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Go Power Solar Options to Extend Your Off-Grid Trips I Camping World Blog

Running out of power is one surefire way to end an off-grid camping trip early. If you don’t have a way to replenish your batteries while off-grid, you’ll always be fighting the battery meter. This means less time enjoying the great outdoors and more time worrying about how much battery juice you have left. 

If you want to extend your trip and not worry about returning early, you should incorporate solar power into your setup. Go Power Solar is an industry-leading solar manufacturer that offers some of the highest-efficiency products on the market. If you’re considering adding solar or changing your setup, see if Go Power is right for you.

What Makes Go Power the Best for Your RV?

Toyota Tacoma with rooftop tent and flexible solar panels
Photo by Go Power

There are many solar power choices and it’s a big investment, so it’s important to choose the right one. Go Power is a good fit if you value quality and don’t mind paying more for something that will last. Let’s look at what makes Go Power the best solar panels for RV boondocking.

Solar Panel Efficiency

A solar panel’s efficiency is defined by how much sunlight it can convert into energy. For example, if a panel has a 20% efficiency rating, it can convert 20% of the sunlight it receives into energy. This is important because the higher your panel’s efficiency rating is, the more power you’ll obtain. 

Most RV solar panels today are about 20% efficient, whereas Go Power solar panels are as high as 21.5%. It may not seem like a huge difference, but the average efficiency number has only risen by 2% in the past five years. As solar technology advances, we expect this number to increase even more.

Equipment Durability

Most solar panels are mounted on the roof, so you can imagine the abuse they can take. Hail, heavy rain, and strong winds are just some conditions these panels are subjected to. If the glass breaks, your efficiency rating will plummet, or you could lose your efficiency altogether. 

Go Power has stated that its panels can survive a 1″ hailstone strike at 51 mph, which speaks volumes about their durability. This guide also teaches you how to protect solar panels from hail and other environmental factors.

Manufacturing Materials

RV solar panels are made from amorphous, polycrystalline, or monocrystalline materials. Amorphous materials are very cost-effective but fragile and take up a lot of space. Polycrystalline materials, on the other hand, are more durable and twice as efficient. Monocrystalline is the most efficient panel construction, which Go Power uses for most of its panels. 

Who Makes Go Power Solar Panels?

Go Power solar panels are made by the parent company Dometic, which is a large manufacturer of RV products. They were previously owned by Valterra, who was bought by Dometic in 2021. 

Types of Go Power Solar Panels

Airstream trailer with flexible roof mounted solar panels
Photo by Go Power

Solar panels today look a lot different than just a few years ago. There are now different types of panels for every application. Let’s review some options.

Rigid versus Flexible Panels

Most RVers will use rigid panels, which are durable and have the longest warranty. However, there is also the option of using a less durable flexible panel. These are great for odd roof shapes, like on a teardrop camper, where a rigid panel would be harder to install. 

If your roof design is curved, consider flexible panels, but for all other applications, use rigid panels.

Portable versus Permanent Panels

When people think of solar, they picture panels mounted on the roof. However, portable panels allow you to maximize sun exposure by repositioning them throughout the day. This is great because the best place to park and the best place to get full sun exposure are not always the same.

However, portable panels have downsides. You must set them up each time and find a place to store them between uses. Due to their portable design, they are often much smaller than roof-mounted panels, so your power options are limited.

Can I Add a Go Power Solar Panel To My RV If I Have Another Brand?

Portable panel hooked up to Airstream trailer
Photo by Go Power

Most Go Power Solar panels are compatible with equipment made by other brands, but there are a few caveats. First, verify which plugs your existing panel uses. The common types are MC4, SLR, and SAE, and Go Power uses MC4. If you have another, you’ll need an adapter, but most Go Power solar kits come with them.

Second, consider if you have enough room for another panel. Safely ascend to your RV’s roof to measure the available space for additional solar panels, being sure to avoid roof-mounted accessories like roof vents and air conditioning units.

Third, check your charge controller’s capacity. Every solar panel needs a charge controller. Without it, your batteries would overcook. A solar controller’s capacity is defined by how much power it can accept – most are rated in amps. 

For example, if you have a 30 amp charge controller and two 200-watt 10 amp panels, you can add one additional 200-watt 10 amp panel before upgrading your solar controller. If you have a 10 amp charge controller and one 200-watt 10 amp panel, you would not be able to add another panel without a new charge controller.

Do Cheap Solar Panels Work?

Yes, cheap solar panels work, just as expensive ones do. However, there is a clear difference in quality. For example, high-end panels use monocrystalline, which is durable and efficient, whereas cost-effective panels may use amorphous, which is much less durable and energy efficient. 

Even if they use the same panel type, their efficiency will not be the same, so you’ll need more panels to provide the same energy. Lastly, cheaper panels have durability concerns due to the lack of quality materials used in construction. 

What Are The Best Go Power Solar Kit Starter Systems?

The correct system for you depends on many factors, including how much solar you need. You can always add solar panels as needed, so if you’re looking for a good starter system, check out some of our Go Power favorites.

Best Rigid Starter Kit – Overlander 200-Watt Go Power Solar Kit

Go Power 200-watt overlander solar kit
Photo by Camping World
Power Rating Panel Type  Charge Controller Amps
200-Watts Monocrystalline 30 Amp 9.62

Best Portable Starter Kit – Go Power! 200-Watt Portable Solar Kit

Go Power 200-watt portable solar panel
Photo by Camping World
Power Rating Panel Type  Charge Controller Amps
200-Watts Monocrystalline 30 Amp 11.4

Best Flexible Go Power Solar Kit – Go Power! 220-Watt Flexible Solar Kit

Go Power flexible 220-watt solar panel kit
Photo by Camping World
Power Rating Panel Type  Charge Controller Amps
220-Watts Monocrystalline 30 Amp 12.62

Best Rigid Panel for a Solar-Ready RV – Go Power! 200-Watt Overlander Expansion Kit

Go Power rigid 200-watt add-on solar panel
Photo by Camping World
Power Rating Panel Type  Charge Controller Amps
200-Watts Monocrystalline N/A 9.62

Best Upgraded Solar Charge Controller – 30A MPPT Go Power Solar Controller

Go Power 30-amp MPPT solar controller
Photo by Camping World
Type Lithium Compatible Charge Rating Stackable
MPPT Yes 30 Amps Yes

What Are The Best Complete Go Power Solar Kits?

If you’re not new to solar and looking for a more complete system, such as one that includes an inverter to power your AC appliances with your batteries and transfer switch, check out some of these top-selling options. 

Best 200-Watt Complete System – Go Power! Solar Weekender

Go Power complete 200-watt solar weekender kit
Photo by Camping World
Power Rating Panel Type  Charge Controller Amps
200-Watts Monocrystalline 30 Amp 9.3

Best 400-Watt Complete System – Solar Elite Go Power Solar Kit

Go Power elite 400-watt solar kit
Photo by Camping World
Power Rating Panel Type  Charge Controller Amps
400-Watts Monocrystalline 30 Amp 19.2

Best 600-Watt Complete System – Go Power! Solar Extreme

Go Power extreme 600-watt solar kit
Photo by Camping World
Power Rating Panel Type  Charge Controller Amps
600-Watts Monocrystalline 30 Amp 28.8

Do I Need To Upgrade My Batteries When Using Solar Panels?

Airstream trailer with lithium Go Power batteries
Photo by Go Power

Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding about solar energy is that panels alone can power your RV appliances. In fact, your RV batteries supply power, while solar panels capture energy, and a charge controller regulates voltage for safe battery charging. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how much solar power you have. If you can’t store that power, it’s useless. 

If you add one small solar panel to your trailer, your existing battery setup will be fine. However, if you plan to add larger or multiple panels, it would be wise to upgrade your battery type or capacity. We recommend AGM or Lithium batteries, which are much more efficient than standard lead-acid batteries. Learn more about upgrading RV batteries.

Is It Worth Going To Solar Power?

Camper van with tent and rooftop solar
Photo by Go Power

Profoundly, yes! Solar power is a worthwhile investment for any camper. It may take a bit longer to recoup your investment if you don’t camp very often, but once you do, it will continue to pay for itself.

Solar power is a must-have piece of equipment for off-grid camping. The more power you have, the more time you can spend away. Go Power is a great choice if you’re looking for performance and durability. 

Check out some of our other solar articles before your next trip:

Let us know your experience with Go Power solar products in the comments below. 

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