The Little Battery That Started It All

On an orange shelf in front of an open window, a 100 watt portable power station shines its flashlight into a bottle of rubbing alcohol, which glows brilliantly in all directions; clipped to the shelf is a small DC fan which is plugged into the power station.

Honest, there really were plans to install an entire alternating current electrical system in the tiny house. Like all those other tiny house people do.

Then I saw YouTube video about the above item. I don't think it's available now; I think the whole brand is gone or replaced.

But I saw a YouTube video about a van lifer who was 24/7 and able to supply enough electric to her laptop, cell phone, and interior lighting with just one of these. So I watched it. And then I bought one.

At the time they were calling these portable power generators. Even though they don't generate anything. This is just a battery. A really great battery that doesn't spill stuff all over you. That doesn't require you to water it. That's kind of hard to get electrocuted by. And it brings all its own interfaces for both charging and supplying.

That van lifer was just using their laptop. No external monitors and docking station and all that. And their lighting was a string of Christmas lights. Nothing fancy there either. And this thing was entirely sufficient for them.

I bought this one and a portfolio style folding solar panel. And I was ridiculously pleased.

Bought two bigger ones so I could run multiple monitors and a docking station. But my job is really not that demanding. I barely used the workstation the past year and I'm about to dismantle it.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

When I first started living in the tiny house, before I was even finished building it, I ran all my electrical off of an extension cord. There wasn't a whole lot of electrical to run.

Then when the pandemic gave me the chance to work remotely, I hit the road. And did not plug in most places that I camped.

At my dad's, I've been plugging in to keep the mini fridge going. Last week I put the fridge out into the outdoor kitchen. And it's been lovely. My tiny house stays 10° F cooler than the outdoors without it. And I disconnected the extension cord at the same time.

I still recharge the batteries off extension cords in the outdoor kitchen and the outdoor sitting room/movie theater. But the draw is negligible. And there's less concern of having an electrical fire in my tiny house.

If we can get some more of these trees removed, I could put the solar back up. That would be nice.