9 Best Off Grid Solar Kits of 2024 That Won’t Break The Bank

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Modern solar power systems are both more advanced and more affordable than ever before.

For tiny home enthusiasts, full-time RVers, or van dwellers, they represent one of the best ways to provide power while off-grid.

Where many people stumble is pairing panels, a charge controller, and all those pesky cables and connectors.

Thankfully, there’s a solution.

Solar panel kits take all the guesswork out of your small-scale solar system by pairing the most efficient panels together with just the right accessories to maximize their potential.

We picked out eight of the best solar panel kits available and gave them a thorough review to make choosing your favorite even easier.

For those who want a quick overview, below is our comparison table:

6 Best Solar Kits
400 Watt 12 Volt Premium Solar Kit
100 Watt Foldable Solar Suitcase
800 Watt 24 Volt Premium Solar Panel Kit
120 Watt Solar Panel Kit and Generator
renogy 400 watt solar kit
gravity fed water filter
gravity fed water filter
Bluetti 120 watt solar panel kit
Our Ranking
Our #1 Option
Our #2 Choice
Our #3 Rated Choice
Our #4 Choice
Best For Who
Best Overall Option (Great Starter Kit)
Van Dwellers
RV & Tiny House Owners
RV & Vandwellers
Why We Love It
Great Starter Kit For Moderate Needs
Easiest To Set Up
Good size for medium RVs and energy-efficient tiny homes
Best Plug-and Play Option
Watts & Voltage
400 Watts at 12V
100 Watts at 12V
800 Watts at 24V
120 Watts at 12V/24V
Mounting Hardware Included
Yes
N/A
Yes
N/A
Promo Code
-
-
-
-
6 Best Solar Kits
400 Watt 12 Volt Premium Solar Kit
renogy 400 watt solar kit
Our Ranking
Our #1 Option
Best For Who
Best Overall Option (Great Starter Kit)
Why We Love It
Great Starter Kit For Moderate Needs
Watts & Voltage
400 Watts at 12V
Mounting Hardware Included
Yes
Promo Code
-
Check Availiability
6 Best Solar Kits
100 Watt Foldable Solar Suitcase
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #2 Choice
Best For Who
Van Dwellers
Why We Love It
Easiest To Set Up
Watts & Voltage
100 Watts at 12V
Mounting Hardware Included
N/A
Promo Code
-
Check Availiability
6 Best Solar Kits
800 Watt 24 Volt Premium Solar Panel Kit
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #3 Rated Choice
Best For Who
RV & Tiny House Owners
Why We Love It
Good size for medium RVs and energy-efficient tiny homes
Watts & Voltage
800 Watts at 24V
Mounting Hardware Included
Yes
Promo Code
-
Check Availiability
6 Best Solar Kits
120 Watt Solar Panel Kit and Generator
Bluetti 120 watt solar panel kit
Our Ranking
Our #4 Choice
Best For Who
RV & Vandwellers
Why We Love It
Best Plug-and Play Option
Watts & Voltage
120 Watts at 12V/24V
Mounting Hardware Included
N/A
Promo Code
-
Check Availiability

Our #1 Rated Best Solar Panel Kit: 400 Watt 12 Volt Premium Solar Kit with 40A MPPT Charge Controller (Best Overall Solar Panel Kit)

Solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
400 Watt 12 Volt Premium Solar Kit with 40A MPPT Charge Controller
product-image
400 Watt 12 Volt Premium Solar Kit with 40A MPPT Charge Controller
Features
  • An excellent option for small cabins, tiny houses, & RVs, and those with moderate power needs
  • Can easily power phones, laptops, cameras, basic LED lighting, and even a small appliance like a DC refrigerator
  • Are Easy To Install & Great For Those Who Are New To Solar Kits
  • Comes with monocrystalline panels that are highly efficient and offer excellent power production for their size
  • Adaptable To Increased Power Needs – Designed to be able to add additional power from extra solar panels 
  • Bluetooth connectivity allows you to monitor your panels and battery bank remotely
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
5 out of 5

If you’re looking for an efficient, affordable, and moderately sized solar panel kit to power your off-grid setup, I love this one from Renogy.

At 400 watts, it’s a great option to power an energy-efficient setup in your off-grid cabin, tiny house, RV, or van. 

And while it doesn’t provide nearly enough power to be able to power multiple appliances, it can easily power phones, laptops, cameras, basic LED lighting, and even a small appliance like a DC refrigerator. 

It includes everything you need to mount and wire your system to a battery bank, including highly efficient panels, their latest 40A MPPT charge controller, and all the mounting brackets and wires you need for a basic installation.

I also love how versatile and scalable the system is. 

The included solar panels only use about half the capacity of the 40A charge controller. In simple terms, if you discover you need more power down the line, you can purchase additional individual panels to increase the total output of your system.

Rover MPPT charge controller

For those that are new to installing solar kits, this is one that will save you hours of a headache trying to figure out how to install it.

It comes with intuitive wiring instructions so you can rest assured knowing your panels are properly hooked up and providing ample power to your batteries. 

Renogy wiring diagram

They even include their popular Renogy Bluetooth Module so you can monitor the status of your power system remotely from your smartphone. 

And not just that, it’s highly rated and has a near-perfect 4.8 average customer rating–something I always look for when purchasing a solar kit. 

400 w renogy solar kit

The only downside here is that, at 400 watts, you are limited with what you can power here.

If you are looking for a solar kit that can power an entire tiny home or off-grid cabin that has multiple appliances and requires an ample amount of power, this one won’t be enough.

But at 400 watts, that’s to be expected. If you need something with more power, our 800 watt or 1200 watt options are better options. 

For what it’s designed to do–the Renogy 400W Solar Panel Kit is an excellent choice and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s affordable, easy to install, provides ample power for basic systems, and offers the flexibility to scale as your power needs to grow.

If you need more power than 400w, our #3 and #4 choices will be better options. 

Specifications:

  • Solar cell type: Monocrystalline
  • Watts/Voltage: 400 Watts at 12V
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating: MPPT at 40A
  • Mounting hardware included: Yes
  • What it can power: Phones, tablets, laptops, drones, TVs, and a single small to medium appliance

Pros 

  • Kit includes everything you need to install your panels and connect them to your battery bank
  • Renogy monocrystalline panels are highly efficient and offer excellent power production for their size
  • 40A MPPT charge controller capable of handling power from additional solar panels if you need to expand
  • Excellent size for tiny homes, small cabins, RVs, and those with moderate power needs
  • Bluetooth connectivity allows you to monitor your panels and battery bank remotely
  • Enter promo “TLL10” at checkout to get 10% off

Cons

  • The system doesn’t have enough panels for larger homes with more extensive power need

Our #2 Rated Best Solar Panel Kit: 100 Watt Foldable Solar Suitcase with Built-In 20A Voyager Charge Controller (Easiest Set Up & Best For Van Dwellers)

Solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
100 Watt Foldable Solar Suitcase with Built-In 20A Voyager Charge Controller
product-image
100 Watt Foldable Solar Suitcase with Built-In 20A Voyager Charge Controller
Features
  • You can set it up and put it away in less than a minute
  • The suitcase design protects the panel and charge controller while not in use
  • Infinitely scalable, with protection against shading on individual panels not offered by single charge controller systems
  • Great for van dwellers, RV dwellers, and people looking for just enough power to charge up their phones and other small electronics
Our Rating
Our #2 Rated
4.8 out of 5

There are a lot of foldable/portable solar panels available these days, but most are targeted at the hiking and camping market rather than RVs, vans, or tiny dwellers. 

To help change this problem, in comes the 100 Watt Foldable Solar Suitcase.

It’s a compact and easy-to-set-up system that includes both the 100 Watt suitcase solar panel and a built-in 20A Voyager charge controller.

solar kit 100w renogy

It’s not as powerful as some of the other panel kits on our list, but the incredible amount of convenience it provides earned it a place here. You can literally set it up in under a minute and start receiving power to your batteries as soon as it’s plugged in.

Renogy foldable 100W

It unfolds and can be directed towards the sun using the aluminum kickstands. They make it really easy to track the maximum sun exposure throughout the day and increase overall efficiency.

Mono Foldable Solar Suitcase

On the connector front, it uses the common MC4 solar connector and comes with a pair of alligator clips. Even if your batteries aren’t wired up fully you can charge them directly through the clips. It also has a built-in 20A MPPT charge controller mounted on the back.

If you have modest power demands and space is at a real premium, the 100W Foldable Solar Suitcase is a great way to go. And it has unbelievable reviews as well–at the time of writing, it has over 100 reviews and a 4.9 average rating.

MONOCRYSTALLINE FOLDABLE SOLAR SUITCASE

While you can also find it on Amazon here, with the 10% off discount it is over $25 cheaper when purchasing from Renogy directly, here

Specifications:

  • Solar cell type: Monocrystalline
  • Watts/Voltage: 100 Watts at 12V
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating: MPPT at 20A
  • Mounting hardware included: N/A
  • What it will power: Phones, tablets, laptops, drones, and LED lights

Pros 

  • You can set it up and put it away in less than a minute
  • The suitcase design protects the panel and charge controller while not in use
  • Infinitely scalable, with protection against shading on individual panels not offered by single charge controller systems
  • Great for van dwellers, RV dwellers, and people looking for just enough power to charge up their phones and other small electronics

Cons

  • The price per watt is higher than many other solar panel kits
  • Once you get above four panels, it becomes a lot more of a hassle to set out multiple suitcase-style solar panels


Our #3 Rated Best Solar Panel Kit: 800 Watt 24 Volt Premium Solar Panel Kit (Best Value Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit – Great For RV & Tiny House Owners)

solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
800 Watt 24 Volt Premium Solar Panel Kit
product-image
800 Watt 24 Volt Premium Solar Panel Kit
Features
  • 800 Watts of solar generation is enough for RV dwellers and many tiny homes
  • The premium package includes upgraded charge controllers and remote monitoring capabilities other companies can’t match
  • The included mounting hardware is some of the easiest to use for novices, allowing for a faster and more secure installation
Our Rating
Our #3 Rated
4.5 out of 5

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, it’s hard to beat this 800 Watt solar panel kit. It’s a little more expensive than their basic kits but includes more premium components and electronics.

It uses eight high efficiency 100W monocrystalline panels combined with a 60A MPPT Rover charge controller. That’s enough power to keep a tiny home going if it’s outfitted with high-efficiency appliances and properly manages use.

Renogy solar panels

Alongside the panels and charge controller, the kit includes all the mounting and connecting hardware you need to install it. One thing we really liked was the inclusion of a BT-1 Bluetooth monitoring module. 

It allows you to connect your smartphone through the Renogy BT app to monitor all aspects of power generation and charging. You can even change the pre-programmed parameters of your charge controller right from your smartphone.

If you’re willing to really buckle down on your energy efficiency, this 800 Watt Premium Solar Panel Kit is one of the best values out there. It gives you ample solar generation for a tiny house or RV and includes everything you need to easily install and manage your power system.

Despite its lack of customer reviews on the Renogy site I went ahead and included this kit. As with many things at the higher end of a niche market there just aren’t as many people available to review it, and few choose to. It’s a high-quality solar power kit that’s intuitive to install and use.

This short video shows how the final setup will look:

Specifications:

  • Solar cell type: Monocrystalline
  • Watts/Voltage: 800 Watts at 24V
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating: MPPT at 60A
  • Mounting hardware included: Yes
  • What it will power: Phones, tablets, TVs, laptops, 1-2 small to medium-large appliances (think refrigerators or small washing machines), or an energy-efficient window air conditioner 

Pros 

  • Perfect for tiny house and RV owners
  • Best bang for your buck
  • 800 Watts of solar generation is enough for RV dwellers and many tiny homes
  • The premium package includes upgraded charge controllers and remote monitoring capabilities other companies can’t match
  • The included mounting hardware is some of the easiest to use for novices, allowing for a faster and more secure installation

Cons

  • The BT-1 Bluetooth monitoring system only works at a range of up to 50 feet


Our #4 Rated Best Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit: Bluetti EB70S Solar Generator + PV120 Solar Kit

Solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
Bluetti EB70S Solar Generator + PV120 Solar Kit
product-image
Bluetti EB70S Solar Generator + PV120 Solar Kit
Features
  • Effortless setup and use
  • LiFePO4 battery offers 2500+ charge/discharge cycles, significantly more than AGM or traditional lithium batteries
  • Included 120V solar panel can charge it from 0-80% in just six hours
  • Highly portable design makes it perfect for van or RV dwellers looking for flexibility
Our Rating
Our #4 Rated
4.5 out of 5

Bluetti has made a name for itself by producing some of the best and most reliable solar generators today. The Bluetti EB70S Solar Kit combines a 716Wh solar generator with a 120W foldable polycrystalline solar panel.

The EB70S solar generator combines a LiFePO4 battery, MPPT charge controller, and 800W inverter into a single compact and easy-to-use package. It offers a range of plugs and ports, including four 120V AC outlets, allowing you to charge or power various electronics and small appliances.

Its highly efficient MPPT charge controller allows you to charge it from 0-80% in just six hours using the 120W solar panel. Even better, it doesn’t require any permanent installation or mounting. You can set up the foldable solar panel when and where you like and top up the solar generator quickly and effortlessly.

Bluetti EB70S

The LiFePO4 battery Bluetti went with offers the best mix of performance and longevity available. You can expect 2500+ charge/discharge cycles from it, giving it a solid 10+ year lifespan. 

As with anything, there are some downsides to the Bluetti Solar Kit. You pay a premium for the convenience and ease of use, with the EB70S coming in noticeably more expensive on a per-watt and per-amp-hour basis than other solar kits on our list.

If you’re willing to take that tradeoff, though, you wind up with a solar system that’s effortless to install, easy to use and requires far less upkeep than a more traditional solar kit.

Specifications

  • Solar Cell Type: Polycrystalline
  • Watts/Voltage: 120V / 716Wh
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating: MPPT 
  • Mounting Hardware Included: 
  • What It Will Power: Small appliances, phones, laptops, drones, tablets

Pros 

  • Effortless setup and use
  • LiFePO4 battery offers 2500+ charge/discharge cycles, significantly more than AGM or traditional lithium batteries
  • Included 120V solar panel can charge it from 0-80% in just six hours
  • Highly portable design makes it perfect for van or RV dwellers looking for flexibility

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not suited for full wiring into a tiny home

Our #5 Rated Best Solar Panel Kit: Eco-Worthy 400 Watt Off Grid Solar Kit (Best Budget Solar Panel Kit)

Solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
Eco-Worthy 400 Watt Solar Kit
product-image
Eco-Worthy 400 Watt Solar Kit
Features
  • The total price for the package is barely above the cost of four 100 Watt solar panels
  • It’s sized well for powering a van or smaller RV, or supplementing power for a larger RV or tiny home
  • The package includes the most essential components needed for a solar installation
  • The panels, connectors, and other equipment are reliable and backed by effective warranties
Our Rating
Our #5 Rated
4.2 out of 5

Eco-Worthy has spent the last several years carving out a name for itself as the value-priced alternative to bigger, more name-brand solar options. They offer a comprehensive line of panels and other solar power gear, including a really nice 400 Watt solar panel kit.

It includes four 100 Watt monocrystalline solar panels plus a 60A charge controller and all the required mounting hardware. The cables, connectors, and brackets used are all industry standard for this size installation and come with comprehensive instructions to make DIY installation easier.

eco-worthy 60a pwm charge controller

400 Watts will provide a reasonable amount of solar power, enough to run something like a solar fridge and a few other key energy-efficient appliances. When paired with an adequate battery bank you’ll be able to run your RV or van power system off-grid with no problem.

It’s not quite large enough for a true off-grid tiny system, at least not if you’re looking for an experience like a traditional home. For those willing to really cut back on their power usage and focus on the essentials, it’s still a viable option.

The only big downside we saw with this kit was the charge controller. It’s a PWM controller, losing you a good chunk of efficiency compared to MPPT controllers. For the price, it’s still a good deal, but you should definitely keep it in mind.

Specifications:

  • Solar cell type: Monocrystaline
  • Watts/Voltage: 400 Watts at 12V
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating: PWM 60A
  • Mounting hardware included: Yes
  • What it will power: Phones, tablets, laptops, LED lighting, small TVs, and small appliances

Pros 

  • The total price for the package is barely above the cost of four 100 Watt solar panels
  • It’s sized well for powering a van or smaller RV, or supplementing power for a larger RV or tiny home
  • The package includes the most essential components needed for a solar installation
  • The panels, connectors, and other equipment are reliable and backed by effective warranties

Cons

  • The included PWM charge controller shows markedly less efficiency than an MPPT model
  • For a bit more money per watt you can get panel kits with better equipment and connectors

Our #6 Rated Best Solar Panel Kit: ACOPOWER 500 Watts 12/24 Volts RV Solar Panel Kit 

Solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
ACOPOWER 500 Watts 12/24 Volts RV Solar Panel Kit
product-image
ACOPOWER 500 Watts 12/24 Volts RV Solar Panel Kit
Features
  • It was specifically designed with vehicle mounting in mind
  • Comes standard with the mourning hardware and waterproof entry port needed for RV, van, or tiny house use
  • Provides adequate power for highly efficient tiny homes or plenty of power for RVs and vans
  • Pairs quickly and easily with modern solar battery types
Our Rating
Our #6 Rated
3.9 out of 5

The ACOPOWER 500 Watt solar panel kit has a whole lot of good features going for it, tempered with just a few small caveats. It’s a 500 Watt panel kit designed specifically with RV and van dweller use in mind and has some useful value adds that not a lot of kits provide.

The panels themselves are polycrystalline and slightly larger and heavier than monocrystalline panels of the same output. So long as you aren’t watching every millimeter on your roof though, you probably won’t notice the difference in inefficiency.

It includes an efficient MPPT charge controller rated for 40A at up to 32V. That’s about perfect in size for this number of panels and does a good job squeezing every drop of power out of their output.

acopower solar charge controller

Where you can really see the RV/Van focus is in the little extras. It includes the usual cables and connectors, but also throws in a waterproof housing that seals onto the roof of your RV. It’s something you’ll absolutely need to run the cables into your battery enclosure, but that a lot of other kits don’t offer. 

ACOPOWER solar panel kit

It works just as well in a tiny house setting, of course, but it’s definitely easy to see why they market it especially with RVs in mind. 

Specifications:

  • Solar cell type: Polycrystalline
  • Watts/Voltage: 500 Watts at 12V/24V
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating:  MPPT 40A
  • Mounting hardware included: Yes
  • What it will power: Phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, and small to medium appliances

Pros 

  • It was specifically designed with vehicle mounting in mind
  • Comes standard with the mourning hardware and waterproof entry port needed for RV, van, or tiny house use
  • Provides adequate power for highly efficient tiny homes or plenty of power for RVs and vans
  • Pairs quickly and easily with modern solar battery types

Cons

  • The polycrystalline panels are slightly larger and less efficient than comparable monocrystalline panels 
  • The included cable is just 30 feet long, most kits we see have a 40 foot or longer cable

Our #7 Rated Best Solar Panel Kit: Bluetti AC200P Portable Power Station and 600W Solar Kit

Solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
Bluetti AC200P Portable Power Station and 600W Solar Kit
product-image
Bluetti AC200P Portable Power Station and 600W Solar Kit
Features
  • Can be set up in minutes
  • Requires no permanent installation
  • Great for RVs or Vans
  • LiFePO4 battery offers 3,500+ charge cycles before battery capacity drops noticeably
  • Can daisy chain the solar generator to significantly expand battery capacity
  • Ample battery capacity and inverter power to run medium to large appliances like refrigerators
Our Rating
Our #7 Rated
4.5 out of 5

The Bluetti AC200P is a portable power station that offers significant power with zero installation or hassle. It’s been one of our favorite solar generators since its release, and now Bluetti has made it even more impressive by pairing it with three folding 200W solar panels.

The Bluetti AC200P is a solar generator that combines a charge controller, battery, and a potent 2000W pure sine wave inverter into a single package. It has a 2,000Wh battery capacity and packs in a 2,000W inverter with a rated surge of 4,800W.

bluetti ac200p portable power station

That’s enough battery and inverter capacity to run several major appliances and small devices effectively. When paired with the trio of 200W solar panels you end up with a basically hassle-free solar kit that allows you to deploy panels when and where you like and requires virtually no installation.

Even more exciting, the AC200P can be daisy chained with the Bluetti B300 Expansion Battery to more than double its capacity. That gives you over 5,000Wh of power, plenty to operate everything you’d need in an energy-efficient tiny house or RV.

bluetti b300 expansion battery

The downside to the Bluetti approach is that you’ll pay more on a per watt basis for battery, inverter, and solar capacity. The system is significantly more expensive than if you buy individual components and wire them together yourself.

It’s up to you to decide if you prioritize maximum savings or the incredible convenience and versatility of the Bluetti AC200P Portable Power Station and Solar Kit.

Specifications

  • Solar Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Watts/Voltage: 3X 200W @ 12V
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating: Combination MPPT charge controller, LiFePO4 battery, and 2,000W pure sine wave 
  • Battery Capacity: 2,000Wh
  • Mounting Hardware Included: N/A
  • What it Will Power: TVs, laptops, tablets, phones, lights, refrigerators, high-efficiency A/C

Pros

  • Can be set up in minutes
  • Requires no permanent installation
  • Great for RVs or Vans
  • LiFePO4 battery offers 3,500+ charge cycles before battery capacity drops noticeably
  • Can daisy chain the solar generator to expand battery capacity

Cons

  • Expensive on a per watt and per amp hour basis
  • Can’t wire directly into a tiny home
  • Have to plug appliances and devices into the solar generator

Our #8 Rated Best Solar Panel Kit: Eco-Worthy 1200 Watt Complete Solar Power Kit

Solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
Eco-Worthy 1200 Watt Complete Solar Power Kit
product-image
Eco-Worthy 1200 Watt Complete Solar Power Kit
Features
  • Includes everything you need to set up off-grid solar
  • Batteries are LiFePO4, offering more than 3,000 charge cycles of deep discharge
  • Comes complete with all required accessories for installation and use
  • Combination 60A MPPT charge controller/3000W inverter offer ample charging capacity for batteries and has enough peak surge to easily handle major appliances
  • Excellent value
Our Rating
Our #8 Rated
3.7 out of 5

The Eco-Worthy 1200 Watt Complete Solar Power Kit gives you everything you need to set up a comprehensive off-grid power system. Where most of the solar kits on our list include panels and a charge controller, Eco-Worthy takes it to the next level with a combination 60A MPPT charge controller and 3000W pure sine wave inverter.

Having those two essential pieces of equipment combined into one both saves you space and makes your installation simpler. It comes with six 195 Watt monocrystaline solar panels, for a total potential output of 1170 Watts. Eco-Worthy also included a LiFePO4 100Ah lithium battery.

LiFePO4 are the best battery option on the market today for tiny homes. They offer more than 4X the effective charge cycles of older lithium-ion or AGM batteries. 

The Eco-Worthy battery in this set is rated for 3,000 deep charge cycles before seeing serious capacity drops.

eco-worthy LiFePO4 batteries

That’s absolutely incredible, particularly when paired with high efficiency solar panels like those in this kit.

What really blew us away with the Eco-Worth Solar Panel Kit was the combination charge controller/inverter. Those are the two most important components of any solar power system. Having them together in one piece of equipment saves you space in your tiny home and makes installation significantly more straightforward.

eco-worthy inverter charge controller

The MPPT charge controller is rated at 60A while the pure sine wave inverter offers a working load of 3,000W and a peak surge of 6,000W. That’s enough power output to run major appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, and enough surge to cover the startup draw of power hogs like A/C units.

Even better, it’s a pure sine wave inverter. Pure sine wave inverters are significantly better for your appliances and electronics than cheaper modified sine wave inverters. 

If you’re looking to make a single purchase that covers your entire tiny home solar system, the Eco-Worthy Solar Power Complete Kit is the way to go.

Specifications

  • Solar Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Watts/Voltage: 1170 Watts at 24V
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating: Combination MPPT 60A and 3000W Inverter
  • Mounting Hardware Included: Yes
  • What it Will Power: Refrigerator, TVs, phones, laptops, energy-efficient air conditioners, 3-4 large appliances

Pros

  • Includes everything you need to set up off-grid solar
  • Battery is LiFePO4, offering more than 3,000 charge cycles of deep discharge
  • Comes complete with all required accessories for installation and use
  • Combination 60A MPPT charge controller/3000W inverter offer ample charging capacity for batteries and has enough peak surge to easily handle major appliances
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Included instructions can be confusing, might be better to have it professionally installed

Our #9 Rated Best Solar Panel Kit: ExpertPower 200 Watt 12V Solar Kit

Solar Panel Kit
Features
Our rating
ExpertPower 200 Watt 12V Solar Kit
product-image
ExpertPower 200 Watt 12V Solar Kit
Features
  • LiFePO4 batteries offer significantly longer lifespans than comparably sized AGM or traditional lithium batteries
  • Very reasonable price for the generation and storage capacity
  • Includes 20A MPPT charge controller scalable for additional batteries
  • Comes standard with all required mounting hardware and a Bluetooth module for easy system monitoring
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5

The ExpertPower Solar Kit is a 200W solar kit that offers an affordable and reliable way to provide solar power for an RV, van, or smaller tiny home. It’s a great place to start when considering solar kits, particularly if you need to charge primarily small electronics and other devices with lower current draw.

The ExperPower Solar Kit has a pair of monocrystalline 100W solar panels, each rated to produce 5.56 amps of power at up to 18V. When paired with the highly efficient 20A MPPT charge controller, they can charge up the 20Ah LiFePO4 battery in under three hours of prime sunlight. 

Even better, the charge controller has ample capacity to add another LiFePO4 battery if needed, doubling your storage capacity without requiring adjustments to any other aspect of your system.

The ExpertPower Solar Kit includes all required hardware and even comes with a handy Bluetooth module that allows you to monitor your system without accessing the charge controller. 

ExpertPower 200W Solar Kit Bluetooth Module

We love that Expert Solar went with a LiFePO4 battery. They offer significantly greater numbers of charge cycles than traditional AGM or Lithium batteries, with the Expert Solar battery rated at up to 7000 charge cycles before significant battery capacity degradation.

Our only real gripe with this solar kit is the lack of an AC inverter. You’ll need to pick one up separately to power traditional household appliances.

All in all, the 200W Expert Solar Power Kit is a solid entry-level solar power kit capable of providing power for electronics, small appliances, and other lower-draw items. It’s not the kit we’d choose for a standard tiny home, but if you’re looking for a van or RV power system, this could be the one for you.

Specifications

  • Solar Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Watts/Voltage: 200W Solar / 20Ah LiFePO4 Battery
  • Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating: 20A MPPT
  • Mounting Hardware Included: Yes
  • What It Will Power: Laptops, LED lights, phones, tablets, drones, small appliances

Pros 

  • LiFePO4 batteries offer significantly longer lifespans than comparably sized AGM or traditional lithium batteries
  • Very reasonable price for the generation and storage capacity
  • Includes 20A MPPT charge controller scalable for additional batteries
  • Comes standard with all required mounting hardware and a Bluetooth module for easy system monitoring

Cons

  • Doesn’t include an inverter
  • Not large enough for most tiny homes

Benefits of Solar Panel Kits 

Solar panel kits combine the cost savings of DIY installation with the knowledge of solar experts. They come with everything you need to get started plus detailed instructions on how to properly install them and hook everything together.

They’re a great option for those looking to explore alternative living as they take a lot of the guesswork out of pairing different pieces of solar equipment. Every solar panel kit on our list includes electrical components sized for the type and output of panels provided, the right gauge of connecting cable and all the proper connectors.

They allow you to open up a box and get your solar kit put together properly without having to worry about designing a system yourself.

What’s Included With a Solar Panel Kit?

Different solar panel kits come with different components, of course, but in general, they all offer mostly the same capabilities. The basic components are solar panels, connecting cables such as MP4’s or similar, fuses/breakers, a charge controller, and mounting hardware. 

The panels are pretty obvious, they convert the Sun’s energy into usable electricity. The second stage, and arguably the most important part of a solar panel kit, is the charge controller.

Solar panels have both a watt and volt figure listed on them, but they aren’t precise. A 12V solar panel may actually be outputting anywhere from 10V on up to 20V+. The charge controller 

The connectors and fuses/breakers serve to connect the panels to your charge controller and the charge controller to your battery bank or into your power grid.

Are Solar Panel Kits a Good Deal?

Yes and no. On the average solar panel, kits are slightly more expensive than if you bought all the components on their own, but there’s an important caveat there.

Your time.

As we covered above, solar panel kits come with all the basic components needed to get your solar system started. All you have left to do with the vast majority of kits is hook them up, mount them to your roof, and connect them to your batteries. 

Picking out all the components you need requires research on the best varieties and the knowledge to properly size the various components together. It’s not a ton of work, but it adds up when you look at it across picking out all the different parts.

Solar panel kits are cost-competitive with buying components on your own, but the convenience and time savings they offer are hard to beat.

What to Look for in a Good Off Grid Solar Kit

Not all solar kits are created equal. Many kits we’ve tested are technically identical on paper and yet offer tremendously different installation and user experiences. Below are the critical factors you need to consider when looking for the best off grid solar kit for your needs.

Meeting Your Needs

The most critical factor when considering a solar kit is whether or not it meets your needs. No two tiny homes are exactly alike, and no two people will have the exact energy requirements.

The best place to start is by calculating your average power needs. There are some really handy solar calculators that allow you to input the power draw of various lights, appliances, electronics, and similar goods to get a good idea of just how many watts of solar production and amp hours of battery storage you need. 

We highly recommend you build in a healthy buffer rather than trying to target your number precisely. You never know when you’ll experience low sun conditions or just need to add another power drawing device to your setup.

Difficulty of Installation

Different solar kits require different levels of DIY skill to install. There’s generally a tradeoff between plug-and-play capabilities and cost, so considering the balance between your budget, the permanence of installation you’re looking for, and how handy you are is essential.

Some systems, like the Bluetti EB70S Solar Generator or larger Bluetti AC200P, require virtually no installation past hanging up the panels for use on your RV or van. The downside to solar generators is that you can’t wire them directly into a tiny house power system and are limited to the number of plugs they provide.

A more traditional solar kit often requires physical installation with brackets, running conduits, wiring the system together, and factoring in grounding and fusing. If you don’t have strong DIY skills or the willingness to carefully study electrical wiring diagrams, paying an electrician to wire your solar system might be a good idea.

Ease of Use

Power systems work best when you don’t have to put much thought into their operation. The best solar kits allow you to easily monitor charging rates, power flow, battery levels, and other critical metrics. 

At a minimum, you want the charge controller and inverter system to have easy-to-read screens that present information in an understandable manner. If you’re picking up a higher-end system, consider one with Bluetooth capabilities that allow you to monitor the status of your solar system from a smartphone or other device.

Solar Panel Kit Buying Guide

There are several key considerations you should take when picking out the best solar panel kits for your needs. Below we’ve covered the questions we’re most frequently asked when people bring up solar panels.

Grid-Tied vs. Off-Grid 

There are two types of solar panel kits available for purchase today. Grid-tied kits designed to provide power into the normal electrical grid from your home and off-grid kits designed to charge up battery banks.

For the purposes of our list, we only reviewed off-grid kits, as that’s what the vast majority of tiny dwellers, vanlifers, and RV enthusiasts are looking for. Off-grid kits can often work with a grid-tied system, but they require more intense wiring and should definitely be installed by an electrician.

Panel Type 

You have two types of solar cells to choose from with solar panels. These are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. 

Monocrystalline panels are made using a single silicon crystal for the solar cells and have a darker, more ‘honeycomb’-esque appearance. They’re generally more expensive than poly panels, but offer higher efficiency in energy production.

Polycrystalline panels are made using multiple silicon crystals and have a shimmering blue appearance. They’re generally less expensive but are also less efficient.

If space is at a premium, monocrystalline panels are the way to go. If you’re installing on a larger tiny home you may benefit from the cost savings of polycrystalline solar panels.

Mounting and Connecting Hardware

The mounting and connecting hardware on a solar kit includes the brackets, bolts, cables, connectors, and other parts that physically hold and connect your system. 

Depending on where and how you plan to mount your panels you may or may not be able to use the included hardware. Case in point, if you’re building out a tiny house you might need a modified mounting system with extendable or liftable rails to improve efficiency and take better advantage of the available space.

Before purchasing a solar panel kit make sure the included hardware is of the type you can work with.

Charge Controller Type and Amp Rating

There are currently two widely used types of charge controllers: PWM and MPPT. PWM, or pulse-width modulation charge controllers, are the older and somewhat less expensive version.

I won’t bore you with the nitty-gritty details of how it works, but it’s important to know that PWM charge controllers can be as much as 20% to 25% less efficient than MPPT controllers. 

MPPT, or Maximum Power Point Tracking charge controllers, are newer and more expensive than PWM controllers but are much better at capturing all the power being produced by your solar panels.

It comes down to your needs and your budget. If space is available, many people choose to purchase slightly more panels to offset the efficiency loss of a PWM vs MPPT controller. For tiny house purposes, we generally recommend you go for maximum efficiency wherever possible.

Final Thoughts

Solar panel kits offer substantial time and convenience savings over the traditional solar buying process. Instead of scouring different sites to find out what kind of charge controller you need for a specific type of panel, you can just order a single kit and get into the installation process.

Whether you’re looking for the all-in-one convenience of the Bluetti AC200P or prefer the affordable and customizable Renogy 400 Watt Solar Panel Kit, there’s sure to be a solar panel kit out there that will work for your needs.

Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson

Josh is a freelance writer and avid outdoorsman. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Political Science and has done his best since to live location-independent. He's been a firm supporter of the tiny movement, new homesteaders, and sustainable alternative living and used his knowledge of these topics to convert a 1999 Dodge Ram van to explore as much of Wild America as he could reach.
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