Best RV Solar Controllers (2023)

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As a green technology and camping enthusiast, I understand the benefits of having an efficient RV solar controller. Choosing the best solar controller for RV can help to optimize your solar power, save energy and extend the lifespan of your RV batteries. Let’s explore the different kinds of RV solar controllers available on the market and find the best fit for your off-grid RV lifestyle.

An RV solar charge controller is an essential device that regulates the voltage output of solar panels to ensure efficient and safe charging of batteries. It prevents overcharging of batteries and protects them from damage caused by reverse current flow at night. This device uses advanced technologies such as Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) or Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to optimize the charging process and boost the system’s energy efficiency. Installing an RV solar charge controller helps to extend the lifespan of your batteries and save on energy costs.

Best RV Solar Charge Controller

Here’s the best RV solar controller that will allow you to maximize the efficiency of your RV solar installation:

The Best MPPT Solar Controller for RV

OUR PICK: Victron

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★★★★★ 4.7

  • High efficiency: 98%
  • Bluetooth
  • Custom charging profile based on battery type
  • Very reliable

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If instead you are on a budget but you still want to get an efficient solar charge controller for your camper, here’s the best option for you:

Best Value MPPT Solar Controller

Best Value

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B09JZGBDPB&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=snyep 20&language=en USBougeRV MPPT solar charge controller

★★★★★ 4.4

  • High efficiency: 99%
  • Affordable
  • Compatibility: 12, 24, 36, and 48V

We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

If instead you really can’t afford any of the above options, then you will have to get a less efficient PWM solar controller. This type of controller is considerably less expensive, however, it is also 30% less efficient, meaning that about a third of the energy produced by your RV solar panels will be lost.

Budget PWM Solar Controller

Budget Option

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07BBKFTNV&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=snyep 20&language=en USpwm solar controller

★★★★★ 4.4

  • 30 Amp
  • Deep Cycle Sealed (AGM), Gel, Flooded, and Lithium battery ready
  • Very Affordable
  • Compatibility: 12 or 24V

We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Everything You Need to Know About RV Solar Charge Controllers

If you’re considering installing a solar power system in your recreational vehicle (RV), you’ll want to read this guide.

what is a solar charge controller?

An RV solar charge controller acts like a gatekeeper for your solar power system, taking in power from your solar panels and letting it flow to your batteries.

If the voltage of your solar panels is higher than that of your battery bank, the charge controller will allow charging to occur, while also preventing overcharging of your batteries.

To make sure your batteries are safely and efficiently powered, you need an RV solar charge controller as part of your solar power setup. The charge controller is responsible for regulating how much voltage is being sent from your solar panels to your batteries. It works by monitoring your battery bank’s voltage level and the voltage coming from your solar panels.

Types of RV Solar Charge Controllers

When it comes to RV solar charge controllers, there are two types to choose from: MPPT or PWM.

MPPT and PWM Charge Controllers

RV solar charge controllers come in two main types: MPPT and PWM. PWM uses short pulses to charge batteries, while MPPT optimizes the voltage of solar panels to increase energy efficiency.

MPPT may be better for larger systems, and PWM may be a good budget option for smaller RV systems.

Bear in mind that an MPPT solar controller is typically about 30% more efficient than a PWM controller.

This means that a PWM controller will pretty much waste the power generated by about a third of your RV solar panels.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your needs and budget, however, if you can afford it, I would warmly recommend choosing an MPPT charge controller.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an RV Solar Charge Controller

When choosing a camper solar charge controller, there are three main factors to consider: panel wattage, battery bank voltage and capacity, and controller efficiency.

1. Panel Wattage

The wattage of your solar panels plays a key role in determining the type of charge controller you need. If you have high-wattage solar panels, you may need a more robust charge controller to regulate the voltage output. In this case, an MPPT solar controller would be the preferred choice.

For low-wattage solar panel systems instead, you can consider a PWM controller.

If you need help in determining how many solar panels do you need, I wrote a dedicated guide to that, check it out!

2. Battery Bank Voltage and Capacity

Your battery bank voltage and capacity are also important factors in choosing an RV solar charge controller. If you have a larger battery bank, you’ll need a charge controller that can handle the higher charging requirements (more Amps).

Also, depending on your RV solar batteries, make sure to check if the solar charge controller can handle them, especially if you use lithium. Generally, the best MPPT solar controllers will be fully compatible with lithium batteries and some of them will also allow you to set an optimized charging profile to get the maximum efficiency out of your RV solar installation.

3. Controller Efficiency

Controller efficiency refers to how well your RV solar charge controller can optimize the voltage of your solar panels. The more efficient your charge controller is, the more energy you can generate from your solar power system.

If you plan on installing a solar power system in your RV, it’s important to understand how RV solar charge controllers work. The efficiency of your system depends on several factors, including panel wattage, battery bank voltage and capacity, and controller efficiency.

MPPT charge controllers are typically 30% more efficient than PWM charge controllers, but they can be more expensive. By considering these factors, you can choose the best charge controller for your RV, ensuring that your batteries stay charged, your energy costs stay low, and your RV stays powered.

How to Size an RV Solar Charge Controller

Before you choose an RV solar charge controller, you need to know how to size it properly for your solar power system. The first step is to determine the total power output of your solar panel array in watts.

To determine the maximum amperage output of your solar panel system, divide its wattage by the voltage of your battery system. For instance, if your solar array is 300 watts and your battery system is 12 volts, your maximum amperage output is 25 amps.

It’s vital to pick a charge controller that can handle the same maximum amperage output as your solar array. Choose one that delivers additional amps so you can expand your system or handle power losses.

Once you have this information, you can calculate the maximum amperage output of your solar panels. To do this, take the total wattage output and divide it by the voltage of your battery bank.

NOTE; this will also depend on your solar installation. More in detail, you should know if your solar panels are in series, in parallel, or have a hybrid setup.

Top RV Solar Charge Controller Brands

When it comes to buying an RV solar charge controller, you want a reliable and reputable brand that you can trust. Here are some of the top RV solar charge controller brands on the market:

Victron Energy

Victron Energy is known for its high-quality and advanced solar charge controllers. Their products are built to last and provide excellent performance even in extreme conditions.


BougeRV is a brand specializing in RV equipment, including solar panels, charge controllers (both MPPT and PWM), off-grid solar generators, and portable refrigerators.


Renogy is a leading manufacturer of solar products, including RV solar charge controllers. They offer a wide range of charge controllers that cater to different panel wattage and battery bank sizes.


EPEVER produces affordable and reliable charge controllers that can handle different panel and battery configurations. They offer PWM and MPPT charge controllers that are suitable for most RV solar setups.


Morningstar is trusted by many RVers for their efficient and durable charge controllers. Their products are designed to provide reliable power management and battery protection.

Zamp Solar

Zamp Solar specializes in portable and easy-to-use solar charge controllers that are perfect for RVers. They offer MPPT charge controllers that are compatible with different panel sizes and types.

Installation and Maintenance of RV Solar Charge Controllers

The installation of an RV solar charge controller is relatively easy, but it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. You need to connect the charge controller to the solar panel array and your battery bank properly.

Check the battery voltage, the charging amperage, and any error codes that the controller may display. If you notice any issues or problems, consult the manufacturer or a professional technician.

Make sure all the connections are tight and secure to prevent any electrical accidents.

To maintain your RV solar charge controller, you need to keep it clean and free of dust and debris. You also need to monitor its performance regularly to ensure it’s working correctly.


Is RV’s solar controller necessary?

It is highly recommended to use a solar charge controller for your RV’s solar power system. This is an essential component that prevents overcharging and undercharging of your RV’s battery, which can damage it and reduce its lifespan. With a solar charge controller, the power generated by the solar panels is regulated, ensuring that the battery is charged safely and efficiently.

How Much solar power Is Needed for RV?

To power an RV with solar energy, one should consider the size of their battery bank and the amount of power their appliances consume. A general rule is to have at least a 100-watt solar panel for every 100-amp hour battery. It’s also important to factor in the angle and positioning of the panels, as well as the efficiency of the charge controller. Ultimately, the amount of solar power needed will depend on one’s energy usage and location.

Can solar power replace RV generators?

Some RV enthusiasts question whether solar power can take the place of gasoline generators entirely. However, technological advancements in solar generators have made it feasible.

Equipping the solar generator with adequately proportioned wattage capacity for its solar panels as well as battery storage capacity plus a dependable solar charge controller will allow for an uninterrupted and sustainable RV power supply. Furthermore, the perk of using solar energy is that there is no more noise, exhaust emission, or similar expenses that come with running a gas generator.

Can an RV operate solely on solar energy?

An RV can rely solely on solar power to function. This can be accomplished by installing a well-designed solar charge regulator and adjusting the appropriate ratio of solar panel output to battery storage capacity. Advanced solar generators are feasible alternatives to traditional gas generators, and given the correct specifications, even an air conditioning system can operate effectively without the need for grid electricity.


Now that you know the importance of an RV solar controller, it’s time to choose the best one for your needs. There are different types and models available in the market, and you should consider factors such as the power output of your solar panels, the capacity and type of your batteries, and your energy consumption habits.

A good RV solar controller should be easy to install, user-friendly, and durable. It should also have advanced features such as data monitoring and customizable settings.

Investing in the best RV solar controller may seem like an added expense, but it can save you money in the long run and provide you with a reliable source of power no matter where you go. Plus, you’ll be contributing to a greener future by harnessing the power of the sun. So, don’t hesitate to get your hands on the best RV solar controller out there and maximize your solar power today!

About The AuthorSimon
Hey there! I'm Simon, an entrepreneur and engineer with 15+ years turning ideas into reality, including senior roles in the automotive industry (Formula 1). Drawing from my expertise, I write insightful guides empowering readers to transform their lifestyles through efficiency, innovation and green tech. From renewable energy to hybrid and electric vehicles, sustainable living to gardening, boating to RVing - I cover it all! My aim is helping readers embrace emerging tech to find new, sustainable solutions.