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7 Best Portable Solar Panels for RVs in 2022

7 Best Portable Solar Panels for RVs in 2022

Finding the best portable solar panels for RV in 2022 is difficult if you don’t know what exactly to look for. But don’t get overwhelmed with all of your options — you’ve come to the right place.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of our top 7 picks for the best portable solar panels for RV, as well as some general tips to help you get going in the right direction.

What’s the Best Portable Solar Panel for RV?

The question of what’s the best portable solar panel for RV is difficult to answer. Many solar panels are different in one way or another, so we can’t recommend any single one as the undisputed best.

Instead, we have a couple of different picks specializing in specific areas. That way, you find the best fit for you based on your RVing needs.

Our Top 7 Picks For The Best Portable Solar Panels For RVs:
  1. Best Overall: Goal Zero Boulder 100 Solar Panel Briefcase
  2. Most Flexible: Renogy Flexible Solar Panel
  3. Most Portable: ACOPOWER Portable Solar Suitcase
  4. Best for Quick Setup: Zamp Solar Legacy Series USP1002 Solar Panel For RV
  5. Best for Solar Generator Compatibility: ECO-Worthy 120W Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit
  6. Best Value: ALLPOWERS Bendable SunPower Solar Panel For RV
  7. Most Versatile: Eco-Worthy Solar Panels

We’ll go into detail on how each of these solar panels excels in their respective areas in the sections below. However, before we get to that, let’s discuss why solar panels are so good for RVing in the first place.

Why You Need a Portable Solar Panel for an RV

The best portable solar panels for RVs sitting outside a camper van

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Solar panels are not a cheap investment at all. You’ll be lucky to find panels that are under $200, let alone ones that are of high quality, so spending a fair bit of money on them is part of the territory.

However, the expense is well worth the results you’ll get in the long run, especially if you’re the type of person that regularly makes use of your RV. Not having a solar panel means you won’t have as much flexibility when it comes to where you can and cannot take your RV.

Without a solar panel, you’ll likely find yourself staying in one of those noisy and overpacked RV parks rather than a nice quiet rural area.

Suppose you care about relying solely upon the sun and your equipment to keep your RV and all your electronics powered. In that case, getting a solar panel is absolutely the way to go.

Best Portable Solar Panels for RVs: Our Top 7 Picks

Here are our top seven picks for the best portable solar panels for RV. You can find all of these products on Amazon.

1. Best Overall: Goal Zero Boulder 100 Solar Panel Briefcase

Best Overall
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase
Pros:
  • Made from with a sturdy frame. 
  • Very easy to transport with the case. 
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty.
Cons:
  • No locking mechanism on the legs. 
  • Weighs more than some other solar panels.
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Made with a tempered glass and aluminum frame, the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Solar Panel Briefcase offers the most complete package you’ll find for portable solar panels.

The regular variant features two Boulder 50 Solar Panels that equate to 100 total watts of power, and the more expensive variant can reach up to 200 watts. The Boulder 100 Briefcase is at its best when you use it to charge Goal Zero Sherpa’s and Yetis.

So if you have either of those products, then this solar panel is even more worth your while. Many customer reviews speak glowingly of this product’s ability to charge fast, as some were able to fully charge their Goal Zero Yeti 150 in 7-8 hours under the right conditions.

If you’re looking for a solar panel that is easy to move around, has fast charging times, and has several excellent quality of life features, the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Solar Panel Briefcase is one that you can feel good about purchasing. Especially since it comes with a 2-year warranty package.

2. Most Flexible: Renogy Flexible Solar Panel

Most Flexible
Renogy Flexible Solar Panel
Pros:
  • One of the most flexible solar panels. 
  • Lightweight design that makes for easy handling. 
  • Also works for airstreams and boats.
Cons:
  • Many reports of longevity issues. 
  • You might need an extension cable.
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The Renogy Flexible Solar Panel is the king of flexibility for solar panels for RVs. It weighs less and isn’t as thick as most of its competitors. So, you’ll notice a major difference in this solar panel if you don’t normally buy flexible solar panels.

The exceptional part of the Renogy Flexible Solar Panel is that it does not sacrifice anything to be as flexible as it is. You can expect this panel to perform just as well as any other in the power supplying department.

The vast majority of customer reviews report no charging issues with this panel, so you can lay any power-related concerns to rest when you buy this panel.

The one significant drawback with this panel is that it does not have the longest lifespan. This isn’t to say that it goes bad fast because it doesn’t, but many reviews report not getting the same amount of longevity out of this panel as they do with others.

The longevity of any solar panel depends heavily on what it’s used for, meaning that this panel may last a long while depending on how you use it.

3. Most Portable: ACOPOWER Portable Solar Suitcase

Most Portable
ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel Kit
Pros:
  • Comes with a suitcase for easy transportation. 
  • Easy to set up on the fly. 
  • Does not take up a lot of space.
Cons:
  • Panels are somewhat flimsy. 
  • MC4 connectors are difficult to disconnect.
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The ACOPOWER Portable Solar Suitcase is without question the best solar panel for RVs if you want great portability.

Every solar panel on this list is portable to some degree, but the ACOPOWER Portable Solar Suitcase comes with a suitcase that takes the portability aspect to an entirely different level.

You can easily store the solar panels and accessories in the suitcase, and the low weight of the panels makes carrying the bag a breeze.

In addition to the suitcase, you’ll also get 10A LCD charge controller, removable MC-4 connector cables, alligator clamps cables, and a user manual with all the information for an easy setup.

The ACOPOWER Portable Solar Suitcase panels aren’t the sturdiest, however very few customer reviews mention the panels breaking. They might not look the part, but the panels will hold up fine under most conditions.

4. Best for Quick Setup: Zamp Solar Legacy Series USP1002 Solar Panel for RV

Best for Quick Setup
Zamp solar Legacy Series 140-Watt Solar Panel Kit
Pros:
  • Comes with a 25-year warranty. 
  • Features a padded case for safe transportation. 
  • Charge controllers are safe against water.
Cons:
  • Very expensive compared to other solar panels. 
  • Heavier weight makes it less easy to transport.
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The Zamp Solar Legacy Series USP1002 Solar Panel is excellent for quick setups. This is especially great if you plan to use the solar panel with a smaller RV or if you’re going to move around very frequently.

All you have to do is fold the panel up into the padded carrying case and take it to wherever you need to go. The extendable legs on the bottom of the panel also allow for custom installation that will help you get just the right angle for maximum power.

In addition to that, this solar panel has a plug & play system that allows you to use the alligator clips to attach a portable kit to any 12-volt battery or battery bank.

The only downside of the Zamp Solar Legacy Series USP1002 Solar Panel is its price. It’s pretty expensive when you compare it to much of its competition, so if you’re looking for a solar panel that does not cost a small fortune, this one likely won’t cut it.

However, if you don’t mind paying more, this solar panel is well worth the money if you want something you can set up and break down super easily.

5. Best for Solar-Generator Compatibility: ECO-Worthy 120W Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit

Best for Solar-Generator Compatibility
ECO-Worthy 120W Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit
Pros:
  • Compatible with several solar generators. 
  • Easily transportable with its folding design. 
  • Dual USB ports are included for multiple devices.
Cons:
  • Only has a 9.48ft controller battery cable. 
  • Limited positioning options.
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There is a lot to love about the ECO-Worthy 120 W Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit. Because it’s a kit, it comes with a lot of compatibility with portable solar generators that other solar panels don’t have.

This alone makes this solar panel an excellent product, as you’ll benefit significantly from it if you regularly use portable solar generators. The USB ports on the panels allow for easy charging of other electronic devices like laptops, phones, handheld gaming consoles.

And the best part is that you won’t drain the battery life of your RV by doing this. So, you’ll have an added layer of flexibility to work with when charging your devices.

Depending on how you like to set up your solar panels, the shorter cable of this solar panel may prove problematic for you, as it’s less than 10 feet in length. It certainly isn’t what we would call a deal-breaker, but it’s a limiting factor you’ll want to consider ahead of purchasing this product.

6. Best Value: ALLPOWERS Bendable SunPower Solar Panel For RV

Best Value
ALLPOWERS Bendable SunPower Solar Panel For RV
Pros:
  • Offers several benefits for a good price. 
  • Waterproof and very durable panels. 
  • Compatible with a variety of power banks.
Cons:
  • Not the best kickstand design. 
  • No USB charging ports.
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The ALLPOWERS Bendable SunPower Solar Panel is a heavy-duty solar panel that brings great value for a great price. Suppose you don’t want to spend a large amount of money on one of the higher-end solar panels.

In that case, this one is an excellent choice because its lower price doesn’t equate to a lack of features.

The solar panels are compatible with many solar generators, and they can also provide large amounts of power to power stations and 12V batteries. It also features a foldable design, making it very portable like the other solar panels on this list.

The quality of the kickstands is the one area where this solar panel does not succeed with flying colors, as many customer reviews mention the kickstands being shaky at best. Some reviews even report the kickstands breaking after just a few uses, so don’t expect to be blown away by them at all.

7. Most Versatile: Eco-Worthy Solar Panels

Most Versatile
ECO-WORTHY 120 Watt 12Volt Off Grid Solar Kit
Pros:
  • Comes with a foldable case design. 
  • Battery clips make for easy battery connection. 
  • Goof for RVs, hiking, and camping.
Cons:
  • A bit bulkier than most panels. 
  • Not the greatest foldable supports.
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The ECO-Worthy Solar Panels excel in several areas. They check the box of having a case that makes for easy transportation.

They have a pre-installed solar charge controller that protects the system against over-charges, over-discharges, over-loads, and reverse connections. There are also pre-installed 10ft. solar cables and a pair of 30A alligator clips for making easy connections.

This makes the ECO-Worthy Solar Panels a good choice for any tasks ranging from powering RVs to boats to solar pump watering systems. If you’re focused on having a versatile product, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better solar panel for the same price.

Finding the Best Solar Panels for RVs for You

Best portable solar panels for RVs sitting next to a camper

Makasana Photo/Shutterstock

If you want to know what features you should look for before buying a solar panel, here are a few of the main things you always want to consider.

Portability

The portability of the solar panels is arguably the most crucial aspect if you’re using them for an RV, especially if you’re going to be moving around frequently.

The last thing you want to do is go out and buy a solar panel that is obnoxiously heavy and lacks a foldable design. Will that still be fine for powering your RV? Yes, but you can get great power with any of the more portable solar panels out there.

If you can, always go for the solar panels that come with cases or foldable designs that make for more accessible transportation. Your back will thank you in the long run.

Charging Smaller Devices

Not all solar panels are suitable for charging smaller devices along with your RV. It isn’t the end of the world if you find one that doesn’t have good compatibility with charging smaller devices, but it’s preferable to get one that does have good compatibility in this area.

Specifically, look for solar panels that come with USB ports. These will allow you to directly plug your smaller electronic devices into the solar panel, which is an excellent quality of life feature to have.

Monocrystalline Panels

For panels, monocrystalline is the most common type that you’ll find, as many companies use these for the efficient amounts of high power they can put out.

More often than not, you’ll find some solar panels more expensive because they feature monocrystalline panels but always double-check the product to make sure. You don’t want to buy a solar panel you think has a monocrystalline panel only to find that that’s not the case.

Polycrystalline Panels

Compared to monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels are the budget option. They don’t have the same high-power output or efficiency, but they’re inexpensive.

This makes them an affordable option that will still give you a lot of bang for your buck, even if it’s not on the same level as monocrystalline panels.

If you find a solar panel you like, but see that it has a polycrystalline panel, don’t let that deter you from purchasing it. Polycrystalline panels are not the best panels out there, but they’re a far cry from being terrible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Best portable solar panels for rv on a lawn

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Here are answers to some questions you may still have about the best solar panels for RVs.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run an RV?

Two solar panels are generally the recommended number to run an RV. You can have more than two if you feel the need for extra power, but two solar panels will tend to the needs of your RV perfectly fine.

Are Flexible Solar Panels Any Good?

Yes, flexible solar panels come with many benefits that many non-flexible solar panels don’t have. They’re more adaptable, with the main downside being a lack of longevity in comparison to rigid solar panels.

Are Solar Panels Worth It on an RV?

It depends on how much investment you’re willing to put into your RV experience. You don’t need solar panels for an RV at all.

But having solar panels means you can RV anywhere and don’t have to deal with being in an RV park full of other RVs. Many people consider that upside more than enough to justify the hefty price of buying solar panels for an RV.

What Size Solar Panel Do I Need to Charge My RV Battery?

A 100-watt solar panel can charge most RV batteries. However, you’ll want to see how much power your battery requires to know exactly how many watts you’ll need in a solar panel to charge it.

How Can I Tell if a Solar Panel Is Working?

To tell if a solar panel is working, look at the lights on the equipment in the daytime. Generally, green lights mean everything is functioning okay, and red/orange lights mean something is amiss in your equipment.

So, What Are the Best Portable Solars Panel for an RV

Our top pick is the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Solar Panel Briefcase, but you might prefer one of the other picks on our list, or perhaps a solar panel we didn’t cover.

Best Overall
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase
Pros:
  • Made from with a sturdy frame. 
  • Very easy to transport with the case. 
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty.
Cons:
  • No locking mechanism on the legs. 
  • Weighs more than some other solar panels.
Check Latest Price
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To find the right solar panel for your RV needs, use the tips we went over here and do thorough amounts of research before you settle on a solar panel!

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