Having a solar generator is a great way to recharge your batteries and run your key appliances and we’ve got you covered in this guide with everything you need to know to make a great buying decision!
Some RV accessories are necessary and some are a luxury, but having a generator really can make life much safer and more comfortable on the road.
While sweeping vistas and private sunrises often happen far away from the nearest plug-in, a noisy generator can ruin the moment.
Solar-operated power stations aren’t only for an emergency power outage or roadside assistance anymore. Solar generators are reaching new peaks of battery capacity, power output, and overall efficiency.
Using the power of the sun to spice up your RV is slowly becoming a no-brainer. We’ve seen travelers with RV’s as big as the Tiffin Phaeton get through a temperate desert winter with nothing but 10,000 watts of solar panels strapped to the roof.
Photovoltaic solar panels can soak up some serious amps. But all that solar energy has to go somewhere. Why not keep a solar generator charged up at the ready-to-store and assist?
You’ll be surprised at the peaks these power sources are capable of reaching.
From keeping the little things charged up to running the A/C all day long, we’ve got the best in solar generator technology on display today.
WHAT WE LIKE
THINGS TO CONSIDER
TItan RV Solar Power Kit
MAXOAK Bluetti EB150
Goal Zero Yeti 500X
Ecoflow Portable Power Station
These generators took the convenience of lithium-ion battery storage and built it ready to attach to solar panels to provide an endless stream of renewable energy.
This technology is still new, and not many products have been around long enough to stand the test of time. But we’ve found the most reputable, tried-and-true ones around and are confident to charge up our own gear with these.
The right solar generator will easily save you money in the long run, so keep scrolling to check out what the best solar generators have to offer.
The Best Solar Generators For RV
We looked at the big picture, compared figures, and charged our cell phones to find the best solar generators, big and small.
Factors like power capacity, charge time, lifecycle, size, and price helped narrow down the field and left only a few contenders standing.
TItan RV Solar Power Kit
Before we get any further, we have to warn you – This solar power generator is not cheap. Is it worth the price tag though? Hell yes.
Most power stations on our list come without solar panels, and some aren’t much more than a power box. Not this one though!
The Titan is a true kit as it ships with two panels capable of 1500 watts and everything you need to harness the sun.
The kit packs a 30 amp RV plug, six 110v plugs, 20 amps of 12 V power, and two flexible solar panels to be the complete package.
It’s not just thorough. This RV solar generator kit is powerful.
We have no doubt it can compete with the power of a gas generator, and it’s all without the carbon footprint. Spend longer time between fill-ups, recharges, or bathroom breaks with this DIY solar kit.
A 2000-watt-hour lithium battery capacity means a fully charged titan can power your iPhone for a year. This complete kit makes some of the other best solar generators look silly in comparison, but the price is a serious commitment.
There aren’t many solar generators genuinely worth more than three times as much as the competition. But as we’ve already learned, the Titan is a rare exception.
This solar generator for RV leads the way across every category in the spec sheet. With a price like that, we’d like to feel entirely sure the solar generator will last for life.
Technology hasn’t gotten that far yet, and there is some risk that this battery just won’t be the same in 10 years. But that kind of longevity can be expected with the Titan, and in tech, 10 years may as well be a lifetime.
If you’re ready to invest serious money into your kit, this is going to be the best product you will ever find.
- Only solar generator on our list that comes with solar panels
- Can power all your appliances at once
- Easily outperforms gas generators with a bit of sunshine
- Incredibly expensive
- Battery life could be as low as a decade
MAXOAK Bluetti EB150
Don’t worry – if you’re on a tight budget, we have the product for you! The Maxoak Bluetti EB150 affordable portable power station provides the versatility and battery capacity you need to keep continuous power pumping to your electronic devices.
Off-grid living always comes with a bit of sacrifice, but this power kit works well as any off-grid power source.
We love the quick charging time. With 1000 watts of solar panels soaking up direct sunlight, you can fully juice up this portable solar generator in 5.5 hours.
That’s thanks to the advanced pure sine wave inverter packed into the solar charge controller.
MPPT technology makes the most out of solar energy and lets you power this generator twice as fast through solar power as you can through a wall outlet.
Once your lightweight solar generator is ready to roll, you can use heavyweight electronic equipment with high surge power demands like a vacuum cleaner or power tools with the Bluetti.
Most portable power stations can’t even fire up a heater, but this solar system can handle watt-hours well above its weight class.
That kind of battery power is priceless in your electrical system, and it all comes from renewable energy.
- Built to handle high power devices
- User-friendly features
- Charges in less than 6 hours of direct sunlight
- Slower wall charging times
You don’t need shore power for microwave popcorn anymore. You can plug this awesome Inergy Flex pure sine wave inverter into a wall outlet, cigarette lighter, and solar panels all at the same time to reach full charge fast – it will go from zero to 100% in 1.5 hours.
Once it’s juiced up, you can confidently fire up power tools, a portable fridge, and four more mobile devices, all with their own AC outlet.
For an alternative power source, the specs on this unit are downright impressive. Inergy has hit the jackpot with their flex lithium batteries, which outperform other lead-acid batteries in all categories and give you precious ways to innovate across the board.
We always want more power, and you can add up to 96 lithium-ion batteries known as Flex batteries to increase the capabilities of your solar power generator even further.
MPPT charge controller technology leads the way in RV solar panels and has wormed its way into the battery management system of this solar-powered generator.
The technology delicately monitors how much power each flex battery needs and can charge every battery simultaneously to make the most out of solar input.
The flex 1500 cements its claim as one of the best portable solar generator options out there thanks to its incredibly light 30-pound build, which is one of the lightest weights out of any solar power station capable of reaching 1500 watt-hours.
All this performance won’t come cheap, which is the only reason Inergies portable generators don’t have a serious consideration as the most reliable power source out there.
If budget is no issue, this portable solar generator can give you the backup power you need to explore further.
- Staggering 3,000-watt surge capacity
- Can add up to 96 batteries
- 2-year warranty
- Unproven company
Goal Zero Yeti 500x
Goal Zero has an entire line of solar-powered generators that will bring a power station to your next camping trip for an affordable price.
The Yeti 500x isn’t close to the most potent solar-powered generator on our list, but it provides excellent value to boondockers who just want something to keep a few devices charged while enjoying the woods.
An LCD screen keeps you constantly informed on the health of your solar generators, and the output power is split between USB and AC outlets to keep up with the modern era.
This option is a portable power station that solar panels can charge, but we wouldn’t count on solely solar power to keep the yeti flowing.
You can plug the power station into a wall outlet the day before your trip and reach maximum charge in 5 hours, or rely on a 100-watt solar panel to get the station at full health in a day or two.
Goal Zero makes rigid frame solar panels specifically for their portable solar generators, but any solar panel should get the job done eventually, you just might have to purchase an adapter.
While it isn’t the most powerful RV solar power generator on our list, the Yeti 400’s affordable price and long-lasting battery make an excellent choice for anyone looking to keep their phone, lights, and laptop charged for a long weekend in the woods.
- Excellent portability and power combination
- Fast charge time
- Company makes solar panels built to fit
- Does not ship with everything you need to car charge
- Low battery capacity
Lightweight and affordable, the Altizure 100w portable power station is perfect for RVs who just need a bit of backup battery capacity.
Altizure built the smallest RV solar generator on our list, weighing less than 10 pounds. Be warned: It is not a full-time portable power source.
You’ll find only an outlet and a handful of USB charging ports that get ac power from a slim lithium battery.
Its lightweight stature and light charging capabilities mean this solar power station Altizure 100W makes its bacon during a power outage or backcountry camping trips. It is the most portable power option on our list but also the weakest.
Two 50 watt solar panels should be all you need to fully charge the battery capacity in 8 hours or less.
RV solar generators can be powerful enough to start vacuums and microwaves, or they can be light enough to serve as a reliable power generator for phones and laptops even when you have to walk into your campsite.
The Altizure has thrown its weight entirely towards portability, and minimalist campers who don’t have much to charge look toward this option to redefine what it means to be a portable solar generator.
- Lightest solar generator on our list
- Great price
- Comes with a warranty
- Only one AC outlet
- Can’t collect more than 100 watts
EcoFlow Portable Power Station
This RV solar power generator is the real deal. The Ecoflow high-tech portable power station promises to charge your battery to 80% in under an hour when plugged into the wall.
Lightning-fast charge time meets powerful lithium-ion batteries to get the most out of your solar panels.
The Ecoflow made sure to pack plenty of power inside the 30 lbs of the protective casing and carrying handles, putting any fears of underperformance to rest.
You can cook, clean, style, and enjoy a movie marathon after a charge cycle, making this a worthy solar generator for a long weekend of RV travels. But it may not be the best choice for full-time boondockers.
We recommend charging this power station in the wall whenever you can. When charged by solar panels, it could take a day and a half to reach full charge.
Every battery cycle can charge a smartphone 180 times or a laptop up to 20. With those kinds of power capacity, we can overlook the slower charge times with solar panels.
We can take this product under a microscope and find a few flaws, but the truth is this is easily one of the most efficient solar-powered generators on the market.
- Charges in a wall in less than an hour
- 13 different outlets
- Charge length much longer with solar panels
- Not the most powerful out there
Choosing the Best Solar Generator
The options on our list cover a broad spectrum of prices and abilities, putting a variety of quality products on display to prove there is no perfect solar generator for everyone.
Line up your budget with your power needs to find the best solar generator for your RV.
How can I charge my Solar Generator?
We have found that in van life, there are three primary sources of energy: gasoline, the sun, and shore power.
We would love to tell you your solar generator can stay up to date using nothing but the sun’s rays, but that will require a hefty investment both in your solar panels and in your solar generator.
While you upgrade your solar panels, you won’t be left in the dark. Most of the options on our list can also be charged by 110V wall outlets and through the 12V connection in your cars’ cigarette lighter.
Look for a charging rate of between 5-8 hours when using your charging style of choice.
Each generator on our list will favor a different source, and the time it takes for your solar generator to reach full charge will differ depending on how you are charging it.
Make sure you buy the solar generator that charges in a way that works with your travels.
If you don’t expect to be gone from shore power for more than a week at a time, look for the products that can charge fast in a wall outlet, like the EcoFlow Portable Power Station.
Full-timers shouldn’t buy something that charges fast in an outlet but takes two days under solar panels. RVs with 1000 watts of solar panels can charge the MAXOAK Bluetti EB150 in less than 6 hours.
Solar energy isn’t the only renewable energy source in your RV. If you expect to be driving every few days, your engine can charge your generator enough to get through cloudy days.
Look for generators with efficient cigarette lighter charging like the Inergy Flex, which can charge from 12V and solar power simultaneously.
Give yourself the freedom to charge your solar generator anytime the vehicle is in motion by making sure you choose a solar generator that you can charge in many different ways.
What is A Solar Generator?
A solar generator converts to battery, inverter, and solar controller all in one. It’s a one-stop-shop for your electrical system that works with solar panels to provide renewable energy to your RVs.
They are slowly becoming one of the best ways to bring power to the backcountry. But no solar generator is perfect.
Keep these strengths and weaknesses in mind when mapping out your power.
Solar Generation Strengths
- Once your kit is installed, your energy comes free!
- Most generators on our list are silent and smell-free.
- You won’t have to deal with much maintenance after your kit is installed.
- There are loads of rules about running gas generators, but your solar generator can be on all the time.
- Difficult to provide the burst power fossil fuels are capable of.
- Your RV won’t charge in the shade when not driving!
- Of all power options, solar has the most expensive initial investment.
Power and Capacity
Your generator’s power is another crucial step of the search. The easiest way to decide what kind of power you need is to calculate what you need to run your appliances and get a bit more than that number.
Most campers are going to need enough power to charge their devices, keep the lights on, control the climate, refrigerate and have some fun.
Add up your watt-hours and make sure it’s nowhere close to the capacity of your generator.
A few camper accessories like fairy lights and cell phones can stay charged even with the most lightweight power stations like the Goal Zero Yeti 500X.
Anything beyond that will require a heavy-duty power station. Smaller power capacity products won’t even be able to turn on heaters, microwaves, or hair dryers.
Products with at least 1300 Wh and plenty of amp hours will be necessary to keep everything turned on.
If air conditioning is your goal, your solar generator should have at least 700 ah and 1800 watts to start up.
And please, whatever your current wattage needs are, shop for the future. If your solar generator can barely handle your energy needs on day one, you’ll never be able to add on to your RV’s appliances.
Just because you don’t travel with an electric kettle today doesn’t mean you won’t want to next winter, so make sure your solar generator can handle some growth.
Solar generators are made out of either lithium or lead-acid batteries. Lithium is the far superior option out of the two, offering double the lifespan, charge levels, and efficiency.
We can understand going for the cheaper option in some facets of your RV, but your battery is not a great area to cut corners. The only reason to go for a lead-acid battery is to save a few bucks, but it could cost you in the long run.
The reduced lifespan of lead-acid means you could be buying two or three lead-acid batteries in one lithium lifespan. To keep your solar generator around as long as possible, invest in lithium batteries.
Just like there is no such thing as a handheld generator that can fire up the air conditioner, your solar generator will increase in size as it gets more powerful.
The largest solar generators are still smaller than most propane generators, and you won’t have to constantly move them outside in order to turn them on. So just make sure you have space in the cupboard for it.
You can stick your solar generator somewhere out of the way as long as you can still easily access the outlets and screen.
TItan RV Solar Power Kit
If you’re starting from ground zero, everything you need to run your air conditioner on solar power ships in this incredible Titan solar kit.
It’s not cheap, but quality shouldn’t be sacrificed and this is the closest you’ll get to a full gas generator setup. It’s by far our favourite product!
Who knew there were so many solar generators out there capable of taking your adventures further. The generators on this list are ready to help out trips big and small by keeping the lights on, the GPS loaded and the food fresh.
Solar requires a large up-front investment. Our editor’s choice Titan RV Solar Power Kit is no exception.
But we loved that the box ships with everything you need to take an RV without any solar power at all and turn it into an eco-friendly powerhouse.
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