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4 Best Portable Solar Panels For RV Use In 2023

One of the biggest challenges people often face when camping off-grid is power. Let’s face it, we live in an era where many of our devices and other electronics tend to overlap into our need for adventure. Portable solar panels help to bridge the gap between roughing it and enjoying certain creature comforts that we have all grown to rely on.

Whether your car camping, tent camping, or boondocking in an RV, having a reliable source of power with you when you’re in the back country is very much as essential as water and shelter.

Solar power is growing in popularity as an eco-friendly option to keeping things powered when camping off-grid.

Not all portable solar panels are created equally, however. There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to off-grid power. We all have unique needs when dealing with solar power. With so many brands, types, and sizes available, finding the best portable solar panels to meet your needs can be somewhat challenging.

In this article we are going to look at 4 portable solar panel options for camping off-grid in your RV and some things to consider before choosing what works best for you.

Let’s jump in…

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At A Glance

Best Portable Solar Panels For RV Use

Off-grid camping is one of the most rewarding ways to spend a few days, or more, completely isolated from the everyday hassles of life. While it is the preferred type of camping for many people, it can have its own set of challenges.

Having a portable solar panel on hand gives you the freedom to get away from it all without the need to pack up and find a place to recharge your RV batteries. No matter what your electricity needs are, there is a portable solar panel that is right for you.

Renogy 100W Foldable Solar Briefcase W/ Voyager Controller

Renogy 100-watt portable solar panel
Renogy 100W Portable Solar Briefcase

When rating solar products for RV use, Renogy is the clear winner. They have become one of the leading and most recognized brands in the solar industry for home and recreational use.

The 100-watt foldable solar suitcase with included Voyager controller is just one example of the many products that Renogy manufactures for those who need power on the go.

If you are looking for an efficient, durable solution to your portable solar charging needs when camping off-grid, look no further.

This unit comes with two 50W, Grade A+ monocrystalline solar panels, one set of 10’ cables with alligator clip connectors, and a protective case with a built-in handle and latches for portability. In addition, this portable solar panel features an adjustable stand made from durable aluminum to allow you to set the panels at the perfect angle for maximum sunlight exposure.

This solar charging kit is just under 3” wide when folded which makes it the perfect size to store in the smallest gaps in your campervan or RV without taking up extra space.

The integrated Voyager solar controller uses smart PWM technology that provides safety measures like over-voltage, reverse polarity, and over-temperature protection to ensure safe charging of your RV batteries.

The solar controller also features a backlit LCD display that lets you monitor everything that’s going on with your solar panels like wattage in, wattage out, and current battery voltage.

Setting up this “plug-and-play” portable solar system is easy as connecting the set of alligator clips to your camper’s battery which makes this solar charger extremely versatile and easy to use.

And don’t worry about the rain, the solar panels and the Voyager controller are both waterproof.

If you find that the 100W portable solar panel just isn’t enough power to fit your needs, Renogy has made this solar setup easily expandable with an additional 100W solar panel. Or you can choose this same solar charger in a 200W model from the start.

Renogy 100W Solar Suitcase Specs:

  • Output – 100-Watts
  • Solar Panel Type – Monocrystalline
  • Weight – 21.2 Pounds
  • Dimensions – 24.8″ X 20″ X 2.8″


  • Thin profile when folded makes it easy to store
  • Easy setup at campsite
  • Waterproof solar charge controller


  • No built-in bypass for portable power stations

Goal Zero 100 Solar-Panel Briefcase Charging Kit

Goal Zero portable solar panel
Goal Zero 100 Solar-Panel Briefcase Charging Kit

Another front-runner in portable power is Goal Zero and their 100-watt portable solar briefcase charging kit is an excellent choice for keeping your RV batteries charged when camping off-grid.

This kit contains two Boulder 50-watt solar panels that are chained together and connected with a hinge in the middle of the panels. In addition, the panels are constructed of durable tempered glass surrounded by a lightweight aluminum frame.

Goal Zero went the extra mile and constructed the solar panel frame with reinforced corners for added durability. The frame also features a convenient kickstand for easy set-up and positioning of the solar panels.

With a 6’ power cord and the ability to chain additional solar panels for more charging power, the Goal Zero Boulder 100 solar panel briefcase makes a great choice for RV owners looking to get the most out of their off-grid camping experiences.

This solar panel kit also comes with an easy-to-carry canvas bag for maximum portability for those on the go.

Goal Zero 100 Solar-Panel Briefcase Specs:

  • Output – 100 Watts
  • Solar Panel Type – Monocrystalline
  • Weight – 28.25 Pounds
  • Dimensions – 26.75″ X 21.75″ X 3.75″


  • Reinforced corners on panel frames
  • Chain-able
  • Tempered glass solar panels


  • Short power cord (6′)
  • Not as lightweight as other portable solar panels (28.25 pounds)

ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel Kit

ACOPOWER 120 watt portable solar panels with charger
ACOPOWER 120 Portable Solar Panel Kit

Unlike the other portable solar panels in this list, the ACOPOWER 120W portable solar panel kit is made up of three 40-watt flexible monocrystalline panels instead of rigid panels. By using flexible panels, this solar RV battery charger can be used almost anywhere.

These flexible solar panels give the user the option of laying the panels flat on the ground, hanging on the side of the camper, or using the built-in kickstand to angle the panels for maximum sun exposure.

In addition to the flexibility of this portable solar panel kit, connecting to an RV’s pre-wired solar port has never been easier. Simply plug the included SAE cable into the Zamp port. If your camper has a Furrion solar port, you will need an ACOPOWER SAE to Furrion adapter.

Another key feature of the ACOPOWER 120W portable solar panel is the built-in storage compartment located on the back of the panels where you can store all of your cables.

The 10-amp solar charge controller features two USB ports which allows you to charge your electronics devices like phones, GoPro cameras, or drones. All while charging your camper batteries.

The main drawback of this set up is the fact that the solar controller or the solar panels are not waterproof. So, you will need to be mindful of the weather when using them.

If you find that the 120-watt option is too much for your RV camping needs, ACOPOWER also has a 70-watt option.

ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel Kit Specs:

  • Output – 120-Watts
  • Solar Panel Type – Monocrystalline
  • Weight – 8.95 Pounds
  • Dimensions – 23.7″ X 18.2″ X 1.9″


  • Long power cable (15′)
  • Built-in bypass for portable power stations
  • Extremely lightweight


  • Not waterproof

Go Power! 130W Portable Folding Solar Panel

go power portable solar panel kit
Go Power! 130W Portable Folding Solar Panel

If you are an RV owner who needs just a little more power on your off-grid camping adventures, the Go Power! 130W portable solar panel might be a good fit.

This portable solar panel kit features a built-in 10-amp solar controller with a digital screen for monitoring input and output power, plus adapter cables that allow you to connect directly to your RV battery to keep it charged.

Included with this portable solar kit is a variety of options for charging your RV, ATV, or marine batteries like SAE connectors, battery clamps, and XLR-style solar adapters.

Also included in this kit is a convenient nylon storage case for the solar panels which make them portable and easy to store in the camper.

If you have been looking for a portable solar set up that is easy to use, durable, and can easily be adjusted depending on the position of the sun, the Go Power! 130-watt portable solar panel might be right for you.

Go Power! 130W Portable Folding Solar Panel Specs:

  • Output – 130-Watts
  • Solar Panel Type – Monocrystalline
  • Weight – 28.66 Pounds
  • Dimensions – 32.5″ X 19.9″ X 2.8″


  • Adjustable stand
  • Compact for easy storage
  • 12′ cable


  • Not as lightweight as other portable solar panels (28.66 pounds)

Pros And Cons Of Portable Solar Panels For Your RV

Portable solar panels offer many benefits when compared to roof mounted solar systems. For one, you don’t have to worry about installation, holes in the roof of your camper, or taking certain waterproofing methods that go with installing solar panels on the roof.

With that said, there are certain pros and cons that are associated with portable solar chargers.

Pros Of Portable Solar Panels

  • Easier to position to maximize sun exposure
  • Portability vs. fixed options
  • Terrific way for beginners to test out solar without the costs associated with roof-mounted systems

Cons Of Portable Solar Panels

  • You have to set them up for each use
  • Risk of theft if left unattended

Things To Consider

Before deciding on the best portable solar panel for your RV camping adventures, let’s take a look at a few things to consider.

Types Of Portable Solar Panels

  • Monocrystalline solar panels are made from one single silicon crystal which makes these panels more efficient than polycrystalline solar panels. Because of their high efficiency, it takes fewer panels to create the same amount of power as the polycrystalline panels.
  • Polycrystalline, or multi-crystalline solar panels are made from several fragments of silicon to form wafers for the panel. Although these panels are typically less expensive than their monocrystalline counterparts, they are far less efficient, as stated above.
  • Amorphous, or thin-film solar panels are a little bit different than the solar panels above. They use the same silicon-based technology, but without the solar cell. These types of solar panels are made from a layer of non-crystalline silicon that is laid over a substrate, like plastic or metal. And as a result, these solar panels have a shorter lifespan and are far less efficient than the panels listed above. On the positive side, since these panels are flexible, you have more options available to you if you plan to mount them.

Solar Charge Controllers

The best portable solar panels for RV use will feature a solar charge controller. The charge controller is the actual brains of the whole operation.

A charge controller is what takes the energy from the solar panel and converts into a charging profile that can be used for your camper batteries. In addition, a solar charge controller helps regulate voltage and current to keep your batteries from being overcharged.

Most, but not all, solar charge controllers are waterproof. If you happen to purchase a solar panel kit for your RV or camper that does not feature a waterproof controller, be very mindful of where you place it in wet or rainy weather.


The overall efficiency of a portable solar panel is a value that is shown as a percentage. These values are the amount of solar energy that is converted to DC power. In other words, the higher the efficiency rating, the more output power you can expect from the solar panel.

This in turn means that when using a portable solar panel with a high efficiency rating, the fewer panels you will need to meet your power goals. In addition, the efficiency of a solar panel is particularly important if you will be camping in low sunlight areas.


The wattage of a portable solar panel refers to the electrical output it provides. Since we all have unique needs in terms of electricity, how much wattage that is needed is solely dependent on your individual power consumption.

A portable solar panel with a higher wattage will typically be capable of charging multiple electronics at the same time. In addition, the higher the wattage, the higher the price.

You can always start off with a lower wattage solar panel and if you find that it doesn’t meet your needs, you can add an additional panel instead of purchasing a higher wattage solar panel from the start.


Portability is key when referring to portable solar panels. I mean, it’s even in the name. Most RV owners will be moving the solar panels from their house to the RV, and vice versa, so make sure the solar panel you choose will be easy to carry.


Along with portability, the overall weight of a portable solar panel is equally important. If you will simply be setting up your solar panel at the campground for extended periods of time, weight may not be an issue. However, if you plan to travel frequently from place to place, a heavy panel could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth.


Another key factor to consider when choosing the best portable solar panels for your RV is the overall dimensions. A solar panel that is too large to store is no good to you. Make sure the setup you choose will fit into your RV basement storage compartment or other storage space securely.

Cable Length And Connectors

The biggest advantage that portable solar panels have over their roof-mounted counterparts is the ability to move and position the panels for better sun exposure.

This is particularly useful if you find yourself camping off-grid in Texas in the middle of August. What I mean is you will most definitely want to park your camper in the shade.

If you find that the cables on the portable solar panel kit that you choose are too short for this, you can always buy extensions. The most common extension cables with the correct wire size and multiple lengths will have MC4 type connectors. Other commonly used solar panel connectors are SAE and Anderson connectors.

You would think that with advances in technology that manufacturers would agree on an industry standard when it comes to portable solar panel connectors. But that’s just not the case.

Don’t worry though, if all else fails, you can always purchase the connectors you need and change them out.

In Conclusion

The best portable solar panels give you the opportunity to take your RV camping adventures to the next level. In fact, many people only dream about the freedoms you can take advantage of when you can sustain off-grid for a period of time.

Having the ability to keep your RV batteries charged, or any other electronic device, allows you to take longer off-grid vacations with much less stress. If you love the great outdoors, you will want to add a portable solar panel to your RV camping gear arsenal.

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