Bored with your everyday life? Take a ride with your RV and enjoy a hassle-free life for a while. But don’t forget to take with you the best solar panels for RV battery charging.
You can be benefited in many ways when you have the best panel installed on your RV. It lets you connect with all your necessary gadgets and devices.
As you know, a solar panel is an ultimate way to get pure and clean energy from the sun. With this panel, your RV batteries will charge independently and ensure better performance. You’ll feel its necessity when you are heading to a remote area. As an electricity-free solution, solar panels come with different specifications.
Our experts are here to guide you to pick the best solar panel that provides sustainable energy for your RV batteries. Let’s start the journey in the world of solar panels for RV batteries.
How Much Solar Power Do I Need For My RV?
Did you ever try to understand how much solar power is required for your RV batteries? Your solar panel will be used for your off-grid components for sure.
In that case, you need to make a few decisions to find out how much power you exactly need from the solar panel, especially for your RV. First, take all major appliances into your account.
Remember, RV’s major appliances are just like your home appliances. All these appliances are 120-volt AC-powered. To run all these appliances you need an inverter. It can invert DC power to AC. Additionally, you need a larger battery than a 12-volt deep cycle battery.
So here is the starting point to calculate the required power. In three steps you can do it to determine the exact solar requirement.
First, find out the actual size of your battery back. Calculating the sum of the daily uses will help a lot. On average, 139 amps are needed to run appliances (coffee maker, eclectic blanket, hot plate, phone charger) in an RV. Here is the calculator for Amp (Hour)
Watt (Hours) ÷ Volts = Amp (Hours)
Most of the batteries are defined with watt or amp. If your RV battery is up to 139 amp (hours) that means you need to charge it more than 139 amp. Yes, it must be faster than consuming.
Maximum Required Power
Second, you need to calculate toe power needs. This calculation is for finding out the maximum required power and how much capable your RV battery is to handle especially the continuous and peak discharge current.
If you find out the total watts of your devices, then divide it with the voltage resulting amps. As an example, if the watt is 2459 then the calculation will be (2359 watts ÷ 12.8 volts = 184.29 amps). This is your required current.
Be careful if the current exceeds the limit. It can’t be greater than the continuous rating of your RV battery.
Most of the solar panels for RV are available in different watts like 100 to 300 watts. Watt defines the maximum efficiency of a solar panel.
As an example, a 100-watt panel can generate 30 amps of power. To fulfill your requirement your need to check the panel output as well as the optimum current rating. In general, you’ll find the range of amps from 5.3 to 5.7. If you get 6 hours of sunlight, then the calculation will be
5.5 amps x 6 hours = 33 amp hours
As we said earlier, if you need 139.1 amp per hour, then you must need at least a 500-watt panel. Following our calculation, a panel can produce 30 amp hours and you need 5 of them then it will work out. Here is the final calculation
5 panels (100 watts) x 30 amp (hours daily) = 150 amp
Following this method, anyone can determine the required solar power for their RV.
How To Safely Live In An RV On Your Own Land
An RV can be treated as a permanent or temporary home for many people. If you are dreaming of living in an RV on your own land then there are few things you need to confirm. Living in an RV like paying less to live. Even it saves some space as well.
Without having the experience of living in an RV, you’ll face different problems because it is not matched with a regular lifestyle. Yes, there are pros and cons. Without fulfilling all the requirements you can’t get the best feeling in living in an RV. Here are a few things to understand.
- Need to understand the zoning laws.
- Understand local culture where you want to live
- Research on the local population
- Learn about all the local services.
- Ensure self-protection.
In the USA, the government gives permission to live in an RV if the resident has their own land. But it’s for recreational purposes. Living full-time in an RV is just like disobeying the law. It’s strictly prohibited because the neighbors can feel disturbed. The Department of Housing and Urban Development said that living in an RV is just like enjoying some moment as recreational. It’s also good for camping and travel. So, the law doesn’t allow the use of RVs as a permanent residence. If you found it legal then collect some information and confirm it.
Check the law
If your land is in that area where the states declared living in an RV is legal then you are free to live. But some states allow only when you buy a plot of land first. Then you can park your RV. Some states allow people to live in an RV for a couple of days or weeks. Not more than that.
Finding a location
Locations play a vital role to live in an RV. You should move your RV to a beautiful and perfect place. A better place minimizes different difficulties when living in an RV. It also minimizes some unexpected risks. If your land is in the town or near the town then, it will be good to get all the advantages of community benefits.
Ensure that your RV has all the necessary and basic appliances. Check internet services, fresh water, cell phones, electricity, septic system, etc. Not only that, check if you have the right to use the water or not. If the entry road is near your RV then it will be the best place for you.
Without taking the permission you can’t use the electricity. You might need to get permission. Most importantly, ensures the septic system in your place. If not, then make your land suitable to put it.
The Homeowner’s association (HOA) has a plan for its community and the residents. Considering trash removal, common area maintenance should be managed by the RV owner. HOA also charges for living in an RV. But the charge depends on the size and classes of RV like class A RV, Class B RV, and Class C RV.
What To Consider While Choosing Solar Panels For RV Battery Charging (Buying Guide):
Solar panels don’t come with the same pattern and features. It might not be possible to use the panel for RVs that are also used at home. Because there are few more things you need to consider while choosing solar panels for your RV Battery Charging. More details are given below.
For your RV, crystalline panels are perfect. They are less efficient and work in both low light and high-temperature conditions. If you keep your RV in an extremely hot place, then these panels are best for you.
On the other hand, monocrystalline panels are also good for the RV but they are expensive. These types of panels are made to perform in diverse climate conditions. So, almost everywhere they give their best efficiency that is good for RV.
Polycrystalline is related to efficiency and cost. When you’re out of budget but need a solar panel of better efficiency for your RV batteries then a polycrystalline panel is the ultimate choice.
Most RV owners set their solar panels on the roof. Because RV roofs are almost flat. Installing a solar panel on the roof of the RV allows the panel to get more and direct energy from the sun. That’s why the installation of a solar panel is important.
You can try to choose a fixed solar panel. It’s easier to install. But such an installation lets your panel absorb only 80% energy from the sun. When the sun is not in the position, then you might get problems.
For the curved RV rooftop, we suggest you pick flexible solar panels. You can easily adjust the angle to absorb solar energy perfectly.
For your RV, take the power of your solar panel in your consideration. More efficient or higher-powered solar panels work best in low light conditions. Also, take into account the energy demands for your RV.
Figure out what appliance you are using and what not is important. Calculate the power you need for the solar panel. Panels of different watts (100, 200, or 3000) are available for RV. Based on your demand pick the panel of the right watts.
Solar panels for RV must have better efficiency. Higher efficiency lets the energy convert into usable electricity. Most of the panels on the market offer 15% efficiency.
If you look for the advance solar panel for your RV then it can provide up to 20%. So, it’s up to you, how much efficiency you expect and need for a solar panel.
RV-oriented solar vehicles come in different sizes. Solar panels of suitable dimensions are easy to set on the rooftop of the RV. That’s how you’ll get more space on the roof.
Take measurements of your RV roof and get a panel smaller that can fulfill your power requirement. As a result, you can install more hardware like antennas or air conditioners on the roof.
Best Portable Solar Panels For RV Battery Charging:
To choose a solar panel wisely for an RV battery, you need a proper guideline. Our experts make a list of the best solar panels that are perfect for RVs. Along with the features and technical specifications like size and power, all these panels came a long way to become the best solar panel out there. We narrowed down all the information you need to know to pick the best panel for your RVs.
1. BLUETTI SP200 200w Monocrystalline Solar Panel – Highest Efficiency
Looking for great power from a solar panel? Bluetti SP200 is the solution. This panel is for those who want more power that also offers higher efficiency rates in any type of weather condition. Here are more details are given below.
- Efficiency rate makes it everyone’s favorite because of the 23.5% efficiency rate per space.
- Besides, its 95% transparency plays a vital role to perform simultaneously. But when something blocks this panel, its efficiency rate drops significantly.
- Sometimes the price makes an obstacle for the user who needs a solar panel for simple use.
- It’s made of monocrystalline but amazed us by its durability.
- Bluetti used advanced laminated technology to make this panel more solid.
- Its long-lasting ETFE material and coating make the panel water-resistant and it has an IP65 waterproof standard.
- In poor or extreme weather conditions it stands for a long time. But we aren’t sure if it takes a snow load or not. Otherwise, it is perfect for outdoor use.
- Foldable design makes this panel more beautiful and user-friendly to use.
- It comes with a rubber handle to carry it with comfort.
- Because of the design it only weighs 14.3 lbs. which also helps to make the installation process faster and easier.
- Overall dimension is perfect to carry and set in a small area.
- This user-friendly solar panel is highly compatible with different portable solar generators because of the MC4 connector.
- Allow using an adapter for the generator that is not compatible with this panel.
- Every accessory you need to install this 200-watt panel is here.
- It has 4 adjustable kickstands that mean you can easily adjust the angle to get the sunlight properly.
- No need to make any holes for installation because it is already pre-drilled.
- Mounting and hanging become easy for this panel.
Sometimes we need grade A solar panels to fulfill our requirement for energy. When you are not thinking about the price, but only for quality and performance, then this panel is definitely for you.
2. ECO-WORTHY 1KW Solar Panel – Basic Design
Imagine, you have a complete solar system, including a battery and inverter! Eco-Worthy makes it possible to get everything under a single roof with this solar panel kit system. Let’s discuss below what we can get from this complete solar system.
Battery and Inverter:
- It’s a complete solar system that comes with 200ah batteries and an inverter.
- Easy to connect with other components, especially with a 60A charge controller.
- The controller comes with some safety options which increase the overall efficiency of the solar panel.
- The inverter features a 3kw rating that can handle most of the appliances at home.
- There are 6 PCs monocrystalline solar panels available with this set and every panel’s output power is 195 watts.
- 2 PCs 16.4’ 12AWF cable makes the connection process easy.
- The battery cell type is lead-acid and it comes with 2 sets of cord.
- A 6.5 ft. inverter cable along with a 60-amp charge controller makes the system user-friendly.
- Mounting these panels on the rooftop, all the Z mounting brackets along with the Y brackets helps a lot.
- Pre-drilled holes allow secure mounting on the different surfaces.
Performance and Compatibility:
- Highly compatible with a wide range of battery-voltage (12V to 24V)
- All the panel has higher efficiency even in harsh weather conditions and its daily output is 4kw.
- Can power home appliances like fridges, small A/Cs.
- Offers enhanced impact resistance and withstands high winds as well as snow loads.
- Monocrystalline panels ensure durability and it has high transparency.
- Iron tempered glass and its anti-reflective features make the panel more solid to use.
- Corrosion resistance frame ensures panel longevity.
To save money and protect the environment with a solar panel system, this one is the best option to try.
3. SNUGMAX Vicsol 60W Solar Panel – Portable and Compact
Another example of the best portable solar panels for charging RV batteries. This panel is made for camping and emergency needs. Snugmax knows how to make a portable and compact solar panel for outdoor activities. Let’s dig out more technical details about this convenient solar panel.
Design & Portability:
- The foldable design makes it a portable option. Just fold it when you don’t need it.
- Very convenient when you’re roaming outside this panel.
- Because of the compact size, it’s easy to carry and transport.
High Conversion Efficiency:
- Best in rough and tough condition only for its high conversion efficiency rate that is up to 23.5%.
- Ability to perform advanced operations like converting sunlight into pure and clean energy.
- It’s highly compatible with different power stations which have different kinds of watts.
- To make the panel user friendly, you’ll find multiple charging outputs
- Allow charging multiple small devices (laptop, tablet, photos) at a time
- 2 PCs USB (5V) output port, 1 DC (18V) makes the use of this solar panel easy
- Just set the panel at your desired angle and get more sunlight than before.
- Because of the kickstand, the installation is easy and doesn’t need any previous experience.
- It has the mechanism to convert solar energy into electricity in any weather
- Made of highly durable material that is waterproof and sand-proof
Sometimes people look for hassle-free solar panels that are easy to use and compact in size. This panel is for you if you need a panel for such a purpose.
4. XINPUGUANG 100w Solar Panels – Flexible Solar Panel
Some solar panels are powerful enough to power all of your necessary appliances. Xinpuguang introduced us to this flexible solar panel that can be set on almost any surface. There are more interesting details you can know about this panel below.
Design & Material
- Designed as a flexible solar panel and all panels can be curved easily as we need.
- Made of advanced encapsulation material along with multi-layered sheet lamination.
- Ultra-light and ultra-thin design make it one lightest panel out there
- Monocrystalline panels make the overall structure strong.
- The building mechanism ensures reliable performance, but it might be a pricey option for you.
- The best solution for the grid-tied applications, but it’s not capable to power certain types of batteries.
- Comes with power tolerance and the rate is +/- 3%.
- All panels combinedly provide 1000 watt power, but it required regular sunshine to get such power.
- Can be attached multiple panels at a time to get more power.
- Easy to use on different types of surfaces, especially the curved surface.
- All well-articulated features and improved cells play a vital role to make it perform for a long time.
- Durable enough to perform in different weather conditions.
- Withstand in high-wind pressure and can take huge snow loads.
- Extreme and hot temperatures cannot hamper the surface of the solar panel.
- No need to struggle to install this panel because almost anyone can do it.
- Comes with necessary hardware like cables, a connector for perfect installation.
When you need a flexible solar panel as a powerful charging solution, then you might consider this panel. It’s powerful enough to fulfill your requirement.
5. DOKIO 100W Portable Foldable Solar Panel – Lightweight Solar Panel
Some solar panels are dedicated to charge and use your devices anytime anywhere. DOKIO offers this panel for everyone that is not only highly efficient but also the best portable solar panels for camping. Read below to know about its features and technical specifications.
- Panels are packed with 100 watts of power and made of highly durable material.
- Monocrystalline panels ensure a high-efficiency rate and that is almost 23% when the panels get sunlight properly. When you need more power this panel might be an obstacle for that.
- Because of the size, it becomes a compact option and easy to store but no option to add more panels with it.
- Very much user-friendly especially to transport, hang and remove.
- This panel is versatile to use with cars, motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles, camping, climbing, and many more.
Design & Portability:
- Portable design makes the panel lightweight and it only weighs 6lbs.
- Easy to carry when you are on the go because it has a comfortable carrying handle.
- It’s only 0.5 inches thick despite being a 100-watt panel.
- Panels are perfectly protected by a thick fabric pocket sewn.
Installation & Safety:
- Comes with a controller along with 2 USB ports that helps to charge 12V batteries.
- To keep the panel safe from different electrical hazards like overcharging, overload, short circuits, it has the proper protection feature.
- Includes a water resistance facility that allows using it on rainy days.
- Easy to set up without having previous user experience.
- Comes with essential hardware and accessories like a carrying bag, 10A controller, and 3-meter cable.
This panel from DAKIO is an option for those who love outdoor activities the most. You can use it because it’s lightweight and powerful to power every gadget you have.
Answer: Solar panels are designed to power better when they get enough energy from the sun. So, following the rules and mechanics of solar panels, it can overcharge a battery. But the charging rate depends on different parameters (output current, battery voltage, solar panel voltage).
The solar panel works with an electrical circuit. Such circuits are designed for specific and certain voltages. We called them nominal. So, the actual voltage can be more or less based on the battery charge. If it is more, then the panel is going to overcharge your battery.
Answer: Most solar panels are designed to provide complete power to fulfill your electrical power requirement. Yes, it powers your home and storage battery as well. When both are fully charged then there is some leftover. If you installed it in the right way, then all the leftovers will add up with an electrical grid.
Answer: To power a 24-volt battery you need to calculate the power. Most of the time a 24-volt battery needs 10% to 15% current of total power. If your battery uses 50 percent of the total amp then it will take at least 10 hours to complete the charge. For that, you can use a 2 PCs 250-watt panel with an MPPT charge controller to charge your 12-volt battery.
Answer: It all depends on the quality of the panel. Another way to do it, place your RV in a suitable location. Don’t park it in a shaded area. In such an area your panel doesn’t get proper sunlight to power your RV battery. Even branches also minimize the efficiency of an RV solar panel.
On the other hand, install and mount your RV solar panel in such a place as the roof, where the panel gets most of the sunlight. It helps to increase the efficiency of the solar panel and charge RV batteries faster.
Answer: 10 KW solar system is enough to run all of your home appliances. If it produces 8000 watts, then you can run cooler, TV, fans, lights, washing machine, fridge, AC, for 5 hours. This calculation is for off-grid solar systems and hybrid solar systems.
Solar panels are always a way of getting sustainable power for RV. With the best solar panels for RV battery charging helps to enjoy the outdoor life, especially off-grid life. To keep you calm and relax, we tried to give our best shot by picking the best solar panel for your RV.
All these options definitely have something to offer to power your RV batteries. All the specifications and benefits of these panels can make an RV owner happy. In any condition or weather, they will keep dragging the energy from the sun to keep all appliances inside your RV running. All these options are reliable, durable, and perfectly match with any kind of RV’s eclectic system.