Why You Need An Alternative Power Source To RV Solar

Airstream plugged into a CarGenerator on a cloudy day as an alternative power source to solar

CarGenerator provides off-grid power without the hassle of a gas generator.

Sponsored by Car Generator

If You Rely On Solar, Here’s Why You Need An Alternative Power Source  

Solar power has seen a steady rise in popularity in recent years, and with good reason. This popularity has flowed over into the RV world.

Although solar power is great, it does have some limitations and disadvantages. CarGenerator can eliminate those limitations and give you ultimate freedom with your RV without the hassle of a gas generator.

How does CarGenerator work?

RVing and the freedom to roam and be self-sufficient are synonymous with one another. One golden rule of RVing, especially for off-grid and boondocking, is to be prepared for anything. Having a reliable source of power is key to confidently roaming without limitations. A CarGenerator, tucked away behind your seat, is the most reliable alternate power source. 

Whether you tow your RV or drive it, with CarGenerator, you always have a power generator with you. As quickly as you can hook up a set of booster cables, you have a safe, steady power source and a great alternative power source.

A high-quality, power inverter is utilized to convert your car’s 12-volt DC power to clean AC power, usable for a large variety of items. Simply put: it does the job of a portable generator without the weight, noise, fuel storage, and maintenance costs.

Turning your vehicle into a generator only takes seconds by hooking the battery cable leads to your vehicle’s battery jump-start connections. After that, start your vehicle and you’ve got a reliable, efficient generator for up to 50-70 hours if needed. There are no complicated connections or switches; CarGenerator is a plug-and-play setup!

It is very likely that CarGenerator will be used for emergency power and backup power when the weather doesn’t favor solar. The all-weather design is made for RV life and allows for safe, reliable power, regardless of weather conditions.

CarGenerator is essentially a high-quality, patented pure sine wave inverter–the only inverter you can buy that’s safely enclosed in a weatherproof housing.

The magic of CarGenerator is the patented, custom-engineered weatherproof housing and a turn-key, ready-to-go solution you can pull out anytime, day or night, and in any weather conditions. CarGenerator gives you the AC power you need and charges your DC RV trailer batteries at the same time.

Take the RV trailer shore power cord you usually plug into the campground power, but instead, plug into the CarGenerator. Instantly, all of the electrical outlets in your RV trailer will be energized and usable. You will be able to run small items such as TV, internet, laptop, chargers, etc. 

Why not use a portable gas generator?

Many RVers who like to explore areas outside of full-service campgrounds rely on portable generators. In addition to solar, most RVers will have a generator for emergency and solar backup power.

Generators are a great way to provide power; however, some have common inconveniences. The first downside is cost. Both upfront and maintenance costs for generators are factors.

It’s worth noting that many cheap generators don’t provide RV-safe pure sine wave power. Generators (particularly cheap generators) are notorious for problems. These fixes, along with the maintenance required of any quality generator, add up.

Using the already maintained engine of your vehicle gives you the peace of mind that your generator will start and run problem-free.

Another common complaint about generators is the noise. Everyone has cursed a running generator at a campsite. The smaller generators commonly used are often working extra hard and screaming to do so.

Modern vehicles idle quietly and the engines are not easily loaded down. The multitude of emission controls ensures modern car engines are running cleanly and efficiently, unlike the basic old school technology in most generator engines.

Even small portable generators can be cumbersome to drag around. When you factor in the need for jerry cans with fuel, the storage space adds up. And this is all for a generator you may only use once or twice a year, and in some cases, not at all.

If your tow vehicle is an SUV or sedan, you have no place for smelly, dangerous, messy, gas cans or a big smelly motor. CarGenerator is just 11 pounds and has no smell, so you can store it in your vehicle or trailer easily. 

CarGenerator is small enough to fit behind your seat or in the back corner of your trunk. There is no fuel required, no maintenance, and setup takes seconds.

CarGenerator mounted to the front of a vehicle parked beside an Airstream used as an alternative power source

CarGenerator Airstream Edition

Why you need an alternative power source

Solar is, without a doubt, a great power source for RVs. Using the sun to power your RV so you can be one with nature just sounds right.

Those who decide to use solar, however, are faced with the challenge of ensuring they have enough power. In many circumstances, solar alone is not enough, and generators are required either as an alternative power source or for backup.

We all wish it could be sunny, clear skies, every day we are RVing. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. With solar, you’re relying on mother nature to provide the right conditions, and we all know you can’t rely on her.

The time of year you are camping and your location will both affect the hours of sunlight you have for charging batteries. Another factor is the size and number of panels you have. RVs have limited roof space with the vents, antennas, and AC units all mounted up there. Most RVers will have smaller panels and a limited number of them. This, of course, limits the amount of charging that can be done.

A common thought is if you have four 100-watt panels, and get 5 hours of prime sunlight, you have 2,000 watts, right? Well… not all at once, and not for any length of time. Depending on the hours of usable sunlight you receive, the batteries will charge over this time. Of course, until you have sunlight again, there is no more recharging.

With CarGenerator, you can have fully charged batteries in just two hours and the ability to quickly top them up regardless of weather conditions. In order to have the 1000 watts CarGenerator provides continuously, you would need the equivalent of ten 100-watt solar panels working at full efficiency all the time. 

CarGenerator in use on top of a black SUV

Quickly recharge portable solar battery packs when solar is not available.

CarGenerator and solar battery generators

Solar generators are convenient energy sources; however, they rely on a bright sunny day to recharge them. What happens if your solar battery generator runs out of power while it’s raining or at night?

Just plug into your CarGenerator and refill your solar generator in an hour or two on some models. The typical capacity on a solar battery generator is 1000 watt-hours, so you get 1000 watts for one hour. CarGenerator produces up to 1000 watts continuously on a typical vehicle for 50-70 hours, which equals 50,000-70,000 watt-hours!

You can also use CarGenerator to quickly charge e-bikes, electric scooters, electric trail bikes, and more. 

How will it affect my vehicle?

You often hear people say solar is free power. The process by which it happens may be free, but the setup isn’t. Multiple pieces of equipment need to be purchased and set up.

CarGenerator is a single piece that, once purchased, only requires you to keep fueling and maintaining your vehicle as you currently are. If you are towing an RV, you already own and maintain a vehicle.

Running CarGenerator for a few hours to recharge your trailer batteries will barely even move your vehicle fuel gauge. See the example below; producing 1000 watts of power uses .37 gallons per hour (1.4 liters/hr).

CarGenerator is the best alternative power source

Using your vehicle as a generator is a safe and effective way to produce backup and emergency power. Ford, the number one automaker in North America, agrees and has even added built-in generators to their flagship F series of pickup trucks. Idle times of 85 hours on these models confirm the technology works.

A car’s charging system is designed to run all of the accessories, including air conditioning, at the same time. The draw on the system with your vehicle idling just powering CarGenerator is no strain for your vehicle. With most vehicles able to idle for 50-70 hours, the idle time required for solar backup power for your RV is no more than some vehicles idle in traffic on a daily basis.

The engines in vehicles, especially modern vehicles, run cleanly and quietly, while monitoring all systems for problems and efficiency. Compare this to many of the portable generators without emissions technology, and idling a car to produce an alternative power source makes sense.

Woman holds CarGenerator unit in front of row of airstream trailers

RVing without the need for serviced sites opens up a whole new world of adventures. Solar is a great option to give you this additional freedom but needs to be combined with a reliable alternative power source. Camping during times of the year with fewer hours of daylight, rain, and overcast conditions will all affect your solar power. One struggle with solar can be the inability to run RV air conditioners.

The obvious solution is to park in the shade. This keeps the RV cool but doesn’t allow your roof-mounted solar panels to do their job. As with all great technology, solar has limits. Combining your RV solar system with the 1000-watts CarGenerator can provide power at the turn of a key, and you’re free to roam wherever your heart desires.

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