Wednesday, December 7, 2022


RVelectricity: Charging a Jackery Explorer with a CarGenerator


Dear Readers,
Continuing my experiments with solar panels and portable Lithium Battery Power Stations, I had a brainstorm last week about how to power a Jackery 1000 Explorer Pro if the sun isn’t shining.

While I think these portable power stations are great for adding power to your camping experience, they can also be useful for home emergency power if there’s a rolling blackout (like in California), electric grid failure (like in Texas) or hurricane (like in Florida).

Of course, you don’t have to live in any of those states to experience a power blackout for hours, days or even weeks. One of my friends in West Virginia lives out on the end of the power grid, so he’s often ignored, like when a small tornado tore through the area last year. I have colleagues in New England who experience power outages from snow storms, and some of my friends in the Midwest have suffered for days when power went down.

Where you live makes no difference

A Honda_EU2200is generator
Portable generators like this Honda EU2200i must be broken in correctly for a longer service life.

So no matter where you live, you can’t depend on the power grid to be up 100% of the time. This is even more important when you need medical devices like a CPAP machine or oxygen generator.

While gasoline-powered generators are great, they only work while you have enough gas to run them. And that was a problem for my business partner on the eastern shore of New Jersey about 10 years ago when the power went down for an entire week, and gasoline couldn’t be found anywhere.

I have a LOT of generators (over six, at last count), but only enough gasoline for about a week of power. So I decided to see what I could do to run the important things in my house from the latest Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro power station. And it does work great to power my refrigerator and Wi-Fi system plus lights for an entire day. However, while I have all the solar panels to recharge the Jackery, what would I do if the sun wasn’t shining for a few days?

The following ad was auto-inserted by Google

CarGenerator to the rescue

Since I also have a CarGenerator 1000 in my shop, and the Jackery 1000 Pro has a built-in 750-watt fast charger, I thought this would be an interesting experiment.

And, indeed, it worked exactly like I saw inside my head. All you need is a CarGenerator 1000 and a Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro to make this work. Click on the image below or HERE to watch a short video of me doing this.

I was able to recharge the Jackery from 0% to 100% in 90 minutes of idling time from my Nissan pickup, then take the Jackery into my house to power my internet, computer, lighting and refrigerator for a day.

Since the CarGenerator 1000 can provide roughly the same power as 1,000 watts of solar panels, and the Jackery has a 750-watt charger, it will charge up as fast as 800 watts of solar panels under perfect sunny conditions. Plus, there’s no need to leave your panels outside for the thieves to help themselves to. I just sat out in my truck for 90 minutes with my iPad plugged into the cigarette lighter, then carried the Jackery into the house when it was done charging.

Yes, you can use a long extension cord!

Of course, you could simply run a 100-ft. extension cord from the CarGenerator 1000 into the Jackery 1000 Pro sitting inside your house, and it would recharge in less than 90 minutes. And a full tank of gasoline in your vehicle would probably run for 90 minutes per day for a few weeks. Plus, I highly recommend you get solar panels for your Lithium Power Station, because you might as well take advantage of the sun when it’s shining.

Just remember that while the CarGenerator is rated to be left out in rainy weather, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro is not. So please don’t leave the Jackery out in the rain.

But other than that, this is a great backup power plan that can go on your next RV adventure as well as help keep you safe and powered up for weeks on end when the power goes out at your sticks-and-bricks home.

For a special deal on CarGenerator, please click HERE.

Let’s play and stay safe out there….

Send your questions to me at my new RVelectricity forum here.

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at


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Bob p
18 days ago

After paying over $1800 for that equipment I think I’ll just keep my 4500W inverter generator and keep plenty of gas with stabilizing chemicals on hand to deal with power losses. In the last hurricane Nichole we lost power for about 4 hrs when a tree blew across the power line beside the lake. The generator cost was $713.47, besides I don’t know how the car generator would work on my Toyota Camry hybrid, with the battery in the trunk and no alternator on the engine.

16 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

What works for you does not work for all. Apartment or condo living does not allow for storage of gas and or generators. When the power goes out a power supply is priceless.

Brad Teubner
18 days ago

Went to their website. No technical information. Always suspicious of folks like that. “Our stuff is magic, Trust us. Read the reviews of all these happy people.”

Mike Sokol
18 days ago
Reply to  Brad Teubner

Do you mean CarGenerator or Jackery?

18 days ago

getting ready for next storm season?

Mike Sokol
18 days ago
Reply to  tom

Actually, blackouts happen during the winter as well. Plus planned rolling blackouts happen in the summer months in California during fire season.

California Travel Videos
18 days ago

Nice touch. I installed an AIM 2000 inverter to our Sprinter alternator/battery cable, a great way to charge our EcoFlow Delta UPS, especially when on the road during the day. It sure beats the time required (a full sunny day) from our four 100 watt solar panels. Here’s the shorter 10 minute video and I also filmed a 45 minute video for the DIY crowd.
Happy Trails, Michael