Can you build something better than a Yeti Goal Zero for under $200?
I think so. This is my video review of two essential tools that I use in my Honda Odyssey minivan camper.
I don’t review a lot of items on OdysseyCamper.com or our YouTube channel because that’s not the point of the project. However, there are a couple items that I think are very clever and have become part of my everyday gear. Please check out my video review of the DieHard Portable Power 1150 and the E-Trends LED utility light (the best $5 you’ll ever spend).
I often joke that the DieHard power pack is the “poor man’s Yeti Goal Zero” which just infuriates the Yeti worshipers. Actually, it’s better than a Goal Zero 400 because the DieHard also includes an air compressor and it can jump start your vehicle. But, to be fair, the Yeti has a full sine inverter (both are 400W, but the DieHard’s is modified sine) and a 33Ah (amp hour) battery, vs the 18Ah in the DieHard. The Yeti can also be recharged with a solar panel. I don’t need to do that because I just plug the DieHard into my cigarette lighter when I’m traveling and it’s always charged. However, I’ll will add solar panel capabilities in Part 2 of this post/video. In the end, the Yeti Goal Zero 400 has more reserve power, but the portable battery packs (either DieHard or the Schumacher equivalent) add jump-start capability, an air compressor, and enhanced portability. If you really wanted more battery capacity, it’s easy to add an external battery pack for $50 and blow by the Goal Zero’s capacity (40Ah, vs 33Ah)Watch the video and see if you still think the Yeti is worth the money…
The battery in the DieHard Portable Power unit is removable and replaceable. It’s a sealed lead acid battery which means it doesn’t off-gas like a regular flooded acid deep cycle. Because it’s a lead acid battery, it can dump a LOT of current at once, which makes it capable of jump starting a vehicle with a dead battery (in the video, I disconnect the battery and start the van with it). If you buy a used DieHard or Schumacher battery pack and want to replace a tired old battery, it’s pretty easy.
The battery that comes with the DieHard unit is an 18 Ah unit. If you do replace the battery when it wears out, make sure to buy the 22Ah version, which is the same price but has more reserve power.
You can find all of my technical and minivan camper conversion DIYs, linked here.