If you truly like to get off the grid but don’t want to compromise your small luxuries, you probably have access to a generator. Traditional generators are powered by fuel and can be costly, damaging to the environment, and emit a lot of noise and pollution, often taking away from the ambience and comfort of camping.
Solar generators for RV and camping are the latest trend to come from this renewable energy source, and an exciting way to add new meaning to getting off the grid. With a solar generator powering your campsite and RV, you’re able to use green energy to stay connected when you need it most, with a whole range of other benefits too.
Each individual’s use will determine how much power they require from their generator, so you’ll have to calculate the amount of energy you plan to use first. Bigger is usually better in the case of generators, as you might find your energy output increases over time.
As solar energy replaces many of our traditional power sources from home to the outdoors, it’s exciting to now be able to harness this energy for our weekend getaways. Whether you want to keep your cell phone charged or power bigger appliances in your RV, there’s a solar powered generator to suit your needs.
A solar generator for camping is a little more complex than just a standard generator, as there are a few parts required to make it work. As solar energy works by harnessing heat from the sun and transferring this into electricity, you’ll need to have all the bits working harmoniously to use this power effectively.
The main system for your power supply, the generator will take the energy from the panels and convert it to electricity which powers the built-in battery. This battery is then used to power other items such as chargers, lights, and small appliances directly from the generator. Included in a generator is usually a battery, inverter, and charge controller for all of your solar needs.
Some generators don’t come with solar panels included, so you may need to purchase these separately. There are a few different styles of panels, including those which can be placed on the roof of your RV specifically for camping needs. These plug into the generator and help to draw energy from the sun.
Finally, you’ll need a proper setup to ensure you’re getting the most from the sun. Always avoid shaded areas where possible as this will mean a longer charge time for the battery. When you’re not using the panels at night, pack them away to deter opportunistic thieves.
Using solar generator for RV will generally require a little more power than just a campsite, due to the electronics within the vehicle. Depending on how much energy you plan to use, your needs will differ, so you need to decide whether you want a basic supply, something mid-range, or a lot of power.
To power an RV at a basic level, including your lights, a fan, and to keep the batteries charged within the home, you’ll need around 220 watts of power per day. This is ideal for those who like to keep it minimalistic or perhaps plan on getting power elsewhere on their travels.
For something mid-level, including a few hours of TV time and keeping all of your electronics charged, this jumps up to just over 1,000 watts per day. This is a fairly standard amount for RV owners and allows you to live quite comfortably.
Finally, a heavy use of solar energy which includes using your toaster, kettle, and other kitchen appliances throughout the day can increase to over 3,500 watts. While not a necessity to use all of these appliances, there are some that prefer a luxurious adventure which is completely fine, so you’ll need to strongest generator you can find.
If you’re planning on camping in the wilderness, perhaps in a tent or under the stars, your power needs will likely be a little less than those on an RV adventure.
For the campers who only want an emergency supply of power to keep their cell phone or radio charged, you can opt for a basic 200-watt solar generator which will last more than a few days off one charge. These are more like power packs, and extremely compact and efficient to travel with.
To run a few more things such as a refrigeration system, a small TV, and some basic lighting you’re looking at around 130 watts per day. Keep in mind that your solar generator will continue to produce energy as long as it’s in the sun, so there’s no need to worry about recharging.
For the camping and RV enthusiast, there are so many benefits to be found with using a portable solar generator. While there will be an initial investment when you buy your solar generator, the system will pay for itself eventually with all of these great advantages.
With all of these benefits, there’s bound to be a few areas of concern for solar generators. While it’s true they have some disadvantages, the pros definitely outweigh the cons for these amazing sources of renewable energy.
If it’s truly important to you to have a lot of power for your RV or campsite, you may need to consider a fuel powered system instead. Each camper’s needs are going to be unique, so there’s no one product that can cater to every individual.
Before purchasing a solar generator, you’ll need to know exactly how much power you intend to use. This will take a bit of calculating as you don’t want to be left short, so ensure you put a lot of thought into the planning stages of your purchase.
It’s always best to choose a solar generator that has backup options for power supply, just in case the weather isn’t in your favor. Most generators can be powered by a wall outlet or even with your car battery, and having these options can give great peace of mind especially when you’re camping.
Some generators come with extra features, so you should consider which ones are important for your circumstances. Whether you want a LED display that highlights battery use, an all-inclusive product which has panels and an inverter, or something with wheels and handles to assist in transportation, there are plenty of features that can make life easier.
Since you’ll be relying on your solar generator to be your sole power provider while living off the grid, reliability and a good brand are essential. While you may be tempted to skimp for a cheaper model, this is not an investment that should be done on the cheap. You should expect to pay upwards of $1,000 for a quality generator for camping so budget accordingly.
To get the very best performance from your solar generator while camping, there are a few simple tips you can follow. These will give you optimum power supply while you’re away and also ensure a longer life for your generator and panels.
For the camping and RV enthusiast who doesn’t need to travel with their whole home powered up, solar generators really are the best option. Not only are you being kind to the earth and reducing your carbon footprint, but there are so many benefits to the camper as well.
Investing in a generator can be a costly process, no matter which mode of power you choose, but with a solar generator you’re ensuring that ongoing costs are kept low and choosing a product with a long life.
Solar generators are best designed for longer trips, so if you regularly go away for three or more days it’s definitely time to invest in a solar device. To truly stay off the grid and live a peaceful but comfortable existence at your campsite, the only option is to get your power straight from the sun with a quality solar generator.