There are several ways to get camping power whether you're staying in a campsite or off-grid. Among these would be solar panels, inverter generators, and of course, portable battery packs. If we're talking about these handy camping batteries, there would be plenty to choose from. In terms of voltage output though, there are only a few and commonly, outdoor lovers like to pack a reliable, 12V portable battery to keep their essential appliances running smoothly from the start to the end of their camping trip.
Portable 12V batteries mostly power DC devices but can also operate AC appliances with the help of an inverter. These rechargeable batteries are perfect for camping battery setups and would also make good caravan batteries. Before, 12 power packs were bigger and heavier, but thanks to the constant emergence of new technology, they're now more compact for easy packing, with increased capacity and longer lifespans as well.
What Are the Types of 12V Batteries?
Flooded lead-acid batteries: It's the most basic type of battery and needs to be filled with liquid to keep them functioning properly. Requiring constant maintenance, these are also super cheap batteries yet last for 2-5 years only.
Sealed valve-regulated lead-acid batteries: An upgraded version of the flooded one, these batteries eliminate the risk of leaks with their sealed structure. They're almost similar to the previous lead-acid batteries and can be sensitive when rapidly charged.
Gel 12V batteries: These batteries are sealed as well and are known for being able to withstand high temperatures. Because of this, they're commonly used as starting batteries for engines.
AGM 12V batteries: A favourite of Aussie campers, AGM or Absorbent Glass Mat batteries work well in most temperatures and have a lifespan of over 6 years. They also have improved efficiency and fall at a mid-range price—around $200—making them a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts.
Lithium-ion 12V batteries: Li-ion batteries are relatively new in the camping field. They're more expensive than the other battery types at a $900 starting price but offer more advantages such as high storage capacity and fast charging features. They're a great pick for your recreational vehicles too.
Lithium batteries (LiFEPO4): If you think li-ion is good, wait till you try LiFEPO4 batteries. Backed with modern technology and a built-in battery management system, this lithium battery will give you optimal performance every time, plus everything else you could want in a portable 12V battery.
Currently, 12V lithium battery packs are the most recommended to be used as off-grid batteries especially if it's a LiFEPO4 battery. These are 12V deep-cycle batteries too, so despite the higher cost, it makes a practical buy especially if you plan to use it often and on a long-term basis.
How Long Can You Run a Fridge On a 12V Battery?
Many campers opt for a 12V 100Ah battery when camping as this is usually enough to power the appliances they have. Among these, a fridge is considered to be one of the most important, so a battery power pack's ability to run it is a common concern among buyers. Let's use a lithium battery as an example and break down the different types of fridges to give you a good idea. First, a 12V fridge can last up to 55 to 80 hours powered on a battery with 100Ah capacity. Mini fridges can be used for about 32 to 40 hours, while RV fridges can operate for 20 to 24 hours. If you're using it as a home battery and would like to run a full-sized fridge during a power outage, you can get as much as 16 hours, which would be enough if it's a short interruption only. Of course, these are just average estimates—there are other factors to consider too, such as what other appliances are running simultaneously with your refrigerator. If you want to be sure, you can go for larger capacities such as a 200Ah lithium battery.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Charge a 12V Battery?
Planning to use a 12V RV lithium battery as part of a solar panel setup? Good news, you can use only one solar panel to charge a 12V battery, as long as it's a 12V solar panel as well. To be more specific, a 100W solar panel can fully top up your 12V battery in 5-8 hours, depending on its initial state of charge. The position of the sun can also impact your charging speed but this can be addressed with the use of a solar tracker. Another important reminder would be to always use a solar charge controller like an MPPT regulator when charging batteries via solar panels to regulate the generated energy that goes into your battery.
More from Outbax
Buying a 12v DC portable battery pack is one of the best investments an avid camper can make. Get your hand on the best portable 12V battery packs online and visit Outbax now. We have an entire collection of 12V LiFEPO4 for convenient, ultra-safe camping, as well as other camping gear like solar panels, solar panel accessories, and generators. Don't feel like camping? Why not check our leisure items for sale like spas and relax right in your backyard? Shop now!