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Thread: Portable jump starter

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    Default Portable jump starter

    I would like to buy a portable jump starter to carry in my truck for emergency use whether for the truck, atv, snowmachine, etc. Does anyone have any experience with these devices? I have looked at the Clore models particularly, but don't know how well they actually work, especially for starting a dead truck battery. Any helpful advice/recommendations would be appreciated.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak hunter View Post
    I would like to buy a portable jump starter to carry in my truck for emergency use whether for the truck, atv, snowmachine, etc. Does anyone have any experience with these devices? I have looked at the Clore models particularly, but don't know how well they actually work, especially for starting a dead truck battery. Any helpful advice/recommendations would be appreciated.
    I have 3 different ones and really like them. Saved my bacon on more than one occasion. I have one with an compressor so I can inflate my ATV tires, also handy to plug a spot light into the 12 volt socket and search for hours if needed.

    Steve
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  3. #3

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    I always keep a couple around as part of my business. They are indispensable. When you say "truck battery" I'm assuming you mean pickup truck. There are larger (and heavier) units out there for more industrialized applications like construction and road-building equipment, big trucks, etc. You're probably in the market for one that is very portable and costs between $50 and $120. Keep in mind that these don't work nearly as well if you don't keep them charged, and they don't work at all if you leave them at home. Cold weather affects them like any it does any battery. I can usually get about 3 or 4 years of use, then they suddenly refuse to hold a sustained charge.

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    I have one that I use around the house to inflate tires and jump start the Gator. It's handy for that. For jumping the Duramax? Worthless.

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    Member bkmail's Avatar
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    Just remeber to keep 'em on the charger once a month or so if you don't use it much. Pretty handy to charge the night before a trip and throw in the truck "just in case" you get a couple flat tires way back in Petersville or something like that!!
    Also-when they do finally expire, tear them open and pull out he little compressor inside. They are tiny, pack easily on the wheeler, and are easy to modify by adding a couple feet of wire to so they reach all tires on the wheelers.
    Pretty handy little units.
    BK

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    Supporting Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Dill View Post
    I always keep a couple around as part of my business. They are indispensable. When you say "truck battery" I'm assuming you mean pickup truck. There are larger (and heavier) units out there for more industrialized applications like construction and road-building equipment, big trucks, etc. You're probably in the market for one that is very portable and costs between $50 and $120. Keep in mind that these don't work nearly as well if you don't keep them charged, and they don't work at all if you leave them at home. Cold weather affects them like any it does any battery. I can usually get about 3 or 4 years of use, then they suddenly refuse to hold a sustained charge.
    I have had the same experience after a few years of use they just won't hold a good charge for long.
    My last one was a coleman one with a compressor and a built in flashlight. It also had a cigarette lighter adapter plug in and an inverter so I can run small plug in appliances.
    It isn't holding a charge very well anymore so I am looking at buying a smaller one that is easier to carry on the boat.
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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    If you get it at Costco and it quits working even years later they will take it back and you get a refund for what you paid for it and then buy another one. Have done that twice now. First one the cable clamp broke after I had it about two years the second the battery would not hold a charge for very long it was four years old when I returned / exchanged it about a year ago.

    Always carry it in what ever vehicle we are using or when in the boat.

  8. #8

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    For the record, I'm mainly thinking of the dedicated battery booster packs. These don't have lights, compressors, or disco balls on them....

    I've bought a couple of the do-it-all gadgets and found them to be less reliable than a 2 dollar dog. I usually buy my battery boosters from NAPA or other quality parts supplier. By the way, you can buy a very inexpensive air tank at many parts stores. Fill it with 100psi compressed air and carry it on your truck. Great for lows, flats, etc.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the comments. Can anyone recommend a certain brand and model that has served them well on a pick-up truck type battery (e.g. a battery of approximately 850 CCA)? I'm uncertain as to how much power I need to reliably jump a dead truck battery, especially in the cold. Obviously I don't want to overpay though if a cheaper model will do the job. The convenience of having a built in compressor, as some have mentioned, would also be a nice plus. Although, I wonder how well those cheaper compressors work at inflating truck (LT) tires, rather than passenger (P) tires. Thanks for the help.

  10. #10

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    When your batteries go bad or don't charge most of these units can be easily and economicaly repaired.

  11. #11

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    I carry a dedicated jump starter I got from NAPA. Cant picture it doing much with my Duramax, hope I don't have to find out. I carry a new and charged spare battery for my 2011 Big Boss 6x6. Gives me piece of mind since I went to start it once in the garage and the battery was near dead. Had a loose battery connection.

  12. #12

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    Why not just carry a extra 12 volt battery? What does a dedicated jump starter offer that another battery does not?

  13. #13
    Supporting Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Money Pit View Post
    Why not just carry a extra 12 volt battery? What does a dedicated jump starter offer that another battery does not?
    Ease of use.
    You just stretch out the two clamps put them on your battery. Start the vehicle and put the charger away.
    You do not have to have tools and/or remove the battery.which is a pain on some of the newer vehicles nowadays.
    Some also offer a worklight and air compressor as well as a cig lighter adapter hook up to charge your cell phone or what not. Very usefull for other types of emergencies.
    They also charge themselves off of any standard wall outlet. No battery charger needed.
    If someone else needs help it is easy to help them also without giving them your spare battery.
    You don't need jumper cables to make them work either.
    They are usually a little lighter than a full size truck battery and have easy carry handles.
    I had one that came with an inverter so I could plug in virtually anytyhing to it as long as the amp draw was low enough to be at or below the max for the unit I had. So if you were camping you could use it to power all kinds of stuff.
    They come in a better sealed case than most batteries so you have less worry about the battery leaking acid all over the place if it gets banged around in the back of your truck.
    I bought my dad a smaller one he uses when flying his airplane in the winter for various stuff.Mostly while getting ready to go. I think he runs a small heater with it.
    I am sure there are other reasons too.
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