Ok, I have seen a bunch of reviews for these jump boxes over the past 48 hours as I have needed to buy one to start an 09 Ford Expedition which has a heck of a battery draw and usually has a dead battery after a few days sitting (work hazards that I can’t fix). So, here is what I have learned. My old jump box rarely started my truck when the battery was dead dead (ie, no power locks, no head lights, and when you turn the key nothing happens). Since I purchased my last two jump boxes at Wal-Mart, I figured I would buy another from them as I really never had a problem jumpstarting cars (notice I used the word cars and not trucks). Well, this jump box (a Schumacher XP2260) is advertised for 1200 peak amps and has all sorts of bells and whistles (ac inverter, air pump, etc). I saw 1200 and went “oh yeah, this will have no problems. Well, I charged it completely and when my truck was dead, I hooked up the jump box and the jump box told me the dead battery voltage was 8.6. When I turned it on, the jump box gave a combined voltage (dead battery and jump box battery) of 13.1. I was confident that the truck would start. I turned the key over and the starter engaged for a fraction of a second and then nothing. I then let the jump box sit for a few minutes and tried again. Same results!! I then went to Schumacher’s web site and got the specs for this 1200 peak amp jump box. Ready for this, cranking amps (what you actually NEED to start a vehicle) is 300 amps for a 5 second burst. After that, the device drops to 255 amps for 30 seconds. Cold Cranking Amps (this is the amount of power that the battery can deliver at or below freezing is only 185 amps. During this, the temp was about 40 degrees. So, I got my trusty amp meter out and measured the max amp draw from the jump box during a start and I got readings (between different attempts) ranging from 377 amps and 415 amps. So, from the numbers by Schumacher, this 1200 peak amp jump box couldn’t start my truck on its best day. So, I thought I’ll keep it as a personal device for my camping trips. I have been testing out the A/C inverter. More on that in a bit. So I called my local auto parts store and told them of my dilemma, they told me they had a 700 amp (again peak amp rating) extreme duty jump box that they said would start my truck, no problems. I charged it as required and hooked it up to my still dead truck. Same results!! – Returning that one . Ok, so I thought, let me look up the one that our fleet garage uses since that one has no problems starting our vehicles. Clore Automotive JNC660 (cloreautomotive.com). That device has 1700 peak amps with a cranking amps rating of 425. HUGH DIFFERENCE!!! I found an automotive parts store that can order it for me for around $150.00 after tax. So, if you have a small car or just need to start a partially dead battery (will slightly crank over but not enough to start the car), these store jump boxes are great, but if you have a larger truck or other heavy application, I wouldn’t waste your money. And don’t fall for that peak amp rating stamped on the box. Either look up the owner’s manual on line (doesn’t everyone have a smart phone these days) or go to the manufacturer’s web site, or open the box and see if the owner’s manual inside will tell you what the actual cranking amps are. I bet you will find (as I did) that they are two completely different numbers. Just FYI, Autozone jump boxes are the only ones I could NOT find any Cranking Amp numbers listed anywhere.
Now, as far as the accessories go and quality service go. First quality control, I have only had the Schumacher XP220 for two days now. I can tell you I have had no problems with the out of the box quality control. All the parts where there and working properly. I have been really interested in the A/C inverter. After letting the box charge again to 100%, I began to use the inverter to see how long it would power devices before it would go kaput. So far, I have been using my laptop (no problems) and I was charging the earlier mentioned auto parts store jump box with this built in A/C inverter. The onboard meter varied from 35 watts to 95 watts for over two hours. Upon disconnecting everything (had to leave the house), the battery still showed an 80% charge. Upon returning home, I hooked up my auto charger to my still dead truck and plugged it into the jump box a/c inverter. It is running it fine at a displayed wattage of 115. It has been doing this for approximately 1.5 hours. So I have gotten three plus hours from it with no problems and I find it ironic that the jump box will power a charger to charge the battery, but doesn’t have enough off the line thrust so to speak to jump start it. One key note, I check the amperage of the outgoing charge from the charger. At the setting of 12 amps, the charger was only putting out 2.5 amps. When hooked up to the wall, the charger was putting out 5.5 amps for the same setting. I’m sure that an A/C inverter doesn’t have the nice sine wave pattern that my wall outlet does nor does it have the available wattage, so I’m sure that is the problem. And as far as I’m concerned, it is running the device just fine for its intended purpose. As far as the air pump goes, I am planning a review of that tomorrow and will post how that goes.
Hope you find this helpful and prevents someone from having to learn the above mentioned issues the hard way as I did. I just wish they would put the cranking amps on the box, but then I guess they either would not sell as many or have to put batteries in them that could actually START a vehicle.
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