This article should be particularly useful to you if you want to know more about solar energy when it comes to Rv’s.
Having some knowledge of how to choose the best rv solar panels will save you time researching, and hopefully money in the long term by picking the panels that are right for you.
Different people are going to have different opinions and preferences for how to choose, but we’ve outlined some objective criteria for you to consider.
Let’s have a look …
How To Choose The Best Rv Solar Panels
When choosing the best solar panels for your Rv, you might like to consider the following:
1. Firstly, familiarise yourself with the types of suitable Rv solar panels available
These types are:
- Roof mounted solar panels (usually they stay on your roof, and are permanent)
- Flexible & Bendable solar panels (portable)
- Folding Solar Panels (portable)
You can read more about each in the linked guides.
2. Secondly, consider what you will be using the solar panels for
Which one of these two purposes will you be using the solar panels for:
1. Will you mainly be charging one or several Rv batteries, OR
2. Will you be charging smaller battery and USB devices like smartphones, tablets, radios, lights, GPS systems etc?
Roof mounted, flexible/bendable and large folding solar panels will be best for charging 12v batteries and other more power intensive uses.
The small 6-30 Watt folding solar panels you can carry with you are better for the smaller handheld devices – especially if you like to go hiking, riding, walking & camping.
3. Thirdly, estimate your power requirements
We are mainly talking about:
1. How many Watts from your solar panels you will need
2. How many solar panels you will need
You can read a guide we wrote on determining size and number of solar panels for Rv’s here, which has some useful informational guidelines.
For Rv batteries, a 100-120 Watt roof mounted, flexible/bendable or folding solar panel SHOULD produce around 17-19 volts when operating.
Providing you have enough sunlight hours in the day, one to two of these (with a properly rated solar controller to control the output from the solar panel) should be enough to charge one standard 12v Rv battery in a day – but, always check your battery and with the solar company.
20-30 Watt small folding solar panels are good for charging one to two small handheld type devices at a time.
4. Fourth, consider any other purposes you might use solar panels for
The flexible and large folding solar panels are easy to transport and use for other applications.
Home, boats, yachts, for cars and bikes, and more!
If you might like to use the solar panels for other purposes, other than just Rv related activities, make sure you confirm what the solar panel has been designed for.
For example, it’s possible you might be able to use a large folding solar panel at home with a compatible grid tie inverter connected to the solar panel junction box, to feed solar back into your house electricity supply.
You would definitely have to check for approvals, compatibility and other related factors though – but, it’s an added possibility.
And that’s it really (well at least the major decisions).
But, make sure you read up particularly on what the different types of solar panels can offer you, so that you get something which is suitable for your Rv setup, and gives you overall value for money.