camping solar panel travel portable foldable energy renewable sustainability nomad

Best travel solar panel for your rv or camper

Travel solar panels are a must for RV or camper traveling today. To be able to be independent (for other tan driving) from the grid is powerful, and the solution we suggest here allows you to rent multiple RVs.

When talking about RVs we are talking about at least 100W of solar charge to be able to support it. 

Many websites refer 200W as the reference but it all goes down to what type of RV do you have. Because that varies too much I present here the options for both 100W and 200W portable solar panels. 

When I say portable I mean, that you do not fix them to your RV, you can but not in a permanent way. 

You can easily (kind of) carry them somewhere else and use them. 

Or you can move from RV to another (rented RVs) and carry your own solar panels that will charger any RV you use. (when I say charge RV I mean support systems, not the vehicle itself)

Our Top Pick

Pros
- Flexibility and weight
- Price

Cons
- No controller

Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible


This is a killer, the price and weight combination is almost unheard. It may be more uncomfortable to take if walking or using other transports, but for a van or RV this is perfect in our opinion

Overall
4.5/5

If you want something with a power bank because you are always on the move then check out our solar travel for backpacking

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Criteria used to choose the best options

 

There were many things I took in consideration when choosing the best options in my opinion. It’s not quantitative evaluation, there is no formula I created to decide. It’s more a mix of quantitative (ex. price) and qualitative ( ex. brand website) qualifications with a salt of my own experience, you are welcome to disagree:

– Website : Brands that don’t have their own website are unlikely to be reliable for support or any claim. Website is a minimum requirement for any business today, so I penalised those brands who don’t have one. Nonetheless when talking of very inexpensive devices that could be relatively less important when comparing with pricey systems

– Reviews : I tried to look for review websites, and only amazon covers all the products so we can reliably compare them. Less than 50 reviews means a non popular or new product. A new product is a higher risk to  purchase so I had it in consideration too. We all know a big chunk of Amazon reviews are fake, so when analysing reviews we need to search deep into the negative reviews to have a feel of it. There is no science for this, as far as I know, so you have to trust my review nose. 

– Price and Weight Ratios : I looked at this two critical characteristics when you are talking about traveling gear and compared them with the power capacities. The idea was to see how much you were paying for the same amount of power, or how much weight would you have to sacrifice to have a certain amount of power output. The flaw here is that the marketed power is very frequently different from the real output because of the efficiency of the solar panel. It’s almost impossible to have it in consideration for this ratios because you still have to trust the manufacturer, and that’s only for the ones who share the info. Hence the official ratios will have to suffice. 

– Extras : it was never a decisive advantage but I’m that kind of person that loves all-in-ones so I tend to look to see what other tasks the products can fulfil, and some of them are packed with goodies

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The 5 best for rv or camper

Below you can check all the contenders

Our Top Pick

Pros
- Flexibility and weight
- Price

Cons
- No controller

Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible


This is a killer, the price and weight combination is almost unheard. It may be more uncomfortable to take if walking or using other transports, but for a van or RV this is perfect in our opinion

Overall
4.5/5

#2 First Runner up

- Flexibility and weight
- Price

Cons
- No controller

camping solar panel travel portable foldable energy renewable sustainability nomad

HQST 100 Watt 12V Monocrystalline Lightweight


Very similar with Renogy model but with more reviews from the market

Overall
4/5

#3 Second Runner up

Pros
- Performance

Cons
- Price

camping solar panel travel portable foldable energy renewable sustainability nomad

Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase


This is bulkier model, but also more durable and with better perfomance

Overall
4/5

Other contenders for best solar panels for RV

The 100W models:

The 200W models:

I chose the best option of the two capacities with the assumption 100W would be enough in most scenarios. 

I did not find many light models for 200W so the decision would be harder anyway. 

The flexible material of my recommendation from Renogy is amazing in the watts/grams ratio, just imagine a 100W solar panel that has less than 1 kilogram.  

Its price is also very competitive, with the $/watt 30% below the average of this class. 

The only cons of this choice is the low number of reviews it has (43) which could tilt the decision for the HQSolar power model where the market test has been longer, although with a lower review rating. (3.4)

If you really need a very portable 200W panel then the Dokio model is the way to go, great price, very light and reasonable reviews. 

Another alternative of a very portable solar panel with 120W is the AcoPower model that has great reviews with the big con of its price, more than 300 dollars. 

 

If you need good output and a power station then check our digital nomads review.

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Shipping & Returns

Shipping & Returns

30 October 2019

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