Off-road And Overland Jeep Solar Panels Setup Guide

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To enhance your Jeep off-roading and Overlanding experiences you will need to mount Jeep solar panels on your Jeep roof to power your Jeep accessories such as your communication and navigational devices, and camping lights while off the grid with your Jeep.

We have installed Jeep solar panels in three Jeeps now, our Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, a friend’s Jeep Gladiator, and amazingly on a Jeep Grand Cherokee customized for Overlanding, mostly we use Jeep solar panels to power Overlanding equipment such as refrigerators, lights, and small electronic appliances.

Technologies such as portable power stations, Jeep Solar Panels, and Jeep Solar powered EV Charging stations installed in various Jeep off-road trails are some of the factors that are fueling the popularity of Jeep Overlanding and Jeep Camping, and this has edged out the problem of having to carry heavy generators and fuel in our Jeep gas cans.

When it comes to Jeep solar panels, you should make sure that you only purchase sturdy and compact solar panels that will be able to withstand the ruggedness of the wrath of off-roading and Overlanding, capable of powering your electronic devices and accessories, easy to install on your Jeep and finally you should purchase your Jeep solar panels from reliable brands.

Thankfully, in this guide, we will share some of the Jeep solar panels that meet all these requirements and are a great accessory for your Jeep Overland rig, step-by-step guides on how to install Jeep solar panels, and brief Jeep Auxiliary battery options. Let’s dive in!

Jeep Solar Panels Options

There are three Jeep solar panel options for your Jeep off-roading and Overlanding power needs, Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, and Thin film solar panels, each solar panel is different and which one you will buy is dependent on how you plan to install it on your Jeep and your power needs.

  • Jeep solar panels: monocrystalline Jeep solar panels are made from pure silicon crystals formed into bars and cut into several wafers which makes them resistant to extreme conditions and are designed to withstand heavy abuse, the best thing about Monocrystalline Jeep solar panels is that they can continue functioning even on low-light conditions, which makes them ideal for Jeep Overlanding and Camping.
  • : Polycrystalline Jeep solar panels are made of multiple small crystalline silicon cells, we recommend them for Jeep Overlanding and Camping because they have a good power output-to-cost ratio, which means they have less wastage and are cheap. they are also durable and can withstand harsh weather if mounted permanently on your Jeep, additionally, the blue color of multiple small crystalline silicon cells will match with most Jeep colors and is visually appealing for those looking for an aesthetic look for their exterior Jeep modifications.
  • Thin Film Jeep solar panels: Thin Film Jeep solar panels are either made from Cadmium telluride (CdTe), Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), Organic photovoltaic (OPV), or Perovskite cells, which makes the cells thinner and more flexible compared to Mono-crystalline Jeep solar panels or Poly-crystalline Jeep solar panels. they have a lower power output and are less efficient compared to mono-crystalline and Poly-crystalline solar panels, if you prioritize portability and ease of use and installation over voltage output thin film is your better option.

Here is an infographics image showing the three solar panels options available in the market, monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film solar panels and how to identify each one of them:

Jeep Solar Panels Options Infographics
Jeep Solar Panels Options Infographics
Mono-crystalline Jeep solar panelsPoly-crystalline Jeep solar panelsThin Film Jeep solar panels
PowerPowerPower
365-400 Wp310-345 Wp250-350 Wp
EfficiencyEfficiencyEfficiency
19%15-17%15%
PricingPricingPricing
Highest PriceIntermediate PriceLowest Price

Now that you understand your Jeep solar panel options, it’s also important to consider the panel sizing, outage voltage, and various mounting option, you can mount a Jeep solar panel on your roof rack or the hood of your Jeep.

Jeep Solar Panel Mounting Options.

We recommend mounting Jeep solar panels on the roof rack of your Jeep, if you have a Jeep Gladiator you can also mount your Jeep Gladiator solar panel on your Jeep Gladiator bed rack, another good mounting option for your Jeep is mounting a Jeep flexible solar panel on the hood of your Jeep using a VHB tape.

Our Jeep Solar Setup Diagram shows solar panels, charger controller, battery, Inverter, wiring and connectors, DC Load controller setup
Our Jeep Solar Setup Diagram

Best Jeep Roof Solar Panels

The easiest way to mount a Jeep solar panel is on the roof of your Jeep, various option ideal for mounting on your Jeep roof are Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Jeep Roof Solar Panels which can be bolted on the roof of your Jeep, if you own a Jeep Gladiator you can mount Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Jeep Roof Solar Panels on your Jeep Gladiator bed rack.

Renogy Solar Panel 200-Watt 12 Volt

Our number one Jeep solar panel recommendation is the Renogy Solar Panel 200-Watt 12 Volt which is a Mono-crystalline Jeep solar panel, this means it’s durable and has a higher efficiency level with a maximum power output of 200 watts with a voltage of 12 volts which is ideal for charging your Jeep battery and powers your Jeep Overlanding appliances.

It’s much easier to install the Renogy Solar Panel 200-Watt 12 Volt on the roof of your Jeep, the solar panel has an aluminum frame with pre-drilled holes for fast and secure mounting, the aluminum frame is corrosive resistant and allows it to be exposed to weather elements such as snow, rain and dust without a problem, according to the notes on the packaging of the Renogy Solar Panel 200-Watt 12 Volt it can withstand up to 2400Pa winds and snow loads of up to 5400Pa.

Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Jeep Solar Panel Kit

The main reason we opted for the Renogy Solar Panel as the best solar panel for Jeeps, is because the solar panels are available in a kit that included all the accessories you will need to mount it on your Jeep.

Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Jeep Solar Panels Kit
Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Jeep Solar Panel Kit

The Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Jeep Solar Panel Kit is a complete package with all the essential and advanced accessories you will need for your Jeep Overlanding solar mounting kit.

The Renogy solar kit includes a solar Adventurer 30A LCD PWM charge controller, mounting brackets, a Bluetooth monitor that allows you to monitor your charging system through a WIFI enables devices such as your smartphone and iPads/Tables, a flash mount system, solar cable kit including dual connectors that allow you to mount your solar panels in a series.

If you are a beginner to Jeep solar system installations, we do recommend buying the Renogy Jeep Solar Panel Kit instead of individually sourcing the accessories for yourself, this is because the Renogy Jeep Solar Panel Kit includes all the accessories you will need to set a complete solar set-up on your Jeep ensuring all the accessories are compatible with each other.

You will also get a discount when you purchase the Jeep solar kit as a bundle instead of buying the accessories separately, buying the Renogy Jeep Solar Panel Kit will save you in shipping fees, and also all your accessories will reach you in time together so that you can start your Jeep solar system set-up.

Buying the Renogy Jeep Solar Panel Kit will ensure you get the maximum efficiency and performance of your Jeep solar set-up because all the components are optimized to work together which will result in better energy production.

Lastly, the Renogy warranty is a 25-year performance warranty comprehensive warranty for defects in workmanship and materials under normal use and service with effect from the date of purchase.

BougeRV Mono Solar Panel

BougeRV Mono Solar Panels are also made from monocrystalline silicon which has a high-efficiency conversion of sunlight to electricity at 22.8%, they are also able to withstand heavy weather from rain, snow, and wind however compared with Renogy solar panels, they don’t last long.

BougeRV Mono Solar Panel is easy to mount on your Jeep roof using mounting brackets, which can be mounted on the aluminum frame that comes with the BougeRV Mono Solar Panel. When mounted properly they can withstand winds up to 2400Pa and snow loads of up to 5400 Pa.

BougeRV Mono Solar Panels are available in 100W and 200W solar panels, 100W solar panels are 8% smaller than 200W solar panels, depending on your mounting space and power needs you can either choose the 100W solar panels or the 200W solar panels

BougeRV Mono Solar Panel has a warranty of 18-month product warranty and a 25-years power warranty.

BougeRV Jeep Solar Panel Kit

For those who need to purchase all the solar equipment required for your Jeep Overland solar set-up, we would recommend buying the BougeRV Jeep Solar Panel Kit which includes solar panels, 30A PWM solar charge controller, solar cables, connectors, and mounting brackets to mount your solar system on the roof of your Jeep.

Buying a BougeRV Jeep Solar Panel Kit has lots of financial benefits and cost savings since you will purchase the components as a bundle, due to the compatibility of the accessories it’s efficient and all components are compatible with each other to improve the efficiency and power output of the BougeRV Jeep solar system.

BougeRV Jeep Solar Panel Kit
BougeRV Jeep Solar Panel Kit

For Jeep Overlanders who are just starting our in matters concerning Jeep solar system set-ups, we recommend buying the BougeRV Jeep Solar Panel Kit as this will include all the components you will need to install and power your Jeep Overland rig.

SUNER POWER Solar Panel.

If you have lots of camping equipment mounted on the roof of your Jeep, such as a Jeep rooftop tent, you can opt for a much smaller Jeep solar panel, we recommend the SUNER POWER 50W Solar Panel as the best small Jeep solar panel which is cheaper compared with BougeRV Mono Solar Panel or Renogy Solar Panel, the SUNER POWER Solar Panel produces more power since its made from Mono-crystalline materials.

The SUNER POWER kit is ideal for beginners because it contains all the necessary equipment designed to work together, included accessories include SUNER POWER Solar Panel, 10A Solar Charge Controller, and 3-PCS SAE Cable Adapters to create a complete Jeep Overland solar set-up.

To mount SUNER POWER Solar Panel on your Jeep roof rack, we recommend purchasing the SUNER POWE Adjustable Solar Panel Mount Racks, it’s a foldable mounting tilt bracket that can be adjusted to face the side with the most sunlight for maximum sunlight exposure, and can be folded when not in use to protect it from harsh winds or improvements of your Jeeps aerodynamics when driving which in turn improves your Jeep gas mileage.

Jeep Hood Solar Panel

Jeep Hood Solar Panels are becoming more and more popular among Jeep campers and Overlanders, this is because they are budget-friendly and also a convenient way to charge your camping accessories when off the grid, they are also popular with Jeepers who don’t need a permanent solar system installed on their Jeep.

It’s important to note that Jeep Hood Solar panels have a much lower output compared to roof panels, as they need a significant amount of sunlight to generate a significant amount of power, and are not ideal for Jeepers in areas with less sunlight.

Some of the best Jeep Hood Solar Panels include:

Cascadia 4×4 Hood Solar Panel

If you own a Jeep Gladiator or a Jeep Wrangler, Cascadia 4×4 hood solar panel is one of the best hood solar systems you can install on the hood of your Jeep, the Cascadia 4×4 hood solar panel is a Vehicle specific solar system, meaning that they will fit perfectly on your Jeep Wrangler or Jeep Gladiator.

The Cascadia 4×4 VSS System™

It’s very easy to install Cascadia 4×4 hood solar panel and according to the manuals, the installation takes less than an hour, the thing to consider when installing the hood solar panel is that you should clean the hood spotless before installing to make sure the installation runs smoothly, the panel needs a clean smooth surface for the 3M VHB tape to adhere properly.

After installation of the Cascadia 4×4 hood solar panel, the looks of the solar panels are sleek and low profile, and won’t impact the aerodynamics of your Jeep like the roof-mounted solar panels.

The Jeep hood-mounted solar panels are only available for Jeep Wrangler TJ/LJ (2003-2006), Jeep Wrangler JL and Gladiator, Jeep Wrangler JK, Jeep Mojave Jeep Wrangler 392 JL, and Gladiator JT.

Jeep Solar Installation Accessories you will require.

Now that you have decided on which solar system is right for you, there are additional accessories not included in solar system kits that we find very useful when it comes to the installation of solar systems in your Jeep, we will list some of the accessories and how we use, basically why need them:

Rubber Grommets.

You will need a rubber grommets kit if you plan to install a solar system in your Jeep, this is because there is a higher possibility you will have to drill holes and you will not want water leaking in your Jeep, or exposing your Jeep to elements that will lead to corrosion, rubber grommets are weather resistant sealants and protect wires from abrasion by the Jeeps body, or the solar panel’s brackets.

We recommend the Ram Pro Rubber Grommet Kit links provided below.

Properly installed Ram Pro Rubber grommet kits will protect against water leaks after Jeep solar system installation where drilling holes were involved, and protect the solar panel’s wires from damage ensuring your solar system operates efficiently and properly over many years.

Jeep Solar System Battery Options.

As we wind up this guide on Jeep solar panels, we would like to guide you on the best Jeep battery for use as a dual Jeep battery/ Auxiliary Jeep battery when it comes to Jeep solar system installation. There are two options for you, lead acid batteries and Lithium batteries, we would recommend purchasing Lithium batteries, to be specific LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Lithium Batteries.

LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Lithium Battery is an excellent choice for Jeep Overlanders due to the battery’s high energy density and more life cycles at 4000~15000 cycles (10 times longer), compared to lead acid batteries LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Lithium Battery stores more energy compared with a similar sized lead acid battery, making them ideal for Jeepers who have limited space considering they have other Overland gear that they might need to store in their Jeeps.

The LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Lithium Battery is more efficient compared to other types of batteries, considering you will use a solar system to charge your batteries, you will need an efficient battery that can be recharged faster using Jeep solar panels.

On a final note, the LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Lithium Battery is durable considering it can withstand high vibration when off-roading in rough terrains and will need fewer replacements, reducing the overall ownership costs.

Conclusions.

You can install Jeep solar panels on your Jeep’s roof, roof rack, bed rack, or hood, It’s an exciting DIY project that you can undertake on a weekend to improve your off-grid capabilities and reduce your reliance on traditional power sources.

Jeep With Solar Panels

The mounting options, whether you want to mount your Jeep solar panels on your Jeeps roof, roof rack, bed rack or hood is dependent on your panel size, placement, and wiring requirements, with this guide you will be able to choose the best solar panel fit for your Jeep.

We have also listed some of the best supplements for your solar system, such as the LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Lithium Battery which can be your dual battery/ Jeep auxiliary battery, with careful planning, these guides help you narrow down your research, can enjoy the benefits of having a solar-powered Jeep Overland build that will allow you to extend your Jeep expeditions off the grid.

Last update on 2024-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

James Ndungu - Jeep Runner Writer

Author: James Ndungu

James is an Automotive Service Writer, I4WDA certified trainer, Jeep enthusiast, and shop owner specializing in Jeep parts, accessories, and Electric Vehicles Charging Station Installation services. His interest and first-hand experience in electric vehicle charging technology motivated him to achieve certification through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).

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