Why Solar Generators are Your First & Best Choice for Camping

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While there are plenty of campsites with electrical hookups, many people enjoy the experience of going off-grid and fending for themselves. Although camping means getting back to nature for some, others set up camp to work remotely or relax with the convenience of creature comforts.

No matter where or how you like to camp, read on to learn how beneficial a portable power station could be on your next outdoor adventure.

Choosing the Best Solar Powered Generator for Camping

ecoflow river portable power station

RIVER

Capacity: 288Wh
Cycle life: 500+
Solar Input: 200W
AC outlets: 3

ecoflow river pro portable power station

RIVER Pro

Capacity: 720Wh
Cycle life: 800+
Solar Input: 200W
AC outlets: 3

ecoflow tech ecoflow delta portable power station

DELTA

Capacity: 1260Wh
Cycle life: 800+
Solar Input: 400W
AC outlets: 6

ecoflow ecoflow delta max power station

DELTA Max

Capacity: 2016Wh
Cycle life: 800+
Solar Input: 400W
AC outlets: 6

Benefits of Camping with Solar Generators

If you’re still on the fence about purchasing a solar generator for camping, then keep reading to learn why they’re the best portable power source.

Quiet & Odorless

Solar-powered generators are completely silent and produce no emissions so that you can enjoy the peace and quiet of your surroundings without any obnoxious smells.

Eco-friendly

One of the most appealing features of a solar generator is that it creates clean energy. It lends itself perfectly to camping in natural surroundings, where burning gas to cook or power lights harms the global and local environment.

Safe

Since portable power stations don’t use fossil fuel to run they’re a safe option, especially if you’re camping in the woods. Unlike gas generators, you can safely use them inside a tent or RV to power lights and appliances.

Long-lasting

Solar-powered generators have a lifespan of 25-35 years, depending on the quality and brand. While they may appear expensive at first, they can be considered an investment in the long run.

Ease-of-Use

A portable solar generator includes all the technology needed to recharge and power your home appliances. Simply plug in your solar panels, connect to an EV charging station or the grid to charge the unit, then connect your devices when you’re ready to power up.

Portability

The best portable power stations hold all the essential components that you need for solar power. So unlike kits used to wire a home or RV, it’s easy to take with you anywhere. Pair with travel-friendly solar panels that fold up when they’re not in use.  

Multiple Ways to Charge

It may be called a solar generator, but some portable power stations can also charge using different sources. While solar panels are the most eco-friendly way to recharge, you can also charge from the grid when the weather isn’t ideal. Many of EcoFlow’s units can recharge to 80% in less than 2 hours. If you get caught short, you can also top off the battery while you’re in the car using your 12v charging port. Since this is the slowest charging option, it should only really be used as a last resort. 

Charging using an electric vehicle (EV) charging station is still a fairly unique charging option, but it’s extremely handy since over 43,000 public stations are in the United States alone. 

Versatility

Even if you’re considering purchasing a portable solar generator for camping, tit can be used in other ways, too. Take it with you in the car off outdoor activities, use it in the shed to power tools, or in any situation where you might need backup power.

How to Charge Your Portable Solar Generator While Camping

ecoflow river max and solar panel for camping

You don’t want to run out of power while you’re off the grid, which is why there’s more than one way to juice up your portable power station. 

Solar Panels

Portable solar panels are the ideal way to top up your generator when you’re off-grid. They’re convenient to store and transport, as they fold away when you’re not using them. Solar panels typically require an solar panel connector that plugs into the generator to begin charging. 

AC Wall Outlet

Solar generators allow you to plug into the wallet socket at home and recharge. This is by far the fastest charging method and is perfect if you decide to take off last minute, as EcoFlow portable solar batteries have the fastest charging technology in the world.

12V Car Charging

Car charging is the slowest option, but using your 12V socket can give your solar generator a boost when you’re on the go.

EV Charging Stations

This is a relatively new addition to portable solar generators, and currently, only EcoFlow’s DELTA Pro has this function. With tens of thousands of available stations located around the USA, and 150 thousand in Europe, DELTA Pro can recharge using an EV charger in less than 2 hours.

Extra Batteries

Extra Batteries plug in and charge the main battery unit and are available for RIVER, RIVER Plus, RIVER Pro, DELTA Max, and DELTA Pro. 

You can see our full range of Extra Batteries here. 

What to Look for in a Solar Powered Generator for Camping

ecoflow river max portable and ecofriendly solar generator

Charging Outlets.

Camping has changed considerably over the years, and you no longer have to rely on a pack of cards and a guitar for entertainment (but you can, and that’s awesome). Now, you can take tech with you wherever you go, just make sure to factor in how many outlets you’ll need for all your gear.

If you’re only planning to charge a laptop, mobile, and drone, then you might only need a handful of ports. If you’re powering all the family’s gear and high-wattage appliances, you’ll need something larger.

You’ll have plenty of outlets with any of EcoFlow’s solar generators that have up to 15 outlets, ranging from USB-C to multiple 600W pure sine wave outlets. 

Portability 

Weight and size are essential factors to consider when you’re camping. You have a finite amount of storage space in your car or RV, and once you’ve packed your basic camping equipment, there’s not a whole lot of room for extras. You also need to be realistic about the size and weight of a portable power station, especially if you want enough watt-hours to illuminate Yellowstone.

Charging Rates & Time

Charging rates are usually affected by the size of the battery itself. So the larger the generator, the longer it will take to charge. Typical solar generators can recharge up to 80% using a wall outlet from 2-12 hours. EcoFlow’s portable power stations have the fastest recharge speeds in the industry, so even our biggest units charge in under 2 hours. Yep, that fast. Using solar to recharge a solar generator depends on how much input it allows, the solar panel’s efficiency rating, and wattage. A 12V car charger takes a while to recharge but works fine if a solar generator needs a quick power boost.

Capacity

The capacity of a solar battery you choose for camping depends on a combination of factors, including the kind of appliances you want to power and how many. For example, if you plan to run a 60W mini fridge for approximately six hours, you’ll need a solar battery with a capacity of at least 360Wh.

Surge

When they first kick in, some appliances, especially those with an electric motor, such as a refrigerator, have a surge of power that is much higher than their typical wattage. A fridge that may only need around 800W will have an additional power surge of 1200W when the compressor starts. This means that if you’re planning to power a fridge, you’ll need a solar generator with a surge rating of at least 2000W.

What is the Best Solar Generator for Camping?

Depending on how long you’re camping for and the types of devices you’re powering, we’ve got a range of portable solar power stations that can fit your needs.

ecoflow river mini for nights away and weekend camping trips

For a simple overnight camping trip, a small power station with a capacity of around 200Wh, like EcoFlow’s RIVER mini, is enough. You can easily charge your phones and laptops, run small camping lamps, as well as boil a low-wattage camping kettle for coffee in the morning. Even if you run out of power, you can top up RIVER mini using up to 100W solar input

Weekend Trips

ecoflow river solar generator for camping and rving

200-300Wh could be enough to keep you powered over the weekend, and even if you run low you can top up with solar panels. EcoFlow’s RIVER can not only recharge using solar panels but also connects to an Extra Battery to double its capacity to 576Wh. RIVER can power most electric appliances, including weekend must-haves such as a mini-fridge and electric frying pan.

Dry Camping

ecoflow river max with expandable capacity for camping

For dry camping, you might require a larger capacity solar battery if you’re unable to recharge using solar during daylight hours. Alternatively, with a portable power station, such as RIVER Max, you also have an additional battery that doubles the capacity. The battery is removable, so you can take it off if you won’t be using it.

Road Trips & Overlanding

ecoflow river pro for road trips and overlanding

If you’re planning on traveling long distances in your RV or jeep, then a solar power station that balances portability, capacity, and ability to charge high-wattage appliances is essential. If you’re frequently off-grid, choose a larger-capacity battery, such as a RIVER Pro. Add an Extra Battery and its capacity increases to 1440Wh. With an output of 1800W, you can power a hairdryer, travel washing machine, and more. 

 

Whether you regularly head out for a weekend camping trip or boondock in your van, solar generators are the way to go. With large, expandable capacities, multiple charging methods, and power for all your appliances, check out our range of portable power stations for camping here.

Hollie Sowden
Originally from the UK, Hollie has lived in Shenzhen, China for just over a decade. With a degree in English Literature and Film, she has been blogging and working in marketing for many years, and is now a copywriter at EcoFlow.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Need a generator to use for camping that’s able to be use for charging an electric wheelchair; to power a CPAP. Breathing Mask and Nebulizer

    • Different products will have different prices, we suggest you visit our official website for details,https://us.ecoflow.com/

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