Upgrading to 3,400 watt hours of power in my van.

I already have a 2400wh lithium battery in my van, so why am I adding an additional 1000wh?

During the winter months, I do not get enough solar from my rooftop panel to maintain my current battery set up on a photography trip lasting more than 4 days. My current battery set up has 2400 watt hours, which is a lot, however there is one constant drain on the battery: my fridge. If I am on a 4-day trip with little to no sunlight, my 2400wh battery will deplete. 75% of that depletion is due to my fridge. It is the only item that is on 24/7. Take the fridge out of the equation and my battery will last for weeks.

The Jackery 1000 is a 1000 watt hour battery pack.

I know what you’re thinking: 1000wh will only keep your fridge on for about 3 days. Yes, but the Jackery does one thing that my current battery does not and that is 12v charging.

My current battery will only charge through solar or when at home, plugged in to a wall. The Jackery 1000 will do all of the above as well as charge from my 12v socket when driving. This is huge.

As well as that, I have 2 X 100w portable solar panels for the Jackery. So, should I be lucky enough to get blue skies in winter, I can strategically position those panels to soak up as much energy as possible.

The Jackery 1000 will be plugged in to my van’s 12v socket when on a long trip. Don’t worry, the socket doesn’t supply power when the engine is off. My fridge will be plugged in to the Jackery. It all fits neatly in the passenger footwell, so the extra battery does not take up any usable space.

The Jackery will also serve as additional power should I need it, but I can’t see that ever being the case as I now have a total of 3400 watt hours in my van.

Should I ever upgrade my camping set up and expand out of the van (I have been thinking about purchasing some sort of trailer tent) then the Jackery will serve as power inside of said tent. This camping set up would be used when I want to stay in one area for a prolonged period. In which case I would stay on a campsite and use the large tent as a basecamp. The van can transport me around the local area whilst offering such amenities as tea making and shelter. One of the problems I have now is if I want to stay on a campsite with my van, I must pack away my awning, table, and chairs before setting off for a morning shoot. Having a large tent set up would eliminate this problem.

Would I recommend a portable power unit? Yes. Without a doubt, having so much usable power that comes in an easy, transportable package is a ‘must have’ tool for people who like to spend time in the outdoors, be independent yet have power requirements, such as myself. Just make sure of one thing: it has solar and 12v charging.