As an avid camper and hiker, I know the importance of staying connected with the outside world while on a trip. Whether it’s checking the weather forecast, finding your way using GPS, or simply staying in touch with your loved ones, having a reliable source of power for your devices is a must. And what better way to power up your devices than using a 100 watt solar panel kit that harnesses the power of the sun? In this review, I’ll be sharing my top 10 picks for the best 100 watt solar panel kits that are perfect for your next adventure.
Top RV Solar Panel Kits in 2023 (Boondocking, Campervans)
If you’re looking to add solar power to your RV or motorhome, choosing the right solar kit can be a daunting task. To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best RV solar kits on the market today. From premium kits for large RVs to budget-friendly options, this table highlights the top features of each product to help you make an informed decision. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please check our disclosure page.
|Jackery Solar Generator 1000, Explorer 1000 and 2X SolarSaga 100W||Portable, battery included|
|Jackery Solar Generator 300, 293Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/300W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency||Ideal for tent or car camping, foldable solar panel|
|Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Solar Kit with 100W Monocrystalline Panel and 10A Waterproof PWM Controller, Caravan, RV, Boat and Uneven Surfaces||Low profile, flexible panel, lightweight|
|Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable 2Pcs 50W Solar Panel Suitcase Built-in Kickstand with Waterproof 20A Charger Controller||Budget-friendly, includes all mounting parts|
|Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit||Budget-friendly, PWM charge controller|
|Renogy 200 Watt Solar Premium Kit||Easily expandable later, quality MPPT controller|
|Renogy 800W 12V/24V Monocrystalline Solar Premium Kit||Ideal for large RVs, suitable for 12v or 24v systems|
Table: How to Choose Portable or RV Solar Panels
Here is a table summarizing some of the best RV solar panels available on the market in 2023. It includes important details such as the average customer rating, max power, and wind resistance, along with a brief explanation of why each panel was chosen and its pros and cons. Additionally, we have provided information on how to choose the right solar panel for your needs, including factors to consider like size, efficiency, reliability, durability, and price, as well as the different types of solar panels available and ways to use them.
|Factors to Consider||Description|
|Size and Efficiency||Consider the size of your space available for mounting or storage, and look for panels rated to wind load, snow load, and efficiency ratings above 18%.|
|Reliability and Durability||Look for portable panels that are rated for high winds if you plan to mount them permanently on your RV roof. For portable panels that you’ll keep in storage while on the move, choose panels that store easily and safely. Ensure the connections for your solar panels exceed a rating of IP65 to prevent water damage.|
|Price||Decide on a budget for your portable solar panels and measure the cost savings of installing solar panels against what it costs to operate the same items through a campsite electrical hookup.|
|Types of Solar Panels||There are three types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. Each has unique qualities that make them attractive depending on what you’re looking to achieve.|
|Ways to Use Portable Solar Panels||Solar panels can supply electrical power for almost any use, such as off-grid electricity, continuous appliance power, temporary device power, and intermittent device charging.|
|How Many Watts Do I Need?||Determine the cumulative number of watts your devices or appliances use per hour and multiply by the number of hours you use them each day to figure out the watt-hours you need. Choose a solar energy system that meets that demand on sunny days as well as days that are less than ideal.|
As an outdoors woman, I love camping and spending time in nature. But let’s face it, being in the wilderness doesn’t mean you have to disconnect completely. With the advent of solar technology, you can now power your RV, camper, or tent with the help of portable solar panels. In this review, I will share my experience and expertise to help you choose the best portable solar panels for your next camping trip.
Price high to low of popular kits
|Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Starter Kit||Highly efficient solar panel||Simple to install||$395.99|
|Renogy 200 Watt Off Grid Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase||Portable briefcase design||Durable build that’ll last||$391.98|
|Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline RV Solar Panel Kit||Highly efficient solar panels||Durable panel with a corrosion-resistant frame||$365.99|
|HQST 200 400 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel||High density of solar panels makes it efficient||Durable construction with tempered glass and aluminum rails||$320.99|
|WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit||Supplies you with a good amount of power||Comes with a kit and is easy to install||$202.99|
|ALLPOWERS SP033 200W Portable Solar Panel||Up to 23.5% efficiency||70% lighter than normal panels for portability||$266.99|
|Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible||Flexes up to 248 degrees to mount on uneven surfaces||Perfect for curved RV roofs||$189.99|
|Newpowa 2 Pieces 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel||Features high-performance poly cells for great efficiency||25-year transferable power output warranty||$178.70|
Why Use Portable Solar Panels for Camping?
Portable solar panels are an excellent investment for anyone who loves camping, hiking, or spending time outdoors. Here are some benefits of using portable solar panels for camping:
- Eco-friendly and Sustainable: Portable solar panels allow you to harness the power of the sun, which is a renewable energy source. It is an environmentally friendly way of powering your appliances and devices.
- Cost-effective: Once you invest in a portable solar panel, you can enjoy free energy for years to come. It saves you money on fuel costs, and you won’t have to rely on a power source when camping.
- Convenience: Portable solar panels are lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for camping trips. They are also easy to set up, and you won’t have to worry about finding a power source.
Best 12V Portable Solar Panels for Camping:
- Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel: This panel is a popular choice among campers due to its efficiency and durability. It can power small appliances and devices and comes with a 25-year transferable power output warranty.
- ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 18V 12V Bendable Flexible Solar Charger: This flexible solar panel is perfect for uneven surfaces, and its lightweight design makes it easy to carry. It is also weather-resistant and durable, making it an excellent investment for any camper.
- RAVPower Solar Charger 24W Solar Panel with 3 USB Ports: This portable solar panel is ideal for charging smartphones, tablets, and other small devices. It is compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry, and comes with a 2-year warranty.
Comparison to Competitors
When compared to other portable solar panels, the Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel stands out due to its efficiency, durability, and 25-year warranty. The ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 18V 12V Bendable Flexible Solar Charger is perfect for uneven surfaces and is weather-resistant, making it an excellent investment for any camper. The RAVPower Solar Charger 24W Solar Panel is ideal for charging small devices and is compact and lightweight.
Benefits and Drawbacks:
Renogy’s solar panel is efficient and durable, but it is not the most flexible or lightweight option. The ALLPOWERS Solar Panel is perfect for uneven surfaces, but it is not as powerful as the Renogy solar panel. The RAVPower Solar Charger is compact and lightweight, but it is not suitable for powering larger devices.
One way to obtain these solar products second-hand is to search for them on online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist. These marketplaces often have listings for used solar products at a discounted price. Another option is to check with local solar installation or renewable energy companies, as they may have used or refurbished solar products available for purchase. Additionally, attending local solar or renewable energy events or auctions may also provide opportunities to purchase second-hand solar products. It’s important to thoroughly inspect the product and verify its condition before making a purchase to ensure that it will meet your needs and work properly.
|Solar Panel Kit||Efficiency||Foldable||Weight||USB Ports||Warranty|
|Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit||21%||No||19.84 lbs||No||25-year transferable power output warranty|
|Renogy New 100 Watt 12V Solar Premium Kit||21%||No||18.7 lbs||No||25-year transferable power output warranty|
|Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel||23%||Yes||9.1 lbs||2||2-year warranty|
|Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit||Not specified||No||16.5 lbs||No||25-year transferable power output warranty|
|RICH SOLAR 100 Watt 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel||Not specified||No||16.5 lbs||No||25-year transferable power output warranty|
|Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel||Not specified||Yes||10.8 lbs||No||2-year warranty|
|Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel||Not specified||Yes||25.9 lbs||No||1-year warranty|
|Newpowa 100 Watts 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel||Not specified||No||16.5 lbs||No||25-year transferable power output warranty|
|ACOPOWER 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel||Not specified||No||16.5 lbs||No||1-year warranty|
|WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit||Not specified||No||18.8 lbs||No||25-year power output warranty|
ls come with electronic protections for overcharging, overload, short circuits, and reversed polarity.
Benefits of Solar Kits
A solar power kit is an excellent and affordable way to get the energy you need. It also lets you rely on the sun (which is always up there) on and not on the grid. Excellent!
Weeding through what is out there and figuring out how to get started can definitely be overwhelming.
But not to worry!
There is a high-quality and popular solar panel kit that will work for a variety of off-grid uses including for RV solar panels, trailers, sheds, cabins, and solar power for boats.
The best part?
So if you’re not sure how much power you need, you can start small and build up.
How fantastic is it to think that as long as you have the sun, you have power? And you don’t have to keep paying for it over and over. (Maybe that’s the best part!)
The #1 Solar Power Kit is …
Why this one?
There are a number of benefits to using this one, it is very popular and gets great reviews (and many of them).
Here is why it’s so good.
Expandable (Up to 400 Watts)
This starter kit begins with one 100 watt solar panel. This panel has MC4 connectors that come directly off of the panel and that in turn, makes it very easy to connect to other Renology solar panels.
It also features an upgraded controller called the Renology Wanderer. (This is a 30A PWM NegativeGround Charge Controller.) This controller is what is used to expand your system.
Included is an 8 foot 10AWG tray cable. This connects your charge controller and battery.
New to Solar? No Problem
Renology has designed this solar power kit for ease of use for those just starting out with solar. So if you’re concerned about the techy aspects of setting up your first solar panels, you will be alright with this system.
If you do have some experience, you will notice the install is quick and easy!
RVs, Boats, Trailers, Sheds and Cabins
This solar power kit’s been used in many different ways. From teardrop campers to decked-out RVs. It is also able to be ground mounted.
This kit is also compatible with on-grid and off-grid inverters.
All in all?
Monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than polycrystalline or thin film solar modules. They cost a bit more upfront but it’ll save you replacing solar panels sooner than later.
These solar panels may last decades.
What’s The Output?
The ideal output of the starter kit is 500W per day.
It can fully charge a 50Ah battery from 50% in 3 hours. (This does depend on the availability of sunlight.)
What Makes This Solar Power Kit So Reliable?
Renology’s solar panels are very reliable and here’s why:
These solar panels use “advanced encapsulation material”. They have multi-layered sheet lamintations.
What does this mean?
Cell performance is enhanced and it makes for a long service life.
There is guaranteed no hot-spot heating. This is due to EL tested solar modules.
You can still get power in shade and low-light environments due to bypass diodes that minimize power drop caused by these issues.
You will get smooth performance over a long period of time due to the TPT back sheet.
It’s Ready To Install
This is great. You don’t have to drill anything in the solar panel and worry about wrecking it.
There are pre-drilled holes both for fast mounting and securing as well as for grounding.
It is compatible with the mounting systems (like Z-brackets) by Renology.
One less thing to worry about!
What About Bad Weather and Durability?
These panels will be just fine in bad weather. They can withstand high winds of 2400Pa and also take snow loads of up to 5400Pa.
They are meant to be used outside and have been made that way with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame. This will allow the panels to last decades. That is a good long time!
There have been a number of measures taken to protect the solar panels from impact and things hitting them. These are:
- high transparency
- anti-refelctive properties
- low iron-temptered glass with enhanced stiffness.
The junction box is protected from environmental particles and low pressure water jets. It’s rated IP65.
More Important Points (Not to be missed)
- It’s quiet. (No one needs noisy power. You can get a generator for that!)
- It’s a sleek in size but gives you a good amount of power for it’s size.
- In terms of the amount of space it takes up, it is very efficient and quite possibly the most efficient solar panel in terms of space out there.
- Grid Independence!
People who have bought this solar power kit have really liked it. Here are their testimonials.
Easy to Install:
I bought on 100W Kit to see if I can light up my cabin, it did. I got 2 interstate golf cart batteries, one 400 Watt Cobra Inverter and 8 LED 800 Lumen, and my cabin is bright like a star. I can charge me laptop and watch TV (LCD) and still got enough power to read at night 🙂
The batteries have not been low yet. The solar panel even charges on cloudy days. I will get one more panel for the wintertime, the handling, shipping was great and the panel was easy to install. THANKS RENOGY, GREAT PRODUCTS
Martin (Amazon Customer)
Happy with 12 Volts:
We have a weekend “Get Away” at 7500 feet in the Rockies in Colorado. Boondocking with a 26 foot trailer on our 5 acres. We are now 12 volt solar off grid thanks to this kit.
We plan on adding a third panel and a third battery this summer and then a fourth and a fourth next spring. At that point we may add an inverter, but we are very comfortable with 12 volts.
Charging With Low Sunlight:
I purchased this kit to install on the roof rack of my excursion for the purpose of keeping the batteries charged. The supplied hardware made a secure installation an easy task.
The PV was showing a “green” charge light even with the sun nearly on the western horizon. Very impressive! In short, easy to use and hook up.
Impressed with the quality of this kit, I was about to buy a 45 watt kit from harbor but after looking at the old tech used and the cost, this kit at 100 watt is a no brainer.
Update…. Works great, no problems at all, charging my new deep cycle battery and using a 750 watt inverter. I can run my waterfall pump with no problems. Thank You RENOGY for the free phone charger.
Off Grid Camping:
We installed this on our Jayco Trailer for our off grid camping and just did our maiden voyage with the new Solar panel. No more generator for us, it worked perfectly.
Very easy to install, it took me longer thinking about how I was going to install it than installing it. We used Well nuts on the roof instead of the screws that were provided as our light weight trailer has a thin flat roof (foam laminated between two thin sheets of Luan) and screws wouldn’t have worked. So far very happy.
Can Use Furnace:
This solar panel kit is a great way to keep my two batterys in our camp trailer charged. I had used a much smaller and older 400mA solar charger that was a battery maintainer. I could not keep my batteries fully charged after long camping trips and using my fan forced furnace was out of the question.
With this 100 watt Solar panel I can use the furnace and most anything I want. I made the panel portable by building a suit case type of box. This let me place the panel anywhere around my campsite where I could get maximum sun. I installed a shut down switch to shut down the controler when not in use as the led lights stay on when not in use.
I also installed a volt meter to let me know the incoming voltage of the panels. I would suggest buying the disconnect and assembly tool for the connectors. The packaging that the panel came in was also done well. If you like camping off the grid this is the way to go!
DjvMkt (Amazon Customer)
As an avid outdoorswoman, I’ve spent countless days and nights camping, hiking, and exploring nature. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced during my trips is having a reliable source of power. That’s where solar panels come in! In this article, I’ll be sharing my experience and expertise to help you choose the best solar panels for your camping needs.
Q: What are the dimensions of the panel?
A: 47.2 inches long x 22 inches width x 1.4 inches thick.
Q: What type of wire do you use to connect the panel to the box and then the box to the battery?
A: Any number 10 Gage wire will work from the panel to the box charge controller and from from the charge controller to the batteries.
Q. Is it possible to use two or more 12 volt batteries ?
A: Yes, you can hook this up to two or more batteries. Just make sure to hook them up in parallel. + to+, – to-. This is a great starter kit, you can start with just this panel and one battery, then add more as you go. (If you are like me you will want more!) It would take about a day and a half to charge two car batteries when fully drained. My 122 amp hour marine battery will charge in a day. If you want a backup power setup more batteries per panel is better, but if you plan on a high daily usage you will want more panels per battery so it can recharge the batteries during the day.
Q: Is this kit complete, do I need to purchase anything else?
A: Out of the box producing power in 15 minutes. All you need is batteries.
Q: Can it withstand a hurricane?
A: The panel is made of glass and flying objects in a hurricane may break them. As they are easy to install, I’d recommend uninstalling them if there is a chance of extreme weather (like a hurricane) and putting them back up after.
Q: Will this 100 watt solar panel charge a 12 volt battery?
A: Yes, that’s exactly what it is designed to do. The regulator controls the voltage going to the battery and also prevents an overcharge once the battery is full.
Types of Solar Panels for Camping
When it comes to choosing a solar panel for camping, there are several options available. The most common types are polycrystalline cells, amorphous thin-film silicon solar cells, lightweight folding solar panels, lightweight folding solar blankets, flexible solar panels, and glass and aluminum solar panels. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best one for you will depend on your camping needs and preferences.
Best 12V Portable Solar Panels for Camping
If you’re looking for a 12V portable solar panel for camping, there are several great options available. Some of my favorites include the Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase, the Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel, and the ALLPOWERS 100W Portable Solar Panel.
Can You Run Your RV AC Unit On Batteries?
This is a common question among RVers who are looking to go off-grid. The short answer is yes, but it requires the proper equipment and enough batteries. You’ll need lithium batteries and an inverter to convert DC battery power into AC power for most air conditioning units.
- How much solar does it take to run an RV refrigerator? The best size solar panel to run a 12V fridge is 150 Watts into 200 Watts of batteries.
- How long will an RV fridge run on battery? The answer depends on the capacity of your batteries and the efficiency of your fridge, but generally, it can run for a few days to a week.
- How many solar batteries are needed to power a fridge? It depends on the capacity of your batteries and the energy requirements of your fridge, but generally, you’ll need at least 2 deep cycle batteries.
- How much does it cost to install an inverter in an RV? It depends on the size and complexity of the installation, but generally, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $3000.
- What runs off battery in an RV? The batteries can run lights, water pump, and small appliances for the better part of the day, but they can’t drive the air conditioning or heating systems.
A: Right here!
Renogy’s Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit (100 Watt 12 Volt ) is a great way to begin your solar journey. It also makes great RV solar panels and can be used with trailers, tiny homes, cabins, boats and sheds as well.
Why it’s good:
- It’s expandable up to 400 watts.
- It’s designed to be easy to set up and install.
- Not overwhelming for a beginner.
- Monocrystalline panels are more efficient than others and will last longer.
- Ideal output is 500W per day.
- It’s reliable.
- Can withstand wind and snow loads.
- It’s quiet.
- It provides a great amount of power for it’s size.
- Great for off-grid camping and traveling.
Go off-grid and gain your independence from generators and power bills! This high quality but affordable solar power kit can get you there.