Portable Solar Generators for Camping

A Portable Camping Generator will provide exactly the energy that you need to run your devices at your campsite. Used in conjunction with Solar Panels, are the best. These can act as Backup Power to your Solar System when the system fails for whatever reason or during short Camping trips into the outdoors. This article can give you an idea of what to look for in Portable Solar Generators for Camping?

Best Portable Camping Generators:

  • Cost $1.00 per watt hr.
  • Charge by Solar Panel, House outlet, or 12V car outlet.
  • Easy to read Display shows Power In & Power Out
  • Get 500 charge cycles or more
  • Good Watt per Hours-Good Recharging Time
  • Current Limiting
  • Good Max Solar Input
  • Contain 12V outputs-USB or Plugs

Best Solar Power Station

A Portable Generator also called a Power Station is essentially a battery system in a box. This is not to be confused with a gas generator. Solar generators do not generate power. They simply store DC power in Batteries for later use. Running devices you will need in the outdoors camping or on the beach. Normal Portable Generators contain:

  • Lithium Battery
  • AC Inverter
  • 12 Volt Output
  • USB
  • Solar Charge Controller
  • Can come with Solar Panels

Any Van, Truck, or Tent camper can take advantage of a Portable Solar Generator. These all-in-one devices can be charged at home and then thrown in your car to have power for the whole weekend. Use a power station in this way to keep food and beer cold with a portable fridge running, charge an e-bike, or power a fan at your campsite. Some of these Portables come with 100 watts of Solar Panels to charge them on the go and at the campsite. They are a game-changer for anyone that is interested in Emergency Preparedness and can be used by Solar or charged by other sources.

They are a versatile companion when boondocking charging them with Solar Power. You can set them outside for camping, take them to the beach, to power stereos and speakers for tailgating with your vehicle. Your very own Power stations take away a big part of that inconvenience equation of being without your cell phone or laptop.

Charging a solar power station can be done in three ways: with a solar panel, a household outlet (grid power), or a 12V car outlet.

You can still have a solar panels system attached to the roof of your camper and use the portable generator down the road at the lake. A power station replaces all of the ‘in-between’ components and leaves you with one box to plug everything into. The battery, inverter, charge controller, monitor, and wiring are all packaged as one and that’s why these Portables are so popular. Plug in a small array of Solar Panels and now you are ready for longer more efficient and bigger appliances.

Solar Portable Generators come in a vast amount of sizes from personal-sized for Hikers that can power small Battery Banks to larger Generators that meet the needs of mega Solar Panels Systems and Battery Banks that will provide comfortable living appliances like Air Conditioners and Refrigerators in RV’s and Off-Grid Cabins.

Most Portable Solar Power Generators 200-1000 Watts in size will run very quiet unlike fuel-run generators and last a long time you should get around 500 charge cycles depending on the size, after that, they will get about 80% capacity but they will go on working for years as long you don’t store them in a hot environment. The performance will dwindle faster if you would be storing them in a car or under the sun.


They are all in the same size and about the same price. The going expense of these Solar Portable Generators is about is $1.00 per/1 watt-hour. My personal favorite Portable Solar Generator or the one I am using presently is a 240 Watt system called Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500,1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator. It lists somewhere around $249.00. So they run close to this $1.00 per/watt average. Keep in mind that there is a difference between the quality of these Solar Generators and getting a better deal won’t necessarily mean you are getting a deal. They perform differently.

Portable Generators are safe, and lightweight, and use no fuels, so there are no fumes and flammable material to work with. They are quite unlike the Gasoline type of Portable Generators but are made to do the same job.

Jackery Portable Power Station


Another important thing to look for is a Solar Input limit.  If you have 300 Watts or 500 Watt Solar Panels it won’t matter. All the Portable Solar

   Jackery 100 Watts of Solar                          Power

generators have a similar amount of Amp Input limit that will apply to each one. Jackery SolarSaga 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel, stay charged with the power of the sun! With a high conversion efficiency of up to 23%, it is ideally suited for outdoor life and even unexpected power outages.

The solar panel weighs only 9.1 lbs, and is lightweight, foldable, and with an easy-carry handle, making it more portable. They are clean energy with no emissions and can be run in an apartment or an off-grid cabin. For the money are the Best Solar Portable Power Station.

This voltage limit Input should be labeled right on the device normally on the bottom. That maximum Input will dictate how long the Solar Portable generator will take to charge. This is not size-dependent. A smaller device could charge faster than a bigger device.

Small Portable Solar Generators come with AC Inverters that are between 200 and 300 watts. These brands are considered top of the line for the Portables Generators market. Portables Solar Generators also come with some 12 volts connectors like a car-type connector that are very convenient, especially in a Camping environment for lights or fans that are used in a tent. Jackery Solar Generators also have great displays that are easily read on what’s going out and the power that’s coming in of it.

They also contain plugs and adapters so that you can plug any smaller or bigger devices directly into the Solar Generator. Most of the Portable Solar Generators will output 12 Volts but the Jackery comes with a booster that will deliver 13.2 Volts. Charge the Jackery battery to full around 8 hours by connecting two SolarSaga 100W with an adapter cable (package included). This will give the Jackery Portable Solar Generator better performance in this 12 Volt device field. 


Best Flexible Solar Panels

Solar Power Cabin Kits


Some Solar Generators use one or more solar panels to generate DC electrical power but they can be charged by other sources and work just as well. The DC electricity is then converted to AC electricity with a DC power inverter. With a Portable Solar Generator, the equipment that is needed to do this is all included inside the Portable Generator making them a very valuable tool for Cabins, Camping outdoors Off-Grid, or as an Emergency Preparedness device.

If or when your Solar System goes down having a Generator is essential for many reasons. It could be just to keep your food cold. Food that is kept cold in a solar-powered refrigerator. Maybe medicines and prescriptions that need to be kept cold like insulin. There are the standard gas-run generators that can do the job for a lot cheaper but the Portable Solar Generator will eliminate the need for gas.

Unlike the Gas, Portable Generators,  Portable Solar Generators are safe to Operate Indoors. Another advantage it doesn’t burn fossil fuels and uses zero CO2-CO (Carbon Monoxide) emissions making the unit perfect for Off-Grid Cabins and Tents making them an invaluable source of energy.

The typical device or appliance in the United States operates on 110 Volts. The difference in each device is based on the number of Amps that they use while operating. Some appliances draw a lot of Amps like a fridge while others need less like a Cell Phone.

The solar input will tell you how many watts of solar you can hook to the power station for recharging. The battery storage will tell you how much energy can be stored in total. You should have a rough estimate in your head of how many Watt-hours you will need to power your devices. If you don’t know, take a look at a Watt Calculator that you are using in your RV camper or what appliances you’ll need during a power outage at home.

If you don’t see this information on the device then you can use this formula Watts=Amps x Volts. If you know the Watts then you can calculate how many hours you use a device that will give you the Watts per/hour the device uses during normal use. This information will give you an idea of what to look for in this range of size of Solar Portable Generators. Some comparison differences to look at are:

  • Weight
  • Charging Life Cycle-this can vary from 500 times to 2000 times
  • Long Shelf Life
  • Watt per Hour produced-How many watts can the Portable Generator produce per hr.
  • Recharge time- This can be an important function as some Portables can take as little as 2 hrs. or as long as 8-10 hours to fully recharge.
  • Current Limiting Saftey- is a feature that will allow recharging the Battery from no matter what size Solar Panel System 

If you are a Prepper or living Off-Grid Solar Powered Generators can provide an endless supply of energy without the need for Gasoline. They have a heavier price tag but the pro’s definitely outweighed the cons. Use the Load List Calculator on this site that can point you in the right direction of the Solar Power you’ll need in the advent of an Emergency at How Much Solar Power Do I Need For My RV


Solar Panels vs Generator


Does everyone need a Portable Solar Power Generator? No, If you are running Solar Panels for a bigger type of space say an RV you might need just the Solar Panels that plug directly up to the Inverter which carries the load to the devices and appliances in your living area. A simple setup that will do what a Solar System is supposed to do.

The Solar Panels act as the Power Generator that will charge the batteries with DC power. The Inverter will take that power and change it over to AC which allows you to energize the devices that will be used in your RV. There are plenty of outlets on a portable generator USB and standard to utilize any appliances you’ll need.

Because the Best Portable Camping Generators don’t create any energy, unlike Solar Panels some Campers find them an unessential expense in a Solar System. The bare-bones approach keeps the focus on the

  • Solar Panels
  • Inverter
  • Battery

Portable Generators have plenty of uses for creating energy for building off-grid power for running electric tools, weekend Campers, Beachgoers, and Fishing and Hunting.

Actually what I’ve learned is that Portable Generator Kits are even more efficient used in conjunction with a Solar Panel or a few Solar Panels will give you another option for recharging the generator easier and on the go. you can run these Power Stations outdoor and indoors clean power in a box just makes sense.

Unlike Solar Panel they don’t make energy but Portable Solar Power Generators will store and hold energy from the Solar Panels or, from an AC outlet or your vehicle, whichever is the best source of the power available.

If you want to talk about money, here is an opinion that’s hard to argue with especially if you are on a budget and RV’ing it or Fishing and Camping there are others.  This a great video for explaining why the Portable Generator for Camping may not work for everybody. That’s true in certain situations it may not. Weigh out your situation and make the right decision. I did and I’m glad I bought one.




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   JimGalloway Author/Editor

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