Last Updated on April 17, 2022
Driving off into the sunset for a caravan trip is exciting! But not if you land in areas with no electrical hookups. A great way to continue cooking and watching a movie in the wilderness is to add solar panels to your caravan. Let’s look at the best caravan solar panels that will make your trip go smoother.
Our Top 3 Caravan Solar Panel Picks
1. The Best Caravan Solar Panel Kit By Eco-Worthy
2. The Best Portable Solar Panel For Caravans By Photonic Universe
3. The Best Freestanding Solar Panels For Caravans By Brillihood
Product Testing & Comparison
Our reviewer used a strict set of guidelines to determine the best of the best for our list:
- Amount of power provided
- Consistency of power provided
- Ease of installation and use
The biggest determining factor for what went where here is the amount of power provided. Higher yield provided a higher place on the list. The next (very close to tied) guide is how consistently it provided the power it boasted. Several panels fell off our list because they couldn’t consistently provide what was promised.
Finally, ease of installation and use (including weight and flexibility) were quite important. We didn’t touch price, as solar panels can range quite heavily in quality and cost based on what they’re made from. If the assembly was required, it generally costs the panel a bit on our list (looking at you, #10).
Compare our top 3 picks below, or scroll past to see the detailed analysis of all 10 products.
Scroll left to view more products:
The 100W Solar Panel Kit By Eco-Worthy
The Monocrystalline Solar Panel By Photonic Universe
The 100W Flexible Solar Panel By Brillihood
|PRICE||£135.99 on Amazon|
|£159.99 on Amazon|
|Price not available on Amazon|
|PROS||Simple to install.||The panel can produce up to 13V (even on a dull day). Your batteries will stay topped up.||Slim, light and portable.|
|CONS||No documentation is included in this package.||Some reviews indicate that the battery charges at a slow pace. The maximum pace, even in full sun, may only be 8.5A.||The position of the junction box on the underside makes it harder to mount.|
|BOTTOM LINE||These panels are simple, effective, and durable – the best of the best.||A high capacity and fantastic efficiency earned this a top spot on our list.||This panel’s lightweight and efficient design earned it top marks.|
|RATING CATEGORIES||The 100W Solar Panel Kit By Eco-Worthy||The Monocrystalline Solar Panel By Photonic Universe||The 100W Flexible Solar Panel By Brillihood|
|AMOUNT OF POWER (30%)|
|CONSISTENCY OF POWER (30%)|
|EASE OF USE & INSTALLATION (40%)|
|PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS||The 100W Solar Panel Kit By Eco-Worthy||The Monocrystalline Solar Panel By Photonic Universe||The 100W Flexible Solar Panel By Brillihood|
|DIMENSIONS||106 x 56 x 6 cm||155 x 75 x 7.4 cm||103 x 71 x 6 cm|
|WEIGHT||9.87 kg||14.42 kg||3.12 kg|
|WATTAGE/VOLTAGE||100W, 12 Volt||160 W, 13 Volt||100 W, 12 Volt|
|VIEW PRODUCTS||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
These Are The Best Caravan Solar Panels Of 2022
Best Caravan Solar Panels
- Dimensions: 106 x 56 x 6 cm
- Weight: 9.87 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 100W, 12 Volt
These panels are simple, effective, and durable – the best of the best.
We chose this sleek guy as the best kit for several reasons. One of the main perks you can look forward to is a high-quality design – which makes the Eco-Worthy solar panel reliable in the worst weather conditions. If you love road-tripping at random times of the year, this toughie is a good choice – come wind or sunshine!
Besides being highly efficient, the 100 W model is perfect for leisure battery charging and supplying power to other solar-using systems for both stationary and mobile use. The charge controller is fitted with user-friendly accessories including the LCD interface with a fully automated operation.
The installation is easy and everything is covered by Eco-Worthy. You will get a 5-year guarantee on the materials and workmanship and 25-year transferable power output insurance.
Our reviewer loved this product. It was extremely easy to install, lightweight, and efficient. Add in that it’s extremely durable and weather-proof, and things are looking pretty dang good now. The multiple warranties (5-year minimum) are just icing on the cake. The only downside to these is that they include no documentation whatsoever in the package.
- Simple to install.
- Strong build.
- Several warranties.
- No documentation is included in this package.
Best Monocrystalline Caravan Solar Panels
- Dimensions: 155 x 75 x 7.4 cm
- Weight: 14.42 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 160 W, 13 Volt
A high capacity and fantastic efficiency earned this a top spot on our list.
This 160W single crystalline solar panel is on par with the highest quality and performance standards. This panel is one of the best portable options for motorhomes as you will get a 5m cable (the ideal length for solar cables) that delivers sterling work despite high roof temperatures.
This panel’s endurance makes it ideal if you are looking for a long-lasting panel for any off-grid situation. You can install it on anything that moves including boats, caravans and stuff that don’t move (yep, power that tent!). The wattage can charge a 12V battery to power multiple devices and appliances. It comes with a tough sealed metal build that makes it waterproof and weatherproof.
The panel is suitable for permanent outdoor use and several of these panels can be connected to create extra power. Each panel also has a unique serial number for quality control and better warranty protection.
Our reviewer loved this product. It’s simple to use, produces a massive amount of power, and can be paired with other panels for even better output. Its battery lasts a long time with a minimal charge and is great for a number of applications. Its major downside, however, is that its battery charges a bit slower than we’d ideally like.
- The panel can produce up to 13V (even on a dull day). Your batteries will stay topped up.
- It can be paired with one or more equal or lower capacity panels for increased output.
- Great battery powering.
- Some reviews indicate that the battery charges at a slow pace. The maximum pace, even in full sun, may only be 8.5A.
Best Flexible Caravan Solar Panel
Price not available
- Dimensions: 103 x 71 x 6 cm
- Weight:3.12 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 100 W, 12 Volt
This panel’s lightweight and efficient design earned it top marks.
Why did we crown this bendy noodle as one of the best? As your eyes probably told you, the shape makes this solar panel very versatile and easy to handle or carry. Brillihood’s flexible panel does not have the rigidity that makes traditional solar panels impossible to fit on curved surfaces (like a caravan’s roof).
This model can be connected in tandem to a battery and charge controller (or regulator) for a wide range of power applications. The maximum power (Pmax) is in the range of 100 Watts, voltage at Pmax of 18V, and current at Pmax of 5.55A. With a power tolerance of +/- 3% and a built-in microcontroller, you can look forward to a steady supply of power.
You can monitor the activities of the panel thanks to an LCD display that sports an adjustable parameter. There is also protective features against electrical naties like short circuits, open circuits, reverse or overloaded currents. You are sure to love its full 3-stage PWM charge management and there are two USB ports to charge phones and laptops.
Our reviewer loved this set for its slim, easily moved frame. It’s incredibly lightweight in comparison to some other devices on this list (cough, cough #2), and functions great on curved surfaces due to its flexible design. It’s also incredibly durable – it really only has one downside. The position of the junction box makes it a bit of a pain to mount, but that’s easy to get over for how great this thing is.
- Slim, light and portable.
- Flexible and mountable on curved surfaces.
- Suitable for all atmospheric conditions.
- The position of the junction box on the underside makes it harder to mount.
Best Solar Kit With A 5A Controller
- Dimensions: 49.6 x 39.6 x 5.2 cm
- Weight: 2 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 20W, 12 Volt
Powerful, affordable, and easy to install, you’re sure to love these panels.
Are you thinking about giving up your permanent residence and living in your caravan or motor-home? This solar kit could be a good choice. It was designed for permanent outdoor use.
This panel can provide you with direct electric power or the opportunity to charge a 12 V battery. The direct power option is suitable for things like fans and lights whereas the battery can power long list of appliances.
During charging, the 12 V battery module is protected by a 5A charge controller. The controller has an array of safety functions to prevent overcharging, discharge, reverse current and many others. Indeed, thanks to Pulse Width Modulation technology, the controller has a high capacity to accept and store charge.
But is this creature any good outdoors? Yep, its polycrystalline cells are durable and the panel is designed with sealed aluminium. This ensures that your panel will stay safe and sturdy enough to provide years of free power. The whole unit is also waterproof to withstand getting slapped in the face by rain and storms.
This model also has a 5V 1.2A USB port to charge all USB-enabled devices. You can stay connected with loved ones even when you’re road tripping in your caravan. Another good feature is a pair of load terminals to use for direct 12 V battery power.
Our reviewer loved this for one reason – it’s affordable. Add in that it’s easy to use, effective, and weatherproof, and it’s looking pretty dang good. For a panel that only ran £59.99 at the time of publication, this is a steal, even if it’s a bit hard to install due to its inflexibility.
- Simple setup.
- Effective performance.
- This panel is not flexible.
Best Monocrystalline Solar Panel for Off Grid
- Dimensions: 110.8 x 53.8 x 6.8 cm
- Weight: 7.46 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 100 W, 12 Volt
Snow-proof and durable, these solar panels will serve you well anywhere you may go.
This compact powerhouse offers a range of perks. Besides being a handsome devil, the kit is very versatile. It does not matter if you go camping, riding or swank it with your yacht, this solar panel can be easily fitted to boats, vehicles, and tents.
Besides being installation-ready, it can withstand strong winds and heavy snow loads. The multi-layered sheet lamination also ensures that the panel provides exceptional service for a long time. But let’s also look at how you are protected against any equipment failure.
When you pick this panel, the manufacturer offers a 5-year guarantee against workmanship flaws or materials failure. You also get a 25-year transferable power output warranty.
Our reviewer loved this for its reliability and durability. It’s relatively easy to install (though you need to contact the manufacturer for a manual, which is a pain), but most importantly, it’s weatherproof. That includes being snowproof, which is a bit of a rarity in solar panels at the moment. Considering it only costs £84.99 at the time of publication, this is another steal.
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- Easy to install.
- Reliable and durable.
- You have to contact the manufacturer to get the panel’s electronic manual.
Best Foldable Solar Panel
- Dimensions: 31.4 x 25.3 x 5.7 cm
- Weight:1.1 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 30W, 5 Volt
Versatile and highly effective, these are fantastic solar panels.
Cute, right? But this foldable solar panel is more than just an unusual design. You can expect great performance, durability, and safety features.
Let’s dive into those performance specifications! This panel is quite efficient with a 22 per cent energy conversion rate. This means that it changes sunlight into power way better than most other panels.
Besides being foldable and portable, you can also handle this panel safely. It is safety certified and also comes with surge and short circuit protection. The solar panel is also weatherproof so take it along on that caravan trip even if the weather looks a little grumpy.
The USB ports are universal. Any 5 V USB device is supported including tablets, smartphones, speakers and headphones.
Our reviewer loved this device for its incredible versatility and mobility. It’s not going to power an RV or boat, but it’ll do wonders for phones, tablets, and the like. She loved how easy it is to move and set up (especially considering it’s only 1 kg), and the USB port is a very big bonus. Its big downside is that the junction box is not waterproof, making it hard to use in rainier environments (or during the autumn/winter).
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- Outstanding performance.
- The USB port is very versatile.
- Easy to carry and set up.
- Safety tested and certified (RoHS, CE).
- The junction box is not waterproof and must be kept dry.
Best Versatile Solar Panel
Price not available
- Dimensions: 37.8 x 28.4 x 3.2 cm
- Weight:1.2 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 10 Watt, 240 Volt
Lightweight and warrantied, these will last you for years to come.
This slight square is perfect for anyone who wishes to use their solar panel for different jobs. Sure, it is great for your caravan but whilst you are not on the road, what else can you use this for? Quite a surprising number of things!
The panel can be used to power stables and sheds, boats, driveways, electric fences, electric signs, yurts, and campsites. When you use several of these panels, you can power mobile food stands, small buildings and even remote telecommunications.
The 10 Watt panel comes with crocodile clips, 4 m cable, and a 10-year guarantee.
This is an awesome product. It’s extremely easy to move as it’s only 1 kg, and it’s quite versatile in its use range. The 10-year warranty is also a bonus, though it does have two big downsides – it doesn’t come with batteries, which are rather important for a solar panel. The other issue is that it tends to discharge overnight, which is a bit of a pain when you’re counting on power in the morning.
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- Exceptionally versatile.
- Aluminium alloy frame and toughened glass.
- 10-year warranty
- Batteries not included.
- Night time power discharge requires workarounds to avoid.
Best Portable Folding Solar Panel
- Dimensions: 54 x 50 x 2.4 cm
- Weight:2.1 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 80 W, 12 Volt
While it requires batteries, this folding set is a fantastic little portable panel.
Look stylish this year with a power-generating carry case. You read that right. This stylish case is ultra-thin for easy transportation and storage while setting it up is as easy as flipping open the case.
This 80 Watt pair of panels are suitable for caravans and other types of vehicles, boats, and even picnics. The panels are smaller than most but their energy conversion is powerful enough to feed your electric needs. You even get cables and clips to charge your car’s battery should it give you trouble in the middle of the wilderness!
The carry case is thick enough to protect the panels and the handles make them easy to carry. You can simply fold and slide the panels into a thin area once you are done with them.
Our reviewer found this to be quite serviceable. It’s easy to carry, move, and open/close/store. It’s quite versatile, small, and lightweight – all big bonuses for solar panels. Its big downsides are that a) it doesn’t have a stable current without batteries, and b) it’s a bit spendier than comparable devices that are higher on this list, sitting at £104.14 at the time of publication.
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- Ultra easy to carry, open, close and store.
- Versatile enough to use anywhere.
- Small but powerful.
- Without batteries, the current is not stable.
Best Easy-Carry Solar Charger & Panel
- Dimensions: 30.7 x 18.7 x 8.7 cm
- Weight: 1.78 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 63 W, 19 Volt
Painless to set up and get going, this panel is truly fantastic.
If you love the idea of panels in a suitcase, then here’s another one! The snazzy black and blue case is of good quality and protects the panels during storage while the handle makes it easy to carry to the car, caravan or RV. Indeed, while you can use it elsewhere, this solar panel is perfect for recreational vehicles with lots of laptops, phones, and more.
The kit is packed with goodies. You will enjoy several cables that connect to laptops and power outlets. There are clamps for the battery, a hassle-free warranty, and a good manual that explains everything about how to set up and use this panel.
Okay, but what about the power and sunlight stuff? You’ll be glad to hear that its sunlight conversion rate is very efficient, ranging between 21.5 per cent and 23.5 per cent. The 63 Watt 19 V panel is also designed to be safe – your devices will never suffer damage while charging.
Do you want some more tech treats? There are several USB ports that allow you to charge more than one device at the same time and the ports actually SmartIC technology to recognize each device and to provide the best charging speed. A special clamp can also rescue you when your car battery fails and need a power boost.
Our reviewer found this to be quite serviceable, with one exception. The outport port can flicker and fail during inconsistent sunlight. If you live in a commonly overcast area, this can be a big problem. Otherwise, it’s quite simple to use and store, can service multiple devices, and has a high energy conversion rate. Its overcharging/overheating/short circuit protection is also quite nice, adding peace of mind. Its cost is also a bit high for what it is, sitting at £169.99 at the time of publication.
- Hassle-free setup.
- Easy storage.
- Overcharging, overheating and short circuit protection.
- Can service multiple devices at the same time.
- High energy conversion rate.
- When the sunlight is not enough, the output port may flick between ON/OFF.
- Not water/weatherproof
Best Solar Panel With ETFE Layer
- Dimensions: 67.31 x 50.8 x 0.41 cm
- Weight: 1.3 kg
- Wattage/Voltage: 50 W, 12 Volt
These featherweight panels are perfect for a fully-loaded caravan.
To be fair, most solar panels for caravans are not heavy. But sometimes, we need something that is ultra-light to protect the caravan, ourselves, and to make handling the panel a breeze. This ultra-thin solar panel weighs a mere 1.3 kilograms which makes it easy to carry, install and to store.
Power-wise, the 50 Watt 12 V panel can provide electricity to boats, caravans, RVs, and camping sites. This item is particularly inviting if you hate the look of a solar panel on your roof. Being 2 mm thin, you will barely notice this guy clinging to the top of your caravan!
But how durable is this solar panel? You might feel that super thin and light objects are not very weather-resistant but here is the good news. Thanks to its design and materials, this panel is not only discreet but it can handle extreme winds and snow loads.
Our reviewer found this to be a bit of an oddball. On one hand, it’s affordable, sitting at only £69.99 at the time of publication. It’s also quite thin and incredibly lightweight, as well as surprisingly flexible. Additionally, it offers short circuit protection, and therefore peace of mind. On the other hand, our model had sealant leaked and spread poorly, and other reviews mention poor alignment, though our reviewer didn’t notice this. The additional assembly is also not ideal.
- Exceptionally thin and lightweight.
- Can barely be seen after installation.
- Superbly flexible.
- Short circuit protection.
- Assembly is required.
- Some reviews mention poor sealant quality
- Some reviews mention poor alignment quality (our reviewer didn’t experience this)
Your Guide To Caravan Solar Panels
Our homes are filled with appliances that need electricity. When the power is gone, we miss the sound of the kettle, lament the loss of the indoor TV ariel and there might even be a bad word or two when the outage happens while you are using the pressure washer. A caravan solar panel can spare your nerves and keep power more constant.
New to caravan solar panels? Mop that sweat off your brow and dive into our guide below.
The Crux of Solar Panels
Energy is an amazing thing – it can shift between forms and things. This trait makes solar panels possible because they take the Sun’s energy and store it as electrical power. You can tap into it directly or choose to store the power in a battery.
Most solar panels trap sunlight and convert it to direct current (DC), which is subsequently changed into alternating current (AC) for the electrical circuits in a building and/or vehicle. Excess energy may then be fed back into a battery storage system or into the electricity grid for which you could be paid an initially agreed feed-in tariff.
What Kinds of Solar Panels Are There?
There are two main types of solar panels.
Crystalline Solar Panels
There are two types of crystalline solar panels – monocrystalline panels and polycrystalline (multi-crystalline) panels. Monocrystalline panels have a reputation for higher efficiency but this does not mean polycrystalline panels are worthless. Similar to most other high-tech products, the performance of solar panels depends on the manufacturer’s design.
Thin Film Panels
Thin-film panels provide a cheaper alternative to crystalline panels. They are made by spraying a thin layer of photovoltaic material onto a base surface of glass or metal. Solar panels for caravans also come in free-standing and roof-mounted types and both come in a variety of designs.
Free-standing panels can be adjusted to catch sunlight and moved around on the ground and between vehicles. Rooftop panels are permanently fixed to the top of the caravan. The latter panel is less versatile while free-standing panels come with the schlep of having to be carried around, stored, and they also have a higher risk of being damaged from accidents or improper handling.
A Quick Word Of Advice
Before you buy a solar panel for your caravan, be clear about why you need it for. A panel that only powers lights has different specifications from those that power multiple devices. Finally, always buy a product that protects you as a customer – there has to be a guarantee of some kind!