Solar Powered Camper Van: The 4 Best Solar Panel Kit For You

Buying a solar panel for a camper van gives you clean and easy access to energy, whether you are making a short or long trip.

Camper vans need efficient solar panels and batteries to charge the essential devices. A high-efficient panel enables you to use all the appliances and devices even in a remote place. 

You can power a camper van with a diesel generator, but you won’t like the complex maintenance and operations. If you use solar energy, it helps you to get unlimited power that is also eco-friendly.

This article discusses the solar system for van life and reviews the best solar system for camper vans. Let’s get started. 

ThePhoenixsun Video Series x
ThePhoenixsun Video Series

Solar System For Van Life

Solar System For Van Life

Van life is a complete scenario about adventure and exploration. An independent power source will add an uninterrupted power supply and a convenient user experience.

By using this unlimited energy resource, you can explore more beyond limitations. There will be a powerful solution for charging, running, and managing your electrical device.

Before installing a solar system in your van, you need to consider several things regarding power production and storage systems. First, it ensures sufficient energy production along with the compatibility and flexibility of the solar system in your camper van.

You need solar panels, batteries, inverter, and cables to install a solar system in your van. Besides, you have to consider some critical features while selecting and purchasing these devices. Let’s explore. 

Efficiency

It is the measurement of your solar panel power production and energy consumption. Without a perfect calculation and efficient solar panel, you can not get sufficient energy for your van.

Size

You have to select a solar panel comparing the size and capability of your camper van. It is suggested to choose a small panel with more power to install it easily.

Battery Power

A solar panel can not produce energy at night. Therefore, you need a battery to store energy for nighttime consumption. A powerful battery ensures perfect charging and discharging for a long time.

Waterproof

In most cases, the camper van’s solar panels are installed on the roof of the van. So, you have to consider the waterproof and weather-resistant features of the panel.

Portability

Some van owners think that a portable solar panel is more convenient than a complete solar system. In this case, you can select a portable solar panel that comes with high efficiency, a durable design, and a long lifespan. 

Best Solar Panels For Camper Van

Best Solar Panels For Camper Van

Now, we present the four best solar panels for camper vans that have excellent power production rates and lifespans.

We select these panels after researching the market and comparing products from different manufacturers.

Similarly, we concentrate on the real user experience to understand the flexibility of these solar panels.

Our goal is to provide you with the best devices that offer the best features with the value of the money. 

NameKey Feature #1Battery IncludedKey feature #2
Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV KitBluetooth module NoMulti-layered panel sheet
PAXCESS Portable Solar PanelFoldable design NoSolar chargers compatibility 
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000Built-in MPPT charge controller Yes4 ways of recharging 
best devices that offer the best features

Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit

First, we have a complete solar panel kit from Renogy that comes with high-efficient solar cells for extended power production and a Bluetooth module to monitor the system.

It has advanced encapsulation material to ensure ideal power output. With 3 or 4 panels, you can power the entire camper van and all appliances.

Renogy 400 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit

Overview:

  • 400 watts
  • 12 volts
  • Monocrystalline
  • Aluminum frame
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • High-efficient cell
  • 88 pounds
  • Charge controller
  • Mounting Z brackets
  • Cables
  • Connectors
  • Bluetooth module
  • 42.2 x 19.6 x 1.38 inches
  • ABS plastic material
  • UV resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Multi-layered sheet

This is an excellent solar panel with great quality and performance. The panel is suitable for RV, camper van, boat, greenhouse, and other outdoor places.

It is designed for off-grid power production and instant outdoor power solution for a long time. 

With 21% efficiency and 400 watts capacity, the panel ensures ideal power output of up to 2000Wh based on the weather condition. If you need lower power, it has other options, including 100, 200, and 300 watts.

It includes an advanced Li 30A OMW charge controller with a flush-mount design. Besides, you will get a 30 feet cable with male and female connectors. 

Besides, the charge controller has a high-quality LCD to monitor power production. 

The cable entry housing ensures a safe connection through roofs. It is an easy cable installation solution for any roof.

This package includes Z brackets and a screw that fits on any surface and material. 

The panel contains multilayered sheet laminations that enhance the cell’s performance and provide longer service life.

It provides the most convenient user experience in any weather condition. In addition, the corrosion-resistant and waterproof technology make it perfect for outdoor usage.

Similarly, the panel has an aluminum frame that holds it in extreme condition. So you can install it without any problem, even for the most challenging place. 

Renogy is a renowned solar panel manufacturer, and the brand has an excellent reputation for producing quality solar panels and kits. 

Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit Pros and Cons

ProsCons
A complete solar kit
Long lifespan and durable
Low light power production
No issue found 
Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit Pros and Cons

XINPUGUANG Flexible Solar Panel

Next, we have a curved solar panel with minimum thickness and a flexible design. 

If you are searching for medium ranger power and an affordable price, you can select this solar panel for your camper van.

XINPUGUANG Flexible Solar Panel 100W 12V Monocrystalline 400W Solar Kit

Overview:

  • Flexible solar panel
  • 100 watts
  • High-efficient cells
  • 22% conversion rate
  • Stable performance
  • Monocrystalline panel
  • Charge controller
  • Extension cable
  • Lightweight material
  • Super thickness
  • Reverse protection
  • Crocodile clamps
  • Waterproof
  • Portable
  • Plug and play
  • Durable design

This is an excellent solar panel suitable for camper van, boat, RV, Cabin, tent, and car. The 30-degree curved design will fit on an irregular surface. You have an effortless installation system when adding this solar panel.

The panel is designed with monocrystalline solar cells, and it has 22% efficiency even in low light conditions. 

With a durable aluminum frame and plastic back cover, the panel is perfect for outdoor power production. 

This thin solar panel comes with lightweight material, and it reduces the extra load when installing on a camper van’s roof.

For safety and security, it has a short circuit and reverses a protection system. In addition, the panel will provide electricity securely for all the devices and appliances in the van. 

You will get a connection cable and crocodile clamps to connect the battery and charge controller. 

It has a powerful charge controller to control the electricity flow for AC and DC appliances. 

This waterproof solar panel will produce energy in any weather condition and ensure instant power access. You will enjoy the plug-and-play system and stable performance for a long time. 

XINPUGUANG Flexible Solar Panel Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Versatile usage
Flexible solar panel
Long life span 
No warranty, but it is efficient enough for long time performance. 
XINPUGUANG Flexible Solar Panel Pros and Cons

PAXCESS Portable Solar Panel

If you are looking for a low-wattage solar panel with potability, this is an ideal solar panel with a foldable design and high-efficient solar cells. 

You can install this solar panel within a minute. It will provide instant power anywhere under the sun.

PAXCESS 60W 18V Portable Solar Panel

Overview:

  • Foldable
  • Off-grid
  • Portable
  • 23% efficiency
  • Suitable for solar generators
  • 60 watts
  • 2 USBs
  • One type-c
  • 2x faster charging
  • Durable design
  • Adjustable kickstand
  • Short circuit protection
  • Overcharge protection
  • Surge protection
  • Waterproof
  • Carrying handle
  • 51.57 x 14.8 x 0.2 inches
  • 6.96 pounds

This is a great solar panel for simple camper van life. It is ideal for a campfire, tent, small RV, outdoor party, and rural enjoyment. The panel will ensure that you are never without power, no matter where the location is.

The solar panel is made with high efficient monocrystalline solar cells, and you will get 23% of efficiency. 

It has an adjustable kickstand that enables you to install the panel on any surface. The foldable design comes with a carrying bag

You can easily carry the panel and never feel uncomfortable with its lightweight design. The carrying handle of the bag gives more comfort when walking in rural or hilly areas.

Thanks to its waterproof technology that helps you to get power even on a rainy day. 

The panel has two different types of USB ports for easy and fast smartphone charging. In addition, a hidden smartphone compartment allows you to charge your devices safely. The type-c USB output makes it ideal for the latest smartphone models.

This panel contains several safety systems, including overcharge, short circuit, and surge protection. So, you will get a reliable charging system both for batteries and USB devices.

The panel is compatible with most portable solar generators, including Jackery, and PAXCESS Rockman, Jackery Explorer, Suaoki.

You will enjoy the freedom of independent power sources outdoors.

PAXCESS Portable Solar Panel Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Easy to carry and install
Beautiful carrying bag design
Instant setup with plug-and-play power production 
No issue found 
PAXCESS Portable Solar Panel Pros and Cons

Renogy Foldable Solar Suitcase

If you are searching for something alternative to the above devices, The Renogy foldable solar panel is ideal for outdoor power solutions, especially camper vans.

The portable solar panel can be carried effortlessly anywhere with the suitcase model.

Renogy 200 Watt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase

Overview:

  • Solar-powered
  • 200 watts
  • Monocrystalline cells
  • Foldable 
  • Portable
  • Aluminum stand
  • High-efficient 
  • Heavy-duty handle
  • Adjustable stand
  • Waterproof
  • Charge controller
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Charge controller display
  • Pre-drilled holes
  • Battery clamps
  • Short circuit protection
  • 35.6 x 25.9 x 3.1 inches
  • 44.4 pounds

This is a heavy-duty foldable solar panel suitable for camping, hiking, RV, and other places with a high with compact and portable design to electricity. 

The panel comes with an intelligent PWM charge controller. It ensures flat and equalization of the power flow. You can monitor input and output voltage on the LCD. 

With an adjustable kickstand, you can easily install the solar panel and focus on the sun. The panel has high-efficient solar cells and 23% efficiency.

You can run almost all the devices for a day with its excellent power production rate

The heavy-duty stand, corrosion-resistant, and pre-drilled holes make it convenient to install and use.

This panel is compatible with gel, sealed, lithium, and flooded batteries. So, you can directly charge batteries to store energy for the night. 

Besides, you will get a connection cable and battery clamps for easy connectivity.

Like other portable solar panels, it has short circuits and overcharges protection. The panel ensures the long lifespan of your DC and USB devices.

The waterproof feature allows you to use the panel on a rainy day without the risk of damage. 

Renogy provides high-quality solar products for outdoor power solutions, and you can rely on this brand.

Renogy Foldable Solar Suitcase Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Durable design
Modern carrying suitcase
Excellent performance
Only suitable for large camper van and RV
Renogy Foldable Solar Suitcase Pros and Cons

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need For A Camper Van?

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need For A Camper Van?

It depends on the number of appliances and the power consumption of your van. There is no specific measurement, and it is up to you how many appliances you will run. 

You can measure the wattage and install solar panels comparing the efficiency and power production rate. 

Power Consume / DayHow Many Solar Panels? (300W)Cost
1500W
3000W
5000W
10000W
comparing the efficiency and power production rate.

Battery For Camper Van

As we mentioned at the beginning, you can not get power at night from a solar panel without a battery. 

The reason is a solar panel can generate power only from sunlight. So, you have to install batteries along with solar panels.

Here, we present powerful batteries that help you to cover all your needs in a van.

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station RIVER

If you are looking for an advanced portable solar power station, The EF ECOFLOW is an ideal device that comes with X Boost Technology and pure sine wave.

You can run almost all devices in your camper van with this silent solar generator. 

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station RIVER

Overview:

  • Portable
  • 600 watts
  • 120 volts
  • 11 pounds
  • 288Wh
  • 3 pure sine wave
  • Fast charging
  • 3 DC ports
  • Car outlets
  • 3 AC outlets
  • 2 USB outputs
  • 1 fast-charging USB
  • 1 type-c
  • 7 hours charging
  • X Boost technology
  • Compatible with most appliances
  • Power display
  • ‎11.3 x 7.7 x 7.3 inches
  • ‎1 Lithium-ion batteryhighlyThis is the best device for getting power for your recreation, whether you are at home or outdoors. The generator comes with the fastest charging technology and versatile outputs. As a result, it will extend your electricity usage time even in a remote place.

You will get AC, DC, and USB outputs with this multi-functional power storage. It has a fast-charging USB output, one type-c USB, and two normal USBs for connecting your smartphones, cameras, smartwatches simultaneously.

Besides, 3 AC outlets allow you to run your camper van’s appliances directly. If you want to charge additional batteries, you can also power them with DC outlets. 

The power storage will get fully charged within 7 hours, but it will store 80% of the total efficiency within 1.6 hours. So, it offers the world’s fastest charging option with X Boost technology.

With compact and portable design, it will enable you to carry the device easily, and you will have instant power everywhere. 

This power storage can run lights, small fans, laptops, and small cooking appliances.

So, it is suitable for home when there is an emergency or power cut. It has an LCD to monitor power production and consumption. 

The manufacturer offers a 24-month replacement guarantee to ensure high-quality performance and after-sales service. 

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station RIVER Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Best for outdoors and camper vans
Long lifespan and durable design
Excellent outputVersatile options
2 years guarantee 
EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station RIVER Pros and Cons

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer

Next, we have the Jackery Portable Power Station with 4 ways of charging and 3 types of outputs. 

You will have maximum power with big capacity and higher wattage. 

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator

Overview:

  • Solar-powered
  • In body display
  • 500 watts
  • 518Wh
  • 3 USB outputs
  • 3 DC outlets
  • Car outlet
  • Wall outlet
  • Portable
  • Built-in MPPT controller
  • 4 ways of recharging
  • 24 months warranty
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile usage
  • Reliable backup

This is a classic level power storage with a green and clean energy supply. The explorer will perform as a solar generator that is compatible with almost all outdoor appliances. It is designed for portability that provides reliable backup power for home, office, and outdoors.

The generator contains 4 ways of charging, and you can use it with and without electricity. You can charge it with a solar panel, electricity, car outlet, and wall socket.

It is 500 watts and comes with a built-in MPPT controller and LCD. You can monitor power production and consumption easily.

It has USB, DC, and AC outputs, enabling you to charge any device and run your appliances conveniently. You can also charge additional batteries from this power storage.

Thanks to its durable body that ensures high-quality performance outdoors. 

Jackery is a famous brand for portable power stations, and the company developed high-quality materials. You will get 24 months of warranty in case of any problem. 

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Eco-friendly
Massive capacity
Durable and easy carrying handle
Not suitable for kettle, blender, and drill, and coffee maker 
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer Pros and Cons

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000

If you are not satisfied with the previous power storage and generators, the Jackery Portable Power Station comes with pro-level power outputs and capacity. 

With 1000 watts capacity, you can run 8 devices simultaneously with this device.

Overview:

  • 1000 watts
  • Portable
  • USB ports
  • DC outputs
  • AC outputs
  • 1002Wh
  • 13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 inches
  • Car outlets
  • USB type-c
  • Pure sine wave
  • Surge protection
  • MPPT charge controller
  • 3 ways of recharging
  • 8 devices at a time
  • Plug and play
  • Instant power
  • Fast charging and recharging
  • 22 pounds
  • 7 hours to recharge
  • Long warranty period

This solar generator enables you to explore more and access electricity anywhere. It provides huge outputs that need to settle in the camper van or outdoor life. 

It has 8 different outputs, and you can use 1000 watts capacity for almost every device and appliance simultaneously. 

It allows you to run a small refrigerator, blender, coffee maker, and more. 

Like other solar generators, it also has direct USB outputs for smartphones, cameras, laptops, tab, and other USB devices. 

It is designed with a plug-and-play system that offers a convenient user experience anywhere, anytime. 

You can charge this portable device in three different ways: electricity, solar, and car connectors. 

This portable generator is ideal for home emergency, office, camper van, and outdoor usage. It will be your reliable partner during camping and outdoor exploring. 

It takes only seven hours to get fully charged, and with the fast charging technology, it will always be ready to serve you.

Jackery makes it with more power capacity for a better user experience and complete camping life. 

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Versatile usage
Durable design
Excellent power output
Long life span 
No issue found
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 Pros and Cons

Wrapping Up

Finally, you got the best solar charger and portable power station for camper van and outdoor usage. 

It is up to you which device you will purchase and use. But, if you don’t have any specific choice, you can follow our suggestions. We present the best devices that come with the value of the money.

The Renogy Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit is an ideal device for camper van and outdoor power solutions. 

On the contrary, the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 is a solar power generator that enables you to run a complete camper van without electricity. In addition, this with compact and portable designIt device is compatible with Renogy solar panels.