The Best Caravan Solar Panel Kit Reviews & Buying Guide
- 1 The Best Caravan Solar Panel Kit Reviews & Buying Guide
- 1.1 Our Top Caravan Solar Panel (2020 Updated) -
- 1.2 The TDOKIO 150 Watts Foldable Solar Panel (Editor's Choice)
- 1.3 Our Verdict - Which Caravan Solar Panel Kit Is The Best For Giving You Power?
- 1.4 What To Look For In a Solar Power Panel Kit? (Best Buying Guide)
- 1.5 Top Features In a Solar Panel Kit For Caravans
- 1.6 How Do Caravan Solar Panels Work?
- 1.7 What Are The Benefits Of Using Solar Power In My Caravan?
- 1.8 Tips For Using a Caravan With Solar Panels
- 1.9 FAQs
- 1.10 Our #1 Solar Power Panel Kit Choice For Powering Your Caravan
If your planning to go away with your caravan on an adventure, you've likely considered that you are going to need a power source.
Solar panels for caravans are an eco-friendly and quiet power source to consider for your caravan.
The best solar panel kit should come with high-quality panels and give a sufficient output of power to keep your caravan with electricity. Some panels even include USB ports for charging phones and can work on overcast days.
When it comes to buying a solar panel kit for your caravan, you must choose the most reliable panels out there, so we have rounded up the top solar panels for caravans and compared them in efforts to help find the right model for you.
Our Top Caravan Solar Panel (2020 Updated) -
The TDOKIO 150 Watts Foldable Solar Panel (Editor's Choice)
If you are looking for a more portable, lightweight, and flexible solar panel, it could be worth considering the Dokio panels.
These solar panels for caravan feature a 150W power and are made of high-quality monocrystalline solar cells.
Its design only weighs 4.1 kg, making it suitable to use and even carry. The model comes with one free solar controller too for 12V batteries and has USB ports for charging devices with battery.
To use these panels effectively on your vehicle, you need a leisure battery too.
This DOKIO solar panels caravan model is great for people who are looking to hang or remove their panels often due to its lightweight and foldable design.
Its high-quality crystalline panels are also built for durability, making it a perfect long term solution to providing power to your battery and vehicle.
However, these solar panels do only run with PWM regulator. The panels eyelets have also been reported to be poorly made so as they come off quickly.
- Lightweight and portable solar panel.
- Controller for 12V batteries.
- High-quality mono crystalline panels.
- 150W power.
- Eyelets are poorly made.
Our Affordable Alternative - TP-solar 60W Portable Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit
This TP-Solar 60W solar power panel is one of the lowest-priced panels on our list. Its 60W power has an energy conversion efficiency of up to 25%.
Design-wise the solar power panels are fully laminated and completely waterproof. It can be paired with a portable generator or charge mobile phones and other small devices. There are additionally 5V USB ports and can protect against overload protection to keep devices safe.
Furthermore, the solar power panel also has an output for charging 12V DC devices and can charge a 12V battery. Its panels can be folded up for easy carrying or storage.
Other accessories of this solar panel model are its alligator clip cable, cigarette lighter plug, 10 in 1 connector and 6.5ft extension cable.
Overall, this TP-Solar panel model has less solar power than other solar panels on our list but its great value for money, especially if you are looking to charge just a couple things on your caravan or have power on the go. Its battery charge controller can also help charge all kinds of devices with USB ports and can be used to charge a 12V battery.
Negatives of this solar panel have to be its lower solar power. The solar energy has been reported to output a low wattage of power, even in full sun, which may not be sufficient for charging devices quickly.
- Very affordable and folds up easily.
- USB ports and DC charging.
- Can charge 12V battery.
- Low solar power.
- It takes a long time to charge devices like mobile phones.
TP-solar 120 Watt Foldable Solar Panel Charger
The 120W TP-Solar branded panels kit has a 19V DC power output for portable generators and can charge a 12V car boat RV battery.
Design-wise this portable solar panel has high efficiency monocrystalline solar cells and can perform well in low-light conditions.
They have dual USB ports for charging smartphones and the panels hold a smart IC chip that can identify your device and stop it from overcharging.
Its laminated mono crystalline panels are made for long-lasting use and are waterproof too, the panels also only weigh 3.5 kg and can be folded up for portability. The model additionally comes with alligator clips, a DC cable, connectors and a cigarette lighter charger plug.
Overall, the TP-solar branded caravan solar panel model is very portable and provides a suitable power output for most caravans needs. The panels are also made of high-quality mono crystalline, which means this product is very reliable.
Furthermore, the solar panel kit can also be used with a solar generator easily.
Downfalls of these solar panels have it be power output which is reported to be minimal by some users. It also may not produce enough power in dim conditions which could affect how much energy you can use.
- Foldable and lightweight panels.
- High-quality mono crystalline material.
- USB port and DC output for charging phones and laptops.
- Smart chip to detect different kinds of devices.
- Can charge 12V car, boat and RV battery.
- Low power output.
- May not produce enough power in low-light conditions.
ECO-WORTHY 12V 150W Mono Solar Panel System
This Eco Worthy solar panel kit comes with a battery power of 150W and can be used for charging DC 12V devices in a vehicle quickly. The panels can be connected to the battery or used with other multiple grids.
Design-wise the Eco worthy solar panels are made of low iron 3.2mm tempered glass and can produce 0.6KWH/ day with 4 hours of full sunshine. Its solar charge also comes with a big LCD for controlling the power of the caravan solar panels.
Installation-wise the solar panel kit comes with pre-drilled holes and comes with a 5m connector cable for power to all kinds of devices.
The Eco worthy solar panel kit is one of the best portable solar panels on our list due to its easy installation and sufficient power.
This can allow you to charge and have electricity in your vehicle no matter where you are.
Negatives of this solar panel model have to be its kit which is reported to arrive without brackets; some customers also say some panels have arrived dented.
- A high powered model with easy installation.
- Easy to use solar charger.
- Can charge a variety of devices.
- 5m connector cable.
- The solar kit comes with missing parts.
- Some kits have been reported to have dents in panels.
XINPUGUANG 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panel System
The XINPUGUANG 100W flexible panels can be used on curved roofs or other surfaces easily due to its flexible design, the solar panel itself has 100W power and boasts monocrystalline cells for high performance.
Its design has multi-layers of lamination and can withhold against all kinds of weather. The panels are also easy to install with its pre-drilled holes; it can likewise be glued to a surface with silicone glue.
Additionally, the panels come with a 12V controller for connecting with a 3m cable and can charge all kinds of devices.
This XINPUGUANG flexible panels boast more versatility than other solar panels on our list and are very weather-resistant/durable due to their high-quality material. The panels are also easy to install as they may be glue or drilled with their pre-made holes.
Downfalls of these solar panels have to be its lower power; this has been reported to produce much less energy than the product suggest itself, which may be due to its lower price.
- High-quality material.
- Flexible solar panels can be installed on a curved roof.
- Pre-drilled holes for easy installation.
- 12V controller.
- Reasonably priced.
- Produces less power than stated.
- Low 100W power.
Our Verdict - Which Caravan Solar Panel Kit Is The Best For Giving You Power?
To conclude, the top solar panel kit for providing power on the go has to be the DOKIO 150 Watts Foldable Solar Panel Kit; this is due to its portable design and high energy, the panels are also very durable and can be installed easily on to your caravan.
As another option, we would also suggest checking out the TP-solar 60W Portable Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit. Although this model may produce less solar power, it is very reliable and perfect for charging the battery of small devices. The solar panel is also very affordable.
What To Look For In a Solar Power Panel Kit? (Best Buying Guide)
Looking for the right solar panels on caravans can be a long and challenging process if you don't know what features you should be looking for.
You might also be wondering how these solar panels work or how you should install them on your caravan.
We've put together our solar panels buying guide below to help you out.
Top Features In a Solar Panel Kit For Caravans
From a solar charge controller to USB ports and connector cables, it can be challenging to know precisely what you need in a solar panel kit.
We've listed out the top features below you should consider in a model -
- Power - You need to figure out exactly how much electricity you will need from your solar panels to charge your devices or caravan's battery.
- Mounting - Look for a model that can be installed easily. Some solar panels will come with pre-drilled holes and mounting brackets to use for installation.
- Weight - Solar panels can be super heavy, so weight is something you need to look out for when purchasing your model, you want to be able to carry your solar panel.
- Efficiency - Look for high efficiency as this will determine how much energy your solar power will be able to convert from the sun.
- Waterproof - Having waterproof solar panels is a must-have feature if you want to use your panels and have electricity in all kinds of weather.
- Material - Most of the time, solar panel models are made out of high efficiency monocrystalline; however, some are also made out of polycrystalline and thin-film.
- Portability - Nowadays you can find very lightweight foldable solar panel models which you can carry around easily.
- Expandability- You might want to have more solar power at some point, so it's essential to buy a solar panel that can be attached to other grids in the future if you want to expand.
How Do Caravan Solar Panels Work?
Solar power can be confusing to understand, to break the process down, all you need to know is that you will need panels, a solar charger and battery for you to be able to use its power.
The process used to create electricity is known as Photovoltaics; in other words, storing light as electricity in your panel cells.
This energy is then stored in a battery or leisure battery which you can use via USB ports or DC 12V appliances, if you want to run your electricity with AC appliances then you will need an inverter.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Solar Power In My Caravan?
Solar power is well-known for being environmentally friendly and cost-free apart from the initial panel set-up; however, there are also many other advantages to using solar power on your caravan, which you may not know about.
- Saves money - Besides the initial investment for your panel, the electricity you get from the sun is completely free and will pay itself back within some months of use.
- Low maintenance - A best feature about solar panels is that once they are installed, they don't need to move to work, this is great as you don't have to maintain parts often like you would need to do for a generator.
- Reliable energy - The sun is a reliable source of energy that doesn't run out; this means you will have power even during a power cut.
- Eco-friendly - Solar panels don't emit any harmful fumes to the environment, unlike generators.
- Better leisure battery life - A solar panel requires little work from your caravan's battery which means it can help prolong its life.
- Silent - Solar panel models make no sound.
- Can be re-positioned - You can change your panel position to where the best sun is throughout the day, this is useful as it allows you to get the highest amount of light possible. Its also recommended keeping your panels at a slight tilt if possible so as it can absorb the most of the suns light.
Like all technology, solar panel kits do have some disadvantages when it comes to providing power to your battery.
- Can only run low power devices - A solar panel can't run high electrical current devices, you will also need an inverter if you want to connect AC appliances.
- Can be damaged when mounted - If you mount your panels on top of your roof, it may get damaged easily.
- May need to be taken down at night - Solar panel kits are expensive pieces of equipment and can be stolen, so you should take them down at night.
- Will be less efficient on cloudy days - Solar power is excellent. Unfortunately, it will give much less electricity and energy on cloudy days, its good idea to make sure you have backup power in these cases.
Tips For Using a Caravan With Solar Panels
There are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of your solar panel kit with your caravan.
- Be energy-smart - Turn off all appliances when they are not in use, you need to be careful about how much power you are using when depending on a panel.
- Keep it clean - You should clean your panels often to prevent anything blocking the light reaching the cells, dirt and dust can build up quickly so clean it off with a non-scratch cloth.
- Use a modern and bigger battery - Not only does a newer battery provide a better performance, but they also allow you to stop it from discharging often and increase its lifespan.
- Try and use energy-efficient appliances - Use LED lighting or 12V appliances only, using an inverter will drain your battery and energy much more as it has to convert to 240V AC.
- Battery monitor - Its a good idea to have a power indicator on your battery, this can help you monitor statistics such as the current drawn and amps, you can also see when it is being overcharged and undercharged.
Can I leave my panel out in all kinds of weather?
Most solar panel models are weather guarded and waterproof; this enables you to leave the panels out in all kinds of weather.
Will it charge on rainy days?
Your panel will still charge but much less than it would on a sunny day, most of the charge from previous sunny weather will be stored in your battery for backup.
How much power do I need?
The watt rating of your panels depending on how much energy your battery can store, how much energy you to plan to consume daily and how much energy your solar panel can generate on a sunny day.
Do I need more than one panel for my caravan?
This depends on how much electricity you are planning to use. You could use more than one 120W panel. This could give you enough power for fridges and a TV too.
The more panels you have, the more energy you can use.
How do I clean my panels?
It's best to clean your panels with a non-scratch cloth. This will ensure you don't damage or scratch your panels. It will also remove any dust or debris.
Can It keep my Caravan battery charged?
Yes, it can as long you have a large enough solar panel and a solar charger to regulate the energy going into your leisure battery.
Why should I use solar power?
Solar power is free, environment friendly and requires little maintenance.
What are flexible solar panels?
Flexible solar panels are panels that can bend and fit on curved roofs easily. They allow you to place your panels anywhere and not only on flat surfaces.
How do I attach them to my caravan?
You can attach the solar panels via their pre-drilled holes, hang them or glue. Some also come with mounting brackets.
How long will it take to charge my battery?
This depends on the size of your battery, how much charge is in it initially and the amount of sun. You can follow this calculation for a more accurate indication - Battery Capacity (Amp-hour) ÷ Solar Controller Output (Amps) = Charging hours.
What is a solar panel charge controller?
A solar panel charge controller is a regulator and monitors the current and flow to your batteries. It allows you to store the energy from the panels in your batteries.
What will an inverter do to my panel?
An inverter allows you to use AC appliances and convert to 240V rather than 12V DC.
How long will a solar panel system last for?
Most systems can last 20-25 years and over depending on the individual models and their materials.
Will the condition of my battery affect how well my solar panels work?
Yes, if your leisure battery is too small or in bad condition, it can affect how well your solar panels work and how much energy you can store. That's why it's recommended to get a bigger and more modern leisure battery, so as you can get the best use possible out of your panels.
Our #1 Solar Power Panel Kit Choice For Powering Your Caravan
The number one solar panel kit choice on our list for powering your caravan's battery and devices is the DOKIO 150 Watts Foldable Solar Panel Kit. This is due to its flexible and lightweight design; the model also has a high-rating of power and is made of reliable monocrystalline material.
The best solar panels should have high reliability and easy installation, and the DOKIO model ticks both of these boxes.
As an alternative solar panel kit, we would also recommend the TP-solar 60W Portable Foldable Solar Panel Charger Kit because of its affordable price and durability. However, this model may not produce enough power to charge high current appliances.