Any time I have traveled I have always had a few basic needs when it comes to being able to keep up with work on the road. I have a few items which require power and this can become a little more difficult when staying remote. Remote campsites rarely have amenities such as picnic tables or vault toilets let alone a power connection. So when I moved toward converting a van I knew there would be some challenges I would have to address pretty quickly.
A quick inventory of things I have that need to be charged daily included cameras for creating videos and content as well as my laptop. Seems easy enough but then factor in a refrigerator which needs a constant power source and things become a bit more complicated.
As I am just starting out with the van I was not sure how I wanted to install solar on the roof. There are countless hundreds of videos and suggestions all of which have their pros and cons. But while I was in the process of deciding that I didn’t need to be lacking of the power source itself. This led me to start falling down the rabbit hole of options which included power stations.
Power stations are units which can be charged by solar, sure power or automobile auxiliary power sources. They range in size and abilities but allow you to have a source of power for your devices which does not have to be plugged in while using. These are mobile units which allow you to take them with you and move them around as needed which can add an additional level of convenience.
When looking into these the endless possibilities seemed a bit overwhelming to say the least. Brand after brand, the similarities seemed to to be so closely mirroring one another that I knew I would need to find out more from people who were actually using them instead of mere specs on a Google search.
One brand started to quickly overshadow others within the van community, Jackery. The Jackery was not only popular but the options it offered ranged vastly for those in the community looking to do any number of activities.
If there is one thing I have learned about van life, it is that no two people are needing the same exact amount of power. Some, like myself need devices charged for business, others would like to run small appliances or power tools. Jackery seemed to have an overwhelming volume of online reviews from users with varying power needs and this became a massive resource for learning about the pros and cons of it and other brands.
With no set idea as to when I would be adding solar, the larger units started to really appeal to me. They could be charged before an adventure and along the long drives I would be making to hold up to the needs I would have for power along the way. A full charge through a direct outlet source would take about 6 hours while using the car approximately 8. With this charge I could power things such as my camera up to 50 charges, my phone 100 charges and my laptop 8 charges. The refrigerator could run consistently for up to 66 hours before a recharge would be needed.
Seeing these spec and them being echoed though my fellow van dwellers, I knew the Jackery Explorer 1000 was in fact the way to go!
So, you ask, How Do I Power My Van? I power it with the Jackery.
A few benefits to having the power station in advance of my solar system including that it can be fitted to that system once installed. Additionally it eliminates the need to a large battery bank in such a small van which could be problematic for spacing.
The footprint of the Jackery is only about 1 foot in length and 9 inches in width. This makes it very compact and in addition to weighing only 22 pounds I can easily move it around as needed in the van and around my campsite.
With more than enough power for me to function within all I do, the Jackery is a small wonder of sorts that eliminates the guess work of being remote. No longer having to sit in a running car to have functioning devices or carrying a battery pack just to keep my phone charged because it didn’t fully charge in the car, this really cuts down on unnecessary downtime and weight in my daypack when I am exploring.
Planning your power source is something you will want to consider, but when you do, think of the Jackery!
If you are interested in trying out a Jackery also check out the one I have HERE
Learn MORE With my FULL Video Review HERE