Last Updated: Monday, September 11th, 2023.
A real man, a wise man once argued, builds his things himself, if he can: cars, houses, and recently, solar generators.
The reasons are pretty clear and obvious for such a man and his kind. However, to the uninitiated, building (from scratch) affords the one who builds a rare, deep satisfaction that compares absolutely to nothing.
Take, for instance, a folk who builds a house versus one who rents or buys an already built house: while the former plans the building with his architect from scratch and makes sure that the house is designed to serve his family and ultimately, his interests, the later must do with what another man thinks is best for him (which by the way, isn’t always much or anything to go by, on default).
Such a person must manage what is available and if he wants to make any changes, must go the way of painful renovations, which often, isn’t exactly cheap and sometimes affects the structural integrity of the building.
Or, another example: take one who builds a vehicle versus one who buys one. The former designs the vehicle – suspension, engine et al to fit his own reality, personality, needs, and driving habits. The one who buys? Little options. He must do with ‘stock’ or slap in an option here or there to make the pain and frustration bearable 🙂
This is the same reality that has now been introduced to solar generators. For the first time in a truly long abyss of time, you can now harness the power of the sun via your own custom-built solar machines, specially put together for such a purpose by you and not the fixed, static option that companies like Goal Zero largely offer today.
Now, if you’re already excited about what’s possible, I can’t wait to show you – exactly. And, lest I forget, that wise man in the intro is none other than your humble Richard 🙂
If you are in a hurry, here is a summary of the best DIY solar generator kits of 2023:
- Go Power! Weekender SW Complete Solar And Inverter System.
- Go Power! Solar Extreme Complete Solar And Inverter System With 480 Watts of Solar.
- Dokio 200W foldable solar panel.
- Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit With Wanderer.
- Grape Solar GS-400-KIT 400-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit.
Please, note that the links above open to Amazon directly.
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I am an active participant in the Amazon Affiliate Program. This means that, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com (or any of its affiliated sites).
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Top 5 Reasons Why A DIY Solar Generator Is So Seductive 🙂
For those who prefer simple, fixed-capacity portable solar generator, the seduction of the DIY variant of solar generators is hard to figure.
However, since many swear by it, I decided to take a closer look. I truly wanted to see what makes this solar generator type truly irresistible, truly seductive.
The answers, it turns out, were not so difficult to find.
The very first attraction to a DIY solar generator is its flexibility and the reality that things can be channeled in a manner that best pleases the person making the decisions, that is, you.
For instance, you may choose to install more batteries – so that backup power will be enhanced. On the other hand, you may choose to add up more solar panels – so that you’ll have your setup charged up in no time.
The options are truly limitless – and for the creative owner, bring smiles and power to his or her reality.
If this is you, this is the very first reason why you’ll fall in love with a solar DIY unit.
Expansion (And Reduction) Ability
The very second reason why this solar generator type excites those who know its true powers is closely related to the first option above here, flexibility.
However, this option is simple and quite different, with its own unique attraction: expansion ability or reduction.
The typical solar generators that are bought in the market, are designed and ready to be used right off the shelves so not have any expansion ability. If you’re thus interested in expanding the capacity of the unit, you’re strictly on your own.
This is not the case with these variants, anyway.
For these solar generator types, if you’re interested in expanding the power, it’s just a matter of simply adding up the batteries for power storage and you’re done – as simple as that.
However, that is not all: if you want to reduce the power of such a unit (for any practical purposes or to power something else, some other place), the process is as easy as ABC: simply remove the components you’ll rather have off or have elsewhere and you’re good.
This reality – and the power it portends, has held lovers of this niche product tied down to it for years. If the power to make make changes appeals to you, you’ll also fall in love too.
Instant Geek Satisfaction
For professional drivers, nothing beats a stick; when shifting up and down, they all report that they feel in ‘total control’ of the vehicle and this in turn, makes them ‘feel in charge’.
This feeling is something the everyday soccer mom who drives a Sienna, Highlander, or Odyssey will never understand.
Coincidentally, it is also the same feeling that users who have had the privilege of building their very own solar generators have.
That ultimate feeling of having achieved something worthwhile created one’s own course, and finally, feeling in charge, rest assured that nothing can go wrong (in terms of power deployment) is what many will never give out for anything else in the whole wide world.
‘Geek satisfaction’, after all, is prime in the DNA of ALL RV owners.
More Powerful Than The Regular Solar Generator
The fourth reason why a DIY solar generator is so attractive to the class of persons that rely on it is that is way more powerful than the conventional solar generator, all other things being equal.
When camping or living in an RV, one of the biggest challenges one has is power – as the grid is very far off from access.
Thus, the power that this type of solar generator exudes is second to none – and preferable, all the time.
Who doesn’t appreciate more power on demand?
The Dream Of Every RV Owner
The four special characteristics of the average DIY solar generator kit make this unit type the dream of every RV and caravan owner.
Amongst those who truly love the nomadic or mobile lifestyle, this is something that they often swear they cannot simply do without.
As a matter of fact, it is the very first thing that trailer owners, caravan users, and RV owners all ensure they get right before bothering with anything else, especially when they think of tackling the wild where power is usually an issue and must be generated, away from the reality of the grid.
Now that you’ve seen why a DIY solar generator is so seductive, let’s now focus our attention and energy to the 5 best options for 2023.
Here too, we’ll show you why every particular model is awesome and worthy of our recommendation and your time.
Top 5 Best DIY Solar Generator Kits Of 2023 Ranked
Carefully outlined here are the best DIY solar generator kits of 2023.
These options are the very best money can buy at the moment and are ranked with the very best at the enviable position 1.
Please Note That:
In order to come up with this list, we had to speak with many RV owners and die-hard outdoors – many of whom do not own a ‘regular apartment’.
These awesome folk (who we must admit are a little different) live all their lives in the RVs and caravans (as the case may be) and have sworn to not only live here…they are equally prepared to die the digital nomad way.
The options they use – and shared with us (together with the ones we have tested ourselves directed and love) are what we share here with you.
1. Go Power! Weekender SW Complete Solar And Inverter System
Some families have made it a tradition to spend the weekends in recreational vehicles, taming the wild, open road and going to places where power from the grid is as far to them as the civilization they have left behind.
Fortunately, it is not only families that have found this lifestyle pleasing and utterly interesting: single men and women in the US, have recently, taken the camping lifestyle super seriously, taking vacations, especially for this need, and spending more time away in cabins, RVs, and trailers.
For the casual user who only spends the weekends or holidays in the RV, nothing beats a solid, reliable means of ensuring that while you are there – far away from civilization, you get to listen to the news via the TV, work in a smart manner on your PC and importantly, drink hot tea – if you need to.
Fortunately, the Go Power! Weekender SW Complete Solar And Inverter System makes all this (and more) possible.
Designed in a super sturdy manner that will likely not fail anytime soon, this DIY solar generator kit is one of the very best in the market today.
Paired with an impressive 1500 Watts Pure Sine Wave inverter, this bad boy is capable of providing clean, steady power for the weekend in a manner that will not only rival the grid but always, serves as a perfect alternative for it.
The crowning part of the appeal of the unit has remained the reality that it comes with all that is needed to connect it to your batteries. This ensures that you actually have no need to buy anything else – once you’re smart enough to make the initial decision of buying the unit in the first place.
What You’ll Especially Love About The Go Power! Weekender SW Complete Solar And Inverter System
- The DIY solar kit is complete and contains all that you need to hook up to both the solar system and importantly, an inverter. You thus do not need to buy anything else after investing in this.
- The unit is up-gradable – and can be expanded as occasions actually demand.
- The Go Power! Weekender is made of quality materials and it is evident that the unit will last for years to come. Most of the users we spoke with (who have actually been privileged to own a unit of this) also agree.
- Though not very important, it helps to note that this unit is supported by awesome customer service which knows what it is doing. If anything ever goes wrong, you’re sure to land in good hands!
- Finally, it is also instructive to note that the Weekender powers both microwaves and air conditioners. If you’re luxury inclined, this should ensure some measure of peace for you.
As it is my culture here at Solar Generator Genius, I’ll not ask you to take my word – hook, line, and sinker.
Instead, I’ll encourage you to check out the Go Power! Weekender SW Complete Solar And Inverter System directly on Amazon and decide for yourself.
2. Go Power! Solar Extreme Complete Solar And Inverter System
There are situations when power isn’t simply enough: there simply has to be more of it.
For instance, when you’re spending the weekends with friends or when the whole family decides to come along in the family trailer.
There are still times when you might not be bothered by either friends or family – but would be blessed with a really large and impressive recreational vehicle, one that needs enormous power to power all the power-hungry gadgets and devices that fill its spaces, back-to-back.
In any of the above instances, being unprepared or poorly prepared is something sad that makes you wish for more money, more analytical or planning skills, or simply, for more forethought.
Luckily, there is a smart DIY solar generator kit that is not only smart; it can also handle your power needs in such an instance with both majesty and grace.
The solar extreme package is the most impressive unit from the stables of Go Power! – one of the contenders for the position of best DIY solar generator provider at the moment. What this means is simple: the unit comes loaded up.
The unit is designed in such a manner that it sports a monster 3000 Watts Pure Sine Inverter, an inverter that is powerful enough to power everything typically needed on an RV, from the necessities right up to the luxurious.
Recharge power comes from a handsome three 160-watt solar modules which together output an impressive 480 Watts – a respectable amount of solar power that on its own, is sure to perform wonders and ensure that there is never a powerless moment when you choose to spend some time in your RV either alone or with family.
For long vacations or trips, nothing beats this unit. Simple.
What You’ll Especially Love About The Go Power! Solar Extreme Complete Solar And Inverter System
- The solar extreme DIY solar generator kit from Go Power! is complete; if you plan on extended stays in your RV or cabin, this is the perfect option. Few options in the market today compare.
- Following closely the above, this DIY solar kit can conveniently power anything used in a cabin or RV from those pleasure options to the options that are bare necessaries, thanks to an impressive 3k Watts inverter and a powerful set of 480 Watts of solar modules.
- Like all good solar generator kits, the Extreme Solar and Inverter unit is expandable. If you decide that you want even more monster power and would rather operate on beast mode, the system, certainly, has your back!
- Like all awesome solar kits too, the Extreme comes with all mounting and operational hardware. Once the unit is bought, there is no further need to buy anything again.
- Finally, the unit is from the stables of Go Power!, one of the leading options when it comes to portable solar power. It is also of interest to note that the company has been in the business for well over 20 years now. With years, comes experience – an experience that is ultimately deployed in your favor when you are far away from both civilization and the grid.
For such an awesome beast that is guaranteed to make your weekends fun and solarful in the truest fashion possible, there is only one form of justice that you can deliver as a potential owner: check out the Go Power! Solar Extreme Complete Solar And Inverter System With 480 Watts of Solar on Amazon directly.
Let’s take a look at the third option.
3. Dokio 200W Solar Panel
Not everyone needs a monster DIY solar generator that can power all the luxuries of an RV.
Not everyone is desirous of owning a DIY unit that makes the grid look jealous and can support the power needs of a large family on the go.
Some solar generator users are simply interested in getting a smart, lightweight portable unit that can tackle their very basic needs alone or at best, include the sparse needs of their spouses.
Such users, by nature, are light users and appreciate anything that will ensure that their power consumption remains on the light side.
Yet still, for some, it is the initial investment that poses a challenge: due to the hefty price tags of the other options, they simply cannot think of them. With such a reality close to them, their chances are slim – and limited to solutions that they can afford.
If any of the above describes you (i.e. you are a very light user or are currently cash-strapped at the moment and would appreciate a smart, efficient solution), then, this option is for you…
…it is called the Dokio 200W foldable solar panel.
Designed in such a manner that the panel itself is quite lightweight and completely foldable, the unit lends itself to both easy and smart carriage, thanks to a portable carry-on bag that fits the 10.5lbs (4.8kg) solar modules capable of churning out an impressive 200 Watts with utmost ease.
This foldable and lightweight reality means that the panels can be carried in their case comfortably to any place the carrier wishes with both ease and majesty. Carried to the desired place of use, the panels can be easily hung outside, on a strip or any place there is space enough to accommodate it.
Or, if one is creative, they can be deployed for personal use even while in transit or when being carried on the back, for instance, during a hike or trek.
However, what distinguishes the Dokio 200W foldable solar panel from the other options available on the market today is that the unit can be used without standard batteries. Thus, with or without batteries, one is good to go – once in the company of this Dokio.
Personally, what I truly love about this unit is the fact that it is so easy to use that it is essentially a plug-and-play device. The buttons and connections are so commonsensical that their simplicity renders the use of a traditional manual obsolete.
What You’ll Especially Love About The Dokio 200W Solar Panel
- At only 10.5 lbs (4.8kg), this is clearly the lightest in the entire industry and segment. I love this unit because it is especially lightweight and can easily be carried with rare ease to wherever it needs to be!
- The Dokio 200W solar panel is not only lightweight; it is also foldable. This means that, with the aid of the carry bag attached, you can easily convey the unit from one place to another with an ease which is very rare in this segment of DIY generator kits.
- This solar kit is truly versatile: it can work awesomely with or without batteries. It is thus your choice to either use it directly – tapping from the sun and consuming or bringing heavy backup batteries. The choice, ultimately, remains yours.
- The kit is one of the easiest when it comes to setup and use. There are not many things to mess around with – which further translates to fewer connections and still fewer chances of something going wrong and requiring fixing.
- Finally, the solar panel modules are semi-flexible. This is brilliant and especially welcomed if you ever need to use it in an environment that makes installing rigid panels a pain.
Generally, I love the simplicity and the reality of things made follow this pattern. If you’re like me – and appreciate both flexibility, simplicity, and the power both ensure, you should check out the Dokio 200W Foldable solar panel on Amazon.
4. Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit With Wanderer
There has always been that fellow who is interested in solar power to ensure that his home, boat, RV, cabin or trailer is powered in such a manner that basic electronics and some luxuries run without a challenge.
Usually, such a person is one who is new to the concept of DIY solar generator kits or standard solar installation options.
With such confusion as a newbie, such a person naturally wonders if going the way of a solar starter kit will be awesome or if going the conventional route will make more sense.
Usually, these internal arguments within oneself are quite powerful and rather great at draining energy when they are held – and as often as they are held.
If this newbie is you – and you’re at the crossroads wondering if you should go the way of a conventional solar installation system or simply consider this smart DIY solar generator kit, I have great news for you…
…you should prioritize the Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit With Wanderer over all else.
The reason why I hold that you should prioritize this Renogy solar kit over a conventional unit is pretty simple and quite straightforward: the unit is extremely beginner friendly and even for those who are no longer exactly new to solar energy or its awesomeness, it makes their lives easier in a manner that is both rare and exciting at the same time.
Powered with 400 Watts solar modules and possessing the ability to be used even by kids, these modules, paired with the 30A Wanderer charge controller ensure that batteries are charged super fast, especially on days with fair sun. This charge controller and solar panel combo also make it easy to get a great charge on days when the sun is not at its greatest – whether you’re at home or on the road.
To give you perspective and draw you in on how easy it is to use this unit and how deadly efficient it is, the kit (as it comes) can comfortably power a flat 200A battery from 0-100% in about 5 hours – when the sun is up and shinning.
What I especially love about this kit is that it is truly for newbies – and totally suited to their reality. As a testament to this, all the connectors and mounting pieces of hardware come standard: right after purchase, one does not need anything else to move on.
What You’ll Especially Love About The Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit With Wanderer
- Powerful – and perfect for either domestic or mobile applications. Once safely in your custody, you get to choose how you want it deployed with the utmost majesty.
- This solar generator kit is especially newbie friendly. This is evident in its design – and the fact that its operation has been made a breeze for any eventual owner.
- Further, for the features, the price of this unit is simply perfect – and super friendly.
- Finally, the unit ensures fast charges – something you’ll be grateful for when you have power challenges and would really want the battery up real fast or when the sun isn’t at its brightest.
I was once a newbie – yet it didn’t stop me from gradually shedding off my newbie skin and being awesome, in the truest sense of the word.
It shouldn’t also stop you: check out the Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit With Wanderer on Amazon directly.
5. Grape Solar GS-400-KIT 400-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit
In the world of DIY solar generator kits, units with USB connectivity are scarce and far between.
In the same world too, there is an acute shortage of options that are time-tested and manufactured to the highest possible specifications that ensure that they serve in a very religious manner, keeping failure at bay.
Now, in this same world, there are solar generator users who, more than anything else, appreciate the simplicity of USB charging, especially while on the go.
This category of users also appreciates a unit that would be able to hold its own, especially against the elements in a brilliant and awe-inspiring fashion.
If this description fits you and your current reality, a few options will excite you like the Grape Solar GS-400-KIT 400-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit.
Designed in such a manner that the kit could be brilliantly used for either a dedicated home solar power solution or for mobile power when you hit the roads, the DIY unit majestically fits the reality of the best options both world offer.
However, what truly distinguishes this option is that there are virtually no options to confuse yourself with when using – or attempting to: it’s basically a plug-and-play solution.
However, the defining trait and reality of this unit that endears it to the solar world is the USB option – and the fact that it can smartly be used to power all that draw their power source from the tiny, smart port.
Let’s now see why you should buy this.
What You’ll Especially Love About The Grape Solar GS-400-KIT 400-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit
- The unit fits and works brilliantly both for home use and on the move. If you’re on a budget, you can thus use it in this manner and brilliantly get the best of two worlds.
- The DIY solar generator is super reasonable price wise – especially if what it offers is factored.
- For those with (lots of) phones, tablets, cameras and music players, it is worthy of note that this solar DIY unit features USB connectivity. Hello smart world 🙂
- Should you ever have the need to use the kit outside in the direct elements, it is worthy of note that it is weather proof.
- Finally, the solar panel module is covered with low iron tempered glass which provides durability and enhanced impact resistance. Your kids (if you have any) would be able to play around – and in peace too.
You can take a look at the Grape solar GS 400 kit 400 Watt off grid solar panel kit can be checked – and purchased on Amazon directly.
Wrapping Up On The Best DIY Solar Generator Kits Of 2023
Many people have tried to ignore the concept of backup power (especially solar energy) – and instead, have trusted the grid with a passion that is very rare.
However, with the presence of emergencies such as the always-coming hurricanes and storms, the logic of their decision was – and remains put to the test.
The results, of course, remain an open book for all who are interested to read and ultimately, learning from.
As I wrap up this piece and focus on other passions that demand my time, what is important to note is that the option of a DIY solar generator kit is not only for adventure seekers or those who love RVing and camping.
It is for all – at least, the active population that requires power to make everyday life better, more interesting, and certainly, more worth living.
What’s your decision? Which of these units makes the greatest sense to you?
Truly, I’ll love to know 🙂