For many people, the only downside to camping is the lack of electricity. You want to enjoy the beauty of nature, but you still want to use your smartphone. Yes, you could fire up the engine to charge your gadgets, but sometimes that defeats the purpose of traveling into nature.

If this describes you, portable solar panels may just be your solution. We reviewed the best portable solar panels for RV campers that deliver excellent performance without being too expensive. Check out what we found.

1. ACOPOWER 12V Portable Solar Panel Kit

Verdict: Overall Best

The ACOPOWER 12 V Portable Solar Panel Kit is perfect for campers who need daily power and a backup power source. This kit is easy to unpack and set up, and reliable enough to survive any weather.

The kit includes everything you need in one neat package. What we love is that the charge controller works for both the batteries and the solar generator. Other elements in the kit include 2 foldable 50 W panels and preinstalled stands.

The panels are highly versatile, and if you’re using them with an RV, they’ll need to be. These 100 W panels can support up to 8 different battery types from various manufacturers. Some of the common ones include Lithium-ion, LiFePO4, Gel, and Crystal.

Did we mention that the charge controller is waterproof? That means you can camp out wherever you want, without worrying about the weather. Even though it comes with a 100 W setup, the controller can be expanded to 200 W if you need more power. 

Overall, our favorite feature of this panel is the ease of setup. The panels already have a stand so you only need to unfold them and face them towards the sun. The alligator clips from the panels can connect straight to the battery without issues.

What we like:

  • Whole thing comes in a complete product package
  • Panels can charge the battery very quickly
  • Waterproof solar charge controller
  • Can support up to 8 different battery types

What we don’t like:

  • Package doesn’t come with any instructions
  • Difficult to find replacement parts

2. Renogy Off Grid Portable Solar Monocrystalline Panels

Verdict: Best for consistent power supply

Regardless of the kind of battery you own, the Renogy Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Solar Panel is an excellent choice for you. The panels can charge most battery types and provide a steady power supply for your RV.

You can expect up to 500 Watt-hours of power output per day from these panels, depending on the amount of sunlight available. It will work with various kinds of batteries, including gel, sealed, lithium, and even flooded.

As expected, the kit includes a charge controller, but what we didn’t expect was the controller’s specs. It’s a 20 Amp built-in 5-stage solar charger that prevents overcharging, reduces fire risk, and regulates operating temperature.

But that’s not all. The entire package fits into a compact briefcase that also contains a tray cable with alligator clips for easy connection and a protective casing for safe portability. The whole thing weighs about 25 pounds and can be set up in no time at all.

With the Renogy Monocrystalline Off Grid Portable Solar Panel kit, you can enjoy power for as long as you camp. Once you bring the battery to a full charge the first time, all you need is a few hours of sun every day to keep going.

What we like:

  • Provides consistent power with minimal sun
  • Perfect for going off the grid
  • Comes with a 5-stage solar charge controller with LCD display
  • Supports many kinds of batteries

What we don’t like:

  • Solar arrays are heavier than most panels in their category
  • Hinges on the suitcase may get squeaky over time

3. ROCKPALS Foldable Solar Panel Zero Portable Power Station

Verdict: Best for solar generators

If you own a solar generator kit and are looking for the most compatible panel set, this is it. The ROCKPALS Foldable Solar Panel Zero Portable Power Station comes with multiple connectors that are sure to fit your unit and deliver consistent power.

This kit brings something entirely different to the table. It’s foldable, flexible, and portable enough to hang from the side of your RV. The panel unit also comes with a couple of accessories such as various size connectors for solar generators and 5 V USB cables. 

The panel has USB ports that are compatible with most smart devices including the iPad, and it does this using a unique and cool feature. When you connect your device, the panel uses its built-in smart IC chip to identify your device and maximize charging speed.

Because this panel was designed to be paired with solar generators, it doesn't come with its own charge controller. But don’t worry because it more than makes up for this with its high conversion efficiency, durable build, and portable dimensions.

What we like:

  • Can charge most smart devices thanks to the USB ports and built-in smart IC chip
  • Lightweight, portable, and flexible panels
  • Comes with a wide range of connectors 
  • High conversion efficiency

What we don’t like:

  • Doesn’t come with a charge controller
  • Works with all solar generators except Jackery 440

4. ECO-WORTHY 120W Foldable Solar Panel Charger for Portable Power Station & RV Battery

Verdict: Best for portability

The ECO-WORTHY Foldable Solar Panel is one of the most portable panels available on the market. It weighs only 9 pounds but can generate power like you would not believe.

When you hear the name, ECO-WORTHY, you think of a product that’s designed to make power generation as green as possible, and that’s exactly what this foldable solar panel achieves. The 120 W panels can generate up to 0.5 KWH of power per day under 4 hours of sun.

The manufacturers of this ECO-WORTHY solar panel kit know most people hook their camping solar panels to a generator, which is why they provide 10 different DC adapters that perform at a 95% efficiency rating.

The unit also comes with a solar charge controller that prevents overcharge in lithium, gel, or acid RV battery types.

One thing we love about the product packaging is the tilting kickstands, which allow us to easily face the panels towards the sun to get even more power generation. 

At this point, you’re thinking, “won’t it be stressful to move these solar panels around?” Well, the answer is no because the entire thing has a compact design that weighs only 9 pounds!

What we like:

  • Portable solar panel weighs only 9 pounds
  • Can generate 500 Watts of power per day
  • Compatible with almost all types of batteries and solar generators
  • Set up is quick and easy

What we don’t like:

  • Sometimes, it’s difficult to contact customer service
  • Cables aren’t 100% weatherproof

5. DOKIO Foldable Solar Panel 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase

Verdict: Best for affordability

The DOKIO Foldable Solar Panel has all the features you would want in a solar panel, including easy setup, battery compatibility, and portability.

This unit is one of the most affordable models on the market. However, don’t let that fool you because it still packs a punch. The product comes in a solar suitcase with a preinstalled charge controller and battery clips. Basically, it has everything you need to hook it up to a battery.

The panels are high-efficiency and waterproof. What's more, they have an adjustable stand that helps you set the panel angles to maximize the amount of solar power you can produce.

The battery clips are compatible with most kinds of batteries, and the panel is strong enough to withstand winds of up to 2400 PA.

On the downside, the DOKIO crystalline panels are slightly heavier than others in their category. The product weighs 18.5 pounds and may take some effort to move around, but it’s a small price to pay for getting such a bargain on a high-performance solar panel.

What we like:

  • One of the cheapest panels in its category
  • Can work with any 12 V batteries
  • Panels are weatherproof
  • Quick and easy set-up

What we don’t like:

  • Not a portable solar panel
  • Panels aren’t flexible or foldable

Best Portable Solar Panels for RV: Buying Tips

With solar power, you’re trying to get as much power from solar energy as you can. That’s why the wattage is one of the most important things to consider. The higher the wattage, the more devices you can power. Higher-rated solar panels also tend to be more efficient.

Keep in mind that the price is also heavily influenced by the wattage. For example, 100 W panels are cheaper than 200 W panels.

One other thing to remember is battery compatibility. Most panels are compatible with lead-acid, lithium-ion, and gel batteries, but you should still check to confirm before making a purchase.

Conclusion

Our top recommendation for the best portable solar panels for RV camping is the ACOPOWER 12 V Portable Solar Panel Kit. It delivers a reliable balance between price, performance, and flexibility. And at 100 W, the two panels are powerful enough to run any electronics you need while away from civilization.

If you prefer a highly portable solar panel, consider the ECO-WORTHY 120 W Foldable Solar Panel. It weighs only 9 pounds but still generates as much power as any other panel in its category.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you are interested in reading more product comparisons, please check out the other articles on our site.