Home » Solar Panels » 5 Best Small Solar Panel Kits for RVs, Boats, Campers, Tiny Houses & More in 2018!

Portable generators can be noisy and unpleasant, but luckily there is an alternative. Using a solar panel kit for your RV, camper, or boat is a great way to get the clean power you need without all the hassle. Solar energy even works great in tiny houses! If you’ve thought about making the transition to solar power now is the time. What are the biggest benefits of going solar?

  • You get to work with a renewable energy source that is cleaner than other options
  • It allows you to detach from the grid and be energy independent—no more reliance on your local energy company, which as everyone knows isn’t always the most reliable
  • Solar power gives you freedom to roam without having to worry about hookups and “purchasing” energy from other sources—a great option for RV and camper owners
  • It’s a generator alternative that is safer and doesn’t make as much noise
  • It provides power in those instances where you lose your primary energy source
  • It’s considered an environmentally-friendly option for many people

Many people find that solar energy helps them feel healthier. It reduces air pollution by eliminating the use of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and other emissions that are linked to heart and lung health issues.

Solar Panel Kits: How Do They Work?

Solar panels work by converting energy from the sun into energy that can be used as direct current electricity. The sun’s energy travels as a current to a deep cycle battery via a wire and is stored, which joins with the voltage from the battery to create power you can use. Solar power kits keep your battery charged and your appliances running, even if you don’t have an alternate power source. In most cases, any solar power kit you purchase will be equipped to do all you need it to, but sometimes you need to purchase a separate battery. You’ll also need to determine if a monocrystalline or polycrystalline panel is the best option for you. Monocrystalline panels aren’t as big and tend to offer more efficiency while polycrystalline panels are larger. They also use more resources. The benefit of a polycrystalline panel is that it costs less and it’s a good option if you’re don’t want to invest in the more expensive panels.

Where to Begin…

Buying a small solar panel kit can seem like an overwhelming experience if you’re just getting started. We’ve included some information below about our favorite small panel kits to help you narrow down your choices.

Renogy Starter Kit

The Renogy 100W Solar Starter Kit is a great place to begin if you are new to solar power. It can be effective if you’re hoping to go off grid and is appropriate for use in mobile homes, boats, and small spaces. It’s a monocrystalline panel and the kit comes with everything you need to get started. We love its competitive price tag and the fact that it comes with a 5-year panel warranty and 25-year power output warranty.

Komaes Solar Starter Kit

The Komaes starter kit is another good option for those who are just getting started with solar panel usage. It’s available for a great price and comes with two solar panels made from high-efficiency solar cells. They are 100w. It featurespre-drilled holes, cables, and wiring for easy installation. We love this kit because it’s such excellent value. It offers great performance and a 25-year service life warranty.

HQST Solar Marine Kit

This is a great option if you need something that can be installed on a curved surface. It’s also good if you don’t have a surface large enough to mount a traditional sized panel. Itoffers some flexibility and weighs less than many of the other options available. It features holes that are already drilled so it’sa simple mount process. It can also be mounted using secondary resources, such as grommets or zip ties.

It’s a 100W panel that can be converted to 200W with a separate kit

Go Power! Portable Folding Solar Kit

This is a 120-watt monocrystalline kit that comes with dual panels that are small and foldable for easy mobililty. Setting up the panels takes just a couple of minutes so this is one of the most popular solar panel kits among campers and RV users. Go Power! comes at a premium price—about the twice the cost of other options—but it’s worth it for users because they get a reliable portable kit. The panels are constructed from anodized aluminum frame and they are backed by a 25-year panel warranty. The kit comes with a carrying case, as well as all the cables and plugs you need for set up and use. We know some people are willing to pay more for a small solar power kit, especially if they are not new to using solar power. This is one of the best kits available and worth the higher price, if you’re looking to invest in a high-quality kit.

Grape Solar 400W Panel Kit

This solar panel kit offers more bang for your buck and is better for larger RVs, as well as small cabins and tiny houses. It includes four 100W polycrystalline panels, wiring, and a charge controller. It also comes with a 2000W pure sine Xantrex inverter with two universal AC outlets, as well as a USB port. The kit can also be expanded to 500W if necessary. This is a pricy kit, but you’re getting more than you do with the smaller options. It’s ideal if you are committed to going solar and you have a larger permanent space to power. A lot of people think of solar cells, a solar charger and power as an option for travel and mobile living, but the truth is off-grid solar kits with quality batteries are increasing in popularity for those who are staying in one place—especially with the tiny house craze. People are looking for affordable, environmentally-friendly methods of powering their homes and solar is the way to go.