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Camping Battery Buyer's Guide

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.

What Will My Camping Battery Run?

There are a few basic principles behind working out your run time and power requirements of your off-grid camping set up. You’ll need to answer the following questions:



If this all seems overwhelming, don't worry; we are here to help! Firstly, you will need to understand how many amps per hour your fridge draws. Let’s look at a typical example of a 46L portable fridge that draws an average of 1 Amp per hour, over 24 hours. Which means that in one day the fridge draws 24Amp hours. We have now calculated our load, which is 24 Amp Hours. 

Dometic CFX3 45 Portable Fridge/Freezer 46 Litre

Dometic CFX3 45 Portable Fridge/Freezer 46 Litre


Now, let’s say that our camping battery is a 50Ah lithium battery. An lithium battery has a 80% Depth of Discharge which means there are 40 usable Amp Hours (50*0.8 = 40). So if our 46L fridge is pulling out 24 Amps per day, my battery will run it for over a day and a half without any solar input!

Now this brings us to our Solar input. You could use either a Solar Panel or Solar Blanket to help run your camping fridge. A typical 160W portable Solar Panel that is in direct sunlight will provide an input charge current of nearly 9 Amps per hour. If the solar panel works off 4.5 hours of available sunlight, we have a total input of 40.5 Amps per day. 

Evakool Solar Panels

We now have 24 amps coming out, and 40.5 amps going in. This means that if the sun is available, our camping battery is going to stay charged up and we are given power indefinitely. This is how we are able to stay off-grid while camping!

With these products, we have more than enough power left over to charge mobile phones, laptops, led lights and 240V inverters. However, if the weather does decide to close in, and we lose sun all together, we will still get nearly three days of running our fridge.


Let’s Run Through a Few of Our Favourite Camping Battery Pack Models and Brands:

The Best Camping Battery Packs


Dometic PLB40 40Ah Lithium Battery:

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.


Dometic PLB40 Portable Lithium Battery


Goal Zero Battery Packs:

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.

  Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Lithium Portable Power Station

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Lithium Portable Power Station


The lithium range is offered in fourcapacities: Goal Zero Yeti 200X Lithium Portable Power StationGoal Zero Yeti 500X Lithium Portable Power StationGoal Zero Yeti 1500X Lithium Portable Power Station and Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Lithium Portable Power Station and Roll Cart.

The two larger lithium battery packs are also designed to run lights and appliances during an emergency home power outage.


Goal Zero: The Best Portable Power Packs for Camping?


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.


Baintech Powertop 135AH V3 Battery Pack:

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 an AGM 135 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

Baintech Powertop 135AH V3 Battery Pack V3

Baintech Powertop 135AH V3 Battery Pack V3 


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 35 kilograms.

2020 Update:

The Baintech Powertop 135Ah V3 Battery Pack has now been discontinued. Baintech have released a 50Ah Lithium Power Pack which we highly recommend: 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