Solar Panels for Motorhome: Ultimate Guide to Go Solar

Going off the grid doesn't mean you've to give up all your comforts. Solar panels for motorhomes are designed to power outdoor appliances without worrying about electricity outlets. A solar generator that combines solar panels and a large-capacity power station can help you power lights, a mini refrigerator, and even your RV AC.

Jackery Solar Generators combine SolarSaga Solar Panels and Explorer Portable Power Stations to charge motorhome appliances. For instance, the popular Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro can power most essential motorhome devices. It has a battery capacity of 2160Wh that can be quickly charged using Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panels.

Here are Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panels variants you can choose to charge battery backups.

Solar Panels

Product Image

Peak Power

Power Voltage

Power Current

SolarSaga 200W

jackery solarsaga 200w solar panels




SolarSaga 100W

jackery solarsaga 100w solar panels




SolarSaga 80W


jackery solarsaga 80w solar panels




What Is The Solar Panel for Motorhome?

Solar panels for motorhomes are simple powering solutions designed to supply electricity to appliances when you're away from the grid. The two common types of solar panels include fixed and portable. 

While fixed solar panels are usually installed on your RV, camper, or any other vehicle, portable solar panels can be used anywhere. These panels generally consist of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity.

The generated electricity can then charge a portable battery or power station. Once the power station is fully recharged, you can start powering your appliances.

Consider a large-capacity solar generator if you want a power solution with higher wattage and voltage outputs. Alternatively, a small generator with a few solar panels can easily power a small motorhome.

The below table compares motorhome solar panels with residential solar panels.

System Specifies

RV Solar Panels

Residential Solar Panels


40 inches by 60 inches

66 inches by 40 inches


Less than 15 lbs

Generally 40-50 lbs




Output Voltage (V)

Generally 12V or 24V

More than 30V

How Does Motorhome Solar Panel Work?

Motorhome solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. When the sun's rays hit your solar panels, the solar cells absorb the power. The absorbed sunlight is converted into electrical current and stored in the battery.

The traditional solar system generally looks like the following diagram.

how do traditional motorhome solar panel work

When installing solar panels to power motorhomes, there are two popular options: roof-mounted solar panels and portable panels.

Roof-Mounted Solar Panels

The roof-mounted solar panels are permanently wired to your RV. Hence, you don't have to worry about setting up the system before you plan the trip.

This solar system might be ideal if you've enough RV space. Despite being a popular solution, these panels have a few downsides. For instance, you'll have to park your RV under direct sunlight in hot summers to generate power and charge appliances.

Portable Solar Panels

Unlike roof-mounted solar panels, portable solar systems can be set up anytime and anywhere. All you need to do is unfold the panels and place them under direct sunlight.

The sunlight will be converted into electricity, helping you quickly power the battery backup. Their lighter and more portable nature differentiates them from roof-mounted solar panels. Jackery offers various solar panels with different voltage and watt ratings.

Not only can these portable solar generators charge appliances in your motorhome, but they are also ideal for short camping or fishing trips. For instance, you can carry a smaller Jackery Explorer 300 or 500 to charge appliances like smartphones, tablets, and more during motorhome camping.

Unlike the traditional systems, Jackery Solar Generators do not complicate charging using solar panels. The solar solution combines solar panels and a portable power station that works in tandem to charge motorhome appliances.

how do jackery solar panels work

How Many Watts Does A Motorhome Use?

There's no single correct answer to this question, as the watts a motorhome uses directly depend on the watts of your appliances. For instance, you'll need more watts to charge AC than powering a coffee maker or other small devices.

Below we'll reveal common motorhome appliances with their starting and running watts.


Starting Watts

Running Watts










Coffee Maker



Electric Grill



Water Pump



LED Light



Once you know how many watts your motorhome will consume, the next step is to understand the solar power needed. The simple formula to calculate the watt-hours or solar power required is multiplying your appliances' watt consumption and run time.

For instance, if your mini refrigerator consumes 200 watts and you use it for 2 hours, the solar power consumption will be 200W*2H = 400Wh. While calculating the solar power needed, remember that you won't use all the appliances simultaneously.

For instance, you'll use the washing machine while doing laundry, whereas the electric stove will be used when you cook. That's why a solar generator with a large capacity of 3024Wh would be sufficient to run 99% of your motorhome appliances.

Motorhome Appliances



Solar Power Needed













Coffee Maker




Electric Grill




Water Pump




LED Light




How Many Solar Panels Needed for Motorhome?

The number of solar panels you need for your motorhome will depend on your solar energy needs. The two things you'll need to consider are:

  • How many watt-hours (or energy) your motorhome needs daily?
  • How much energy one solar panel can provide to the battery?

For instance, if you want to charge a Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Portable Power Station with a capacity of 3024Wh, you'll need to choose multiple solar panels with 200W power output. Around 6*SolarSaga 200W Solar Panels can efficiently power the battery in only 2.8 hours.

But what are Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panels, and what makes them different from the ones available in the market?

Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panels are built with IBC solar technology and have around 25% conversion efficiency. They are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for outdoor adventures like RVing, camping, etc.

The three popular Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panels that are suitable for motorhomes include:

Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panels

With a high conversion efficiency of 24.3%, Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panels can quickly convert the sun's energy to electricity. It has an ETFE-laminated case that extends its lifespan.

The solar panels have IP67 waterproof rating, making them an excellent choice for RVs and motorhomes. It provides a peak power of 200W and lets you charge Jackery Explorer Portable Power Stations in a few hours.

Customer Review

"These are fantastically well-made panels! They feel and are really well made. The thought and build quality that went into them are something to be proud of. I use two of them to charge my Explorer 1500. The carrying case is super nice as well, and the cord is stored in an inside pocket that is built in." — Grant.

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panels

The Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panels have a conversion efficiency of 24.3% and an IP65 rating. It has two USB ports, so you can power small appliances directly. The solar panels are compatible with most Jackery power stations, making them versatile for motorhome needs.

Customer Review

"Took it camping for a week, and using Jackery 300 and the 100w solar panel was plenty for keeping devices charged and the occasional re-inflation of air mattresses for 6+ people. I feel better prepared for the next power outage at home, too." — Garret Mueller.

Jackery SolarSaga 80W Solar Panels

The upgraded dual-sided solar panels have the highest conversion efficiency of 25%. It has extensive compatibility with all Jackery power stations and a high waterproof IP68 rating. The extra-white glass used on the back panel differentiates Jackery SolarSaga 80W Solar Panels from others.

Customer Review

"I am very impressed with the new 80-watt solar panel. The water resistance rating is very high and is not in danger if accidentally rained upon. And morning dew is not a panel killer either. The built-in corner protection is beefy. Being the first Jackery two-sided panel, it picks up extra power from reflected background light." — Craig.

Compatible with

No. of Solar Panels


Recharging Time

Motorhome Appliances

Explorer 3000 Pro

2~6*SolarSaga 200W Solar Panels



Refrigerator (150-200W): 12.8-17.1H

Heater (1200W): 2.1H

Microwave (600-1500W): 1.7-4.2H

Coffee Maker (500-600W): 4.2-5.1H

Electric Grill (1500-1800W): 1.4-1.7H

Water Pump (40-60W): 42-64H

LED Light (20-30W): 85-`128H

Explorer 2000 Pro

2~6*SolarSaga 200W Solar Panels



Refrigerator (150-200W): 9.1-12.2H

Heater (1200W): 1.5H

Microwave (600-1500W): 1.2-3H

Coffee Maker (500-600W): 3-3.6H

Electric Grill (1500-1800W): 1-1.2H

Water Pump (40-60W): 30-45H

LED Light (20-30W): H

What to Consider When Choosing Solar Panels for Motorhome?

Since not all the solar panels available are created the same, you'll need to consider a few factors before choosing the best solar panels for motorhomes.


The most common materials used in solar panel manufacturing include monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. While monocrystalline solar panels are made using single silicon cells, polycrystalline panels use multiple silicon crystal fragments. Generally speaking, monocrystalline solar cells are highly efficient and can convert more sunlight into electricity.

Easy to Set Up

Portable solar power panels are easy to set up and require no additional equipment. Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panels are built with monocrystalline silicon cells and are easy to set up. These portable solar panels come with integrated stands and handles, helping you with quick installation.


The choice of solar panel wattage will depend on the battery capacity. If you have a small battery, solar panels with less wattage may suit your needs. On the other hand, a larger battery needs more solar panels with higher output.


Efficiency is another essential factor you must consider when choosing solar power panels. Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panels are portable, highly efficient, and durable. They are made of advanced solar cells with a high efficiency of 25%.

Solar Panels for Motorhome FAQs

What are the differences between a motorhome solar system and a solar generator?

A motorhome solar system consists of an inverter, solar power panels, a charge controller, and a battery backup. You can use the solar system to power most motorhome appliances for long hours. However, you will have to set up all the components before powering electrical devices.

On the contrary, a solar generator combines only two components: solar panels and a battery backup. The power station has an in-built inverter and solar charge controller, ensuring you don't have to worry about temperature fluctuations while charging.

What size of solar generator do I need for a motorhome?

Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro and 2000 Plus are popular motorhome charging solutions. They have a large battery capacity of 3024Wh and 2042.8Wh, respectively, helping you charge 99% of your outdoor appliances.

Here's how to calculate the working hours of Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro.

Working Time = Capacity in Wh × 0.85 / Operating wattage of appliances in motorhome = 3024Wh × 0.85 / 1000W = 2.5H.

This means that Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro can supply stable electricity to 1000 watts appliances for 2.5 hours. All Jackery Solar Generators feature pass-through charging that lets you charge devices while powering the battery using solar panels.

Is solar panels for motorhomes worth it?

In short, yes. Investing in solar panels for motorhomes can help you reduce your electricity bills while ensuring you don't pollute the atmosphere with toxic emissions.

However, you'll need a reliable battery to store the excess electricity generated. A portable solar generator can help you keep appliances powered during the day and night.

Final Thoughts

Solar panels for motorhomes aren't any new thing. Many RV owners and outdoor enthusiasts use solar panels to generate eco-friendly and safe electricity. However, it's worth noting that you'll have to connect solar panels with a battery backup to store the excess electricity for later use.

Jackery Solar Generators combine Explorer Portable Power Stations and SolarSaga Solar Panels. You can choose the expandable Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus to power 99% of motorhome appliances. If you need more power, simply connect the power station with Jackery Battery Pack 2000 Plus.

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