The Best Solar Battery Charger for Your RV
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People gravitate towards boondocking for many reasons, but one of the most often cited is avoiding the noise of typical crowded campgrounds. However, there’s nothing peaceful about firing up a propane or gasoline-powered generator. How can you juice your devices and keep the lights on and the water pump running? Investing in one of the best solar battery chargers for your RV is a wise choice.
These devices used to be pricey, but now they’re affordable for nearly anyone into the lifestyle. As they don’t power everything in your rig, like your HVAC system, you don’t need anything elaborate — a single trickle charger will do.
Are you ready to outfit yourself for your next adventure? Here are the best solar battery chargers for your RV.
Types of Solar Battery Chargers for Your RV
First, we need to define the systems shown below. There are four levels of battery chargers, and we’ll primarily be discussing the third tier in this article:
- Trickle chargers: These provide only 10 to 50 watts and keep your battery from dying while your RV sits in storage. Many portable solar kits with charge controllers can double for this purpose.
- Light chargers: These consist of 50-100 watts, just enough to let you run your RV’s lights at night, although they won’t power larger appliances or computers.
- Portable solar kits: These are the focus of his article. They consist of 100 to 600 watts with sufficient juice to run your RV’s lights and DC appliances like your furnace, water heater and fridge. A separate inverter can run AC devices like computers and TVs, and many kits have ports for charging gadgets.
- Full RV solar systems: Consisting of 600 to 4,000-watt chargers. These require an array of panels, inverters and charge converters integrated into your RV’s electrical system. Most people pay a professional or purchase an RV outfitted such, although a talented DIYer can get the job done. This setup allows you to run everything you can at home, including your AC, multiple computers and appliances.
Advantages of Solar Battery Chargers
Generators create tons of noise. Their emissions contribute to climate change while making your campsite smell like fuel. Ugh. Furthermore, all that racket scares away any wildlife you might hope to see, making it hard to hear your partner’s voice or listen to that scary National Parks Mysteries podcast you downloaded as you sit around the campfire.
Conversely, your RV’s best solar battery chargers are as silent as a purring kitten. They’re also clean and green, producing zero emissions to minimize your carbon footprint. You can enjoy your favorite boondocking destination guilt-free as long as you pickup your trash and leave no trace. Seeing the stars under a dark sky alone is a treat — gazing up at them in perfect silence is the ultimate in off-grid bliss.
Components of an RV Solar Battery Charging System
The best solar battery charging systems for your RV consist of three components:
- Solar Panel: These may be single or folding.
- Charge Controller: This device prevents your battery from overcharging and suffering damage.
- Inverter: Regulates the flow of electrical power.
5 Best Solar Battery Chargers for Your RV
Are you ready to outfit your RV and enjoy boondocking as it should be? Here are the five best solar battery chargers for your RV.
1. Renogy 100-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Kit With Charge Controller
This kit comes with everything you need in the box, including mounting brackets for those who want their panels on their rig. They also make a folding model with different specs if you prefer to prop up your gennie outside. It produces up to 500 watts a day, based on five hours of direct sunlight.
One advantage of this system is its compatibility with a wide array of sealed, gel, flooded or lithium batteries. Monocrystalline panels are smaller and lighter than poly, meaning you can use this system on other toys, like a boat.
2. TopSolar Solar Panel Kit, Battery Charger 100 Watt 12V Off-Grid System
Here’s another off-grid system that’s easy to use out of the box and suitable for RVs or boats. You can even use it for your man cave if you converted your backyard shed into one and need a bit of backup juice on game day.
The panel can mount on the ground, wood or wall. Like most kits with a charge controller, you can use this device as a trickle charger to maintain your batteries over long winter storage. The kit also comes with two 16-foot cables with MC4 terminals and two 5-foot cables with a terminal O-ring for battery charging.
3. Dokio 300W 18V Portable Solar Panel Kit Folding Solar Charger With Two USB Outputs
You’ll appreciate the extra power in this kit, packing 300W into a 1.1-inch panel with a monocrystalline design that gives you tons of oomph without much bulk — or weight. At only 17 pounds, these panels are a cinch to mount.
This solar charger is safe for all 12V batteries, with 18V surge protection against overcharging. It comes with all components in the box, including a 3-meter cable from panel to controller, allowing you to shift them for maximum sun exposure.
4. Renogy 400W Monocrystalline Solar Kit With Charge Controller
This system produces enough juice on sunny days to run everything you need, minus your air conditioner. Although it’s on the pricier side, it’s worth it for the reliable juice, especially if you occasionally work from the road and must power a computer and satellite dish. However, you can upgrade to 600W with a large fifth wheel.
The pre-plugged holes and plug-and-play cables allow for fast mounting. You get a full five years of warranty protection backed by a 24/7 support team.
5. Eco-Worthy 200W 12V Complete Solar Panel Starter Kit for RV
You can get 100W to 240W with these comparable Eco-Worthy systems, but 200W is perfect for most RVers to run what they need. The high-efficiency panels feature corrosion-resistant aluminum frames that let them last for a decade or more, even with outdoor use. Each panel offers a service life of more than ten years.
The 600W PureWave power inverter transmits current safely with the 50AH lithium battery and built-in BMS and fuse-protection system. It comes with a 1-year warranty and 24/7, 365 customer support.
The Best Solar Battery Chargers for Your RV
The worst part about traditional generators is all the noise. They’re also an environmental nightmare, and you seek to protect the wildlands where you love to play. However, how else can you power your water pump? RVers today can, fortunately, take advantage of the best solar battery chargers to enjoy the sweet sound of silence while clearing the air.
These best solar battery chargers for your RV offer enough juice to run your DC devices and keep the lights going all night. Take advantage of today’s low prices to enjoy your RV in the wild, free from fumes and generator noise.
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About the author
Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of Environment.co. A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.