How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For an RV?

Opting for solar energy to power your RV is great for saving on fuel costs, and it also contributes to cleaner air for worry-free electrical usage.

However, if you are new to generating solar power for your RV, you may not fully understand how many solar panels it takes to support your daily electrical needs. In this guide, we will go through some guidelines on how many solar panels you need for your RV and factors to consider when shopping for one.

How Many RV Solar Panels Do I Need?

how many rv solar panels do i need

The number of solar panels you need for your RV greatly depends on your electrical consumption, the peak sun hours in your location, and the solar panel watts.

Peak sun hours

Each geographic location has its own peak sun hours, as the sun's intensity varies depending on the season and location. Peak sun hours refer to the amount of sunlight available that is strong enough that allows solar panels to generate electricity. Therefore, you will need to determine the peak sun hours in your location before deciding how many RV solar panels you need.

This information can also be easily found by downloading a solar resource and power rays map for your location, such as the ones provided by Global Solar Atlas.

Electrical consumption

Your solar panels need to generate enough power to easily accommodate your daily electrical consumption. You may require more or fewer panels based on your energy use for the total time you will be occupying your RV.

To determine the total energy you need from your solar panels, list down the wattage of each appliance used daily. Then, consider the number of hours the unit will operate each day and multiply its watts by this time to come up with the daily Watt-hour (Wh) for that appliance.

Calculate the total sum of Watt-hours for all your appliances, and be sure to factor in that number each day, so you can keep your RV running at its best. If you rely on electricity to power your RV's heating and cooking appliances, you must include these energy requirements in your calculations.

Solar panel output rating

Most solar panels for recreational vehicles have either a 100w or 200w power rating, which is sufficient for everyday off-grid living. However, for the highest quality and convenience, 200w panels are recommended.

Typically, a 100-watt solar panel will generate approximately 350 watt-hours per day. To determine the number of 100-watt solar panels you need to power your daily energy consumption, simply divide the total amount by 350. For example, if your total Watt-hours per day is 700, you will need two 100-watt solar panels.

You should also consider other factors, such as the type of mount used and panel orientation, to ensure maximum efficiency from your solar system.

What Specifications Should I Look for in Solar Panels for RV Trailer?

Some of the main specs to look for in your solar panels are

  • Wattage: Look for panels with higher wattage ratings to get the most out of your solar system.
  • Efficiency: Look for high-efficiency panels that convert more sunlight into electricity.
  • Durability: Look for RV solar panels with durable construction and robust frame that can withstand the elements.
  • Size & Weight: Consider the size, weight, and mounting options of the panels for practical installation.
  • Voltage: Look for panels with higher voltage ratings to ensure that your RV can run more energy-intensive appliances.
  • Warranty: Ensure you have a comprehensive warranty from the manufacturer in case of any defects or malfunctions.
  • Accessories:Consider buying accessories such as mounting kits, cables, and regulators that are compatible with your RV.

These specifications will help you make an informed decision when selecting the right solar panels for your recreational vehicle. With proper research and installation, you can ensure a reliable power source while exploring the great outdoors!  ​

Jackery's portable solar panels are designed to meet all these criteria and offer a reliable power solution for your RV. With high wattage output, superior efficiency ratings, and durable construction, Jackery solar panels are the ideal choice for off-grid living.

Formula for RV Camper Solar Panels

Formula for RV Camper Solar Panels

A simple formula to determine the number of solar panels you need for your RV is to divide the monthly energy consumption total by the monthly number of peak sun hours in your location. Then, take that number and multiply it by 1,000. Lastly, divide that total by the solar power rating. See formula below:

For instance, let's say the monthly electricity consumption for your RV is 6.8kWh, which is 6,800Wh multiplied by .001 to convert it to kWh.

You would multiply 6.8kwh by the number of days in the month, which, in this case, we'll use 30 days, to get a monthly kWh amount of 204,0Wh monthly.

Now, imagine you are driving through an area that experiences on average 150,3 peak sun hours monthly.

You would next divide your 204,0 monthly kWh hours by the 150,3 monthly peak hours to arrive at 1,35, then divide that by 1,000 to come up with 1,350 watts.

Finally, divide 1,350 watts by 200 to come up with 6.75, which rounds up to 7 solar panels.

Jackery Solar Panels for RV Trailer

Jackery offers various quality, compact solar panels that are perfect for RV trailer use.

They also offer a SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel, which is ideal for off-grid camping and has a high conversion efficiency. The panel is foldable and lightweight, making it easy to carry around. This solar panel is the perfect choice for outdoor living, and it won't let you down in a power outage. It only weighs 9.1 lbs—it can be easily transported with its folding design and convenient carrying handle.

Jackery also offers a SagaSolar 80W dual-sided solar panel, which can generate electricity from both sides. Jackery's brand-new 80W Solar Panels are the perfect choice for charging power stations and offer an impressive selection of options. With up to 6 panels able to be charged at once (team up with Explorer 2000 Pro), you're sure to find a way that suits your needs. Get ready for first-class energy on demand!


Solar panels are an excellent way to generate energy while on the go. Jackery offers a range of high-quality and efficient solar panels that are perfect for RV trailer use. With proper research, installation, and maintenance, you can ensure reliable power wherever you roam! By investing in quality solar panels from Jackery, you can enjoy off-grid living to its fullest potential.  ​

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