If you love RV camping, you probably already know how hard it can be to keep your rig’s battery fully charged. Therefore, you will always find yourself constantly worrying about where to find a power source when you should be relaxing. After all, not every place you visit will have standard electricity readily available.
The good news? With the best solar panels for RV battery charging, you won’t have to worry about your batteries running out of charge. This is because these panels will provide you with enough power to keep your RV up and running no matter where you are.
But you know what? These kits have different wattages and also offer different efficiency rates. For this reason, we’ve rounded up the best options from various leading brands to help you pick the right one for your needs.
List of Best Solar Panels for RV Battery:
10 Best-rated Solar Panels for RV Battery Charging Reviews
There is no one size fits all option as far as the best solar panel kits for RV is concerned. So, after evaluating hundreds of products, we’ve determined that these are the best kits for the money.
1. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit
- Perfect for off-grid applications like boats, RVs, and cabins
- The outputs open-circuit voltage of 22.3V and 5.86A short-circuit current
- Made from a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame
- Up to 21% cell efficiency and 97% for the charge controller
- 18.6V optimum operating voltage and 5.38A optimum operating current
- 25-year power output warranty and a one-year warranty on accessories
If you are looking for an all-round solar panel kit, this Renogy Solar Starter Kit is our overall best choice. First, what really stands out about it is its 40A MPPT charger controller designed to use PowerPoint tracking technology. Consequently, this ensures you get the most efficient battery charging for your RV.
While the kit only comes with a single 100-watt panel, you can add more panels with up to 400-watts (12 Volt). Or panels with a maximum of 800-watts (24 Volt). Of course, this is thanks to its high-efficient charger controller.
Another thing that we love about this product is the fact that it is made from high-quality monocrystalline silicon materials. As such, the panels are both UV-resistant and IP67 waterproof. And for your peace of mind, the manufacturer provides you with a 5-year warranty against material defects and poor workmanship.
Aside from that, you will be pleased to know that this monocrystalline type of solar panel is pretty easy to install. This is partly because everything you need to install is included with the package. And measuring 42.4 X 20 X 1.38 inches with a weight of around 14.3lbs, you will find this kit relatively portable.
2. SOLPERK 200W 12V Solar Panels
- Backed by a one-year extended warranty
- Up to 18.9V maximum power voltage and 5.3A power current
- Made with IP68 waterproof tempered glass and monocrystalline silicon
- Pre-drilled for ease of installation
- Anti-corrosion anodized aluminum frame construction
- Up to 20% cell efficiency
The SOLPERK 200W 12V Solar Panels are amongst the best grade A+ solar cells on the market. First of all, each cell measures 10mm wide, thereby providing you with improved efficiency compared to B or C-class cells. Secondly, the kit comes with a waterproof junction box to protect the internal components from damage.
Measuring 39 x 21.3 x 1.2 inches, these solar panels are a little smaller in size compared to the Renogy kit. Although it’s not a foldable solar charger, you will definitely find the kit portable and light in weight at only 16.1lb. But even with their small size, each panel can provide you with 100W maximum power at 12V optimum operating voltage.
You will also be happy to know that this kit is pretty easy to install since it comes with pre-drilled holes. Not to mention, you are also provided with the necessary mounting hardware, including tilt mounts, poles, and brackets.
Besides using it for RV battery charging, you can use this monocrystalline type of kit for a range of other applications. This is because the solar cells output a maximum open-circuit voltage of 22.5v and 5.7A short circuit current. However, the kit does not include a charger controller but can work with a 10A MPPT controller.
3. Topsolar 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit
- Built-in 20A PWM charger controller works with 12V/24V systems
- Operates at an optimum voltage of 23V and 4.3A current
- Includes overcharge, discharge, short circuit, and over-voltage protection
- Produces up to 27V open-circuit voltage and 4.5A short circuit current
- Internal components housed in an IP-65 waterproof rated junction box
- Cell efficiency is up to 19.5%
Featuring 100W power output, this is the best multifunctional solar panel to keep the RV battery charged. This is because it is compatible with both on and off-grid inverters. So, you can use it for backup power at your home or for other DC applications like caravan, marine, or camping.
Another thing that stands out about this kit is its durable and quality construction. The panels are built from sturdy aluminum frames and tempered glass materials. Therefore, they can withstand both high snow loads (5400Pa) and high winds (2400Pa). However, we couldn’t find information about its warranty.
It is a monocrystalline type of solar cell, and this kit is quite efficient for 12V battery charging systems. Even better, it uses a 20A PWM charger controller, which, although it’s less efficient than MPPT, its performance is great. This is because it allows you to add extra panels with a maximum of 260W (12V) or 520W (24V).
Similar to the SOLPERK 200W 12V Solar Panels, this kit also features pre-drilled holes for fast mounting. Also included are 4pcs of Z-brackets, cable, and the charge controller for ease of setup. In addition, it measures 45.6 x 20 x 1.37 inches and weighs only 15.84lbs. Therefore, while you might not find it as compact as the products above, it’s pretty lightweight for excellent portability.
4. RICH SOLAR 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel
- 5-year warranty against material defects and poor workmanship
- Outputs 24.3V open-circuit voltage and 10.2A short circuit current
- Generates 200W maximum power output backed by a 25-year warranty
- Pre-drilled holes for easy mounting
- Compatible with standard solar connectors
- Waterproof junction box with integrated bypass diodes
If you own a class A motorhome and are looking for a single but powerful solar panel, you need to consider this kit. Each panel is built to deliver 200-watt of maximum power at a maximum power voltage of 20.4V and up to 9.8amp power. This is quite high compared to its competitors, thereby making it a powerful charging solution for 12V battery systems.
Made from monocrystalline silicon, this is a monocrystalline type of solar panel that boasts great low-light performance. Simply put, you can expect it to produce high amounts of power even on cloudy days, mornings, and evenings when the sun is not too hot. The best part? These panels work with both on, and off-grid inverters hence can be used for a wide range of applications.
Another thing we love about this solar panel is its durable construction. The frame, for example, is built from sturdy, anodized aluminum. In addition, it boasts high-transmission tempered glass with an anti-reflective coating for enhanced durability and protection.
Weighing 26.5lbs and measuring 58.7 x 26.8 x 1.4 inches, you will probably find the kit a little heavy and less compact. In addition, it does not come with a built-in charge controller. Nonetheless, you can use a 20A or bigger MPPT controller.
5. Newpowa 210W Solar Panel
- Withstands high winds (2400Pa) and 5400 Pa of snow and hail load
- Operates at 17.0V maximum power voltage and 12.35A current power
- IP67 waterproof connectors
- Outputs 19.83V open-circuit voltage and 13.09A short circuit current
- Effective at charging 12V battery systems
- Pre-installed diodes to reduce power drops
With a maximum power output of 210 watts per panel, there is no doubt that this is a powerful kit. Even better, the kit uses the newest monocrystalline cells that are highly efficient. Therefore, you should be able to get the most out of these panels. Besides, the manufacturer provides you with a 25-year power output warranty.
Installing these best solar panels for RV use is an easy job. First and foremost, it’s because the diodes come pre-installed. Best of all, its 3ft MC4 extension cables come pre-attached. However, this is probably not the most portable kit you will find because of its big size. The reason is that each panel measures 64.57 x 26.57 x 1.38 inches and weighs 24.41lbs.
Another thing you should know is that this monocrystalline solar panel does not include a built-in charge controller. However, it works best with a 30A MPPT charge controller instead of PWM. With this type of controller, you can use the kit for a wide range of applications, including camping, security system, and marine.
Being the best solar panel for campervan, this kit’s frame is made from heavy-duty anodized aluminum for superior protection. It also boasts multi-layered sheet laminations to ensure quality cell performance and durability.
6. WEIZE 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit
- High-efficient and long-lasting monocrystalline cells
- Produces 22.64V open-circuit voltage and 5.7A short-circuit current
- Generates 300-600Wh of power output in a day
- Built-in 30A PWM charge controller
- Designed for use with 12V battery systems
- Pre-drilled holes for easy mounting
Here is yet another set of high-efficiency solar panels to charge RV battery that comes with everything you need for fast installation. This includes mount brackets, extension cables, and MC4 connectors. You will also get a 30 PWM charge controller for superior protection against short-circuit, reverse polarity, reverse current, and overcharging.
Additionally, each solar panel is made with monocrystalline cells that are not only high-performance but also virtually maintenance-free. And compared to kits constructed from polycrystalline solar panels, you will find this kit up to 21% more efficient to charge 12V battery systems.
With a maximum power output of 100W, this kit generates a 5.32A maximum power current and 18.78V maximum power voltage. Therefore, you can use it for a wide range of applications besides RVs such as sheds, cabins, boats, and houses. And if you want more power output, you could always connect more panels with 200W (12V) or 300W (24V).
This is also a great kit if you are interested in highly portable solar panels to charge RV battery. It only measures 36.4 x 26.8 x 1.3 inches and weighs 15.8lbs only. Another thing we love about these panels is their unmatched build quality. Basically, the kit is constructed from durable multi-layered sheets and anti-corrosion aluminum. However, it’s not clear if the kit comes with a warranty or not.
7. WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Kit
- The charge controller is fitted with a battery temperature sensor
- Generates 100W maximum power output backed by a 25-year warranty
- 30A charge controller can handle 12V and 24V systems
- Offers up to 33Amp hours of charge per day
- Outputs 21.60V open-circuit voltage and 6.32A short circuit current
- Built-in charge controller with adjustable digital display
Perhaps the best feature of this solar panel kit is its 30A PWM charge controller that boasts a digital display. On display, you can view information like battery voltage, solar-generated amp-hours, and battery temperature. It also allows you to adjust different settings using a simple up and down button.
Also worth noting is that this is a polycrystalline type of solar panel which means its cells are cut from multiple sources of silicon. Therefore, you might not find it as efficient as monocrystalline solar panels. Nevertheless, it is still a great kit designed to generate a 5.75A maximum power current and 17.4V maximum power voltage.
Even better, you will be pleased to know that the controller can handle up to 4pcs 100W panels for 12V systems. And if you want to charge 24V systems, it could handle 8pcs 100W panels. This, therefore, makes it perfect for different applications such as RVs, backup power, cabins, remote power use, boats, and homes.
Similar to other panels in this review, this kit also comes with everything you might need for proper mounting and installation. And at 17.6lbs, it is relatively lightweight. However, in terms of portability, the panels measure 40 x 26.4 x 1.2 inches, which is a bit large. But one thing is for sure, the quality of these panels is undeniably good, and this is backed by a one-year warranty.
8. Solar Panel Set Power RV Motorhome
- Outputs 20V of open-circuit voltage and 1.15A of short circuit current
- High-efficiency rate between 23% and 24%
- Up to 50W maximum power and 1.1A optimum operating current
- Includes 67cm long crocodile cable and 64.5cm long car charger
- Can work with a 12V/24V auto PWM charge controller
- Made from high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon cells
Looking for the best solar panels for your small RV battery charging? If yes, you need to look at this kit that is rated at 50W and designed to charge 12V battery systems. The kit is also available in other wattage options, including 20W, 30W, 60W, and 100W. This, therefore, makes it the best solar panel to maintain RV battery.
One thing that we love about these panels is the fact they come with dual USB ports. Therefore, you can charge two 12V battery systems at the same time for added convenience. The best part is that besides the panels, you will also receive a 12V car charger and crocodile clip cable.
When it comes to power output, the kit boasts a maximum power output of 50W and generates up to 1.1A optimum power current. Its maximum power voltage, on the other hand, is DC5+/-0.2V. Therefore, besides using it for RV battery charging, you can use it for water pump systems, caravans, campers, and boats.
According to different user reviews, this product is also easy to install as there is no setup needed. And as far as the dimensions of this product are concerned, each panel measures 662mm x 280mm or simply 26.06 x 11.02 inches. Therefore, you will find it highly portable.
9. Renogy 350 Watt Solar Flexible Kit
- Integrated bypass diodes for enhanced low-light performance
- Simple installation
- Built-in 40A MPPT charge controller with electronic protection features
- Lightweight design and flexes up to 248 degrees
- 23.9V open-circuit voltage and 9.50A short circuit current
- Uses monocrystalline cells for maximum efficiency
Renogy is one of the most trusted brands in the solar panel industry when it comes to making the most efficient kits. This kit, for example, utilizes advanced MPPT technology with up to 96% conversion efficiency and 99% high tracking efficiency. And for even better performance, you get a 40A MPPT charge controller compatible with 12V/24V battery systems.
Another thing that really stands out about this monocrystalline solar panel is its flexible design. It can flex up to 248 degrees, thereby allowing you to use it for various applications where standard panels would not work. Weighing just 6.2lbs and measuring 59.2 x 26.5 x 0.05 inches, the kit is also extremely lightweight and thin for ease of portability.
In terms of power output, each panel is rated at 175W and boasts an optimum operating voltage of 19.5V. Its optimum operating current, on the other hand, is 8.98A. Therefore, you can count on this kit to charge your RV batteries and top them off just right.
Designed with quality in mind, you will be pleased to learn that the kit comes with a 3-year warranty. This covers material defects and poor workmanship. You also get a 1-year warranty for the accessories and a 25-year power output warranty.
10. Overlander Solar Charging Kit (190 Watts)
- 5-year warranty on controller and 25-years warranty on power output
- 30A PWM charge controller supports 4-stage charging for 12V systems
- Generates up to 20.4V power voltage and 9.45A optimum power current
- Comes complete with a dual-bank, Bluetooth controller, and inverter systems
- Works for a wide range of off-grid applications
- Produces up to 24.09V open-circuit voltage and 9.98A short circuit current
The Overlander Solar Charging kit is yet another powerful solar panel RV battery charger. For starters, it boasts 190W maximum power output with 9.45A of power charging capability and 20.4V optimum operating voltage. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about draining your RV or campervan batteries while you are away.
Additionally, the kit utilizes monocrystalline types of solar cells, thereby ensuring a high-efficiency rate of up to 21%. What’s more? It comes with a 30A PWM solar controller designed to protect your battery bank from over-charging or discharging.
While it’s a powerful and extremely efficient kit, it is not as portable as foldable solar charger options. First, because it is quite heavy at 26.4lbs, and second, it is a bit huge at 59.1 x 26.3 x 1.58 inches. But when it comes to installation, the process is simple because the kit comes with all the necessary installation hardware you need.
You will also love the quality of this kit since the panels are constructed from monocrystalline silicon. The frame, on the other hand, is made from anti-corrosion anodized aluminum for enhanced long life.
What Size Solar Panel do I Need to Charge my RV Battery?
It all depends on the battery capacity of your RV, your energy use per day, and the solar panel’s efficiency rate. But at the very least, you will need at least two 200 watts size panels, each with 100W to charge 12V battery systems.
And for intensive use, you will need a solar panel with over 1000W maximum power output. You just have to connect different panels together to increase their total output. But when it comes to trickle charging, a 12v 10w solar panel will get the job done.
How do I Get the Most Out of My Solar Panels?
The best solar panels for RV battery charging have different maximum power outputs and efficiency rates. Therefore, their performance is not the same. Fortunately, there are tips on how you can get the most out of your panels. These include:
Tip#1: Make sure to clean your panels regularly because dirt, bird droppings, and mold could reduce the amount of sunlight your panels get.
Tip#2: Upgrade your light bulbs to LED options as they tend to use almost 100% of the power to produce light.
Tip#3: Make sure your solar panels are facing the right direction. They should face towards the equator.
Tip#4: Consider using battery storage to ensure you have power throughout, even at night or during power outages.
Tip#5: Use ceiling fans as they tend to use significantly less solar energy compared to HVAC systems.
Tip#6: Run all or most of your high-consumption devices during the day when your panels are generating maximum power output.
Tip#7: Make sure to turn off the standby mode of your devices when not in use as they usually consume power.
Tip#8: If you just want to maintain the charge of your 12V battery, you should use a solar trickle charger rather than an expensive solar kit.
Before we conclude our review of the best solar panel to keep RV battery charged, let’s check out some of the frequently asked questions.
1. How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run an RV?
It will depend on how much power you consume, battery capacity, and the maximum power output of the panels. However, on average, you might need between two and four 200W monocrystalline panels based on how many appliances you plan to power in your RV.
2. How many solar panels do I need to run a refrigerator?
A typical modern fridge with a combined freezer needs around 2000 watt-hours per day to run. So, on average, you will need two 200-watt panels to run a medium-sized refrigerator that is rated at 500W. However, for bigger refrigerators, 3 to 4 panels with 200-watts each for bigger refrigerators will be enough for bigger refrigerators.
3. Can solar panels power an RV air conditioner?
Yes. But you will need as many solar panels as you can to generate enough power. Generally, if using 12V battery systems, you will have to invest in solar panels that can generate at least 1,800 watts of maximum power output.
4. How long will a 100w solar panel take to charge a 12V battery?
It will depend on what size of the 12V battery you want to charge and how sunny it is. For smaller 12V batteries, it can take around 22.8 minutes to charge fully, but bigger batteries will take even two days. And if there is more sun, it will take less time.
5. Is it better to wire solar panels in series or parallel?
Wiring your solar panels in series allows you to transfer the panels over long distances easily. More so, it increases your voltage. However, with parallel wiring, there is limited voltage with parallel wiring, although you’ll get more amperage. So, overall, a parallel connection offers more power.
6. Can I connect the solar panel directly to the battery?
Yes, you can, but it is not advisable. This is because depending on the voltage of your battery, overcharging may occur. Therefore, it is recommended that you connect the panels through a charge controller to protect your battery against over-charging and discharging.
7. Can I charge my RV battery with solar?
Absolutely yes. However, you cannot just use any solar panels you find on the market. You need to invest in the best kit like the Zamp solar and Renogy solar. Also, you must consider the efficiency of the solar cells and their maximum wattage.
8. How fast can a 100-watt solar panel charge an RV battery?
Time may vary depending on the type of charge controller you’re using. For instance, if you’re using an MPPT charge controller, the solar panel will take around 12.5 hours to recharge a 50% discharged RV battery fully. However, for solar panels using PWM controllers, it may take a little longer.
The best solar panels for RV battery charging are not only reliable and durable but also have high-efficiency rates. And if you would like to get the most out of your solar panels, there are some tips to help you.
However, these solar panels are not all the same. Therefore, our top pick is the Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit. This is because it uses the most efficient charge controller, is backed by a 25-year warranty, and boasts up to 21% cell efficiency.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in a kit with more power output, we recommend the RICH SOLAR 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel. Each panel is rated at 200-watt and generates a maximum power voltage of 20.4V and 9.8amp power.