Last fall, we reviewed a new power station from a company called BougeRV. That model impressed us with its set of features and budget-friendly price. Since then, the tech startup has expanded its line-up to include more products, including additional devices for use while camping, like a portable refrigerator and air conditioner. It has also introduced new power stations, improving their features and functionality along the way. Recently, we had the chance to test the new BougeRV Fort 1000 model, and like its predecessor, it delivers a lot of bang for your buck.
Batteries and Power Output
Like most modern power stations, the Fort 1000 utilizes lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries to store energy. These power cells have a few advantages over older lead-acid or lithium-ion models, most notably being much safer as they are less prone to catching fire. They also have a longer lifespan, which can be up to five times longer than other types of batteries. That makes them a better long-term investment for use while camping and better for the environment as they won’t get recycled as often.
The LiFePO4 batteries found in the Fort 1000 have a capacity of 1120 watt-hours, enough to recharge a smartphone 70+ times or power a mini-fridge for up to 15 hours. The power station offers a sustained power output of 1200 watts with surge peak performance as high as 2000 watts. That allows the unit to run not just mobile devices and laptops but small appliances such as a microwave, coffee maker, or a CPAP machine.
The Fort 1000 delivers its stored power through a variety of charging ports. Those include three 110V AC outlets like the ones in your home and a 12V DC port such as those found in most vehicles. It also features two standard USB-A ports (5V/2.4A), a USB-A QC3 (5V/3A) quick-charging port, and a USB-C (60W) port. As usual, we’d like to see more USB-C ports on all power stations, as those are quickly becoming the standard for charging most tech devices.
Recharging the Power Station
BougeRV offers Fort 1000 owners three ways to recharge the device. The unit comes with an AC adapter that plugs into a standard wall outlet, but it can also be charged using a 12V vehicle port or via portable solar panels. The power station’s lone USB-C port is also bi-directional, meaning it can send energy out to a device or pull it in to help replenish the batteries.
The Fort 1000 recharges in about 4.5 hours using the included AC adapter, which is somewhat slow compared to similarly specced power stations from the competition. Surprisingly, using a 200W solar panel delivers similar performance, requiring around 5 hours to fully recharge the device. As always, there are a number of variables that can impact solar charging speeds, however, like the angle of the sun, cloud cover, and shadows. Adding a USB-C adapter to the mix does speed up the recharging process to a degree, but it isn’t a dramatic improvement.
During our testing, we were impressed by the Fort 1000’s performance when recharging using a portable solar panel. But at the same time, we were somewhat disappointed by the charging speeds via the AC adapter. Fortunately, it wasn’t a significant problem, as we usually just plugged it in overnight, and it would be ready to go the following day. But if you’re looking for a quick charge in a shorter time span, you might not get the results you would typically expect.
Built for the Outdoors
One of the things that impressed us about the first BougeRV power station we reviewed was its build quality. We’re happy to say the Fort 1000 exhibits the same rugged design, making it a good choice for use in the outdoors. The device is built like a tank and designed to survive just about anything short of being fully submerged in water. It also comes with two durable built-in handles that make carrying it around as easy as possible.
Tipping the scales at 28.7 pounds, this isn’t the lightest power station on the market. That said, it isn’t overly heavy, either. Considering its battery capacity, feature set, and rugged construction, it feels substantial without being unduly heavy. Its compact size also makes it easy to store, particularly in a smaller RV like a camper van or teardrop trailer.
As mentioned, the Fort 1000’s LiFoPO4 batteries are designed for long-term use. BougeRV estimates they can be recharged 3500+ times to an 80% capacity without impacting performance. That is a substantial upgrade from previous generations of power stations, which often saw battery degradation after just 300 to 500 charges. The company stands by its products, too, offering a five-year warranty with a two-year extension when purchased directly from the official website.
Excellent Display and Performance
One feature that really stood out during our testing was the Fort 1000’s LED display. The built-in screens on most power stations are functional, but they don’t always offer much information, nor are they impressive from a technical standpoint. Not so here, as the built-in screen is clear, bright, and easy to read even in direct sunlight. It also displays a wide variety of information, including power input and output, current battery capacity, charging status, active ports, and more.
During our testing, we also found that BougeRV may be underestimating the run times of the devices plugged into the power station. Using the Fort 1000 to run small appliances provided better performance than expected, with longer battery life than advertised. That bodes well for its use at the campground or in the event of a loss of power at home. It is also an indication of quality parts used in the construction of the unit, ensuring expectations aren’t just met, but exceeded.
All of this adds up to another outstanding product from BougeRV. The Fort 1000 delivers a lot of features and capacity in a compact and rugged design, making it easy to recommend to anyone shopping for a portable power station. It is also competitively priced at $999.99, allowing it to stand out from other—more well-known—brands in the industry. Make no mistake, you can find models that are less expensive than this one, but they typically won’t offer the same blend of performance and affordability.
Similarly, you’ll also find models with more features like quick-charging capabilities and the ability to function as an uninterruptible power supply. But those power stations tend to be more expensive, too. In other words, the Fort 1000 fills a nice niche, delivering everything most people need without superfluous functionality that doesn’t bring much to the table. That’s precisely what we’re looking for when adding anything new to our RVs.
To learn more about the BougeRV Fort 1000, visit the company’s website.