Best RV Solar Panels: 2017 Buyer’s Guide

Best RV Solar Panels: 2017 Buyer’s Guide

Finding the best solar panels for you RV is a hassle. Some may feel that there is a myriad of information that needs to be understood. There is a lot of misconception about solar panels. This guide will try to help you understand how and why certain panels are better than others. I will also provide you with suggestions for the best choices in a few different categories.

The buying process can be challenging for beginners. There are so many options out there competing for our attention… And finding a quality choice among them is a time consuming task.

One mistake shoppers make is impulse buying. You must have patience when making a purchase, rushing it will only result in grief later on. Due to this lack of understanding, consumers usually end up buying products with a lower amount of utility.

Most of the bench solar panel reviews come with a certain bias. They often speak in a way that doesn’t help engage the reader. Thus, the reader feels overwhelmed and confused. The reader only becomes confident in their decision through thorough research of solar panels.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled information from the top resources. In this short guide, we review the pros and cons of solar panel from various categories. We also use a few opinions from customers to help you increase your buying confidence.

We understand that buying a good solar panel isn’t easy. The “best solar panels on the market” are hard to find (if such a blanket term can be used). We made this article so that our audience can get an honest review on products they might find useful.

We hope, this guide will turn you into a conscious customer so you can rest assured that your money is spent well.

Windy Nation 200 Watt

List Price – $299.99

Promotional Price – Check on Amazon

Features

  • Two 100 Watt Solar Panel
  • Polycrystalline Designed Panel
  • Solar Charge Remote Controller with LCD display
  • Provides 800 kWh a day

The Windy Nation 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit is a good choice if you are looking to find a great solar panel for your RV. This kit provides over 800 KwH of energy a day.

One feature that we like the most is its flexible use. Consumers like this solar panel because of its strong battery power. Depending on the availability of the sunlight, one can even keep their house powered for some time.

Another pro lies in its 1500 Verta Max Inverter system. This inverter helps in generating more AC power. With the addition of AC to your household, it’s easier to reconnect your electrical appliances. This makes it one of the few portable solar panels that works as well as (and possibly even better than) advertised.

However, the inverter system becomes faulty after extended periods of use. If not properly maintained, it will stop working, though in these cases, an alarm will go off to warn you. Because of this, it might prove to be a problem if you find yourself needing something a little more stable.

Despite its (relatively few) flaws, we believe that the Windy Nation 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit is great for entry-level buyers. The 1500 Verta Max Inverter System is a welcome addition and a proper innovation in the RV solar panel field. Overall, it is a solar panel that is worth the investment.

Pros

  • 1500 Verta Max Inverter System
  • Flexible and Versatile in use

Cons

  • Inverter system can be faulty

Bottom line

Despite its small flaws, the Windy Nation 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit is a great solar panel for your RV. While it needs more improvement in its inverter system, it’s still a solid choice. We suggest buying this if you want something to start off with.

Go Power! GP-RV-95 95-Watt Solar Kit with 30 Amp Digital Regulator

List Price: $410.00

Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Features

  • 5.45 Amp Charging
  • 30 Amp Regulator
  • Monocrystalline panel

The Go Power! 95 Watt Solar Kit is a one of a kind solar panel for your RV. When first seeing the kit, we noticed that it’s easy to install. We were able to install the system in about half the time of its competitors.  This solar kit is a good choice for those wanting something simple.

Another benefit lies in its charge controller. The charge controller aids the user by letting them know how much charge they have left in their battery. When going out on extended camping trips this can prove to be a strong asset.

But, we’ve noticed something wrong with the effectiveness of the controller. While it is useful in giving the user information on the energy, it is prone to faults. Due to this, you shouldn’t rely on the readout from the controller alone. Especially if you find yourself in a situation where you’re unexpectedly low on power in an unfortunate moment.

Overall, the Go Power! 95 Watt Solar Kit is a great RV solar panel. When it comes to solar panels and RV battery charging, it’s a great option. It charges the home with renewable energy, and comes with a charge controller. While the charge controller feature needs some work, this solar panel gets the job done.

Pros

  • Simple to install
  • Charge controller Included

Cons

  • Charge controller is unreliable

Bottom Line:

Despite the issues that tend to plague the charge controller, Go Power created something that’s reliable. It’s easy to install, making it an ideal choice for those of us who are a little less handy. Even though there are minor issues with the controller, this panel handles a myriad of tasks.

Sunforce 50048 60W Solar Charging Kit

List Price: $349.99

Promotional Price:

Features

  • PVC Mounting Frame Included
  • 200-watt inverter system
  • Weatherproof Solar panels
  • 7-amp charger
  • Blocking diode prevents battery loss

The Sunforce 60W Solar Charging Kit comes with a durable weatherproof system. Its weatherproof solar panels are able to brave the elements without damage. Thus making it an ideal system for customers who drive in more extreme climates.

We like the 4 x 20 watt panels that are included with the kit. They provide good all-around use, generating energy throughout the RV. When looking for a charging kit that offers an efficient and quick source of energy, it’s one of the best on the market.

However, it comes with a minor setback. Consumers have complained about the lifespan of the panels. After extended use, the four panels start to degrade. This might be a problem if you are looking for a lifetime solution.

We believe that the Sunforce 60W Solar Charging Kit is good for those looking for a high quality. It has a weatherproof system which helps protect the kit in tough climates.  The multiple panels allow for a more versatile setup so you can pick and choose your panel coverage. This kit is effective and efficient, but the durability issues leave something to be desired.

Pro

  • Weather Resistant System
  • Versatile watt panels

Cons

  • Low Durability Panels

Bottom Line

When looking for a charging kit that is good for almost any situation, this one is a good candidate. It comes with four panels to maximize performance and utility. In addition, it features a weatherproof system to ensure a clean level of energy. Basically, it’s a great kit for extended trips where energy is needed.  Unfortunately, this kit is held back by its questionable durability.

 

Go Power! GP-RV-160E 160W Solar Expansion Kit

List Price: $556.23

Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Features

  • Powerful 12 Volt Panel
  • Mounting Hardware Included
  • 160 Watts of Solar Power

Next up for review is the Go Power! 160Watt Solar Expansion Kit. One thing that we like about the kit is its setup. Because of its easy to install system, we recommend using this kit with other Go Power! Products.

Like any expansion kit, the Go Power! Kit does its job by providing clean and renewable energy for your mobile home. It helps the user by adding on extra watts of energy to the power generated by your RV’s engine. That is why this kit proves its value by providing an extra surge of energy.

Another advantage to this model is its 12-volt panel. Due to this wiring, the panel generates power faster than most of its competitors. The 12-volt panel makes this panel reliable and effective in comparison to its competitors.

But, there is one flaw. The main issue that users complain about is the wire. The wire cord is too small to be plugged beyond 30ft. We suggest buying a larger wire if needed for extensive projects.

Overall, we think that the Go Power! GP-RV-160E 160W Solar Expansion Kit is a good intermediate-level system which caters to more advanced needs thanks to its 12-volt panels.  This advantage is offset by a higher retail price, so this is recommended for customers who expect higher energy use.

Pros

  • Easy Setup
  • Natural Energy Producer
  • 12-volt for increased energy

Cons

  • Weak wire

Bottom Line

Despite its flaws, we believe that the Go Power! 160Watt Solar Expansion Kit is valuable. It adds over 160 watts into a user’s previous set-up. While it has a minor issue in the length of its wire, it is still a durable product. We suggest using it for short-term energy.

HQST 50 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi Flexible Lightweight Solar Panel

List Price: $94.99

Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Features

  • Easily Adjustable
  • Comes with Pre-drilled holes
  • Ideal for set-ups with limited space

Looking at the HQST 50 Watt Solar Panel, it is evident that it is on the more compact end of the spectrum. In addition, it comes with a good support system. This system comes with pre-drilled holes which comes in handy for short term projects.

Another thing we liked about this solar panel is its surprisingly light weight. Since the panel weighs about 2.8 pounds, it’s easy to carry and move around. If you are looking for something with a bit of mobility, the HQST Solar Panel can handle that task.

However, we did not like the initial problems that came with the panel. For instance, the panel has weak brass grommets. Since the grommets don’t work, most users complained about ordering for replacements. While it is a small issue, it can prove to be annoying to some.

That being said, the HQST 50 Watt Solar Panel is great for one with a smaller budget. It’s inexpensive, reliable, and lightweight. Because of its versatile use, it’s a panel that’s worth the investment. Make sure to take care of its brass grommets in order to maintain its appearance.

Pros

  • Quick set up
  • Good customer support system
  • Lightweight & Compact

Cons

  • Panel issues

The Bottom Line:

When looking at it, we believe that the HQST 50 Watt Solar Panel is great. Remember, because of its slight panel issues, it’s not good at long term stability. While it’s flaws are minor, understand that its advantages far outweighs the drawbacks.

Conclusion

To conclude, we believe that a solar panel for your RV is a great investment. By reviewing the most flexible solar panels in the market, we’ve given you information that can help make a purchase.

When choosing the best Solar Panel out of these five, we took a few factors in mind. We’ve decided to group each of them by their certain advantages.

The winner of the best Solar Panel is the Windy Nation 200 Watt (2pcs 100 Watt) Solar Panel Kit. One thing we like about the kit is its 1500 Verta Max System. This system helps in providing a good amount of solar energy throughout one’s RV. We suggest using this panel for one that wants a panel to work with no hassle.

As for the best feature, we chose the Go Power! GP-RV-95 95-Watt Solar Kit with 30 Amp Digital Regulator. It comes with a charge controller that helps the user find the amount of energy needed for their products. Because of this feature, the users have a better utility throughout their RV.

When it comes to value, the HQST 50 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi Flexible Lightweight Solar Panel is a great choice. Users like this panel because of its inexpensive price. Priced under $94.99 it’s an economic solar panel that is intended for basic use.

Benefits of buying a Solar Panel

A solar panel offers a myriad of benefits to one’s RV. The main reason why solar panels increased in popularity is because they are cost efficient. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars monthly on energy bills, solar panels offer an alternative solution.

Users also like solar panels on their RV’s due to its ease of use. Solar Panels require no maintenance making it easier for them to install and use with no issue. If you want a solar panel without any hassle, we recommend using the Windy Nation 200 Watt (2pcs 100 Watt) Solar Panel Kit to improve your experience.

Also, solar panels improve the quality and value of your RV. For instance, when using an RV without solar panels, you run the risk of having faulty energy. We suggest getting a solar panel that helps with keeping your RV filled with energy.

Solar panels produce renewable energy. For instance, when using a solar panel it takes energy from the sun to generate power. This power transfers into your RV making it easier to use electrical and water appliances.

The last benefit one needs to remember is that solar panels offer energy in isolated environments. For instance, when on an extended camping trip, isolated areas can end one’s power supply. However, with solar panels, you’re able to create energy no matter the location or the area.

How do I choose the best solar panel for my needs?

Making the right decision when shopping can be a problem. For those wondering how to make a good decision, all it takes is a few steps. First, make sure that you know the exact features you are looking for in a solar panel. Next, find at least 3 solar panels that match your needs and make a decision on the best one.

Another way to make the right decision is through thorough research. Studies have shown that over 80% of shoppers don’t research before buying. This means that you must remove your impulsive shopping habits in order to get the solar panel worth your money.

Last thing to remember is the usefulness of the solar panel. If you can, try to test the solar panel before purchasing it. This gives you the chance to see it for its strengths and weaknesses. In fact, by doing this you increase the chance of you getting the right panel.

Basically, to make the right decision requires a bit of time and discipline. Try to make your purchase decisions based off knowledge you’ve gained from a product. When shopping, look for one that appeals to you to most.

What should I look for in a Solar Panel?

When it comes to solar panels, you should look for something that has durability. Most low-quality solar panels break due to weather or extended use. Also, make sure that your panel is good for the long-run in order to maximize its performance.

Second thing you should look for is a solar panel that is lightweight. Heavy solar panels should not be used on RVs. Finding a lightweight solar panel helps when it comes to getting the most utility out of your RV. It remains mobile and helps keep your RV filled with alternative energy.

The last thing to look for is reliability. If your solar panel is from a questionable company, chances are it won’t work in the long-run. Because of this, we suggest looking for a solar panel that can operate on your RV without fail.

Buyer’s Advice:

The first mistake users make is when they forget to research the product that they need. This becomes an issue when the user can’t make a proper decision. Make sure to find out more information about your product before buying.

Look out for false websites. For instance, most third party reviews give fake information to trick their readers. In fact, they’ll confuse the reader by giving them information that is unessessary. Make sure to use trustworthy sites ensure that you are receiving accurate information on the product you’re looking for.

Also, think about the store that you’re buying your solar panel from. One reputable site that can be used is Amazon. For over seven years, Amazon has built itself to become one of the strongest online retail stores in the world. We suggest using Amazon to ensure that you’ll receive the product that you need.

Another reason why we like Amazon is because of the extra features. For example, the site offers Amazon Prime which helps its users receive their products in less than a week. Because of this support, we believe Amazon is a good choice for those looking for a quality solar panel.

Extra Advice & Recommendations

This is here to show you advice from some of the products we’ve reviewed. If you want something that can last for a long period, then get a Go Power! GP-RV-160E 160W Solar Expansion Kit is a good choice. It comes with over 160 watts of solar power and is used for extended camping trips.

But, some product are best when they have extra control. For instance, the Go Power! GP-RV-95 95-Watt Solar Kit with 30 Amp Digital Regulator comes with a charge controller. The controller helps the user know exactly how much energy they have when charging their solar panel. Thus, making it a good choice for those cautious about their energy usage.

The last piece of advice we have is suited for users needing something basic. If you are a beginner, we suggest using the 5 HQST 50 Watt Lightweight Solar Panel because of its ease of use. It’s inexpensive, being priced at a low $95. Thus, use this solar panel when you are in need of something quick and reliable.

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