How can you use a car battery for power?

I’m going camping next week and trying to pack as little as possible. Of course, I’m mentally preparing myself for the worst-case scenarios, and it got me thinking about what parts of my car could be helpful in an emergency. The battery came to mind instantly, but how can you use a car battery for power in an emergency?

It sounds like you take your camping seriously! I’d argue most parts of your car could be helpful, but to use your car battery to power electronics during an emergency, you need a power inverter.
Besides the fact a car battery lacks any standard outlets, it’s 12 volts and uses direct current (DC), while household goods require 110-120 volts and an alternating current (AC). To overcome these challenges and use your car battery for household goods, you need to purchase a power inverter.
When shopping for an inverter, consider the following:
  • You one specifically designed to work with 12-volt batteries.
  • Ideally, you would find a converter with cable clamps and a plug-in connector so that you can attach it directly to a car battery or use the battery already installed in your car.
  • Additionally, you should purchase an inverter that provides enough wattage for your needs. A 150 or 300-watt inverter can power basic electronics like a radio or phone charger, but you will need a 500, 750, or 1,000-watt inverter to power something like a space heater.
As someone who seems to prepare for anything, I’m sure you have a robust car insurance policy. To ensure you aren’t overpaying for your car insurance or roadside assistance, you should download the Jerry app.
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Jack Walsh
Answered on Nov 22, 2021

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