Solar generators for RV are great to break up with bulky and toxic gas generators. But with the competition so fierce, which one should you buy? Check here!
As an avid RV enthusiast and green citizen, I was looking to replace my gas generator with a clean source of energy that is safe for me and the environment.
Soon, I realized that if I wanted to find the best solar generator for RV, I would have to try as many of them first hand.
I bought and borrowed, traded and sold. And after a whole year of tests and trials, I can tell you that the best solar generator for RV is the Bluetti AC200P.
But, my choice might not be yours. So here are the 7 best solar generators for RV.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Battery Capacity: 2000Wh | Rated Output: 2000W | Charging Time: 3-4 hrs | Weight: 60lbs
With a total of 17 output points and 5 charging modes, the Bluetti AC 200P is hard not to fall in love with.
The 2000 watts of continuous power let me use several gadgets at once. And there’s still plenty left for my air fryer.
The best thing is that at the same time, I can charge the station with three solar panels. In the strong sunlight, it goes from 0 to full charge in less than 4 hours.
Apart from standard 110V, 12V, and various USB outlets, this solar generator for RV has two wireless charging ports.
Why Do I Like It?
The Bluetti AC200P solar generator for RV is my first choice because it really lets me vacation off the grid. The advanced LiFePO4 battery takes solar charge crazy fast and the manufacturer guarantees more than 3,500 charging cycles.
Battery Capacity: 1260Wh | Rated Output: 1800W | Charging Time: 4 hrs | Weight: 31lbs
If you can't find a good deal on the winner, I’d tell you to go for the EcoFlow Delta 1300 and never look back.
This solar generator for RV is definitely on the more portable side. This also makes it a great choice for camping or fishing.
What sets this power station apart is the insane charging speed — from 0-80% in less than an hour. This feature really lets you make the most of any location where you can dock to grid power.
With a higher-capacity battery, it could easily run for the No.1 on the list.
However, my biggest peeve is the unusual arrangement of the ports. The inputs are on one side, the USBs on the other, and the AC outputs on the third. You can forget about putting this baby in the corner.
Why Do I Like It?
I can recommend the EcoFlow 1300 for its outstanding charging speed alone. Besides, this is the best-looking solar generator for a camper.
Battery Capacity: 1002Wh | Rated Output: 1000W | Charging Time: 8 hrs | Weight: 22lbs
Boasting three 110V AC outlets and five DC options, the Jackery 1000 offers more than an average RV user needs.
Easy to use and well-designed, this solar trailer generator is ideal for people who don’t want to fumble with cables and switches.
All the ports are located on the front side, so you can place the unit out of the way. More importantly, you can easily see what’s plugged at any time.
Its display is not as fancy as some of the competitors. Still, it shows the battery level and input/output values at a given time.
Keep in mind though, the power output of only 1,000 watts might not be enough if you’re boondocking with the whole family aboard.
Why Do I Like It?
The Jackery Explorer 1000 hits the sweet spot between the price, performance, and portability. I can easily disconnect it and move the entire rig outside for a family cookout.
Battery Capacity: 2200Wh | Rated Output: 3000W | Charging Time: 2 hrs | Weight: 66lbs
With 3,000 watts at the output, the Titan solar-powered generator for RV has enough raw power to run the biggest appliances you can fit in your camper. This includes washing machines and dryers, even a full-size fridge.
As a friend of mine once said, “It’ll power an elephant if you find a way to plug it in.”
This big daddy indeed offers a lot. Six 110V AC outlets, four 12V DC ports with dust covers, and even a dedicated 30amp RV outlet. This way you can hook it up directly to your vehicle wiring.
So why I’m not recommending it as the best choice?
For the first, it’s too darn heavy. With just one briefcase-type battery attached it weighs 66lbs and you can safely attach 5 more. Now do your math.
Titan’s also the most expensive solar generator for RV on this list.
Why Do I Like It?
It is a very capable power station, but more suited to prepper and off-grid cabin use. If I had to build a shelter for the doomsday scenario, the Titan would probably be my solar generator of choice — with all 6 batteries attached.
Battery Capacity: 983Wh | Rated Output: 1500W | Charging Time: 6-12 hrs | Weight: 32lbs
The Goal Zero Yeti 1000X is not the most powerful of the bunch. It will probably even struggle to fire up your microwave oven.
However, this good-looking solar generator for the camper is an absolute party boss, thanks to its many DC outlets. Perfect for all sorts of gadgets that run on batteries.
If you’re the work-hard-play-hard type who rents an RV and goes road tripping with friends, the Yeti 1000X might be for you.
A little short of full 1000Wh, its battery packs enough punch to charge up my laptop, Bluetooth speaker, drone, GoPro, and several of my friends’ phones.
Why Do I Like It?
The Goal Zero Yeti 1000X is not the best solar generator for RV. Still, it gets points from me for being compact and portable… for those situations when you need to take the van party outside.
Battery Capacity: 518Wh | Rated Output: 500W | Charging Time: 7.5 hrs | Weight: 13lbs
At only 13lbs, this solar generator for RV is not such a powerhouse as its big brother Explorer 1000.
Even so, at half the price, it has been a popular choice for campers and boaters — and not without a reason.
It can fully charge my Macbook Air 7 times and keep the mini-fridge running for 8 straight hours.
What’s more, I haven't had any problems running my Nutribullet blender.
When I vacation in my RV, I keep my Explorer 500 hooked to a pair of SolarSaga 100W panels and don’t think about charging.
Still, you have to be realistic about what this solar trailer generator won’t power. Basically, you can forget about the air conditioner, space heater, or washing machine.
Why Do I Like It?
The Jackery Explorer 500 has a powerful built-in flashlight. Now, I’m not afraid to investigate those strange noises outside the trailer at night!
Battery Capacity: 5100Wh | Rated Output: 2000W | Charging Time: 4.7-5.2 hrs | Weight: 167lbs
If you asked me what the future of mobile clean energy would be like, I’d told you — Bluetti EP500. This massive power station on wheels packs a formidable 5100Wh battery that promises to power even the most demanding appliances without breaking a sweat.
If you want a solar generator for RV that lasts throughout the whole weekend trip, I’d say you go with the EP500.
That’s if you have an unlimited budget.
Even on preorder, this clean power box is way more expensive than any other on the list.
This shouldn’t surprise you at all, as this unit is stacked with ground-breaking technologies, like the next-generation LiFePO4 battery. Not only does it give you more than 6000 charging cycles but it’s also safer for the environment than standard Li-ion batteries.
Then again, many of the cutting-edge (and pricy) technologies are designed with home use in mind — where the EP500 acts as a 24/7 backup UPS.
Do you really need grid surge protection, outage protection, internet connection, and upgradeable firmware in your solar generator for RV?
Why Do I Like It?
Now other manufacturers have their work cut for them — how to take the best features of the EP500 and pack them into a more versatile and affordable solar generator for RV.
Battery Life Cycles
EcoFlow Delta 1300
Jackery Explorer 1000
Zero Point Energy Titan
GOAL ZERO YETI 1000X
Jackery Explorer 500
RVs have a large, heavy-duty three-prong 30 amp plug. It may look like a standard home 110/120V plug, but it’s not.
Most campgrounds you visit will provide you with a 30 amp outlet so you can plug your RV power cord directly into the grid.
But if you want to fit your RV with a solar generator, it would be nice that the unit itself comes with a 30 amp RV outlet. This way you can use your trailer’s own outlets without running countless extension cords.
The Zero Point Energy Titan is the only solar generator with a 30 amp RV outlet on this list.
But if your solar generator doesn’t have one, don’t worry. Plug this 30 amp RV adapter in one of the AC ports and you’re all set.
Yes, you can. With the right setup.
However, running an RV air conditioner might be challenging. First of all, A/C units are real energy hogs — they need lots of power both to start and keep running. An average RV air conditioner needs about 1,800 watts to start up and 650 watts to keep your trailer cool.
This means if you want to run the AC overnight, you need a battery bank of at least 700Ah.
The next challenge is the whole nature of solar power — solar panels work best in direct sunlight, while your RV is more likely to stay cool in the shade.
So, for an average RV air conditioner of around 13,000 BTUs, you need a minimum of 1,500 watts of solar power. If your vehicle roof can take 15x100W solar panels, I say your problem is solved.
If you’re not sure about your air conditioner wattage, take the number of BTUs and divide it by 10. So, a 13,000 BTU A/C unit uses roughly about 1,300 watts of power.
It depends on the number of batteries you need to charge and what appliances you want to power.
Basically, you need to add up the amp hours (Ah) of your batteries on one side and the wattage requirements of your appliances on the other.
The formula says you can get 30Ah of battery charge with a 100W solar panel and 5-9 hours of sun exposure.
For example, if you want to run only basic RV essentials, 300 watts of solar panels would be enough. These include the LED lights, ceiling fans, refrigerator, and water heater, along with a few electronics.
If you want to add a 1,000-watt microwave to the bunch, add another battery and mount a minimum of 400 watts of solar.
In an ideal scenario, all your solar panels will fit on your RV roof. This is definitely the most elegant solution — just park it in the sunlight and hook them to the battery. You can even charge as you go.
But if you don’t have enough roof space, would you place them on the ground?
Of course not.
You are going to DIY a portable solar panel stand, just like the one in this video.
I use flexible solar panels and the whole setup is so light that I can move it easily around for the best sun exposure.
But there is an added benefit to using a ground stand.A 100-watt panel will deliver only between 50-75 watts on the RV roof.
Because if you stick them to the roof, you can tilt them to face the sun at the ideal 90-degree angle. Also, roof panels are more difficult to keep clean of tree sap and debris for maximum efficiency.
Still, even with the power penalty, roof panels seem to be more popular.
You don't have to set them up every time and there’s no risk of the wind kicking them over.
Yes, you definitely should make an RV Soft Start Device a part of your solar generator kit. Remember how those A/C units and larger appliances need a lot of power to start?
A soft start device allows you to start large devices with a smaller solar generator.
With a soft starter device like this EasyStart Micro-Air, I can start my RV air conditioner with several appliances running at the same time.
Just keep in mind that a soft start device won’t bring down the continuous running wattage — it only helps with the initial power surge.
Lead-acid or AGM batteries use proven and time-tested technology that is less expensive than either of lithium counterparts. However, AGM batteries are more sensitive to the depth of discharge.
This means the deeper you discharge the battery, the fewer life cycles it has. That’s why manufacturers generally recommend discharging lead-acid batteries to only 50% of their capacity.
With lithium batteries, on the other hand, you don’t have to worry about the depth of discharge. As a result, you can get the desired capacity with fewer batteries.
So, a lead-acid battery might be a better choice if you use your RV only for vacationing, while a lithium battery is better for off-grid living.
And yet, with lithium batteries, there are significant differences between the two popular technologies — lithium-ion and lithium iron.
Li-ion batteries have a higher energy density. This makes them a better choice for power-hungry electronics that drain batteries at a high rate.
Li-iron batteries, on the other hand, have much more stable discharge rates. This means that don't degrade significantly as their capacity drops.
Lithium-ion batteries generally weigh less, but lithium iron technology is safer to use in hot environments because it’s incombustible.
If you’re not going to move your battery bank a lot, I recommend you go with lithium iron.
If you’re going to set up panels on your RV “as needed” you should go with flexible solar panels, as they are easy to move and store away. If you’re having them mounted permanently, go with rigid frame solar panels, as they are generally more cost-efficient.
And what about the wattage?
100-watt solar panels are what you should look for. One 200W panel takes the same amount of space as two 100W panels. While you won’t save any space, two panels are easier to manage and mount. More importantly, smaller panels won’t catch the wind so easily.
When it comes to solar panel technologies, there are differences between thin film, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline panels.
Outright, installing an RV solar generator kit is much easier than building a 100% DIY RV solar system from scratch.
To do the whole thing yourself, you need to understand volts, amps, watts, and how they work together for maximum efficiency. And there’s also the matter of safety.
The last thing you need is faulty wiring that can start a fire in your trailer down the road.
However, people have done it and are still doing it. Going DIY allows you to tailor the system to your needs, as you get to choose things like the battery, inverter, connectors, etc.
You still have to know what you’re doing and what works and what doesn't. If you go this path, I recommend you enlist help from a professional electrician.
If you don’t want to experiment, you can simply get a solar generator for RV. These units have all the elements already inside — the inverter, charge controller, plugs, fuses, and batteries.
Plus, you get a full warranty for the whole package.
The best thing is that today you don’t need to build a custom RV solar system.
You can choose between many quality products with different properties and find one that best matches your needs.
This is The 7 Best Solar Generators For RV. Every product listed here is outstanding in its category, so someone else’s third choice might be your first.
And if you’re still not sure which solar generator for RV is best for you, keep on reading.
The most important feature of every battery in a solar generator for RV is the capacity. The capacity tells you how long you can power your appliances without having to charge the battery.
Battery capacity is measured in watt-hours (Wh) so for example, a solar generator with a 2000Wh battery can power an 800W microwave for 2 hours, a 60W laptop for 30 hours, etc.
To choose a generator with an optimal battery for your needs, check the power ratings on the devices you plan to use in your RV at the same time.
fridge (150W) + TV (110W) = 260W 2000 / 260 = 7.7Wh
You can run a fridge and TV for more than 7 hours with a 2000Wh battery.
The best portable solar generators today use lithium batteries. They are lightweight and you can discharge them up to 80-90% without them losing capacity over time.
However, there are two lithium battery types: lithium-ion (Li-ion) and lithium iron (Li-iron).
Both types are more efficient than lead-acid types, so you can’t go wrong with any.
Li-ion batteries will help you keep the weight down, and generally cost less.
Li-iron batteries (such as those used by Bluetti) are heavier but have between 3,000 and 5,000 life cycles, which means they’ll last for decades.
The battery life cycle tells you how many times you can discharge and recharge the battery so that its capacity is still above 80%.
The rated output is the wattage your solar generator for RV can continually deliver until the battery is empty.
This number is important because it tells me how many devices (based on wattage) I can plug at the same time.
For example, the 1000W Jackery solar generator can power —
And at the same time, there’s still plenty of power left for me to charge my laptop, phone, camera, etc.
The surge output tells you what wattage the generator can provide to start up appliances that need more power to start running.
The solar input tells you how much power the generator can take through solar charging.
For example, the Bluetti AC200P has a solar input of 700W. This means if you connect 7x100W solar panels, in the good sunlight, the 2000Wh battery will recharge in 3-4 hours.
So the higher the input the faster the charging time.
Of course, this kind of efficiency wouldn’t be possible without the MPPT (Multiple Power Point Tracking) controllers.
This device smoothens the voltage difference between an undercharged battery and solar panels. As a result, almost all the solar energy goes into the battery.
Most modern solar generators for RV have built-in MPPT controllers, but make sure to read the specs first.
While all of the solar generators reviewed here are marketed as portable, this isn't much of an issue with RV use.
Of course, you need to take size into account as Bluetti EP500 will take significantly more space than other options.
In my experience, the arrangement of input and output ports is much more important. I personally like to be able to see all the plugs coming in and out of the unit.
If all the outlets are on one side, I find it easier to place the generator somewhere out of the way. It helps with managing all the connectors, too.
You definitely want a solar generator for RV that supports all three modes of charging — from the AC grid, 12V car outlet, and of course, solar charging.
Choose one with at least three 110V AC outlets, as these will be your main power points. USB ports and a car-type 12V DC outlet are nice to have for charging your gadgets. This way three-pronged outlets are free for more serious appliances.
Choose the brand that has a tradition of solar generators, batteries, inverters, and other equipment.
In most cases, this is a guarantee that they have been making improvements with every next generation of products, and that they have good tech support.
While you may never need it, always go with a solar generator for RV that has a warranty of at least 2 years.
After much thought and consideration, I can say that every solar generator for RV on this list has passed. However, if there can be only one, it is the Bluetti AC200P.
With 2000 watts of AC power and the next generation Li-iron battery, Bluetti AC200P is a real little powerhouse.
Sure, its big cousin EP500 also has the Li-iron battery, but costs three times more and weighs more than I do. The Titan charges on solar faster than the Bluetti, but it’s unnecessarily bulky and way out of my price range.
All things considered, I believe my Bluetti AC200P solar generator for RV will serve me for many more miles I cover in my camper.