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RV Solar vs. RV Generators: What You Need to Know

Harper Sullivan-profile-image
Harper Sullivan
September 1, 2023

To uncover the secrets of powering your RV with or without the sun, read our guide to solar vs. generator power!

RV Solar vs. RV Generators: What You Need to Know

Whether you're a seasoned off-grid camper or new to boondocking, powering your adventures is a major concern. With the growing interest in sustainable and independent travel, solar power has become a game-changer. 

That doesn’t mean traditional generators are no longer an option. A generator should be on the list of boondocking essentials. But they might not be the best power solution. 

To uncover the secrets of powering your RV with or without the sun, read our guide to solar vs. generator power!

Gas or Diesel-Fueled Generators: Power on the Go

Some RV manufacturers may include a generator as part of their standard features or offer it as an upgrade. If not included, you may add a generator later on as an aftermarket installation.

One compelling reason to go with a standard generator is availability. These generators offer immediate power supply, regardless of weather conditions. Such power depends on one variable: fuel.

If you run out of gas, you run out of power. Kind of takes the fun out of boondocking, doesn’t it?

Standard RV generators are not low-maintenance machines. Over the time you own one, you’ll have a long maintenance to-do list that includes:

  • Regular Oil Changes
  • Air Filter Cleaning/Replacement
  • Fuel Filter Replacement
  • Spark Plug Inspection/Replacement

Many people stick with the easily accessible and familiar. Gas-fueled generators are widely available, and many RV owners are familiar with their operation. But you’re not most people, so why not expand your adventures with a solar RV?

RV Solar System: Sustainable and Integrated

An RV solar system is a permanent, seamless power solution with solar panels mounted on your RV’s roof. The panels work alongside a charge controller and inverter.

If you’re looking for consistent power from dawn to dusk, this could be your answer. Solar systems generate continuous electricity as long as there is sunlight and a place to store your solar energy. Experts at Battle Born Batteries recommend the LiFePO4 battery to maximize solar storage. 

Solar systems (and solar generators) produce zero emissions. You can explore the wilderness without fuel-powered generators and reduce your carbon footprint..

Once installed, RV solar systems require minimal maintenance. They have no moving parts, which reduces the risk of mechanical failures. Fewer mechanical issues can result in decreased maintenance costs.

An RV solar system is a long-term investment. Initial installation costs may be higher, but can pay off over time if you boondock frequently.

RV solar systems are excellent for off-grid travel enthusiasts who value independence and sustainability. They’re an essential component of any dry-camping adventure.

Solar Generator: Portable and Versatile

Solar generators are standalone units. They’re portable, which makes them perfect for boondocking, emergencies, and outdoor events. 

When boondocking, RV solar systems make brilliant companions, but they confine the power to your RV. With a portable solar generator, the entire world becomes your playground. You can venture into remote destinations where traditional power sources dare not tread. 

Nature can be unpredictable, but your preparedness doesn’t have to be. When blackouts strike, or your RV faces mechanical hiccups, a portable solar generator stands at the ready. 

Choose portable solar power and help Mother Earth. With zero emissions and reliance on the sun’s renewable energy, you’ll play a vital role in preserving the planet’s natural beauty for generations to come.

Say “no” to noise pollution. Unlike their fuel-powered cousins, solar generators whisper discreetly, preserving the peace and tranquility of nature. Isn’t that why you prefer off-grid camping? 

No need to lug around heavy fuel tanks or cumbersome cords. The compact design of portable solar generators makes them travel-friendly and a breeze to set up. Unfold, position under the sun’s gaze, and let the magic of solar energy do the rest.

Investing in portable solar power can yield long-term savings. Say goodbye to recurring fuel expenses and the need for maintenance associated with traditional generators. 

Two solar generators stand out in the crowd. EcoFlow’s Delta Pro Power Station and the Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro. Both made Better Homes and Gardens 7 Best Solar Generators of 2023. With 3,600-watt AC and 3000-watt output, respectively, either of these generators can power your RV or your sticks-and-bricks. 

If you’re not looking for wattage that can power a big rig or your house, Jackery makes solar generators to accommodate a wide range of needs. 

Whether you want consistent and sustainable power (RV solar system) or you want a portable and versatile power resource (solar generator), there’s no reason not to get more out of your boondocking experience when you upgrade to a solar RV.

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,666 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Harper Sullivan-profile-image
Harper Sullivan
Harper Sullivan is a six-foot-tall adventurous travel writer with an untamed spirit. She lives out of a Ford Transit, chronicling her experiences from the rocky terrains of The Rockies to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Contributing to the Harvest Hosts, CampersCard, CampScanner blog; Harper's writings blend vivid travel experiences with insightful reviews and pop culture references. Her engaging storytelling invites readers on an extraordinary journey, making every camping escapade a thrilling adventure.