Solar technology is on the rise, and people are now investing in the best portable solar panel for RV battery charging. Solar panels have opened up myriad new possibilities for us that many people are only just beginning to realize that they can integrate into their lifestyles.
Our top pick for the best portable solar panels for RV battery charging is the DOKIO 150W Solar Panel Kit. It is easy to install, lightweight, and ideal for beginners.
They can be used to charge RV batteries and small portable devices. However, choosing the right solar panel can be a daunting task. To help you out, we have highlighted the best portable solar panels for RV battery charging.
Table of Contents
- Best Portable Solar Panels – Comparison Table
- How Do Solar Panels Work?
- How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for RV?
- Advantages of Solar Panels for Charging RV Batteries
- Alternate to Solar Panels for Charging RV Batteries
- What to Look for?
- Best Portable Solar Panels for RV battery Charging
- Key References
Best Portable Solar Panels – Comparison Table
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells. The photo signifies the production of light and voltaic electricity.
- Just like a battery, photovoltaic cells have two layers of semiconductors, namely one-layer positively-charged, and the other layer is negatively-charged.
- These layers are protected by 2 external shields made of special glass. The semiconductor absorbs radiation from the sun or photons and converts it into direct current (DC).
- Direct current flows into the inverter, which converts the energy into alternating current (AC). This process takes place billions of times per second and is silent.
- The electricity that flows through the inverter is fed to the main panel through a two-way electric meter, which distributes the electricity throughout the recreational vehicle.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for RV?
The number of solar panels required to install an RV depends on the number of batteries you need to charge it. You need to add up the total ampere-hours (AH) that the batteries can hold. The more ampere-hours you have, the more solar panels you will need.
- For a single 12V battery at around 100 AH, you should have at least 300W solar panels.
- With two 6-volt batteries or two 12-volt batteries or between 200 and 250 AH, you should have at least 600W solar panels.
- If you have four 6-volt batteries or four 12-volt batteries between 400 and 600 AH, you must have at least 1200W solar panels.
Advantages of Solar Panels for Charging RV Batteries
Whatever the reason you invest in these solar panels, as long as you live in a sunny climate, you can take advantage of these invaluable solar panels.
- This ensures that you have an independent and reliable power source that will not run out of fuel, and that can help you enjoy your outdoor experiences for years to come.
- You can take advantage of portable solar panels to charge your RV batteries on the go if you choose the right model for your needs.
Alternate to Solar Panels for Charging RV Batteries
In addition to solar panels, an RV battery can be charged directly through the RV’s alternator, generators, or even wind power.
- There are several ways to charge a battery with the converter. The RV can be plugged into an outlet using a 30 or 50-ampere outlet at a state park, national park, or campground.
- The motorhome can be connected to an electrical generator on the road or in the campsites without an electrical connection.
- Also, generators can be used to recharge your RV batteries. Gas, diesel, and propane generators are popular with RV owners.
- These generators are often connected as shore power. The generator connects to your RV, directly powering your AC devices while charging the battery. In this case, your battery can continue to power your DC lights while charging.
What to Look for?
When shopping for the best portable solar panels for RV battery charging, consider the following aspects:
- Amount of power: Based on your RV model, find out the exact battery power so you can purchase the right solar panel kit.
- Weight and size: The portable solar panels that you will get should not be bulky or too heavy. Look for the lightweight models, so they are easily portable.
- Cord Length: Make sure that the cord length in the solar panels is long-enough since you will be using them in the RV.
- Efficiency: The next critical aspect to look for when shopping for the best solar panels is efficiency. Go for models with the high-efficiency solar conversion.
- Ease of installation: The last but not the least factor to consider is the ease of installation. Go for the models that come with pre-drilled holes and screws so they can be easily installed with minimal effort.
Best Portable Solar Panels for RV battery Charging
Here are the best solar panels for rv battery charging on the market today.
1. Zamp 140-Watt Portable Solar Panel
The Zamp 140-Watt Portable Solar Panel is packed with helpful features to make your RV adventure hassle-free.
- These best portable solar panels for camping are made using high-grade monocrystalline solar cells for optimum output.
- To maximize light absorption, the solar panels are treated with anti-reflective coating.
- Perfect for medium recreational vehicles, these zamp portable solar panels generate 140W at 7.8 amperes, which are higher than most portable solar panels out there.
- The extendable legs make it easy to position from any angle and stabilize on uneven terrain.
- The integrated charge controller protects your 12V battery from overcharging.
- Additionally, the large digital display will help you keep tabs on power usage.
- The Zamp 140-Watt Portable Solar Panel is an ideal choice for frequent campers who want reliable and high-quality models to produce solar power.
- The Zamp solar panels come with a sturdy carrying suitcase for easy transport.
2. TP-Solar 120W Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit
Use your days to power your nights with the TP-Solar Solar Panel Charger Kit.
- This foldable RV solar panels feature the optimal solar system designed for easy setup to maximize your charge.
- An integrated sundial aims the panel, keeping you aligned for direct rays.
- It comes with a built-in chip that maximizes your battery from overloading and overcharging.
- Thanks to the highly efficient monocrystalline solar cell, you are guaranteed greater power efficiency.
- Its lightweight and the foldable design make it easier to mount, hand, or transport.
- The solar panel is made with advanced laminated material, so it will last many trips.
- Also, the panel is waterproof, making it perfect for all weather conditions.
- The TP-Solar 120W Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit is compatible with Paxcess, Goal Zero, Webetop, Jackery, Suaoki, and many more.
3. DOKIO 150W Solar Panel Kit
DOKIO is popular for its foldable solar panels with highly-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells.
- The DOKIO 150W Solar Panel Kit is the highest quality and most powerful variant of portable solar panels from this brand.
- With 150 watts of power, a single panel can generate enough power to power your 12V batteries.
- The pre-drilled holes in the corners make installing this panel anywhere convenient.
- This best portable solar panel for caravan also comes with MC4 connectors so you can mount it on your RV.
- Due to its durable and robust construction, it can withstand heavy snow loads and high winds.
- The solar panel is made of ETFE material with higher light transmission.
- Thanks to its unique frameless design, you can easily carry the DOKIO 150W Solar Panel Kit around.
4. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Suitcase
Renogy is one of the most famous companies when it comes to portable solar energy.
- Not only are these solar panels incredibly efficient, but they also come with everything you need to get started.
- These 100W monocrystalline solar panels are amazingly lightweight.
- These Renogy solar panels feature a 20A built-in solar charge controller that offers overcharge protection, minimizing fire risk.
- The LCD on the charge controller displays operating data and information.
- The built-in kickstand makes setting up the solar panel and angling towards the sun easy.
- Additionally, the handle makes it convenient to carry the unit and place it in the carrying case.
- With a built-in kickstand, alligator clips, carrying case, and handle, the Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Suitcase is the perfect option to keep your RV battery charged.
5. SUNER POWER Portable Solar Panel
If you are looking for a dependable and steady solar panel when heading off-grid, the SUNER POWER Portable Solar Panel is a top choice.
- With many advanced features to ensure optimal charging, this unit offers you a great way to breathe life into your RV batteries.
- It comes with a polycrystalline solar cell that guarantees many years of service.
- Thanks to the intelligent charge controller, your battery will be fully protected during charge and discharge.
- The SAE connectors make this panel an excellent choice for beginners.
- The anodized aluminum frame makes the unit very durable.
- The SUNER POWER Portable Solar Panel is designed with several safeguards to protect your battery from damage.
6. TogoPower 120W Portable Foldable Solar Panel
With a high conversion solar cell, the TogoPower 120W Portable Foldable Solar Panel will charge your RV battery efficiently.
- The flexible and lightweight design makes it perfect for installing on RVs.
- The built-in smart IC chip will maximize its charging speed while protecting your batteries from overloading and overcharging.
- This unit features an adjustable kickstand that makes it easy to position the solar panel from any angle and stabilize on uneven terrain.
- It comes with everything you need to set up and install.
- Despite its 120 watts output, it produces enough power to charge your RV battery.
- The TogoPower 120W Portable Foldable Solar Panel is lightweight and reasonably priced, so most adventurers can afford it and set up the panels.
Our top recommendation for the best portable solar panels for RV battery charging is the DOKIO 150W Solar Panel Kit.
- It is easy to install, lightweight, and ideal for beginners.
- A single panel makes 150-watts of power to power up 12V batteries.
- It features 2A charging ports for rapid charge and has a high-efficiency solar conversion.
- The unique frameless design makes it easy to carry around and genuinely portable.
The best portable solar panels are a great way to recharge your RV’s battery with free solar power provided by the sun.
A portable solar system may not be for everyone. Still, it is a viable option if your camping style includes dry camping or boondocking.
If you are camping off the grid long enough to drain your batteries from regular use, solar power is a great solution.
- “How Do Solar Panels Work? | Photovoltaic Cells | Live Science”. Accessed August 23, 2020. Link.
- “HOW MUCH SOLAR POWER DO I NEED FOR MY RV?”. Accessed August 23, 2020. Link.