Companion Rover Lithium 40Ah power station: tested

By Justin Walker

June 7, 2022


Companion’s Rover Lithium 40Ah Power Station offers plenty of portable power to ensure ample power for your camping adventures.

Reliable power is an essential part of any family camping trip, and a portable power pack is a great option for those who don’t want the expense of installing an auxiliary battery in their vehicle. These units are ideal for powering your portable fridge/freezer and charging your camping gadgets while you’re outdoors.

A reliable portable power source was essential to ensure that the expedition team’s food and drink remained fresh for the desert crossing.

On a recent Aus Geo mission in the Simpson Desert, I needed to get a portable power pack as I was borrowing a vehicle for the trip, and it didn’t come with an auxiliary battery. Aus Geo Adventure a previously tested a Companion Rover Lithium 70Ah power station, so I chose to bring its “little brother”, the Rover Lithium 40Ah Power Station, on this expedition. In short, at the end of the seven-day crossing of the northern Simpson Desert, I was seriously impressed: this “little” PSU punched way above its weight in terms of overall performance.


Design

As the name suggests, this power pack uses a 40Ah Lithium LiFePO4 (Lithium Ion Phosphate) battery, producing a claimed power of 512Wh per charge. This type of battery ensures that the power supply uses nearly 95% of its capacity for 2000 charge/recharge cycles and then continues to offer 80% of its capacity for the following cycles. Charging time is eight to 10 hours. Yes, impressive.

The unit is lightweight, at just 6.3kg, and compact, measuring 270mm x 154mm x 242mm. This light weight and small size makes it ideal for just about any vehicle in terms of storage and it’s also easy to move around camp if needed.

Some of the outputs of the Rover Lithium 40Ah Power Station, including two-pin DC12V, two USBs and one USB-C.

There are numerous outputs on the unit, including an Anderson plug output (with a maximum output of 10A), two USBs, one USB-C, three different DC outputs (12V cig, 12V bi-pin and two DC5521 adapters for LED strip). lighting), a single input for charging via DC, AC or solar power source (the unit’s MPPT management system means it can be charged via Companion’s excellent range of portable solar panels), and there’s even a 3W LED light, with three light output options (solid, fast strobe, and slow strobe). The outputs can all be used at the same time. The LCD screen tells the user how much power/time is left and operation is intuitive. The Power Station also has all the usual battery protections, including over and under voltage, over and under temperature, short circuit and incorrect polarity.


In the field

The Rover Lithium 40Ah was used every day once we arrived at camp. During the day the fridge/freezer was powered by the vehicle battery, but once we stopped for the night we immediately switched to the Power Station, plugging the 12V cable from the fridge into the Power Station which we located under the vehicle.

The Aus Geo Simpson Desert Expedition Team was guaranteed fresh food and cold drinks each evening at camp, thanks to the power plant.

I was initially concerned that the ‘small’ (compared to its larger 70Ah mate) Lithium 40Ah wouldn’t have enough grunt for more than a night or two, due to cold desert nights, and even allowing my fridge/freezer to have a pretty low power consumption rate. Lithium batteries do not like cold conditions and discharge quickly in these conditions. However, to my very pleasant surprise, the Rover Lithium 40Ah did not need to be recharged until the fourth night, and once recharged (it took a while, via the vehicle’s 12V socket; we reached 40 % power after seven hours of driving) it fulfilled its functions of supplying the refrigerator until the end of the crossing. Overall, its performance was excellent, especially considering the cold conditions.


The Final Word on the Rover Lithium 40Ah Power Station

Companion’s portable power supply offers great value, with simple operation, rugged construction and excellent performance, at a reasonable price for this market segment. The small size of the Rover Lithium 40Ah Power Station belies its literal power and for those looking for a portable charging solution for their camping adventures, this unit is well worth a look. For those looking for more camp-side grunt, Companion’s Rover 70Ah Power Station is another option, albeit with a very steep jump in asking price.

Recommended retail price: $599 View outdoor companion for more information on the entire Rover Power Station range

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