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Lazy-person's aux battery solutions
One of those options could be as simple as buying a jumper pack, in case you wind up using too much of the engine battery, you could jumpstart yourself

When engine starting battery eventually fails from repeated deeper cycling, replace it with a marine battery.

While the jumper pack itself could be used as a house battery, my opinion would be to keep it fully charged always, and keep it for fully charged and thus and healthy, for jumpstarting duty.

If you do use it as a house battery, the internal AGM battery is not really difficult to replace when it wears out, and is likely a 12Ah or 18Ah AGM battery.

These jumper packs can be charged through the 12v power port too, but charging will be slow and incomplete leading to poor performance. They can be charged faster if actually hooked to engine battery by the alligator clamps, but this of course is not so easy to drive around with it in place.

The USB power packs rated at 10,000Mah is 10AH, but at 5 volts. that is 50 watt hours.

50 watt hours divided by 12.2v is 4.1 amp hours.

Here is a 7 AH 12v AGM battery of 17$

Another option is the lithium jumper packs, and these come with USB outlets too, but again, i would save the battery for jumpstarting rather than using it as a micro house battery, but the choice is yours.
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(04-21-2017, 03:15 PM)jimindenver Wrote: Ok what about a external USB battery pack/ power bank? Mine is 10,000 ma and could be charged back up while you are driving.

As a example this one is 10,000 ma for $15

USB Cigarette lighter converters are common.  For some reason my amazon basics model does not work in my 2000 Ford, but works fine on the house battery setup.  I just got one of these for my small batteries, solidly built and also charges the emerging lithium technologies, including the i8650.  The LaCrosse smart(er) charger is a POS.

Amp hours on these small batteries are misleading to van dwellers, the amp hours are not 12 volts.  Watt hours are a better measure to compare and you'll need to do the math to get it to 12v amp hours.

The safest thing would be to only charge batteries when the vehicle is running, including small power pack type devices.  You should consider a smaller solar setup as well.  Figuring out your estimated needs is crucial.
-Douglas Tooley

My Blog
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The Ryobi system worked well for us with the 18 volt lamps and fans using the in car charger and 2 extra batteries as we usually drove 2 to four hours a day while charging. We also carried a jumper battery which we never used except to recharge cell phones while parked. Lights lasted several days and fan would run 8 hours on low speed and 4 hours on high.
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