Bayside RV is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


UPDATED June 30, 2020  
by Sandy Maccane

The 5 Best Charge Controllers For The Money

The 5 Best Charge Controllers For The Money

An RV is composed of different parts. And each one, may it be big or small, play a vital role in ensuring a smooth, safe, and exciting RV trip. You may not know the intricate process that comes with putting together all these parts, but in this article, we will dwell on a tiny part that plays a significant role in the RV’s operation; the solar charge controller. Choosing the best charge controller for the money

might be a back-breaker, especially if the technology is a bit new to you. Worry not, in this article; we have gathered the top five best charge controllers for the money available in the market today.

Comparison Chart

OUR PICK BADGE NEW

Renogy Wanderer – 30A Advanced PWM Negative-Ground Solar Charge Controller

Renogy Wanderer – 30A Advanced PWM Negative-Ground Solar Charge Controller

​If you’re looking for a solar charge controller that can give you top-notch performance without having to spend more, then this controller is perfect for you. The LED system design shows the status of your battery and the type of battery you have set up your controller for.

ALSO GREAT BADGE NEW

EPEVER Upgraded 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

Renogy Wanderer – 30A Advanced PWM Negative-Ground Solar Charge Controller

​As mentioned earlier, MPPT controllers offer a new technology that helps you get the maximum power for your battery needs. With 99.5% efficiency at a rated charge current of 30A, you’ll never go wrong with this one. ​

Camco RhinoFLEX 15ft RV Sewer Hose Kit

Camco RhinoFLEX 15ft RV Sewer Hose Kit

​The SolarEpic 40A MMPT Solar Charge Controller comes with a rated charge current of 40A, input power of 260W, and max PV open circuit voltage of 150V/ 138V. It provides the durability and efficiency you’re looking for in a charge controller.​

GHB 20A 12V 24V Solar

GHB 20A 12V 24V Solar

​If you’re looking for a sleek, and easy to use solar charge controller, the GHB 20A 12V 24V Solar is the right controller for you. Its clear LCD screen display and modern exterior is surely hard to pass by. ​

HQST PWM Controller

HQST PWM Controller

​​The HQST PWM Controller is gaining popularity due to its user-friendly LCD screen. It also comes with a 5V 1A USB outlet, so there’s room for your favorite devices to charge on. ​

Detailed Reviews on the Best Charge Controller For The Money

Renogy Wanderer – 30A Advanced PWM Negative-Ground Solar Charge Controller


OUR PICK BADGE NEW

Renogy Wanderer – 30A Advanced PWM Negative-Ground Solar Charge Controller

Product Highlights

If you’re looking for a solar charge controller that can give you top-notch performance without having to spend more, then this controller is perfect for you. The LED system design shows the status of your battery and the type of battery you have set up your controller for.

It can provide up to 400 watts of solar power handling capability with its powerful 30A rating and a peak rate of 7 amps. The Renology Wanderer can support higher voltages compared to its market counterparts. With its extra charging phase, you won’t have to deal with an over-charged battery. It also ensures consistent voltage for the final 20% of the charging cycle. The durability of this solar charge panel is also undeniable. It’s built to withstand different weather conditions.

The Good

The Renology Wanderer is the best PWN controller in the market today. It can increase battery life and improve your RV’s total system performance. It’s compact, and the best part is, this controller is compatible with Sealed, Gel, and Flooded batteries. It offers support for a wider range of battery systems.

Since it automatically regulates the battery temperature, you can be assured of the controller’s safety features. It uses the appropriate charge depending on external temperatures. Plus, the fact that it has full comprehensive diagnostics, your RV’s battery is surely in good hands. With tons of special features and value for your money, this solar charge controller is truly recommended.

The Bad

This controller can only be used for small solar power needs. However, it is adequate for regular up to big RVs. You also have to take note that the float voltage can’t be adjusted for this device.

PROs

  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with most battery types
  • Great value for your money
  • Option to mount

CONs

  • No option to adjust float voltage

EPEVER Upgraded 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller


ALSO GREAT BADGE NEW

EPEVER Upgraded 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

Product Highlight

As mentioned earlier, MPPT controllers offer a new technology that helps you get the maximum power for your battery needs. With 99.5% efficiency at a rated charge current of 30A, you’ll never go wrong with this one. And the EPEVER Upgraded 30A MPPT does just like that. Complete with a remote monitor, this charge controller’s built-in LCD displays everything you need to know. This gives you full control of your device.

The Good

The best feature of this controller is its automatic system voltage recognition. This means it has the capacity to distribute the volts/amps appropriately to your battery for optimum performance. It also offers a variety of electronic protections such as:

  • PV short circuit protection
  • PV reverse polarity protection
  • Battery over-voltage protection
  • Battery over-discharge protection
  • Battery reverse polarity protection
  • Load overload protection

Truly one of the most powerful solar charge controllers available today.

The Bad

If you have limited space, storage might be a problem for you. So before you purchase this device, make sure you find a slot in your storeroom for it.

PROs

  • 99.5% power-tracking efficiency
  • Comes with a remote monitor
  • Fast charging time
  • User-friendly

CONs

  • Bulky design

Camco RhinoFLEX 15ft RV Sewer Hose Kit


Camco RhinoFLEX 15ft RV Sewer Hose Kit

Product Highlight

The SolarEpic 40A MMPT Solar Charge Controller comes with a rated charge current of 40A, input power of 260W, and max PV open circuit voltage of 150V/ 138V. It provides the durability and efficiency you’re looking for in a charge controller. The ability to control the charging and discharging of the battery is one of its flagship features. Its smart tracking algorithm ensures the maximum energy from your solar panels. You need not worry about overheating nor overcharging since this device is equipped with various electric protection functions.

The Good

What we like about this device is its Low Voltage Disconnect (LVD) function. When the battery’s voltage reaches its minimum threshold, this function automatically cuts off the load. This prevents over-discharging of your battery. Its heatsink design is also perfect for hot conditions. So going on an RV trip in the summer is no biggie.

The Bad

The lack of display in the SolarEpic 40A MMPT Solar Charge Controller is a considerable drawback. However, you can opt to connect the controller to a PC monitoring software, thanks to its RJ45 communication interface. The most common one is the MT-50 remote meter, which is used for the remote tracking and parameter adjustments.

PROs

  • Easy to use
  • Durable design
  • 2-year warrantly
  • Features smart tracking algorithm
  • Low voltage disconnect function

CONs

  • Does not come with an MT-50 remote meter
  • No LCD display

GHB 20A 12V 24V Solar


GHB 20A 12V 24V Solar

Product Highlight

If you’re looking for a sleek, and easy to use solar charge controller, the GHB 20A 12V 24V Solar is the right controller for you. Its clear LCD screen display and modern exterior is surely hard to pass by. The GHB 20A controller was developed to provide easy navigation and intelligent control. The PWM&WPC mode on this charger controller improves the system efficiency of your battery.

The Good

If you’re looking for a sleek, and easy to use solar charge controller, the GHB 20A 12V 24V Solar is the right controller for you. Its clear LCD screen display and modern exterior is surely hard to pass by. The GHB 20A controller was developed to provide easy navigation and intelligent control. The PWM&WPC mode on this charger controller improves the system efficiency of your battery.

The Bad

This solar charge controller is not suitable for lithium batteries and Ni-HM battery. So you might want to consider your purchase if you’re using a lithium battery in your RV.

PROs

  • Output switch and intelligent control
  • Lightning protection
  • Over-charging protection
  • Under-voltage protection
  • Overload and Short circuit protection
  • Reverse Polarity protection
  • Affordable

CONs

  • Not suitable for lithium batteries and Ni-HM battery

HQST PWM Controller


HQST PWM Controller

Product Highlight

The HQST PWM Controller is gaining popularity due to its user-friendly LCD screen. It also comes with a 5V 1A USB outlet, so there’s room for your favorite devices to charge on. The dot-matrix graphic LCD screen makes navigation and control hassle-free. Just like the other controllers discussed in the list, the HQST PWM also comes with various protection functions like overcharge, over-discharge, overload protection, reverse connection protection as well as short circuit protection.

The Good

One feature I commend about this device is its light control function. Once the daylight breaks in, the light source will be turned off, and your battery will start charging. On the other hand, by nightfall, the light source will turn on automatically. This charger definitely targets those who would want an all-in-one device.

The Bad

The HQST PWN is pretty simple to use with all of the necessary features you would like in a solar charge controller. However, some customers complained that the instruction manual that came with the device was very hard to comprehend. So, you might need online references to install it.

PROs

  • Customized LCD display
  • Multifunctional controller
  • Light control
  • Automatic adjustment for changing parameters
  • Overcharge, over-discharge, overload protection, reverse connection protection as well as short circuit protection

CONs

  • Manual is a bit confusing and hard to understand

Other things to consider

Before you finally decide on what's the best charge controller for the money, there are still other details you’ll need to consider. Here are a few of the things you need to remember before you buy the charge controller of your preference.

Importance of controllers

You may be wondering why there is a need for controllers. Can we not use the voltage coming from the solar panel directly to our battery? The answer is a big NO. Here’s why:

Controllers prevent overcharge

Overcharging can greatly reduce your battery performance. Controllers are programmed to adjust the voltage depending on the current need. So not having one can probably toast your battery.

Controllers improve charge quality

Having total control of your solar power improves your charge quality. Controllers usually come with adjustable set points, which can easily be tweaked depending on what you need.

Controllers prevent battery discharge

Controllers prevent the battery from draining completely. A drained battery is a recipe for disaster. If the battery deteriorates easily, you might need to change it often. Which, in return, can cost a lot of money in the long run.

Conclusion

A solar charge controller is a good investment and a necessity for every RVer. Although it seems that the options are endless, at the end of the day, you have to choose the controller that can cater to your needs. Hoping you'll find the best charge controller for the money. Good luck!

Related Articles


June 30, 2020
by: Sandy Maccane

The Best Solar Panels For Your RV Solar panels are the next big thing when it comes to a reliable source of power for RVs.

June 30, 2020
by: Dwight Pelter

The 7 Best Portable Solar Panels For RV Battery Charging Getting the best portable solar panels for RV battery charging is one of the most

June 22, 2020
by: Brandon Burk

How To Hook Up Solar Panels To Your RV: An Energy Saving Guide Using solar panels to generate power is a popular upgrade for RVs,

>

Get our latest expert recommendations and great deals in your inbox