We love old trucks and vintage campers, and we love boondocking (camping without typical services of a campground) on public land far away from cities, paved roads, and powerlines. On an average day, this is the perfect combination...until it isn’t, right? The day we are out in the desert, far away from everyone, and everything, will also be the same day the truck battery needs a jump. Hello Mr. Murphy!
Sure, we always carry standard jumper cables and we have roadside assistance, but if we are in Middle-of-Nowhere, USA, we might not be able to get someone out to help us, at least not within a reasonable timeframe. Renogy has solved this problem with their 400A Portable Peak Car Jump Starter designed for gas powered vehicles up to 5L or a diesel powered vehicles up to 3L.
It’s like a 2.4-pound insurance plan that fits in the palm on your hand. The cool part is that it not only can jump start your car battery when needed, it’s perfect for everyday needs as well. It is a 12K mAh power bank with 3 USB ports (two 5V/2.1A and one 5V/1A) so you can quickly charge your smartphone, tablet, or other small portable electronics. Leave it to Renogy to think of everything – they included a powerful LED light with SOS mode that is super helpful in an emergency.
The difference between this unit and many other portable chargers in the Renogy line-up is the cold cranking amps (CCA) that the Peak Car Jump Starter kicks out. It’s a current kick in the pants that will be sure to get you out of a jam and get your car back in motion. This unit is designed with foolproof safety in mind as it includes protection from: short circuiting, reverse polarity, reverse current, over charging/discharging, and even overheating.
So, How Does it Work?
Although simple to use, it’s always a good idea to know how it works before you are in an emergency situation. And, remember to fully charge it up before heading out (or during) a long road trip.
Follow these 4 easy steps to jump start your vehicle:
- Plug the alligator clamps (included in package) into the charger and turn the unit on. The on/off switch may be labeled in Chinese; it’s the sliding button.
- Connect the clamps the car battery – red to the positive terminal and black to the negative terminal. The indicator light on the alligator clamp connector will flash GREEN or RED depending on the current battery voltage. Note: If you’ve hooked it up to the wrong terminals, it won’t work, but it also won’t damage anything.
- If the GREEN light is illuminated, the battery voltage is between 10.5V and 12.6V. In this situation, plug the cables into the jump starter unit and try to start the engine. If the engine doesn’t start, follow the “override” instructions below.
- If the RED light is illuminated, the battery voltage is below 10.5V. In this situation, the jump starter is not able to read the voltage of the battery and you will need to override. Press and hold the "override" button on the base of the jump starter cables (located next to the indicator light) for 3 seconds until the GREEN light stays solid, then you have about 30 seconds to start the engine.
What We Love About This Product
- Lightweight, portable, and fits in the glove box or emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle.
- Perfect for emergencies, as well as for every day USB-powered electronics.
- Use with any size gasoline engine 5L or less, diesel 3L or less.
- Has a LED readout that shows the state of charge as a percentage, eliminating the guesswork.
- Provides light in an emergency, as well as charges small electronics like a power bank.
- Will recharge using the 12V car adapter, a portable solar panel, or 120V household plug.
Some Limitations of this Product
- Does not include a solar panel, so the unit has to charge by connecting it to another power source. Make sure it’s fully charged up so it’s ready when you need it.
- Not powerful enough for larger engines, many of which typically pull RVs.
We never really need insurance, until we need it. Being stuck with a dead battery whether right around the corner from home or a hundred miles away has never before had a simpler and quicker solution. With such a small price tag ($49.99) and convenient package, this piece of equipment is really worth the peace of mind.