Investing in the right solar power station guarantees you have backup power when traveling while saving energy and money.
We’ve reviewed solar-operated power stations that have useful components and innovative features.
They all have high capacities to harness the sun’s energy to deliver clean energy.
This buying guide will help you pick the best solar generator to serve as sustainable power for camping.
This article provides extensive reviews of the five top-rated portable power generators on the market.
We’ve also included key figures, comparison tables, and FAQs to complete your research.
Now, all there’s left for you to do is to go through this article and decide which solar generator is best suited for your camping.
Our Top Recommendations For The Best Portable Solar Generator
After weeks of product testing and hours of research, I recommend the MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Portable Power Station is a perfect generator to utilize sun energy For an RV.
The MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Generator stood out because of its solar and battery capacities. In under 5.5 hours, you can charge your gadgets while remaining off-the-grid.
At A Glance:Our Top Picks Portable Solar Generator For Rv
Save up on costs and energy by using any of the solar generators featured here. With their solar collection, battery capacity, and power, all you need is the sun to charge all your devices efficiently while camping or traveling.
1: Best Overall: MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Portable Power Station
The MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Portable Power Station has high solar and battery capacity to provide a green and clean power supply.
Its lithium-ion battery pack is the perfect backup for necessary camping devices.
There are two ways of charging the generator: solar and wall outlet. With the help of the sun, you can cut the charging time to less than six hours.
Meanwhile, it takes up to 10 hours to fully charge the generator using a wall outlet.
What’s more, its charring input made the unit even more amazing because of the built-in Maximum Power Point Tracking charge controller. On top of that, it has a 1,000-watt inverter.
Its continuous output power is specially designed to charge higher power devices like refrigerators, electric drills, hairdryers, and vacuum cleaners. Even so, you can power up important camping gadgets such as phones, cameras, laptops, lights, and fans.
Furthermore, the MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Portable Power Station has a Battery Management System that protects the generator’s operation.
There are safeguards for temperature control, as well as protection against over-current, over voltage, and short-circuit.
Another important feature is the LCD screen that monitors the remaining capacity, charging, and discharge levels. In the case of abnormal status, an error code will show the malfunction.
To ensure the safe connection of your devices, this unit has an AC outlet that is 100% compatible with all your appliances which draw under 1000W.
It is also fitted with four USB outputs and a car outlet for multiple applications.
In addition, the backlight enables easy reading under the sun. Similarly, it will not disturb anybody’s sleep.
This solar-operated power station also has an easy-to-carry handle for convenient transport.
The MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Portable Power Station is a powerful and all-in-one backup battery for camping.
You never have to worry about your big-capacity devices running out of power thanks to the machine’s solar capacity.
2: Runner-Up: Goal Zero Yeti 400 Battery Powered Generator
You can depend on the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Battery Powered Generator for portable backup power for a weekend of camping.
This is also a good pick if you don’t want to deal with noise, fumes, and maintenance.
This convenient, large capacity generator is designed to power up lights and several different devices such as tablets, laptops, and phones for several hours.
With the push of a button, you get 33Ah power to charge a laptop five times, 20 times for a digital camera, and a smartphone over 30 times.
The package comes with a solar generator and a 20-watt Nomad solar panel.
It also has 12V outputs where you can plug in seven devices at once. Regardless, its pure-sine wave inverter delivers clean power.
There’s also an informative LCD that shows how much power you are using. In this way, you can estimate your run time, as well as input and output capacities.
Aside from that, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Battery Powered Generator has a patented modular design.
It lets you chain with other 33Ah lead-acid batteries to extend operating times and power.
The best part is that there are three ways to charge the generator. The most efficient is eight hours using mono-crystalline solar panels.
The fastest is five hours using a wall outlet. Lastly, the longest is 13 hours using a car charger.
Since there’s no gasoline involved, this portable power station is safe to use inside an RV or tent.
Similarly, the absence of gasoline means more silent and clean operation.
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Battery Powered Generator is the ultimate alternative is a rechargeable power source for small appliances and electronic gadgets.
You can invest in this unit to provide a constant source of power during your outdoor trips.
3: Most Portable, Lightweight, And Compact Solar Generator: ALTIZURE 100W Portable Power Station
The ALTIZURE 100W Portable Power Station is a compact-sized solar generator that has a large capacity of 146 Wh.
Its lithium-ion batteries can provide emergency power during camping and outages.
There are two ways to charge this portable solar generator: solar panels and home adapter charging.
After eight hours, the generator can store clean energy inside the 39,600 mAh lithium-ion battery.
Despite being the smallest unit on this list, it can charge basic camping needs such as light bulbs, electric blankets, and GPS.
It can also handle gadgets such as smartphones, GPS, cameras, iPads, laptops, projectors, mini-refrigerators, and car vacuums.
What’s beneficial is that the model features the most common socket types, such as two quick-charge USB ports and an adapter for a car outlet.
Even if three devices are plugged in simultaneously, the generator doesn’t make loud noises.
The ALTIZURE 100W Portable Power Station has a display that informs you how much power you are currently using.
Likewise, you’ll see how much power the battery can still provide. As a result, you get to make a smart decision about when to charge and estimate when to charge the batteries.
Its working temperature is -20 to -60 degrees Celsius. The model also has overload, overvoltage, overcurrent, and short circuit protection. In effect, the unit is very safe to use.
As a bonus, this solar power station includes LED lighting with three flash modes. These are constant light, flash, and slow flash SOS for help.
The ALTIZURE 100W Portable Power Station is a dependable power source for charging devices outdoors and during a power outage.
Aside from its handy design, its solar and battery capacities are powerful enough to make camping convenient.
4: Ideal For High-Powered Devices: Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro+ All-In-One Portable Solar Power Generator
The Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro+ All-In-One Portable Solar Power Generator has built-in solar panels and 1000 watts/hour lithium-ion batteries that provide emergency electricity for your home, RV, or camping trips.
It boasts an all-in-one system that includes an inverter and power management.
After opening and powering the generator, you can go off-grid but still be able to charge necessities such as lights, fans, radios, TV, phones, laptops, cameras, and even a small fridge.
This solar-powered generator is the heaviest model on this list. This is because of its big solar panel and battery.
But thanks to its lithium-ion batteries, the generator becomes significantly lighter.
More than that, these factors help the unit fully charge in as little as three hours.
In fact, the Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro+ All-In-One Portable Solar Power Generator has one of the fastest charging times on the market.
You can recharge the battery even when you are using the generator.
Other advantageous features are the wall outlet plug-ins and standard USB charging outlets. In this way, you can comfortably and safely charge gadgets without running out of a charge.
The best part about this portable power generator is it’s portable and has no set-up briefcase design.
All you need to do is to open the latch and let the sun do its work. Additionally, the briefcase design makes it easy to transport and store the generator.
Lastly, its durable exterior can withstand all kinds of weather during travel.
May it be rain, bumps, or bruises—this tough solar generator can continue operating for all your electrical needs.
The Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro+ All-In-One Portable Solar Power Generatordelivers a clean, fresh source of energy for all your camping and traveling needs.
This is a good investment especially if you frequent camping trips or long road trips where access to power is challenging.
Comparison Guide: How We Picked the Best All-in-One Washer Dryers for Your RV
This buying guide has narrowed the list to the six best solar-powered generators.
They all have the necessary solar collection and battery storage capacities to provide sustainable power for your camping needs.
In the end, the MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 Portable Power Station stood out because of its solar and battery capacities. In under 5.5 hours, you can charge your gadgets while remaining off-the-grid.
Meanwhile, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Battery Powered Generator is way cheaper than the first model. Yet, it was able to balance features and quality.
Since we are talking about solar generators for camping, it is important that the device won’t hinder your mobility.
It should also take up much space inside your luggage, tent, or RV. This is where the ALTIZURE 100W Portable Power Station shines.
On the other hand, you can go for the Peppermint Energy Forty2 Pro+ All-In-One Portable Solar Power Generator when you have more high-powered devices to charge.
How To Select The Best Solar Generator For Camping?
With the right features and proper installation, you gain 24/7 power with little to no maintenance.
For this part, you’ll learn factors to consider when buying a generator with a solar panel.
We know for a fact that we need the sun’s energy to charge batteries. Then, you can use the stored power to charge or power up your devices.
Solar power banks are one of the most reliable methods to create green energy.
Green energy is a cleaner source of power. Consequently, it has less carbon footprint. So, how are we going to capture the energy? Consider these…
What Solar Generator Size Do I Need?
First, you must determine how much energy you use on average when camping. Check your electrical devices and appliances to see how many watts they need per hour.
Make sure you’ve considered basic communication devices, lights, ventilation, refrigeration, and entertainment.
Afterward, identify how many volts your electrical outlet uses. It typically ranges from 120 to 240 volts.
Once you’ve gathered these details, you can now compute the size. Take the number of volts (V) and multiply it by the number of amps per hour (A).
V x A = W
The result is the number of watts your devices use per hour at a maximum consumption (W).
After knowing the wattage, it’s time to determine how many hours on average you use the devices per day.
Multiply that to the number of watts the gadget uses per hour at its maximum setting.
Once you’ve figured out the maximum watts you need per day, it will be easy to pick the right size for a solar generator.
What Type Of Solar Panel Should I Choose?
As mentioned earlier, solar-powered generators use solar panels to capture energy from the sun. The panels will transform that power into electrical power. Then, the generator will release clean energy through an inverter.
Having said that, you’ll need ample solar panels to charge batteries efficiently.
This is why you must first know the three basic types of solar panels: thin-film, poly-crystalline, and mono-crystalline.
Thin Film – Less convenient, and thus less efficient, than its crystalline counterparts. Although it needs a bigger area of coverage, this type of panel is the cheapest option.
Poly-Crystalline Panel – This type has a 16% efficiency rate and operates less efficiently in high temperatures. It is one of the popular choices for solar panels because it’s less expensive than mono-crystalline.
Mono-Crystalline Panel – This type of panel delivers the highest efficiency rate of 20%. It’s the most expensive panel, yet provides the best quality.
Solar And Battery Capacities
Note that you must calculate your highest daily power expenditure to have enough solar power.
Ensure you have enough watts to cover your highest maximum power consumption rate per day.
More than that, battery capacity is one of the main determining factors when buying a solar power station. It is measured in watt-hour.
For instance, your solar generator has a 1300Wh capacity. Then, you’ll need to charge:
Android phone – 5 Wh
Laptop – 13 Wh
Electric fan – 120 Wh
Washing machine – 1200 Wh
Electric kettle – 1200 Wh
In this case, you can’t charge all of these devices at once. Otherwise, the battery-powered generator will overload.
It’s either you will power up all the devices except for the washing machine.
Solar-operated power stations used as backup power must be capable of bearing high wattage appliances.
Therefore, get a unit with a high amp-hour deep cycle battery that is appropriate for your needs.
A higher wattage can regularly discharge power, but would also easily drain. Thus, you’ll need high Ah batteries to sustain longer life.
Furthermore, the kind of battery will affect the efficiency and capacity. The most common types are lithium iron phosphate and lead-acid.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries have a longer cycle life and larger capacity. This type’s size is 2/3 of the volume of lead-acid batteries.
In addition, lithium-iron batteries have roughly 10 times more life cycles. Hence, they last longer and are much safer for the environment
Solar Generators Charging Speed
On average, solar-powered generators get fully charged within five to eight hours.
Let’s say the panel can hold 500 watts of power. This means you will likely gain 2,500 watts of power in five hours.
In general, it would take about two to three days before you have to charge the unit again. Note that this would depend on your usage and charging.
Solar Generators Inverter Size
For example, a solar generator has a 1,000-watt inverter. This means that 1,000 watts of energy will continue running without the machine turning off.
Having said that, the peak wattage is double that continual wattage. Hence, the 1,000-watt inverter will peak at 2,000 watts.
This is why a solar generator must contain a pure sine wave inverter. In this way, the generator will produce power as normally as it is inside your home.
Ergonomics: Weight, Design, Portability
It’s possible not to have a stable source of electricity when traveling. When you need to camp out, getting power might be even more challenging.
Hence, your chosen portable power station must combine practicality and functionality. Likewise, handles and wheels will provide more portability.
When it comes to construction, aluminum solar panel frames last longer because they are more versatile.
How Much You Will Spend Vs How Much You Will Save
The most budget-friendly models range from $100 up to $500. Meanwhile, premium units can go as high as $1,500.
At first, buying a solar generator may seem like a luxury. But in reality, the one-time spending will let you save in the future.
Using solar power lets you save as much as 25%, and subsequently, up to $400 a year.
Common Queries About Solar Operated Power Stations
How Do Solar Generators Work?
Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells that have the unique ability to collect sun energy or photons.
The panel will convert photons into solar energy, which can be used to power electric devices.
The creation of a photovoltaic cell involves two pieces of semi-conductive material that give opposite charges. In most cases, silicon serves as a semi-conductive material.
For instance, two pieces of silicone, which have two different charges, are put on top of each other to produce an electric field.
After the creation of the photovoltaic cell, it will be combined with more cells and wiring to create a solar panel.
Afterward, you can lay out the solar panel to absorb photons. Then, you can transfer the accumulated energy to electronic devices using wires.
Are Solar Powered Generators Noisy?
This is another treat—they are also silent solar-operated power stations. Since most camping grounds have noise regulations or quiet time, manufacturers have initiated to develop of silent models.
In general, gas-operated generators are the noisiest because of the mechanism to turn gas into electricity.
Most units range from 65 to 85 decibels, whereas solar generators fall between 40 to 60 decibels.
What About Solar Generator Maintenance Factors?
The accumulation of solar energy needs little to no maintenance. Since there are no moving parts, maintenance is very minimal.
Yet, you must be careful when handling, storing and transporting the generator. You must also clean the panels to ensure smooth and efficient operation.
Store the batteries away from fire, heat, and corrosion. Keep batteries in a dry, clean, and ventilated room with a relative humidity of more than 85%.
Opt for solar generator kits if possible. The package should include everything—generator, solar panels, batteries, cords, and accessories.
Remember to compare the estimated total wattage consumption to the maximum AC continuous power rating of the solar power generators.
Do not use the battery when under damp or exposed to direct high sunlight temperature.
The amount of charging time depends on the actual wattage of your devices is demanding.
When fully charged, you can store the battery for up to six months.
You can use solar generators indoors because they don’t produce carbon monoxide or fuel emissions.
When you need to camp in cold places, place the generator inside a cooler to provide insulation.
Pick The Right Solar Powered Generator For Your Camping Needs
You’ll only have to buy once and let the portable power generator harvest solar energy for your backup power.
Make sure to find an area where your panels can get optimal sun exposure.
Once you’ve stored enough energy, you can charge all your important devices during long camping trips.
The models on this product review are designed to help you obtain a more environmental-friendly way of securing power anytime and anywhere.
To make your search easier, use the product review and buying guide we’ve provided.
Once you make an informed decision, your chosen solar generator will help you sustain energy while saving money.