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12v Portable Jump Recommendation

Discussion in 'Gen 5 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Gwyd, Mar 11, 2024.

  1. Gwyd

    Gwyd Junior Member

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    Any recommendations on a 12v portable jump starter?

    1000A, 1500A, 2000A, 2250A, 3000A?

    Need one that can keep a charge for extended periods in the trunk of a car in FL.

    Any of the bells and whistles (ie digital display) worth having?

    I don't want to spend more than I have to - I suspect the $40 chargers are priced that low for a reason and not sure I trust them.

    What are the important features to look for?
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Generally the smallest model from any brand is good enough for a Prius. It's also less liability if the battery develops a problem later.

    Far and away the most useful feature is reverse polarity protection. The consequences of a reverse polarity connection can be severe, and even if you are lucky they are quite inconvenient.

    After that it's stuff like "Does it come with a clear instruction sheet that every driver in the family can understand?" and whether it has a carrying case, separate charger cord to lose etc.

    Later today I'm going to fish ours out of the trunk and see if it has held a charge...
     
  3. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    ...and there we go. I pulled it out of the car for a charge and I get to see the results.

    Our Noco GB40 held >50% charge (according to its crude traffic light display) through 9+ months in the trunk of our Prius.

    I remember being annoyed that the smaller GB20 was not available the week I bought ours, would have been $20 cheaper and a little easier to store that smaller unit- again, a Prius needs extremely little 12v power to start, much less than most other cars on the road.
     
  4. sylvaing

    sylvaing Active Member

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    Another useful feature is an override for a too low battery voltage. Some portable booster won't boost if the battery voltage is too low.
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The first two little jump packs I bought (one for me and one for a family member) used lithium-polymer pouch cells, and I recently found both of them swelling up (one a little bit, one dramatically, popping the side of the case off). Both were being kept in the car, where temps aren't always in LiPoly's happy place.

    I guess I got about six trouble-free years out of them, but both got quickly hustled out of their respective cars and down the street to the hazmat guys when I saw them swelling up like that.

    There do seem to be some jump packs made with LiFePo, which makes me a little less nervous. I haven't found that very easy to search for (it's not a detail that usually shows up in the list of search filters), but I did find that Schumacher SL1316 is one. Older model, might be discontinued, but I found somebody with a couple in stock, seems nice. Physically a bit larger than the comparable LiPoly, but still can fit in the glove box if done just right.

    Comes with cables that have those silly clamps with copper jaws on both sides but only one side connected, so you have to pay attention to which side's against the metal side of the car's jump point.
     
  6. Hammersmith

    Hammersmith Senior Member

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    Actually, the GB20 uses the same case as the GB40, so it wouldn't have been any smaller. I got the GB40 during Amazon's Black Friday/Cyber Monday/whatever sale. At the time, it was about $5 more than the GB20 and I wasn't sure which to get until I looked at the physical specs on NOCO's website and realized they were the same. At that point it was a no-brainer.

    I can't give any product review on the GB40 as I haven't really used it for anything. I charged it and tossed it in the armrest cubby.* I give it a small ding for using a micro USB port to charge versus USB-C. I ended up buying a pair of cheap USB-C to micro USD adapters from Amazon and tossed one in the booster bag(I used the second for my earbud charging case that also uses micro USB).


    *obligatory reminder to only store a booster in the armrest or glove compartment - throwing it in the back doesn't help much if the battery is so dead it can't open the rear hatch
     
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Good to know, thanks!

    I'm still thinking about getting a GB20 to put in the Prius, and then move the -40 into our other car. This is strictly on account of the other car getting old enough to warrant carrying one of its own.

    It should be noted that both of the Noco packs I've discussed here are lithium-ion pouch powered, according to teardown videos.

    I don't love that, which is why I prefer small ones and keeping them under the trunk carpet; the coolest possible environment. I already had a phone battery "inflate" when it was in an armrest cubby in another car, very lucky the whole car didn't go up in flames.

    (Also why I use battery-less dashcams... due to their location, the heat is unavoidable!)
     
  8. Zeromus

    Zeromus Member

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    Seeing the other 12v issue threads had me thinking the same thing. This thing is on sale at Canadian Tire if you're up here

    General PDP Template | Canadian Tire

    Seems sufficient to me with polarity protection and low power override. Small too, which is a plus for the Prius.
     
  9. sylvaing

    sylvaing Active Member

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    That's the one I bought at Canadian Tire. I have one in each my car

    General PDP Template | Canadian Tire

    Didn't have to use it to boost my cars (Prime and Model 3) but I did have to boost my son's Kia Optima and my daughter's Honda CRV. For my son's car, it stayed parked for a few weeks and it drained the battery enough that I had to use the override to boost it.
     
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  10. Hammersmith

    Hammersmith Senior Member

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    I can't be 100% certain, but those MotoMasters from Canadian Tire look like repackaged NOCOs. Every button, light, and port is in exactly the same spot. They're probably both buying the guts from the same factory in China.
     
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  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Just to throw a dinosaur into the mix, I’m toting a Clore JNC660 in the underfloor hatch tray (in our ‘10). It’s about the dimensions of a power drill case, weighs almost 20 lbs. heavy gauge cables and clamps, long enough it can often just set on the ground, at least with compact cars and convenient battery location.
     
  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I've got an old Xantrex lead-acid jump pack too. Big and heavy, Also has a 120v AC inverter on board, because that wasn't going to make it much bigger but does add a lot of utility.

    One nice thing about it is that it has been easy to replace the internal battery, so I've been able to keep that unit in top shape for ~20 years now- my Noco booster won't last that long no matter what.

    The Xantrex is still useful around the house but we have retired it from traveling/onboard emergency duty.
     
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  13. sylvaing

    sylvaing Active Member

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    I have one of these at the cottage. Bought in 2003 so I wouldn't get stuck with anyone to boost me if my battery failed (and to boost the boat in the spring). Has a sealed lead acid battery that I already replaced once and probably needs a new battery again. I haven't used it in years.
     
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  14. Zeromus

    Zeromus Member

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    these look huge, way too big for something I want to tote around in the smaller trunk of the new prime. They make solar versions of them though, I have been considering a small solar backup battery in the past. If power goes out, I can use one to top up my backup power supply used for my fibre modem (internet and phone work in power outages if the modem is online).
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    True that. One spot they "might" stow is under one of the front seats, pushed in from the rear footwell area. Probably the driver's side the best chance. Maybe.
     
  16. purplePriii

    purplePriii Member

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    I just got a Schumacher DSR108 that is supposed to be a super capacitor battery jumper. In theory, if it's not completely dead, it should be able to get enough juice and boost the car. You can also use a power bank to prime it but that'll take a while. I have not had the chance to try it on anything yet.

    My last battery one swelled up and I'm currently in a pretty hot place and didn't feel like keeping a battery in a really hot car. It's in the cheaper realm for super capacitors around $70. Project Farm had a video testing multiple boosters and the super cap he tried was very expensive but seemed to work well.
     
  17. Zeromus

    Zeromus Member

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    They put air vents under the seats to help heat/cool the rear of the car more effectively now in the primes. Not true zone control mind you. They're just open square tubes. Probably wouldn't fit and would block those I'm sure.
     
  18. Approximate Pseudonym

    Approximate Pseudonym Junior Member

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    While I agree in principle that it is more convenient to have it in the passenger area, it is possible to fold down seats and unlatch the rear bootlid from the inside with a screwdriver set (flathead to take off the panel, Phillips to remove the protective tab). It's extremely inconvenient if you have things in the car, but it's a one-minute job to open the boot if you need it done, once you have done it before.

    In an empty car, it's also possible to remove the floor in the back without opening the bootlid, if you want access to tools. I think this is only possible to do easily with both seats folded down. The battery compartment is also possible to access without opening the rear bootlid. This was true for my US-spec Prime XSE Premium – not sure if other examples of cars have the floor actually bolted on with plastic tabs, or something else different?

    The 12v system can be boosted and tested from the front fuse box or the back battery, and neither is easier or more difficult, but the front is easier if you have a dead battery. I have had to learn how to do both this week!
     
    #18 Approximate Pseudonym, Mar 12, 2024
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2024
  19. Hammersmith

    Hammersmith Senior Member

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    Oh, I had to do it a couple times in my gen3. Which is where I learned to hate it. Now it was doubly worse for me at the time because I had the floor trays out and I've only got one good hand/arm. So I was trying to hold myself up over the spare tire and still balance well enough to find and pull the emergency release. I swore* to never have to do that again. ;)



    *actually, there was a lot of swearing involved
     
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  20. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Now, our Prius c doesn't have the battery trapped way back by the liftgate so we never faced this.

    But why not inject 12v through the OBDII port and then open the hatch the normal way?

    [​IMG]

    Seems a little easier than crawling around in there.