All full-time RVers know how important it is to have a reliable solar panel. So today, I’m diving into a review of the Renogy 100 Watt Portable Solar Suitcase, which I think is a pretty good option for a lot of full-time RVers. Read my full review below!
The Renogy 100 Watt is a foldable solar panel suitcase with a built-in kickstand and a waterproof charger controller. This model has a corrosion-resistant aluminum stand, important because I always look for something that can weather the weather. It’s also not too large. When folded up, it’s about 20 inches by 27 inches.
Even though it’s decently compact, it can still generate 500 Watt-hours (Wh) per day if the day is sunny. The Renogy 100 Watt is also compatible with flooded, gel, sealed, and Lithium batteries. Plus, its charge controller comes with an LCD display, which displays all data and operating information.
Furthermore, it comes with overcharge protection, which reduces your risk of a fire. It’s pretty sturdy in terms of temperature, too. It can operate anywhere from -40°F to 185°F.
It also boasts a low-voltage system, which can prevent an electrical shock hazard.
Inside the suitcase, you’ll get two solar panels, both of which are waterproof 50 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panels. You’ll also find a 20 Amp waterproof Voyager Charge Controller, alligator clips, ten-foot tray cable, as well as a protective case to keep the entire package secure.
The Voyager 20 Amp charge controller is both waterproof and has advanced PWM technology. It works best with 12V and 24V off-grid applications, but it’s compatible with the four battery types I mentioned.
The entire device weighs almost 27 pounds, which isn’t terribly heavy. If you have limited space, this particular solar panel suitcase is a good option.
What I Liked
One of the biggest selling points for the Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel, in my eyes, is its price. It’s more affordable than just about any other option out there. Plus, it comes with everything I needed to actually hook it up to the RV battery, including clips and cable.
That means that I didn’t need to pay anyone to come out and hook the darn thing up as I could do it myself. Better still, it’s easy as pie to set up. Open it up, connect it to the battery, and then follow the prompts on the charge controller. The only thing you really have to do is to input what kind of battery you have on the controller, and it does the rest.
This is the perfect set up when I need to go a small period of time between charges, or I know I’m going to set up for a night without a charger. Even if the temperature dips (or soars) and I need the heater or AC, I know I’ll be okay because of the Renogy.
One thing I worry about when I’m in my RV is starting a fire. Tech can overheat pretty easily, so I appreciate that Renogy has taken steps to lower the risk of the solar panels catching on fire.
The Renogy 100 Watt Portable Solar Suitcase is one of our favorites for the best RV solar panels.
Overall, I’m decently happy with this make and model solar panel. However, I do have to admit it’s a bit on the heavier side.
It’s nearly 30 pounds, which may not seem like much, but it does limit its portability, especially for those of us who are getting on in years. That’s about ten pounds more than other models, if not more. To make it truly easy to move about, I would have liked to see something a touch lighter.
I will say that I would also like to be able to replace individual panels as necessary. Unfortunately, not all models allow you to buy a replacement. Instead, you have to replace the entire unit, which can get expensive. This is something to think about if you often travel in windy areas where you might get wind damage.
Lastly, I’d also like to be able to see the solar panel grades. After all, solar panels are graded A, B, C, and D, depending on their quality and level of defects. It would be nice to know the quality of the panel that I’m purchasing beforehand.
Reviews From Other RVers
One person’s opinion isn’t always enough to make a fully informed decision before a purchase. Here’s what some other RVers think are this Renogy product’s greatest strengths and weaknesses.
- Great value
- Compact with sturdy carrying case
- Comes with a full set to connect panels to the battery
- Waterproof, so you can leave it out even on drizzly days
- Truly easy to set up, so a great option for beginners
- Lack of available customer service
- May not put out 100W even on sunny days
- On the heavier side
- Adjustable, Corrosion-Resistant aluminum stand as well as a heavy duty handle and latches for...
- Compatible with gel, sealed, Lithium, and flooded batteries. Charge controller with LCD display for...
For those who are sitting on the fence about whether or not they should get a solar panel for their RV or those who aren’t tech-savvy and think it might be too difficult, this is the perfect option.
The Renogy 100 Watt Solar Suitcase is small enough to be conveniently stored when on the go, and it’s got great value for the price. It’s waterproof, has a reduced risk of fires, and comes with everything you need to set it up.
All in all, this is a solid option for those of us looking to dip our toes into solar panels and for those of us who dry camp often. If there’s plenty of sunshine, it will keep your battery decently topped up.