RV parked beside the ocean with solar panels on the roof - solar options

Low Budget Solar Power For Under $500

Are you interested in solar but don’t have the budget for an elaborate setup? Solar doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are solar options out there to fit every budget. Harnessing the sun’s power can be done for under $500 with these low-cost solar options.

Affordable solar solutions for tight budgets

Solar has been a game changer in the RV community for years now, and more and more people are looking to solar for their power needs. Although the cost can add up for a complete system, the long-term savings and freedom from the power grid make it worth it.

With all the options and new products continually being introduced, the cost of a solar setup can easily reach thousands. But not everyone needs a state-of-the-art system to power their entire RV for weeks on end. Many people want solar options that are more basic and cost-effective.

Luckily, there are solar options that cater directly to the RVers who want to take advantage of solar without the high initial setup cost.

RVMP 200-watt solar kit

For under $400, this solar kit is a cheap way to get into the solar game. This is a complete kit that makes setup quick and easy. RVMP has kits ranging from 100 watts to 300 watts to fit your needs and budget. Their solar kits are perfect for RVs that require more modest solar needs.

Included in the RVMP kit are two 100-watt solar panels measuring approximately 26″ x 36″ x 1″. Each panel weighs 15 pounds and includes all the required mounting hardware.

The charge controller is an MPPT 40-amp controller with a built-in temperature sensor, cooling fan, and ventilation on both sides.

Along with all the required mounting hardware, this kit also comes with 10 AWG stranded core solar cable. One red and one black cable are included with MC4 connections pre-attached to make things simple.

Jackery Explorer 300 Solar Generator

Jackery is a well-known name in the outdoor power space and has lots of power options available.

One way to use solar power without the complicated setup is to use a solar-powered power station. This Jackery unit has a power output of 110V/300W AC.

The system manages overheating and excessive voltage and offers overcurrent protection, ensuring that you can charge even sensitive devices, such as phones and laptops. Although not as traditional as other solar options, these power stations combined with a solar panel for charging make for cheap, easy solar power.

Renogy 300-watt 12V solar kit

This Renogy solar kit includes three 100W 12V monocrystalline solar panels, a 30A PWM charge controller, a 10AWG solar adapter kit, one 16-foot 10AWG tray cable, branch connectors, a Bluetooth module, and one Renogy cable entry housing for your RV.

It also features an LCD screen on the controller for displaying system information and allows for full control of parameter settings. A cool feature is the Bluetooth module, which allows you to pair the charge controller with the Renogy smartphone app!

This kit is also expandable if you decide you need more power and want to upgrade when your budget allows.

Weize 200W 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit

At a price of right around $180, it’s tough not to try out solar for your RV. Weize has a variety of solar kits available and many budget-minded RVers trust this brand.

Consisting of a single 200-watt solar panel rather than multiple smaller panels is a plus for this kit. Although 200 watts may not be a huge amount of power, it’s definitely enough to power the basics and help recharge RV batteries.

For a bargain price, you get a monocrystalline panel that is installation ready and equipped with all necessary accessories. The 30-amp PWM charge controller protects against reverse polarity, overcharging, short-circuiting, and reverse current.

Generous 20-foot solar cables are included to route the system, along with brackets and mounting hardware.

Are these solar options enough?

The options featured here are very basic solar options and by no means display the full potential of solar. That being said, for lots of RVers, these kits are perfectly suited to their needs.

Keeping RV batteries charged while off-grid for a weekend or keeping phones and laptops charged doesn’t take a fancy solar setup. The initial setup cost of a good solar system can be a turnoff to many, and as a result, lots of RVers pass on solar.

As we’ve seen here, however, solar doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are solar options for everyone.

Get tips from other RVers

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.

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