A portable solar panel is a device that converts solar energy into electricity for your RV. If you live or travel in an area with plenty of sunlight, this can be a valuable and cost-effective investment. This article can help you figure out the best portable solar panels for RV in the market.
What are the Factors to Consider When Buying Portable Solar Panels for RV?
Size and Voltage
Size is one factor you have to consider when buying a solar panel. To do this, first, figure out how many volts you’ll need from your panel. A standard voltage available in solar panels is 12V. Others are as high as 48V, while others go all the way down to 3V. 48V is the most common going by user reviews.
Most of these panels are also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about getting rained on or snowed on when you’re using your 12v portable solar panel. Water resistance makes them practical for the wilderness.
Finally, there are many factors to consider other than the voltage you need from your panel. You might want a more rugged panel, or you could wish for a panel that is cheaper at the end of the day.
How to Choose the Best Portable Solar Panels for RV?
This part is a bit challenging, and you might want to do your research first. Keep in mind that you should choose a panel with a maximum power capacity (in watts), a suitable voltage, and cost.
Let’s have a look at each of these factors and how you can go about choosing the best portable solar panels for your RV.
The Capacity of Power you need from your RV Portable Solar Panel.
The first thing to consider is the capacity of your panel. A good rule of thumb is that the larger the panel, the harder it is to balance it.
That is why the smaller portable solar panels are better because they have a small area. So, if you’ve got enough space for your panels, you’d better go for the smaller panels.
Note that your panel’s size has the most impact when you can choose the capacity you need. If a panel has a high power or wattage, it will be more challenging to balance it.
Most of these panels are of suitable quality photocells. For example, the panels that are 12v 13.3W panels have a 20% wattage loss, whereas panel cells around 10-12V start to lose up to 14-20% of the panel wattage. The secret is in choosing the least voltage that can still power the needs of your RV.
This is such an important point to consider. If you’re not sure how the panel should look like, you can always increase the wattage by buying a more extensive panel. Be warned that they are costly but mighty. This will give you the ability to place many panels in your RV and still be able to power up with a lower voltage.
No. of Ports
Portable solar panels are far better when you have ports on your panel. For example, the metal panels that have ports on the back, their connection is with cables. As a result, this makes it easier for you to install your panels and manage your power whenever you need it.
4-port panels are a great choice. Their ports offer a good mounting place for your panel. But if you’re a camping setup person, this might not be enough. You can always choose a panel with no ports, or you can even put up an extension cord in case you are on an extended camping trip.
If you’re camping and you’ve got all the power you need, then these panels are not that important. But if you’re new to camping, powering up to watch a movie or some light is a good choice.
Cables are also essential in choosing the best portable solar panels for an RV. They connect to the positive terminal of the panel. This is where the connector will be as well. Keep in mind that your panels will send current only in the direction in proper outlets as shown on the label.
To figure out which direction your panels are going to need, check the labeling. On the side of most panels, you’ll find a triangle indicating the input and output. This is very useful.
The voltage of the 12v Portable Solar Panel for RV
The more volts your panels have, the more effectively you can power your RV via solar energy. This is a great advantage, but it also means you have to wonder why you would go for a portable solar panel with a low voltage. Isn’t it better to go for a high voltage?
A good 12V panel does not focus on one specific value. The panel itself will have a maximum wattage that it can provide depending on its size. For example, a 13.5-watt panel will provide less than 20% of a larger panel’s wattage.
The voltage from your panel is going to diminish all the way down to 3.85V. Regardless of the voltage, the wattage will be the same.
After these points, you’d need to find out the cost of your 12v portable solar panels. This is very important. So, how do you do that? The best way to determine the level of cost is to see general panel costs in your area.
What are the Advantages of the Portable Solar Panels for RV
- The best thing about having portable solar panels is that you don’t have wires for them. This means that you can have a complete power source using solar power alone.
- The cost of the panels is also low. For example, the 12v 13.3W panels are 80% cheaper than the larger panels, and they have the same wattage. So, it’s a good deal if you’re looking for a portable solar panel for an RV.
- Portable solar panels are much efficient than conventional panels. The output of a portable solar panel is more than a dozen times greater than what you would get from a standard panel.
- Portable solar panels are also safe for the environment if you’re looking for something eco-friendly.
- There are times when you’ll have to travel on long roads, and the conventional power source will be unstable. Your 12v portable solar panel is always there for you.
- 12V Portable Solar Panels have a much longer lifetime than conventional panels. Like the regular ones, the 12V panel will be self-regulating with the sun. However, it will have a longer life. The panels determine their lifetime.
Why choose Portable Solar Panels?
- You can have a complete power source with portable solar panels like what you had in your house. This is going to be a great advantage if you want to travel and maintain your RV clean.
- You can place the panel anywhere on your RV to power up and charge your iPhone, iPad, laptop, or all your other devices. It also has a great way to charge the 12V batteries. To have this, all you need is a shore connection. You can also use the panels for powering your home appliances when you’re away from your RV while you rent out a home in a great location. You can also charge the 12v batteries in your car through the power of the sun.
Best Portable Solar Panels for RV
ALLPOWERS 18V 12V 5W Portable Solar Panel
This portable solar panel is well known for its waterproofing and efficiency. It is well designed and has all you need to protect your battery from deterioration and failure. This solar power inverter is a compact and portable product used to charge marine and motorized batteries.
All powers solar power charger has the ability to convert light and heat into electricity. It is a handy solar battery charger that can charge and protect batteries of different types and sizes. This is the power and versatility of an 18v solar all powers solar car panel battery charger in a handy size. It is possible to revive an old battery and keep it running for a long time.
Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse Monocrystalline
This Lightweight, Waterproof Eclipse Solar Suitcase is perfect for hiking or camping to power your electronics without dirtying the water. The suitcase itself comes with over 50 watts of power and is an excellent investment to have.
Increased power comes with an increased price, but this solar suitcase is so convenient and portable. You never have to worry about the sun going down, and you have the power to run the entire house. This model is so portable; it comes with a carrying handle. The integrated legs allow you to adjust your suitcase’s capacity to the angle you need to your current setting.
You can get detailed reviews of the best solar panels for RVs here.
Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel RV
It is a product of Jackery Exalt, a company dedicated to producing high-quality, well-designed portable solar products. Jackery SolarSaga is the ultimate solar panel for adventure and everyday use. It is the most practical product for people who love the out-of-doors and want to enjoy the sun’s energy while camping, hiking, or at home in the kitchen. This solar panel includes an AC-connector so that you can recharge any of your devices using an AC cord.
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel
This Jackery Portable Solar Panel is famous for its high conversion efficiency and portability. It works with the Jackery SolarSaga 100W power station, primarily charging larger power tablets and laptops. As for a solar panel itself, both solar panels and power stations are one single unit. There is no need to install the two of them separately. The power station is highly recommended as it comes with one of the USB-C 3A outputs. Powered by this Jackery Portable Solar Panel, we can always have enough power to perform different work types. (i.e., charging our phones/tablets/laptops/digital cameras/audio-visual devices like outdoor speakers and more intelligent devices).
Hikeren IP65 Waterproof Solar Lights
This is an excellent example of waterproof grade solar lights, and it is not at all difficult to assemble them. It is much more durable than another waterproof-grade solar lighting. .It is uncertain that the material is also more likely to be mold resistant or weather resistant.
As said earlier that this is at the lower end of the scale of protection; it still has an IP65 waterproof grade, which is quite impressive as far as the poor quality. One of the things to consider when purchasing this particular model is the poor lighting, which is not as bright as you would expect. This is in large part due to the poor quality of this panel.