Best Solar Generator for Van Life and RV

A portable solar generator for van life is incredibly easy to use and consists of a rechargeable battery powered by a solar panel.

The solar generator's basic setup includes a rechargeable battery, cables or wires, inverter, battery monitor, and charger.

The solar generator works by drawing energy from the solar panel, which goes through the solar charger to the battery.

The DC electricity or current is then converted to AC electricity for powering various devices or equipment in the recreational vehicle or van.

The best solar generators for van life


BLUETTI PV200 solar panel

This is one of the most efficient solar generators for van life. Some of its features include:

Durable and waterproof 

This solar generator has a surface made from a long-lasting ETFE material that makes it more durable, long-lasting, and scratch-resistant. The IP65 waterproof standard feature makes it even more perfect for outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, and hiking. It’s highly encouraged not to soak this solar generator inside the water.

High conversion efficiency 

This solar generator and has a panel with a high standard conversion efficiency of up to 23.4%. It also has exemplary transparency of up to 95% since it performs and functions much better in low light conditions. 

BLUETTI PV200 200w solar panel

Splash-proof and durable

The BLUETTI sp200 solar panel is a splash proof and durable solar panel. It’s made from a long-lasting, durable material and advanced laminated technology. The material on its surface makes it scratch-resistant and durable. Its water-resistant feature will protect the system against water splashing.

Portable and foldable 

The BLUETTI SP 200 is easy to carry, and transport due to its weight of only 14.3lbs and 20.7 × 20.5 inches fold size. It’s highly encouraged to use BLUETTI solar panels with BLUETTI solar generators to obtain the best results. 

BLUETTI AC200max expandable power station

Some of the features and advantages of the BLUETTI AC 200 max expandable power station are:

  • The BLUETTI AC200 max is one of the most increasingly used portable power stations with the capacity and capability to run high-demand equipment and devices. The high capacity battery feature in the power stations means that it can run crucial equipment for an extended time.
  • It has a 2048Wh battery and an inverter that can put out 2200W of constant power supply. It can manage a power surge of up to 4800W. It functions efficiently during high power consumption and surges and can operate devices or equipment that most battery power stations cannot handle.

Benefits of best solar generator for van life

1. Cost-efficient 

Once you install your solar generator on your van, you require little to no maintenance. You are only required to secure the panel correctly on the roof of your van and get a reliable source of energy and power for years to come.

This is unlike gasoline-powered generators that require the purchase of diesel or gasoline to run and constant maintenance down the line.

You are only required to clean the solar panels regularly to ensure maximum power production for solar-powered generators.

2. Provides clean energy

One of the main benefits of the solar generator is offering clean energy that helps in conserving the environment.

Solar generators use renewable and clean energy from the sun, making them efficient, effective, and environmentally friendly.

The solar-powered generators do not generate any fumes or smoke and are not noisy.

They are efficient and will make your outdoor van life and travel experiences more beautiful and enjoyable. 

3. Space-saving

Another benefit of solar generators for van life is offering a lot of space in your van due to its portability and design feature. You can mount the solar panel in any location or part of your van. To maximize sunlight exposure, you can mount the solar panel on top of the roof of your van. This helps to free up essential space that would be otherwise be used by the generator.

Negatives of best solar generators for van life

1. They are expensive

One of the cons of solar generators is high purchase costs compared to other diesel-powered generators. It’s an important financial investment decision that one has to make before purchasing the solar panel. 

2. They can be slow to charge

This will mainly depend on the solar generator for van life you would like to buy and how you will be charging it. Some of the solar generator units can be charged instantly using a wall outlet. However, they can be very slow if you are relying on solar panels.

3. Have a limited time span

The batteries in the majority of portable powered solar generators have a short time span. The batteries in the generators gradually begin to reduce inefficiency and eventually die. However, some manufacturers offer warranty and replacement of batteries in case of inefficiencies or damages of the battery. 

4. Less power

Most solar generators for van life do not have high capacity power or energy to charge different equipment consistently for long periods. The diesel-powered generators are more powerful and can supply high-capacity power and energy for an extended period to equipment. 

How to charge portable solar generator

Picking solar generators for your recreational vehicle or van can be different from selecting solar generators to utilize as part of a permanent solar-powered system.

It’s highly encouraged to look for a solar generator system compatible with your recreational vehicle and charge the car effectively and efficiently.

There are several portable generators and can be charged differently.

The methods for charging the portable solar generators include:

1. Household outlet

This is a fast and instant way to charge your portable solar generator.

Plugging the solar generator into a 110V ac outlet will charge some solar power stations within an hour or less. It can be an excellent choice for charging your best solar generators for van life if you find it in some more extensive campgrounds and RV parks.

It’s worth using the household outlet to efficiently and effectively recharge your solar panel generator.

2. Solar panels

Using the solar panels to charge your solar power generator is a cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly way to generate power for your recreational vehicle.

The conditions have to be perfect for the solar panels to absorb maximum energy from the sun to power up and charge the solar generator.

3. 12-volt lighter socket

This method works efficiently for some of the portable solar-powered generators.

It can take a lot of time to charge your solar generator using this method.

However, it works best and efficiently if you are doing a lot of driving.

It’s important to remember that you should not charge your solar generator from the 12-volt socket if you are not driving. This can cause adverse effects and lots of damage to your engine.

Frequent Asked Questions

Q: Can a solar generator power an RV?

You can power your van or RV with a solar generator. However, you need to ensure that you buy a solar generator unit that will be powerful enough to run all the various features that your RV offers.

Q: Are best solar generators for van life worth it?

Portable solar generators offer numerous advantages and are best used for running small appliances and charging devices. They are an incredible source of power for RV camping or boating since they are clean, portable, and do not require a lot of fuel to operate.

Q: What size solar generator do I need for my RV?

You require a solar generator size that is enough to power your recreational vehicle and run some of the essential appliances needed in the RV. For instance, if you want to run some of the basic RV essentials, you need 300 watts of solar power energy.


Q: How long do portable power stations last?

A portable power station can last between three to thirteen hours on a fully charged battery. The lifespan of the portable power station depends on the type of battery size, battery’s age, and the number of electronic devices used in the power station.


The majority of people are embracing the use of solar generators due to the numerous benefits it offers for a home, during outdoor activities, and the environment.

The best solar generator for van life has low running costs and maintenance costs compared to fuel-powered generators.

This makes it perfect for van life while offering a more convenient and enjoyable experience with your family and friends.

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