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Amazon.com: Anker Portable Generator for Home Use, PowerHouse II 400, 300W/388.8Wh, 110V AC Outlet/60W USB-C Power Delivery Portable Power Station $299

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Created 02-26-2021 at 10:42 AM by bh805
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Joined Nov 2005
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#31
Quote from KMan :
That's not it. People kitting out a new camper setup are usually buying all new appliances, light fixtures, etc., so they have a choice. As I and the other person discussed above, there are few things that really need to be powered by AC in a smaller camper, and most are probably a bit much for such rigs, like a microwave, blow dryer, AC stove, etc. The powered devices you do want in a smaller setup can nearly all be powered by either DC, propane or the car's engine and alternator, e.g. lighting, electronics, heater, hot water, stove, fridge, etc.

I think that if you can do without an inverter, it's preferable. I mean the huge ones that are the size of a toaster oven or bigger. One less expense, complexity and thing that can go wrong. You can always buy a portable car inverter for the one or two items you need one for, if you can't do without.
If this is used for "when the power's out" then no, people don't want duplicates. If you want to charge your cell phone on a camping trip, then something like this might be OK save for the weight.
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Joined Nov 2006
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#32
Quote from Dr. J :
If this is used for "when the power's out" then no, people don't want duplicates. If you want to charge your cell phone on a camping trip, then something like this might be OK save for the weight.
Did you even read my posts? I'm talking about living off the grid in a small camper or camper van, where the "power" is always "out", in terms of wall power you get from the electric company. You either provide your own power via solar, alternator or generator, or plug into a hookup or your house power. And you're mostly going to buy devices specifically made for living this way, e.g. propane stove, camper fridge, LED lights, etc., and they won't be dupes because household versions are too heavy and use too much power. Ok, you'll bring your phone and tablet charger, but that's DC. Laptops also run off DC even if their power adapters use AC. Pretty much everything can or does run on either DC or propane. Sure, you can take along your household appliances, but they'll be heavy, take up a lot of room, and waste energy. You really do need a whole new set if you intend to do this beyond a weekend or so. If you're going to go off the grid, you might as well go all the way. If you want all the comforts and devices of home, you're probably best off staying home.
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#33
Quote from Lakabuki :
They call it a generator because it has a DC input for solar power, so it's functionally comparable to devices marketed as solar generators (e.g., Jackery, Yeti GoalZero).
Wow talk about some mental gymnastics in the marketing department! lol
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Joined Jan 2008
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#34
True that this is a battery bank, not a power generator. However, that aside, this does has an inverter built in. If you go buy a deep cycle marine battery, you would still need to get an inverter.
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#35
I would rather get a Bluetti AC50S (500Wh) for $329.
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Joined Feb 2018
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#36
Quote from spoozy :
I've got a garbage Anker bluetooth keyboard that keeps disconnecting, despite all the rave reviews on its Amazon page. Anker's best asset is its army of shills. Watch 'em downvote this comment.
Anker does generally make good products. Have you considered the problem could be the device you're connecting to and not the keyboard itself? If it's the keyboard then you would have been able to exchange it under warranty like any other company does so I don't see the issue.
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#37
Quote from Serus :
Because it can charge via solar they call it a generator.

I just had my power out for 8 days. While I don't have solar, I do have an EV that was trapped in the garage due to a down tree and an inch of ice over everything.

Having a huge battery like this to suck the power out of my EV would have been more helpful than the small power packs.

I didn't go with this and instead went with the Ecoflow Delta 1300 which I think with solar and it's inverter could replace a gas generator.
I was in a very similar situation (7 days "only"), I had a $50 400W inverter which I could use. There is no need for a $300 intermediate battery, unless you cannot pull a long extension cord from your garage.
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Joined Aug 2011
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#38
You're better off buying that $200 inverter generator from Home Depot.
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#39
Huge Li-on battery pack. I could see the use for this for outdoors / camping etc... but not really the best for power and heat out (Texas!) scenarios. You cannot run an electric heater for very long on something like this, even a tiny one will chew up the battery super quick. I doubt this thing could run a microwave either.

BUT for charging cell phones / tablets / laptops, this could be useful... but only 1 AC port means you're only charging one device at a time unless it can charge by USB (phone/tablet).

Also read the reviews on Zon, lot of people claiming USB-C power output not working right. Having to go through multi step reset procedure every time would get super old quick.

For those reasons, I am out. You can buy gas generators for $300 that do all of the above things I mentioned this won't do. Noisy and exhaust to deal with, sure. But if you're freezing to death this thing isn't going to save you. Unless your electric blanket is powered by USB, LOL
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#40
it's a gimmick to sell them like hotcakes to Texans after our nasty state-wide freeze that stopped the state for a week!
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#41
Quote from kugel :
I was in a very similar situation (7 days "only"), I had a $50 400W inverter which I could use. There is no need for a $300 intermediate battery, unless you cannot pull a long extension cord from your garage.
An inverter only outputs up to the cars DC output, which is probably limited to around that 400watt mark. The delta 1300 can output at full 1800watts continuously until dead. With the delta as an in between I can charge the battery while cooling a chest freezer or heating something in the microwave, run the washer, or just charge my stuff. It's got a lot more flexibility than just an inverter.

And yes, 1800watts continuously does sound like a lot and it is unique to the delta 1300. No other battery can do that sustained that I'm aware of.
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#42
I see this can be charge via solar panels. What I haven't been able to find is if this can be charged via power-source (solar or wall outlet), while using it at the same time?

Is the use-case to pre-charge this via wall or solar, once charge then when you use it to power other things, you can't charge it at the same time?

If not, is it a good idea to combine this with a UPS system?
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#43
Quote from AmusedShoe533 :
And worst part of it, these can usually only be used and re-charged about 1000-1500 times before the battery goes bad, making the whole thing useless, versus just putting the parts together yourself inside a crate, as some youtuber has, and then being able to swap out/ upgrade any bad parts easily.
Good luck getting a normal gas generator to last even 100 times. LOL.
It converts power from solar panels...a generator converts it from gas or propane. At the end of the day...power.
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Joined Jan 2007
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#44
Quote from Gene :
Not a generator. Can't help but wonder what Anker is going for here calling it that.
Because it serves the same use case as a generator.
Do you go into every cable modem thread and complain that they neither modulate nor demodulate?
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#45
Quote from KMan :
Thanks, helpful info. For larger RVs I can see the need for microwave ovens, A/C, induction stoves, etc., and these require inverters. But many if not most van and smaller campers don't have these because they draw more power than their smaller solar panel setups can provide and they use up too much fuel if you power them off the alternator, and they're often parked outside of campsites that have hookups. It's a whole other camper "subculture" than more traditional RVs, for all sorts of reasons. So you don't need 120V for them, really.

As for laptops,, their batteries are all charged via DC, that's converted from AC via the proverbial power brick, but it's neither complicated nor expensive to replace these with DC versions that are smaller, more energy-efficient and reliable, that run off 12V and have either a fixed output that's correct for a given laptop, or have a variable output. Same thing for a TV. So it can be done, and I imagine some go this route. Even a desktop PC, which is probably not common in van campers, can be powered via DC only, although you'd need a specialized power supply (the van's batteries would serve as the UPS).

I've been tinkering with DC lately, mostly lighting, so it's of moderate interest to me (trying van camper living is something I actually find intriguing, but if I ever did it we're talking years from now). I bought a few 12V DC light bulbs and a USB to 12V adapter to try to add a "mood light" to a small room using solar-charged batteries, and recently lit a dark stairway using a similar setup. I'm surprised at how bright these things are, and how little power they draw.

Basically, my view is if you can power something well and cost-effectively with only DC from source to load, it's worth considering. There are conversion costs in going from AC to DC, of course, but over time the greater efficiency of staying within DC only could pay for it. But I haven't done the math so maybe I'm wrong and we'll always power most things with AC.
Yeah in general, you want to avoid the DC -> AC / AC -> DC conversion process as much as possible, given the losses involved. Nowadays you can indeed find DC versions of a lot of appliances, and for any DC devices that normally rely on a wall wart (AC adapter), up to 100W, you can bypass the wall wart and use USB-C Power Delivery, which is a great standard allowing for negotiated 5/9/12/15/20V output (or custom voltages in between, using PPS) at up to 5A / 100W. A lot of devices (from phones, tablets, and laptops to even electric toothbrushes, screwdrivers, etc.) use USB-C PD now, so there's no work required there; for other DC devices, you can use a USB-C PD sink (which takes USB-C input and gives you a DC output at a certain set voltage). The r/UsbCHardware [reddit.com] subreddit is a good resource there.

In a van context, you'll probably still need an inverter, to handle any remaining AC appliances and to give you extra AC outlets for any new devices you happen to need to plug in, but if you design everything prioritizing DC, you can reduce your inverter usage and increase overall efficiency as a result. A lot of Sprinter-type RVs are outfitted with large battery banks + more solar to allow for more free usage of the larger appliances (e.g., A/C, induction cooktop, etc.).

Propane is of course much more energy-dense than current lithium batteries, but you find an increasing number of propane-free builds (due to the safety issues with propane and the need to periodically refill), made possible by a combination of electric appliances and, where you just need heat, tapping into the vehicle's primary fuel (e.g., diesel cabin heaters). In the near future we'll also start to see more fully-electric camper vans (i.e., EV van conversions), where you have an enormous battery that everything ties into (enabled by a combination of large solar + L3 EV fast charging).

MatKyne raises a valid point about the wire thickness required to carry high current levels - you can transmit huge loads over 120V AC with much thinner cabling vs. with 12V DC. That said, there are ways to address that on your longer runs in an RV. For instance, if you have a heavy-duty alternator up front charging your house battery pack in the center/rear of the van, that's a pretty long wiring run, normally 12V DC. One way to address that (which is happening in the auto industry more broadly as well) is to instead jump to 48V DC.
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Last edited by amb9800 March 1, 2021 at 08:39 PM.
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