What is the Best Solar Generator Boondocking Kit for an RV or Camper?
A lot of people ask what solar generator they should buy if they are boondocking. For those who don’t know, boondocking is taking your RV or camper into undeveloped wilderness areas and camping. It can also be referred to as dry camping. There are no sewer, water, or electrical hook ups. You find a flat piece of ground, set up your rig and enjoy the solitude of nature.
This solitude comes with the challenge of supplying your own water, hauling out your own waste, and figuring out how to power all of your equipment. A solar generator is a great option for supplying your power needs. It is clean, quiet, portable, maintenance-free, and harnesses free power from the sun. This means you don’t have to mess with gasoline, changing oil and air filters, loud noise, and potential mechanical problems, making your camping experience easier and more enjoyable.
I’m not going to make you read all the way to end to tell you which solar generator I recommend. My number one recommendation is the Titan. My recommendation is based on performance, specs, quality, and the overall capability of this system.
Click Here for the Best RV Boondocking Kits
No other system on the market performs as well as the Titan, and its modularity makes it possible to set it up for an off-grid cabin, a backup emergency power supply, or a great boondocking system. I am going to break it down step by step to show you why the Titan is the best solar generator boondocking kit.
Battery capacity will determine how long I can run my appliances before the battery dies. When it comes to solar generators, I’m relying on the sun to recharge. Those peak sunlight hours are in the middle of the day, so I need a battery big enough to run my appliances through the night until that next recharge. It’s like considering how far you can go on a tank of gas before the next gas station.
When boondocking, I have to factor in what appliances I plan on running, and then get a battery big enough to last. I also like to factor in that I won’t always have perfect sunlight. There could be cloud cover that reduces my solar input, so I need a battery that can last longer if need be.
The battery capacity of the Titan is 2000Wh. It is a 24V Lithium-ion battery that has numerous benefits over the older lead-acid type batteries. When the Titan advertises a 2,000Wh battery, I get to actually use the full amount. I don’t have to worry about not running the battery below 50% and ruining it like I have to do with lead-acid batteries.
This means I get more available power, longer life cycles, and lithium-ion batteries are essentially maintenance free. They are also lighter which means I can move them around easier. They do cost more, but when you factor in the longevity of the lithium-ion battery it is a much better value with many added benefits.
2,000Wh is a big battery, and is a good size for boondocking necessities, like a fridge, lights, etc. If I was running AC or an electric heater, it would run out fairly quick and if I needed those items, I would have to consider getting more battery capacity and or more solar panels. Is that possible with the Titan? Yes, and here’s how.
One of the brilliant ideas of the system was an expandable battery pack option. I can double my battery capacity by adding another battery, meaning I have 4,000Wh of usable energy! That is plenty to run the necessities through the night, as well as a TV/DVD player, laptop, etc.
The additional battery pack is exactly the same as the original battery, featuring a 24V 2,000Wh Lithium-ion battery. It clips into the main battery while utilizing latches to hold it into place. It doesn’t take up any extra floor space because they stack on to each other. This is an amazing benefit to the system. No additional wires or anything like that. Just simple and brilliant.
And I don’t have to stop at one battery expansion. I can add multiple batteries to each other. This means I could have maybe one extra battery for boondocking, but then I could go to my off-grid cabin and have say 3 extra batteries to run my whole setup there. I like having the option to expand or minimize the solar generator depending on my application.
Not only can I expand the batteries, but I can also expand the solar input. One battery can handle 1,000W of solar input. More than that and the battery would charge too fast and damage it. If I add another battery, I can connect up to 2,000W of solar panels. That is a sweet feature and would allow me to charge 4,000Wh batteries in as little as 2 hours. I could have 5 batteries, a total of 10,000Wh, and get fully charged in 5 hours. That is a ton of power!
Weight is an important consideration. While a gas generator might be able to make more power, they can be very heavy and cumbersome. I want something I can easily load and unload without breaking my back. I would prefer my wife to be able to move it also, if she had to. The Titan has the ability to separate the power module (top piece with inverter, plugs and input ports) from the battery or batteries, if you have extras.
This makes each piece around a little over 30 pounds. That means it is easy to move around, load up, and not break my back doing so. Way cool. A similar solar generator, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000, weighs in at 70 pounds! Might as well cancel my gym membership if I was hauling that thing around.
I also need something that doesn’t take up all my limited space in an RV so I have to consider the overall size. The dimensions of both the battery and power module together are 18” x 12” x 12”. That fits my size needs very well and doesn’t take up very much space in my RV.
I need a solar generator that can fully recharge in a day. What is considered a day in the solar generator world? About 5-6 hours. That is the average across the USA of peak sunlight hours. This is especially important when boondocking. I don’t want to run out of energy because my solar input can’t keep up with my energy output. It’s also important to me to have multiple ways to charge my battery.
The Titan can be charged by solar panels, wall outlet, and it has car charging capability. Solar panels and car charging would be the main ways to charge my batter when boondocking. But if I was planning on a trip and my batteries were low, I can use the wall charger and quickly get the Titan ready to go.
The wall charger can input 500W, so I could fully recharge the battery from 0% to 100% in 4 hours. Another nice feature is that if I do have two batteries, I can use two wall chargers and keep my charging time the same. I love the easy expandability in batteries as well as charging.
If I was using solar panels, I can have a max solar input of 1,000W per battery. If I add another battery, I have a max input of 2,000W. If I only had the one battery, and I needed to charge it with let’s say, 500W of panels, it would take 4 hours to charge. That keeps me under that 5-6 hour window and gives me a little extra to keep appliances running during the day. I prefer to use 1000W of solar panels, because then I can charge in as fast 2 hours and have plenty of extra. That also will help if there is cloud cover and I’m not getting perfect sunlight.
And the last way to charge the Titan is by using the included car charger. This is really nice to use when I’m on the move, and it would be difficult to have solar panels out while driving down the highway. Car charging isn’t as fast, but any little bit helps. An added benefit is that the Titan can charge multiple ways at the same time. If I only had 500W of solar panels and wanted to expedite my charging time, I could have the Titan plugged into the car charger and have some solar panels in the bed of my truck.
The best way to charge my RV is by having the solar panels mounted to the roof and simply having it plugged into the Titan all the time. Then when I’m driving it will be charging and I won’t have to use the car charger.
When I invest in a solar generator kit, I want it to last a long time. Batteries don’t last forever, and they lose battery capacity over time and use. So how long will a Titan battery last? First, let’s define Life Cycle. One cycle is when a battery goes from 100% to 0% and back to 100%. A life cycle is the number of times the battery can cycle before it starts to deplete. A lot of generators only have 500 life cycles. That doesn’t mean the battery is completely worthless after 500 cycles. Usually it depletes to about 80% capacity.
The Titan has an astounding 2,000 life cycle rating. They did this by actually making the battery bigger than the 2,000Wh rating, but limited it to 2,000Wh. Batteries get worn out when depleting it to 0%. By making the battery bigger but limiting it to 2,000Wh, I never fully run the battery to 0%. Genius.
Let’s say I wanted to be a hardcore boondocker and was going to live out of my RV completely off-grid indefinitely. My energy usage runs my battery down to 25% every day and I charge it back to 100%. That would be ¾ of a cycle. That would give me 2,666 cycles before the battery depletes. 2000/.75 = 2666. 2666 cycles / 365 days a year = 7.3 years of use! That is amazing.
And the battery is still good, just depleted to around 80% which would give me 1600Wh battery capacity. And because of the expandable battery option, it is super easy to buy a new battery and replace the old one retiring it as a backup or for additional capacity.
Click Here for the Best RV Boondocking Kits
Number of plugin ports
The amount of plugin ports and the options are very important. If the system can handle it, I like to have as many plugin ports as possible so that I am not limited. The Titan has 6 110/120v (wall outlet) plugs, and 4 DC plugs that allow me to run either DC power or use USB conversion plugs. And most importantly for my boondocking needs, it has a dedicated 30-amp style RV plug!
There are only a couple of solar generators on the market that have a dedicated 30-amp style RV plug, and out of those that do, the Titan can handle the most power at 25-amps. That is plenty to run most RVs. I’m so glad that the Titan has this because so many people have asked for a real RV plug. Having an RV plug is so much simpler. I can plug my RV in and use all my lights, outlets, stove, etc without having to run extension cords from my appliances and plug into the solar generator.
This feature in my opinion makes the Titan the clear and obvious best choice for boondocking. Until the other companies play catch up and start to incorporate this feature, the Titan makes the most sense for my needs. And because of the capacity of the batteries, and the size of the inverter, I can run all the big appliances without worry.
The Titan boasts a massive 3,000W Pure Sine Wave inverter. This is the biggest inverter on the market. I say this a lot, but the inverter is like the engine of your truck and determines how much power you have. Because of the size of the inverter on the Titan, I can run all the normal things like a fridge, stove, etc but I can also run a chop saw, AC unit, or even a welder. Not at the same time obviously. I love having that kind of ability and not be limited by the size of the inverter.
I always make sure that my solar generators use a Pure Sine Wave inverter. Cheaper companies or DIY people often use a modified sine wave, and not all appliances work with modified sine wave. I like the peace of mind that comes from knowing any appliance I have will work on my system.
It’s typical in the market for solar generators to have a surge capacity twice that of the continuous capacity. Why is surge capacity important? Electrical appliances often take more energy to start, and then once they are going use less energy to stay running. For example, a 7,000BTU AC unit might take 2,200W to get going, but only need 1,000W to stay running.
The Titan has a 6,000W surge capacity that it can maintain for 10 seconds! Some generators can only surge for less than a second. Often times that isn’t enough time to get the equipment going. 10 seconds is great and I’m really glad they did that. Having 6,000W surge gives me the ability to get big appliances going and I don’t have to worry about being underpowered. This means that even while boondocking I could run a small AC unit and stay comfortable.
Usually, I like to see the inverter size and the battery capacity be the same number. In the case of the Titan, it has a 3,000W inverter and a 2,000Wh battery. Why such a big inverter? They oversized it so if/when you add a second battery, the inverter can still keep up and allow you to use more energy when you need it. I really appreciate that they overbuilt the Titan so that when I expand the batteries, I’m not left with a huge gas tank and a small engine. I can have a huge engine (inverter) and a huge gas tank (batteries).
Customer Support and Warranty
Point Zero is based in Idaho, where all product assembly and customer support take place. I can easily find their phone number and email on their website. I have talked to them multiple times and they are great to work with and always answer my questions. I love that I don’t have to go through a huge menu option just to talk to a living person.
They offer a two-year warranty on the Titan. If anything is wrong, they will fix it for free. That inspires a lot of confidence in me when spending this kind of money. I always tell people to test their equipment a lot while under warranty to make sure everything is working well.
Click Here for the Best RV Boondocking Kits
I hope by now you can see why I 100% recommend the Point Zero Titan as the best boondocking solar generator kit on the market. Nobody else can compete with the features and benefits that it offers. It’s portable, tons of power, expandable, and best of all has an RV plug making your life much simpler. Buy with confidence, and enjoy the solitude that comes from the great outdoors.