Difference Between Camping Generator and Solar (With Table)

Camping is a type of recreational activity which is popular among youth and it makes them take their responsibility to live, cook, and work on their hobbies. For camping in new regions, people often need some gear like a tent, sleeping bag, first aid kit, power supply, etc. The items used for camping should be compact and handy. With other useful things, power need is the most important as campers need to charge the phone, laptop, make coffee or boil water. There are two types of power available for campers, the first is the generator and another one is solar.

Camping Generator vs Solar

The difference between Camping Generator and Solar is that Generator is a compact setup for a convenient source of power to run all the appliances which require power. While Solar generator consists of two components, solar panels, and a storage battery.

The generator supplies electric power by converting mechanical energy, by using an external source, into electrical energy. For camping purposes, Inverter Generator is most popular which has more power protection, stable output, and quiet operation. It works on a gas-powered engine and can supply power up to 4500W or 4.5KW.

Solar power uses photovoltaic panels, a charge regulator, batteries, and an inverter. It converts sunlight into electricity and works quietly. They are generally used for light power-consuming appliances. The solar panels generate electricity in the daytime only, cloudy days and night time makes it difficult to power generation.

Comparison Table Between Camping Generator and Solar

Parameter of Comparison           Generator  Solar  
Power conversion     It converts Mechanical to Electrical          It converts Sunlight to Electrical.  
Cost The initial purchasing cost is low but high on maintenance  It is costlier than Generator but low or no maintenance is required.  
Time to charge up  Lesser time to charge up  It takes a longer to get charged up.  
Environment friendliness  Generators are noisy and emit smoke which is not environment friendly  Solar panels do not make noise and have no emissions which makes them easier to use anywhere.  
Weather dependency  It works in any weather. It does not matter if it is a cloudy or sunny day.  If there is bad weather, there is no power. Solar panels are less reliable.  

What is Camping Generator?

When camping with family, power is needed for many purposes. Camping Generator is portable and all the appliances that need a bit more power like Kettles, air-conditioners, blow dryers, etc. Camping Generator is also known as Portable Inverter Generator has a built-in microprocessor that protects sensitive electronics by regulating the voltage. This is enclosed in a case and quiet in operation, unlike other noisy Generators.

Portable camping Generators use Gasoline but also use propane or even diesel. The best camping Generator brand is Honda EU2200i portable Inverter Generator. It is light in weight, quiet, and produces enough power to be used for hairdryer, charging batteries, camping fridge, tent air condition, or tent heater. But if a camping generator is used more frequently, then a premium brand should be used such as Yamaha. They handle more intensive use with a warranty.

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What is Camping Solar?

Camping solar is another option for power supply. It is the system that produces power by using the sun’s energy. It consists of a solar panel, a battery to store power, and an inverter. It can be used for boating and camping because of its portability. It is clean and renewable energy which requires no fuel and it works quietly producing no sound. Although its purchasing cost is higher than generators it has no or low maintenance.

Solar power generators are used for charging devices and running small appliances. One of the best Solar generators available in the market, for camping, is Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable power station. It has a Lithium battery and it is a powerful and strong generator. It is versatile in power output such as AC, 12V, and USB which make it more convenient. It is chainable with other lead-acid batteries, easily rechargeable, and portable.

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Main Differences Between Camping Generator and Solar

  1. Generators are more compatible as compared to solar as they have more capacity to run for more time. Generators can be used to run heavy appliances while solar generators may not work on heavy appliances more efficiently than generators.
  2. Generators consume fuel which adds to the extra running cost but solar works on the sun’s energy which is a free and renewable source of energy. Solar is costlier than generator as far as purchasing cost is concerned but generators need more maintenance, so it needs added cost apart from purchasing cost.
  3. Generators produce noise while operating, although there are generators available in the markets which produce low noise there is not any silent generator available today. Solar generators have no sound while converting solar energy into electrical energy.
  4. Generators emit gas while working as they need fuel to work but solar power generators are emission-free as they need natural resources.
  5. Generators don’t need time to get charged as they use fuel to produce power but solar needs more time to get charged as it uses sunlight, which takes time to convert into electrical energy.
  6. Generators are not dependent on weather but solar needs the sun’s energy so it will not work when it is a cloudy day.


Camping is a way of escaping from the world for some time so that one can take a rest from the hustle and bustle of life problems. Power need is the most important as we have become habitual of using the gadgets running on power. So campers can use the combination of both generator and solar which will solve the purpose.

Solar can be used to charge the battery when weather is good and the generator can be used as a backup in bad weather and for appliances that need high-end power. It depends on the time of the year camping is done as to which system should be used for power needs. So, before camping in a remote place like a forest, mountain, or snowy hill campers should keep in mind the usage. What kind of use they are going to make with a generator or solar? Do they need more power, or less power, or they can sustain without any gadget?


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516300453
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261917316975
  3. https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=928244433520674;res=IELENG
  4. https://www.osti.gov/etdeweb/servlets/purl/20948273#page=288
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Last update on 2021-05-01 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API