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If you are planning a trip in your camper van then you have to consider where you plan on sourcing your power from, especially if you are traveling off-grid meaning that you’ll be going to an isolated area that doesn’t have immediate access to electricity.
This is where solar panels come in handy. A hugely popular form of sourcing power that has grown exponentially in recent years, solar panels have a great array of benefits with the main one being that they are good for the environment which is ideal for those who want to be as eco-friendly as possible.
In this guide, we’ll be taking you the various benefits that come with solar panel kits as well as the top solar panel kits on the market that you should consider as well as an exclusive Buyers Guide and FAQ so you will know what to expect when conducting your research.
Benefits Of Using A Solar Panel Kit
As mentioned before, using solar panel kits come with a wide array of advantages that can suit any kind of lifestyle, especially when traveling in camper vans. Before we delve into which solar panel kits are the best ones on the market, it’s important to learn why solar panel kits are worth investing in.
Here are just a few of the major benefits that using solar panels bring:
Firstly, solar panel kits can give you the chance to work on your DIY skills. If you are planning to spend lots of time in your camper van then you’ll need to brush up on DIY skills and become resourceful as you can utilize the environment around you.
Installing solar panels is a great project for all abilities so whether you haven’t delved into DIY before or you love working on projects wherever you go, you’ll have plenty of fun.
The second major benefit is that they can save you money compared to using electricity, especially if you install the solar panels yourself. However, bear in mind that while some of the solar panel kits can be expensive to purchase, you’ll see the financial benefits in the long term as you won’t be using any electricity.
Powers When Venturing Off-grid
Lastly, the third main advantage that comes with solar panel kits is that they can run when providing power in off-grid locations. If you are traveling to isolated locations that are far away from civilization and don’t have immediate access to electrical resources then solar panels are the best choice for you to choose as they are charged from the sun.
Here are the top five Sprinter camper van solar panel kits that you should consider:
Our first recommendation is the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 and 2X SolarSaga 100W which is the most elaborate kit made from premium materials. It features an Explorer 1000 and two SolarSaga 100 solar panels as well as everything you need to set it up.
This kit is quiet, clean, and easy to use meaning that you won’t be disturbed by any noise. The on-button design means that it is incredibly easy to use making it ideal for those who haven’t used solar panels before.
The massive capacity and impressive endurance make it perfect for those who have a large number of appliances and gadgets to power.
This solar panel kit features an array of powerful and versatile ports so you can charge or power up to three devices at any one time. The AC outlets provide extra capacity to protect your devices meaning that you can provide power safely.
This kit is the largest solar panel package from all the recommendations in this article as you will receive a Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station, two SolarSaga 100W, an AC adapter, a car charger cable, a SolarSaga parallel adapter, and an instruction manual.
This kit also comes with a 2-year warranty so you can purchase it with extra peace of mind.
- The massive capacity and impressive endurance make it perfect for those who have a large number of appliances and gadgets to power
- Features an array of powerful and versatile ports so you can charge or power up to three devices at any one time
- Comes with a 2-year warranty so you can purchase it with extra peace of mind
- High price point
- ENDLESS SOLAR POWER: This Solar Generator 1000 set features the a Explorer 1000, pairing with 2 SolarSaga 100 solar panels. Unlock the true solar power, and experience the energy from mother nature while at your road trip, camping trip, RV, and over-landing
- QUIET, CLEAN, EASY TO USE: Unlike gas generators, the Solar Generator is clean. The Solar Generator produces almost no noise, and it features an on-button design for easy use. It is powered by solar energy, providing a green and sustainable solution for our living condition.
- MASSIVE CAPACITY & IMPRESSIVE ENDURANCE: The Explorer 1000 is geared with a massive 1002 Wh capacity and 1000 high running wattage to power your full-size refrigerator, TV, blender, electric grill, mini cooler, and more for your outdoor and home needs.
- POWERFUL & VERSATILE PORTS: The Explorer 1000 features 3 standard pure sine wave AC outlets, which will provide extra capacity to protect, and power more AC devices and appliances. Extra bonus for the built - unlike most other portable generators, this supports pass-through charging while its battery life is protected.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station, 2*SolarSaga 100W, 2 year warranty, 1*AC Adapter, 1* Car Charger Cable, 1*SolarSaga Parallel Adapter, 2* user manual.
Our second selection is the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit which comes with a 100W solar panel, 30A PWM negative ground charge controller, solar panel connectors, tray cable, and mounting Z brackets to mount it on the RV.
With a monocrystalline solar cell efficiency of 21%, the charge controller has an upgraded design which means you can be assured of a better performance.
The PWM charge controller allows you to expand your system up to a maximum of 400W while the ideal output of 500W per day can fully charge a 50aH battery by 50% within three hours depending on how much sunlight there is.
The negative grounding controller provides any overloading, short-circuiting, overcharging, or discharging from occurring whilst ensuring that you are given power when traveling on or off-grid safely. Made with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, this solar panel kit has been designed for extended outdoor use so the panels will last for decades.
- The PWM charge controller allows you to expand your system up to a maximum of 400W
- The negative grounding controller provides any overloading, short-circuiting, overcharging, or discharging from occurring
- Made with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, this solar panel kit has been designed for extended outdoor use so the panels will last for decades
- Not suitable for those who want a more advanced kit
- Includes 100W Solar Panel + 30A PWM Negative ground Charge Controller + Solar Panel Connectors +8Ft 10AWG Tray Cable+ Mounting Z Brackets for RV, Boat
- Monocrystalline solar cell efficiency: 21%；The Charge controller has been upgraded to Renogy new 30A PWM negative ground charge controller The Renogy wanderer
- With the Renogy wanderer 30A PWM charge Controller, you can expand your system up to a maximum of 400W
- Ideal output: 500Wh per day; can fully charge a 50Ah Battery from 50% in 3 hours (depending on the availability of sunlight)
- Negative Grounding controller with battery reversed, overloading, short-circuit and over charging/discharging protection ensures the broader off grid applications and safety. Especially can be used on a vehicle which has battery negative on the chassis. Optimum Operating Current (Imp): 5. 38A
Our third choice is the Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit which has been specifically designed for off-grid traveling. Made with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame which allows for extended outdoor use which means that the panels are guaranteed to last for decades as they can withstand high winds and heavy snow.
The kit comes with a 30A PWM flush mount charge controller which charges the battery quickly and safely within any weather conditions.
The bypass diodes minimize any power drop that can be caused by shade which ensures that you will have excellent performance in low-light environments.
You will receive everything you need to set up your solar panels and get them working efficiently including a two-piece Renogy 100 watt 12V volt monocrystalline solar panel, a 30A PWM flush mount charge controller, an adaptor kid, a tray cable, a pair of branch connections, a Bluetooth module and a cable entry housing making it one of the most extensive kits on this list.
- Made with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame which allows for extended outdoor use
- Comes with a 30A PWM flush mount charge controller which charges the battery quickly and safely within any weather conditions
- The bypass diodes minimize any power drop that can be caused by shade which ensures that you will have excellent performance in low-light environments
- Connector cables are quite short
- Designed for off-grid solar panel system, Caravan, RV, boat, Green house Solar panel system. Mono-crystalline Solar Cell efficiency: 21%
- Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades as well as withstand high winds (2400PA) and snow loads (5400PA)
- This kit includes our adventurer 30A PWM flush mount charge controller can charge the Battery quickly and safely under almost any condition
- Order will be delivered in multiple packages; bypass diodes minimize power drop caused by shade and ensure excellent performance in low-light environments. Short-Circuit Current (Isc)-6.24A
- Complete kit includes: (1)2 pc Renogy 100 watt 12 volt Mono-crystalline Solar panel (2) adventurer Li 30A PWM flush mount charge controller (3)one 30Ft 10AWG MC4 adaptor kit (4)one 16Ft 10AWG tray cable (5)one pair of branch connectors (6) a bt-1 Bluetooth module (7)one Renogy cable entry housing
Our penultimate recommendation is the DOKIO 300W 18V Portable Solar Panel Kit which provides 300W of power while remaining lightweight at only 17lbs. The foldable design makes it easy to travel with and set up within minutes.
This solar panel kit comes with everything you need to provide plenty of power as it can charge up any 12V batteries thanks to the 18V optimum power voltage while protecting against overcharging, overloading, and short-circuiting.
The portable design allows for wide applicability thanks to the long cable length that means you can charge up appliances and devices that are further away.
The powerful high conversion allows you to benefit from a greater amount of power efficiency despite the panel’s smaller surface area because of how much it reduces mismatch loss meaning that the system maximizes the amount of power absorbed.
- Provides 300W of power while remaining lightweight at only 17lbs
- The foldable design makes it easy to travel with and set up within minutes
- The portable design allows for wide applicability thanks to the long cable length that means you can charge up appliances and devices that are further away
- The fabric case is not high quality
- 【FOLDABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT EASY TO CARRY】-- This solar panel photovoltaic packs 300W of power yet is only 0.9inch thick,Foldable Dimension 41x22inch and weighs 17lb, making it easier to mount,transport, hang, and remove.
- 【COMPLETE KIT，WORKS OUT OF THE BOX 】-- Solar charger for all 12V batteries ,with its 18V optimum power voltage.Protection against: overcharging, overload, short-circuit
- 【PORTABLE DESIGN AND WIDE APPLICABILITY】-- 9.85ft (3m) cable length from panel to controller, For most power stations (Jackery,Goal Zero,Ecoflow,Paxcess) and 12-volt batteries(AGM,LiFePo4,Deep cycle batteries),RV,car,boat,trailer,truck,pumpa,camping,van,emergency power
- 【POWERFUL HIGH CONVERSION EFFICIENCY】-- With high efficiency monocrystalline solar cell, you will get greater power efficiency even though the panel is smaller than a traditional model.Maximizes system output by reducing mismatch loss.
- 【WELL PACKAGED, QUICK DELIVERY】-- Amazon US warehouse shipping, Receive goods in time，If the accessories are lost after the transportation process, please contact us in time.
Our final selection is the DOKIO 300 Watts 18 Volts Portable Foldable Solar Panel Monocrystalline which is lightweight and ultra-thin which makes it ideal for frequent traveling. The solar panels provide 300W of power while weighing only 16.5lbs in total which means it is easier to transport, hang up and store away when not in use.
The foldable and portable design is protected by the thick fabric pocket which has been sewn while the practical carrying handle makes it easy to carry. Easy to use in all kinds of environments and weather conditions, this is great for those venturing off-grid.
This solar panel kit contains a high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cell meaning you have a higher power efficiency. The smart PWM charging port helps to increase the battery life and improves the overall system performance.
The intelligent protections fight against reverse polarity, overcharging, short-circuit and reverse current. The integrated two USB ports allow you to charge USB devices.
- Provide 300W of power while weighing only 16.5lbs in total which means it is easier to transport, hang up and store away when not in use
- Easy to use in all kinds of environments and weather conditions, this is great for those venturing off-grid
- The smart PWM charging port helps to increase the battery life and improves the overall system performance
- Smaller panels mean less power than other models
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND ULTRA-THIN FOR EASIER MOVING: This solar panel packs 300W of power yet is only 0.9in thick and weighs only 16.5 lbs, Foldable Dimension:21*41*1inch (54*104*2.4cm),making it easier to transport, hang, and remove.
- FOLDABLE AND PORTABLE DESIGN: The panel is well protected in a thick fabric pocket sewn. A practical carrying handle is available easy to carry and use and with, Ideal to use for camping, camping, climbing, hiking, picnic, charging your car battery, or in emergencies .
- HIGH CONVERSION EFFICIENCY: With high efficiency monocrystalline solar cell, you will get greater power efficiency even though the panel is smaller than a traditional model.
- PLUG AND PLAY: smart PWM charging (Bulk, Boost, Float, and Equalization) increases battery life and improves system performance. Intelligent protection against reverse polarity, overcharging, short-circuit, and reverse current.Integrated Integrated TWO USB ports to charge USB devices.
- WELL PACKAGED, QUICK DELIVERY-- Amazon FBA delivery, Receive goods in time，any questions you can contact us at any time, we will do our best to provide you with a satisfactory solution to ensure that you will not suffer any loss.
When conducting your research into what camper van solar panels are best for you then there are certain things that you need to look out for. This will help prevent any disappointment and allow you to know what to expect when you make your purchase.
When deciding which product to choose, always think about what is included in the kit, what materials the products are made from, any warranty period, and your budget. Once you have weighed these factors against your own needs and requirements, you’ll be able to make a fully informed decision with confidence.
What Is Included
The first thing you always need to look into when it comes to deciding what kit is best is what you get in the kit. As well as the solar panels themselves, you should expect to receive the relevant generator and connector cables to allow you to set them up.
More elaborate kits will come with more equipment which will provide more features that you can play with to maximize the amount of power the solar panels can provide.
Another hugely important factor is the materials that each component is made from. Not only do the materials determine the quality of performance but they will also dictate how long the products will be.
If you want a product that is going to last years then choosing a kit that is made from premium materials will mean that you have a better chance of investing in a higher quality product that is going to bring better results overall.
Since solar panel kits are an investment, it’s always best to check if the kit comes with a warranty period or returns policy.
If you haven’t purchased a solar panel kit before and are wanting that extra peace of mind when you make your decision, making sure that your option comes with some form of warranty will provide more security so you can be assured of a refund or exchange should you run into any problems further down the line.
All of the brands listed above also have a dedicated customer service team that is trained to answer any technical queries you may have.
Lastly, always consider your budget. As you can see from the options given in this article, the prices vary greatly from hundreds to thousands of dollars meaning that it is important that you establish a clear budget for what you are looking for.
However, these recommendations are high-quality which means that whether you have money to spend or are working with a strict budget, you’ll find the perfect choice for you without breaking your bank account.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Solar Panel Power Do I Need For My Van?
When it comes to how much solar panel power is needed to run your camper van and the devices and appliances within it, it is dependent on how much you rely on electricity and power. It can range from 50-watts to simply charge a cell phone up to 450 watts of power to run larger appliances such as refrigerators or televisions.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
How long a solar panel will last is depending on how well you take care of them as well as the quality of the materials that they are made from. On average, solar panels should last around 20 years but if you maintain them properly then you can expect them to last as long as 40 to 50 years.
Is A 100-Watt Solar Panel Enough For RV?
When it comes to providing solar panels for your RV, 100-watts will usually provide around 30-amp hours per day so if you have a 300 amp per hour camper battery then you will need 300 watts of power in total.