel configuration must be enough as to provide that voltage and the voltage of the string must be within the MPPT range of the charge controller.

  • Mounting and installing

Every solar installation on an RV is different, thus, it complies different requirements. There is not a one size global solution that fits all costumers.

Measuring your RV available space it’s essential to decide what solar panel you want. Flexible and smaller panels are the best option for vehicles where space is limited.

If you want a proper solar energy generation system, nowadays, the solar kits offered by many companies suit much of what you might want for your RV.

To find out the proper mounting hardware for your vehicle, we recommend you to contact your RV manufacturer and contact a certified installer to accomplish a proper and secure installation.

How to install solar panels in an RV?

Once you decide the capacity, voltage, the number of panels and the solar kit that you want for your RV, the next step is to figure out the installation process. 

The next steps are set to help you through the process of mounting a rooftop solar system on your RV.

  • Check your equipment.

The first thing you want to look out for is to double-check that everything you need has no damage from shipping. Confirm that every component arrived without a problem, mounting hardware, solar breaker, fuse, battery and connection cables, charge controller and remote monitor. 

  • Measurements and planning.

Plan where to install the panels avoiding possible shading from the AC system, or other panels. Take your time to do so, as this is one of the most important parts of the process. Use the shipping boxes to double-check where you think they will best fit. It’s easier to correct problems with easy lightweight empty boxes.

Afterward, you want to choose where to locate the charge controller and fuses. You want them to be as close to the battery bank and inverter as possible, to reduce cable length (which reduces voltage drop, and costs).

The final planning step is to decide where to drill the entry for the solar cables from the panels on the roof. You want this access point to be waterproof and as close to the charger as possible, keep in mind to use a cable entry plat for this purpose. Use plenty of sealant on the access point.

  • Beginning the installation.

Once everything arrived, you want to install the mounting hardware to your panels. Make sure to do as much as you can on the ground before climbing to the roof of your RV. 

Drill the entry access point of the cables as planned, and run the roof wires up to the battery location. Once there, attach the DC breaker (in the off position) in-between the entry plate and solar charger. Make sure that it’s accessible as you need to be able to switch it, for safety and protection of your RV.

Mount the fuse block in-between your solar charger and the batteries with heavy-duty cable wires. 

Now you should install the remote monitor where best suits you at any indoors point of your RV.

  • Mounting the panels.

Finally, it’s time to bring up the panels. 

After you made sure of every measurement, start drilling the holes for the mounting hardware of your panels. 

While mounting the panels, we recommend you to use the front of the shipping boxes to cover the solar cells to assure that they won’t generate any electricity and prevent any electric shock while installing.

Once they are all mounted, you can now connect them in series or parallel, depending on your system. 

To conclude, connect the panels to the prewired cables of the access point to the RV, and turn to the on position the solar breaker. 

You’ve now finished installing your solar system!

You can take your RV to your prefer camping spot and enjoy your newly installed solar system.