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The Best Portable Solar Panels for RV, Traveling & Camping

Written by Stephen Ryan / Fact checked by William Turner

best portable solar panel for rv

Taking your family on a road trip becomes more memorable if you have the best portable solar panels for RV on your rig. There is never a dull moment for your family as they get to enjoy all the comforts of home on wheels while taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of their surroundings.

They can watch the TV, listen to music, play computer games, enjoy a delicious meal, relish a warm shower, and many more. All while you drive to your next destination safely.

Here are the top portable solar panels that can ensure a home-away-from-home experience for everyone.

Top 1

Jackery SolarSaga Portable Solar Panel


Peak Power 100W
Maximum Voltage 5V
Dimensions 22.83 x 19.69 x 2.36 inches

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Top 2



Peak Power 110W
Maximum Voltage 18V
Dimensions 27.95 x 13.78 x 0.2 inches

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Top 3

Renogy 175W


Peak Power 175 Watt
Maximum Voltage 12 V
Dimensions 59.2 x 26.5 x 0.08 inches

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Table of Contents

Best RV Portable Solar Panel Reviews 2023

1. Jackery SolarSaga Portable Solar Panel

Jackery designed the SolarSaga for the adventurous family who prefers spending weekends close to nature than in the crowded city. It is a solar panel like no other because of its cool design and remarkable solar absorption capability.

The company ditched the conventional PET construction of traditional solar panels for a more durable ethylene tetrafluoroethylene material. You may not notice the difference instantly. However, what you will get is better light transmittance capability and better resistance against the elements.

This solar panel works with portable generators that have become an indispensable gadget for explorers, campers, and outdoor adventurers. You can connect two of these 100-watt panels to your solar generator to power different camp gadgets and appliances.

It also has a pair of USB ports for charging small gadgets, such as smartphones, digital cameras, drones, and many more. One is a USB-C type, while the other is your ordinary USB.

The stand is remarkably stable because it has a broader base than other products’ stands. The company also optimized its angle to ensure maximum light absorption wherever you place it. You will get 24 percent more solar energy when you prop this solar panel on its stand.

If you are looking for a 100 watt portable solar panel to charge your RV’s deep cycle batteries, this is not the product for you. It will be nice if the company also made the solar panel compatible with batteries to justify its slightly higher price than the competition.

  • Durable ETFE solar panel construction for higher light transmittance
  • 24 percent better solar absorption than conventional solar panels
  • Expandable design for increased solar power output
  • Integrated USB ports for faster charging of compatible devices
  • Innovative stand design for improved stability and optimal solar absorption
  • Not for charging batteries
  • A bit expensive

Nevertheless, the Jackery SolarSaga is the right choice for those who love spending weekends in the great outdoors. It is a reliable partner in running portable generators, ensuring you have unparalleled fun wherever you decide to camp.

2. DOKIO FFSP-110 Portable Solar Panel Kit

One characteristic of portable solar kits for RV is their lightweight nature. Most products on the market are heavier than 20 pounds.

The DOKIO FFSP-110 is the most portable you can ever buy without compromising its ability to deliver pure power to your batteries and other portable power sources. It only weighs .73 pounds and is 0.5 inches thick.

There are two uses of this solar kit: charging batteries and supplying energy to power stations. You can power almost any portable solar generator because the kit already comes with five DC connectors, ranging from 3.5mm to 8mm. You do not even need a controller to power up your generator.

For its price, it is surprising to see this product working with almost all battery types. You can charge any battery if it is 12 volts. It also features monocrystalline photovoltaic cells that ensure optimum solar energy generation.

While its PWM charge controller is not the best, it has the features that other brands do not have. You can charge a few handheld devices through the controller’s integrated 2-amp, 5-volt USB ports.

A lightweight solar panel kit can be a joy to carry. However, it can also present some challenges. For instance, it gets easily toppled by a sudden wind gust. It also does not help that this solar suitcase for RV does not have a built-in stand. You will have to prop it against a structure or lay it flat on the ground. I think the latter is a better option.

  • Compatible with any 12V battery with its DC connectors
  • Super-thin and lightweight design for exceptional portability
  • Smart PWM charge controller for improved system protection and performance
  • Integrated USB ports for charging compatible devices
  • Great value for budget-conscious families
  • No built-in solar panel stand
  • Easily toppled by strong winds.
The DOKIO Foldable Solar Panel Kit is the right choice for budget-conscious RV owners. It is a ‘handy’ power supplier that helps run different appliances, devices, and gadgets. It is not perfect, of course. But, with its remarkable features at a friendly price, it remains an appealing product.

3. Renogy 175W Flexible Solar Panel

The Renogy 175W Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel is the most suitable portable solar panel for caravan owners. It flexes up to 248 degrees to conform to the natural curvature of your camper or trailer. You can place this solar panel on almost any surface because of its super-flexible design.

Not only is it an excellent solution for top-of-the-line campers. It can also be a reliable solar energy solution for homes. Its 175-watt capacity is enough to charge deep cycle batteries in a few hours, allowing you to charge more power stations for the home. It is perfect for those with power-hungry appliances.

I like the solar panel’s sunlight capture technology because it improves its conversion efficiency. It translates to better cost-savings by giving your devices the power they need to run optimally.

The solar panels are also tough, capable of withstanding 2400-Pa winds and 5400-Pa snow loads. The aluminum frame will never rust, giving you a system that will last up to three decades. This product is indeed expensive. However, its durable design and reliable solar energy performance make it one of the most cost-efficient solutions you can ever have.

The main problem with this solar panel is that it is less durable than rigid types. The constant flexing of the panel can somehow weaken its structural integrity. Some consumers complain of solar panel failure after only several months’ use. The mounting holes also tend to rust over time. You may want to consider protecting the holes if you will use the panel in marine applications.

  • Flexible solar panel design for optimum placement on any surface
  • High-wattage monocrystalline solar panels for power-hungry applications
  • Unique sunlight capture technologies for optimum energy conversion efficiency
  • Metal-reinforced mounting holes for more secure installation
  • Excellent resistance against snow, corrosion, and strong winds
  • Not recommended for marine applications
  • Not as durable as a fixed solar panel
The Renogy 175W Flexible is a wise choice for people who want to maximize their camper’s curved surfaces. It can absorb and generate more significant amounts of solar energy than conventional solar panels, delivering enough energy to power several batteries in a flash.

4. Renogy RNG-KIT-STCS-100D-VOY20

Families looking for the best portable solar panels for camping, boating, RVing, and off-grid living should seriously consider the Renogy RNG-KIT-STCS-100D-VOY20.

Most portable solar panels feature polycrystalline cells, not this one. It has monocrystalline technology that ensures optimum solar energy absorption even when the sun is not cooperating. Two 50-watt panels fold to give you a more efficient solar energy gathering platform.

The real heart of this system is its revolutionary charge controller. It manages everything you need to maximize solar energy gathering and storage. It charges your battery in four stages, optimizing your battery’s energy storage potential. It automatically detects flooded, lithium, SLA, and gel batteries.

The large backlit LCD screen also makes it easy to keep track of your solar panel’s performance. It displays error codes to keep you abreast of any problems.

The panel stand is one of the most robust in the market. It is lightweight but never compromises on strength and durability. It has exceptional weatherproofing and electrical safety protections, too.

The only issue I see about this portable solar panel is its positioning. When angled at about 45 degrees, the charge controller can be challenging to see and manipulate. The solar panel’s underside also heats up a bit and cause the system to make slightly aggressive temperature compensation. My suggestion is to find the optimal angle position of the solar panel to avoid these concerns.

  • Monocrystalline photovoltaic cells for maximum solar energy absorption
  • Intelligent, weather-resistant 4-stage charge controller
  • Adjustable, heavy-duty, and corrosion-resistant solar panel stand
  • Multiple component protection for optimal performance
  • Compatible with different types of RV battery for maximum versatility
  • A bit too aggressive temperature compensation at certain angles
  • Challenging charge controller access when panel the is at a 45-degree angle
Renogy solar panels are some of the best on the market. The RNG-KIT-SCTS-100D-VOY20 may be over your budget, but it is the wisest investment you can ever make. Its solar energy efficiency, multi-battery compatibility, and advanced charge controller are enough to let you have an RVing adventure of a lifetime.


Folding solar panels for RV are selling like hotcakes. They offer exceptional portability to anyone who wants to stay powered up in any condition. One of the most remarkable folding solar panel kits today is the ACOPOWER UV11007GD.

This foldable solar panel features a pair of 50-watt Grade A monocrystalline photovoltaic cells for optimum solar power generation, even in low-light situations. You can get the power you need even in an overcast sky.

It has one of the highest efficiency ratings for solar panels on the market, making it the right solution for families who need a high-performance system.

What is impressive with this solar panel kit is its generator readiness. You can hook it up to your portable solar generator to enjoy unlimited, clean energy wherever you are.

It is also easy to add solar panels to it because of its modular design. A hundred watts is not enough for you? Try adding a couple more to extend your solar power generation capability.

This folding solar panel requires no installation. You can set it up in under a minute, hook the system to your portable generator, and you have an instant power supply. The system is also perfect for charging your motorhome’s batteries, giving you the power to run different appliances and devices.

If you have lithium batteries, forget about this solar panel. Its charge controller only accepts SLA, gel, and flooded batteries. Moreover, you would wish the company improved the charge controller’s interface by adding an LCD screen to simplify its operation.

  • 4% solar energy efficiency rating per solar cell
  • Grade A monocrystalline solar panels for low-light solar energy absorption
  • Compatible with portable solar generators for added versatility
  • Expandable design for more significant cost savings
  • Reliable, stable, installation-free construction for ease of operation
  • Compatible only with SLA, gel, and flooded batteries
  • No LCD screen in the charge controller
Nevertheless, the ACOPOWER UV11007GD makes for an exciting suitcase solar panel you can bring and use anywhere. It is ready to charge your batteries or supply power to your solar generator. Your family cannot ask for more.

6. Go Power! GP-PSK-130

Go Power! makes many interesting solar products for every person and family. One of the fascinating portable RV solar panel kits you can buy today is the GP-PSK-130. It is not your average 100-watt system. This solar panel kit is perfect for anyone who needs more wattage for their rigs.

Like many top-tier folding solar panels, this product features monocrystalline photovoltaic cell technology. It does not matter if a large cloud hides the sun or if it is already dusk. The system can harness light energy, regardless of how faint it is.

Capable of delivering 130 watts of pure and clean energy to your batteries, this folding solar kit has a rated current of 6.7 amperes and a rated DC voltage of 19.7 volts. It is enough to supply energy to different motorhome devices and appliances, making your RVing adventures more worthwhile.

This portable solar energy solution comes with a PWM charge controller, ensuring optimum solar energy management. It automatically detects the battery type connected before delivering the charge.

You can connect your AGM, flooded, or gel battery to this controller, using the Anderson-style connectors, and get a fully charged battery state in several hours.

The frame is solid, and the stand is adjustable for optimum solar exposure angle. The carrying case makes it easy to bring the solar panel anywhere.

Some people may find it strange for this solar panel to cost more than twice a 100-watt product with the same performance. Is it because of the additional 30 watts? The unit is also not weatherproof, making this folding solar panel a tough decision to make.

  • Highly-efficient monocrystalline solar panels for better solar energy generation
  • High-capacity solar panels for greater solar energy output
  • A PWM charge controller automatically detects battery type
  • Strong and reliable frame and stand construction for durability
  • Anderson-style charging connectors for improved versatility
  • More expensive than other portable solar panel brands
  • Not weatherproof
Performance-wise, the Go Power! GP-PSK-130 is a reliable portable solar charger for RVs. It is the right choice for anyone who needs more energy to operate power-hungry devices and appliances.

7. Renogy 200 Watt Eclipse Solar Panel Suitcase

Renogy portable solar panels for RV are some of the world’s best. Not only do they look revolutionary. These devices also have the performance to boot. Take the 200-watt Eclipse, for instance. It is one of the coolest-looking folding solar panels you can ever buy.

This solar panel kit can deliver 200 watts of clean power to any portable energy solution you may have. Connect it to your AGM, gel, SLA, flooded, and even modern lithium batteries. It can also power up your portable solar generator, making it one of the most versatile clean energy-harnessing systems in the world.

Thanks to its premium-quality monocrystalline photovoltaic technology, this solar panel kit is perfect for camping. They can also be reliable portable solar panels for home use because of their considerable power output. You can run different home appliances with this setup, never worrying about high electric bills again.

Its -40OF to 185OF operating temperature is also wide enough for various applications.

I love the product’s elegant design, especially its all-black image that gives the solar panels a sophisticating impression. Most solar panels have an aluminum frame against a black solar panel, complete with more noticeable grid lines. This solar panel is as beautiful and elegant as your high-end motorhome.

There are not many downsides to this solar energy solution. It is heavier than other brands but is still portable. I am quite surprised why the company did not make its waterproof charge controller a standard in this model. If you need a waterproof controller, make sure to check the product description of what you are buying.

  • 200-watt rating for running power-hungry appliances and devices
  • Premium-quality monocrystalline solar panels for higher low-light energy efficiency
  • Compatible with different batteries and portable solar generators
  • Black frame and grid line-free solar panel for better aesthetics
  • Wide operating temperature for maximum versatility
  • Not waterproof controller
  • Quite heavy compared to other brands
Overall, I recommend the Renogy 200 Watt Eclipse. Not only does it provide more power to your RV and off-the-grid house. It is also one of the coolest-looking solar panels you can buy and use anywhere.

8. ACOPOWER HY-3x40W Solar Panel Kit

The DOKIO looks nice and all, but its lack of a stand can be challenging for some people. That is why most RV owners prefer the ACOPOWER HY-3x40W. This solar panel kit not only comes with a built-in stand for effortless setups. It also provides ample power for many devices and batteries, ensuring more enjoyable adventures on the road.

There are three solar panels in this kit, each one delivering 40 watts for a combined power of 120 watts. The design is enough to power multiple devices simultaneously or fast-charge your RV’s batteries by converting up to 25 percent of the sun’s energy into usable electricity – no more dark and cold nights or quiet evenings in the wilderness.

The built-in charge controller efficiently manages solar power while protecting the system against overloading and overvoltage. The LCD screen is large despite having an old-school grayscale backlighting. It is still better than having only LED indicator lights.

This portable solar for RV takes the idea of portability to the next level with its 8.4-pound weight and 0.6-inch thickness when opened. The built-in stand helps with the solar panel’s optimum positioning. You can always fold the stand to lay the solar panel flat on any surface.

It might scare people to know that this flexible solar panel costs more than twice the DOKIO. However, given the technologies and its intuitive design, I would happily pay for the extra.

Do keep in mind that its charge controller does not have adequate weather protection. You will want to take care not to expose this to harsh weather unless you want it to end up as expensive junk.

  • More solar power for more applications
  • 25% solar energy conversion efficiency for more effective solar power generation
  • User-friendly charge controller for more efficient system management
  • Less than 9 pounds for optimum portability
  • Built-in folding stand for ease of setup
  • Not weatherproof
  • High price tag
The ACOPOWER HY-3x40W is one of the best portable solar panels for RV you can buy. It may seem expensive, but the features you get are nothing less than the best.

9. Zamp Solar USP1002 Legacy Series

Top-tier portable solar panel kits for RV command a steep price for good reasons. Their state-of-the-art technologies ensure exceptional performance in almost any condition. Such is the case of the Zamp Solar USP1002 Legacy Series. It may be expensive, but you are getting more than your money’s worth.

True to the design philosophy of Zamp portable solar panels, this product has one of the most efficient solar energy designs on the market.

Two 70-watt panels unfold to provide you with enough energy to recharge different batteries or operate portable power stations. The premium monocrystalline cells ensure optimum solar energy absorption and generation.

I like the charge controller because of its simple layout and sizeable grayscale-lit LCD screen. The frame and stand are worth mentioning, too. They are rock-solid, ensuring more stability for the system as you frolic under the sun, waiting for the system to charge your batteries.

The company designed this folding solar panel with optimum durability in mind. With proper care, you can have the system working for you for the next 25 years. Exceptionally few products can provide such an assurance, negating any concerns about its hefty price tag.

Aside that, this folding solar panel is also heavier and bulkier than other brands. It looks big even when folded. It also weighs a little under 40 pounds, making it quite challenging to bring in the mountains for a day of trekking and camping. It is what you can expect from a robustly-designed solar panel.

  • Dual 70-watt monocrystalline panels for optimum energy absorption and generation
  • Stylish digital charge controller for optimum system protection and performance
  • Simple controls and a large LCD screen for enhanced user-friendliness
  • Best-in-class frame and folding stand for stability and durability
  • 25-year solar energy output capability for long-term use
  • Pricier and heavier than other portable solar panels
These concerns are inconsequential, considering what the Zamp Solar USP1002 Legacy Series can provide RV owners and their families. It is easy to set up, performs better than other systems, and is a cinch to operate and maintain. It offers better saving in the long-term, too.

10. ECO-WORTHY L02010101005-1 Solar Panel

The ECO-WORTHY L02010101005-1 is ideal for those who want reliable portable solar panels for RV batteries, portable generators, and gadgets. This solar panel kit is not only efficient in converting sunlight into usable energy. It is also lightweight and foldable for maximum portability.

This monocrystalline solar panel technology provides 120 watts of clean energy, absorbing up to 25% sunlight. It has a built-in charge controller with two integrated USB ports that deliver the right charge to your handheld devices.

The controller is also smart, giving you the ability to charge ten different types of power stations. It has a protective function, too. Never will your system suffer from over-tension and over-voltage. It can prolong your RV’s battery life.

With its kickstand, you can further increase its energy conversion efficiency. You can also set the solar panel in different ways. You can hang it on the side of your caravan or lay it out flat on the ground. Once done, you can fold it into a neat suitcase.

There are only two minor issues I can see in this portable solar panel. The product is 62.2 inches long when fully extended. Unfortunately, the kickstands on the panel’s opposite sides cannot stabilize the product because they are a bit flimsy.

I also find the cable length to have varying lengths. Some customers report receiving less than the published 3-meter cable length, while others got longer cables.

  • Higher solar energy efficiency rating for optimal power generation
  • Exceptional charge controller compatibility with portable generators and batteries
  • Built-in USB charging port in the solar power controller for extended application
  • Multiple setup options for optimum versatility
  • Lightweight and durable design for portability and long-term use
  • Flimsy kickstands
  • Inconsistent solar panel cable length
As mentioned, these are minor issues. What is essential is that the ECO-WORTHY L02010101005-1 is the right choice for RV owners who want a versatile solar energy solution. Hang it, lay it on the ground, or prop it on its kickstands. You can be sure you have all your devices and batteries juiced up for your adventure.

11. DOKIO 100W Foldable Solar Panel

The DOKIO 100W portable solar power system for RV is a more rigid and more durable version of the FFSP-110 100W portable solar panel kit. It is an excellent solution for motorhome owners who want to take their adventures to a whole new level.

What may surprise you about this portable solar panel is its weight. It has the same components as other 100-watt solar panels on the market, yet it only tips the weighing scale at 18.5 pounds. Its folded dimension is also not that great, allowing for exceptional portability wherever you decide to camp.

Its monocrystalline solar panels can provide 600 volts of maximum DC power, with an operating voltage of 18 volts. It is sufficient to charge lead-acid, gel, AGM, and even lithium batteries, allowing you to run your motorhome’s appliances and devices.

There is also no need to worry about overloading your system or wasting stored energy in your battery. The system’s PWM controller takes care of that intuitively, without any input from you.

This product is as strong and stable as a rock. It can withstand snow loads of up to 5,400 Pa or about 125 pound-feet per square foot. The solar panel can remain standing even with strong winds of up to 2,400 Pa or about 130 MPH. Its aluminum stand also resists corrosion for added durability.

While this solar panel is perfect for charging batteries, it cannot accommodate portable generators. Some customers also complain about the short cable, preventing them from placing the solar panels in the best possible position without maneuvering their vehicles.

  • High-efficiency monocrystalline solar panel for significant solar energy absorption
  • Built-in PWM controller for enhancing system performance and safety
  • Excellent resistance against snow loads and high winds
  • Corrosion-resistant, heavy-duty aluminum stand for durability
  • Lighter than other 100-watt solar panel brands
  • Use only as a battery charger.
  • Short cable
Despite these concerns, I still recommend the DOKIO 100W to anyone who wants an affordable and high-performance solar panel. It can withstand weather extremes, giving your batteries enough juice for more exciting times away from home.

12. PAXCESS 120W RV Solar Panel

RV owners looking to bring their adventures further from the road should get a portable generator. Unfortunately, portable generators do not pack unlimited energy. That is why you need to have a system that replenishes the generator’s power on the fly. The PAXCESS 120W RV Solar Panel fits the role perfectly.

This solar energy solution is every outdoor enthusiast’s reliable power companion. It recharges portable generators up to 20 percent faster than conventional 100-watt systems. Not only does it supply your generator with clean energy. It can also power up your handheld and mobile devices because of a pair of integrated USB ports in the unit.

Most foldable solar panels come with a three-panel design. This product features four, each of which producing 30 watts of solar energy. The solar system’s four-panel design makes it narrower than other brands when folded. Its design never compromises the solar panel’s ability to convert as much as 23 percent sunlight into clean energy.

At only 11.6 pounds and 0.2 inches thick when opened, this folding solar panel is one of the easiest to carry and set up. Outdoor adventurers will never complain about having to take this device uphill.

This product is not for people looking for solar panels for RV battery charging because it connects only to portable generators and similar power solutions. I think this product would have justified its price if it can also charge deep cycle batteries.

  • Four premium 30-watt monocrystalline solar panels for enhanced solar absorption
  • Up to 23% sunlight conversion performance for efficient solar power generation
  • Compatible with portable generators and USB devices
  • Thin and lightweight design for optimum portability
  • Easy to set up and stabilize with its built-in dual kickstand
  • Not for charging deep cycle batteries
  • A bit expensive
The PAXCESS 120W may not be the right solution for your RV batteries, but it is for your portable power station. You can bring all the modern comforts of home to make your outdoor adventures more memorable.

13. Xantrex 100W Solar Portable Flex Kit

This Xantrex kit offers a few surprises for RV owners and outdoor enthusiasts to make the most of their adventures. It is a decent portable 100W solar panel with all the essentials that modern campers, picnickers, and backpackers need to lead a more convenient life away from home.

I like this portable solar panel because it features monocrystalline photovoltaic silicon wafers. Most transportable solar panels have polycrystalline or thin-film PV components, making them less efficient in collecting energy.

I am confident about this solar panel’s energy efficiency because of the five busbars spanning its framework. Most portable PV panels only have two to four, robbing the system of efficiency in conducting DC electricity to the inverter.

Unlike other suitcase solar panels for RV, this product is surprisingly lightweight and compact. Measuring 36.2 by 26.4 inches when fully extended, this solar panel is smaller than other brands. Its heft is also impressive. Hikers and campers will not mind lugging this four-pound device on their backs or shoulders.

Connecting this solar panel to a deep-cycle battery is a breeze because users have three linkage options. They can utilize traditional battery rings or clamps. Alternatively, an SAE connector should bridge the solar panel to the battery.

I also like the PWM controller with several noteworthy features, including safety technologies for battery charging and a real-time notification system. It has a pair of USB ports to charge a mobile device. Plus, the LCD screen has a simple layout, making solar panel management more convenient.

Although I admire the PWM controller, it remains less efficient than an MPPT charge controller.

  • High-efficiency monocrystalline photovoltaic panel
  • Lighter and more compact than other portable solar panels
  • Five busbars for more efficient solar energy conversion
  • Multi-featured PWM charge controller with straightforward LCD screen
  • Multiple battery connections for versatility
  • Less efficient than MPPT-controlled PV panels
Renogy solar panels are some of the best on the market. The RNG-KIT-SCTS-100D-VOY20 may be over your budget, but it is the wisest investment you can ever make. Its solar energy efficiency, multi-battery compatibility, and advanced charge controller are enough to let you have an RVing adventure of a lifetime.

What to Look for When Buying Portable Solar Panels for RV

Before you go shopping for the most trusted portable solar panel to put in your RV, you might want to look at the things you need to consider.

Solar Panel Type

Solar panels come in three types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous.

Monocrystalline photovoltaic cells are the best because of their ability to convert heat energy into usable electricity even in low-light conditions. Unfortunately, the panel’s advanced design often translates to a prohibitive price tag.

Polycrystalline solar panels are distinguishable by their bluish hue and are perfect for budget-conscious RV owners. The downside is that they are not as efficient as monocrystalline units.

If you are looking for the most flexible solar panel to use on your RV, an amorphous panel is for you. The technology produces a solar panel that is so thin it can conform to the natural shape of any vehicle. The problem is its solar conversion performance. It is lower than polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels.

Charge Controller Availability

All portable RV solar kits should include a charge controller. It will not be a kit without this critical technological piece.

A charge controller manages the power going to your battery, ensuring it does not overcharge. The device also prevents the backflow of electric current from your battery to the solar panel at night. In other words, this device optimizes the energy produced by your solar panels, ensuring nothing goes to waste.

You do not need this component if you only require the solar panel to supply energy to your portable solar generator or similar power stations.

Solar Energy Efficiency

Some solar panels are more efficient in solar energy generation than others, capable of drawing solar energy even in an overcast sky. It would be best to check the solar panel’s solar generation efficiency rating to give you an idea of its performance in various conditions.

If such information is not available, you can check portable RV solar panels reviews. The product’s real-world performance should give you an idea of its actual solar generation performance. In most cases, the actual is less than the published rating.


Most solar panels for campers have a 100-watt rating. While it is sufficient for a few applications, you may have increased demand in the future.

That is why it would be best to get a solar panel that allows for expansion. You can add more solar panels to your rig as your energy consumption increases. For example, you can add two 100-watt solar panels to your existing setup to create a 300-watt solar array.

Overall Construction

Three things define a solar panel’s construction: build quality, weatherproofing, and ease of mounting. You will want a solar panel that will not break after only a few uses. It should also have good weatherproofing because of constant exposure to the elements.

Mounting may not be an issue with a portable solar panel. However, if you intend to use it on your RV, it should allow for a more secure mounting. All installation components should be available in the package.

Battery Compatibility

A 12V battery should always connect to a 12V solar panel. Unfortunately, limiting your solar panel to 12 volts can also limit its versatility. It would be best to pick a product that is compatible with different battery voltages.

Physical Dimensions and Weight

What is the use of a portable device if it becomes a chore to carry it? Your best option is to strike a balance between portability and solar generation efficiency. You will want a solar panel that you can carry around easily without diminishing your ability to charge your batteries efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the most trusted portable solar panels for RV?

Renogy remains the most trusted brand in solar energy solutions for homes and vehicles. Getting any of their product is like securing your future because of exceptional product quality and performance. ACOPOWER is another brand you can trust regarding portable solar systems for residential home and RV applications.

You can also check the portable solar energy solutions of Go Power! although they tend to be pricier than other brands. If you are on a tight budget, consider Dokio and ECO-WORTHY products. While they are inexpensive, you will feel confident about their performance and quality.

Zamp makes some of the most innovative and useful portable solar energy solutions on the market worthy of your consideration. You can also look at the product offerings of Jackery, which has some of the coolest solar panel designs you can choose. PAXCESS products are not far behind. They are worth considering, too.

How many watt solar panels do I need for RV?

The number of watts you need for your solar panels depends on your RV’s battery characteristics. You will need to determine your battery’s Amp Hour (Ah) rating and find the cumulative Ah if you have more than one battery.

A 100-watt solar system can deliver 30 Ah with average sun exposure of 5-9 hours. As such, a single 12V 100AH battery will require a solar panel with at least 300 watts. In general, the more Amp Hours you have in your battery, the more solar panels you need, unless you can find a solar panel that has a high wattage rating.

How do you charge an RV battery with a solar panel?

Charging a battery for camper trailer units with a solar panel is as easy as connecting charging cables to their corresponding battery terminals. For example, the plus (+) wire should link to the positive battery post, and the minus (-) lead must be secured to the negative power terminal.

However, it would be best not to connect the solar panel directly to the RV battery to charge. Doing so increases the risk of battery damage, especially on bright and sunny days.

A charge controller regulates the electrical flow from the solar panels to the power bricks. Hence, you should connect the solar panel to the charge controller first before linking the controller to the battery. This setup is the safest way to charge an RV battery with a foldable solar panel or any other PV system.

How long will a 200W solar panel take to charge a battery?

How long a 200W solar panel takes to charge a small solar battery system depends on several factors, including the charge controller type, battery capacity, battery discharge level, and solar panel rating.

Suppose you have an 80Ah 12-volt deep-cycle battery with a 50% discharge level and an MPPT controller with a 95% efficiency rating.

In that case, your first step is to determine your charge controller’s maximum charge capability by dividing 200W (solar panel wattage) by battery voltage (12V) to obtain 16.67 amps.

Next, subtract 0.15 (or 15% system losses) from 1 to get 0.85. Multiply this by 16.67 amps and 0.95 (or 95% MPPT efficiency) to obtain 13.5 amps.

Divide 1.0 by 85% or 0.85 to account for lead-acid charge efficiency to get 1.18. Multiply 1.18 by 80Ah (battery capacity) to obtain 94.4Ah. Take 94.4Ah and divide it by 13.5A to get 6.99 hours.

Consider the battery’s depth of discharge (50%) and multiply it by 6.99 hours to obtain 3.495 or 3.5 hours. Give two hours allowance for the charge controller’s absorption stage.

Hence, in this example, a 200W solar panel for travel trailers can charge a 12-volt, 80Ah battery in 5.5 hours.

Can you leave portable solar panels in the rain?

Although many non-fold and folding solar panels camping units have excellent weather resistance, seasoned RVers and PV system users advise against leaving portable solar panels in the rain.

These products are susceptible to damage due to the weight and force of rainwater.

Strong winds with heavy rain can also tip over and blow away the portable solar panels, increasing the risk of damage. They also have electrical components that can short or fail with water ingress.

Although a solar panel’s electrical parts have adequate weather protection, it is always best to err on the safe side.

It will be wiser to bring your portable solar system with battery and inverter inside your vehicle if it starts to rain.

How long does RV portable solar panel last?

An average portable solar panel for camper trailer units, motorhomes, fifth wheels, and other RVs has a 20- to 25-year lifespan. A good rule of thumb to determine how long your portable solar panel will last is by looking at the manufacturer’s warranty period.

If the company offers a 15-year guarantee for its transportable solar panel, there is a good chance the product will last that long.

Like other things, portable solar panel longevity depends on proper care and periodic maintenance. Keeping it free of dust and moisture can safeguard the PV cells, giving RVers extended use.

Protecting the product against debris, strong winds, rocks, and snow can also lengthen the solar panel’s lifespan.

However, users cannot expect their aging portable photovoltaic arrays to retain their solar-collecting and power-generating efficiency. Most products show a 20% efficiency reduction towards their end-of-life. Hence, a solar panel that generates 100 watts might only produce 80 watts by the time it reaches its 18th to the 20th year.

Can a 100-watt portable solar panel run a refrigerator?

No, a 100-watt solar panel will not be enough to run your refrigerator. A small refrigerator can draw about 130 watts. However, starting it will require more power. That alone is enough to drain your battery faster. Your 100-watt solar system may not be able to keep up with the refrigerator’s energy demands.

Even if you have a pair of batteries with a combined power of 200 Ah, you will only be able to supply about 100 Ah following the 50 percent rule for usable energy. You also have to consider your battery charging system. High-end smart charges can keep your power station fully charged or charged fast enough to meet demand.

If a refrigerator is essential in your RV, you might want to get a compressor-type 12V refrigerator. Manufacturers design this appliance specifically for such a purpose. Your alternative will be to install at least 300 watts of solar panels.

How many batteries can a 100-watt solar panel charge?

The number of batteries you can power with a 100-watt solar panel charge depends on your needs.

A typical 12V battery has an amperage rating of 48 Ah, providing you with one ampere for 48 hours or 48 amps in one hour. You will have to consider the number of amperes that your battery-dependent appliances and gadgets need.

Given that watt is the product of volts and amps, you can do quick math to determine how many amps your 100-watt solar panel can deliver to a 12V battery. You should get about 8.33 amps. Suppose your battery can accommodate 100 amps. It will need about 12 hours of continuous energy supply from your 100-watt solar panel.

If you hook a single 12V battery to your 100-watt solar panel, it may take you half a day to fill it. With two 12V batteries, your charging time can be longer.


The best portable solar panels for RV ensure a more enjoyable and memorable road trip for you and your family. They power your batteries to keep all RV appliances and devices running optimally. The ideal solar panel for coaches is also great for home applications. You can run a specific home appliance and enjoy the savings for other things.

Picking the right portable solar solution should never give you a headache. The buying guide we provided here should make your shopping sweat-free. If not, our top picks should help you narrow down your choices for the most appropriate unit to get.

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