The HQST RV solar panel kit features a single one-hundred-watt polycrystalline solar panel. This kit itself is specifically designed for beginners, which is why it’s so easy to use and set up. This set is also perfect for the RV owner on a budget and comes with all the gear and supplies you’ll need to get started setting up your new solar power system right away.
Our Verdict: This package from HQST should be considered a starter kit. If you’re on a budget and not looking for a massive solar panel system, then this set may fit the bill. However, considering it only comes with a single polycrystalline panel, this isn’t a system that can provide much power. This is especially true if you’re traveling or camping out during the colder months of the year. But for the RV or camping enthusiast with realistic expectations this system may be just what you need if you’re looking for a little extra power. This setup can provide just enough power to allow you to plug in a couple of extra devices, so you can enjoy a couple of home comforts when you’re out in the wilderness or out on the open road.
Continue reading to learn more about this beginner-friendly solar panel system by HQST.
Overview and Features
HQST is known for their lower priced solar panel kit sets that are designed for RV, home, and boat use. While this is a simple starter kit, it can easily be expanded by purchasing one of HQST’s expansion kits.
This is a lower priced RV solar panel kit, which means it won’t come with many extras or solar panels. It’s the perfect starter kit or it can make a great choice if you need to supplement energy when you’re on the road. But considering it’s a smaller set, we don’t recommend solely relying on it for all of your power needs.
This system is incredibly easy to set up. It comes equipped with pre-drilled holes on the panel and comes with Z brackets for fast mounting.
This kit is perfect for a variety of off-grid applications and can easily be installed on RV, boats, cabins, trailers, and more.
Since this is a self-sufficient energy system, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for an independent energy system you can use for off-grid trips.
It’s also silent running, which is a huge plus for any camper.
It offers an ideal output of five hundred watt-hours daily, but this will ultimately depend on sunlight availability. It’s also powerful enough to fully charge a 50 AH battery from fifty percent in just a few hours with excellent sun exposure.
If you’v been on the fence about purchasing a solar panel system for your RV or boat, this can be the perfect kit to get you started. It’ reasonably priced and easy to mount and hook up. It also comes with all of the components and hardware you need to give solar energy a shot. Because it only includes a single polycrystalline panel you can’t expect it to provide enough power to run major appliances or electronic devices. However, it can provide just enough to allow you to run a coffee maker, power a laptop, or you can charge smaller, sensitive electronics, such as smartphones and tablets.
This kit comes with a twelve volt one-hundred-watt polycrystalline solar panel, a thirty-amp PWM charge controller, Z brackets, two twenty-foot adapter cables, and the LCD charge controller.
The large solar panel is much lighter, and more flexible compared to monocrystalline solar panels. This makes installation much easier.
This kit is covered by a five-year warranty on workmanship and material, and a twenty-five-year warranty on power output. There is also a twelve-month warranty on accessories. At this low price, we were surprised and impressed to learn that the manufacturer offers this type of extensive warranty.
The charge controller features an LCD display that will keep you posted on the battery charge level, amps, and voltage, in addition to load draw. It will also allow you to choose the type of battery you’re using such as gel, lead, or AGM, and you can select the load time usage, such as one hour, two hours, continuous use, and more. Overall, this is a great controller that allows you to truly customize the settings.
Solar Panel Quality
This solar panel kit comes with a single polycrystalline, twelve-volt, one-hundred-watt solar panel. This solar panel is the most common type used because it’s the most affordable. They have better efficiency compared to thin film panels, but can’t compete with monocrystalline kits, such as the WINDYNATION one-hundred-watt solar kit. This type of solar panel is recognized for its visible grain. These cells are square in shape. This solar panel has an efficiency rating of seventy percent. Unfortunately, polycrystalline panels don’t have a reputation for lasting as long as monocrystalline panels, with an average lifespan of ten to twelve years.
Additionally, this panel isn’t very efficient on overcast days. They’re also somewhat fragile and not as effective as solar panels made out from a single crystal.
This means you’ll need to take special care regarding where you park, avoiding parking under trees with any low hanging branches that can potentially scratch the surface of the panel.
In terms of price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a monocrystalline kit anywhere near this price range. For what it is, this kit offers a solid performance, however, the solar panel will require more care and ongoing maintenance in order to keep it operating smoothly.
Power and Performance
Mounting solar panels on your RV roof is simple with the right tools and equipment. A solar panel kit for your RV offers a quieter, cleaner option that will maintain the charge on the RV’s batteries without the need for fuel. This solar panel will provide twelve-volt DC power to charge a set of batteries.
All of your twelve-volt electrical devices and appliances can be operated directly off the bank of the battery. The only real limitation here is the capacity of the solar panel and the number of batteries you choose to install.
Since this system only comes with a single solar panel, you can’t expect the same amount of power generated by a three or four-panel setup.
Keep in mind that anything equipped with a heating element, such as a hair dryer or coffeemaker will consume available power very quickly. In order to avoid running out of power at the wrong time, conserving power should be mandatory, especially if you’re roughing it in a rural area.
Depending on what type of appliances you need to power, this system may or may not provide the type of power you need on the road. If your destination takes you away from any plug-in utility sources, then this system may not be the best choice.
However, if you need to supplement your power as you travel, then this kit can provide just the right amount of power you need to keep going until you make it to your next stop.
If you’re looking for a larger, more powerful RV solar panel setup, click here to read our extensive buyer’s guide.
The manufacturer recommends checking the solar panel for dust, dirt, and debris every couple of days, or daily if you’re constantly traveling. You can use a microfiber cloth to dust the panel. This will ensure the panel is able to easily absorb UV rays. Poor maintenance can severely affect the panel’s ability to absorb sunlight. This is a huge drawback for any type of polycrystalline system, it’s not just HSQT specific. Even just a little dust coating the surface of the solar panel can significantly affect its ability to absorb sunlight. So, if you’re traveling during windy conditions you may need to wipe these panels down frequently, in order to get the most out of your system.
- Priced affordably
- Great starter kit
- Includes mounting hardware
- Comes equipped with everything you need to get started
- Includes one solar panel
- High maintenance needs
- Polycrystalline solar panel is not very efficient during cloudy weather conditions.