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Petrol Generator Versus Solar Generator for Motorhome Off Grid Power System

Petrol Generator v Solar Generator Motorhome Off Grid Power

Motorhome Generators – Choosing the best option for you

It’s important to weigh these pros and cons and consider your specific camping needs, location, and preferences when deciding between a solar generator and a petrol generator for off-grid camping.. The pros and cons of using a solar generator station and a portable petrol generator for off-grid motorhoming.

Maxpeedingrods MXR 2300 Petrol Generator
Maxpeedingrods MXR 2300 Generator

Petrol Generators

The Benefits

Petrol Generator v Solar Generator Motorhome Off-Grid Power

High Power Output:

Petrol generators typically offer higher power output compared to solar generators. This makes them suitable for running multiple high-demand appliances or power tools.

Reliable Power Source:

Petrol generators provide a consistent power supply as long as there is sufficient fuel available. They are not affected by weather conditions or sunlight availability, ensuring reliable performance.

Fast Charging:

Petrol generators have fast charging capabilities, allowing you to quickly recharge batteries or power devices without extended waiting times.


Petrol generators can be used for various purposes beyond camping. They can serve as backup power sources during emergencies or power outdoor events.

Independent of Sunlight:

Unlike solar generators, petrol generators are not dependent on sunlight. They can provide power at any time, day or night. You control the amount of fuel you have when you need it and NOT the weather.

Longer Running Time:

Petrol generators typically have larger fuel tanks, allowing them to run for longer durations without refuelling.
Easy to Refuel: Refueling a petrol generator is relatively easy. You can carry extra fuel containers and refill them as needed, making them ideal for extended camping trips.

Wide Availability:

Petrol is readily available in most places, making it easier to find fuel for your generator during camping trips.
Suitable for Heavy Loads: Petrol generators can handle high power demands and are capable of running heavy machinery or larger appliances.

Well-established Technology:

Petrol generators have been around for a long time and are well-understood. There are many models and brands available, offering a range of options to choose from.

The Downsides

Noise and Pollution:

Portable petrol generators tend to be noisy, producing noise and vibrations that can disrupt the peace and tranquillity of a camping experience. They also emit exhaust fumes, contributing to air pollution.

Fuel Dependency:

Petrol generators require a constant supply of fuel. This means you need to carry additional fuel containers and regularly refill them, which can be inconvenient, especially in remote camping locations.


Petrol generators have engines that require regular maintenance, including oil changes, spark plug replacements, and air filter cleaning. Failure to perform maintenance can lead to reduced performance or breakdowns.

Fire Hazard:

Petrol generators involve flammable fuel, increasing the risk of fire if not handled and stored properly. Careful attention must be paid to fuel storage and handling procedures to mitigate this risk.

Exhaust Emissions:

Petrol generators emit exhaust fumes, which can contribute to air pollution and have negative impacts on the environment and health, especially in confined camping spaces.

Limited Portability:

Petrol generators tend to be heavier and bulkier than solar generators, making them less portable and more challenging to transport, especially in remote or rugged camping locations.

Initial Cost:

Petrol generators often have a lower initial cost compared to solar generators. However, you also need to consider the ongoing expenses of purchasing fuel, which can add up over time.

Carbon Footprint:

Petrol generators contribute to carbon emissions and are not environmentally friendly, as they rely on fossil fuels.

Limited Fuel Availability in Remote Areas:

In some remote camping areas, finding petrol stations and fuel supplies can be challenging, which can limit the usability of petrol generators.

Limited Lifespan:

Petrol generators have a limited lifespan due to wear and tear on their engines. With regular use, they may require replacement or significant repairs, adding to the overall cost.

Petrol Generator v Solar Generator Motorhome Off Grid Power
Allpowers Solar Generator

Solar Generators

The Benefits

Environmentally Friendly:

Solar generators produce clean energy from the sun, generating no harmful emissions or pollution. They help reduce carbon footprint and contribute to a greener camping experience.

Silent Operation:

Solar generators operate silently, without any noise or vibrations. This allows for a peaceful camping environment, free from the loud sounds typically associated with petrol generators.

Durability and Long Lifespan:

Solar generators have fewer moving parts compared to petrol generators, making them more durable and less prone to mechanical failures. With proper maintenance, they can have a longer lifespan.

No Fuel Dependency:

Solar generators rely solely on sunlight, eliminating the need for fuel. This means you don’t have to carry or store flammable substances and aren’t dependent on fuel availability, making them more convenient for remote camping locations.

Off-Grid Independence:

Solar generators provide the ability to be completely off-grid, relying on renewable energy to power your camping needs. This independence allows you to camp in more remote locations where access to fuel may be limited.

The Downsides

Weather Dependency:

Solar generators rely on sunlight for charging, so their efficiency can be affected by cloudy or rainy weather conditions. Limited sunlight availability may slow down charging times or reduce power output.

Limited Power Output:

Solar generators have a limited power output based on their wattage and battery capacity. This can make them less suitable for running high-demand appliances or multiple devices simultaneously.

Initial Cost:

Solar generators often have a higher initial cost compared to petrol generators, as they require investment in solar panels, battery systems, and inverters. However, they offer long-term cost savings by utilizing free solar energy.

Limited Battery Capacity:

The battery capacity of a solar generator determines the amount of energy it can store. If you have high power demands or need to charge multiple devices, the battery capacity may be a limitation.

Size and Portability:

Solar generators can be bulkier and heavier compared to portable petrol generators, making them less portable and more challenging to transport, especially for long hiking or backpacking trips.


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Petrol Generator v Solar Generator Motorhome Off Grid Power