Solar Panels for RV, Camper, or Overlanding Vehicles
If you're planning on spending any time off-grid in your RV, camper, or overlanding vehicle, solar panels are a must-have. They can provide you with a reliable source of power for everything from your lights and refrigerator to your laptop and smartphone.
But with so many different solar panels on the market, it can be tough to know which ones are right for your needs. Let’s explore the different types of solar panels available, the factors you need to consider when choosing solar panels, and some of the best solar panels for RV, camper, and overlanding vehicles.
Types Of Solar Panels
There are two main types of solar panels: rigid and flexible. Rigid solar panels are more durable and affordable, but they require drilling holes into the roof of your RV or vehicle to mount. Flexible solar panels are less stable and more expensive, but they can be mounted on curved surfaces and do not require drilling holes.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Solar Panels
When choosing solar panels for your RV, camper, or overlanding vehicle, there are a few factors you'll need to consider:
Power needs: How much power do you need to generate? This will depend on the appliances and devices you plan on using.
Budget: How much money do you want to spend on solar panels?
Weight and size: How much weight and space can you spare on your roof?
Efficiency: How much sunlight do you need to generate a certain amount of power?
Durability: How well will the panels hold up to the elements?
Warranty: What kind of warranty does the manufacturer offer?
Best Solar Panels For RV, Camper, And Overlanding Vehicles
Here are a few of the best solar panels for RV, camper, and overlanding vehicles:
Rigid solar panels
Renogy 175 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel: This is a durable and affordable solar panel that is perfect for RVs and campers. This product offers a 175-watt power output and is supported by a 25-year warranty, providing long-lasting reliability for your energy needs. Its construction features a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame and low-iron tempered glass, ensuring enhanced stiffness and impact resistance, ideal for supporting your most rugged journeys.
BLUETTI PV200 200W Solar Panel: The Bluetti PV200 is another high-quality solar panel perfect for RVs and campers. Featuring monocrystalline solar cells, the PV200 boasts an impressive 23.4% solar energy conversion rate, ensuring reliable charging for your solar generators even during unfavorable weather conditions It also has a power output of 200 watts and is backed by a 25-year warranty.
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel: This is a good option for campers and overlanders who are looking for a lightweight and portable solar panel. The ETFE-laminated design ensures exceptional temperature and corrosion resistance, operating effectively in a wide temperature range of -10 to 65°C (14 to 149°F). Additionally, with its innovative battery grid located on the back, it prevents battery cracks and extends battery life, while providing instant power to your small devices via its USB-C (5V, 3A) and USB-A (5V, 2.4A) output ports, making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.
Flexible solar panels
Goal Zero Nomad 200 Solar Panel: GoalZero is always a popular choice- this durable and efficient solar panel is perfect for overlanders and campers alike. If you have a need for large amounts of power without a lot of space, this panel is for you! It’s enclosed in a protective case, which makes it durable, and it also comes with hanging loops making it easy to strap the panel to your overland vehicle or tent! Want to have it stand on its own? With its built-in legs you can pop them out to stabilize the panel when charging and then fasten them back in place when not in use. It has a power output of 200 watts with relatively small dimensions and the ability to fold down to a quarter of its original size. The Goal Zero Nomad 200 Solar Panel is backed by a 5-year warranty.
Victron Energy BlueSolar Flexible 150W Solar Panel: The Victron Energy BlueSolar Flexible 150W Solar Panel comes in a waterproof, sealed, multifunctional junction box which ensures a high level of safety, and its strong and tough tempered glass is of the best quality, offering better strength and can withstand impacts. It has a power output of 150 watts and is backed by a 5-year warranty.
SunPower Maxeon 2 100W Solar Panel: This very efficient solar panel features SunPower's highest-efficiency Maxeon solar cells which deliver impressive power output for RV campers and overlanders seeking reliable charging capabilities. Designed to be lightweight and flexible, weighing only 4.4 lbs. and capable of bending up to 30 degrees, it's the perfect choice for off-grid camping, sailing, and road trips.
How To Install Solar Panels On Your RV, Camper, or Overlanding Vehicle
Once you've chosen the solar panels that are right for you, you'll need to install them on your RV, camper, or overlanding vehicle. This is a relatively simple process, but it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
Tips For Using Solar Panels
Here are a few tips for using solar panels:
- Position your solar panels in direct sunlight to maximize their efficiency.
- Keep your solar panels clean and free of debris.
- Use a charge controller to protect your devices from overcharging.
- Store your solar panels in a cool, dry place when you're not using them.
Solar panels can be a great investment for RV, camper, and overlanding vehicle owners. They can provide you with a reliable source of power for everything from your lights and refrigerator to your laptop and smartphone. When choosing solar panels, be sure to consider your power needs, budget, weight and size requirements, efficiency, durability, and warranty.
While you’re out shopping for the best solar panels for your camping situation, make sure you have everything else you may need by checking it off our Ultimate RV Checklist. This checklist has it all with over 700 items as well as space to add your own. With the Ultimate RV Checklist, you don’t have to worry about missing a single item that will help make your adventure unforgettable!