10 Best Solar Generators for RV – Reviews and Buying Guide
Table of Contents
Why You Need a Solar generators for RV?
Solar generators for RV are great innovations. Using solar to power your Recreational Vehicle can be a good decision with the cost of batteries dropping day by day. With solar panels and portable power stations, you can meet your energy needs. Particularly, they will help when you are spending your days in an RV. They are better than depending on conventional gas-powered generators.
You might be thinking about ways to make your portable generators become environmentally friendly. Otherwise, you might be looking for ways to save money on your trip in an RV. In both these cases, high-efficiency solar generators kits can be your solution.
Now, you might wonder whether it is possible to use a solar generator for powering your recreation vehicle and the electronic devices you use in it. Yes, nowadays, many standard brands make RV solar generators similar to a portable home battery, so that these generators will meet your needs of running many appliances like a coffee maker, an electric stove, cameras, and even your smart gadgets like tablet PCs and smartphones.
Now, you are thinking about choosing one of the best recreational vehicle solar generators, isn’t it? Solar generators for RV are different from normal portable fuel generators, such as dual fuel generators, gas-powered generators, and portable propane generators. Here are some best choices we have made for you. Compared to camping solar generators, they have higher capacity and more AC and DC outputs:
- Overall best – AC2009 Solar Generator from Bluetti
- The fastest charging generator – ECOFLOW DELTA Solar Generator 1260Wh
- The best lightweight generator – Jackery SolarSaga 100W, 1800W Generator Explorer 1500 and Solar Generator 1500
- Generator with user-friendly interface – Jackery 2X SolarSaga 100W, Explorer 1000 and Solar Generator 1000
- The best entry-level solar generator – Joyzis Portable Power Stationyzis
- Generator with the best power-generation ability – AC50S Portable Power Station 500Wh with Solar Panel from BLUETTI.
- The best generator with compact design – EF River Pro 720Wh Portable Power Station With Solar Panel from EcoFlow
- Generator for stable power supply – 200W Portable Power Station from FlashFish
- Best backpack-ready solar generator – iGen 160s Portable Power Station from Westinghouse
- Best generator for recharging smaller devices – Yeti 500X Portable Power Station from Goal Zero
The Best Recreational Vehicle (RV) Solar Generators – Detailed Review
1. AC2009 Solar Generator from Bluetti
Battery capacity, as you know, is one of the crucial considerations when you shop for solar generators for RV. The more the battery capacity, the longer the generator can power your devices. Considering this factor, this solar generator from Bluetti with a battery capacity of 2000Wh can help you.
Yes, you are thinking about the weight of the generator. The lesser the weight, the convenient it will be to handle, isn’t it? Even, on this ground, this generator wins with its overall weight of 60 lbs. Then comes the rated output, right? The rated output of this unit is at an impressive 2000W. Above all, with a charging time of 3-4 hours, you can get the generator charged. This charging is possible via the associated solar panels when you are spending some quality time with your family.
With a hard-to-believe 17 output points along with 5 charging modes, you will naturally fall in love with this generator. With its 2000W capacity, this unit can help you power many of your gadgets simultaneously.
You are relieved of the hassle of carrying your smartphone and tablet charger with you wherever you go with this solar generator? Are you wondering why? It has a couple of wireless charging ports. These two ports will help you charge your smart devices without plugging in. It means that your smart devices will be ready at all times to capture those stunning moments with your family outdoors.
- Wireless charging docks
- Quick Solar Charging
- Impressive 2000W-rated output
- Huge 200Wh battery capacity
- The generator does not have a dedicated RV port cable.
2. EcoFlow DELTA Solar Generator 1260Wh
DELTA solar generator has an impressive battery capacity of 1260Wh. In addition to this capacity, it also carries 1800W AC Power and 3300W surge outlets. Also, it can generate Pure Sine Wave output that will let you power many of your tools and devices at any time and anywhere.
Yes, you will be interested in knowing how long does it take to recharge this generator. You will be surprised to know that this generator is impressive on this ground. Yes, you can get the generator charged from 0-80% just within an hour. How is this quick charging possible? It is because Ecoflow has used X-Stream Recharge Technology. This technology provides the quickest recharge rate. It means that the charging works 10 times quicker as compared to other generators in the market. Not only using solar panels, you can recharge this generator using a gasoline generator or an AC wall outlet within two hours completely.
Further, this generator will let you power and recharge 13 devices all at once. This is possible because it has a couple of USB-C outlets along with 4 USB-A outlets. The 6 AC outlets will let you power your coffee maker, electric stove and four other devices when you camp. It also features a 12V carport outlet.
- Quick charging capability
- 13 outlets to charge and power 13 devices simultaneously
- Solar panels with Solar Cell Technology for high conversion rate
- Waterproof IP67 rating
- In-convenient location of some outlets.
3. Jackery SolarSaga 100W, 1800W Generator Explorer 1500 and Solar Generator 1500
This device is in the mid-range when it comes to battery capacity compared to the two generators above. Yes, among the RV solar generators, this unit comes with a decent 1534Wh capacity and 1800 high running wattage. Can you judge what? It can power most of your power tools and devices. You will be surprised to know that it can power even your larger appliances like refrigerators, electric microwave ovens and electric stoves.
Yes, you would like to know the recharging time this generator takes. It uses Jackery’s Solarpeak Technology. This technology improves a 30% better recharging efficiency using the MPPT Solar regulator. So, the time it takes to recharge using solar energy from 0-80% is 4 hours. From safety standards, it is impressive with its battery management system that boasts 6 protective layers.
To ensure the durability of the solar panel, it has been made using ETFE Material. It also ensures higher light transmittance. The Solar Generator from Jackery has been combined with 4 SolarSaga 100 solar panels along with Explorer 1500. Together the unit uses Solarpeak Technology to ensure the utmost solar efficiency. Also, it takes four hours to recharge the generator from 0-80%. The upgraded MPPT Controller also ensures better efficiency.
- Intuitive interface easy to use even for beginners
- ETFE Material used by solar panels ensure durability
- The best Safety management system for 6 layers of protection
- Total weight of just 33 pounds.
- Takes time to recharge through solar panels
4. Jackery 2X SolarSaga 100W, Explorer 1000 and Solar Generator 1000
Among the recreational vehicle solar generators, this unit stands out. Do you know how? Due to its safety features. The reason is that the generator uses the best Battery Management System that safeguards the Explorer 1000 with six layers of protection. Further, the two panels part of this portable power generation kit has been made using ETFE Material. This material ensures better light transmittance along with longer durability.
The Solarpeak Technology that Jackery uses enhances the solar charging efficiency by 30%. This upgraded MPPT Technology enables the system to identify the biggest solar input available for the battery in real-time. This technology also ensures one more thing. Under good sunlight conditions, the time that this generator takes to charge from 0-80% will be just 2.5 hours. Otherwise, with lesser sunlight conditions, it will take around 6.5 hours to charge through solar panels.
Another unique feature of this generator is that it supports pass-through charging. It means that you can use this generator for charging other devices when it is charged. Further, it weighs only 22.04 lbs. So, it is traveler-friendly for your RV trips. The best placement of all outlets facing the front adds convenience when using this generator. This generator is fitting for you if you are a person, who does not want to fumble with cables.
- Intuitive interface
- Comes with a solar adapter cable
- Weighs right
- Output ports are rightly designed
- Charges slow in low sunlight conditions
- 100W output might meet all your charging needs
5. Joyzis Portable Power Station
The power bank part of this generator kit is 80000mAh. With this capacity, this Recreational Vehicle (RV) generator is powerful enough for meeting various types of electrical demands when you are outdoors. Even, you can use it during power outages at home. This small generator weighs only 4.29 pounds. This feature makes it traveler-friendly.
Simultaneously, it can power up to 8 devices with its 8 output ports. Even, one of these 8 ports is a wireless charging port. So, you need not have to worry even if you forget to carry your phone charger when you prepare for an RV trip. The other ports are 110V AC output, a couple of USB ports, one quick charge USB 3.0 port, a Type-C port, a carport and a DC output.
This generator comes with a built-in thick copper coil. So, this device can be charged more conveniently and sensitively. For 400% faster charging, this generator features Quick charge USB 3.0 and 60W type C PD Port.
But, solar panels are not part of this generator and if you wish to generate the energy from the sun, you will have to buy a fitting solar panel separately. The 115-degree foldable wave groove handle in this generator makes it the most suitable for your RV trips. In July 2021, this generator has been rated as the best portable power station. So, you can buy with confidence.
- Provides the most dependable power supply
- Comes with an LED light
- Carries a Pure Sinewave AC outlet of 60W
- Stands the best entry-level portable power station
- Portable generator alone and no solar panel included
6. AC50S Portable Power Station 500Wh with Solar Panel from BLUETTI
This portable power station from Bluetti is offered as a complete package. It comes with not only the 500Wh generator and its accessories, it also includes 1 120W foldable solar panel and its accessories. You can recharge this power station not only from the solar panel but even from a wall outlet. It comes with a couple of 120V AC outlets, which can load the utmost 300W devices continuously.
This solar generator for RV includes a solar panel that has been made using high-qualified monocrystalline silicon cells. These cells are known for 5% more efficiency as compared to traditional monocrystalline cells. For easiness to clean, durability, scratch-resistance and better light transmittance, this power panel features ETFE lamination. Further, to ensure easy carrying of the panel, it comes with a foldable and easy-to-carry design at a weight of 9.48 lbs alone. Also, the panel features a kickstand that will let you adjust the panel in the direction of sunlight for better power generation. You can use the included panel for recharging the Bluetti AC50S generator in about 5-5.6 hours.
With the safety of users as the highest priority, this generator has been designed using the highest-quality EV-grade 3C battery cell. This cell ensures the longest life guarantee along with better stability and heat dissipation.
The unique feature of this battery as compared to generators with other types of batteries is that it is much safer. Also, the battery management system that this generator uses ensures safety features like temperature and voltage/current control among others. The soft glue design and superior flame retardant material used to produce this generator make it safer again.
- Enables pass-through functions
- MPPT Solar recharge mode
- Monocrystalline silicon cells solar panel
- Hanging ring and kickstand in solar panel to use in the best direction with the utmost sunlight.
- The battery power indicator design is not satisfactory.
7. River Pro 720Wh Portable Power Station With Solar Panel from EcoFlow
If you look for a solar generator that can power up to 10 devices at the same time, you can consider this generator from EcoFlow. It has multiple outlet options that include three pure sine wave AC outlets. However, you should ensure that when you power devices using AC outlets, they should be under 600W capacity in total. This generator offers 720Wh power and the weight is also impressive at only 16.8 lbs.
These features make this RIVER Pro power generator one of the best solar generators for RV. Again, you will be impressed with the quick charging ability of this unit. You can see the generator getting charged from 0-80% within an hour. For a complete charge, it will take only 1.6 hours totally. This happens because the generator uses patented X-Stream Technology from EcoFlow.
When you charge this generator with the EcoFlow 160W Solar panel, it will take around 7.5 to 15 hours to charge at 200W as the utmost input. This generator comes with a built-in 600W inverter. So, it can power devices up to 1800W when the X-Boost mode is kept on. With this feature, you can power about 80% of essential devices like DIY tools and even kitchen appliances when you travel in your RV. For the best use of this generator, you are recommended to use devices below 1200W capacity.
The panel that is offered with this generator has a high conversion efficiency of between 21 and 22%. Further, this panel is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance. It is ideal for hiking and camping for its one-piece design. For additional protection against UV light, the panel comes with ETFE film. This film also prolongs the lifespan of the panel.
- Compact and portable design
- X-Stream Fast Charge of 0-80% within an hour
- X-Boost Technology
- Three AC outlets
- XT60 car charger cable is not of good quality.
8. 200W Portable Power Station from FlashFish
This portable power station offers 222Wh capacity and this capacity makes it suitable for powering many devices. It has a 110V AC outlet that will let you charge different devices like a fan, television, laptop, tablet, a CPAP machine and even Christmas lights.
When talking about outlets in this RV Generator, it also encompasses a couple of 12V DC ports. You can use this port for powering your car air fan, car refrigerator, car vacuum, portable charger and many such things. Also, it has a couple of QC 3.0 USB ports and one 2.4 A USB port. This port can help you charge your camera, MP3, GPS, iPad, drones and phones. The unique feature of this generator as compared to any other generator is its durability. To ensure this, it comes with a silver case that has been made using metal. The black ends that you find in this generator are plastic.
If you look to power your devices with more stability, this generator will help with its 60000mAh battery capacity, 350W peak power, 300W continuous power and pure sine wave technology. The weight is also impressive at just 5.6 lbs, which makes it ideal for your trips.
You can recharge the battery pack from the sun. But, a solar panel is not included when you buy this generator. You will have to get it separately. Further, you can recharge the generator from a wall outlet and even through a 12V car socket.
- Comes with many safety features
- Impressive 60000mAh battery capacity
- Comes with an easy-to-carry handle
- Better durability
- Ensures stable power supply to your devices
- Solar panel not included
9. iGen 160s Portable Power Station from Westinghouse
With versatile outlets, this power station will help you power up to 9 devices simultaneously. For charging 9 devices, it has 9 outlets. It can push 150 peak watts and 100 rated watts. This is possible because of a couple of 120V outlets at your home, a couple of USB ports, a quick charge USB port, a USB type C port and three 6mm 9-12V DC outlets. The DC outlet is strong enough to power your heated blankets, box fans and even a 36” LED TV.
With its 155 Watt-hours of lithium-ion battery capacity, this generator will provide long-lasting power to charge many devices many times, making it one of the good choices among recreational vehicle solar generators. It holds the pride of being the lightest and smallest portable power station with a weight of just 3.75 lb. This is why it is called a backpack-ready solar generator for your trips.
You can recharge this generator either at home using an AC outlet or using solar panels. When you charge it through a power socket, it will take less than 6 hours to charge from 0-80%. When you use a carport for charging it, the time taken will be less than 7 hours for charging. Also, it comes with a built-in side reading lamp with three different modes of illumination.
- Ultra-portable design
- 4 styles of charging
- Three modes of lighting
- Versatile outlets
- Solar panel not included
10. Yeti 500X Portable Power Station from Goal Zero
This power station has been field-tested to withstand different terrains. It can power different devices with its couple of 120-Volt AC inverters, a 12 volt, a 6 mm, a USB-C, a USB-C PD and a couple of USB-A ports. The integrated MPPT charge controller in this generator will help you increase the charge efficiency of the generator by nearly 30% when you use the Goal Zero panel for recharging this generator.
With the utmost priority to product safety, this generator has been created with multiple layers of protection that include temperature protection, under and over-voltage protection. All aspects of the unit have been designed with user-friendliness as the utmost priority.
As compared to other solar generators for RV, this device is equipped with the latest charging technology. It encompasses a high-speed power delivery port. This port is capable enough to charge USB-C phones, mirrorless cameras, tablets and laptops and even your phones in a short time.
- Powerful generator for small appliances
- Industry-leading technology
- Easy to carry handle
- Solar panel not included
What Are Solar Generators for RV?
Solar generators for RV are essentially battery systems in a box. These systems should never be confused with gas generators. Solar generators cannot generate power like gas-powered generators. They can just store electricity that can be used later. This electricity that the generators for RV have stored need not essentially be generated from the sun using solar panels. Solar generators need not essentially come with camping solar panels. They can also come without panels. In this case, you can charge it via an AC outlet in your home. Otherwise, these generators can be recharged using a carport.
RV solar generators are ideal power stations to carry on a long road trip or for camping. It can offer both AC and DC electricity, and you don’t need extra inverter generators. Moreover, they need little knowledge for operating. However, some units allow even newbies to easily use without requiring any prior knowledge. These units are capable enough to keep your smartphones, tablets, and laptops fully charged when you camp or when you spend your days in a recreational vehicle. Almost all solar generators come with almost everything that a full electrical system needs. They are wires, a battery monitor, a charge controller, an inverter, and a battery. As mentioned earlier, not all generators come with solar panels.
How Do RV Solar Generators Work?
Let us consider that the RV Solar Generators that you have bought come with solar panels. Otherwise, you might also get them separately. Most people making this shopping make sure that they install the panels on the rooftop of their RV. They do this to make sure that the panels gather power from the sunlight on the move. Even, someplace these panels alongside the rig when the RV is parked.
The panels placed either on the rooftop or alongside the RV convert the energy from the sun into power. This power is channelized via wires that link the panels to the electrical appliances that you have placed inside your RV. However, before this power gets to your appliances, it should make a couple of pit stops. The first stop is the solar charge controller. This controller is responsible for taking the power from the panels. Then, it sends the power to the battery system of the RV. Also, it controls the level of power to be sent to the battery to prevent overcharging.
So, batteries are essential parts of the best RV solar generators. Nowadays, most generators use lithium-ion batteries. The reason is these batteries are lighter and easier to maintain. Also, they last longer, thereby making them the best choice as compared to conventional batteries. The role of these batteries is to store the power generated by solar panels for future use. At times, you might not fully use the power generated by a solar generator. In these instances, there should be a space for storing the power for future use so that the generated power will not go to waste. This role is handled by the battery part of a solar generator.
Now, with these things known, you will be interested in understanding what to expect from the best solar generators for RV:
What You Can Expect of the RV Solar Generators?
RV enthusiasts and campers can expect so many benefits from solar generators for RV. Of course, they will have to spend money initially to buy this generator. Even, some might have to shop for solar panels as well separately based on the model of generator they choose. But, once bought and put to use, the generator will eventually pay for itself by providing many benefits.
1. Quiet Operation
Let us consider that you are sitting at your campsite, looking at the stunning view of a lake, mountain, or valley. Even, you might be listening to the soothing sounds of birds chirping. The surrounding will be very silent and you can hear only the sounds from nature. In such an atmosphere if the generator creates a lot of noise, you cannot listen to those peaceful sounds. If you are a person interested in spending your vacation close to nature, the best thing you can do is to choose one of the RV Solar generators out there.
2. Ease of Use
When you go for a conventional gas-powered generator, you will have to set up the generator properly yourself. But, when it comes to the best RV solar generators, the components in the system are perfectly matched by the manufacturer. Also, most of them do not require the user to do any wiring. So, you can start generating power by simply hooking up your solar panel to the generator. Then, you can just plug in your devices to power them.
3. Cost-Saving Benefits
Of course, compared to conventional generators, the best solar generators for RV can cost you more. However, once you have invested and started using the generator, there will not be any need to pay for powered sites. You can generate the power that your devices need. Also, you need not spend on fuelling your generator as you use the sun’s energy that is available for free. Above all, when you camp, you will power the generator from the sun. In turn, your regular utility bills will also reduce.
4. Space Saver
When it comes to installing a traditional generator, the first concern that hits us is the space it occupies. But, as recreational vehicle generators are portable, you need not have to worry about allocating a separate space for a solar generator in your vehicle. Even, when you use solar panels, you can easily place them on the rooftop of your RV. Otherwise, when you camp, you can also place them in a place that gets the utmost sun exposure for maximum power generation.
5. Increase the Resale Value of your RV
When you have plans to sell your RV, investing in solar generators for RV will be a good idea. Of course, you might think why should I spend on a vehicle that I am going to sell. The good thing about RVs with solar generators installed in them is that they have better resale value.
How to Choose the Best Solar Generators for RV?
When you compare RV solar generators, you will have to pay attention to certain points without fail. It is different from solar battery chargers, the RV solar generators should have more capacity and can charge more devices at the same time. Only then, you can end up choosing one of the best RV solar generators. To help you with the right selection, here are some points to consider:
1. Battery Capacity
When you compare the best solar generators for RV, you will find that some manufacturers claim that their generator can produce 1500 watts of power. Some also say that their generator will help with powering a refrigerator all day. But, what do 1500 watts of power mean? It means that the generator can run 1500 watts simultaneously. If the same unit has a battery capacity of only 600-watt power, you cannot call it the best. With this battery capacity, you can run only 6 100-watt light bulbs for about an hour. Otherwise, with this battery capacity, you can run 15 light bulbs of 100-watt capacity for only 20 minutes. So, you should not assume that the number claimed by the manufacturer as capacity is not the capacity of the battery. So, when a generator claims to be of 1500-Watt capacity, you should not overlook the actual battery capacity before you shortlist.
2. Charging Time
The battery capacity will also decide how long it will take for the generator to charge. Nowadays, recreational vehicle generators that can quickly charge from solar panels are available. Yes, some units can charge from 0-80% within one hour. But, most of them take 4-5 hours for this level. So, you should not forget to enquire about the time it will take to charge the generator.
3. Running Watts
Running watts, otherwise called rated watts denote the power that the solar generators for RV can produce continuously. You should choose a generator with running watts that meet your energy needs. But, how to know your energy needs? You will have to tally the wattage needs of the devices that you wish to power when you are in your RV. You can find the wattage needs of each device right from the appliance itself. When you shortlist a generator based on the wattage needs of your devices, you should ensure one thing. Yes, the running wattage of the generator should be more than the total watt needs of your appliances.
4. How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?
Not all RV solar generators come with solar panels. Just in case, you plan to buy solar panels separately, you should decide on the number of panels you need. But, how to decide on this.
The number of solar panels you need differs based on the number of batteries you have to keep charged. Also, it relies on the number of devices that you wish to power. You will have to sum up the total Amp-hours your batteries can hold and the wattage needs of your appliances. Here are some examples to help you get a better idea:
- Let us consider that you have a single 12-volt battery at 100 AH. If this is the case, you should have a solar panel of at least 300 watts capacity.
- In case, you have a couple of 12-volt batteries and a couple of 6 golf cart volt batteries with around 200 to 250 AH, you need 400 Watts of solar panel.
In this way, you can evaluate your solar panel requirement.
5. Portability and Weight
Portability is a subjective term. The reason is that a 25-year-old man with complete fitness can carry a 50lb solar generator without any issues. But, a 75-year old man might not find this weight portable. So, the right weight should be decided based on your personal preferences to call any generator one of the best RV solar generators. It is better not to go for a generator in wheels. The reason is that when a generator is on wheels, it is an indication that it will weigh more.
6. The Number of Outlets
You know that the more the number of outlets in a generator, the better it will be to power more devices. You can call a generator the best solar generator for RV when it has outlets to power your laptop, phone, and other appliances like an electric stove, a coffee maker, and a small refrigerator that you might use in your RV.
Wh or Watt Hours of a generator will help you know how long the generator can power your appliances after a complete recharge. A specific Wh stated in a recreation vehicle generator denotes how much ongoing power the generator can produce for 60 minutes. This number will also help you understand how long the generator can be used until you plug it in for recharging.
Let us consider that some solar generators for RV can make 1500 Watts of power. But, the battery capacity is only 600 Watts. In this case, you might get the question as to whether it is possible to use another battery for saving the excess energy from the generator. This is where the expandability feature of the generator gets into the picture. If a generator has this facility, you can connect another battery to the generator for saving energy for later use. You need not have to buy an additional battery immediately. But, you can just check that the generator has this facility. When it is available, you can expand by buying another battery when your power needs increase.
9. Type of Battery
Most RV solar generators use either a Lithium-ion battery or a lead-acid battery for energy storage. The generators with a lead-acid battery will be less expensive as compared to generators with lithium-ion batteries. However, lithium-ion batteries last longer as compared to the other type. Also, generators with this battery type will weigh less as lithium-ion batteries weigh less.
Apart from these factors, the best RV solar generators will have a dedicated RV connectivity option. With this feature, you can start using the generator almost immediately in your RV.
Now, with these many options available when it comes to the best solar generators for RV, you might wonder which one to choose. Here are some of our choices to make the selection further easy for you:
- A complete package with everything included for solar power generation – AC50S Portable Power Station 500Wh with Solar Panel from BLUETTI
- User-Friendly Interface for newbies – Jackery 2X SolarSaga 100W, Explorer 1000 and Solar Generator 1000
- Best Generator for small devices – Yeti 500X Portable Power Station from Goal Zero.