6 Best RV Solar Kits: Reviews and Buying Guide for 2020

Whether you use your RV for family road trips or you’ve moved over to full-time RV living, having a solar energy system gives you more freedom and flexibility. It also can save you money while being a more eco-friendly energy option. Many RVers have found that using solar is the right choice for them.

There are plenty of options for solar kits on the market, so it can be hard to determine which will be right for your needs. In this guide, we’ll take you through the best RV solar kits for 2020 by price point to get you started on your solar journey.

Polycrystalline vs. Monocrystalline

One of the first things you’ll need to consider is whether you want to use polycrystalline or monocrystalline panels. All solar panels are made of silicon cells. Monocrystalline solar panels are typically more efficient, being made of single-crystal silicon, which allows for better energy flow. More blue in appearance, polycrystalline panels are made up of fragments of silicon melted together. This keeps their price lower but does not maximize efficiency the way monocrystalline does.

Polycrystalline panels can still perform well, but monocrystalline panels really show the difference in their efficiency when it comes to performing in low-light environments. Our list features both polycrystalline and monocrystalline options so you can choose what the best RV solar kit is for your power needs and your budget.

Best RV Solar Kits Under $150

If you’re looking for affordable solar kits for your RV, here are the best options we’ve found for less than $150.

ACOPOWER 12V 35W 5A Solar Charger Kit, Polycrystalline Solar Panel

This 35 watt, 12-volt kit is a low-cost starter set that may be better suited for people who are just starting to explore solar energy on a part-time basis. This lightweight panel won’t put your vehicle over any weight limits, and it comes with everything you need to install it. However, with this less powerful system, even partial sun can reduce your ability to draw power.

This 35-watt panel won’t have enough juice to run your appliances on the road, but it will charge devices on the go and might top up your battery in a pinch. If you’re trying to reduce your number of stops or do some occasional dry-docking, it might be the right choice for you.This is the best RV solar kit for those who want to start exploring solar options without investing a ton of money.

Pros:

  • Lightweight anodized aluminum body weighs less than ten pounds
  • Quick and easy to install
  • One of the most affordable solar kits available
  • The 12 volts system will work with most batteries
  • It’s a convenient backup power source on the go

Cons:

  • Not powerful enough to fully charge most RV batteries
  • Made with less efficient polycrystalline panels
  • Difficult to use in overcast and inclement weather

Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

At 100 watts and 12 volts, this kit will be able to top up most RV batteries. This system is shorter than the average 100-watt panel without compromising output.

Easy to install with MC4 connectors and predrilled holes, the panel is also very efficient because of the multi-layered sheet laminations that enhance its monocrystalline cell performance.

This allows the panel to produce some power, even when it’s overcast due to its use of monocrystalline silicon. That makes this one of the best RV solar kits available under $150.

This efficient and affordable system may be enough power to keep you going on the road in relative comfort, no matter how small your roof space is.

Pros:

  • Compact size allows the panel to fit on any RV roof
  • Made with extra efficient monocrystalline cells
  • Powerful enough to keep your battery charged on the go
  • Can power some small appliances
  • Ready to install with mounting hardware included

Cons:

  • This system still may not be enough to give your battery a full charge
  • Does not include any power storage system
  • Won’t match standard size panels if you’re using a multiple panel system

Best RV Solar Kits Under $250

If you’ve got a little more money to put towards your solar kit, these are the best choices we’ve found during our research. 

WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit

This is another 100-watt kit, but it comes with a few extra bells and whistles. The included LCD display solar charge controller helps you control the system remotely and has a battery temperature sensor built-in. The polycrystalline panels also provide up to a beefy 33 amp-hours of charge in a day.

Windy Nation also provides the option of buying this kit along with an AGM Deep Cycle 12 Volt BattaMax Battery to store power between charges. For those who are serious about taking their RV off the grid, this is a good option, but it comes at a steeper price. It might be worth it to those who want a fully integrated system and more freedom to have power available whenever they need it.

Pros:

  • Charge controller works with 12 or 24 volt systems
  • Panels have enough amps to charge up most RV batteries for a day on the road
  • Fully adjustable settings for voltage, amp-hours, temperature and more
  • Easy to build out into a full solar system with other WindyNation products
  • WindyNation has a history of helpful and responsive customer service

Cons:

  • Somewhat more complicated installation process than other solar kits
  • Uses less efficient polycrystalline cells without a much lower price tag
  • You may need to purchase fuse holders and fuses to complete installation

SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel Module Kit

This two-panel, 200-watt kit comes with a 25-year warranty, plus 20A PWM Solar Charge Controller, two 10ft MC4 Connector cable, two sets of Mounting Z Brackets, and two MC4 Y Branch Connectors. If you have the roof space for two panels and want some extra juice, this system may be right for you.

As long as you have fairly consistent sunlight, this system could be enough for an off the grid set up, running some low-draw appliances. Though for more consistency, you still might want to invest in a battery to keep power available even when the sun isn’t.

Pros:

  • 200 watts of power will charge up most RV batteries and personal devices
  • The monocrystalline panels are responsive even without full sunlight
  • All the setup equipment is included with the kit
  • Designed for standard 12-volt use
  • Easy to combine with other panels to build out a custom system

Cons:

  • Requires at least partial sun to keep current consistent
  • No additional storage option
  • May not be enough power for charging your battery and running appliances at the same time

Best Overall

These are the best of the best solar kits for your RV. After reviewing dozens of different options, we’ve determined that they’re the highest quality.

ACOPOWER 400 Watts 12/24 Volts Polycrystalline Panel Solar RV Kits

With four 100 watt polycrystalline panels, this versatile kit has the ability to charge nearly any battery. The included MPPT Solar Charge Controller allows you to monitor and fully adjust the panel’s settings remotely. Easy installation and a 25-year warranty round out this package.

With enough juice for most RVers’s daily needs, this easy to use system can also be purchased at the 500-watt level, if you really want to go all out. This 400 watt system is the best RV solar kit we found using polycrystalline panels.

Having so much power generation at your disposal means you won’t have to compromise when it comes to charging up and using energy-efficient appliances on the go.

Pros:

  • Set up to work with 12 and 24-volt batteries
  • Provides enough power for most daily usage
  • The 25-year warranty protects you from damage while on the road
  • The system can be upgraded with other ACOPower panels for even more wattage
  • You can adjust the panels’ storage, voltage, and more remotely

Cons:

  • This is a pricier system, especially for less efficient polycrystalline panels
  • It requires a lot of roof space for charging on the go
  • May not be as durable in inclement weather as similar panels

Renogy 400W Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit with 30A Charger Controller

Designed for full-time off-the-grid living, this system might be the best choice for those looking to invest in a fully-solar option for their RV home. With four, extra-efficient monocrystalline panels, it has an output of up to 2000Wh per day. Its 30A PWM charge controller is specially designed for use with RVs and can be wall-mounted.

It has enough power to charge up your RV batteries and power your everyday electronics with reasonable sun exposure. This system is quite large compared to others, but it packs a punch, is simple to install and operate and offers high-quality panels. To make the most of such a high wattage kit, pair it with a storage system for uninterrupted power even after a few rainy days in a row.

Pros:

  • These monocrystalline cells perform at 21% efficiency
  • The system minimizes power drops when in the shade
  • The wall-mounted controller has a clean appearance to blend with your decor
  • The controls run self-diagnostics to prevent damage from any possible system failures
  • All mounting hardware, cables, and connectors are included for installation

Cons:

  • This system requires a lot of roof space to use on the go
  • It’s one of the most expensive 400 watt systems available
  • Despite its high-efficiency performance, for true consistency, you will also need to invest in power storage

In Conclusion

No matter what your needs, you can find a solar kit at whatever level will be right for you. Whether you want a backup power source for road trips or you want to be totally off-the-grid for full-time RV living, there’s a variety of options at every price point.

As you research solar options for your RV, be sure to take into account how self-sufficient you want to be, how much time you spend in your RV, how much power you typically use in a day, and how much sunlight your region averages. Remember that many solar kits are add-on friendly, so you can gradually build and customize the best solar RV kit for you with more panels or batteries for power storages as you go.