Camping looks a bit different now than it did in the past. You can still go camping with just a backpacking tent and nothing else, but the rise of Overlanding and glamping in recent years shows that many people like to bring at least some of the comforts of home with them, like a portable fridge, lights, camera equipment, or a laptop for working remotely. In the last few years, lithium battery technology has come a long way, making it easier, safer, and quieter to charge all of these devices. Campers no longer need loud, smelly diesel generators to keep the lights on in their RV or mobile office.
This is good when you’re at a campsite that has quiet hours. Since they first came out on the market a few years ago, the price and weight of solar-powered generators, which are also called portable power stations, have gone down while their charging capacity has gone up.
If you’re not familiar with them, think of them as a bigger version of the power bank you probably already carry to charge your phone while traveling. They usually have built-in inverters and standard 120-volt outlets so you can easily charge a computer, run a CPAP, or plug in an electric cooler or portable washing machine even if the power goes out or you’re at a campsite with no amenities.
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How to Think About Your Electric Needs
Before you can compare portable power stations, you’ll need to know what you want to power when you’re not connected to the power grid or when the power goes out. Fewer watts are needed to charge your phone and camera a few times than to run appliances or a camper. Make a list of everything you want to use and try to get a rough idea of how much power each thing needs. Or, just go to the website of a power station maker. Most companies estimate how many times you’ll be able to charge different devices and put those numbers in the “Specs” section.
When looking for a solar-powered generator, the size is the most important thing to think about. Higher capacity will cost more, but in general, you should look at generators with at least 40 amp-hours, or 500 watt-hours, which is enough power for most people to camp for a weekend. If you want a solar-powered generator to power a camper or act as a backup in your home during a blackout. We suggest getting one with at least 100 amp-hours of power and 200 watts of solar panels. It’s best to buy a solar-powered generator with more power than you think you’ll need and a bigger solar panel so it can quickly charge. Most generators don’t come with solar panels, so make sure to budget for this extra cost. You can buy these panels at a lower price from redeemonliving.com
Weight and Size
Traditional deep-cycle batteries are bigger and heavier than lithium-ion batteries, so most solar-powered generators are light and easy to move. Still, most of them weigh more than 10 pounds, and if you need to carry a lot, they get heavy fast. If you have a small car or camper and don’t have a lot of space or don’t want to carry around a heavy generator. You might want to choose a less powerful generator.
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