One USB battery to rule them all, this summer anyway

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Boy, this is a real game changer.


A game charger too.


You had me right up to the part where it costs $130. That’s more than the battery for my car, man!

There are a few batteries for 50% less $$ that do claim to have the Power Delivery protocol… but folks complain they don’t work right/require the Switch to be in sleep mode, etc to work. This one works.


I would be interested less in fancy batteries and more in folding solar panels that actually deliver significant power to a large battery.

Let’s say 164 Watts/square meter average insolation * 20% efficiency (which is pretty optimistic, I don’t know if off-the-shelf panels do this well) * 0.25 square meter panel, or pick your size but since you said “folding” I assume you plan on carrying it around. Works out to about 8 Watts or so. If you prefer to be optimistic and take peak insolation of ~1000 Watts/square meter you can have 50 Watts at noon (but only for an hour or two around noon). Looks like this battery’s capacity is around 134 Wh, so with the hypothetical panel you need about 17 hours to charge it to capacity. Which I suppose might be of interest to people in the backcountry where they can’t just simply plug it in, which is why portable panels are a thing you can just buy at REI or whatever.


So, these work fantastically for me as long as I have open sky. I’d say 4 hrs of sun in the mid to late afternoon is perfect and will charge the battery back up to full and get me through the night easily.

Hot but cloudy days would be the worst, because the batteries won’t charge and the fridge would run a lot. Some camping in forested areas also has proved challenging.

When camping with sunny skies and the ARB fridge I can make ice cream.


This article just quotes from the spec sheet. I hope there will be a real review at the end of the summer.

I see the dark side growing in you.


I have this power bank. I think it’s the same one. It’s awesome… but the one thing to consider is it is big and pretty heavy. perfectly fine in a backpack or camera bag but a bit much for a pocket or cargo pocket.


Let’s say a camper van’s own battery is roughly 1kWh. A cigarette-lighter plug-in converter does 12V to 5V USB with slight efficiency loss, yielding about 170,000 mAh. So using only half of that gives triple the capacity of this expensive thing, and you already have the infrastructure (alternator) and fuel (gas) to recharge it. I can see the point if you need a portable source, but van-camping would seem to fit nicely with what you’ve already got. This also makes it useful in disaster recovery, when AC to charge the thing may be gone for days.

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Just the fact that this is an Anker would be enough for me if I were to need one.

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I’m planning on adding this hard-wire USB Type C PD charger to handle modern devices. It should be able to easily handle charging that Anker battery brick.

12-24V in, 60 W USB Type C out + 18 W USB Type A out.

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That is fantastic! I could mount that in the back of the bus and run it off the house battery that feeds the fridge during the day while the solar panels are going. Wouldn’t endanger the fridge at all.

Someday I need something bigger than the 50Ah in there for this stuff, but the slot it goes in isn’t very big and I can’t give up any more storage.


If it still has USB type A ports count me out.

Type C is only dongle hell if we keep thinking of type A as the default USB connector. I’ve replaced all my cables with type C. I just want a battery with multiple type C ports. They don’t even need to all support PD; I’d be happy with one PD port and two basic type C ports (15W max).

Another strike against this one: no pass-through charging.

Or you could just add some USB charging ports as most Vanagon/Westy folks have been doing for years. That’s a deep well to draw from.

I bought one last year, and was able to charge my iPhone and my Apple Watch for nearly 2 weeks at Burning Man, with probably 40% battery to spare at the end. well worth the cost.

Personally I think that anyone van camping and not using solar as their primary charging infrastructure is doing it wrong. Now that panels have gotten so cheap there’s really no reason not to go nuts with solar. Two 300ish watt solar panels (the type you put on houses) will keep all the batteries most people need completely happy without ever running an engine or generator. I have three (900 watts) on my RV, but I mostly camp on the foggy Pacific coast and my 24 foot Class C RV has plenty of roof space.

It’s great seeing these lithium batteries get cheaper and more popular. Lead acid are heavy, dirty, gassy, and most people using them in a van will damage them. Lithium batteries are fragile too, but modern BMS systems have made them, in my experience, easier for most people to use than lead acid. And furthermore it’s not apples to apples, since you can use so much more of the rated capacity of lithium batteries.

I’m hoping that as electric scooters and bikes get more common we’ll be getting a wave of inexpensive litthium batteries for RVs. I picked up a used scooter battery recently that’s 865 watt hours (36 volts) and the thing is fantasic. When the 4 Trojan T-105 golf cart style batteries I currently have in my camper finally die I can’t imagine replacing them with lead acid.

Right now we’re at a tipping point between USB standards. Personally, despite having lots of electronics, I don’t own anything with a USB C port (well, technically, my computer case has one, but my motherboard doesn’t have the right connector to plug it in), so I’m happy to stick with A for another year or so (and at least A<>C cables are fairly cheap)

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