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Solar Panels For An RV – Are They Worth It? Expert Analysis

Buying solar panels for an RV is a great idea if you really want to stay off the grid and not worry about any electricity requirements, but are they worth it? Before we get in too deep, you do need to figure out just how much power you need and whether the solar panels for RV can actually help.

Most of the time, you will have enough energy with solar panels, but it will take a bit of a trial and error to make it work. And that’s why getting the right solar panels can indeed make a difference.

What are the Solar Panels for RV?

These solar panels were created specifically with the idea of capturing power from the sun and help turn it into electricity. The discovery of solar panels has revolutionized the world. That’s why a lot of people want to find the best solar panels for RV review and see which option is the best. It can indeed make a huge difference, and that on its own is something you will appreciate all the time. That alone is definitely a thing to take into consideration.

schematic of a solar panel for RV
A schematic to the inner workings of a solar power system for an RV
100W 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible
Newpowa Flexible Solar Panel
  • 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel with high efficiency cells.
  • Ultra-lightweight and ultra-thin design.
  • Built-in diode prevents reverse charging.
  • Waterproof and robust design for outdoor use.
  • Easy to install and use with pre-drilled holes.
  • Includes a5m extension cable for easy setup.
  • Compatible with 12V, 24V and 48V battery systems.
  • Ideal for RV, boats, cabins, campsites, and more.
  • High quality construction.
Monocrystalline Bendable Waterproof Off-Grid Charger
VICEMOB 100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Solar Panel
  • 100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel.
  • ETFE Encapsulation for ultimate protection from water, snow and dust.
  • Lightweight and ultra-thin for easy installation.
  • Can be bent up to 30 degrees to fit curved surfaces.
  • Ideal for off-grid applications such as RV, boats, campers, and cabins.
  • Highly efficient monocrystalline cells provide higher power output.
  • Built-in blocking diode prevents reverse current flow.
  • Comes with a 25-year power output warranty.
  • Includes 10AWG MC4 connectors and mounting hardware.
  • Perfect for charging 12V batteries, such as lead-acid, Li-ion, and LiFePO4
12V Bendable Thin Film Monocrystalline Lightweight(4.9lb)
DOKIO Semi-Flexible Solar Panel 100W
  • The DOKIO Semi-Flexible Solar Panel 100W 12V Bendable Thin Film Monocrystalline.
  • Offers an easy and efficient way to power your home, cabin, RV, boat, or any other off-grid application.
  • High efficiency solar panel is made with a semi-flexible monocrystalline material. Incredibly lightweight and thin. Can be bent up to 30 degrees. Perfect for a variety of curved surfaces.
  • The included junction box is water-resistant. Includes a set of MC4 connectors for quick and easy installation.
  • 600W of energy per hour in direct sunlight.
  • Durable and reliable.

How do These Solar Panels for RV Work and Are They Worth it?

The important thing to note here is that you add the solar panels at the top of the RV. And then those send the energy they capture to the solar charge controller. Then the controller pushes the power to RV batteries and then you will have the electrical loads getting energy from the battery.

It’s a seamless system and one that can be very easy to start and improve upon. It won’t take a lot of time to implement and adapt. And the best part is that it does work exactly the way you want it to. The solar panels for RV are known for being very efficient and there’s no need to worry about safety problems.

Everything is adapted and adjusted, and if you monitor it properly, nothing will stand in your way. Which is exactly why it makes a lot of sense to get these solar panels for RV right away. You can get quite a lot of energy from them. And you can also add in all kinds of other systems like a DC/AC inverter if you have a variety of electrical loads.

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All these simple things matter and you will be impressed with the efficiency and support. It’s stuff like that which will help make a huge difference if you manage it correctly.

Read More: Different Types of Solar Panels: Know Them All

How Many Solar Panels do I Need for an RV?

If you are wondering how many solar panels do I need for an RV, you are not alone. This is a question that a lot of people have and for a very good reason. You always want to ensure that your RV has enough power and you don’t have to rely on other energy sources. That’s why the solar panels installation on RV is very important. And you do want to ensure that you have plenty of solar panels.

There are two things that you need to think about here. First, you want to know how many watt hours you want to use every day. On top of that, you also want to see how much energy the solar panels will deliver to the batteries. If you find a balance between these things, you will find it much easier to access the right results. And the experience itself can be a very good one.

If you want to have lots of solar panels but just one battery, that’s obviously a problem, since you don’t have enough space to store the energy. The same thing can be said if you just have a single solar panel and a ton of batteries.

You want to find a balance between these things, as that’s what will help you obtain the right results. It’s certainly going to be worth it. And the benefits will be very good if you focus on fulfilling this approach and adapting to the situation at hand.

Read More: How to Size Solar Panels for RV: Beginners Guide

How do you Calculate the Energy Requirements?

As we said, when it comes to solar panels for RV, the more the merrier. But you don’t want to over-invest in solar panels, as there might be other things and accessories to keep in mind.

Making sure that you have a good understanding of how much energy you need on a daily basis is very important. What you can do is you calculate the amount of energy consumed by every appliance. Then you add up and see the overall estimate.

Keep in mind that you might be adding more appliances and items as you go along. So it’s always a good idea to have more than you need. Having too many of them might be a problem.

But you do want to avoid any rush and in the end the benefits can be second to none. We recommend getting the right solar panels and doing that can bring in great potential and results.

Read More: How To Correctly Calculate A Hybrid Solar System

What About Solar Energy Storage for Your RV?

Yes, aside from how much energy you need, you also want to know where and how to store this. The regular assumption is that a solar panel that’s 100 Watt will bring you around 350 watt hours of power every day. However, this can vary based on how clear the sky is, where you are located and so on. When it comes to energy storage, you can have a battery that has plenty of power. A 1,200 watt battery might be a good fit.

Yet there might be situations when you have a larger RV and much higher energy consumption. In that case you can get not one, but two or more batteries. As we said, it all comes down to calculating and making sure you have a good understanding of how much you need and what other stuff you can do to eliminate any misconceptions.

Doing that will certainly help a lot, but you have to be honest about the total consumption. As we said, it’s better to always have more energy that you store rather than lacking energy. And that’s the thing that you want to focus on and think about here.

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What are the Components of Your Solar System for the RV?

Now that you have a good understanding of how much power you need, you do want to figure out what components you need and how to perform the solar panels installation on RV. The system can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be.

The idea is to just make it simple and just going to bring in a much better result all the time. It can be a challenge at first, and in the end the outcome can be second to none.

Read More: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Energy You Didn’t Know About

1. The Battery Bank

Is crucial, because it’s the heart of the power system for your RV. Without it the RV doesn’t have any power. This is where you store the energy you get from the solar panels for RV.

With that in mind, you can go for lithium batteries for a solar system. They are much better when compared to a lead acid solution. There are certainly differences to keep in mind, and the results will be great if you go with the better, higher tier batteries.

Read More: Complete Advantages and Disadvantages Of Solar Panels

2. Solar Panels

You will need the best solar panels for an RV too. You can lay them flat, or you can use a mounting method that helps you angle these towards the sun. Both options are fair, but the latter might require a more complex solar panels installation on RV.

We recommend checking the solar panels for RV review and see what works for you. It’s simple stuff like that which makes the process work. And the results as a whole can be second to none.

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3. Charge Controller

The charge controller is also very important. This is because it connects the solar panels and then shifts the energy to the battery bank. The main role of the charge controller is to ensure that the rate which batteries receive charge is the optimal one.

Without it, you will have overcharging problems. That’s why a reliable, high quality charge controller is pretty much mandatory in a situation like this.

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4. An Inverter

An inverter is necessary because the electricity coming from the battery is 12 volt DC. And the role of the inverter is to transform DC to AC. In your RV, most if not all your appliances are AC appliances. Again, you want to invest in a good inverter, as that’s what will help convey a much better result and experience than you might expect.

Great choice for the home
ECO-WORTHY All-in-one Solar Hybrid Charger Inverter
  • Solar hybrid charger inverter with 3000W 24V pure sine wave power inverter and 60A MPPT solar controller in one.
  • Suitable for off-grid solar systems, RVs, boats, and yachts.
  • An LCD display built inside the unit monitors solar energy input, inverter output power, and battery status.
  • A 3000W pure sine wave inverter built into the unit provides reliable, clean, and efficient power.
  • Overload and over-temperature protection, as well as auto restart.
  • Maximum solar power efficiency is achieved with a 60A MPPT solar controller.
  • In-built battery charger for 12V/24V lead-acid and lithium batteries.
  • Simple to set up and use, with a USB connector for charging your mobile devices.
Off-Grid Solar Power Inverter 12V to 110V
Renogy 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter 12V DC to 120V AC Converter for Home
  • Renogy 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter: Converts 12V DC to 120V AC for dependable power in homes, RVs, trucks, off-grid solar systems, and other applications.
  • A 5V/2.1A USB port is built-in for charging your electrical gadgets.
  • An AC hardwire port for connecting to an alternating current power source, as well as a remote controller for remote monitoring.
  • Heavy-duty aluminum alloy housing for efficient cooling and robust shock and dust protection.
  • Works with any 12V batteries, including sealed, gel, and flooded.
  • Advanced safety features such as overvoltage, overcurrent, low voltage, and short circuit protection are included.
  • Simple installation and setup thanks to the provided user manual and accessories.

Read More: How to Size Solar Panels for RV

Buying the Right Solar Panels for RV

A lot of people will start asking whether you have to buy solar panels that are specifically created for an RV. The main focus here is to keep in mind that you can buy any solar panels. You don’t have to search or find solar panels that were made just for an RV. What you do need to consider are things like space. The RV roof might already have lots of stuff on it. So yes, space can be an issue.

The number of cells on solar panels for an RV does matter, because you will grab more energy. A lot of people go for the 72 cell units because they are common to those you can find at home. As long as those are compatible with the other equipment you bought, you should be more than OK.

The main focus is always on taking your time and making the process seamless. It will take some trial and error to find the right solar panels for an RV, but it’s totally worth it in the end.

Read More: What is a Solar Power System?

Steps to Help Connect Your Solar Panels for RV to the Batteries

  • First, you want to perform the solar panels installation on RV and figure out if they are worth it.
  • Then you must add the charge controller in the RV. What we recommend you to do is to keep it close to the batteries, if that’s a possibility.
  • Once that is done, you must run the wires from your panels to the charge controller. Some drilling might be needed, but that’s definitely a thing to keep in mind.
  • You want to connect wires from the charge controller and go to the battery bank.
  • After you do that, the system is installed, but you didn’t connect the panels to the charge controller. Before you make that connection, you do want to be 100% sure that the wires are all installed properly and they have the right polarity. Only when you confirm that you should consider plugging in the batteries and thus charging the controller.

Read More: Easy Definition of a Solar Inverter and It’s Working Principle

Should you Install Solar Panels on Your RV?

It all depends on a variety of factors, but for the most part solar panels installation on RV is well worth the investment. If you are the type of person that takes their RV to remote locations, you won’t really have access to electricity that much, if at all. When that happens, a system with solar panels for RV is well worth it. You get to have power with you anywhere you go, and you never have to rely on anything else.

Yes, this is an investment and it can cost you a little. But then again it’s totally something you want to think about. We always recommend investing in the right solar panels for an RV because it’s bringing you the comfort and style you want while traveling. It also makes the experience more rewarding, which is what matters the most.

We think that having solar panels for an RV is a very good investment, especially if you go off the grid often. You will get to save money, while also removing any worries or challenges that might arise. It’s always a great idea to have a proper plan and ensure that you don’t rely on electricity from random places.

The solar panels for RV are a great investment, and you will have a great payoff from them. Plus, you can fully customize the solar panel system to suit your needs. You will find out that there are many options to choose from!



Thursday 27th of April 2023


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