I wrote about my intent to get this some time ago. Well, here it is. Just like the hot water machine, I got a hell of a deal on this, knocking nearly $100 off the price due to stacked coupons and a holiday promotion. It still ran me a little over $500.
Those who know me, know I have something of a battery fetish. Really, I just feel safer with a lot of stored power. In movies, when the main characters get into a bad situation it’s often because their cell phones are out of power, or they cannot start their car, something like that.
Easily solved! Just carry a fuckload of stored electricity wherever you go. 500wh is the most I could find in this portable form factor, but that’s ample. For reference, that’s about half of what’s in my ebike, and 1/20th of my Volt’s battery capacity.
There it is tucked snugly in between the camping supplies container and the hot water machine. I can actually run the hot water machine’s pump off this battery! The built in lead acid one only goes for 40 minutes, but this lithium pack should run it for many days.
There’s the 110v socket, with a rubber weather proof cover. Each individual outlet has its own on/off button so the transformer for each isn’t running when not needed. This avoids running down the battery when it’s just sitting, doing nothing. The port below it is used to charge the battery, either from mains or an optional 24v, 85w solar panel.
There’s the USB and 12v DC ports. This is important given all the accessories I bought for this car which plug into that cigarette lighter styled socket. I can also plug a 12v to USB type C adaptor in there for full speed fast charging of newer phones/laptops.
Here’s the backlit digital display which shows how much power is coming in, how much is going out, and what percentage the battery’s charge level is at. I might be able to use this as a UPS, but would rather not cycle the battery all the time as it will decrease the lifespan of the cells. This is also why I will probably not store it at 100% charge for long periods.
I went looking for a long time prior to buying this, in search of the best portable power options. There’s so many options out there! I was really intrigued by portable fuel cells but the more I researched, the more disappointing those turned out to be. I will probs write an article on it in the future.
The best options seem to be generators or lithium battery packs like this one. It really depends on how tolerant you (and your campsite) are of the noise a generator makes. For me, the best option turned out to be the simplest: Just a plain big ol’ fuckin battery pack with a handle.
More to come, watch this space.
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