Car battery jump packs?

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jttheclockman

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What is the best 12 volt battery jumper for emergency jumps. You know these battery packs that you can carry in the trunk. Do they work and what are the do's and dont's with them? Are they worth it. I see ones advertised on QVC many times. How long do they last? Thanks. Like to hear your experiences. I have a 93 blazer I keep in the garage and the battery at times dies because I forget to run it often enough. Now that I have been retired for awhile I just do not use that truck alot. But do not want to get rid of it. It is the backup vehicle. When it happens I have to get the pickup and then use 2 sets of jumper cables to reach the front of the blazer and is a pain.
 
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PatrickR

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I have had the bolt for about 4 years (qvc) and have no complaints. It holds a charge a long time, have used it to power lights during outages and it will jump a car numerous times without recharging.
 

greenacres2

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Hey JT…maybe next time you start it, drive it around the block then back it into the garage—that would get you down to one set of cables for a jump.
Earl
 

WriteON

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I have 2 from Costco. WINPLUS. Used it twice. I could not believe the power it produced. Also good for charging a cell phone if needed. Research Jump Start bank battery and read reviews if you do not buy the one from Costco. Recharge the Bank Battery every 4 months or after using. ( read instructions). I have one in every car. I helped a driver in a parking garage. AAA does not enter to jump start or battery service. Aside from a Bank Battery I keep this charged up and it stays in the house. No such thing as too much emergency stuff.
 

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southernclay

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I bought this one off of Amazon and have since bought a few more for family gifts. My favorite use is for helping jump off others cars where it may be in an awkward place to bring my truck close enough.
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John, FWW. Learned about these from one of our sons. Found a Caterpillar (CAT), at Costco. Has a small LED light, 4 USB outlets, a 200 watt 120 volt outlet, short jumper cables, a tire inflator, and a detachable charging cord. Rated at 1000 cold crank amps. Decent carry handle. Newer version has been stepped up to 1200 CCA. The only thing I would have wanted was 12 volt outlet. However, that wasn't a deal killer. I have two flashlights, and a mini tripod LED light for emergencies, probably overkill. I can recall a number of times I was stuck with a dead battery in my younger days. One of these would have been handy.
I would advise taking the operating instructions quick start sheet and put it in a zip lock bag. Attach to carry handle or cables just in case someone needs. Also they say the battery is sealed. Yeah, right, where have we heard that before, I took a short length of thin rope and tied to something rigid in the truck and car, so that it will not tip over. Also, took some Velcro power cord wrap and attached charging cable to handle, just to keep track of it.
Almost forgot. Personally I'd advise against one of those inexpensive, mini jump starters. Not enough guts there for cold weather, or if you need a second use , or if you forget the maintenance charge. How do I know, my buddy has one. His has a van with high mileage and some sort of a battery charging system disorder (nightmare). They have used it many times. However, they have had some let downs when it happens a second time before they can get home and recharge.
 
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Humongous

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Hi John: This is the one the the guy from AAA used when my battery died. I was amazed that something so small jumped my V6 from completely dead like it was nothing. He said that this one would crank over a diesel semi. It's around $200 on amazon, there are lower amperage units for less.

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leehljp

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I bought one of the Harbor Freight ones - https://www.harborfreight.com/450-p...ower-pack-62749.html?_br_psugg_q=jump+starter

It worked well for about 24 months and then went down quick. Worthless now. I kept it charged - about every 3 to 4 months. I sung its praises until it went down. It was powerful and worked well for 2 years.

I have thought about another from a different and reputable brand. I will be watching this thread.

As to JUICEDSS mentioned above concerning a trickle charge, I used to take a different route. Having lived overseas for a number of years, I kept a vehicle back here in the states to use when I was home for a month each year. The first 3 years that I did this, the battery would be dead when I came back and I would have to get a new battery. The one year old one would be in warranty so I just had to swap them out. THEN I got smart and bought a HF solar charger and put it in the window. Every year I was gone and returned, the battery worked fine. I did this on my lawn tractor also. Both the vehicle battery lasted 10+ years and the lawn tractor battery lasted 12 years before replacement was needed.

Still, those portable jump start batteries are great - if a quality jump start battery is purchased and maintained.
 

WriteON

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I bought one of the Harbor Freight ones - https://www.harborfreight.com/450-p...ower-pack-62749.html?_br_psugg_q=jump+starter

It worked well for about 24 months and then went down quick. Worthless now. I kept it charged - about every 3 to 4 months. I sung its praises until it went down. It was powerful and worked well for 2 years.

I have thought about another from a different and reputable brand. I will be watching this thread.

As to JUICEDSS mentioned above concerning a trickle charge, I used to take a different route. Having lived overseas for a number of years, I kept a vehicle back here in the states to use when I was home for a month each year. The first 3 years that I did this, the battery would be dead when I came back and I would have to get a new battery. The one year old one would be in warranty so I just had to swap them out. THEN I got smart and bought a HF solar charger and put it in the window. Every year I was gone and returned, the battery worked fine. I did this on my lawn tractor also. Both the vehicle battery lasted 10+ years and the lawn tractor battery lasted 12 years before replacement was needed.

Still, those portable jump start batteries are great - if a quality jump start battery is purchased and maintained.
My stored/garaged cars are on tenders...however had a battery dead on arrival after 7 months. Also I have a car remotely stored with no electric in the storage unit. I disconnect the battery however it can be low when needed. The small portable power banks are a good thing to have ( a must have for me). Use anything once in a needed situation and it paid for itself plus. It's nice not being stranded.

John... you asked which one is the best. I bought mine based on the reviews. I have others (not Winplus)... I went by the owners ratings. There are a lot of good ones from $70 - over $200.
 
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jttheclockman

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Hey JT…maybe next time you start it, drive it around the block then back it into the garage—that would get you down to one set of cables for a jump.
Earl
I can not do that because I could not get out of the truck. Too much junk on that side of the garage. I barely get in and out on the driver side now. It is only a one car garage.
 

penicillin

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How long do they last in a car before the batteries won't hold a charge? Around here, temperatures can go above 100 in the summer, and that translates into much higher temperatures in a parked car in the sun. Likewise, in other parts of the country, temperatures can drop well below zero. That can't be good for batteries that must be ready when you need them.

I am pretty organized and methodical, but I am not sure I would want to take on the extra effort of maintaining the charge on those jump starter battery packs, either.

I carry a set of jumper cables in each of my vehicles. My oldest set of jumpers is over 40 years old. It is still just as good as the day I bought it, and requires zero maintenance, charging, or worry. For the very rare times I have have encountered a dead battery, there has always been someone (family, friend, or a good samaritan) nearby to help with a car and a working battery.
 

jttheclockman

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How long do they last in a car before the batteries won't hold a charge? Around here, temperatures can go above 100 in the summer, and that translates into much higher temperatures in a parked car in the sun. Likewise, in other parts of the country, temperatures can drop well below zero. That can't be good for batteries that must be ready when you need them.

I am pretty organized and methodical, but I am not sure I would want to take on the extra effort of maintaining the charge on those jump starter battery packs, either.

I carry a set of jumper cables in each of my vehicles. My oldest set of jumpers is over 40 years old. It is still just as good as the day I bought it, and requires zero maintenance, charging, or worry. For the very rare times I have have encountered a dead battery, there has always been someone (family, friend, or a good samaritan) nearby to help with a car and a working battery.
I believe it is a matter of what type battery. My generator battery needs to be watched also and I bought a trickle charger for it. Yes I could always pull start it but so much easier turning a key. These small batteries can be troublesome just look at the skateboard thing or whatever they are called. But it is a peace of mind. I have always carried jumper cables in my vehicles and have helped myself as well as many others over the years. But this situation is tougher as I get older. Looking for an easier answer and one worth the money. Yes extreme weather temps either way can do the most damage to a car battery. That is why I forget sometimes and get caught not taking the truck out fast enough before battery gets too low.
 

greenacres2

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I can not do that because I could not get out of the truck. Too much junk on that side of the garage. I barely get in and out on the driver side now. It is only a one car garage.
Yep, I wondered that while i was typing. My wife has a nice wide parking place in our 3 car garage--i don't see any way to get a second car in there!! Best wishes!!
earl
 

leehljp

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How long do they last in a car before the batteries won't hold a charge? Around here, temperatures can go above 100 in the summer, and that translates into much higher temperatures in a parked car in the sun. Likewise, in other parts of the country, temperatures can drop well below zero. That can't be good for batteries that must be ready when you need them.

I am pretty organized and methodical, but I am not sure I would want to take on the extra effort of maintaining the charge on those jump starter battery packs, either.

I carry a set of jumper cables in each of my vehicles. My oldest set of jumpers is over 40 years old. It is still just as good as the day I bought it, and requires zero maintenance, charging, or worry. For the very rare times I have have encountered a dead battery, there has always been someone (family, friend, or a good samaritan) nearby to help with a car and a working battery.
I grew up toting jumper cables for trucks, tractors, farm machinery and cars on dad's farm. Carried that idea with me and did lots of favors for people through the years. But honestly, these little chunks of a lithium battery make jump starting super easy, especially in bad weather. Jumper cables require 2 vehicles in close proximity, but the battery pack is a mere walk, much more convenient, and a less than 100lb lady with a skirt on can do that easily. (My sister in law used mine for a month easily and impressed a few people by helping them.)
 

studioseven

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John, My wife bought me the Halo from QVC for Christmas a few years ago. First time I needed it, it didn't work. Read the QVC reviews and quite a few other customers had the same experience. I did a search on reviews and ended up buying the Genesis that Humungous cited. It works very well but it is pricy. They do have different models.

Seven
 

PatrickR

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John, My wife bought me the Halo from QVC for Christmas a few years ago. First time I needed it, it didn't work. Read the QVC reviews and quite a few other customers had the same experience. I did a search on reviews and ended up buying the Genesis that Humungous cited. It works very well but it is pricy. They do have different models.

Seven
They must have gotten a bad batch of them. My experience is the opposite. We have three of them that are 4+ years old and all of them work like new.
 

egnald

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I have two of the Menards Masterforce brand boosters, one in my wife's car and one in my pickup. They are both the Lithium Polymer battery variety and are charged through a 5V/2A USB port so they can be recharged from within the vehicle or back at home on the bench. I've had them for about 3 years now and so far they have worked great - they have held charges quite well and have always come through for me whenever I needed them to. I think they were about $80 each. - Dave
 

jttheclockman

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They make a battery quick disconnect for boats - I wonder if they make something like that for a truck. Sounds like you have a weak battery, or a parasitic drain.
It is a brand new battery I bought at Costco about 6 months ago. The problem is I may not start that truck for 3 weeks or longer. During the summer months the heat takes it down fast as well as extreme cold. If I take it out for a run to charge the battery it is fine till next time. I did a voltage test on the entire truck and no leakage that I see. It is just a matter of keep on it.
 
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