What is a Portable Power Station?

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  2. Explain what a portable power station is
  3. List the features that make them a good option for vanlife
  4. Discuss who should get one

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Whether you are currently building out your dream van or already living the vanlife, you know that it’s necessary to plan ahead in order for everything to run smoothly. Part of this involves making sure that all of your electrical needs will be taken care of when on the road. Will you have enough power to charge your computer, power your fridge, and use your blender on a regular basis? In every DIY van conversion, the electrical system is one of the most important parts. A portable power station is a great option for simpler van builds on a budget and a handy add-on for vans already equipped with an electrical system.

What is a Portable Power Station?

A portable power station is a rechargeable battery-powered generator that is small enough to be moved around. They normally come with equipped AC outlets, USB charging ports, and DC carport connections. You can use them to charge your devices and power other appliances like AC units or coffee makers, depending on the output of the station. Portable power stations are great options for vanlife because they are…

  • Rechargeable (plug into an outlet or hook up to a solar panel)
  • Easy to use
  • Quiet
  • Ready for travel and the outdoors
  • Don’t pollute the air like gas generators
  • Safe
  • Cost-effective

Who Should Buy a Portable Power Station?

If the idea of building out your entire electrical system is a little overwhelming, a portable power station would be a good alternative if you don’t plan on consuming a lot of power each day. You won’t need to install a separate AC inverter, wire a house battery bank, or set up solar panels on your roof. Phew!

If you already have a built-out electrical system, a portable power station may still be a great addition if you plan to spend a lot of time in the outdoors away from your vehicle. For compact and lightweight power stations, we recommend Jackery and Goal Zero, popular options among the vanlife community.

While portable power stations definitely have their place, you may want to look into our complete campervan electrical setup if you plan on using a lot of power on a regular basis and want a more integrated and robust setup. In this guide, we cover everything from what kind of solar panels and batteries to use, down to the right size wires and fuses.