What is the best portable power? Yeti, ARK? Is there another?

nomadventure7

New member
What suggestions do you have for the best portable power? I've looked at Yeti, Ark, and a few others. I am outfitting our van for some weekend, and week long trips with our family and kids. I have an 82qt ARB refridge as well as phones etc to keep charged. Thank you!
 

kwill

Observer
Ask this question to 10 people and you will get 12 different opinions. The lithium battery technology has improved these devices significantly--more charge/discharge cycles and you can discharge them almost completely rather than just down 50% like on lead based systems. They are much lighter too. The Jackery products are popular but if you are going to use solar panels to recharge it the Jackery is s...l...o...w.... Yeti gets a pretty big brand premium and uses proprietary connectors to try to lock you in to their accessories. Ark is solid but $$$. Some of the lesser known brands are good value but are probably made in China if that bothers you. Good luck!
 

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67cj5

Man On a Mission
I have had great success using the Dometic PLB-40, I have done tests using it to power 4 different fridges, I also own the ARB 78L / 82Qt fridge and I ran the fridge at 0*c /32*f in an ambient temp of 22*c / 71*f+ and I also ran the 82Qt at 10*f and 14*f and the PLB-40 easily coped,

The best thing about the PLB-40 is there is nothing else to buy, It will charge direct from a Cigar socket and it will charge direct from a Solar Panel without the need of a Charge Controller etc because it has a Charge Controller / DC to DC Charger already built in, It charges very fast and you can charge it via the Cigar socket while using it to power your fridge while driving or when your parked with a solar panel. It comes with a Cigar/Anderson Lead that plugs direct in to the Anderson socket on the back panel and it also comes with an AC Charger,

They are not cheap but they offer a "No Fuss" complete package intro in to the Lithium world with all the info you need via it's display panel, Being Lithium it is light enough for any family member to move around the camp site,

After my first test I bought a second one as a backup, which works out cheaper in the long run when it comes to buying a lithium battery and a DC to DC charger and the extra wiring along with paying for someone to wire it all up, but the ultimate gain is being able to move it from vehicle to vehicle and all you need is its Cigar/Anderson lead for uninterrupted power.

Hope that helps,
 
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Dometic

Supporting Sponsor / Approved Vendor
I have had great success using the Dometic PLB-40, I have done tests using it to power 4 different fridges, I also own the ARB 78L / 82Qt fridge and I rand the fridge at 0*c /32*f in an ambient temp of 22*c / 71*f+ and I also ran the 82Qt at 10*f and 14*f and the PLB-40 easily coped,

The best thing about the PLB-40 is there is nothing else to buy, It will charge direct from a Cigar socket and it will charge direct from a Solar Panel without the need of a Charge Controller etc because it has a Charge Controller / DC to DC Charger already built in, It charges very fast and you can charge it via the Cigar socket while using it to power your fridge while driving or when your parked. It comes with a Cigar/Anderson Lead that plugs direct in to the Anderson socket on the back panel and it also comes with an AC Charger,

They are not cheap but they offer a "No Fuss" complete package intro in to the Lithium world with all the info you need via it's display panel, Being Lithium it is light enough for any family member to move around the camp site,

After my first test I bought a second one as a backup, which works out cheaper in the long run when it comes to buy a lithium battery and a DC to DC charger and the extra wiring along with paying for someone to wire it all up, but the ultimate gain is being able to move it from vehicle to vehicle and all you need is its Cigar/Anderson lead for uninterrupted power.

Hope that helps,
Thanks for writing up and sharing your experience with the PLB40. It's great that it's working like you want and how we designed it!

DOMETIC
mobile living made easy
shop.dometic.com

Use promo code Expedition20 for $25 off your order of $75+
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Thanks for writing up and sharing your experience with the PLB40. It's great that it's working like you want and how we designed it!

DOMETIC
mobile living made easy
shop.dometic.com

Use promo code Expedition20 for $25 off your order of $75+
Well I see the PLB-40 as a power source and a problem solver all in one, sure people will why hasn't it got this or that but the truth is the PLB has everything a person needs to go completely off grid or use in a power outage,

My camper/Van has an 80/800cca AGM and it has 2x 110 Deep cycle batteries and it has a small Lithium supply with it's own small solar panel and it also has 240v Shore Power hook Up and I also have a 2000w Gas powered Generator, So I already have 5 ways to access power and with the 2 PLB-40's gives me 6 Options, But I just love the simplicity of the PLB's and the freedom of it being 100% portable and whilst on the road the PLB's have become my main source of power and all the other setups have become back ups.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
in the mix: do we still like Goal Zero equipment? or have they not kept up with current technology?
The only draw back with goal zero is they don't put out 12.8v right up to the end, as the Ah decline so does the voltage and that does not work well with fridges and other voltage sensitive equipment,, Their products are great but the voltage drop is a killer,
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
I have had great success using the Dometic PLB-40, I have done tests using it to power 4 different fridges, I also own the ARB 78L / 82Qt fridge and I ran the fridge at 0*c /32*f in an ambient temp of 22*c / 71*f+ and I also ran the 82Qt at 10*f and 14*f and the PLB-40 easily coped,

The best thing about the PLB-40 is there is nothing else to buy, It will charge direct from a Cigar socket and it will charge direct from a Solar Panel without the need of a Charge Controller etc because it has a Charge Controller / DC to DC Charger already built in, It charges very fast and you can charge it via the Cigar socket while using it to power your fridge while driving or when your parked with a solar panel. It comes with a Cigar/Anderson Lead that plugs direct in to the Anderson socket on the back panel and it also comes with an AC Charger,

They are not cheap but they offer a "No Fuss" complete package intro in to the Lithium world with all the info you need via it's display panel, Being Lithium it is light enough for any family member to move around the camp site,

After my first test I bought a second one as a backup, which works out cheaper in the long run when it comes to buying a lithium battery and a DC to DC charger and the extra wiring along with paying for someone to wire it all up, but the ultimate gain is being able to move it from vehicle to vehicle and all you need is its Cigar/Anderson lead for uninterrupted power.

Hope that helps,
Being a cheap SOB I built my own little "power box" from a 12v battery box, but there's a lot to be said for a "plug-and-play" solution. As more and more people use electric devices off road, I suspect we'll see more competition in this area which should bring prices down.

It is a little disappointing that we have not been able to come up with a universal standard replacement for the old 12v cigar lighter socket. That cigar lighter socket made sense when most cars had actual lighters but now most of them just have a "power point" (my 2018 F-150 has neither an ashtray nor a cigarette lighter although it has at least 3 12v power points.)

Question about charging through the cigar lighter: Aren't most of those fused at either 7.5a or 10a? So that's your limit when recharging, right?
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Being a cheap SOB I built my own little "power box" from a 12v battery box, but there's a lot to be said for a "plug-and-play" solution. As more and more people use electric devices off road, I suspect we'll see more competition in this area which should bring prices down.

It is a little disappointing that we have not been able to come up with a universal standard replacement for the old 12v cigar lighter socket. That cigar lighter socket made sense when most cars had actual lighters but now most of them just have a "power point" (my 2018 F-150 has neither an ashtray nor a cigarette lighter although it has at least 3 12v power points.)

Question about charging through the cigar lighter: Aren't most of those fused at either 7.5a or 10a? So that's your limit when recharging, right?
My 2017/18 Ford has 3 12v power points and they have 20A fuses, there is one in a Dash Pod, One in the front of the centre consul and one in the back of it for the second row passengers I don't know why they did not fit one for the 3rd row seating, There is a hole there for it but it has a blank covering it, But the best thing is all my sockets are live even when the key is Off, best vehicle I have driven in a long while and I am getting 64+MPG doing a combined driving cycle, (y)
 
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BrittanyHighland

New member
A new company called Aimtom reached out to us and wanted us to try their portable battery (full disclosure: we ended up receiving one at no cost). We were originally skeptical because we'd never heard of them and had our eye on a product from the industry leader. However, the Aimtom unit is lighter, provides more power, and has more ports for charging options. We've now had it for over six months, including 2,000 miles through Baja out of our JKU, and the unit performed flawlessly. Highly recommend Aimtom be added to the research list.
 

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Ferball

Member
I picked up a cheap 50 watt soalar panel off ebay a few years back, built a power box out of a battery box and a deep cycle marine battery. I used boating/marine 12v socket/usb combo outlet, it is "weather proof". I am into the whole set up for about $150 bucks. 12v landscape lighting from any big box home improvement store makes great inexpensive lighting. I use two wire trailer connectors for anything I need to "custom" wire, my box has a few outlets for those type connectors. . The charge controller is integrated into the box so I can use my solar panel, wind turbine, or any other 12v power source to charge the box. While its not nearly as cool as the plug and play systems it was simple and fun to build with readily available parts.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
A new company called Aimtom reached out to us and wanted us to try their portable battery (full disclosure: we ended up receiving one at no cost). We were originally skeptical because we'd never heard of them and had our eye on a product from the industry leader. However, the Aimtom unit is lighter, provides more power, and has more ports for charging options. We've now had it for over six months, including 2,000 miles through Baja out of our JKU, and the unit performed flawlessly. Highly recommend Aimtom be added to the research list.
Why don't you do a complete write-up on it? I know I'm not the only one who would be interested.
 
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