The popularity of solar generators continues to rise especially among adventure seekers, such as campers. Unlike conventional generators that use fuel and emit gasses, solar generators are clean, emission-free, and eco-friendly.
The solar generators are mostly compact-sized and lightweight making them suitable for van life and camping due to minimal space requirements and the ease of portability.
As the popularity of solar generators continues to rise, more and more brands of solar generators are coming up. This makes it difficult for you to choose a suitable small generator for camping based on your power needs.
Therefore, in this article, we shall discuss some of the best solar generators you should consider for camping. The solar generators discussed in this article are tested, and we recommend them.
Whether you need to charge your phone or laptop, light up your tent at night, or run small appliances, you can trust any of the following small generators to deliver great performance.
BLUETTI Top 3 Small Generators for Camping
- Ease of Portability- The EB3A portable power station is more energy-efficient compared to conventional generators. It is lightweight and compact with an ergonomic handle for easy portability.
- High Performance- The EB3A is compact-sized but packed with a high 268Wh capacity and 600W AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter or 1200W surge. It can power small appliances such as a rice cooker, blender, and a car refrigerator.
- Fast Charging- You can charge the EB3A up to 80% in just 30 minutes. The 420W generator allows you to fast charge with solar and adapter.
- 6 Recharging Mode- You can charge the EB3A in six different ways, using solar panels, AC, generator, car, AC + Adapter and AC + solar.
- Safety Features- The EB3A runs on the LiFePO₄ battery and it is equipped with a BMS (Battery Management System) for enhanced safety. The LiFePO₄ battery has outstanding thermal and chemical stability giving you better performance and a life cycle of 2,500 cycles to 80%). The BMS continually monitors and protects your devices from potential damage.
- 9 Charging Outlet Ports- The generator is flexible with nine outlet ports to allow you to charge several devices all at once. The charging ports include a car socket, 100W Type-C, a wireless charger, DC output, and AC ports.
- High Capacity- The EB70S allows you to stay powered on the road or during power outages. The portable solar power station features an 800W/ 1000W power inverter plus a 716Wh LiFePO₄ battery which is enough power to keep your devices and appliances running longer.
- 12 Output Ports- The EB70S has 12 output ports to allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. The ports include the 15-watt wireless charging pad for charging mobile phones, the USB-C port, the USB-A port, the DC, and AC ports, and the cigarette port. It’s a great companion for camping and other outdoor activities.
- Versatile- The EB70S allows you to enjoy your life fully whether at home or not. It can power gadgets such as fans, LED lights, coffee machines, and projectors.
- Easy Portability- The EB70S is relatively lightweight and compact to allow for easy portability. The dimensions of this power station are 12.6x8.5x8.7 inches and weigh 21.4 lbs. It has an ergonomic handle to allow for easy lifting and carrying with one hand. Also, it does not take much of your space making it ideal for camping or van life.
- Easy and Versatile Recharging- You can fully recharge the EB70S in just 3-4 hours using solar panels, 3-4 hours using an AC wall outlet, and 7-8 hours using a 12V carport.
- High Reliable Power- The AC180 is packed with high capacity at 1,152Wh with a continuous output of 1800W. It is suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. It has a portable design with a fast charging speed.
- BLUETTI App- The AC180 is easy to operate and use. It comes with a remote control and BLUETTI App for real-time monitoring and easy control of your power station.
- Several Output Ports- The AC180 has several output ports such as USB-C, USB-A, AC, 12V DC, and a wireless charging pad. You can charge several devices at the same time.
- Easy Portability- The AC180 weighs 35.27lbs/16kg and it measures 340mm x 247mm x 317mm. It has an ergonomic handle for easy lifting and carrying with one hand. It does not take much of your space, thus making it ideal for camping, RV-ing, and use in limited spaces.
- Expandable Capacity- You can expand the capacity of your AC180 power station by using expansion batteries such as B300 (3072Wh), B230 (2048Wh), and B80 (806Wh). You can expand the power capacity up to 4,224Wh to keep you powered for longer.
- Fast Charging- It has a high charging rate which ensures the battery charges fast within 45 minutes. Also, with a single charge, the battery can last and serve you for longer.
- Sustainable Living- The BLUETTI AC180 power station allows you to live sustainably by embracing renewable solar energy.
- Safe and Durable- The safety of your power station should be a priority. The AC180 uses safe, highly reliable, and durable LiFePO₄ batteries.
How We Picked the Best Small Generators for Camping?
Some of the main factors we focused on that helped us pick the best small generators for camping include:
- The Size- The size and portability of the power station is a key factors we considered in selecting a small generator for camping. Smaller-sized power stations are easy to carry and store, especially in limited spaces such as RVs.
- The Power Capacity- Another key consideration is the capacity of the portable power station. The amount of power the battery can store can influence your camping experience. The battery with a higher capacity can store more power that can last through your camping experience.
- The Power Output- The power output is an important factor to consider when looking for a power station. A power station with high power output can power more devices and appliances. Also, it comes with a faster charging rate.
What to Consider When Choosing a Small Generator for Camping?
When buying a solar generator for camping, choose a unit that will sufficiently provide power. Take your time to do some research to help you choose the best small-sized generator for camping. Some of the key things to consider are:
- Budget- There are many brands of solar generators that come at varying prices. Your budget will guide you in buying a generator for camping.
- Recharge Time- Recharge time refers to the period it takes to charge the generator battery from zero to 100% or full charge. Check out for manufacturer’s directions on the amount of time it takes to fully charge the battery. However, it is important to note that the amount of sunshine in a particular day can influence the amount of time it takes to recharge the battery.
- Generator Capacity- The battery capacity is also measured in watt-hours (Wh). The generator capacity is the amount of power it reserves to ensure your devices are powered for a certain time length. For instance, how much power can your generator have within a range of 60 minutes on a full battery.
- Battery Type- The type of battery on the generator is another major factor to consider when choosing the best small generator for camping. Popular batteries on solar generators are Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are the best batteries for generators due to their advanced safety features, efficiency, and durability.
- Ease of Portability- Choose a generator that is compact and lightweight for easy portability. Some generator units are bulky and heavy making them unsuitable for camping and RVs.
What Size Generator Do I Need for Camping?
Basically, your energy needs will determine the size of the generator you need for camping. A small generator with less than 1000 watts is sufficient for powering smaller appliances and devices such as phones, laptops, LED lights, and coffee machines.
If you have larger devices and appliances in your camper van or RV, consider the larger generators, usually between 1,000 to 3,000 watts. With a large generator, you can power your fridge, freezer, fans or microwave. So first, calculate the power needs of your appliances to help you buy the right size generator.
To calculate the running wattage of your appliance, use this method: Amp x voltage= Running Watts. The general rule is to add the watts of the appliances and then divide by 1000 to help you determine the size of the generator to buy.
Related articles: How to Power Your Camping Trip with Portable Solar Panels?
Make Your Decision
The small generators for camping are quickly becoming popular among many people who enjoy outdoor activities. Portable solar generators are compact, eco-friendly, and cost-effective in the long run. Your power needs and the size of your camper van will guide you in choosing the suitable generator.
One of the things to consider when choosing a generator for camping is the storage capacity in watts (W). The higher the wattage, the longer the generator will last. Other things to consider are the cost of the generator, the recharge time, the output ports, and other necessary features based on your needs.