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Need recommendation for Jump Start/Portable Power Pack


Ronnie

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I want to get one of these for myself that can be carried in the car without worrying about it damaging the car. I carry booster cables with me now but I like to be self sufficient when I can.

I also want to add one or two (different price ranges) to the Reatta Store.

I know some of you guys use these things. I have never owned one but I have used them once or twice. I see they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are just basic power cells with booster cables attached and some are fancy ones that have power plugs and even compressed air outlets.

Can you guys recommend some good ones, and maybe tell what you like or don't like about them? I would appreciate your input.

You guys get to help pick the items that are for sale in The Reatta Store. If you can think of anything that is missing and needs to be added please let me know.

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I have boughtt a number over the years. The best one was a Peak brand unit. If I remember it was 800 amps and was plain. By that I mean no air pump, but had a light. I just looked at their website and it is no longer available. However they have a 700 amp unit w/light and air pump. A bit pricey at about $100.00 but may be worth it. I now have a promo unit I bought at Menards [regional big box retailer] that is OK. However the amps are much lower [400 or so], but I bought it cheap. It works for testing stuff at Gibson's but that is about it.

Like anything you get what you pay for. More amps the better.

As a side note another good reason to have a power station is for a boat. I never want to be on the lake needing a jump because the battery I had either failed or was run down. Or better yet that first time in the water and you turn the key and get a "click" because you didn't check and charge up the battery.

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I have two at the moment: a little yellow Coleman Powermate PMJ8960 that has a light in the handle. It is small/light enough to carry around but needs a new battery. Also have a Harbor Freight "5in1" #96157 that is bigger but does everything (even a 110v inverter and an air pump).

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Guest Mc_Reatta

I got the smaller model from Harbor Freight when it was on sale. (no compressor or inverter) Has worked well for me when I have needed it. I keep it plugged into house 110v most of the time so it's fully charged when I need it. Don't know how long the charge would last if you keep it in the car. But like the flashlights I keep in the car, I'd imagine when you need it and pull it out it would be dead.

Never looked into wiring it into the car's power system so it would charge while you were driving, but I'd guess this might be possible with some simple modifications.

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"Dealnews.com" My daily read had the Peak 950 peak amp charger for $79 thru Advance auto. Spent $1.01 extra and put it over $80 and used Advance online discount for $25 discount plus a $20 Peak rebate listed and paid $35 plus tax. Had a glitch filling out Peak rebate so Advance just handed me a 20 dollar bill.

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I appreciate all the tips and comments about the jumper/booster boxes. For my use a light one that will occasionally boost off a Reatta or my boat. I intend to keep it charging in the garage until I take a cruise in the Reatta or take the boat to the lake. I don't go to the salvage yards much anymore. Most of the yards here in Tennessee are on hills. With my heart condition I'm not able to carry or drag much up and own the hills like I use to.

I will be looking at all the ideas and choices you guys threw out and decide on one that will work for me. I also intend to add a few of them to the Reatta Store soon. I looking at them to decide what is the best ones for the money. Thanks for all the help!

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Guest Mc_Reatta
Just an observation but my Coleman weighs 8.5 lbs, the HF 3in1 14.2. Not a problem in a car but carrying it and tools in a yeard on a hot day... Do you have a cart ?

Doesn't seem that heavy. I've toted it around some and never thought about its weight. I'll weigh it and report back when I pass by it tomorrow.

Ronnie, it would do well for your intended use, but the others would probably do well also. The Advanced deal might be the best if you have the requisite coupons.

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Guest Mc_Reatta

The HF 3-in-1 weighs in at 12.4 lbs. Now its going to seem to weigh a ton every time I pick it up when it never crossed my mind before. Thanks Padgett. :rolleyes:

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I purchased one off Amazon JNC 660 by Clore automotive 1700 peak amps for $137.72 including sales tax. This is the one a lot of car lots use in my area. They give you a certificate for a replacement when it dies Think they charge you $75.00 for replacements. Used it once on our DTS. Works great!

I had a Coleman and it was junk!

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I have mixed emotions about the little Powermate. Can find the right SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) size for about $25 but all seem to have the spade terminals instead of the bolt-on like the original. OTOH I have a coupon for the 3in1 for $34 or 20% off of current sale price whichever is better. And on the gripping hand I have not been in a yard this year and have a big 5in1 so is kind of dumb. I do suggest listing a small/light on that can move windows and seats around and a big one that can start cars. Anything in the middle just does not make much sense.

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OK, had a coupon so I bought the HF unit and it is much larger than the Coleman and has a 70% larger battery (17AH vs 10). Would really have preferred to replace the Coleman batter but all of the ones I found had spade connectors rather than bolt-on teminals.

post-31022-143141757826_thumb.jpg

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The big one on the left looks like R2D2. :)

Thanks Padgett. The power packs got put on the back burner while I spend some quality time with my cardiologist and the nice lady that does the echo-cardiograms. Now that they confirmed I'm not dead I can get back to taking a look at these gizmos. Have a trip planned to HF tomorrow.

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