The Best Camping Battery PacksRV Battery & Electrical
You don’t need to carry around fuel to power your favourite appliances anymore! While a generator still can be an efficient way to travel off-grid (especially for high power drawing appliances), portable battery packs are becoming increasingly popular.
These fuel generator alternatives allow for portable power without the noise, fumes or maintenance of a traditional generator. The best thing about camping battery packs are that they’re portable so they don’t need to be hard wired into your vehicle.
The current range on the market varies in size, capacity and battery type depending on your application and needs. You will need to consider what you want to power when choosing between the various batteries on the market.
This article focuses on ‘battery packs’ which have in-built sockets, chargers, display screens and other features so you don’t have to buy other separate appliances like inverters etc. If you are interested in camping batteries alone, check out our range of AGM and lithium options HERE.
Let’s run through a few of our favourite camping battery pack models and brands:
Incase you aren’t familiar with the brand, Dometic is global leader in manufacturing RV appliances. They are famous for their Portable Camping Fridges and Upright Caravan Fridges. Dometic launched their PLB40 Lithium Battery Pack to Australia in 2019. This battery system features cutting-edge technology, which is a result of years of research and development. It has an integrated DC to DC charger, which offers three convenient ways to charge: a 12V socket in your vehicle, AC mains power or via a solar panel.
With 40amp hours of lithium capacity this pack will provide up to 40 hours of cooling time for a 40 litre camping fridge, on a single charge. It also features two USB ports so you can charge your phone directly off the battery.
The built in LCD screen display allows you to track important performance information including the battery capacity, charging/discharging status and output status.
One of the best features about the Dometic battery pack is that it weighs under 8kg and is super easy to move about, unlike many other models in the market.
If you’re searching for more variety in terms of battery size and type, Goal Zero is the ultimate brand to look into! The brand offers both AGM and lithium battery packs depending on your power requirements. Both battery types feature built-in inverters meaning you can also run 240V appliances as well as your favourite 12 volt camping appliances.
Goal Zero’s Yeti Lithium Power Stations are some of the most versatile and innovative power stations on the market! They feature built-in surge allowances and multi-stage protection, meaning greater compatibility with more devices. These Lithium models have become increasingly popular due to being lightweight and very efficient, but they do cost more than AGM packs.
The Goal Zero camping battery range is currently offered in four capacities:
- Yeti 200X Lithium Portable Power Station – 13Ah
- Yeti 500X Lithium Portable Power Station – 46.8Ah
- Yeti 1500X Lithium Portable Power Station – 140.3Ah
- Yeti 3000X Lithium Portable Power Station and Roll Cart – 276.1Ah
The two larger lithium battery packs are also designed to run lights and appliances during an emergency home power outage.
Please note: these models are currently not available, new updated models will be introduced in October 2020.
The best thing about the Goal Zero Power Stations is that you can use them in conjunction with a solar panel to travel off-grid indefinitely! The brand offer a range of packs that include a power pack and a solar panel for your convenience. Many of their solar panels can also be chained to others if you’re chasing extra solar power.
Please note: the Yeti models in the above video have now been superseded.
Now if you’re looking to charge a few more appliances, to travel off-grid for a longer, and don’t want to break the bank then a Baintech Powertop might be for you. It’s a Gel 110 amp hour battery which also has 3 way charging: AC, DC and solar. This battery features a range of inputs including 2x ciga sockets, 2x Engel sockets (to run an Engel portable fridge) and dual USB ports.
It also is fitted with three 50A Anderson type Connectors:
- Red: Solar/External (12V solar panel input can be unregulated)
- Blue: Vehicle Charge Input connection
- Grey: Load connection to and from battery
Its anodised aluminium construction makes it suited for off-road camping. The Powertop is more affordable than lithium power packs but also heavier weighing in at 34 kilograms. Note also that lithium batteries are more efficient than Gel batteries as a rule, as lithium can provide a greater ‘depth of discharge’ – essentially getting power for longer out of your battery… so again, whilst lithium is superior, you will pay more for it. This Baintech Gel power pack option is therefore more popular for those on a budget.
Please note, this model has now been discontinued. Baintech however, have released a smaller lithium power pack model, the Baintech 50 Ah Lithium PowerTop with Built-In 20A DC-DC Charger
For further product specifications and performance, check out our full range of Portable Power Packs
Yes. You can simply build your own ‘power pack’ by taking an existing battery (say a typical 100-120amp AGM battery) and put it into a Battery Box. These boxes can turn your battery into a versatile user friendly option for powering and charging a wide range of accessories and appliances while you are ‘off the grid’. Check out the full range of camping battery boxes HERE and look for brands like Engel, Projecta and Thunder.