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Can You Charge Your Phone on a Generator? – What You Need To Know

Can You Charge Your Phone on a Generator

Yes, it is possible to power your phone with a generator. However, there are precautions you must take.

The national grid is so efficient most people have never experienced a power outage. This scenario is widespread in urban areas but not so much in rural areas.

While we are so used to electricity in our lives, we can’t think of an alternative; there’s always the possibility of a power outage. Since you can’t afford to be offline, you’ll need to find a way to charge your phone. 

Generators are perfect during such emergencies. However, using them to charge your phone remains an unorthodox solution. Plus, you might need some special hardware.

Also, consider the model of your phone. In other words, examine whether a generator can juice your phone. Here are some general guidelines you should consider.

Off-Grid Scenarios

Can You Charge Your Phone on a Generator

While you might think of generators only in emergencies, there are times when you may go off-grid. After all, the purpose of a generator is to work even in remote locations. For example, a generator is a critical part of your luggage if you go camping or travel in an RV.

In short, generators provide power as a substitute for the national power grid. So, depending on its size, a generator can deliver high voltage. Furthermore, a generator could produce a variable flow of electricity. 

Since phones are small devices, your concern stems from whether the generator will provide sufficient power without causing damage.

An example is when the generator runs out of fuel, and you notice the lights flickering. Therefore, you fear that the sensitive nature of your smartphone’s circuitry may not survive such fluctuations.


Generators produce similar power to the national grid, only at a smaller scale and with odd fluctuations due to scale. Therefore, you can charge your phone from this source after taking certain precautions:

Use Inverters and Surge Protectors

Before connecting to a phone, you need to pass the power through an inverter. Otherwise, you may expose the device to erratic power fluctuations.

Connect the Generator to the House’s Mains

Another great way to ensure a safe power supply is to use the generator as your house’s leading power supplier. Then, connect your phone’s charger to the wall socket. You can connect similarly to your RV’s mains in a remote location.

While it is impossible to eliminate the risks associated with oddly behaving electricity, taking such precautions will pay up. Surge protection, for example, should be the standard even with electricity from the national grid. 

Alternatives to Using a Generator

Can You Charge Your Phone on a Generator

If you aren’t sure about connecting your phone directly to a generator, you need to consider these alternatives:

1. Portable USB Battery Packs

There are several rechargeable USB battery packs on the market. These packs can hold enough capacity to recharge your phone many times over.

In addition, advanced ones can even recharge your lamps and other small electronic devices. Therefore, you can fill them up before you embark on your journey and keep your phone’s battery from depleting.

2. Your Vehicle

Modern vehicles come with USB outlets for charging your mobile devices. You only need to carry your charging cable and plug it in while the engine runs. This is a reliable option for those who travel often. Also, a car’s battery replenishes as the engine creates motion.

Technically, the internal combustion engine needs a battery for ignition. However, the other parts of your vehicle also borrow from the same source.

Once the internal combustion engine starts, it generates enough charge to replenish the battery. Hence, you can plug in your phone to charge during this seamless process without overwhelming the system. 

3. Solar Chargers

Solar chargers work the same way as generators; only the energy source is the sun, not an internal combustion engine. Therefore, if you live in a sunny location, consider taking advantage of that.

Besides travelers, homes in rural areas or other areas with poor electricity can install solar panels as a more reliable alternative. Also, it is an eco-friendly method that doesn’t create pollutants. 

While the initial installation costs are high, there are virtually no subsequent costs except for the odd maintenance charge. Solar panels will replenish your battery pack’s reserves to provide ample power to your house.

So, aside from the costs of acquiring a solar panel, using the sun as a power source is suitable for your pocket. Travelers can fit solar panels on their RV to provide power instead of a generator.

However, remember that this option is only viable in sunny locations. Therefore, plan your route ahead of time. When doing so, calculate whether the costs outweigh the benefits.

4. Other Sources

You can also use gadgets like a hand-powered charger or a bicycle-powered one. They are conceptually similar since they use a dynamo to generate a charge.

Thankfully, they provide enough energy to recharge your phone without draining your reserves. So, you won’t have to disrupt your day-to-day activities to plug in your phone for a charge.

How to Reduce Phone Charge Wastage

Can You Charge Your Phone on a Generator

You might be traveling to a remote location or living in a place with an unreliable power supply. As such, you must learn how to conserve your battery’s charge.

While investing in alternative power sources is a wise move, you should keep your phone from turning off. Here are some practical tips on how to do so:

  • Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS: You don’t need to leave these essential smartphone features on when not in use. They rapidly deplete your phone’s charge when searching for a signal in idle mode. However, remember to turn them back on later.
  • Lower the brightness of the screen: The battery life of a device decreases in proportion to the screen brightness. The screen uses the most power, followed by the radio.
  • Close Unused Applications: Remember that some apps refresh in the background and continue to drain your battery. So, they cause trouble even when seemingly inactive. Therefore, manually close them one by one whenever trying to save power.
  • Turn Off the Phone: You should turn it off if you’re not using it. An idle needs very little juice to stay in that state. However, there are drawbacks as well. For example, your phone will still try and connect to a signal tower, thus draining energy.  


Can you charge your phone on a generator? Yes, you can, though you should mind the generator’s total capacity. So, follow our guide and set up the system without putting your phone at risk.

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