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If you are going for a long trip in your camper van then you may want to consider purchasing a generator to help provide power to various appliances and devices. If you have a smaller-sized RV then you should purchase a portable mini generator that is easy to travel with and can be stored away with no problem.
In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about portable mini generators from the benefits that they come with, the best options on the market as well as an exclusive Buyers Guide and FAQ so you can know what to expect when conducting your research.
Benefits That Come With Portable Mini Generators
As mentioned above, many advantages come with purchasing a portable mini generator that you should consider. This is especially helpful if you have never owned one before and can help you to see what kind of performance they will bring.
Here are just a few of the beneficial features that mini generators boast:
Easy To Use And Maintain
The first thing that should be mentioned about mini generators is how easy they are to use and maintain. Thanks to their smaller size, they don’t take as long to clean and the ease of use makes them ideal for those who are unfamiliar with using generators.
This is because they don’t have the capability of powering up a large number of appliances at one time due to the size meaning that you can get used to it quickly.
One of the best benefits of using mini generators is that they are extremely fuel-efficient. Not only does this mean that they are easy to use, but they also help to keep your overall costs down when powering your camper van.
Depending on the battery lifespan of the unit, you can get a lot of use from one charge which means that you won’t have the inconvenience of having to refill it often.
Lightweight And Portable Design
The design of mini generators is extremely convenient as they are lightweight and portable which means that they can be stored away easily as well as carried to various locations without any muscle strain.
Because of their mini size, they are great for smaller camper vans that may not have the room for a larger unit while the lighter weight means that you can charge it up with ease without worrying about damaging the surface.
Provides Off-grid Power
All generators provide plenty of power even when traveling off-grid. This is no different when it comes to mini generators. If you are planning a trip to an isolated location that is far away from civilization then mini generators are a fantastic solution to provide you with power for your appliances and devices.
Generators are known for being loud when they are turned on; however, mini generators have built a reputation for being a lot quieter than regular-sized generators. This is thanks to the smaller engine which makes them much more convenient for those who don’t want to be disturbed.
Also, if you have a smaller-sized camper van then a smaller generator will mean that the sound won’t be overwhelming. Mini generators allow you to forget that they are even there.
Here are the top five Sprinter camper vans portable mini generators that you should consider:
Our first recommendation is the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 which has won awards for its performance from various outlets such as the “Best portable power station for use in the outdoors” by Digital Trends.
Easy to travel with and store away, this unit comes with a 240W lithium-ion battery pack and the solid handle means you can carry it around in any environment without any muscle strain.
The versatile power source means you can charge a variety of different appliances and devices from the generator making it great for those who are on longer trips and need a highly advanced unit.
This generator is great for those wanting to reduce their carbon footprint as it provides a green power supply thanks to the option to recharge it using the Jackery SolarSaga 60 solar panel which can be purchased separately.
The built-in MPPT controllers mean that the solar panel will always operate at its maximum power. You receive everything you need to run this unit including the generator itself, an AC adapter, a charger cable, and an instruction manual.
- The versatile power source means you can charge a variety of different appliances and devices
- Great for those wanting to reduce their carbon footprint as it provides a green power supply
- Comes with everything you need to run this unit including the generator itself, an AC adapter, a charger cable, and an instruction manual
- High price point
- BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: The Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station has been featured as the "Best Portable Power Station for use in the outdoors" by Digital Trends. A classic choice for your pick.
- EASY TO CARRY: This entry-level portable power station is equipped with a 240Wh lithium-ion battery pack, weighing only at 6.6 pounds. The solid handle makes it easy to carry around for outdoor adventures such as Tent Camping, Road Trip, Backyard Camping, etc.
- VERSATILE POWER SOURCE: 1* Pure Sine Wave AC outlet (110V 200W 400W Peak), 2* USB-A ports (5V, 2.4A), and 1* 12V DC car port to charge your road trip essentials such as smartphones, laptops, cameras, fans, lights and so on. Pass-through charging is supported.
- GREEN POWER SUPPLY: The power station can be recharged by the Jackery SolarSaga 60 solar panel. Its built-in MPPT controller enables the solar panel to operate at its max power point for the power station to be recharged at its highest efficiency. TWO alternative ways to recharge: through the wall outlet or the car outlet.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station, 1*AC adapter, 1* car charger cable, 1* user guide.
Our second selection is the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160 which is a super-compact generator with an AC outlet. Perfect for those who need an extremely small unit, this option is the lightest option meaning that you can take it wherever you go without question.
Jackery has established itself as a leader in the industry and this product is one of the reasons why. Whether you use it in your camper van or want to venture further into woodlands with a tent, this compact unit is the best choice. This unit can power up to five devices at one time making it great for longer trips.
This unit is rechargeable through solar, AC adapters, and vehicles making it highly versatile as you can reduce your carbon footprint should you purchase the Jackery SolarSaga 60 which can be bought separately. The built-in LED flashlight includes an SOS mode so you can be assured of safe use.
This generator comes with everything you need to set it up including the power station, an AC adapter, a car charger cable, and an instruction manual.
- Is the lightest option meaning that you can take it wherever you go without question
- The built-in LED flashlight includes an SOS mode so you can be assured of safe use
- Comes with everything you need to set it up including the power station, an AC adapter, a car charger cable, and an instruction manual
- Not ideal for use on larger applications
- SUPER COMPACT WITH AC OUTLET: Weighing the same as a standard bag of apples, this portable power station makes the smallest while remaining the most compact in the Explorer family. Being able to carry an AC Outlet around brings you flexibility for your short road trips, remote work, or outdoor camping essentials.
- LEADERSHIP IN THE INDUSTRY: Founded in 2012, Jackery specializes in providing outdoor green power solutions for explorers. Our explorer series has been featured in credible institutions such as Forbes, Digital Trends, and Tom's Guide.
- POWER UP TO 5 DEVICES: The Explorer 160 power station features 1* AC outlet (110V 100W 150W Peak), 1*USB-C port, 2* USB-A ports and 1* standard DC 12V port that support for charging phones, tablets, laptops, gopro and other smaller electronics. Note: The Explorer 160 does not support pass-through charging.
- RECHARGEABILITY THROUGH SOLAR, AC, VEHICLES: Get fully recharged by Jackery SolarSaga 60 (sold separately) in just 4.5 hours. The wall outlet and car charging both take 5hrs to be recharged. The built-in LED flashlight features a SOS mode (long press to activate it), you can rest-assured to bring it for outdoor activities such as off-grid wild camping or a weekend road trip.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 160 Power Station, 1*AC adapter, 1* car charger cable and 1* user guide.
Our third choice is the DBPOWER Portable Power Station which is capable of charging up to five devices at one time making it great for those going on longer camping trips and will have lots of devices and appliances.
The 250W battery power supply makes this unit more stable and environmentally friendly which is great for those who want to lower their carbon footprint. With three charges and light modes, this rechargeable battery backup power supply is extremely versatile so you don’t have to worry about any battery capacity reduction.
This unit is portable and has a safe power station thanks to the slim design and lightweight materials which means you can carry it around easily no matter where you go without feeling any muscle strain.
It also features cooling vents on its side to provide a constant temperature to avoid any overheating. Including everything you need to set up the generator, this unit comes with an AC adapter and a user guide. It also comes with an 18-month warranty as well as 24/7 customer support should you need it.
- The 250W battery power supply makes this unit more stable and environmentally friendly which is great for those who want to lower their carbon footprint
- Is portable and has a safe power station thanks to the slim design and lightweight materials which means you can carry it around easily
- Comes with an 18-month warranty as well as 24/7 customer support should you need it
- Doesn’t have a long battery life
- 【 POWERING UP TO 5 DEVICES 】 DBPOWER portable power station features with AC/DC/USB outputs: 1* AC outlet (110V 60Hz 250W 350W Peak), 1* DC output (9V-12V 10A), 2* USB ports (5V/2A, 5V/1A), 1* USB Smart port (5V/9V/12V Max 18W) can support quick charge. Our AC pure sine wave outlets can power many equipments such as smartphone, tablet, laptop, camera, light, drones, fans, in-car appliances.
- 【 250Wh BATTERY POWER SUPPLY 】 Our portable battery generator is equipped with a 250Wh 67200mAh lithium-ion battery pack, more stability and environment-friendly. This battery generator can reach more than 10 years battery health. Take 5-6 hours to fully charge your charging station, which can support 25 times of charging for mobile phones, 2 times for laptops, 4 times for drones, etc.
- 【 3 CHARGE & LIGHT MODES 】 The rechargeable battery backup power supply with 3 charge methods: 110V wall socket, 12V/24V car cigarette socket (sold separately), 15V/2A solar panel (sold separately). No memory effect, no worry about battery capacity reduction. This camping power station featured with 3 modes built-in LED flashlight: lighting, SOS and strobe is good for emergency use while being outdoors.
- 【 PORTABLE & SAFETY POWER STATION 】 Designed with slim size (7.16* 5.39* 5.04 inches) and lightweight (4.4lbs). The emergency power station with a solid handle design is easy to carry and operate wherever you go. Designed with the cooling vents on its side to help this power station stay constant temperature, avoid the electrical elements be damaged by high temperature. If the AC output is short-circuited or overloaded by >250W, the unit will shutdown to protect itself.
- 【 WHAT YOU GET 】 You will receive 1* DBPOWER Portable Power Station, 1* AC adapter, 1* user guide. DBPOWER provides our dear customers with Free 18-Months product refund/replacement warranty and 24/7 friendly customer service. For a better customer experience, we will optimize our product and service from time to time.
Our penultimate recommendation is the FlashFish 300W Solar Generator which has a powerful 222Wh backup power supply which means that you can charge a wide variety of devices and appliances at once.
Made from a combination of metals and plastic, this unit is more durable than the majority of solar generators meaning that you can be assured of the longevity and quality of the product. The lightweight design is easy for traveling and storing away without hassle and is ideal for any size camper van.
This solar generator can be recharged in a variety of different ways depending on your preference meaning that you can venture to isolated places with no electricity and still have power should you wish. This unit comes with a safety warranty to ensure that you have the quality results expected from the product.
With numerous features including built-in multi-safety protections such as short-circuit protection, low-voltage protection, and over-voltage protection to name a few, this unit is best for those who want a unit that is more advanced in its technology.
- Made from a combination of metals and plastic, this unit is more durable than the majority of solar generators
- Can be recharged in a variety of different ways depending on your preference meaning that you can venture to isolated places with no electricity and still have power should you wish
- Comes with a safety warranty to ensure that you have the quality results expected from the product
- Doesn’t provide the power information on the screen
- 222Wh Back-up Power Supply: Wide applications make it suitable for lots of devices; 110V AC outlets can charge your CPAP machine, tablet, laptop, TV, fan, Christmas lights etc; 2 * 12V DC Ports can be used for car vacuum, car refrigerator, car air fan and car charger etc; 2* QC3.0 USB and 1 * 2.4A USB ports can charge your phones, drones, iPad, GPS, mp3, camera, etc.
- Cool Features: The silver case is metal and the black ends are plastic, more durable than other soalr generators.With 300W continuous power, 350W peak power, 60000mAh battery capacity and pure sine wave, this power generator can charge your devices more stably;5.6lb light weight makes it perfectly fit in your backpack. Key Product Features.
- Recharge Solar Generator: The battery pack can be recharged from the sun with a solar panel (NOT INCLUDED); can be fully charged by being plugged into the wall outlet; and it can also be charged by plugging into your car 12V socket (car charger included).KINDLY NOTE THAT THE POWER STATION CAN NOT BE CHARGE AND USE AT THE SAME TIME.
- Safety Warranty: Built-in multi safety protections like short-circuit protection, low-voltage protection, overheat protection, lock-on protection, over-voltage protection and over-current protection. THE LABEL INDICATED ON THE ITEM SHOWS 20Ah (20000mAh), PLEASE KINDLY NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT THE TOTAL CAPACITY. THE 300W SOLAR GENERATOR BUILDS INTO 3 LITHIUM BATTERIES, EACH ONE IS 20000mAh, SO THE TOTAL CAPACITY OF FLASHFISH G300 IS 60000mAh.
- Enjoy Outdoor Activities: Our generator has an easy-to-carry handle, convenient for camping, fishing, travelling, other outdoor activities and emergency usage. Eliminate your worry about no electricity in your devices and power outage at home.
Our final selection is the Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment iGen160s Portable Power Station which is extremely versatile and can charge up to nine devices at the same time making it one of the most powerful options on our list.
Providing hours of power on a single charge, this unit is ideal for those going on longer trips who want to charge up a variety of different devices. The small size and lightweight design make it highly convenient for smaller spaces and can be stored away easily.
This generator can be charged at home, in a field, or on the go in less than 6 hours making it great for those who want a fast-charging unit.
This unit features an eco-friendly power generator which helps to reduce your carbon footprint for a more sustainable lifestyle while emitting no fumes and remaining easy to maintain.
Safe for everyone to use, this unit has a built-in device and battery guard to protect you from any damage or overheating whilst also ensuring that the unit itself is extremely protected from damage as well.
This unit comes with everything you need to set it up as well as a two-year warranty with limited service so you can have extra peace of mind.
- Is extremely versatile and can charge up to nine devices at the same time
- The small size and lightweight design make it highly convenient for smaller spaces
- Comes with a two-year warranty with limited service so you can have extra peace of mind
- May need a solar panel for longer camping trips
- VERSATILE OUTLETS CHARGE UP TO 9 DEVICES AT THE SAME TIME: Pushing 100 Rated Watts and 150 Peak Watts Through (2) 120V Household Outlets, (2) USB Ports, (1) Quick Charge USB Port, (1) USB-C Port, (3) 6mm 9-12V DC Outlets - Strong Enough to Easily Power a 36" LED TV, Box Fans, or Heated Blankets
- HOURS & HOURS OF POWER ON A SINGLE CHARGE: 155 Watt-Hours of Lithium-Ion Battery Capacity - Provides Long-Lasting Power That Charges Smartphones Up To 17 Times, Tablets Up to 9 Times, DSLR Cameras Up To 16 times, Drones Up To 23 Times - Delivers Hours of Power for a Nintendo Switch, Bluetooth Speakers, and GPS Systems
- SMALLEST, LIGHTEST PORTABLE POWER STATION IN ITS CLASS: At 3.75 lb. the iGen160s Is Lighter Than a Full 36 oz. Yeti Rambler and Smaller Than a Lunchbox - Backpack Ready Mini Generator With a Convenient Carrying Handle and Built-in Flashlight and Reading Lights - Perfect Compact Charging Station for Camping and Other Outdoor Activities
- CHARGES AT HOME, ON THE GO, OR IN THE FIELD: Charges to 80% in Less Than 6 Hours Using a Household Outlet or in Less Than 7 Hours in the Car or With a Solar Panel (Panel Not Included)
- ECO-FRIENDLY POWER GENERATOR: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint for More Sustainable Lifestyle - No Obnoxious Fumes, No Messy Maintenance, No Noise Pollution - Whisper Quiet Indoor and Outdoor Generator
When conducting your research, there are certain factors that you need to consider to help you come to a decision. This will help to prevent any disappointments or issues with having to return the product as well as ensuring that you know what to expect from the unit’s performance.
Always look into the power supply, the size, any warranty periods, and your budget. Once you’ve weighed up these aspects with your own needs and requirements, you’ll be able to make a fully informed decision with confidence.
The most important aspect that you need to think about is how much power the unit will supply with one use. As you can see from the options listed above, they vary in what much power they emit as well as how long the generator lasts from one charge.
If the length of time that the generator lasts at any one time is important to you then make sure that you choose one that has longer battery life.
When purchasing a portable mini generator, it’s important to make sure that you look at the size. Naturally, if you want a mini generator then this means it has to be small enough to be stored away conveniently when not in use. However, make sure that it isn’t going to be bulky, especially if you have a smaller-sized camper van.
Another factor that you should always consider is whether the unit comes with a warranty period or returns policy. If you are skeptical about your choice and want to make your design with extra peace of mind, then choosing an option that comes with extra security will assure you of the overall quality and performance.
The majority of brands also have customer service teams who are trained to assist with any technical queries you may have.
Lastly, always think about your budget. As you can see from the options provided in this article, the prices vary depending on the above factors and the overall quality of the unit. However, all of these recommendations are guaranteed to bring a high-quality performance.
So whether you have the money to spend or are working with a strict budget, you are sure to find the perfect choice for you that doesn’t break your bank account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Portable Generators Worth It?
Portable generators are great for those who want to use numerous devices when going on their camping trips. Not only can they help you save in money as the majority of them run on gasoline. However, they have to be operated by hand meaning that they always need supervising and are less convenient.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Portable Generator?
How long a portable generator will last is dependent on the quality of the unit and the engine in particular as well as how much you plan on using it at any one time. However, most units can be expected to last between 1,000 and 2,000 hours in total.
This means that running your unit for around 100 hours each year will allow it to last between 10 and 20 years overall.
Can You Run A Generator Overnight?
It is advised that generators should be switched off overnight as there won’t be any disturbing noise and it also reduces the chance of the engine igniting while you sleep. If you use your generator for your refrigerator or freezer then don’t worry as the contents won’t suffer.