Getting continuous electric power supply is mandatory in a van life or van trip. Nothing but solar energy can help you in this matter. If you drive continuously, it might help you get an alternator charge. But when you spend more time camping or hiking, then solar energy is the only to go.
However, to get the best result, you should choose the best Solar Products For Van. Other than that, you might not get the service you desired. In that case, you may end up wasting your money. So make sure you get the best products for your van.
But how can you get the best products when you are new in this field? Well, our article can help you find the right one.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For A Van?
Well, you know, solar panels do not run your devices. Your batteries run the devices, and solar panels recharge the battery. That means it does not matter how many solar panels you have or need for the van; what matters is what your power requirement is. Based on the power demand, you need to choose the battery, and based on the battery, you need to use solar panels to recharge it.
That means if you want to run several devices on your van, you need batteries with more power, and to recharge more power batteries, you need more solar panels with more watts. In conclusion, the solar panel number does not matter; what matters is the power output. You know only how much power you need, and based on that, you need to choose the panels.
What Are the Different Types of Solar Panels?
When it comes to categorizing solar panels, we can approach them in different ways. One is according to formation and placement, another is depending on the cell types. Both the types are broadly discussed on the scroll.
Formation and Placement
Rigid vs. Flexible
Rigid panels have a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame that makes them long-lasting and incapable of movement. Moreover, they are cheaper per watt and can withstand any weather conditions from drizzle to hailstorms.
On the other hand, flexible panels have a plastic protective layer that makes them lightweight and easier to bend to place on a curved surface of a vehicle rooftop. However, they are not as durable, weather-resistant, and easy to aim at the sun as rigid panels.
Fixed vs. Portable
Fixed solar panels can collect energy from the sun all day long, and they can produce a high amount of solar power. They also provide shade to reduce heat inside the RV and aren’t easy to steal. However, fixed panels require rigorous installation as they are harder to move towards optimum sunlight.
On the flip side, portable panels are adjustable to any direction where the sun shines brightest. Some portable panels come in the shape of a suitcase. Although, you need to set up the device before each use, and they take van space for storage.
According to Cell Type
These solar cells make the most efficient panels (approximately 20% more than other silicon cells) because they allow easy electron movement. They are expensive but can last for 20 years or more.
These cells are less efficient than single crystalline cells because of the small-sized crystals where electrons travel less efficiently. However, they deliver almost the same durability as a monocrystalline at a lower price.
These solar cells are heavy, expensive, and they comparably take more space. Despite that, they are quite durable and highly effective in capturing sunlight in shady places and cloudy weather.
How Many Batteries Do I Need For A 200W Solar Panel?
The number of batteries that you will need for a 200Watt solar panel will depend on how much backup you want. Here some calculation is needed. As, the workability of a solar panel depends on the sunlight. However, you have to count how much sunlight you are getting in a day which is on average ranges from 4-6 hours/day depending on the state. Now if you want 1200W of battery backup and you have a 200Watt solar panel then you will need two 50Ah batteries of 12V which will each give you backup with 600 watt/hours.
Like this, depending on your demand you have to decide how many batteries will you need. But for average sized vans the measurements discussed is enough.
Note: Every 10Ah in 12V equals to 120 watt/hours.
What are The Best Solar Products for Van?
- Editor’s Choice: Renogy 400 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Power System
- Best Value for Money: Renogy 400W Solar RV Kit with 30A Charger Controller
- Best Budget Panel: ECO-WORTHY 100 Watts Solar Panel
- Best for Regular Use: SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt 12V Solar Panel
- Best Overall: XINPUGUANG 200W Monocrystalline Flexible Solar System kit
- Best Flexible Panel: Renogy 160 Watt Flexible Solar Panel
- Best Powerpack: PPT Powerpack 100+Portable Solar Kit
- Best Charge Controller: Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controller
- Best Budget Controller: ALLPOWERS 20A Solar Charge Controller
Table of Content:
Don’t you have enough time to read the entire content? Well, you can read our table of content to perceive everything described below.
To make a better decision, you need to compare all the good solar products for the van at once. Here is our comparison chart to let you compare all the good solar products and make a better decision.
|Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Premium 4 Pcs 100W Panel+40A MPPT||Check Price On Amazon|
Best Value for Money
|Renogy 400 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit Off-Grid Kit||Check Price On Amazon|
Best Budget Panel
|ECO-WORTHY 100 Watts Solar Panel Off Gird RV Boat Kit||Check Price On Amazon|
Best for Regular Use
|SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel Module Kit|
Dimensions: 2 x 21.8 x 1.4 inches
|Check Price On Amazon|
|XINPUGUANG 2pcs 100w Monocrystalline Solar Panel||Check Price On Amazon|
Best Flexible Panel
|Renogy 160 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel||Check Price On Amazon|
|PPT Powerpack 100+||Check Price On Amazon|
Best Charge Controller
|Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT 100V 50 Amp 12/24-Volt||Check Price On Amazon|
Best Budget Controller
|ALLPOWERS Dual USB 20A Solar Charge Controller||Check Price On Amazon|
9 Best Solar Products For Van Reviews 2022
Due to the increasing demand for solar products, the market is now flooded with so many brands and models. Finding the best solar products for your van is not that easy, especially if you are new in the field. That is why we have come up with some good products for you so that it becomes easy to choose the right one.
1. Editor’s Choice: Renogy 400 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Power System
The Renogy Off Grid Solar Premium Kit with Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a great solar kit you can use for your van. It comes with a 100W Mono Solar Panel that can charge your 12v battery for maximum energy retaining. You will have 40A MPPT Charge Controller for maximum efficiency in charging.
With its sleek design and a durable frame, you can easily use these solar panels for van roof. For additional protection against low-pressure water jets and environmental particles, you have the IP65 rated junction box with this solar panel for van roof top. A Renogy BT APP is there to monitor and change parameters easily remotely.
For easy installation, these products come with mounting Z-Brackets and Adaptor Kit. You will also get one 8ft Tray Cable and fusing components for the battery and controller that allow you to install the solar system in your van for your next trip.
- Dimensions:2 x 19.6 x 1.38 inches
- Weight:5 lbs
- Wattage: 400W
- Material: Monocrystalline Cell (21%)
- Input Voltage: 12 V
Renogy 400 Watt Features:
- It comes with a 100W Mono Solar Panel that can charge your 12v battery for maximum energy retaining.
- You will have 40A MPPT Charge Controller for maximum efficiency in charging while a Renogy BT APP is there to monitor and change parameters remotely.
- With its sleek design and a durable frame, you can easily use these solar panels on the roof of your vans.
- For additional protection against low-pressure water jets and environmental particles, you have the IP65 rated junction box.
- You can easily install it with all the installation kits that come with these solar products.
2. Best Value for Money: Renogy 400W Solar RV Kit with 30A Charger Controller
The Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit is another good solar panels for a campervan, boat, RV, and greenhouse. It comes with solar panels of 100 watts that can charge your 12v battery to run all your electric devices. You will have high-quality encapsulation material along with a multilayered sheet to increase the cell performance and ensure durability.
Besides, you will have an aluminum frame, which is corrosion resistant for more outdoor use and long-lasting service to be the best solar panels for van life. These panels can withstand up to 2400PA high winds and 5400PA snow loads. To provide better low light performance, a bypass diode is there to reduce the drop of power for shade.
The 30A PWM charge controller is designed so that you can mount on walls of the RV easily and aesthetically and for maximum efficiency. You have three branch connectors, a 10AWG adapter kit, a tray cable, and Z brackets for easier mounting. With all these features, this one should be considered as the best solar products for van.
- Dimensions: 2 x 19.6 x 1.38 inches
- Weight: 88 lbs
- Wattage: 400W
- Material: Monocrystalline Cell (21%)
- Input Voltage: 12 V
Renogy 400W Features:
- It comes with 100 watts solar panels that can recharge your 12v battery to run all your electric devices.
- You will have high-quality encapsulation material along with a multilayered sheet to increase the cell performance and ensure durability.
- These panels have a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame withstand up to 2400PA high winds and 5400PA snow loads.
- To provide better low light performance, a bypass diode is there to minimize power drop caused by shade.
- The 30A PWM charge controller is there with connectors, adapter kit, tray cable so that you can mount on walls of the RV easily and aesthetically.
3. Best Budget Panel: ECO-WORTHY 100 Watts Solar Panel
If you are looking for extreme off-grid solar panel kits, you should consider the ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel. Its 100w solar panels can easily recharge your 12v. Also, the panels are made of high-quality materials to provide you good service even in the harsh weather.
The 20A LCD Charge Controller increases the charging efficiency and lets you see everything on the LCD screen. This solar panel system for van comes with pre-drilled holes on the back so that you can easily install it on the van. It also has the 1 pair 30FT extension cable and Z brackets to make your installation easier.
You will get build-in protection against short-circuit, open-circuit, reverse, and over-load so it can be the best solar panels for van conversion. Its size is compact to ensure that you can easily mount it on your van to enjoy your upcoming trip.
- Dimensions:8 x 20.1 x 1.4 inches
- Weight:96 lbs
- Wattage: 100W
- Material: Monocrystalline Cell
- Input Voltage: 12 V
- Its 100w solar panels can easily recharge your 12v and provide you good service even in the harsh weather.
- The 20A LCD Charge Controller increases the charging efficiency and lets you see everything on the LCD screen.
- It comes with pre-drilled holes on the back along with 1 pair of 30FT extension cable and Z brackets so that you can easily install it on the van.
- You will get build-in protection against short-circuit, open-circuit, reverse, and over-load.
- Its size is compact to ensure that you can easily mount it on your van to enjoy your upcoming trip.
4. Best for Regular Use: SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Watt 12V Solar Panel
The SUNGOLDPOWER Monocrystalline Solar Panel Module Kit comes with 2pcs efficient 100W Solar Panels that can recharge your 12v battery fast for your van. With its 20A PWM Solar Charge Controller, it can ensure maximum efficiency in charging. You can control the output easily with its 20A output controller with 2 USB ports.
With its Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, it can withstand the outdoor tough and rough weather so that it can be considered as the best solar system for camper van. An auto-sensing is there connected with an LCD to check the voltage of the battery and charging current for the best protection of the kit.
These panels feature Pre-drilled holes on the back so that you can easily install it on the van. To make the installation even easier, the kit comes with a pair of Connector cable, a pair of branch Connector, and two sets of Z Brackets. You can get all these features within a very short budget to be the best affordable solar panels.
- Dimensions:2 x 21.8 x 1.4 inches
- Weight: 16 lbs
- Wattage: 100W
- Material: Monocrystalline Cell (18.4%)
- Input Voltage: 12 V
SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Features:
- It comes with 2pcs efficient 100W Solar Panels that can recharge your 12v battery fast for your van.
- With its 20A PWM Solar Charge Controller, it can ensure maximum efficiency in charging where its 20A output controller ensures output control.
- With its Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, it can withstand the outdoor tough and rough weather.
- An auto-sensing is there connected with an LCD to check the voltage of the battery and charging current for the best protection of the kit.
- These panels feature Pre-drilled holes on the back, Connector cable, Connector, and Z Brackets for easy installation.
5. Best Overall: XINPUGUANG 200W Monocrystalline Flexible Solar System kit
Up next is the XINPUGUANG Monocrystalline Solar System kit that is designed to serve on any surfaces. It comes with 2 solar panels that can recharge a 12v battery to provide electricity for your van devices. With its 20A charger controller, you can have maximum efficiency in charging. Even you can get high performance in low light with its monocrystalline silicon solar cells.
Its modules offer protection against snow loads, high wind-pressure, and extreme temperatures. Its high-quality encapsulation material, along with multi-layered sheet laminations, provides a long service life. This flexible solar panel is designed to be installed on curved surfaces of the boat, RV, truck, or any other irregular surface.
To allow you easy installation, this one features an extension cable with a PV connector, cable with an alligator clip, and a Parallel connector. Installation was never easier than now. It is offering all these benefits within a limited budget so it can be the best budget solar panels.
- Dimensions: 25 x 21.25 x 0 .11 inches
- Weight:4 lbs each
- Wattage: 200W
- Material: Monocrystalline Cell (19.8%)
- Input Voltage: 12 V
XINPUGUANG 2pcs 100w Features:
- It comes with 2 solar panels that can recharge a 12v battery while with its 20A charger controller, you can have maximum efficiency in charging.
- You can get high performance even in low light with its monocrystalline silicon solar cells.
- Its modules offer protection against snow loads, high wind-pressure, and extreme temperatures.
- With its encapsulation material along with a multi-layered sheet, you can have a long service life.
- To allow you easy installation, this one features an extension cable with a PV connector, cable with an alligator clip, and a Parallel connector.
6. Best Flexible Panel: Renogy 160 Watt Flexible Solar Panel
The Renogy flexible solar panel is the best solar panel for van for its coherent integration into your RV’s roof that rigid panels cannot offer. Its monocrystalline photovoltaic solar cells ensure higher efficiency in terms of solar power generation. Although flexible panels are less effective in low sunlight, the Renogy Mono Flexible Panel has transparent dots on the surface that can utilize sunlight from different angles.
This solar panel is only 0.08 inches thick, 95% thinner than its rigid counterpart (approx.). Likewise, it is the most lightweight solar panel on this list. In fact, this 160W panel can withstand any weather conditions from 2400Pa of extreme wind to 5400Pa of snow loads. However, unlike other solar panels in this list, this is not a bundle pack, so you have to purchase a controller, cabling, and battery separately.
The ultra-lightweight design can have a 248-degree arc of flexibility to be mounted on any curved surface. You can also use this solar panel as a portable panel with six metal reinforced holes on both sides. Although, flexible panels are relatively short-lived and prone to cracks and scratches. However, this Renogy Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel offers elegant design, ease of installation, and reliable efficiency at a very reasonable price.
- Dimensions:2 x 26.5 x 0.08 In
- Weight:2 lbs
- Wattage: 160W
- Material: Monocrystalline Cell (18.4%)
- Input Voltage: 12 V
- Included Components: Solar Panel x1
Renogy 160W Features:
- This solar panel weighs 70% less than other conventional panels.
- With 248-degree arc flexibility, it is very flexible and easy to install.
- It is capable of withstanding a fair amount of natural damages.
- The transparent dots on the surface help utilize sunlight effectively.
- Its power output is suitable for leisure appliances like TV, fridge, etc.
7. Best Powerpack: PPT Powerpack 100+Portable Solar Kit
This powerpack made this list because you can use solar panels to charge it and use it afterward. It has a lithium-polymer battery that provides 150 watts per hour. You can use it to charge your laptop, iPhone, iPad, camera, and other electronic devices while on a trip. However, this is not an ideal powerhouse to replace your existing RV batteries.
PPT powerpack 100+ is a tiny and lightweight power pack device. You can even carry it inside your backpack while you take a hike. It is versatile in solar power output with one 100W AC output, triple 12 V (120W) DC, and dual USB power output. This device is solar charging compatible with up to 30 watts of 12-volt solar panels. Charging time takes 6 to 8 hours to recharge fully.
The UPS function in this one allows charging only while using the AC loads. This powerpack comes with a bright LED panel with adjustable lighting output at 63 and 210 lumens that can provide a fair amount of light for up to 72 hours. Although this is not a must-have device, it is a portable and budget option for all types of outdoor activities in a van.
- Dimensions:5 x 3.15 x 6.89 inches
- Weight:3 lbs
- Wattage: 150W
- Material: Lithium-polymer battery
- Input Voltage: 12 V
- Recharge Time: 6-8 hours
PPT Powerpack Features:
- This powerpack can deliver enough power for gadgets and accessories.
- You can keep it in your backpack as it is small and lightweight.
- It is energy efficient as you can recharge it with solar panels.
- This device is rechargeable while using with the help of UPS function.
- It doesn’t take up much space and doesn’t require any installation.
8. Best Charge Controller: Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controller
Victron SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controller does an excellent job as a regulator, and it is the best solar kit for van. Charge controllers protect the battery from overcharging by regulating the voltage and current coming from the solar panel. This Victron controller makes sure to harvest every amp of energy from the panel very efficiently.
Smart Solars are better than blue solar controllers as they offer Bluetooth compatibility. You can monitor and regulate the functionalities through a smartphone app. Even though it is very lightweight, the build quality makes it durable and gives a premium look. You can monitor the battery temperature with an additional purchase of a Smart Battery Sensor.
Unlike most charge controllers, this Victron product can handle a maximum of 50 amps current. You can essentially charge your battery with any solar panel ranging from 12 volts to 24 volts. However, strictly follow the user’s guide as incorrect installation may lead to severe accidents. Although this controller is a bit pricier, it compensates with tons of features you will need for an off-grid solar power supply.
- Dimensions:12 x 7.48 x 2.76 inches
- Weight:23 lbs
- Type: MPPT Charge Controller
- Current Rating: 50 amp.
- Input Voltage: 100 V (max)
- Battery voltage: 12-48V
Victron Energy Features:
- It is very lightweight and durable and doesn’t take much space.
- This controller offers a high rate of the maximum current rating.
- Its voltage and current rating are compatible with most solar panels.
- Regulation is much easier now with its built-in Bluetooth connectivity.
- You can monitor the solar power level using a free app on your mobile.
9. Best Budget Controller: ALLPOWERS 20A Solar Charge Controller
Allpowers is famous for offering many features at a low price, and this 20A Charge Controller is no different. You can monitors the voltage output, solar charging voltage, battery level, and discharge lampsThesein the LCD screen. Furthermore, you can charge your mobile devices using dual USB ports (5V output). Although the body is a plastic build, it has matte steel back cover.
It has a temperature sensor and auto-shut-off feature, so the charge controller will shut down if it overheats. The maximum solar power input for this controller is 50V of 18A current. The maximum power should be within 200W. However, once you set up your solar panel, this 20A charge controller makes it easy to connect the wire and operate.
This charge controller has quite a few protective measures. If the voltage of the battery drop below 8 volts, the solar system will automatically turn off. It also features overloading and short-circuits protection along with open and over-circuit protection. This a perfect choice for any RV owners if you are looking for the best solar setup for van at a reasonable price.
- Dimensions:5 x 3.2 x 1.6 inches
- Weight:2 lbs
- Type: PWN Charge Controller
- Current Rating: 20 amp.
- Input Voltage: 50 V (max)
- Battery voltage: 12-24V
Allpowers 20A Features:
- It automatically manages the voltage and current flow of a solar system.
- This charge controller takes a lot of measures to prevent any accident.
- You can easily install the wiring as this controller has a simple panel.
- The build quality is sturdy, and you can move it quickly due to its lightweight.
- It has an auto-shut-off feature that will shut down the system if it overheats.
What To Consider Before Buying A Solar Products For Van?
Not everyone has proper knowledge of solar products. That is why it is tough to find the best Solar Products for Van even if you have the list of some top-class solar products for the van. That is why we have some tips that you should consider while purchasing solar products for your van.
Power of solar panels:
The power of solar panels is the main thing you should consider while purchasing solar products. Without proper power, you cannot charge the battery, and without the charged battery, you cannot run any devices or machines in the van. So make sure you have powerful panels to recharge the battery.
Along with the power, construction is important. Since you will install it in the van and take the van in rough weather, the construction has to be tough enough to withstand such weather. So make sure the construction is sturdy that ensures durability and offers protection against snow and wind.
Installation is a pain for sure. But if you know how to install it and have all the installation kit, you can easily install it. That is why you have to look for the installation kit so that you do not need to buy anything extra to install the panels. In that case, you should look for different types of connectors, cable, and clip.
Efficiency is also important for solar panel products. Without good efficiency, you cannot get the fun of using solar products. In that case, you should look for a charge controller and a power controller. When you have that, you can have efficiency in charging and powering.
You need to look for the performance as well. How well it performs in outdoor or rough condition? Or how well it can perform in extreme weather or low light? Try to get the answer to these questions so that you can enjoy the outdoor trip in your van. You know you do not have the same good weather every time you travel outside.
Here, we have discussed everything in short. If you want to know details, you can visit our guide on how to choose a solar panel. There you will find a complete discussion and guide to buy a solar panel.
Why Should You Buy a Solar Products For Van?
There are a lot of reasons why you should buy solar products for the van. Here are the main reasons for you to buy solar products.
- With the help of good solar products, you can stay off-grid for a long time that ensures the freedom of travel.
- Since you are not using traditional energy, you do not need to pay any electric bill that means you can save a lot of money.
- It is environment-friendly, meaning that you can save your environment and energy at the same time.
- The solar instrument will provide energy non-stop so that you can enjoy your outdoor travel.
- It needs less maintenance, all you need to do is set up all the solar products at once, and you are done.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any questions to ask? If yes, you can look at our frequently asked question.
Can you put solar panels on a van?
Do solar panels ruin your roof?
How many batteries does a campervan need?
Can you put solar panels on a rubber roof?
How long do portable solar panels last?
Finding the best Solar Products For Van is really important because it will give you the power to charge your battery fast, durable construction to win the fight against the weather, and easy installation. Without good solar products, you cannot get all the utilities from it. That is why we have reviewed some of the top class solar products for a van with their features and benefits so that you can choose the right one.
All of them are good; however, if you ask me to pick the best one, I will go for the Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit. It offers 100 watts solar panels that can recharge 12v battery, high-quality encapsulation material along with a multilayered sheet to ensure durability, corrosion-resistant aluminum frame to withstand high winds and snow loads, bypass diode to provide better low light performance, and many types of equipment for easy installation. You rarely find any better solar products than this one for your van. So do not hesitate to choose this one for your upcoming outdoor trip with your van.