Quick Comparison:Polycrystalline vs Monocrystalline for RV and Camping

If you don’t know which type of solar cell is best and want to see the comparison of polycrystalline vs monocrystalline for RV, you are at the right place. This guide will tell you about some of the highest efficiency of solar panels and the list of best RV solar kit and solar power panels for camping. So without further ado, let’s get started:

How Much Solar Power Do I Need for my RV?

Okay, so this is a tough one because it involves a little bit of math and the active monitoring of your battery voltage using a multi-meter. You will also need the SOC (State of Charge) chart to see where your battery is standing in terms of its charging. So with that said, let’s see how much solar power you will need for your RV:

  • So let’s assume that you have a 200 amp hour battery that is fully charged which means 12.6 volts according to the SOC chart.
  • Now you need to go for a camping trip just like you normally do, do not overuse your battery for no reason and do not conserve the power as well, just use it like the way you normally do.
  • So start your camping trip when the battery is fully charged and disconnect your AC generator because you want to use the battery only.
  • So after 24 hours, you see that your battery is at 12.4 volts which is 80% as per the SOC chart.
  • Now when you check the battery at the end of the second day, it is standing at 12.2 volts which is 60% according to the SOC chart.
  • At the end of the third day, your battery is at 11.9 volts which is 40% as per the SOC chart. Now keep in mind that you will not use your battery any lower than that because they are lead-acid batteries.
  • So now you will do some calculation. After three days, your battery is at 40% which means you used 60% of the battery.
  • Your battery is 200 amp hour, so 60% of that is going to be 120-ampere hours which is the amount consumed over three days.
  • Just divide this amount (120-ampere hours) by three (the number of days used), and you will get your energy consumption for one day which is 120/3 = 40-ampere hours per day.

So this means you will need around 40-ampere hour of solar power for one day if you have 200 amp hour battery.

What’s the Difference between Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels?

Okay so before we move towards the more technical stuff, we just want to make sure you guys know a little bit about polycrystalline vs monocrystalline for RV. So let’s have a look at what they are and what makes them different from each other:

Monocrystalline Panels:

Also known as single crystalline silicon solar panels, Monocrystalline solar panels are recognized pretty easily due to the black color on their outside.

These panels are made from the silicon ingots that are cylindrical and are further cut into the wafers. The primary difference between the mono and polycrystalline panels is the higher efficiency of the monocrystalline solar panels due to the higher purity of silicon used in their production.

Polycrystalline Panels:

Also known as the multi-crystalline panels, unlike the monocrystalline panels, the melted silicone is poured into the square mold. The silicone is then cooled down and then sliced in square wafers that create a polycrystalline shape.

RV Solar Panel Installation:

When it comes to installing your solar panel to the RV, you need to understand that it is a pretty complicated process that is a little risky at the same time. So it is better that you get an expert to do the installation for you.

However, if you want to do the installation by yourself, then due to the complicated process and different types of solar panels, the steps for installing any one of them cannot be mentioned in this guide.

But, if you search on the internet for the installation guide of your solar panel, you will find tons of videos that will show you exactly how you can install the solar panels.

How to Hook Up Solar Panels to RV Batteries?

This one is actually easy to do and not very complicated as well. So just pay attention to the steps below:

  • First of all, prepare your batteries by charging them to 60% at least.
  • Now put the batteries in a plastic container and make sure that their negative terminals are all facing in the same direction and positives in the other direction.
  • Now measure the distance from the terminal to terminal to know the size of the jumper that you will be making.
  • You will be making the connection of batteries in parallel. So for this, create jumpers using 2 AWG cable.
  • Keep in mind that if you are using a large inverter, then your jumper cable will be larger as well. As a general rule, 100 amp will be best facilitated by 2 AWG cable for 1200 watts inverter. If you are using an inverter of 2400 watts, use two cables for each jumper.
  • Now cut the cable and add mechanical lugs. Add some holes in container’s lid to make way for the charge controller’s wires if you want to keep it outside.

Now just connect the inverter and the charge controller to batteries, and you are good to go.

Which is better Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline – Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Well the fact that monocrystalline has more efficiency, it gets the prize but to get a clear picture of why monocrystalline is a winner when it comes to polycrystalline vs monocrystalline for RV have a look at some key benefits of both panels:


  • They take less space
  • They have a very long life of around 25 years
  • Perform excellent even under conditions of low irradiation
  • More aesthetically pleasing as they have a black color while poly have a blue color
  • They show good efficiency in warm weather as well


  • They are cheaper
  • Their production process is simpler

So now you can see why monocrystalline is the clear winner in this comparison of polycrystalline vs monocrystalline for RV.

Types of Solar Cells and Their Efficiency

There many different types of solar panels available out there and the most common ones are given below along with their efficiency rates:

  • Monocrystalline: This one has the second highest efficiency rate of 20% in all solar cells
  • Polycrystalline: It has an efficiency rate of 15%. It simply works by converting sunlight into energy.
  • Thin Film Solar Panels: They have 7 to 10 percent efficiency. Thin film solar panels have multiple photovoltaic materials that convert sunlight into energy.
  • Concentrated PV: They have the highest efficiency of a whopping 41%. They work by using mirrors to focus the sun rays on the panels that result in more efficiency.

What are Some of the Best Solar Panels? Most Efficient Solar Panels on the Market

Well, when it comes to efficiency, then the concentrated PV cells are the most efficient as they have over 41% of efficiency. But if you talk about the best panel while accounting for different factors like size, price and usability on an RV then monocrystalline might be better.

The reason is its second-highest efficiency rate, very small size and wide application on the RVs which makes it is easier to get and install than the CPV cell.

Best Monocrystalline Solar Panels  "High-Efficiency Solar Panels Comparison"

So now that you know the winner of polycrystalline vs monocrystalline for RV is monocrystalline, we have selected this one of the highest efficiency of solar panels just for you. These are perfect solar power panels for camping and also have the best RV solar kit on the market. Some features are:


  • Corrosion resistant aluminum stand which is also adjustable
  • 500 watts hour per day output
  • Compatible with sealed, lithium, gel and flooded batteries.
  • Has a temperature sensor
  • Contains charge controller with an LCD display
  • Compatible with RV due to the negative ground charge controller
  • Waterproof controller

Amazon Customer Review: “Exceeded expectations!” Ionic

If you are looking for the high efficiency of solar panels or the Best RV solar kit which is extremely flexible as well, then look no further. These are the solar panels for camping, boating, and also to be used on RV. Some features are:


  • Up to 248 flex range
  • Antifouling and self-cleaning quality
  • Has 70% less weight than conventional solar panels
  • Sleek design
  • Can withstand up to 2400pa of wind and 5400pa of snow
  • Very flexible and ultra-thin

Amazon Customer Review: “Easy install and worked as advertised” CaliJoe

Another incredible high efficiency of solar panels starter kit that is perfect for maximum wattage expansion. Not only it’s the best RV solar kit; it has perfect solar power panels for camping. Some features are:


  • 20A MPPT charge controller
  • Up to 30% more efficient than the PWM charge controllers
  • The peak efficiency of the charge controller is 97%
  • The system can be expanded to 400W
  • Negative grounding
  • LCD Display

Amazon Customer Review: “Working Great So Far!” G. Snapp

Another amazing and highly flexible monocrystalline solar panel. This one not only contains the best solar RV kit but it also has one of the most incredible solar power panels for camping when it comes to adjusting them on irregular surfaces. Some features are:


  • Very powerful and lightweight
  • Portable design and foldable
  • High conversion efficiency
  • Free inverter solar converter
  • LCD display
  • Perfect for irregular surfaces

Amazon Customer Review: “love these panels and the company” Jerry Hogsett

Another one with incredible efficiency of solar panels and has simply the best solar RV kit. It is also among the perfect solar power panels for camping due to its weatherproofing. Some features are:


  • Portable panel
  • Weatherproof
  • Has tempered glass covering
  • Comes in an anodized aluminum frame
  • Can be chained with other Boulder solar panels
  • 1-year warranty

Amazon Customer Review: “Great solar panel for any Goal Zero power station” Chuck T


So now you know the winner of polycrystalline vs monocrystalline for RV is monocrystalline. And you also have the list of the best solar power panels for camping, boating and other outdoor purposes that are also high efficiency of solar panels with best solar RV kits. So now you will be able to make a well-informed decision to get more value for your money.

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