CAMPING - POWER & LIGHTING
The Toughpower portable power box is said to offer more benefits than any comparable unit in the market.
Most modern 4WDs lack under-bonnet space for a deep-cycle battery and even if there is sufficient room, AGM and lithium batteries don’t like engine bay heat. This situation leads many people to placing their second battery in the back of the vehicle, near the fridge.
A portable power box is an alternative to a fixed second battery and has the advantage of portability, allowing it to power electrical equipment away from the vehicle.
Toughpower was designed by Intelliquip for the Australian 4WD market and conditions. It can house any type of battery, including wet cell, gel, calcium, AGM and LiFePO4 lithium.
There are several types of power boxes in the market, but Intelliquip claims that the ToughpowerTP-1000 Dual model is the only one that has automatic low voltage shutdown and recovery; full battery protection; inbuilt 10-amp mains charger, 10-amp DC-DC charger, MPPT solar controller and displays of all charging
It also incorporates a 1000-watt pure sine wave inverter that has a 2000W peak output, for appliance start-ups.
Charging can be done from 240V mains power, 12V solar panel, CIG vehicle socket, vehicle alternator or external 12V supply via an Anderson plug.
Outlets are 240V, 1000W, 50-amp 12V Anderson outlet, 12V CIG, 12V Engel, 12V Merit and two 2.5-amp USB ports. Inbuilt protection eliminates the need for fuses on the output side.
The Toughpower’s LED touchscreen displays all charging inputs and loads, shows live data and usage logs, has an inverter timer and a touch-dimmable camping
Low-voltage protection switches off all outlets if battery voltage drops below a pre-determined level and automatically re-connects power when charging begins. For example, if the Toughpower turns off the fridge because of low battery charge overnight, it will automatically start powering the fridge as soon as the morning sun strikes a connected solar panel.
Another useful feature is Dual Battery Bypass Control that allows the Toughpower to run appliances if it’s connected to the vehicle alternator, even if the stored battery is flat.
With the vehicle’s alternator operating the Toughpower system allows full alternator charge to the stored battery during bulk charging and then switches to the inbuilt DC-DC charger for the ‘float’ charging stage.
Toughpower is made from heavy duty plastic and comes with a 12-month warranty.
The unit, complete with inbuilt chargers, outlets, monitoring systems and inverter has a RRP of $1299, plus the cost of your chosen deep cycle battery. The optimum setup would be with a $1953 Revolution 100AH lithium battery added, but less capable volt boxes can be had from around $400.