Using the Prime while Camping

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by NJ-PrimeAdvanced, Jul 23, 2017.

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  1. NJ-PrimeAdvanced

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    So here's my question. I'm going camping soon, where there is not going to be much of an electricity supply and was thinking to myself - what an excellent way to make use of the Prime's large battery to charge our phones, especially as it has USB plugs.

    Is there a way to "safely" charge 2 iPhones by plugging them into the Prime, for a few hours, such that our phones will be fully charged? I know I can do this by sitting in the car and powering the car on fully (as if to drive away), but what if I just want to charge for longer periods, while the car is not doing anything, but just sitting there?

    What would your advice be?
     
  2. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes the car would need to be left on for extended usage of the USB or 12V accessory ports.

    For camping I've started using power banks which work great and the small solar panels will keep it topped off. It takes 3-4 days of good sunshine to recharge from zero or low so it's best to use an AC charger or USB to charge it up more quickly.

    Amazon: http://a.co/3A6ZiFV
     
  3. NJ-PrimeAdvanced

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    Is it OK to keep the car on (powered on) for extended periods of time? can you lock the doors while doing so? (eg: overnight, so things can charge)
     
  4. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Your questions are the same as those who want to keep pets inside with the HVAC on for periods longer than 10 minutes. You can't lock the doors with car running and walk off with the FOB nor can you lock the doors with the door handle button with the FOB inside to try and circumvent the former.

    You can turn off everything (HVAC, radio, lights, etc) so the car is silent, leave the car unlocked, and charge your phone but that's a risk you'll have to take.

    Personally when camping I turn my phone off and only use it for necessary things like weather radar or updates to others. After all, that's one of the main points of camping; getting away from it all. I really use the battery bank for charging camera batteries.
     
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  5. NJ-PrimeAdvanced

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    Thanks... is it possible to lock yourself out of the Prime, by for example, leaving the key-fob inside, and somehow locking the doors and then walking away? In some cars, that is possible...
     
  6. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    since the key fob is nearby (inside the car) the door should automatically unlock when you grab the door handle. Besides the car gives out a warning that the key fob is inside the car.
     
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  7. drysider

    drysider Active Member

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    You can hook a 12v solar panel directly to the 12v battery through a charge controller and use it to keep the battery topped off while using it to charge your devices. An I-phone battery has a capacity of around 2 amp-hrs. at 1.2v which is about 2,4 watt-hrs. Using a 40 watt solar panel, you could easily keep up with the load requirements. I would not have the panel connected while the car is in Ready mode (turn off the car before hooking up the panel and unhook the panel before starting the car). You can put in an Anderson power plug and quickly connect/disconnect the panel as needed. I would also monitor the 12v battery voltage, and have a separate 12v source for those times when things go wrong and you run the battery down.
     
  8. alexcue

    alexcue Active Member

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    My suggestion is just buy a power bank. I just flew back east and back, and ran two iPads, two iPhones and a Kindle between my GF and myself, while sitting in airports, in the air and during the layover. This baby is 26800mAh of power. The legal limit if I'm not mistaken to take with you as a carry on. Has 3 USB ports. It fast charges if you have devices that can handle it. It even comes with its own fast charger to replenish it over night (when you get back to civilization). it easily charged up the iphones several times without blinking (site says 9.5 times for a 6S) I only charged up the the ipads enough to top them off, but it only dropped it to just below 50% in a day of use. Anyway, I'd recommend something like this over using the car as a big battery just to charge my phones. If I'm driving it that's another thing.
     
  9. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    this one?

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Mark57

    Mark57 2021 Tesla Model 3 LR AWD

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    I concur. I use a Ravpower Turbo (rp-pb043) 20100 mAh

    Does quick charge and will charge my Galaxy S6 5 times or an iPhone 7 times. It's portable for no matter where or when you need it.

    I went with the 20100 mAh size for carry weight. It's a compromise but if you're hauling it around on your back all day, it adds up. I love it. You can recharge the power bank while your phone is plugged into it simultaneously.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    The Anker takes about 12 hours to fully recharge from empty. So I'm thinking of getting your suggestion because 4-5 hours is much better.
     
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  12. alexcue

    alexcue Active Member

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    The Anker will charge much quicker with the included quick charger. 10hrs from dead flat. I'm usually asleep while it charges so I've never checked, but in the morning it's fully charged.



    This is the model I own, be careful because they have several similar ones without the quick charger being included.

    But yes, it is heavy, but worth it for my purposes.

    I see the price has gone up, but I'm pretty sure they discount it from time to time, as I only paid $59.99 during one of their "sales". I use camelcamelcamel to monitor prices when I'm not in a hurry to buy something on Amazon.

    Edit: changed charging time based on Anker website. I've never timed it personally, but It's been charged in the morning when I grab it to go. Usually it's not from dead flat either as it's a pretty big capacity battery.
     
    #12 alexcue, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  13. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    Yup, that's what I got, the website says 10 hours from dead, I think I've gone 9 hours from dead. but I have two of those batteries for my A199 Dash Cams (one in front and one in rear) I also got the Anker Quick Charge 3.0 42W Dual USB Car Charger which is connected to my two solar panels (100 watts each) so essentially my batteries are totally solar powered.
     
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  14. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    External batteries are a commodity now, made by endless manufacturers. The recommendations that you are getting are good but I think they are geared more for a flying trip where you only want to bring one powerbank with you so you are concentrating on getting the best single unit. In your case for a camping trip there is no reason you can't bring several external batteries with you, so I would say shop around for whatever is on sale and look for the cheapest in terms of cost per mAh, then buy as many batteries as you need to cover the estimated amount of mAh you will need for your trip. Maybe the cheapest will turn out to be a single high capacity unit, but I would say for a camping trip don't limit your shopping to just those. I have both large and small capacity batteries, the small capacity are also small size and lightweight. If I'm heading into the mall or ballgame or whatever and notice my phone charge is somewhat low, as insurance I bring a small capacity battery with me in my pocket and hardly notice it.

    If you do wind up needing power from the car, you can run in ACC mode however that will drain the 12V battery more than just what it is outputting through USB, so you don't want to do that for too long. For long periods you would want to use READY mode which will use the traction battery instead of the 12V battery, and will also automatically start the engine as needed when the traction battery runs low. That's a common method for running air conditioning or heat while parked, or for large amounts of electricity. But for just charging a phone that is way overkill and the powerbank suggestions that you are receiving are the right way to go.
     
  15. Mark57

    Mark57 2021 Tesla Model 3 LR AWD

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    Mine is not the max mAh they offer, but it's a compromise of capacity and weight. I walked around Disney World for 6 days and never recharged the pack with two S6's on and off and on. I figure if I'm going to spend the cash, I'm going to get something that fits several needs whether it's a long vacation on a plane or a weeks hiking or multiple "century" bike rides.

    Also, if you already have a quick charger for your phone, it will also quick charge the battery pack. None of this OEM only stuff.
     
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  16. allen7482000

    allen7482000 Junior Member

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  17. hayden55

    hayden55 Member

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    You could just wire a 12v plug directly to the 12v battery and snake it out to a spot and get a USB adapter to charge your phone's. Probably would cost $15
     
  18. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    You won't believe what I went through to finally get the proper batteries and charging apparatus. Ordered one battery, found out it didn't have the type c input, returned it, found the correct battery, ordered it, I have a meter that fit's in the usb outlet of the charging adapter so I tried the charging adapter with a regular USB connector on one end and a USB type C connector on the other end, tested it out and the amperage was only 1 amp at 5 volts. Removed cable and tried USB to micro USB and got 2 amps at 5 volts, better but not enough, USB type C is supposed to be 3 amps at 5 volts. Turns out you need an adapter that has a USB type C output on it and the cable needs to be USB type C on both ends. Sadly RavPower does not sell Type C charging adapters even though they sell batteries with a Type C input, ended up sending their "super fast" charging adapter back and having to pay return shipping. her's what I got instead, comes tomorrow

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I had a similar need on my 2002 Prius. My solution was to rig the cigarette lighter to run off the normal fuse as well as to run off a second wire through a switch. The auto parts store has a fuse that provides an extra wire to hook up an accessory.

    I was thinking I should do this for my 2017 prime in order to charge without putting the car in accessory mode.
     
  20. pghyndman

    pghyndman Active Member

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    Be aware that numerous PP owners have cited instances where the 12V battery went below threshold, and were not be able to generate the READY signal needed to start even in EV mode.
     
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