What Will A Portable Power Station Run?

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Jay Elliott

Chief Camping Officer

Modern portable power stations have become very sophisticated units. the truth is, a portable power station with a big enough battery and inverter could run nearly any household appliance or piece of camping equipment. It’s just a matter of how long it could run them without needing to be charged.

In this article, we list some of the more common appliances and types of equipment that a camping power station could support, to help you get an understanding of how capable portable power stations are these days, and whether they might meet your needs.

Camping Fridge

Probably one of the most common reasons that people consider getting a portable power station is the need (or want) to run a portable camping fridge. Portable power stations are absolutely capable of powering camping fridges, they usually have a 12-volt cigarette plug, Or some other 12-volt compatible plug, that would definitely be compatible with all portable power stations. 

The only question you would need to answer is, how big of a battery you need in a portable power station, depending on how much power the camping fridge you have uses, and what opportunities you will have to charge it while you are away from home. 

Portable Hot Water System

Portable hot water systems are increasingly popular pieces of camping gear, and usually require some form of 12-volt power to help with the ignition and control of the unit,  especially the water pump.

Portable power stations work very well in these cases, given they are so portable, and you can move the power station wherever you need to power the portable hot water system for showers and dishwashing, etc.

Camping Shower

Camping showers are sometimes one and the same as portable hot water systems, but there are some dedicated camping showers, that require 12-volt power to run the water pump that are not technically portable power stations. 

Camping showers can absolutely be powered very well by a portable power station.

LED Lights

 LED lights are very power-efficient lights that can illuminate your campsite, or any other area for that matter, after dark. They can definitely be powered by a portable power station, and most portable power stations include dedicated 12-volt DC pin ports, which most LED lights plug straight into.

However, if your LED lights have a 12-volt cigarette plug adaptor, then this could also be plugged into any portable power station.

C-PAP Machine

The need to use a CPAP machine has often been a barrier for many who would like to consider holidays or camping trips away from home. Portable power stations have been a lifesaver and a gift to those who require a CPAP machine to sleep safely and effectively.

Not every portable power station will be able to support a CPAP machine, so you will need to do some research on the type of power plug you will need, and how much power the CPAP machine draws, and ensure that the portable power station you are looking at has enough power, an appropriate inverter, and the appropriate connection, to support your CPAP machine.

Coffee Maker

If you love your coffee and don’t like the idea of missing out if you spend some time away from home, the good news is that most coffee appliances could be supported by a decent portable power station.

Whether it’s just a simple pod machine, or coffee bean grinder, or a full-service brew station, with a milk frother, there is definitely a portable power station that will suit your needs, just ensure that you do your homework on how much power your coffee maker requires, so that you can select the appropriate portable power station.

Powering a pod machine will require a lot less electricity than powering a full-service coffee maker, so you should expect to buy a sophisticated portable power station if you are looking to power your full-service brew station off-grid.

Hair Dryer

A hairdryer is an appliance that requires quite a bit of electricity. As a result, if you are wanting to power a hairdryer with a portable power station, it is possible but you will need a top-of-the-line portable power station, that has a 240-volt pure sine wave inverter that can produce enough current for a hairdryer.


Typically, televisions do not require a massive amount of power to operate so a good quality power station could easily run a traditional TV, just a matter of how long for.

However, it is also possible to get TVs that have a 12-volt power connection. If you have a 12-volt TV, then it will be able to be supported by even some of the simpler portable power stations and be supported for a longer period of time.

Laptop Charger/Monitor

A portable power station could easily support a mobile office whether that be a laptop to be charged, a desktop PC to be run, or even a computer monitor. Like the other devices listed here, the amount of time that the portable power station could run your home office will depend on exactly how much power the draw,  the type of computing you are doing, and how long you plan to be doing it.

Smart Phone Charger

Charging smartphones, tablets, and other portable hand-held devices, is one of the most popular used cases of portable power stations full stop all the portable power stations these days come with USB outputs, so you should have no problems charging any smartphone, or tablet, that has a USB charging cord.

Power Tool Battery Charger

Battery-powered power tools can be a great asset on the road, and when off-grid, the battery chargers for these power tools, do not demand a large flow of electricity. You will need a portable power station with an inverter, to be able to charge your battery-powered power tools, but even one of the simpler portable power stations, as long as it has an inverter, should be capable of recharging your power tool batteries.

However always do your homework as to the amount of current the charger draws, before selecting a power station for that need.

Power Tools

Mini power tools do draw quite a large amount of current, so you would need a high-end portable power station, with an inverter, to power them. but it is definitely possible to run power tools, for a short period of time at least, with a portable power station. 

It’s probably not the best use case to purchase a portable power station for, but it’s definitely an option you have, as a backup at least.

Almost Anything Really…..

Portable power stations have come such a long way in the last 5 years, that the high-end portable power stations and even some of the midrange power stations could power most household devices, at least for a short period of time.

It is important to do your research on what devices you plan to power, how much power they draw, and how long you plan to power them, to ensure you get a portable power station that has enough battery storage, as well as an inverter, or 12-volt output that can provide a stronger of current to effectively and safely power the device, or devices you are wanting to run off-grid.