A couple of ways we have for generating current for camping. All will depend on price, available space and convenience.
RV Battery Bank
It operates on a 12-volt battery. You can separate from the car battery. Use it to turn on lights, vent fans and the water pump. It can be recharged with an electrical output. With solar panels you can also do your job.
It is automatically charged by plugged in when the vehicle is running. Run it for a couple of days. If you want to use an air conditioner, you’ll need more power.
Turbine operated by wind or water
Solar Power chargers don’t work in a place where sunlight is not strong. Some turbines generate electricity from wind or water. Their maximum power output is 15W.
It provides two 5V USB ports for charging phones or tablets. If you are not near any river, you can hang this on a tree.
Power with Solar Panel
Solar power is a free solution for getting electricity while camping. Portable solar panels are set up in the direct sunlight area of the camping. You need to rely on sunny days for electricity.
In that case, you need battery storage as a backup. The battery pack must have an attachment that allows it to be recharged from the vehicle too.
An inverter will help to charge the power pack. Charging in different polarities can destroy the battery. They are easy to set up with no maintenance.
Portable Battery Packs
You can use it without a heavy battery backup. It can fit in a laptop bag. Charge a few small electronics before going out for camping. Lithium ion batteries can keep gadgets running for days.
Use portable batteries that include USB ports and standard 120-volt electrical outlets to charge. If you are car camping, consider the chunky solar-powered generators. A smaller portable power is sufficient.
12-Volt Portable Battery
This will do for charging cell phones and one or two small appliances. It can’t be used for a long time. You may need a power inverter for a couple systems. Have a dual USB car adapter to plug into the 12-volt outlet.
For using a 12-volt battery like car batteries, it’s easy to buy a portable 12-volt power source. It has panels that indicate how much charge is left. It is not a good option if you are always on the go.
Pedal Driven Generator
It is one type of electricity source that is man powered. You can use regular bike pedals. It’s small and light in weight to carry with you on a camping trip. It recharges batteries for a 12-volt car battery.
A pedal generator will not store energy from pedaling. You will have to pedal to get electricity while camping and bolted to a base to comfortably pedal for a long time.
TEG (Thermoelectric Generator)
It is less efficient and more expensive than a gasoline-powered generator. It works with a TEG to convert temperature differences into electricity and harvests some of the energy created from the temperature difference between two points.
You can use a TEG in nowhere by building a fire. Create heat by burning wood in the stove and the heat differential creates from 5 to 12-watt output. Sufficient for charging cell phones, tablets and LED lights.
Gas Driven Generator
It is generally used by most people. An easy way to provide power but noisy. Generators emit fumes while running that fresh air gets dirty.
In that case, alternative means should be taken in case you are not in a crowded place. A gasoline generator is expensive.