10 Best RV Solar Kits of 2021
The RV solar kit is a fantastic way of generating free energy in your RV. It is basically made from either thin-film, monocrystalline, or polycrystalline solar panel sheets that absorb solar energy and automatically converts it into electricity.
As we will see below, some of the best RV solar kits come as not only the solar panel but also with a charge controller as well as with all installation accessories.
This will allow you to get started right away, and you do not need any prior knowledge about solar panels to use the RV solar kit. It is extremely easy and beginner-friendly!
Benefits of RV Solar
If you are still unsure whether you need an RV solar kit or not, then here are some of the biggest advantages and benefits associated with it:
- Save Money: In an RV, most people tend to get their electrical energy from generators.
However, generators are usually expensive and require gas, so there is always a cost added to it. With the solar panel, you get literally free energy forever.
- Durable and Long-lasting: Since the RV solar panel is intended to be installed outdoors, it is made from durable material that is long-lasting.
Indeed, the RV solar panel is fully waterproof as well as weather resistant.
- Ease of Installation: The RV solar kit is usually pre-fabricated, and you do not have to do anything complicated to install it.
Simply choose a suitable location, and you are good to go. Most quality models come with a full installation kit for an easy installation.
- Easy to Use: Once you have installed your RV solar kit, it will provide you with a constant flow of electricity on autopilot.
Most RV solar kits are maintenance-free and do not require advanced knowledge to use.
10 Best RV Solar Kits – Review
1. Renogy KIT-STARTER200D (Excellent Price to Performance Ratio)
2. WindyNation SOK-100WP-P30L (Lightweight & Easy to Adjust Controller)
3. HQST Polycrystalline Kit (Extremely Easy to Install & Use)
4. HQST Off Grid Portable (Built for Maximum Efficiency)
5. Newpowa NPA100-12 (Most Inexpensive)
6. Renogy KIT-RV300D (Durable & Corrosion Resistant)
7. Acopower UV1107GD (Highly Efficient & Foldable)
8. Go Power! Weekender SW (Complete Solar Kit)
9. AllPowers AP-SP18V100W (Extremely Lightweight & Very Efficient)
10. Windy Nation SOK-400WPI-15 (Versatile)
1. Renogy KIT-STARTER200D
(Excellent Price to Performance Ratio)
2. WindyNation SOK-100WP-P30L
(Lightweight & Easy to Adjust Controller)
3. HQST Polycrystalline Kit
(Extremely Easy to Install & Use)
4. HQST Off Grid Portable
(Built for Maximum Efficiency)
5. Newpowa NPA100-12
6. Renogy KIT-RV300D
(Durable & Corrosion Resistant)
7. Acopower UV1107GD
(Highly Efficient & Foldable)
8. Go Power! Weekender SW
(Complete Solar Kit)
9. AllPowers AP-SP18V100W
(Extremely Lightweight & Very Efficient)
10. Windy Nation SOK-400WPI-15
1. Renogy KIT-STARTER200D – Excellent Price to Performance Ratio
- Panel: Monocrystalline 200 W 12 V
- Panel Dimensions: 47 inches x 24 inches x 3 inches
- Panel Weight: 37 lbs
One of the biggest advantages of the Renogy RV solar kit is that it has an excellent price to performance ratio. Indeed, the monocrystalline panel is rated at 200 W 12 V and has an average output of 1000 Wh per day or 50 Ah. This is more than sufficient for day to day use in an RV, especially if you do not have very demanding electrical devices.
Also, since it weighs only 37 lbs, you will have no difficulty installing it anywhere on your RV. Since this is a monocrystalline solar panel kit, it does not require direct sunlight to get a decent electrical output.
However, this solar panel is quite large and long. Therefore, you will need to ensure that you have the proper installation space.
To sweeten the deal, you get a 30 A PWM charge controller with this purchase. You will be able to use this PWM charge controller to quickly and easily connect to any battery for charging purposes. It is quite straightforward.
2. WindyNation SOK-100WP-P30L – Lightweight and Easy to Adjust Controller
- Panel: Polycrystalline 100 W 12 V
- Panel Dimensions: 40 inches x 1.4 inches x 26.4 inches
- Panel Weight: 10.86 lbs
If you need a lightweight RV solar kit, then this model by WindyNation is an excellent choice because it weighs only 10.86 lbs. It is also highly portable so you can easily relocate it on demand.
You get a 30 A charge controller with this purchase, and even if it is quite basic, it does display informative information like the current-voltage and if the battery is fully charged or not. It also offers you various adjustment settings that may prove to be handy.
In addition, this model still has an impressive height of 40 inches in width and 26.4 inches in height, so it is not exactly the most compact RV solar kit out there. However, it still remains quite portable.
All in all, this model is easy-to-use and remains one of the best portable RV solar kits on the market.
The major problem we have with it is its relatively weak average power output of 350 Wh. Therefore, this model is definitely not for heavy-duty use.
3. HQST Polycrystalline Kit – Extremely Easy to Install and Use
- Panel: Polycrystalline 100 W 12 V
- Panel Dimensions: 40 inches x 27 inches x 1.5 inches
- Panel Weight: 19 lbs
The HQST is a traditional-looking RV solar kit. With one major exception, this model has been built literally for absolute beginners who have never installed an RV solar kit before in their life. Indeed, it makes everything easy from the installation up to the usage.
You get not less than 20 feet of cable with this purchase so you can install it anywhere you want in your RV. Additionally, this model has an average power output of 500 Wh, so it is definitely not the highest performing model in this RV solar kit review.
However, it is still more than sufficient for casual use. Especially for users who are only looking to power a few LED lights in the RV or to charge electronic devices like smartphones or laptops.
Of course, you get all installation accessories as well as a charge controller with this purchase. The charge controller allows you to view a wide range of settings and makes it easier to connect to charging outputs like batteries.
Therefore, if you do not have heavy-duty needs, this model by HQST is an excellent choice, especially if you have never installed an RV solar kit before.
Notes: If you find this model to be expensive for the average output that you get, remember that this unit comes in different capacities that vary in price.
4. HQST Off Grid Portable – Built for Maximum Efficiency
- Panel: Monocrystalline 100 W 12 V
- Panel Dimensions: 19.9 inches x 27.2 inches x 3 inches
- Panel Weight: 26.6 lbs
The main problem with most RV solar kits on the market is that they tend to be not very efficient. This is a problem that this HQST model is here to solve. Indeed, it has been built from the ground up so as to offer maximum efficiency.
For one, the panel is made from monocrystalline which means that it is not only highly efficient but can also be used in lowlight conditions, unlike a polycrystalline solar kit. Also, it is more compact than the rest and can easily be folded into a suitcase for better portability.
At the back of this solar kit, you get a sturdy aluminum stand so that you can deploy and install it anywhere you want without it breaking. Also, you get a quality PWM charge controller that is rated at 10 A with this purchase.
Moreover, this is one of the few models that is equipped with a temperature sensor, which means that charging your battery is not only more efficient but also safer.
If you’re looking for a model that has an excellent build construction and can be folded, the HQST is an excellent choice for your need. We highly recommend it!
Notes: Even if the PWM controller of this model is equipped with an LCD screen, the screen itself is quite small, and it may be difficult to read in bright environments.
5. Newpowa NPA100-12 – Most Inexpensive Solution
- Panel: Polycrystalline 100 W 12 V
- Panel Dimensions: 39.8 inches x 1.2 inches x 26.6 inches
- Panel Weight: 19.62 lbs
What makes the Newpowa truly unique is its low-cost pricing, especially when compared to similar models that have the same average output and panel construction. It is by far the most affordable solution that you can get in this review.
However, despite being inexpensive, this top-rated RV solar kit still packs a punch because it has an excellent build construction. It is quite durable and long-lasting. The frame of this solar panel kit is made from anodized aluminum, so it is fully weatherproof and waterproof.
In addition, the polycrystalline sheets are quite efficient as well. The panel is rated at 100 Watts 12 V which makes it ideal for use in an RV.
When it comes to the installation, no problem there because everything is preinstalled for you. Even the diodes have already been fitted in the junction box, and all you need to do is connect the solar panel to your PWM charge controller of choice.
6. Renogy KIT-RV300D – Durable and Corrosion Resistant
- Panel: Monocrystalline 300 W 12 V
- Panel Dimensions: 49 inches x 24 inches x 8.5 inches
- Panel Weight: 66 lbs
The Renogy has been built to last. Indeed, the frame of this monocrystalline panel for RV is made from anodized aluminum, so it will not corrode or rust over time. It can safely be used outdoors as it is fully weatherproof and waterproof.
Moreover, this model comes in a wide range of sizes to suit your need. You can purchase a low end of the model if you have basic needs, or choose to go with a 300 Watts or 400 Watts monocrystalline panel if you have higher demands.
What is excellent about this model is that it has an efficiency of 18.4%, which is quite high, especially when compared with polycrystalline panels. Also, you will have no difficulty charging your battery with this solar kit because it provides a charge even in the shade. Pretty neat!
Additionally, you get a 30 A PWM controller with this purchase, along with all installation accessories that will allow you to get started quickly and easily.
7. Acopower UV1107GD – Highly Efficient and Foldable
- Panel: Monocrystalline 100 W 12 V
- Panel Dimensions: 25.4 inches x 19.9 inches x 2.9 inches
- Panel Weight: 25.6 lbs
What makes the Acopower UV1107GD such a unique RV solar kit is its high-efficiency and portability. Despite weighing only 25.6 lbs, which shows that it is not the lightest model you will find in this review, it still remains quite portable.
The reason is quite simple; you can fold this RV solar panel kit in 2 that makes it very handy to carry. It is a suitcase-style made for portability. Also, considering that its height is only 25.4 inches and width 19.9 inches, it does not consume a lot of space.
Moreover, since this is a monocrystalline panel rated at 100 Watts and 12 V, it is ideal for those who do not enjoy a lot of direct sunlight and don’t have a lot of power-hungry electrical devices in the RV.
You also get a PWM controller with this purchase, and you have the choice between a PWM controller that comes with an LCD screen or not.
All in all, this model remains one of the best RV solar kits when it comes to efficiency and portability. The only problem we have with it is that it is not fully weatherproof and not recommended for use, whether it is a lot of humility because the electronics inside me suffer down the line.
Notes: We don’t recommend that you use this RV solar kit outdoors where there is a lot of humidity.
8. Go Power! Weekender SW – Comes as a Complete Solar Kit for RV
- Panel: Polycrystalline 160 W
- Panel Weight: 60 lbs
If you don’t want to be bothered with complex installation procedures, then the Go Power is an excellent model for you. Indeed, this solar kit comes pre-installed and comes as a complete kit. It includes the solar panel, the inverter, a quality PWM controller with LCD, and the wiring system.
All you need to do is find a suitable location for the solar panel, make the connections to your battery, and you are good to go. Very easy!
Since this model uses a 160 W polycrystalline panel, it should be sufficient for those who do not have power-hungry devices. For casual use, this model by Go Power is more than sufficient. Also, the build construction of this model is excellent as this model is built to last.
The only major problem we have with this solar kit for RV is its price. It is by far the most expensive model in this review. However, if the price is not an issue and you need a solar kit for your RV that is extremely easy to set up in use, then it is a great choice.
AllPowers AP-SP18V100W – Extremely Lightweight and Very Efficient
- Panel: Monocrystalline 100 W 18 V 12 V
- Panel Dimensions: 43 inches x 22 inches x 1.5 inches
- Panel Weight: 4.85 lbs
This AllPowers model is bendable and extremely easy to use. But above all, what separates it from the competition is its weight of 4.85 lbs. It can easily be carried anywhere and deployed fast and easily.
But what we like the best about this model is its high efficiency of 23%. Expect to achieve this kind of efficiency as long as it gets direct sunlight. When in the shade, the efficiency will obviously be less, but since it uses monocrystalline solar panels, it will still deliver a charge.
When it comes to durability, you have nothing to worry about because despite being thin and flexible, this model is extremely durable. Both the panels as well as the junction box are fully weather-resistant as well as waterproof.
All in all, this model is by far the best portable RV solar kit that you will find in this review. We highly recommend it if you are looking for a lightweight model that is versatile and easy to use.
10. Windy Nation SOK-400WPI-15 – Versatile Solar Panel Kits for RV
- Panel: Polycrystalline 100 W 12 V
- Panel Weight: 100 lbs
What distinguishes the Windy Nation Complete solar panel kit from the rest of the competition is its versatility. This top-rated RV solar kit is not only available in different styles and models, but you can also install the 4 solar panels that you get with this purchase in a way that suits your need.
Indeed, you can choose to install only 1 solar panel or connect all 4 of them to get a higher output yield. You get a model that comes with only the solar panels and a PWM controller, and others that include a 300 Ah battery and a 400 Ah battery, respectively.
The PWM controller is quite basic, but it gets the job done. It displays the voltage as well as information about the charging of the batteries. As with most RV solar panel kits in this review, installation is very easy, and you get all installation accessories out-of-the-box.
The only caveats we note with this product is its heavyweight of 100 lbs. Indeed, it is quite heavy and definitely not portable, so this model is recommended only for those who will not need to relocate the solar kit once installed.
Also, it is quite expensive, and the price could definitely have been better.
How to Buy the Best RV Solar Kit
1. Types of RV Solar Panel
There are 3 major types of solar kits for RV available on the market. Here they are below:
Polycrystalline: The Polycrystalline solar kit is the most popular type that you will encounter. It has a typical blue coloration and a rectangular shape that comes from its manufacturing process.
The main advantage of this type of solar kit is its affordable price. However, when compared to the monocrystalline solar panel, it is not as efficient and requires a fair amount of sunlight to be useful.
Monocrystalline: In terms of efficiency, the monocrystalline solar panel is unbeatable because it is by far the most efficient type that you can purchase. It usually has its edges trimmed and has a darker coloration.
One distinctive feature of this solar panel is that it contains a thin sheet of silicone that makes it more efficient even when in the shade.
Also, when compared to the polycrystalline solar kit, the monocrystalline panel is more expensive because the manufacturing process is more complicated than the latter.
Amorphous (Thin-film): As its name suggests, this type of solar panel is a “thin-film” panel that is fully bendable. This is the latest and greatest but also the most expensive out of the 3 types of solar panels.
Additionally, the thin-film solar panel is around 13% energy efficient, which means that it is less efficient than both the polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels at 20% and 30% efficiency respectively.
However, due to the bendable nature of the thin-film solar panel, it can be installed in a wide range of ways and spaces that are not possible with both the polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels.
2. Your RV Size
One of the most important factors to consider is your RV size. Specifically, you need to know the size of your RV because from there, you will be able to calculate how many solar panels to purchase.
Additionally, you need to consider the space that you will be installing your solar panel as well.
Even if you have a big RV, it does not mean that you need many solar panels if you are planning to install them in a small area on your RV.
Efficiency is at the heart of any solar panel. Based on its efficiency, you will not only know how many solar panels that you need but also whether or not you will be able to use it in your geological location or not.
The best RV solar kit on the market has an efficiency of around 30%. This is the best that you can get. However, in most real-life situations, you will get anywhere from 13% to 20% depending on the type of RV solar kit that you purchase.
For example, a monocrystalline solar kit is more efficient than a polycrystalline kit, and you will need less to get the same efficiency.
If you don’t want a fixed solar panel and planning to relocate the solar kit from area to area, then portability is another consideration.
Luckily, most solar panel kits are prefabricated and come in a portable form factor that will allow you to quickly and easily carry and deploy them anywhere you want.
5. Geographical Location
Since this solar panel uses sunlight and not everywhere enjoys the same amount of sunlight, you need to consider the geographical location as well.
Indeed, if you live in an area with a lot of sunlight, you may choose a lower efficiency solar kit like a polycrystalline solar panel and save some money.
On the other hand, if you live in a temperate climate where you do not enjoy a lot of sunlight, then a monocrystalline solar kit is ideal. This is because a monocrystalline panel can still be used efficiently in the shade and does not require direct sunlight.
In any case, the yield or efficiency that you get from your RV solar kit will depend on the amount of sunlight that it receives.
6. Easy to Install
You do not want to spend a lot of time when installing the RV solar kit. It should be as simple and easy as possible.
Check if the manufacturer makes any mention on how easy it is to install and if you get a user’s manual along with it.
Clearly, the RV solar panel is a “free” way to get electricity while on the go in your RV. With this kit, you do not have to worry about expensive generators as most RV solar panels are able to power almost any type of electrical devices with ease.
Best, it is extremely easy to install and highly affordable. All you need to do is install it in an area that gets plenty of sunlight, and that’s it.
If you have read our RV solar kit review above and still not decided on which kit to get yet, then go through the review again.
- Benefits of RV Solar
- 10 Best RV Solar Kits – Review
- 1. Renogy KIT-STARTER200D – Excellent Price to Performance Ratio
- 2. WindyNation SOK-100WP-P30L – Lightweight and Easy to Adjust Controller
- 3. HQST Polycrystalline Kit – Extremely Easy to Install and Use
- 4. HQST Off Grid Portable – Built for Maximum Efficiency
- 5. Newpowa NPA100-12 – Most Inexpensive Solution
- 6. Renogy KIT-RV300D – Durable and Corrosion Resistant
- 7. Acopower UV1107GD – Highly Efficient and Foldable
- 8. Go Power! Weekender SW – Comes as a Complete Solar Kit for RV
- 9. AllPowers AP-SP18V100W – Extremely Lightweight and Very Efficient
- 10. Windy Nation SOK-400WPI-15 – Versatile Solar Panel Kits for RV
- How to Buy the Best RV Solar Kit