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Old 02-20-2021, 03:16 PM #1
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Opinion Needed: Portable Power Gas or Battery?

So I've always grown up on the idea of a gas powered generator to use not only when camping (if needed) but even at home for power emergencies.

It seems nowadays there are options for battery powered ones that claim to be able to run home fridges. Does anyone have an preference or opinions?

Let's say we're out of power for 3 days, which would you prefer to have and why? Let's also say the budget is 3k.
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:01 PM #2
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For 3k I don't know if you will get a battery powered 120v power supply that will power a home fridge for 3 days.

Say you could. If you needed it longer than 3 days you're out of luck.

A 3k gas powered generator will definitely power a home fridge and other things.
Also, if you run out of gas you just add more.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:04 PM #3
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There are a lot of factors you have to consider but if your limit is 3k then you have to go with a generator. As an investment in the future solar with batteries is better, but is it your own house? Not worth it if it is a rental. I run my house with 12 solar panels an inverter and batteries but i am also tied to the grid. I have been through three major hurricanes when the island has lost power for three months and even when times are good we pay more than three times what it costs in the states. Those are factors that make it worthwhile for the investment. Solar panels are cheap and last for 20 years, inverters are getting cheaper and more efficient, but there are no cheap batteries. What you are reading about is a battery/inverter system that charges off the grid and can be used when the grid goes out. At the most it will last a couple of days with just a fridge and some lights. My suggestion is to wait a few months and then start looking locally for a used generator of which there will be plenty as I am sure there are not many left in stock at the moment.
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:03 AM #4
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I like the idea of just storing gas or driving down to put some gas in a can and then having an additional X hours of power to run a fridge.

But some have pointed out that there are these portable battery units, about 60-90lbs and half the size of a microwave that can power a fridge for 8 hours then it can fast recharge to 90% in 1 hour (say from another house in a different neighborhood).

My concern is a gas genny has reliability generally behind it... I wonder how well a battery one would work with all the electrical/tech behind it. It'd be terrible if it has a glitch when you need it.

But the battery ones can be used inside the house.

I guess the idea is how long I'd want to be able to power stuff and I wanted to know if anyone had used those Jackery or Eco battery units and how reliable they are.
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:17 AM #5
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The Goal Zero systems have extra battery packs that can extend the power usage.

Home Energy Storage Kits & Bundles/Goal Zero
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:13 AM #6
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I read on a thread somewhere back where it was frowned upon on running a generator at a quiet campsite with other campers around. Maybe a battery gen would be better in this case.
If your were all alone in the boonies, generator noise wouldn't be a factor.
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:46 AM #7
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I read on a thread somewhere back where it was frowned upon on running a generator at a quiet campsite with other campers around. Maybe a battery gen would be better in this case.
If your were all alone in the boonies, generator noise wouldn't be a factor.
I'd never run a gen on a campsite. I can't stand when people do that (and end up powering flat screens, or other silly stuff... it's like, if you want to watch TV, stay at home).

Out in the middle of nowhere, where there are no other parties anywhere near you, fine, may even consider it myself. But in a group campsite nah.

But I can see where a battery one does give you more flexibility.
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Old 02-21-2021, 01:18 PM #8
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There's no good option that'll fit Both home and travel use... anything that can keep your fridge running for 3 days at home will be too big to take with you (on the battery side).

On the gas side, everyone hates "that guy" when camping.... of course, if you're on the east coast you'll be just another genny in a sea of them.


I'm battery for camping, but uses are limited to fans and lights 90% of the time, the little power my diesel heater uses for heat, and then charging random small items (phones, ebooks, cameras) and most recently powering a mini projector (I camp in a van). I recharge while driving directly off the Alt... 100ah LiFePo4 was $500 (aliexpress), Renogy 40A charger was $150, wiring and misc was another $50-ish. I can make it about 3 days without charging (4 fans, multiple lights), and it takes about 2 hours driving to fully recharge ~ i usually need food and ice by 3 days anyway so this works perfectly for me.

For home, I don't worry about it as it's been decades since I was last in a multi-day power outtage. My folks suffer a lot more power outages in rural Montana and put in a solar system and batteries to keep their fridge and freezer running. It's just easier for them as 80y/os when their whole property is electric-only already.


Anyway, might consider running one for camping and one for home. I've seen several DIY LiFePo4 portable battery systems on the Tube if you don't want to do a hard integration on the vehicle. Take the remaining money and buy a big gas genny for home (or nat gas if you're in town).
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:25 PM #9
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Let's drop the idea that it'll be needed for camping and just for home use in that case. Seems in general that battery powered ones, except for their "not easily refillable" issue (except maybe a solar panel) are actually acceptable nowadays?
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:16 PM #10
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Quote:
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Let's drop the idea that it'll be needed for camping and just for home use in that case. Seems in general that battery powered ones, except for their "not easily refillable" issue (except maybe a solar panel) are actually acceptable nowadays?
100% conditional on your use, but my gut feeling is that it'll be easier to obtain and use a gas genny for home. Yes, battery are acceptable but they're a bigger investment with a longer timetable to payout. IMHO, battery is better for lots of small outages and gas (nat gas/propane being the best) for Major outages. Thinking back to living in Juenau, AK, where they have a lot of outages in the winter, and usually for a long time (think weeks to a month, not days), everyone runs diesel generators.

Like I said above, I don't bother with anything for the home. A few hours without power isn't a big deal ~ I have a wood stove for winter heat, camping gear for cooking/lights, and a hand-pump well for water (plus a few gallons in jugs). If it's worse than that, I'm fully contained with my camping setup and can be comfortable for as long as I can put fuel in the tank. This is why the answer is use/situation conditional. Only you know what'll work best for you.
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