How to keep portable solar panels from being stolen? (6 TIPS)

It is unfortunate that portable solar panels are more susceptible to theft compared to fixed rooftop solar panels.

In this post, I will share some tips on how to protect your portable solar panels from being stolen. While these tips cannot guarantee complete security, they can certainly make it more challenging for thieves and potentially deter them from targeting your panels.

Do portable solar panels get stolen?

Due to their portability, portable solar panels are more likely to be stolen when you're not around, unlike fixed rooftop solar panels.

Don't worry, there are steps you can take to prevent theft in the first place. I will share what I do to protect my solar panels and provide additional tips I gathered from online forums.

Disclaimer - It is important to note that these tips do not provide a 100% guarantee against theft. However, they can make it more difficult for thieves to succeed and potentially change their minds. In some cases, you may even catch them in the act.

How to keep portable solar panels from being stolen?

Here are some tips to protect your portable solar panels from being stolen:

1. Use Anti-Theft Lock

how to keep portable solar panels from being stolen

Use anti-theft locks specifically designed for RVs and camping to secure your generators, bikes, motorcycles, and portable solar panels. These locks allow you to fasten your panels to your RV, providing added security.

They often come with long, durable aluminum wires and robust locks that are not easily broken. Personally, I use one of these anti-theft locks for my solar generator and portable solar panels, enabling me to take walks away from my RV without excessive worry.

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Here's a video for a better understanding:

ToyLock Anti-Theft device review

2. Use Motion Sensor Lights

Motion sensor lights can be highly beneficial if you happen to leave your portable solar panels outside your RV at night or if you take an evening nap inside.

These lights are designed to activate when someone approaches, potentially startling thieves and creating the illusion of someone inside the RV.

They also act as a warning signal that someone is near your truck or RV. Keep in mind that these lights are more effective during nighttime and may be less visible during the day.

While I personally do not use them solely for protecting my solar panels, I have installed one above my RV's door to help locate it at night when I'm outside. You

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Here's a video with additional information:

3. Pack your things before going away

Whenever possible, store your portable solar panels securely inside your RV or van. This is the simplest and most secure solution, providing 100% protection against theft.

Some additional tips

  1. Place a mat outside your RV with a large dog bone and bowl to create the impression of a vigilant dog presence.
  2. Use stickers indicating the presence of an alarm system or a surveillance camera to discourage potential thieves.
  3. Consider installing a fake surveillance camera as an additional deterrent.


While it is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of theft for your portable solar panels, implementing these tips can reduce the chances of them being stolen. Using anti-theft locks, motion sensor lights, and securely storing your panels inside your RV are effective strategies.

However, it is important to remain vigilant, as determined thieves can still attempt to steal your property. Take precautions to protect your valuable solar equipment.

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Chris Tsitouris is a renewable energy professional with 10+ years of experience as Director of Engineering at Solar Spectrum, previously working as Project Manager at SunPower and Energy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. As a thought leader, Chris has authored numerous articles and research papers.

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