Last Updated on August 30, 2022
As a full-time RVer, you want to make sure you always have access to electric power. Installing solar panels can be a costly and labor-intensive investment, but with solar-powered generators, harnessing the sun’s power is easier and more affordable than ever. Still, is an RV solar generator the right choice for you? Here we cover what a solar-powered generator is along with the pros and cons of using one.
What is a Solar Powered Generator?
An RV solar generator is a portable power station that uses solar panels to harness the sun’s energy, store it in the battery and later convert it to electricity to power your devices. Contrary to gas-powered generators, solar-powered generators rely solely on the power of the sun, a 100% eco-friendly source, instead of fossil fuels.
Solar-powered generators can take you wherever you need to go, help you out in an emergency and reduce your carbon footprint!
How Does a Solar Power Generator Work?
Solar generators are made up of solar panels, a charge controller, a battery, and an inverter. First, the individual cells that make up a solar panel collect sunlight and convert it into 12-volt DC (direct current) electricity. This electricity then travels to the charge controller where the voltage is regulated and then stored in the battery for later use.
The inverter becomes necessary when you want to power up appliances or items that require 120-volt AC (alternate current) electricity, such as computers or coffee pots. It converts DC into AC electricity, giving you the capability to power multiple devices at once.
Pros of an RV Solar Generator
Here are some reasons you should ditch your gas generator for one that is powered by sunlight!
Freedom to Travel
Boondockers, or people who like to travel to remote areas that don’t supply electrical hook-ups, can especially benefit from having a solar generator in their RV. With sunlight being the only limiting factor, you’re free to go where you want for as long as you want. Whether it’s deep in the desert, or out on the beach, solar power gives you the freedom to travel without being restricted by the amount of fuel you have!
One of the biggest reasons RVers switch to solar power is to reduce the negative environmental impact of fuel emissions. Solar energy is a clean, renewable energy source that produces air pollution or greenhouse gases. Using it to power your electrical needs isn’t just beneficial for you, it benefits the Earth too!
There’s no doubt that a gas generator can be very disruptive to you and others when turned on. So much so that National Parks carry curfews and rules regulating their use, not only because of the dangers these generators can pose but also because of how noisy they can be. Solar-powered generators make little to no sound, so you can rest assured you’re not breaking any rules or annoying those around you!
Low Long-Term Costs
One of the benefits of making the switch to a solar-powered generator is saving on long-term costs like maintenance fees and fuel costs. To remain safe and operational, traditional generators typically require routine service over time, something not often necessary for generators powered by the sun. Also, because sunlight is free, you don’t have to worry about spending money on fuel.
Cons of an RV Solar Generator
Ditching your gas generator could come with some disadvantages that we’ll expand on here.
Although a solar kit can save you more money throughout your lifetime, the upfront costs when purchasing one are generally higher than that of a traditional gas-powered generator.
Slow to Recharge
One disadvantage of relying on the sun’s energy is the fact that you need sunlight to charge your battery. The process can also take a few hours, which is a big difference from gas generators that can be instantly refueled.
Limited Power Supply
Because gas generators can be refueled at any point and batteries can only hold so much power, solar energy is limited in how long and how much it can power.
Is an RV Solar Generator Right for You?
Installing rooftop solar panels can be a very costly investment to make. If you are an RVer that wants to make that green transition but isn’t ready for the high costs associated with it, a solar-powered generator is a great cost-effective way to get started.
Make the Transition to Solar Power!
Rv solar generators are the perfect choice for boondockers and all RVers looking for a backup power source. Having the option to harness the sun’s energy for power can give you peace of mind in case of emergencies or when you’re off-grid. With solar energy, as long as there’s sunlight, you’ll never be without electricity for long!