Are you having issues finding the best flexible solar panels for RV living? You’ve come to the right place as I’ll walk you through this entire buying process. This article will ensure you pick the correct choice when making a final decision.
I intend to help by covering the essential topics about flexible solar panels. These topics will include determining buying factors, advantages of using them, how to install them, and many more important subjects.
There will also be 5 product reviews of flexible solar panels, which I consider the best available. Each of these reviews should provide a better understanding of what a high-quality option looks like and offers.
Overall, I’ll make sure you have everything needed to make a responsible, smart decision. It’s all about making sure you feel comfortable about this entire search. There’s no reason this should end with you feeling lousy about making a bad purchase.
Let’s get this process started now and make sure it doesn’t. I promise, reading this article won’t be something that you end up regretting.
|Best Overall||Easy to Install||Light Weight|
|Preview||Topsolar TP-solar||Sun Energise SE-100W-ET||SunPower SPR-E-FLEX-110|
|Dimensions||44.4 x 21.9 x 1.5 inches||44.49 x 20.47 x 0.08 inches||45.9 x 21.9 x 0.8 inches|
|Weight||3.97 lbs||7.7 lbs||4.4 lbs|
|Voltage||12 V||12 V||18.8 V|
|Wattage||100 W||100 W||110 W|
|Connector Type||MC4||MC4||PV4-S (Compatible With MC4)|
|Battery Cell||Monocrystalline Silicon||Monocrystalline||Prime Monocrystalline|
5 Top-Rated Flexible Solar Panel Reviews
This section will contain those 5 reviews mentioned earlier. Each of the products discussed here has gained a stellar reputation among rig owners. If one of them didn’t meet your needs, I’d be rather shocked.
1. TP-solar 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panel
TP-solar’s 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panel is a perfect option to charge your rig’s batteries because it uses highly effective monocrystalline solar cells. These cells help increase the panel’s conversion efficiency up to 50% more than other models.
As a result, this 100W flexible solar panel has become a massive hit among rig owners who regularly use their RV’s solar system. It is helpful that this model can be connected with multiple panels to charge 24V and 48V batteries. This ability increases the number of scenarios where it can be used by a significant amount.
You can also count on the product’s flexibility to increase its versatility. As with some previous options, this model features a maximum 30-degree arc. This ability ensures it can be mounted on various applications, such as tents, cars, trucks, RV, boats, and other irregular surfaces.
Buyers should take note of this product being made from highly advanced water-resistant material. Thanks to this, the panel shouldn’t have any problems functioning in severe weather conditions like snow or heavy rain.
It doesn’t hurt that this water-resistant material makes the product easier to clean, either. This feature ensures the model is a buyer’s dream. It becomes more evident when you consider its lightweight and thin design.
But what I found myself loving most about this product was the six stainless eyelets on its edges. These eyelets allow the product’s installation process to go off without a hitch. As someone who’s not the best at these tasks, I welcome anything capable of making it more manageable.
2. Sun Energise 12V Flexible Solar Panel
Sun Energise’s 12V Flexible Solar Panel is an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t consider themselves an electrical whiz. It offers one of the easiest installation processes I’ve encountered when researching the top solar flexible solar panel options.
I didn’t have a single issue connecting this product to my rig, which wasn’t an expected outcome. Sun Energise even made sure to make the design easy to remove. In other words, buyers don’t need to think of this flexable solar cell panel installation as a permanent one.
Users can also bank on its lightweight design, which is only 7.7 pounds and easy to move. RVers can easily transport it into storage. I didn’t even require a second person when removing it from my campervan.
The product’s construction was another aspect that impressed me. After all, it’s constructed from durable ETFE material to ensure a long lifespan and high light transmittance rate. These aspects offer a performance level that hasn’t given me any trouble.
Buyers shouldn’t overlook the flexibility of this bendable solar panel. For instance, it’s built to withstand a 30-degree bend and reach up to about 16 inches. These abilities make it an ideal solar panel for camper roof applications, boats, tents, cars, and many other curved surfaces.
I found myself thrilled by this product’s 12-month warranty, as well. It’ll provide me with some protection against any malfunctions or accidents that might occur. Such a policy is much needed for my needs as I break almost everything I touch.
3. SunPower 110W Flexible Solar Panel
The SunPower’s 110W Flexible Solar Panel is an easy contender for the most durable flexible solar panel. It deserves consideration for this title because of its construction consisting of top-grade polymer materials.
You can also thank these materials for its 30-degree ability, making it more adaptable to different situations. Its flexibility was mentioned positively in these Sunpower flexible solar panel review sections on more than one occasion.
The product’s installation process was another aspect discussed a few times in these reviews. It was kind of odd to see so many buyers compliment an instruction manual. The manuals rarely receive praise as they are often hard to read and follow.
Buyers can rest easy about this product’s storeability, as well. The device’s durable construction doesn’t affect its overall weight or size. If you don’t want to install them permanently, there shouldn’t be any issues finding room inside your storage area for these panels.
I was also impressed by their power output and charging capacity. This product had no problem providing the energy needed to power my rig’s devices and appliances. I was a little taken aback about how effective it was compared to previous models I tried.
This product’s cells are built on a copper foundation which helps them avoid power loss from issues like cracking or corrosion. As a result, you can expect these panels to provide quality performance for an extended period.
4. XINPUGUANG 2pcs 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panels
Buyers looking for more than one panel should consider XINPUGUANG’s 2pcs 100W 12v Flexible Solar Panels. It offers two high-quality 100W panels in a package deal that should intrigue most people with its appealing features.
An excellent example of these features would be the panels’ usage of top-tier monocrystalline silicon cells, which promote high-efficiency usage. These cells are even known to provide a reliable supply of energy in low-light conditions.
Rig owners who intend to travel in rainy areas, such as the Pacific Northwest, would benefit significantly from this aspect. These buyers would also find the product’s highly durable design appealing.
This design has built-in protections to withstand snow loads, downpours, high wind-pressure, and extreme temperatures. It’s why these panels have been known to be useful in multiple situations without causing any hassles.
Honestly, it’s a good choice for an RV, sailboat, truck, yacht, cabin, golf cart, or any other irregular surface. This versatility makes it simple to find multiple ways for these solar panels to benefit your life.
I was happy to see there were various buying options, as well. For instance, someone looking to buy a 150W flexible solar panel could choose the 300W option and get two for a reasonable price. It’s a great deal, which only becomes more appealing as you get higher in wattage options.
5. Solar Cynergy 120W 12V Flexible-Bendable Solar Panel
Solar Cynergy’s 120W 12v Flexible-Bendable Solar Panel is one of the more versatile options available today. This status comes from its design being suitable for all possible environments, making it perfect for RV owners.
The product was designed for the specific purposes of motorhome and marine applications. It even has a laminate coating on its exterior to ensure the product can withstand rain and saltwater splashing.
Its buyers’ reviews only confirm how well it’s capable of working in these situations. Many were even shocked by how well it was able to resist water damage. It was almost impossible to read two of these reviews without it being mentioned.
I was also impressed by its lightweight design, which is 82% lighter than traditional glass solar panels. This attribute lends itself useful during both storing and installation. I can’t imagine anyone having issues with either due to this design.
The installation process is further helped by these panels being equipped with MC4 connectors. You can use these connectors to easily attach the unit onto solar cables in a few seconds. Therefore, these devices become ideal for people with a multiple-panel system.
As for its durability, this model has proven to withstand extreme elements and weather without trouble. It can even handle heavy snow and wind loads. This ability should make it an ideal option for people looking to RV in colder climates.
This product’s price tag was attractive, as well. It should fall right into the average price for a flexible solar panel in today’s market. I could see a bargain buyer finding this model extremely appealing, considering the low cost and top-tier features.
RAVPower 120W 18V Flexible Solar Panel (Outdated)
If you’re looking to install panels on a rig’s roof permanently, RAVPower 120W 18V Flexible Solar Panel would be ideal. This product was designed with a process called the “Hot-Pressing Method,” which provided a waterproof construction.
You can expect this waterproof construction to ensure the panel can function smoothly outdoors without issues occurring, such as bubbles forming on its surface. This ability makes an ideal fit for permanent installation on top of an RV’s roof.
I was also intrigued by its ability to offer efficiency up to 20%, which is 5% higher than what you expect from most models. In other words, this solar panel can gather more energy and use it to power your devices quicker.
The product’s compact and sturdy design was another aspect worth discussing. It only weighs 6.6lbs, which should make it easy to carry when camping or hiking. This provides it with a bit more portability than many other solar panels available.
As for its storing capabilities, this 6.6lbs construction shouldn’t take up much room inside your storage area. It will be suitable for a portable solar panel instead of installing it permanently.
But none of these aspects earn the title of being my favorite. The title instead goes to the product’s price tag, which is much lower than you’d expect for this solar panel type. Bargain buyers should be thrilled when looking at this product.
Go Power! 200W Solar Flex Kit (Outdated)
Customers who want to buy an option with a long list of additional features should get their hands on Go Power! ‘s 200W Solar Flex Kit. It comes with a GP-PWM-30 solar controller and 25 feet of AWG cables to ensure setting up your rig’s solar system will be a breeze.
After all, a rig owner who buys this kit will no longer have to buy these essential items separately, which can be a huge hassle. I always prefer to add multiple pieces of equipment within one package rather than searching through the internet for individual items.
But the solar panel itself is rather impressive. This brand made sure to equip the device with everything needed to handle harsh on-the-road environments. You can expect these solar panels to last a long, long time.
The product’s even durable enough where people can walk on it without causing any damage. It makes the installation process much easier. I was impressed by this solar panel being 82% lighter than its framed counterparts, as well.
You won’t see me complaining about this product’s maintenance levels, either. This solar panel only requires regular washing to keep debris from becoming an issue. It shows how much more convenient it’s compared to other options.
Overall, the product meets almost all my needs regarding what I expect in a solar panel. It even includes everything needed for the installation process. But I might need more time to consider buying this model for one reason, its price tag.
ALLPOWERS 50W Solar Panel (Outdated)
If you’re looking for small flexible solar panels, the ALLPOWERS 50W Solar Panel could be right up your alley. This model packs a 50W punch, while only weighing a meager 2.67lbs to ensure storing, transporting, and installing it becomes an easy task.
This product’s size isn’t the only renowned thing about it, though, as it also features a frameless design and four metal mounting holes. These features will ensure installing the panels won’t be much trouble for whoever buys it.
I was pleased with this product’s efficiency, too, which has been proven to excel past what I’d expect from a traditional solar panel. You end up getting a better performance result in a smaller package. What more could you want?
ALLPOWERS wasn’t done there as this model features a plastic back sheet, which can be curved to 30-degree maximum. Therefore, the device becomes perfectly suited to be mounted onto RVs, boats, tents, cabins, or an unusual surface.
I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to follow this product’s manual compared to others I’ve encountered. In other words, the directions provided by ALLPOWERS were helpful rather than unreadable, complex drivel.
Rig owners shouldn’t find this product’s price too shabby, either. It’s among the lowest-priced models on our entire lists. Bargain buyers should be tripping over themselves, trying to put this product into their buying carts.
Renogy 160W 12V Flexible Solar Panel (Outdated)
Our first product is Renogy 160W 12V Flexible Solar Panel,which has an excellent reputation among rig owners. This reputation comes from its truly wonderful features, like its fantastic flexibility and stellar design.
In fact, this Renogy flexible solar panel has a flex of 248 degrees. This amount of flexibility is rare to find, among other options. As a result, it’s capable of adapting to various situations its rivals can’t, such as inconvenient mounting placements.
The stellar design helps by being lightweight and thin, which makes it easy to move without hassle. Thanks to this, the install and storing process becomes simpler and doesn’t require much thought or effort.
I was also impressed by this product’s durability. This model was designed to withstand extreme winds and snow loads, which ensures it can last a long time. I don’t see any reason that this model wouldn’t last up to 5 years or more with this design.
This product’s versatility was another highlight for me. It was made to work in various off-grid applications, such as rooftops, boats, RVs, or any curvy surface. The device could clearly become useful in more than one role for rig owners.
Overall, it’s no surprise that this model and other Renogy flexible solar panels find themselves at the top of this market. I didn’t even mention its four different buying options. This amount of variation further ensures the product can adapt to almost any situation.
GIARIDE 100W High-Efficiency Flexible Solar Panel (Outdated)
If you’re looking for a straightforward, practical option, search no further than GIARIDE’s 100W High-Efficiency Flexible Solar Panel. It contains almost every feature a rig owner could want in flexible solar panels.
One of these features would have to be its waterproof, sealed junction box. This aspect should ensure the solar panel’s ready to deal with whatever weather issue comes its way. It’s also a reason why many boating enthusiasts end up buying this model. Given this info, customers should find this device to be a sturdy, reliable option.
The product’s short-circuit and surge protection technology was another plus, which caught my eye. Both of these protections will help ensure nothing dangerous happens when using the device. It’s always a good idea to make sure this type of equipment has multiple safety precautions.
Aside from these features, it has several other advantages you’ve become familiar with from prior reviews. These aspects include an easy installation process, thin/lightweight design, 30-degree flexibility, and a couple of buying options.
Each of these makes your life much easier during travel. What more could a rig owner possibly want from a flexible solar panel? Also, the price of this model isn’t even too high.
In any case, it’s something most buyers don’t want to deal with when investing in a long-term product like this one. But it’s an issue that doesn’t have a massive impact on your final choice, considering its effective results.
ECO-WORTHY 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panel (Outdated)
The ECO-WORTHY 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panel is an excellent fit for someone looking to keep their RV’s aesthetic. This model has a sleek design that makes it almost completely unnoticeable on your rig’s roof.
It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s always nice to keep your rig looking stylish. After all, some solar panels can look hideous on top of a roof. This model’s sleek design ensures your neighbors won’t be commenting about it being an eyesore.
Of course, the product’s sleek design isn’t the only notable feature. Buyers should also love this device’s waterproof junction box, which will keep the panel function even under wet or rainy conditions. This aspect makes the product a suitable option for boat owners, as well.
The product being made up of 32 individual cells is another nice touch as it’ll ensure the product’s flexible enough to work on a steeply angled roof. Its installation process isn’t much of an issue, either, considering this model was one I had no problems setting up.
You can even see the product’s installation directions right in its description. I don’t think anybody’s going to have trouble getting this panel set up and working in a small amount of time. Honestly, it might be the easiest model to set up on our entire list.
Buyers looking to buy panels in bulk don’t have to worry, either. This model comes in three other variations including 200W, 400W, and 800W. It’s just another way ECO-WORTHY separates itself from their competition.
RICH SOLAR 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panel (Outdated)
If you’re looking for high-efficiency flexible solar panels, RICH SOLAR 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panel should be on top of your list. This product comes with a guarantee of an ability to last 25 years without issues. Its longevity is almost unheard of for these panel types.
You can attribute this impressive durability to the product’s design, which is considered lightweight, flexible, and sturdy. In fact, I was more than impressed with the product’s flexibility as I could place it on irregular and uneven surfaces without trouble. This feature is essential due to the nature of my rig’s roof.
Its 30-degree flexing ability will help during the using process, as well. It ensures you can capture the sun’s rays from multiple angles, making the product more efficient. Thanks to its design, this product seems to pass all the tests.
It is interesting to know that its design wasn’t the product’s only appealing feature. I was also thrilled by the device’s self-cleaning nature, which removes all maintenance requirements. The panel has a non-stick surface that allows rain to clean off any hanging on debris.
As someone who hates maintenance tasks, I can’t even explain how happy a feature like this makes my day. The product’s price tag was another aspect to fill me up with joy. It shouldn’t have any issues fitting into a reasonable and realistic budget for a 100W solar panel.
Uni-Solar 136W 24V Flexible Solar Panel (Outdated)
Uni-Solar’s 136W 24V Flexible Solar Panel is known for its ability to provide excellent results even in low-lighting situations. This benefit comes from the panel using triple-junction amorphous silicon solar cells.
These cells offer outstanding results because they absorb the sun’s blue, red, and green light into their layers. Therefore, it produces higher energy production under diffused light and at low insolation levels.
Rig owners who intend to travel in notoriously cloudy or rainy places would be crazy to pass up on these results. It’s also worth noting this product has a reputation for having an insanely easy installation process.
The installation ends up being a single step process, which most buyers had glowing things to say about in their reviews. I don’t blame them, considering the entire task is a simple matter of peeling and sticking it to your rig’s roof.
You don’t have to worry about this product failing in higher temperatures, either. This model has been built to withstand conditions up to 185 degrees. Buyers can attribute this benefit to the product’s usage of the amorphous silicon technology mentioned earlier.
In the end, UNI-SOLAR did an excellent job crafting a solar panel that can meet the distinct needs of the RVing lifestyle. You’d have difficulty finding an option more equipped to deal with off-grid conditions than this one.
The second issue is its price tag, which is a little pricey for a 136W 24V flexible solar panel. However, the results it provides might be worth shelling out a bit more money than expected.
Most Efficient Flexible Solar Panel for RV Buyer’s Guide
Rig owners are constantly worrying about how they’re going to get enough energy for their RVs. One solution to this issue would be investing in a solar power system. But you need the right parts to ensure your solar system’s effectiveness.
As you might expect, solar panels are a vital component in your rig’s solar system. Rig owners tend to prefer flexible options rather than rigid as they’re better suited for off-the-grid living. The following discussions will show you what to look for when buying these types of panels.
Buying the best flexible solar panels for RV can be a tricky process due to the dangerous situation subpar options can cause. As a result, buyers should always look to purchase choices made from high-quality materials.
The lower-priced, less durable products will tempt some buyers, but these options aren’t going to meet your expectations. These models will likely lead to a replacement in only a few months.
I should also mention that flexible solar panels are classified into two variations based on the manufacturing stage materials. I’ll discuss both below to ensure you have a better idea about which type works better for your needs.
Thin Film Solar Panels
A good starting point would be understanding that the solar cell, or photovoltaic cell, is an electrical device capable of converting light energy into electricity. On thin-film solar panels, these photovoltaic materials are set onto the body’s surface.
It’s also worth noting that thin-film panels contain layers, which are about 300 times smaller than those on silicon solar models. This thinner construction makes them more efficient and flexible. These products are even somewhat bendable and rollable.
In fact, the material can be set on many surfaces, including glass, metals, and fabrics. These thin-film panels end up being a lightweight, durable option, making them much easier to use and store.
Crystalline Silicon Solar Panels
The second type of panels is much more commonplace in today’s market. You’ll find these panels are made with two materials, polycrystalline and monocrystalline. At first, both of them were considered too thick to have any flexibility.
But manufacturers figured out a way to create some flexibility without losing their photovoltaic capabilities. It was a simple matter of cutting them into significantly thinner slices. The result was a top-tier flexible solar panel perfect for curved surfaces, such as RV roofs.
As most rig owners know, flexible panels have a specific issue when it comes to durability. These panels tend to last less than their counterparts. For instance, a regular glass solar panel can last 25 years, while a flexible model only stays effective for about four years.
But what they lack in lifespan comes with an improvement in other areas like adaptability. This durability issue should implore rig owners to look for options with higher lifespans. Most manufacturers will put info about their longevity in their descriptions. Some brands even guarantee a 5-year lifespan or money back.
Your panel’s efficiency will depend on many factors, but the most vital is its charging efficiency. It’s necessary to examine and read up on this aspect before making a final choice. This action is the only way to ensure your chosen model will charge energy effectively and quickly.
I would suggest reading through the customer reviews for each option. These flexible solar panels review sections should provide some much-needed insight on their performance. It’s an easy way to determine whether an option is capable of meeting your expectations.
You’ll have to make some decisions when it comes to your chosen model’s features. For instance, a buyer who wants a more adaptable panel that can fit onto many surfaces should buy thin-film panels. But buyers looking for a more durability option should consider crystalline silicon types.
On the other hand, some rig owners might find themselves looking for models with high-probability. Built-in protection against weather conditions is another high-valued extra feature. The price of these products will have an impact on your decision, as well.
It’s essential to consider all these factors before buying your perfect flexible solar panel. These little details will go a long way in ensuring you’ve made the right choice for your rig’s solar system.
Flexible Solar Panel FAQs
Our FAQ section will attempt to answer any questions left uncovered by the previous section. It should fill in the remaining information gaps to ensure you make a smart buying decision. After reading it, there’s no reason to believe you’ll still wonder what option fits your needs.
Who is this for?
Before a person understands who these products will benefit, they need to know how they work. Flexible solar panels function by gathering up green energy through a method called the solar photovoltaic process.
This process is different from what you’d expect from a standard solar panel used on a regular household. In fact, flexible solar panels are made to be lightweight, which ensures they’re easy to store and transport when traveling.
You can also expect them to be durable because of their off-the-grid usage. These panels will face many elements and terrains, which bring forth different challenges: temperature changes, dangerous weather, and bumpy roads.
Each of these challenges can directly impact your solar panels, such as causing problems with its energy gathering process. As a result, flexible solar panels have built-in protections to avoid these issues from occurring.
Aside from their ability to survive off-the-grid living, these panels represent a solution to a rig owner’s primary concern. It provides a way to have a stable energy supply for your equipment and devices regardless of where you intend to travel.
Best flexible solar panels end up being perfect for RV owners who intend on traveling in off-grid locations. It’s a simple way to ensure these rig owners always have the energy needed for their various devices and applications.
Advantages and disadvantages of using flexible solar panels for RV
Several benefits come from purchasing flexible solar panels. I’m going to discuss some of them below to ensure you understand why buying them might be smart. I’ll also talk about one disadvantage or two.
But let’s start on a positive note with the advantages. After all, it’d be wise to figure out whether flexible solar panels are a good option before worrying about their downfalls.
The most obvious advantage comes right from their name, flexibility, as these models are significantly more flexible than rigid options. But what you might not know is this flexibility isn’t only about their bending ability. Flexible solar panels are also flexible when it comes to how and where you can use them.
On the other hand, the standard metal-backed solar panels are usually installed rather than set up. These devices need a reliable framework and some type of mounting solution (semi-permanent or permanent).
In comparison, flexible solar panels don’t, which makes them perfect for an RVing situation. After all, these panels can be set up on the ground and bungeed to a tent or RV. This flexibility makes them versatile and useful when traveling.
As I mentioned earlier, flexible solar panels will be lighter and thinner than a standard rigid model. A 100W flexible model will be nearly 70% lighter and 95% thinner, which is more suitable for an RVing lifestyle.
Certain RV roofs might have issues bearing the weight of a traditional solar panel. This is where having ones with a flexible design come to your benefit. After all, nobody wants to pay for roof repairs.
Rigid solar panels are considered portable, but these models are much harder to move than flexible options. You can even stack flexible planes in your rig’s storage space and take them out when needed.
This benefit allows RV owners to set them up at their campsite, lay them out on the ground next to your rig, or hang them from a rack or hook. As a result, you won’t have to move your motorhome when trying to follow the optimal angle and sun’s position.
Ease of Installation
Flexible solar panels have an easy installation process because they can be placed in many different locations. On the other hand, rigid solar panels would only offer one option, bolting them down to a surface.
This sole option would be excellent for homes and other permanent installation situations. But RVs are always on the move, which would make this permanent placement problematic. Therefore, flexible solar panels tend to come with metal grommets on their edges.
You can use these grommets to secure the panel onto almost any surface. For instance, you can hang them from your rig with hooks, use a rope to tie them onto the roof or dangle them from a conveniently located pole or tree.
Honestly, these devices are so light and thin that moving isn’t much of an issue. It makes finding the perfect placement for your flexible solar panel much easier and less taxation. In other words, this task won’t end up being a workout.
But if you want, flexible solar panels can also be permanently installed. This process won’t be much of a challenge, either, because of their thin and light design. You can even tape them down with permanent bonding tape instead of drilling holes into your rig’s roof.
Disadvantages of Flexible Solar Panels
I’m sad to inform anyone reading this article that flexible solar panels aren’t perfect. These devices tend to be much less durable than their counterparts. This issue comes from them being attracted to flexible sheets rather than a glass or aluminum frame.
These flexible sheets can make the panels more vulnerable to stress over their lifespan. Due to this, wiring failures and cracking cells are a common occurrence. These problems cause flexible solar panels to have shorter warranties.
Are flexible solar panels for RVs worth it?
Flexible solar panels provide certain benefits that make them worthwhile for many RVers. An excellent example would be their lightweight, portable constructions. These features make them an ideal fit for someone traveling alone in a smaller rig like a Class B RV.
Their simple installation processes make them perfect for newbie RVers, as well. I can’t even count how many first-time rig owners have raved about their convenience. Anyone who considers them a solar panel novice should be looking at buying a flexible solar panel kit.
I must also mention the versatility that allows them to work on most curved surfaces. For example, I’ve seen large Class A motorhomes, campervans, and travel trailers have bendable PV panels on their roofs. It’s impressive the number of situations an option like Renogy’s 160W 12V Flexible Solar Panel can easily fit.
So overall, these flex solar panels for RV are undoubtedly worthwhile to many people. The task now is to decide whether you fit into this group or not.
Can you walk on flexible solar panels?
Most flexible solar panels can withstand a person walking on them. However, I would still advise avoiding it whenever possible to maintain the device’s longevity. There’s no reason to test a panel’s durability unless necessary.
Furthermore, I’d recommend choosing an option with a reputation for durability. SunPower’s 110W Flexible Solar Panel would be a good starting point. Its construction, made from top-grade polymer materials, has a proven track record of lasting a long time.
Do flexible solar panels get hot?
A common myth about flexible solar panels is that they produce considerable heat. It isn’t true, but it doesn’t mean they don’t get hot. You’ll often notice most flexible solar panels for motorhome owners being rather uncomfortable to touch.
It stems from their extended exposure to the sun rather than the panels themselves giving off excessive heat.
How do you make a solar panel flexible?
A standard polycrystalline solar panel consists of silicon wafers. These wafers are about 200 micrometers thick, which is a little thicker than a single piece of human hair. A person looking to make these solar panels flexible would need to slice those wafers down to only a few micrometers wide.
How to install?
Installing or mounting a flexible solar panel can be done in several ways. However, the most popular option would be using racks. I’m going to guide you through this process below, step by step, to ensure nothing goes wrong.
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Parts
The first step would be preparing yourself for this process. You’ll need to collect and layout the parts required for mounting your solar panel. The mount, screws, arms, and other components need to be accounted for before moving onto step 2. I would advise having the device’s manual around, as well.
Step 2: Attach the Mount and Arms
You’ll need to flip your solar panel on its back, and use screws to attach the arm brackets. Make sure those screws are secure on both sides. Once this task is done, you’ll want to place the lock washers.
These washers will ensure the arm brackets are correctly connected while tightening the screw’s hold. Your mount will fit between those arm brackets. It should be screwed in this location using the kit’s nuts and hex.
You should also notice two bolts in this area. In each bolt, a washer and a flat washer will need to be placed, as they secure the bolt’s locking on each side.
Step 3: Connect the Pole Mount
You should now place the pole mount at the back of your rig’s mount via screwing. Please ensure the washers and hex bolts are secure. If needed, tighten them using your wrench and screwdriver.
One thing to remember is the hex bolt comes first, then the washer, and last comes the flat washers. If you have connected your pole mount successfully, your solar panel should have no issues standing by itself.
Step 4: Position Your Solar Panel
After connecting your pole mount, the solar panel is ready to find its perfect position. This task might seem easy, but there are several variables in play like your location and your rig’s panel placement. These factors make this process somewhat complicated.
I’d suggest taking note of these things: the sun’s direction, what hemisphere you’re located in, and your actual location. These pieces of information will be invaluable in finding the perfect position for your solar panel.
Step 5: Connect the Remaining Equipment
The last step is an exercise of connecting your solar panel’s batteries and wiring. It can be a little tricky because the wiring will differ from product to product. This is when having a manual comes in handy. I’d advise following these directions to a tee. It’s the only way to ensure your solar panel can function to its maximum ability.
How to use?
Your flexible solar panel will work just like a standard solar panel. It’ll gather energy from the sun, which then you can use as a renewable energy source. This device will then charge your rig’s accessories, such as gadgets, smartphones, laptops, and other electronic appliances.
Overall, using one of these devices isn’t complicated. But make sure to read the instruction manual before installing or using one. These manuals could have little tips or directions that could help you maximize the solar panel’s efficiency.
Any care and maintenance tips?
Most efficient flexible solar panels will be owned by rig owners who know how to care and maintain them. I’m going to cover a few pointers about keeping them in good shape. These tips should ensure you get the most out of your panels.
It would be best if you began by looking and checking for deposits or stains on the modules. Proceed to use freshwater and remove any stains, dust particles, bird droppings, etc. It’ll help stop this debris from messing with your panel’s interaction with the sun.
After all, any sunlight blockage will mean less energy that you can store for usage. You should also wipe the panel’s surface using soap and water. Some people find using other safe chemicals for this process useful, such as denatured alcohol. This cleaning product is beneficial when removing grease from equipment.
I’d advise applying a plastic protectorate coating for people who use their solar panels regularly. This action should be done when your panel is dry and clean. People who notice a build-up of contaminants or oxidation might benefit from polishing their panels.
But don’t forget to wipe down the other parts, including the mount and arm brackets. These parts need to be taken care of to stay in good condition, as well. Once you’re done cleaning, check out the panel’s wiring and small parts to examine its condition. I’d urge doing regular monthly checks to ensure peak system efficiency.
After reading this article, finding the best flexible solar panels for RV shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s a simple matter of using what you’ve learned, and the right choice should become clear. There’s nothing more to it.
These new solar panels will then become an excellent energy source for your travels. But if any question comes up, feel free to use our comment section. I’ll make sure to answer any post as soon as possible.
Hi, I am Dane Heldt, a full-time RVer since 2016. I am always passionate about building and joining an RV community where people share their love for RV lives. This blog is a dream of mine, as I can finally share my experiences to help people who want to start living differently. So, feel free to reach out to me!