Number Of Plugin Ports
The amount of plugin ports and the options are very important. If the system can handle it, I like to have as many plugin ports as possible so that I am not limited. The Titan has 6 110/120v plugs, and 4 DC plugs that allow me to run either DC power or use USB conversion plugs. And most importantly for my boondocking needs, it has a dedicated 30-amp style RV plug!
There are only a couple of solar generators on the market that have a dedicated 30-amp style RV plug, and out of those that do, the Titan can handle the most power at 25-amps. That is plenty to run most RVs. Im so glad that the Titan has this because so many people have asked for a real RV plug. Having an RV plug is so much simpler. I can plug my RV in and use all my lights, outlets, stove, etc without having to run extension cords from my appliances and plug into the solar generator.
This feature in my opinion makes the Titan the clear and obvious best choice for boondocking. Until the other companies play catch up and start to incorporate this feature, the Titan makes the most sense for my needs. And because of the capacity of the batteries, and the size of the inverter, I can run all the big appliances without worry.
How Much Power Should You Get
Jump to the tech specs on a power station and take a look at these numbers:
- Solar input
- Battery storage capacity
The solar input will tell you how many watts of solar you can hook to the power station, The battery storage will tell you how much energy can be stored total. You should have a rough estimate in your head of how many Watt hours you will need to power your devices. If you dont know, take a look at our electricity calculator.
In general, if youre planning to power larger devices like a 12V refrigerator, vent fan and other electronics take a look at power stations over 1000Wh. If youre just looking to charge up a cell phone, laptop or tablet, choose a smaller power option.
Best Home Backup & Standby Solar Generators
The Goal Zero Yeti 500X is perfect for small homes that need backup power for small appliances and devices.
It has all the ports you need to plug in various electronics, including two 300W AC outlets.
- Can power small appliances and charge most gadgets.
- Versatile input and output options.
- Light & compact – easy to store and carry.
- Great for camping and other outdoor activities.
- Easy to read display.
- Cannot power most household appliances.
- Doesn’t come with a car charger or solar panels.
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How To Choose A Solar Generator
One trend you might see in this lineup is the importance of zeroing in on a solar generator thats built for the task you have in mind. Anything more could be overkill, whereas anything less might be useless. Take the time to do a little math to figure out how much power youll need to pull from the generator and for how long. This is likely the most critical first step toward deciding which solar generator suits you best.
One thing worth notingseveral solar generator manufacturers engineer their devices to achieve peak performance when paired with their brands accessories. That couldnt be more evident than when it comes to solar panels. While there are several solar panel makes and models available, and connections between panels and generators are almost universal, you might not experience the same recharge rate with off-brand panels as you would with panels specifically designed for your unit. That said, unless you purchase an all-in-one kit, there will likely be an extra cost when you shop.
The same is true for batteries. If youre considering a model with expandable capacities, know that batteries arent always inexpensive, and like anything else, they dont last forever. Work within your budget to determine exactly just how much power youre going to need for specific situations and let that dictate how many reserve cells you need to purchase.
Ranked: 5 Best Solar Generators That Will Keep Your Lights On
Having a solar generator is one of the best ways to make sure you have power right when you need it.
If your power goes out at home, or you want backup power for your next RV camping trip – a solar generator will have you covered.
With their lightweight, portable design, solar generators give you reliable access to energy without having to worry about pollution, noise, or fuel costs like you do with conventional gas generators.
Editorial note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.
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Goal Zero Yeti 200x Portable Power Station
Goal Zero designed the Yeti 200X to be ultra-portable for backpackers, those who enjoy the #TentLife, and its one of the best solar generators for teardrop campers. Its size and weight are ideal for bags or small storage spaces. It has a quicker than average recharge cycle and can power all of your small electronics.
You wont have a problem keeping your mobile devices charged up with the dual USB-A and dual USB-C inputs. The 110v AC port will make sure even in the most basic conditions, you can still get that morning cup of coffee. The two DC ports are great for using the air mattress pump or other accessories you need.
The rear fan is quiet, so it wont harsh your zen as you enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature. If you get rained out of your outdoor adventure, its safe to bring inside your teardrop to power interior lights for a bit.
This generator isnt designed to run things for a long time. Some people werent satisfied with the shortness of power when they were running their laptops. Its mainly designed to charge mobile devices, laptop batteries, and run low-level electronics like LED lights.
Those who have used this solar generator for its intended purpose have been very happy with its performance. The Goal Zero Boulder or Nomad solar panels that are sold separately are easy to install and work well. Ideally, a 100W panel can charge the Yeti 200X in 8 hours or less. Plugging it into 110v AC or a vehicle power port can charge it up as little as 4 hours.
Ff Flashfish Portable Power Station
- Safe to use
- Scratches may be an issue
The FF FLASHFISH portable power station features a sleek design with a metal casing, and black plastic ends. Weighing only 5.6lbs, this device is lighter compared to similar units. Its also easy to carry due to its integrated handle. As such, its quite comfortable to use, especially in any outdoor activity.
What I like about this product is that it features multi-safety protections. As such, you wouldnt have to worry about short-circuits, low-voltages and other similar problems. Moreover, the ventilator fans located at its sides ensures that the unit will not overheat.
The FF FLASHFISH portable power station comes with three lithium batteries, with each having a capacity of 20,000mAH. With a built-in pure sine wave inverter, the FF FLASHFISH mobile power station provides a continuous stable charge for several small appliances and other similar gadgets.
I also like this product because it comes with numerous port options such as DC and AC outlets and USB ports. With this, you can accommodate different types of gadgets and devices.
The FF FLASHFISH portable power station also has three charging options. You can either use a solar panel or use the car charger or wall charger options. These options give the user a certain degree of flexibility to allow them to charge the unit.
This portable power station also comes with its display monitor to enable the user to check on the batterys percentage and usage.
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What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Solar Generator
For your convenience, Ive made a list of the pros and cons of a solar generator.
- Limited power supply
- Slow recharge
Just remember every solar generator is different, so this is a generic list. For example, there are several solar generators that wont break the bank its really just a matter of what you need. Be mindful of the fact the more watts a generator can dish out, the generally pricier it will be.
What Are The Different Types Of Camping Solar Panels
Understanding and knowing your needs and requirements is vital to make the right decision to buy the best solar charger for camping and your other outdoor activities. The first thing you need to decide upon doing a self-assessment is identifying what type of solar panel can suit your needs and meet your expectations. Overall, there are four different types of camping solar power kits:
- Solar chargers
These are branded as the best portable solar panels for camping. Solar chargers are generally small and are meant for charging smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more. They are integrated with either a monocrystalline or polycrystalline technology in a portable, foldable solar suitcase-style making it 100% portable.
These kinds of camping solar panels are designed to be compact and lightweight, making them an attractive and practical option for outdoor enthusiasts who are always traveling and need a quick charging option for their phones and electronic devices. A more significant type of these solar chargers is referred to as solar blankets, which are still foldable and portable.
- Flexible solar panels
The main standout feature of flexible solar panels is its design. It is incredibly lightweight, and it can easily be stored and hidden. This is the best option for RVers and campers who have a curved roof on their trailers since these panels can be bent to up to 30 degrees.
- Portable solar panels
- Fixed-mounted panels
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Never Be Powerless Again Thanks To These Handy Backups
- Syracuse University
- San Francisco State University
Heidi Wachter was a senior editor at Experience Life magazine for 10 years. She has written for publications like Experience Life, Shondaland, and betterpet.
- University of Tennessee
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Treehugger / Chloe Jeong
Its always good to have a backup in life especially when the power goes out. Gas-powered generators can do the trick, but theyre loud, emit smelly fumes, and require a place for storing gasoline safely. They also contribute to climate change.
Solar generators, on the other hand, are clean, easy to use, don’t require fossil fuels, and are becoming more and more affordable as solar technology improves. They can be particularly useful in emergency situations where other fuel supplies are cut off or difficult to access. Solar generators typically capture the suns energy via stationary or portable solar panels that are sold separately, convert it into electrical power, and store it in a battery for later use.
Once you know how many watts youll need consider the other features you want such as USB charging ports and rechargeable batteries. You can avoid blowing your budget by selecting a generator with features that make the unit more efficient rather than more expensive.
How We Picked And Tested
We made a shortlist of what we believe are some of the worlds best solar generators for camping. We looked at specific factors that one needs to consider whenever buying a portable solar generator. Here are the things we checked.
- Inverter Capacity
The inverter is an essential component of any solar generator. It provides you with the electricity needed to run your gadgets and appliances. That is why the surge power capacity of a solar generator is essential. Unfortunately, products come with different inverter capacities. We had to look at the output rating of the inverter. A device with at least an 80 percent inverter rating should be adequate.
- Maximum Power Output
What is the use of having a power generator if it can only supply electricity to a few gadgets at a time? That is why the maximum power output of the device is also a significant consideration. We think that a device that has at least 200-Watt hours of power output is sufficient in most camping activities.
- Battery Bank Capacity
The capacity of the integrated battery bank of the solar generator is also essential. Some batteries can accommodate more DC power than others. We have seen products that have a rating of 60,000mAh, which is equivalent to 60Ah. There are also those that can hold 17.1Ah. Your choice of battery capacity will depend on the different devices that you will plug into the solar generator. We believe that a 15Ah battery should be enough in most situations.
- Solar Panel
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Things To Avoid When Choosing A Solar Powered Generator
Heres what to avoid when shopping for a solar generator.
1. Square-Sine Wave Inverters
Weve already discussed the three types of inverters.
Avoid square sine wave inverters it unlikely youll find them anyway.
2. Very Low Capacity Solar Backup Generators
Even if you are charging gadgets like your smartphone, tablet, and camera, its still a good idea to get a decently sized solar generator.
Dont go below 600Wh.
If you plan to power an appliance like a CPAP machine, a coffee maker or a fan, dont go below 1,000Wh.
You want a generator that can last at least a full day and night even on cloudy days.
3. Very Low-wattage Solar Panels
The solar panels that come with some generators feel like tokens rather than a genuine effort to provide customers with a complete system.
A 50W solar panel will take days to charge a 100Ah battery.
Check that the solar generator comes with solar panels that can charge the battery in at most 6-8 hours.
One 100W panel or two 50W panels are good enough for most standby solar generators.
4. Low Quality or Suspiciously Cheap Solar Generators
You get what you pay for holds up well when it comes to buying a solar generator.
Despite the potential savings, you are better off avoiding cheap off-brand solar generators, especially if they boast a high wattage and capacity.
Buy from a trusted brand with a reputation for high-quality products.
Pick Suitable Solar Generator For You
LIPOWER solar generator kits combine our portable power stations with highly-efficient solar panels. Solar generators rely entirely on clean, renewable energy. Simply set up your solar panel and enjoy the free sunshine!
Theyre a great source of backup power for a boating or RV camping trip because of their portability. Whether you need to power some key appliances in your home in the event of an emergency or you want to charge your devices on a camping trip, solar generators are a great way to have extra energy on hand.
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Can A Solar Generator Power An Rv Or Boat
Unless you have an extra-large solar generator like the Yeti 6000X, its unlikely that you can power your entire RV or boat with just a solar generator.
The limitation is not just the battery capacity but also the inverter. Even large solar generators have a max 2000W inverter, and cannot support multiple high-wattage appliances at the same time.
That said, if you have smaller appliances in your RV, boat, or van, then you can power it with a solar generator. Youll just need to find a way to hook it up to the RV port.
Install solar panels on the roof to charge the solar generator whenever it is sunny.
What Are The Different Types Of Solar Generator For Camping
There are many ways we can classify solar generators for camping. They may differ in their design as well as the type of battery bank that they use. Each of these will have their pros and cons. It is wise to learn more about these differences to help you make a better choice.
- Solar Generators with a PWM Controller
Solar generators that depend on typical 36-cell solar panels often have Pulse Width Modulation charge controllers. These devices allow the solar generator to draw power from the solar panels and have them stored in the battery bank without overcharging the battery. This is perfect for those who have moderate power usage. Unfortunately, it does not maximize the power generating capabilities of the solar system. If the solar panels can produce 200 watts of power, the controller can only draw about 75 to 80 percent of this for storage in the battery bank. It leaves you with about 150 to 160 watts of available DC power.
- Solar Generators with an MPPT Controller
- Solar Generators with Lead-acid Batteries
There are solar generators for camping that still use traditional lead-acid batteries. These are almost like the ones you find in your car. They are inexpensive, although these batteries do not last that long. There are also deep-cycle lead-acid batteries that can last longer. Unfortunately, this will often come at a much steeper price.
- Solar Generators with Lithium-ion Batteries
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Best Solar Generators For Camping
Solar generators are rated by their capacity, some have large capacity and some have less capacity.
Essentially, what this means is, the more appliances you want to power, the larger capacity solar generator you will need to get.
In this article we will outline the best solar generators for different camping situations, what their capcity is and what they will be able to power.