The demand for the Best Solar Panel For Campervans has increased as more people abandon a sedentary lifestyle and adopt a nomadic one. Staying connected while traveling in your RV has become more crucial, whether for a quick journey or a new way of life.
Embrace the clean, green power of the sun by investing in solar panels to maintain everything in your RV running smoothly. You won’t need to rely on rest areas or gas generators any longer.
The best flexible panels for vans with curved roofs or rounded designs include those mentioned here. 100W ALLPOWERS 12V A solid, fixed panel could not be bent to wrap over an uncomfortable angle.
They have a waterproof junction box that is completely sealed, and they are PET coated to increase their durability. They don’t require holes or mounting brackets; one person can quickly install them.
In a Hurry??? Check The Top 3 Solar Panel Below…
- Top Pick
Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Premium
4x100W Renogy Solar Panels
40A MPPT Charge Controller
2 x 100W Self Heating LiFePO4 Batteries (Or AGM)
- Editor Pick
Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt
Warranty: 5 Years (Materials) / 25 Years (Power Output)
Open-Circuit Voltage: 22.5V
- Budget Pick
HQST 100 Watt Polycrystalline 12V
The Efficiency Of 100 Watt 12
- Our Recommendations
- Top 4 Best Solar Panel For Campervans 2023
- Our Top Pick Campervan Solar Panel – Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Premium
- Best Camper Van Solar Panels – Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt
- Best Travel Trailer Solar Panels – Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Premium
- Best Solar Panels For Camper Van Conversion And RV – HQST 100 Watt Polycrystalline 12V
- What Are The Benefits Of Solar Panels For Campers?
- Best Solar Panel For Campervan Buyer’s Guide
- What Solar Panel Size Do I Require?
- What Number Of Solar Panels Should I Set Up?
- Installation Simplicity
- Product Comparison
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 4 Best Solar Panel For Campervans 2023
What else can you say about using solar energy to avoid utility bills? Nothing beats an RV camping trip to truly enjoy the outdoors in peace and comfort. You can easily stay connected while traveling “off-grid” with the help of the best solar panels for RV use.
Since they were first introduced, portable solar panels have become easier to find, more reasonably priced, and capable of producing more electricity than they did at their inception. They enable you to select the ideal RV solar panel for portable energy.
We’ve assembled our selection of the best solar panels to keep you mobile and eliminate your anxiety about running out of energy. Solar electricity follows the sun wherever it goes!
Our Top Pick Campervan Solar Panel – Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Premium
Renogy assembles excellent solar kits using premium parts. This package includes batteries, an inverter, and just about everything else you’ll need to put solar panels on your van.
This eliminates the need to guess when sizing your system, choosing suitable wiring and fuses, and choosing components that will cooperate. Get this kit if you want everything you require for solar delivered to your door at the touch of a button.
The parts included in this kit are of excellent quality. This system contains the 2000W pure sine inverter, Rovers 40A MPPT charge controller, and 200Ah of batteries in addition to the Renogy 9B compact design panels we previously advised.
AGM batteries or heating itself LiFePO4 (LFP) batteries are your options. Although LFP batteries are more expensive if you can afford them, AGM batteries are less expensive. Fuse boxes, wiring, and mounting brackets are also provided.
The 400W size is ideal for most van lifers; we had plenty of electricity on our trip with this many Watts in our first van. Use our promo code GnomadHome for a further ten percent savings, and this solar kit will save you time, hassle, and money on your solar setup.
I choose Renogy after reading reviews and seeking a nice Solar Kit. I wanted to do it sparingly, but I did want to be sure it would meet my needs.
Running a 4.7cf refrigerator continuously throughout the day and into the night, then recharging my battery to its full capacity to restart the cycle. I can also watch TV, a movie, or three on rainy days, and run my water pump and LED lights.
- Generous 25-year warranty
- Industry-leading efficiency
- Simple, customizable DIY installation
- 30-amp PWM charging controller
- Mounting hardware
- A large solar system that may not fit all motorhomes.
(Image Source: Pixabay)
Best Camper Van Solar Panels – Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt
Flexible solar panels are a wonderful choice if you want quick installation and stealth characteristics. Additionally, Renogy’s flexible solar panel is a unique product.
Renogy coatings all of their flex panels with ETFE, which is more resilient and deteriorates more slowly than PTE, unlike many more affordable brands. This implies that your panels will produce more power for longer, which could significantly affect your expenditures over time.
Renogy also provides this panel in a 175W capacity to support various system setups, yet we only feature the 100W version here.
The 100W monocrystalline panel from Renogy is superior to most flexible panels. The hood of your campervan or other curved or uneven surfaces is the perfect place for this flexible solar panel. Despite its thinness, The panel is renowned for its toughness and capacity to withstand strong winds and heavy snow loads.
The flexible panel from Renogy can be combined with other panels to provide enough energy to run all of your appliances, even though it may not power an RV on its own. Since this panel is sold separately, you must buy the remainder of your solar system.
These incredibly thin panels also imply that they are less apparent from the street side and better for aerodynamics. Flexible panels are a suitable choice for covert camping because of this.
We dislike flexible panels since their surface tends to scratch over time, hastening wear and tear. Additionally, flexible panels are prone to overheating, reducing efficiency over time. Due to their excellent US-based customer support and return policy, Renogy would be our first choice if we had to buy flexible panels. But other than that, we like rigid solar panels.
In recent sunny and hot weather, I had the freezer running along with inverter-driven fans, and the panel was putting out 18 to 20 volts. It is mounted straight into the campervan roof with Sikaflex to keep my 110 leisure batteries charged. Very impressed, and you can purchase with assurance thanks to the warranty, my first pick for the following camper project.
- Highly efficient
- Flexibility for uneven surfaces
- Low profile
- 95% thinner than traditional solar panels
- Inverter, charger, and battery bank are sold separately
- Insufficient to power the RV
(Image Source: Pexels)
Best Travel Trailer Solar Panels – Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Premium
Purchasing each component separately to assemble a solar system is sometimes too complex and uninteresting for many individuals. If you identify with that, Renogy has created a 200W all-in-one solar kit.
The kit contains all the tiny gadgets and obscure parts required to finish the installation process, in addition to the solar panels. Just plug it in and go! The Renogy warranty is among the best in the solar panel industry, which is the best part.
I have these panels, an inverter named Cobra, and an imitation battery. Since the Bluetooth component of my system only functions with Renogy products, I wish I had purchased all of its components from them. Because my battery and inverter cannot “talk” to the charge controller, I cannot determine how much my battery is charged. I wish I had learned that earlier.
- Two 100w rigid solar panels
- 10A wires
- MPPT solar charge controller
- Z-bracket mounts
- Buy longer battery cables
(Image Source: Unsplash)
Best Solar Panels For Camper Van Conversion And RV – HQST 100 Watt Polycrystalline 12V
For someone looking to start their solar system on a budget, this HQST panel might be the perfect option. It is significantly less expensive than other solutions while providing the same dependable and effective electricity.
Despite having a lower power than monocrystalline, polycrystalline performs admirably in low light, making it ideal for cloudier days. The panel can withstand weather because it is strong, robust, and resilient.
This panel’s almost square shape is one of its remarkable features. The compact shape is ideal for some van roofs because it can rest comfortably on a roof rack. Although it might only fit some vans, having several options is useful if the standard rectangle doesn’t. HQST produces some of the most cost-effective solar panels with RVs or vans.
Simply conducting some tests. A single panel produces 74–77 watts. The overall output of both panels is between 145 and 154 watts. However, it tends to steady at 147 watts. In any case, it produces more than my full-size stand-up freezer does. So there is no issue running my freezer while charging my power bank. I can push 300 watts if I add two additional panels.
- Great price
- On some vehicles, the square shape works really well.
- Completely waterproof and strong
- Polycrystalline technology is less effective
- Some vans need to be fixed with square shapes
(Image Source: Picjumbo)
What Are The Benefits Of Solar Panels For Campers?
You can convert the sun’s natural energy into electricity to run your household by installing solar panels. Short version: freedom to live & travel off-grid means solar panels for a van. The photovoltaic cells on your mobile solar panels absorb electricity even without direct sunlight. Your battery bank then stores this energy, which you can access to power your devices.
Although many variables affect how much power is produced, even one panel can help you start using sustainable electricity. Additionally, wiring solar panels is much simpler than you might imagine and a great investment!
Best Solar Panel For Campervan Buyer’s Guide
Monocrystalline Vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Although it’s simple to get bogged down in the technical distinctions between these two-panel types, the bottom conclusion is that monocrystalline solar panels are marginally more expensive but more effective.
Monocrystalline panels’ cells are made of a single silicon crystal, whereas polycrystalline panels’ cells are made of numerous silicon crystals that have been mixed. Mono panels are more effective but more expensive to make.
Our shared off-grid living experiences have taught us that trying to gather enough energy from solar panels may occasionally be a challenge, especially in less favorable weather (especially crucial if you live somewhere like the U.K.!). Monocrystalline panels are the best choice since they perform better in less than perfect conditions.
Flexible Versus Rigid Solar Panels
For most campervans, rigid solar panels are the logical option, but addressing a few unique situations where flexible solar panels will be advantageous is important.
Flexible solar panels are ideal for two different use cases: when stealth camping is a top priority (as they can be attached flat to your van’s roof, keeping them really low profile) or if you have an unusual, curved roof that wouldn’t easily mount a rigid panel (such as an old motorhome). Flexible solar panels are lightweight, thin, and bendable.
Flexible panels can be fixed flat to the van’s roof, making them extremely low profile and invisible from the ground. We usually advise ensuring enough airflow beneath your solar panels to keep them cool because solar panels lose a lot of efficiency if they get too hot. If mounted directly onto a metal van roof, flexible panels’ power output and lifespan may be impacted.
We advise using sturdy solar panels if you intend to use solar energy as your main source of power. Their glass top and aluminum frame make them far more resistant to harm from scraping branches, a lot of snow, or strong frost. They are more effective and durable.
Portable Solar Power Systems
You might suddenly realize you need more room for a solar panel if your campervan roof is packed with skylights, bouldering mats, an awning, and a wooden deck for viewing the sunset! Do not be alarmed; a remedy exists.
When you are parked and the sun is out, you may bring your portable solar panels from your van and plug them in. They can be used with a portable power bank, which serves as a battery, charge controller, and inverter, or you can hook them up to charge your home leisure batteries using a charge controller.
Read this article if you’re considering buying a portable power station: Which is best for me? If you’re converting an older campervan and still need access to 12V and 230V power, portable power stations are a terrific alternative!
But setting up and plugging in a portable panel every time you stop would be tiresome if you were to use solar energy exclusively. If you’re concerned about installation, The Van Conversion Bible and our free electrical system design service are both full of helpful suggestions.
What Solar Panel Size Do I Require?
Now that you know the type of solar panel you require, you must choose a size or, more accurately, a power rating. How much power a solar panel will supply to charge your battery bank is indicated by its power rating or wattage (W).
The size of your power bank and how long you intend to live off the grid will determine how much power you require from your solar panels. However, it might also be constrained by your financial situation and the available roof space.
You need to know the total ‘usable capacity’ of your battery bank in watt-hours in order to calculate how much charging power you will need to properly recharge your batteries. Usable capacity is the portion of your battery bank you can access.
It’s crucial to take the sun’s angle into account because solar panels on a campervan will be installed flat on the vehicle’s roof. This will only slightly reduce efficiency throughout the summer. However, this will have a considerably greater effect over the winter.
For instance, the sun’s angle in London during the summer means that a solar panel will only be 92% effective. In contrast, the solar panel’s efficiency would drop to 24% during the winter. If you want to utilize your van in the winter, this is a substantial difference to consider!
What Number Of Solar Panels Should I Set Up?
After calculating your solar power requirements, you may find that more than one option will suffice to meet them. For instance, if you require 200W, you have two options: purchase one 200W panel or link two 100W panels together.
Although it may appear that you are accomplishing the same thing, the final electrical output could be quite different. To ensure that the solar panel will deliver a high enough voltage to power your batteries even in challenging circumstances, you should look more into its characteristics.
The comfort of installation is another factor to consider when determining how many solar panels to install. If you choose stiff panels with Z brackets, the more solar panels you put, the more roof holes you will need to drill! We advise using the fewest solar panels to produce a high open circuit voltage.
The 100W ROCKPALS Panel was created with portability in mind. This system, which is a portable solar panel that folds up effortlessly, may be stored in your campervan or recreational vehicle. This panel has more than ten different adapters specifically designed for powering generators.
If you opt to equip your RV with solar panels, you must purchase a set since the solar generator is sold separately. The panel has a lifetime customer service guarantee despite the limited warranty duration.
The 100W Poly Panel is the most economical priced option on our list, and thanks to its small size, it works well for both campervans and RVs. Bypass diodes from Poly Solar reduce the power loss by too much shade to battle low light conditions. This enables your solar panel to function efficiently on overcast days.
This panel is made to withstand severe weather thanks to its metal frame and IP-65-rated junction box. These lightweight panels are incredibly simple to install on your RV, boat, caravan, or off-grid system because they have pre-drilled holes.
The portable solar panel system from EF ECOFLOW, sold on Amazon, is ideal for RVers who can find a park and stay there for a while. This solar panel system includes everything you need, including outlets for your air conditioner, mini fridge, and phones.
The system includes high-efficiency solar panels and a powerful generator, albeit on the pricey side. Since these panels are portable and intended to be set up on the ground, mounting hardware is not a concern.
We only needed to install two panels because they are 180 watts apiece instead of three or four lesser ones. Additionally, the size of each panel is ideal for us because, when stacked side by side on the upper side of our camper van, they fit together nicely with little extra room around the corners.
We will not hesitate to suggest our Newpowa panels if you want to purchase robust solar panels for your camper. Please leave a statement below if you have any particular queries about our experience using these Best Solar Panel For Campervans, and As soon as we can, we’ll get back to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
how many solar panels are necessary For a vehicle?
Calculating your electricity consumption and basing the size of your solar system on that will give you an accurate idea of how much solar you need (our DIY van life electrical guide provides full instructions on how to do this). Alternatively, you can plan your electricity consumption to fit your budget and then determine the appropriate size of your system.
how much would it cost To install solar panels on a vehicle,?
The price tag rises or falls depending on the solar panels and batteries you go for. Both lithium batteries and flexible panels are priced higher than AGM batteries. Costs can be kept in check by carefully selecting the parts you buy.
How big should the solar panels on my van be?
Do solar panels on a car have any value?
However, solar is optional if you are on a low budget. A solid battery, DC-DC charger, and competent inverter should meet your needs if you only want to charge your phone and run some lights. You can start with the essentials using this system and upgrade to solar power whenever you’re ready.