Generators have long been regarded as one of the most valuable components of an RV’s electrical system, particularly for people who camp in areas without power hookups.
However, as solar power has grown more prevalent in the RV industry, generators have naturally begun to shift away from noisy, polluting gas generators and toward solar alternatives.
However, some may be questioning how these systems function and whether they are capable of carrying their weight.
Here’s all you need to know about RV solar generators.
What Exactly Is a Solar Generator?
A solar generator for RVs combines components of a standard gas-powered generator with the environmentally friendly, renewable energy of solar power.
These all-in-one systems (also known as portable power stations) combine power storage and processing and communicate with your rig’s power system directly.
Solar panels provide electricity wherever you go, as long as you have a clear view of the sun.
This energy is then transferred to an inbuilt charge controller, where it is either used immediately or stored in onboard batteries for later use.
Solar generators for RVs often include an inverter, which converts the 12V DC electricity generated by the panels into the 110V AC power required to operate various appliances and systems.
You may use your rig’s power cord to connect to these solar generators just like you would any other generator or shore electricity.
Additionally, the systems may feature additional outlets and charging connections that customers can use.
Can a Solar Generator Be Used to Power an RV?
You can use a solar generator to power your RV, but whether it’s enough to fully power your rig will depend on your lifestyle and the generator.
Most generators only produce a few hundred to a thousand watts of alternating current power.
That is often less than what most people require to power a typical assortment of gadgets and devices.
Those with a high-capacity generator who are prepared to be conscious of their power usage, on the other hand, may find a generator sufficient to fully power their rig.
Can a Solar Generator Charge an RV Battery?
Yes! Consider a solar generator to be similar to any other generator or source of power.
When you link your RV into the generator, any power that is not immediately used will be used to charge your RV batteries.
The amount of charge you receive and the rate at which it occurs are determined by your generator.
Even if they cannot entirely recharge your rig’s batteries, they can provide a renewable power boost when they are running low.
The first thing to consider is how much power your RV regularly consumes.
This will assist you in locating generators of the proper size.
Make a note of all the gadgets and systems you use on regular camping trips, and figure out how much power they use.
For larger appliances, this is frequently on the device or in the literature.
Then, examine what else might be drawing power at the same moment to determine how much capacity you’ll require.
The speed with which your generator charges might be an important consideration in determining which one is best for you.
While infrequent power users may not mind charging their generator after each trip, those who require more frequent use may be dissatisfied by the extra hours it takes to charge.
Don’t forget that you’ll have to carry this item with you wherever you go! This is something to remember.
Consider the physical effort required to set it up at your campground, as well as the additional weight added to your rig.
While most RV solar generators weigh between 30 and 60 pounds, if your RV is close to its maximum weight, bear this extra in mind.
Is an RV Solar Generator Worth It?
A solar generator for RV is simply not worth it for some people. These may include infrequent campers as well as people who nearly regularly stay at parks or campgrounds with shore power.
These people will not require the solar generator. And, with even budget solutions costing hundreds of dollars, they’d be better off conserving the money.
Solar generators may potentially be unsuitable for high-power users. They may not be able to generate enough energy to suit their requirements.
These RVers could benefit from a complete solar power system for their vehicle. However, for many people (especially those who enjoy to camp), a solar generator for your RV is well worth the investment.
Having a solar generator can open up a whole new world of camping locations that were previously unavailable due to power outages or the use of a loud, polluting gas generator.
They’re also a fantastic choice for value-conscious RVers, as they’re less expensive than many full RV solar systems.
Does any of this describe you? Would you consider incorporating this useful piece of environmentally friendly technology into your RV electrical system?