Solar Generator for Camping

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Solar Generator for Camping

Ahh camping, the best and the worst of times. If you love camping you know that power is critical, and sometimes won’t be available depending on where you are.

Most campsites will provide some kind of power, but it won’t be free, and then there are the more remote sites that don’t have power at all.

Most avid campers invest in a generator, but as you know they also require fuel (usually gas) to run them and they are loud. Even the newer quieter models still produce noise and require gas.

Here we look at an alternative which is using solar power and a generator at the same time to provide power for your camping delight.

Read on to learn more about solar generators, including how they can be useful for your outdoor excursions, and which models of solar generators can be a good fit for your camping trips and individual needs!

What is a Solar Generator?

While you of course know what a generator is, you may not be quite as familiar with solar generators. Essentially, a solar generator is a generator that runs on solar energy rather than fossil fuels or electricity.

They pair a rechargeable power station with solar power to provide energy.

Due to this, the generator does not need electrical access and can be very useful for things such as power outages or outdoor activities like camping trips.

We will discuss these camping trips specifically for the purposes of this article. 

Why Do You Need a Solar Generator

If you have never heard of a solar generator before, then you may not think you have any use for one. But that is nor necessarily true! A solar generator can be greatly beneficial, especially if you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors. For a camping aficionado, a solar generator can be a great addition to your tool kit, so to speak. A solar generator can extend the length of your camping trip, as it allows you to power devices, from charging your phone to powering a refrigerator in an RV! It also uses sunlight, which means you do not need to have an electrical outlet nearby in order to get power for your generator. We will go over the benefits of a solar generator in more detail further in the article. 

Benefits of a Solar Generator for Camping

Solar generators can be useful in a number of settings, including the great outdoors. Take a look below for some of the benefits of a solar generator when you are going on camping or backpacking trips! 

Eco Friendly 

Solar generators are an environmentally friendly way to power your devices, whether you are at home or out camping in nature. Instead of using non renewable energy sources, a solar generator uses the light of the sun to convert energy into electrical power that can help your devices charge or run. Sunlight, of course, is a renewable energy source. It is also a naturally occurring energy source that does not have adverse effects on our environment when it is used. Some other power sources, like fossil fuels, for instance, can have an adverse effect on the earth. In the case of fossil fuels, burning them can create gasses that damage the ozone layer, which are known as greenhouse gasses. 

No Electrical Access Needed

Another benefit of solar generators is that you can use them without electrical access! This makes them useful for camping, as you typically do not have an electrical outlet nearby when in the middle of the woods— or even at an established campsite. Instead, you use the solar panels that come with the rechargeable power station of the generator, and use these panels to collect sunshine. The sunshine that is collected is then converted into usable energy to power your devices. Of course, if you are outdoors, on a hiking, backpacking, or camping trip, there is plenty of opportunity to collect sunlight! It is all around you, and the only times you are not able to collect solar energy is in times of bad or overcast weather, or at night after the sun has gone down. 

Features to Consider

Of course, not every solar generator is built the same. Read on to learn more about some of the features to pay attention to when you are shopping for a solar generator to use on your outdoor excursions— or even for one you plan to use at home!

Watt Capacity 

One of the things you will want to be aware of is the capacity, or the power of your solar generator. This is typically measured in watts, or W. The higher the wattage, the more powerful your solar generator will be. This also means that your solar generator will be able to power more devices at once, or will be able to power one device longer than a lower wattage generator. You will want to be sure that you choose a solar generator with the capacity to fit your needs. If you choose a less powerful generator, you may find yourself without power when you need it the most on your excursion. 

Size and Portability 

Next, you will want to look at the size and weight of the solar generator you are considering. The dimensions of a generator are important, because they determine how portable the device is. If you are using a solar generator for camping or for hiking, you will need to be able to carry it with you, as well as easily pack it up and then set it back up again once you reach camp. This is not a system that will always be staying in one spot— like if you were only using the generator at your home. 


Of course, if you are going on extended camping or hiking trips where you will need a solar generator, then you will likely be exposed to changing weather and the elements. You will want all of your supplies and devices to be durable, your generator included! You should look for a solar generator that is weatherproof or waterproof if possible. Also, keep an eye out for generators that are durable and can stand up to wear and tear as they are carried around and as they spend time outside. Look for hardy materials, rather than cheaper and more flimsy building materials that will not be able to stand the test of time. 

Solar Generators for Camping

Below, we will go over some of the best solar generators out there on the market. Read on to jumpstart your research on solar generators for your next camping trip!

GoalZero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station

The first of the solar generators that we will be going over is the GoalZero Yeti model. It has a 1500 Wh lithium battery to power your devices with, and has a mix of different charger ports on its face. This means that you will be able to power all of your devices, and may even be able to do so all at once! Another great perk of the GoalZero Yeti is that it has an aluminum reinforced shell. This makes the generator plenty durable for outdoor adventures, and desires that the whole setup will be well protected. The battery cells are LG brand, which is widely considered to be the best in the industry. 

However, this model is one of the pricier solar generators on this list, and it is heavy, too, meaning that it may not be the wisest choice if you need something for camping trips with more than a couple stops!

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 Solar Generator

Next up is the Jackery Portable Power Station. This one in particular is considered to be a good solar generator to start out with. It is not as expensive as some of the other options out there, for instance. The model is considered to be priced at a middle of the road number. It is also versatile, and lightweight, too, at only 13 pounds. This makes it fairly portable for even those longer hiking or camping trips! 

However, the capacity of the generator might be a bit low for your needs, depending upon what you are looking for. Something else to be aware of is that the battery of this model of solar generator should be maintained and topped up every 3-6 months. If you do that, then the generator should last you for years to come! 

Bluetti AC200MAX Portable Power Station

The Bluetti AC200MAX Portable Power Station is another great solar generator option out there. This is one that can be great for you if you camp in an RV a lot of the time. It has unique power ports at 30 amps that are great for powering trailers or RVs. This is the only solar generator that can do this, at this time! It is a fantastic heavy duty option, but is more geared towards those using campers than those who are camping light or traveling on foot. 

However, this model is one of the heavier and pricier models on this list. For this reason, it may not be the best fit for you if you need a generator that is lightweight and portable above all else. 

EcoFlow Delta Mini Portable Power Station

Last, but not least, we come to the EcoFlow Delta Mini Portable Power Station. This is a smaller solar generator than some of the other options we included in this list. Since it is smaller and lightweight, it is easier to carry when you are traveling between campsites or locations. It even has an easy carry handle included on the model. Another great perk of this particular model is that it has a very fast charging time. It is able to charge from 0 to completely full in under 2 hours, at 1.6 hours, to be exact. 

The capacity of this model may not be high enough, depending upon the needs you have of your solar generator. However, it is considered to be a great middle of the road solar generator, and the price of this generator reflects that, too— not just its capacity. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best solar generator for camping?

The best solar generator for camping will partially depend upon what you are looking for. If you are going on long camping trips, you may need a bigger or higher-capacity solar generator.

However,  some of the best brands of solar generators are Jakery and Anker. These brands are often recommended when one needs to purchase a solar generator for outdoor excursions! 

What Solar Panel do I need for my RV?

Essentially, Power = Voltage x Current. Multiply the voltage and current of the battery to find out the amount of power (in watts) that you will need in a solar panel to charge the battery. You may also want to round your answer up to a multiple of 100 to ensure that you will have enough power when you set up your solar energy system. 

So when you are trying to figure out what you need in terms of solar panels for your RV, you need to work out what power you need.

What will a 2000-watt solar generator run?

If you are shopping for a solar generator, there are many different wattages and power levels. You will want to understand what each power level can do for you in order to make a smart decision and purchase what it is that you need!

A 2000-watt solar generator is able to power many different kinds of devices. It should be able to power devices such as a 150-watt TV, a medium refrigerator or freezer, 1000-watt power tools, a microwave oven, or a 1500-watt air conditioning unit.

This does not tell us how long a 2000-watt solar generator can run these devices, though. That will depend upon the energy capacity of the built-in battery. 

How long will a solar generator power a refrigerator?

There is no hard and fast answer to the question of how long a solar generator will power a refrigerator. This can vary, depending upon different factors such as the energy capacity of the built-in battery, or the wattage of the solar generator and solar energy system.

An example, though, is the EcoFlow DELTA Solar Generator. This solar generator should be able to power a 120-watt refrigerator nonstop for about 7.5 hours.

That is based on battery storage alone. When it comes to other solar generators, they will be able to power a refrigerator for different amounts of time.

Is there a generator that runs on solar power?

There is such a thing as a generator that runs on solar power!

This is referred to as a solar generator.

A solar generator is a device or system that pairs a large-capacity rechargeable power station with a set or group of portable solar panels.

This makes a versatile device and can be used in many locations, not just in a set location or at home, for instance. A solar generator can be used to provide backup power for your home during emergencies and blackouts, or for your campsite when you are on the go and do not have electrical access! 

James from the Privateers Garage
About the author

Lucas is one of the core writers and researchers for the Privateers Garage. He lives in Canada and Arizona and has two Garages. He loves writing about garage living, tech and getting stuff done. He is also a professional musician and sound guy.