Question Of The Week

Lithium Batteries For Truck Camping: 57 Powerful Responses

Just ten years ago, the truck camper industry was grappling with the price, promise, and public perception of LED interior lights.

Compared to proven and cheap incandescent interior lights, LEDs were about 10-times more efficient, 10-times more expensive, and 10-times more likely to get a customer complaint.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard a truck camper owner back then say LED lights were, “Too bright”, “Too blue”, or, “Too cold” I’d have a few bucks.  The promise of LED was right there, but the cost needed to visit us on Earth.  More importantly, the light quality of LEDs needed to be less operating table, and more dining room table.  Some of those early LEDs would nearly poke your eyes out.

Despite these issues, the future was clearly going to be LED.  The advantages in efficiency, longevity, and heat were just too compelling to ignore.

Fast forward to 2017 and there isn’t an RV manufactured with incandescent interior lighting – not one.  The price of LED lighting has come down dramatically, and the quality has skyrocketed.  Even most of the hold-out consumers with older campers have upgraded to LED.  It’s a done deal.  Incandescent lighting in the RV marketplace is dead.

Today, lithium batteries for truck campers are where LED lights were in 2007.  The price, promise, and public perception of lithium batteries is nowhere near where it needs to be for adoption by the industry or consumer.  And yet, the future of truck camper battery technology is clearly lithium.  The days of lead-acid batteries are numbered.

I’ll make a bold prediction.  In ten years, every truck camper will be sold exclusively with lithium batteries.  By 2027, lead-acid will be dead.

Not bold enough?  In ten years, no less than 10-percent of those lithium-powered truck campers will be pulled by 100-percent electric lithium-powered trucks.  Put that in your future hat.  It’s a done deal.

This week’s Question of the Week was, “Does a product like the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium make sense for truck camping?”  This feedback is in response to the article, “Portable Lithium Power Goes Truck Camping”.

“It does make sense, especially for a camper like mine which has a very limited electrical system.  The standard uses for me would be to charge a laptop, phone, camera, and a whole host of other things” – Randy Welch, 1962 Chevrolet C20, 1976 Alaskan 8-foot

“Not for me.  I much prefer a wired PSW (pure sign wave) inverter with Lithium Iron Phosphate house batteries.  There is real amp-hour capacity, the ability to discharge to almost zero with no drop in output voltage, and the ability to recharge using a conventional onboard converter like a Progressive Dynamics charge wizard unit.

I can operate my CPAP all night with the humidifier and still have a 50-percent charge left, plus the Iron Phosphate batteries (Group 27 rated) weigh less than 26 pounds each, or about half the weight of a conventional flooded cell / AGM battery.  And they can operate in any position and require no venting.  The downside is the price at about $800 each.

With any truck camper, weight is always a prime consideration and less is always better.  I looked at products like the Goal Zero Yeti in the past but, I consider it another accessory that I really don’t need and, additional weight.” – Daryl Davis, 1997 Ford F350, 2014 Palomino Backpack SS1500

“Absolutely!  We have used one in our camper for lighting and charging all of our devices.  We camp in the winter a lot and often down to five degrees Fahrenheit so battery power is at a premium.  I also dislike running my generator for long periods of time.

I have nearly all the Goal Zero products and use the smaller Sherpa product to run computer fans in the closets to keep condensation down.  I even run my Traeger BBQ off the larger battery pack.  To me, it’s well worth the money spent.” – Ken L., 1998 Dodge 3500, Arctic Fox 1150

“Yes and no.  I probably would invest in AGM house batteries and an inverter first.  But, it would be great for outdoor night lighting at the picnic table or screen room.  Plus, I could use it for ATVing and off-road adventuring.

The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium would be great to take on boats, kayaks, plug-in 12-volt fish finders, etc.  It would also be a great emergency backup in the truck camper and at home.” – Gerald Kato, 2012 GMC 2500, 2017 Cirrus 820

“I am interested in lithium batteries for my camper.  I need a charge controller for marine lithium batteries that can be recharged from RV campground power, photovoltaic panels, and a portable Honda or Yamaha generator.

I would use it for radios (shortwave, amateur), satellite television (Dish, Wally, flat panel display), camera and laptop battery recharging, and LED lighting while boondock camping.  The camper will use four Carmanah 95-watt thin removable photovoltaic panels (380-watts total).” – Ed Scott, 2018 Toyota Tundra, DIY wood-epoxy custom pop-up

“While not a truck camper myself, I find this product somewhat interesting.  I believe its main advantage is the inverter and the ability to plug 110-volt appliances directly into the unit.

However, for about half the cost, I can purchase a portable solar panel which would easily re-charge my single battery on a daily basis.  We have a small fifth-wheel and don’t need to use much electricity for say, a four-night camping trip.” – Peter Scarnati, 1994 Silverado 1500, Scamp 19-foot fifth wheel

“Absolutely, because of many of the suggested uses in your article.” – Scott Henry, 2016 Ford F350, 2016 Four Wheel Hawk

“We do little off-grid camping, mostly because we stay in the southwest United States and so much travel is in the warmer months.  This, my air conditioning is all-important.  Don’t think I’m soft.  I was 26 years in Army Infantry, from steaming jungles to frozen tundra.  I know hot, wet, and cold.

In looking at the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium, the real question becomes: do I have a need, and can I justify the $700 tariff ($600 street price).  Unlike Gordon, I don’t have a tube-driven audiophile stereo in my camper and don’t have one at home either.  I run dual Odyssey Group 31 batteries and they provide all the support I need.

I would suggest to anyone who struggles with power availability and short-term battery life to look hard at Odyssey batteries for your truck camper.  I found them for about $350 shipped.  The ones I have are ten years old and still performing without issue.

I do like the portability and life cycle attributes of the Goal Zero Yeti and can justify the functionality even without a tube stereo (which by the way I am quite impressed with).  My wife and I are full in with iPhones, iPads, laptops and have streaming video on all of them.  These take a lot of power to support.

In addition, we are active on the internet so our daily use rate is high.  The price does give pause and I would have to analyze the cost to benefit but, for certain, at some price point we are there.” – Don Pryor, 2017 Ford F350, 2008 Arctic Fox 1150

“Absolutely, it’s a good idea.  I own a Noco Genius Boost Pro 150.  It will charge or run USB Items at 2.1 amps or 15 amps with the adaptor I have.  It will run or charge phones or laptops.  In addition, this model will jump-start a truck engine up to 10.0 liters, which is great for a large truck.

The battery is 88 watt-hours.  It has a built-in light and built-in jump cables.  It will test your truck or camper battery and tell you via the built-in voltmeter if the battery is between 12.6-12.8 volts.  It is 22,500 Joules of power.

I keep it under the rear seat of my truck.  It does not appear to do as much as the Goal Zero, but I don’t know if the Goal Zero will jump-start a large diesel truck if needed.  I could use the Goal Zero for laptops, phones, and perhaps a backup for the CPAP.” – Donald Fox, 2015 Ford F-450, 2016 Lance 1172

“I bought 500 amp hours of lithium-ion batteries from Battle Battery in Reno, Nevada for my camper and I can run everything for hours.  I can also re-charge in about six hours saving fuel weight, etc.  I used to have an Arctic Fox camper with two deep cycle yellow top batteries.  The generator would have to run 13 hours to fully charge.” – Mark Condon, 2014 Dodge Ram 3500, no camper right now

“Yes it does!  While I have two AGM batteries to handle the house loads when unplugged, this could remove the load of my CPAP and let the house batteries take care of everything else.

Another thought would be to use a larger model to replace the house batteries, converter, etc.  Having the inverter, charger and battery as one system would make things easier and would allow for more overall capacity, something anyone who is ever unplugged can use.” – Robert Mayton, 2014 Ford F-450, 2015 Lance 1172

“Yes, it could run my wife’s CPAP machine.” – Andre Van De Walle, 1997 Dodge Ram 3500, 2012 Travel Lite

“Replacing our deep cycle battery, given the low weight capacity of our truck, seems like a great move.  It would be a definite purchase when our current battery needs replacing.” – Steve Leonard, 2008 Ford F250, 1999 Lance Lite 815

“A product like the Goal Zero Yeti does make sense.  What makes more sense is having lithium batteries at a price point that makes them affordable as a replacement for the large 6 and 12-volt batteries currently in use in most campers.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500, 2017 Host Mammoth 11.6

“Yes, this is something I’ve thought about a lot.  We’d use it for the better half’s CPAP, charging phones, tablets, and laptop.” – Tom Warren, 2013 Ram 3500, 2013 Eagle Cap 1160

“Yes.  I could charge my iPad, iPhone, DVD player, radio, and music.” – Stacie Link, 2016 Ram 2500, 2001 Four Wheel Camper Grandby

“It is not something I would have any need for.  Our truck camper has two 6-volt AGM batteries, a 100-watt solar panel, and a built-in LP generator.  Our Arctic Fox travel trailer has two 6-volt batteries, 200 watts of solar, and a built-in LP generator.  I’ve never experienced a lack of power.” – Bill Gage, 2015 Ram 3500, 2017 Wolf Creek 840

“Yes and no.  I had looked at Goal Zero (lead-acid) back when I had a teardrop trailer and it would work very well with that.

Now that I have the truck camper, I have 480-watts with three sets of 6-volt batteries and am just above break-even, on a sunny day, for my television, laptop, hard drive, Dish, antenna, and the occasional DVD.

I’m thinking that there is something lacking in my setup.  I suspect Zamp 30 solar controller, but I will be looking at another 160-watt panel and then batteries.  Lithium is coming into view, but it’s still too high in price.  So maybe the Trojan T-105s.

All that to say, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium would be nice, especially as a portable at a campsite out of the camper, but I just have too much stuff now.  I need to get the camper hooked up correctly.  It would be perfect if I had the teardrop.

If I hit the lottery, I’d use it for an out of camper experience outside, for maybe charging speakers, a tablet running Pandora, and my phone.  Once I have it, I could probably find other things as I am never lacking gadgets.  I like the idea, but first I need to get my solar thing squared away.

It’s a nice article by the way.  There are so many inventions with a little help from “Shock Top”.  It helps get the out of box creative juices going, and it’s fun.” – Frank Poole, 2016 Ram 5500, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

“Yes, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium makes sense to run the television, recharge the phone, and provide ignition for the refrigerator.” – Daniel Yochum, 2003 Dodge 2500, 2006 Host McKinley

“You point out all the uses and advantages of owning a portable lithium battery and the fact that almost everyone would find it useful.

I do less boondocking than most so I don’t plan to buy one at this time.  However, prices will obviously come down as demand increases and I expect I will not only buy one in a few years.  I also predict that the truck camper manufacturers will add lithium backup power as an option with their own little cubby storage location.

I would use it for guilt-free, as you said, non-essential things like long computer browsing sessions, beginning to end football game watching, and the occasional short duration 110-volt appliance usage.” – Fred Patterson, 2013 Ford F350 SD, 2002 Lance 1161

“It seems like a stop-gap setup until LED lights and solar power are installed in the camper.  It is more portable if you want to use it away from the campsite.  I would like to exchange my camper batteries with lithium, but that would have a high price!

Until then, my two 6-volt lead-acid batteries do a great job with our television, DVD, CPAP, lights, blender, laptops, music, fans, radio, hair dryer, furnace, and any other standard appliance in the camper.  We are never without power.” – Russell and Gretchen Berquam, 2014 Ford F-350, 2015 Arctic Fox 1140

“Yes, I could use it to power two CPAPs.” – Sonny Rhodes, 1998 Dodge 3500, 1999 Bigfoot 10.5

“I think the one advantage to the lead-acid version would be that you can recharge it with your car’s 12-volt system.  That seems to make a lot more sense for a truck camper since you could recharge it while going down the road.  The lithium version can only be charged by 120-volt or solar.  I guess you could use an inverter to charge it, but that would be an extra item to carry with you.” – Scott D.

“No, because my present camper has both solar and a generator.  I would like to see a power unit to replace the lead-acid batteries with a lithium battery that is equivalent to two Group 27 lead-acid batteries.  It should incorporate a true sign wave inverter that activates when there is a demand for 120-volt power on the camper’s grid, there is no shore power, and the generator is not running.  This would save the weight of the lead-acid batteries and provide the flexibility of not having to turn on the generator whenever you need some AC power.” – Ken Dawson, 2017 Ford F350, 2017 Eagle Cap 1165

“It sounds like a great idea, but could it be rechargeable with solar panels?  I could use it for lights, music, and a television, plus any other items that you usually run on 12-volts.” – Randall Johnstun, 1965 GMC 3500, custom-built truck camper

Editor’s Note: The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium is rechargeable via solar panels.

“Yes, it makes sense for those of us who like more simplicity while camping.  Sometimes we go to an RV park and other times we dry camp.  We like to say that, “we go to the ocean to be at the ocean, not to be in a box”.

We carry two Freedom lithium CPAP travel batteries and I can get four CPAP nights from my two batteries.  They are very small, lightweight, and work fantastic.  They are way smaller than the Yeti.  They can be purchased for about $250 and extra batteries are about $200 each if you shop right.

We also use them to power our PICA projector to watch movies.  It’s a 48-inch screen for less than a pound!  If we are not dry camping for more nights then I need them for CPAP use and we use them to charge our phones.

Keep up the great stories and adventures!” – Jake Schultz, 2008 Ford Ranger, 2016 Pastime FDS

“Yes, it makes sense.  I believe in the survival value of truck campers.  I believe that it is critical to keep my furnace going if caught in dangerously cold weather.

Can you please give us a technical article on which will give out first in a cold-weather emergency – my propane supply (two of 20-pound tanks) or my electric power if I had a Goal Zero Yeti 1400 to run the fan to make the furnace run?” – J. Block, 2016 Ford F250, 2016 Northstar Liberty

“Maybe for you, but not for me.  Only 39 AH?  I’ve got two six-volt AGM batteries (in series for 12-volts) that hold 300 AH.  That’s almost ten times what your Yeti holds.  At 300 watts, it would power almost nothing but recharging your toys.  And at 600 bucks, what a rip-off.  My two AGMs were about 800 bucks.

The new ResMed C-Pap machines are now 24 VDC.” – Steve Cordis, 2000 Ford F250, 1996 Skyline Weekender

“I see a way I might use one or two.  Generators are heavy, so I wonder if I could leave the generator at home and put two of these Goal Zero Yeti 400s in the box and have backup power at a time I would normally run the generator.  I only plan to ever turn the generator on as a last resort.  So, maybe 36-pounds or so of Goal Zero versus a big generator would serve me long enough.” – Slim Johnson, 2017 Ford F-350, On path to purchase

“I use the CPAP and a portable ice machine without the need to charge for two to three nights depending on ice consumption.  I have four 6-volt batteries that cost slightly more.  They will last me eight to nine years.

If I want to dry camp for extended periods, I can introduce a solar panel into the mix or take the truck for a short drive.” – David Carvalho, 2006 Ram 3500, 2013 Alaskan

“Yes, especially if you can charge it at different places on the road or, more importantly, while driving your truck.

I have a 3000-watt inverter in the camper but use a little 300-watt pure sine wave inverter in the truck to charge camera batteries and Ryobi Battery packs, etc.  I bought a 12 to 19-volt step-up transformer to charge my laptop.  I can plug it into the truck’s or camper’s 12-volt outlets.  Also, I buy anything I can that’s 12-volts.  I haven’t seen the numbers but I bet the Goal Zero is much more efficient at 12-volts than 110-volts.

I love the idea, but before you spend the money, get a good 300-watt PSW inverter for your truck and invest in couple additional batteries.

I like the idea of going into McDonald’s and plugging in and charging up my Goal Zero. Linda and I have spent the last month on the road and, besides lighting and the water pump, we use USB charging the most.  We fire up the big inverter to run the microwave and hair dryer.  We haven’t had to use the fans much or the air conditioner as temperatures have been in the 50s at night.

We are all slaves to our electronics and have to have them charged.  I use a Ryobi Radio with an 18-volt Lithium-Ion battery pack and it lasts about four hours.  I Bluetooth the music from my iPad and fill the camper with Led Zeppelin or Andrea Bocelli.” – Tim Zeh, 2005 Chevrolet 3500, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150

“Not for me.  I was going to install a new Lithium battery in my airplane, but then on researching, I found several aircraft have actually caught fire due to the battery just exploding and catching fire anytime day or night.  I’m always happy to get new technology but not these for me anyway.

Personally, I feel everyone should research Lithium Battery safety and make a sound decision from there.  My research came from AOPA, EAA, Private Pilot magazine, and most importantly the AD notes sent out to owners on their aircraft from the FAA.” – Shellie Barnes, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Palomino SS-550

Editor’s Note: Lithium-ion battery technology is significantly safer than it was, but it’s not without risk.  Of course, the same thing can be said about gasoline and propane.  In the meantime, lithium-ion batteries are in your phone, tablet, the hybrid car, or Tesla driving next to you, and maybe the laptop computer you’re reading this on.

“Yes, it does.  Having a power unit and not having to use a generator would be a plus when on the road or boondocking.

I would use Goal Zero.  My present system, for now, works well.  I have solar power and a small generator.  I probably would buy it if the price comes down.” – Charlie Young, 2013 Chevy 2500HD, 2002 Lance 815

“Yes, it has caught my interest.  I have just one battery so this would be the second one.  Being portable it can be used outside around the campsite, for a movie outside, my Treager grill, a boat battery charger, and many choices.” – Jerry Oakley, 2017 Dodge Ram 2500, Northstar TC650

“Perhaps for someone that used a laptop a lot for work, but it’s not anything I’d ever buy.  For one reason – it’s way too much money for a simple battery in a box.  There are dozens of inexpensive lithium battery cell phone/iPad power packs.  Several have decent solar cells built in that easily recharge smartphones and iPads many times over.  They’re smaller, convenient, and much cheaper.

When all else fails, we have the Honda EU2000i that runs the truck camper – including an air conditioner – and sips gasoline.” – Harry Woodworth, 2001 Dodge 3500, 2000 Snowbird 8.6

“Yes!  Love it!  The price is a little high, but I can run everything I need of this device and recharge it on my solar panels during the day.  I want!  Can I get one to try out?  It can power my laptop, cell phone, tablet, and recharge anything I need to be recharged!” – Kenneth Dunn, 1998 Dodge 3500, 2010 Arctic Fox 811S

“Yes, though I would prefer a larger model with 80-100 AH.  I would use it for CPAP and charging devices.” – Brandon Hogue, 2017 Ram 3500, 2018 Lance 1062

“Maybe.  I just ordered a Dewalt DCB1800B Flexvolt Portable Power Station 1800-watts and 3600-watts surge.  Many of us have already invested in cordless tools which come with lithium batteries.  My thought was to see if I could run a Kuradori induction cooker or a microwave, which would be handy.  Besides, it would be an excuse to bring more tools or batteries.  A comparison of the Yeti versus the Dewalt would be interesting.” – Brian Dawson, 2013 Ford F150, 2006 Starcraft Pine Mountain

“It makes a whole lot of sense.  It could power lights, water pump, charging things, and running a television/radio.” – Mike Chesnutt, 2010 Toyota Tundra, 1995 Hide Away 855

“It would be a great addition to a truck camper.  It is a power source without the noise of a generator, so you can hear the television and music.

It’s a great supplement with solar panels.  It can be used as a power source if using power tools in remote areas.  Hopefully, the price will lower in time.” – Richard Ward, 2006 Ford 250, 2007 Arctic Fox 990

“It’s not for me.  I have all the same functionality on a much larger scale in my camper now.  For tent camping with a Jeep, yes.” – Kenneth Hufnagel, 2005 GMC 2500HD, 1998 Lance 845

“Probably, for most people.  Northern Lite Australian Ultimate Models are all fitted with a 200ah or 300ah Lithium battery with a smart cell balancing system (needed if you want your lithium to last).  This is complemented with a Redarc Battery Management System with a lithium profile (also required for lithium) that charges from any power source – vehicle, shore, generator, or the four 100-watt solar panels on the camper.  It has a four-stage charger with vehicle battery isolation and a full battery monitoring system.” – Garry Davis, 2008 Navara D40, 2012 Northern Lite 8-11 SE Australian Ultimate

“Yes, when the prices come down it would be great to run my wife’s hair dryer, toaster, or computer/printer without having to run our Honda generator when boondocking.  We have just one 95-watt solar panel and two Group 27 AGM batteries.  So, the cost is less than another solar panel.” – Ed Kuivinen, 2009 Ford F250, 2016 Lance 850

“Absolutely!  I have a propane generator, but currently, it’s inoperable.  Also, I don’t like to use it in quiet, off-grid campsites where noise isn’t appreciated.  I have experienced the same problems with limited converter power from 12-volt plug-ins.

I would use it to run outside lights, laptops, the television, and a DVD player.  I’m sure it would be like the microwave oven.  You never really know how useful it can become until you get one and start using it!” – Larry Walsh, 2006 Dodge 3500, 2001 Lance 10.5

“I don’t think it would be for me.  I’d rather gain more battery capacity and save considerable weight by replacing my lead-acid battery with a lithium battery.  I’m just waiting for the prices to come down a bit more before making the switch.  With the Yeti I’d still have the lead-acid battery and so I’ve added weight, not decreased it, and I’d have one more gadget to keep charged.

I don’t have a CPAP, a 110-volt hobby, or use a generator.  My backup charger for the phone, pad, toothbrush, etc is the inverter and 110-volt outlets in the truck’s cab.” – Brett Burguard, 2017 Ford F350, 2012 Northstar 9.5 Igloo

“Yes, absolutely.  I can envision a number of uses especially in charging cell phones, computers, and other devices.  I do like the idea of the CPAP and television connections but I already have 12-volt connectors that plug into the camper for those items.

I studied the Yeti for use in my cargo trailer for when I travel to Idaho every year because I have a freezer in the trailer.  I boondock for a month in Idaho.  A large inverter does work but requires heavy-duty wiring hooked up to a large capacity 12-volt battery and can sap a lead-acid battery dry after a few hours.

The jury is still out on the idea of a battery pack.  Also, I want the price to drop and want to see what the competition will come up with.  I also like the idea of not having to carry my portable generator and gasoline around when I’m boondocking.  Yes, I see a lithium battery pack in my future.” – Steven Cilenti, 1999 Ford F350, 2012 Arctic Fox 990

“For me, no.  I have a couple of 100-amp hour Lithium batteries, a 2500-watt inverter, and 500 watts of solar.  It looks like it would make sense for campers in general.” – Pete Haidinyak, 2016 Ram 5500, 2016 Eagle Cap 1165

“Not for me.  I have a 1000-watt inverter wired to a transfer switch so my outlets are live.  With that, I already have 120-volt AC.  My batteries also have more capacity.  I’d rather put the money into expanding my battery capacity and solar panels.  In my opinion, it’s just another booster pack which has been around forever.” – Mike Getson, 2017 Ford F350, 2013 Adventurer 89RB

“I don’t know if I would want to spend almost $600 on something that I can already get in a truck camper.  Truck campers can have a huge battery bank, a generator, and solar panels.  It would probably be nice to have as a backup for someone who owns a small truck camper with only one battery, but that price is pretty steep for a backup.” – Coly Hope, Future Owner, 1994 Rexhall Aerbus 3300

“I don’t think that we have any need for a device like this.  We recharge our cell phones and my laptop in the truck while we drive.  The Silverado is loaded with 110-volt and USB outlets in the dash and center console.  We also have multiple 12-volt outlets in the cab and camper.  The two 100 AGM batteries in the camper have never been inadequate.  The LPG generator has only been used once in three years.  But we don’t dry camp more than three consecutive days.” – Joe Sesto, 2015 Silverado 3500, 2015 Bigfoot C2500 10.6e

“I thought about this question for some time before answering.  At first, it seemed like a no-brainer for yes, but after a few days of background thinking, I have decided that no is my final answer.  Here is why.

The Goal Zero Yeti 400 is a portable 12-volt DC to 120-volt AC system with a few USB charging ports thrown in.  I already installed an inverter in my camper that is rated for 1200-watt of continuous output, powered by the two Group 31 batteries that supply the rest of the 12-volt power to the camper.  Our camper is new and came with a USB charging port but a cigarette lighter style USB charger plugged into one of the many 12-volt outlets would be equivalent.

Most electronics that we use in truck campers are available in 12-volt-powered versions (television, stereo, DVD, Bluray) so no need for an inverter for those devices and it is more efficient to power directly from 12-volt than to suffer the 10 to 20-percent loss imposed by the DC/AC inversion process.

The Goal Zero Yeti 400 will not power the most important 120-volt AC appliance in our camper – the coffee maker.  I installed the 1200-watt inverter and 400-watts of solar panels specifically to allow us to make coffee in the morning without having to start the generator.  Yes, there are ways to make coffee without an electric coffee maker, but those ways require being somewhat awake and that is where the whole process comes to a complete breakdown for us.” – Mike Stanbro, 2017 Ford F350, 2017 Eagle Cap 1200

“I like the idea of having a backup power supply to be able to charge our phones and Kindles.  It would also be a backup power source for my CPAP machine, power our Sirius Radio boombox or laptop so that we can watch movies.” – John Dorrer, 2013 Ford F-250, 2014 Four Wheel Camper Grandby

“I would probably use it for boondocking or a generator malfunction.  Taking the generator out seems like too much effort to run my new Dish setup.  I would like to lose the acid battery weight if they were cheaper.” – Donald Ball, 2016 Ram 2500, 2017 Cirrus 820

“It really makes sense for truck camping to me.  I have been expecting this product for over ten years.  It would be great if could be charged universally in countries with different voltages.  I would mainly use it for my CPAP machine.” – Rocy Chan

“It could be useful for various items in a camper.  Most of the time we’re plugged into shore power which is the easy way to camp.  However, when dry camping, keeping the phone and tablet charged without using the generator for an hour or so could be a benefit.  I doubt the Yeti will handle the power needed for running our Keurig coffee maker let alone the microwave.  I’m sure I’d have to step up to the larger Yeti 1250, but that’s why I have a generator.

The other concern is the extra 17 pounds of the Yeti 400.  Guess I’d have to carry two gallons less water to compensate for the Yeti.  As for charging phones and tablets, I do carry the Winplus Portable Power Bank which is a Lithium battery product.  It’s also rated as a 12-volt car jump starter.

The best feature for the Yeti would be to power the television while dry camping.  I won’t run a generator to watch television in the evening.  My television is not 12-volt operated.  If I have no shore power I’m more than happy to read books or magazines.” – Roger Odahl, 2008 Dodge Ram 3500, 2004 Eagle Cap 950

“Yes, but the cost is too much.  In talking to a bunch of engineering students last weekend on a camping Connect with Northeastern University about the Yeti the consensus was that a do-it-you-self lithium battery box would be far cheaper.  Like the Yeti setup it could be built in a modular design so power could be added to meet electrical needs by connecting additional units.” – Gene Thomas, 2016 Silverado 3500HD, 2017 Northern Lite

“At first thought, I was all in.  In fact, I started wondering if two of them could be connected in parallel to get even more time without running the generator.

The next thought was what the operating temperature extremes are.  Lithium batteries work well as long as they don’t get too cold or too hot.  I was also surprised at how short a shelf life they have.  I think lithium will have to get down below the $200 mark before I can consider replacing my lead-acid batteries with lithium.

There are some exciting things happening in the battery world, like nano capacitors, coming down the pipeline.  A lot of companies would like to be the first to come up with a battery that would make electric cars truly viable.

Maybe someone would come up with a small atomic plant that I could put on the roof and get all the power I want.  Just thinking.” – Terry Davis, 2012 Ram 3500, Arctic Fox Camper 990

Editor’s Note: We’re holding out for a Mr. Fusion.

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