For about $100 one of these portable jump start units might meet your portable power needs when camping or off grid for a couple days. Some now have built in 110V AC inverters. So not only will they provide an emergency jump, they offer other 12V DC options as well as 110V AC to run small household powered devices.
We tested the Schumacher XP2260 that has the following features:
Its own internal rechargeable battery
12V DCJump capabilities
12V DC Output ports (Cigarette lighter type connector)
Internal battery powered 110V AC Inverter rated at 600 watts/1200 watt peak surge
Standard household 110V AC Output ports powered by the internal inverter
USB charging ports for phones, tablets, etc.
Digital display to monitor battery status and charging
I used and tested a Schumacher XP2260 portable jump start unit. It has a built in 110V AC Inverter rated at 600watts/1200watt peak surge. It also has a couple 12V DC connectors and a couple USB Charging ports. In addition it has a compressor, emergency LED white light, and digital monitoring of the power. Not to mention its main purpose of being able to jump start a vehicle (If the charge is full)
The XP2260 is rated at 22 AH (Amp hours) which is about one forth the rule of thumb for a 80 watt solar panel and one battery solar set up. While this device can’t power a microwave, or a dorm room sized fridge, it can do many other things. Also bear in mind that the 22 AH capacity is not the usable Amp Hours. You should never discharge less than 50% and some say it is better to never discharge less than 60%. For easy math we will use the 50%. So 50% of the 22 AH capacity=11amp hours of usable power.
I recently ran my laptop playing a DVD. It played the whole movie. The meter said I had 54% of a charge left. I am not sure it was fully charged when I started so more testing is needed. This device easily charges off a 400Watt inverter I have plugged into the cigarette lighter of my tow vehicle while I am driving. I am thinking this XP2260 could probably power a DVD and a newer Flat screen TV (they use less power) through at least one movie. I am planning on testing this theory out on one of my next outings in which I am unable to sit around a campfire.
Another fun test on the XP2260 would be to connect a solar panel and controller that outputs 12V DC to the input of an inverter, say a cheap 400 Watt type. That also might require a battery in between the solar controller and the inverter input? Then plug the XP2260 into the inverter 110V AC output to charge the XP2260? You then have portable power to use through the night to charge up digital devices via its USB ports, use the 12V sockets to power those types of devices, and with the built in 400 Watt inverter also have 110V AC for lower load type household devices.
TESTING OF THE XP2269 10/24/14
We performed a Test of the XP2260 in powering a 110V AC TV, and a 110V AC DVD player. The XP2260 was fully charged (13.6 Volts) just prior to commencing with the test. We wanted to prove the XP2260 would power both devices that are normal household voltage (110V AC). The XP2260 was used in the “Inverter” mode and not connected to any other power source during testing. We took the ratings off the sticker on the back of both the TV and the DVD player.
32 inch Flat Screen rated at 1 AMP
Blue Ray DVD Player rated at 3 AMP
Total Calculated AMPs per hours 4 AMP
Estimate length of Play time 3 hours
We ran the TV and DVD continuously to watch a movie for 3 hours. We found an Actual AMP meter fluctuated between 2.8 and 3.4 AMPs during play. Our findings are the actual AMP hours used, was more like an average of 3 AMPs per hour. Not at the sticker rated values that indicated it would be 4 AMPs per hour. We were pleased with that fact.
We further calculate the numbers for the 3 hours of play time
Calculated AMP usage for 3 hours X 4 AMPs = 12 AMPs
Actual AMP usage for 3 hours X 3 AMPS = 9 AMPS
After disconnecting all load devices from the XP2260 at the end of the 3 hour movie play, the XP2260 meter indicated there was still an 80% charge. The fully charged voltage of 13.6 volts was now down to 12.5 volts. Since the XP2260 is rated at a maximum storage of 22 AMPs, we were surprised the reading wasn’t closer to 50%. It is quite possible the depletion rate when using the built in inverter, under load, accelerates faster toward the end of discharge? We plan further testing on a longer duration to provide those results as well.
The conclusion of the test we set out to satisfy is this. The XP2260 is quite capable of providing enough stored energy to power both the TV and DVD we used, play for 3 hours, and have plenty of power left over.
Our next test will be to play two movies, back to back, to test the endurance for that length of play.
Be aware that you should never discharge the battery lower than 50% to maintain the longest life of the rechargeable battery.
Note/Warning. I am sure the inverter in this unit is not pure sine. I am guessing it puts out square wave AC power that may damage some electronic devices. So use the Inverter 110VAC with items you can afford to damage.
I did not follow my own advice. Further note about the Inverter 110VAC side of things. In later use I had a new flat screen TV plugged into this power source. Something in the TV fried, and I ended up needing to buy a new TV. I further do not recommend it for sensitive electronics you can’t afford to have damaged.