What to Consider Before Buying a Portable Solar Generator

If you’re planning on camping off-grid, having a way to charge your RV’s batteries, run appliances, and keep your mobile devices charged up isn’t just smart—it’s key if you want to enjoy your time in the woods. Though you can use a gas-powered generator to power your RV, the noise and fumes can make your camping experience less enjoyable. Investing in a solar setup is always going to be the ideal alternative, but if you’re not ready to take the plunge and let your RV repair team install solar panels on your rig, a portable solar generator may be the next best choice. Here are a few things to think about before you invest in one.

Consider What You’ll Be Powering
Solar generators come in different sizes and capacities with built-in inverters that can power different types of appliances. The cheapest solar generators have inverters that can handle small tasks like charging your phone or computer. But larger and more expensive generators can handle larger appliances like your fridge or even power your entire RV. Before you start looking at generators, think about what you want to power with your new generator. If you only need to charge tablets, computers, phones, and watches, a small generator will be all you need. But if you want to plug your RV in and run your lights, electric kettles, or air conditioner, you’ll need a bigger generator. 

Look at the Battery Capacity
Just because a solar generator is powerful enough to run your appliances doesn’t mean it will run them for long. As you start looking, be mindful of the battery capacity of each system. Larger batteries typically cost more but can charge or run appliances longer between charges. This means you’ll likely still have enough power to run what you need even if you’re camped in inclement weather or cloudy conditions.

Pay Attention to the Battery Type
There are two main battery types used in solar generators: sealed lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Both will charge your devices and power your appliances, but most people tend to prefer lithium-ion batteries. Sealed lead-acid batteries are much heavier and have shorter lifespans than similar lithium-ion batteries. But they’re also usually cheaper. Consider the type of battery each generator uses and how long it will last before you make your purchase.

Don’t Forget the Weight of the Generator
Solar generators are typically designed to be portable, letting you store the generator in your rig or set it up in a sunny spot for use outdoors. And the higher the battery capacity is, the heavier the generator will be. Before you purchase one, take a look at how much it weighs. Ideally, you’ll pick a generator that you can move on your own without help.

Installing Solar May Be a Better Option
Solar generators are a great way to incorporate solar power into your RV lifestyle, especially if you tend to switch rigs regularly. You can take the generator with you and ditch the gas generator for good. But if you plan on keeping your RV for at least a few years, installing solar panels and an inverter directly on your RV may be a better option. Contact your trusted RV repair team at goHomePort and let our team help you find the right solar setup for your needs.
Go Back