Ep. 115: Jackery Explorer 500 & SolarSaga 100 Lithium Power Station Review | RV camping gear
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Ep. 115: Jackery Explorer 500 & SolarSaga 100 Lithium Power Station Review | RV camping gear

Hey friends, welcome back to Grand
Adventure! I’m your host Marc Guido, and in today’s
episode we’re going to introduce you to the brand new Jackery Explorer 500
lithium power bank and the accompanying SolarSaga 100-watt solar panel, so stay
tuned! Now there are nearly limitless uses for
these lithium power banks for campers and for outdoors people,
so when Jackery offered to send us the Explorer 500 and the SolarSaga 100-watt
to test and introduce to you, we were really excited about the prospect. So for
the uninitiated, a lithium power bank is basically an array of lithium batteries
and a power inverter, all in one box. In this case, in Jackery’s case they actually
use a pure sine wave inverter, so it’s great for sensitive electronics like
computers, televisions, and other things that could be damaged by the impure
power of a modified sine wave inverter. Now, at 500Wh this is the
largest lithium power bank that Jackery has ever made. They’ve been doing this
for quite a while. As a matter of fact they have some other smaller power banks
that they have licensed under the Honda name, which should be familiar to
everybody. This uses an array of lithium NMC batteries to provide that 500Wh of power, which at 12 volts is approximately — to put it in terms that may be more familiar to you -about 43 amp hours. At barely over 13 pounds for the
Explorer 500, and a lightweight five-and-a-half pounds for the SolarSaga 100, this entire system is very portable. There are three ways to charge
the Explorer: 110 volt AC mains, with a 12-volt car socket adapter, or with the
optional SolarSaga solar panel. A full recharge takes seven and a half hours on
household current, and about 16 hours with full sun using the solar panel. So the LCD display gives you all the
information you need to know at the touch of a button, including the amount
of power left in the batteries, as well as the output and input, both in watts.
All three of the outlet types are switched so you can turn one or the
other, or all of them on or off at any time. It includes one 110-volt household
outlet up to 500 watts of power, or 1,000 watts peak. You have three 2.4-amp USB
outlets, and you also have one 12-volt DC outlet using a cigarette lighter plug. A built-in battery management system, or
BMS, enables short-circuit protection, voltage control, temperature control, and
more advanced safety operations. The integrated power inverter is pure
sine wave with a rating of 500 watts continuous
and 1,000 watts peak power draw. Meanwhile, the solar saga 100 is a 100-watt semi-rigid monocrystalline solar panel with high conversion efficiency up
to 23%. Built-in legs allow you some flexibility in aiming the panel’s
directly at the sun for maximum output. One feature found on the Explorer 500,
and not many other lithium power banks, is pass-through charging. That means
that you can keep charging the Explorer while you’re using it to power other
devices, slowing or sometimes — if the draw is low enough — even reversing the
discharge rate. You can charge multiple portable devices at the same time
including laptops, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras and more. While filming
our last episode along Utah’s Mirror Lake Highway, we used the Explorer 500 to
recharge our drone batteries many times over. The Explorer 500 even includes a
handy built-in LED flashlight. The solar panel also has two USB power outputs in
addition to the output for recharging the Explorer 500, so you can recharge USB-powered devices without even using the lithium power bank at all. A large
zippered pocket on the back of the solar panels conveniently stores all necessary
cables. Now Jackery provides a 2-year warranty on both the Explorer 500 and on
the SolarSaga 100 watt. Now a good question is, what purpose to these
devices serve for the camper? Well, if you’re car camping or tent camping, this usefulness is obvious. I mean, you have a power source for 110 AC, 12 volt
and USB all in one box, all rechargeable while you’re out car camping or tent
camping. We also hear from a lot of folks who are looking for ways to power
their CPAP overnight while boondocking. This is one way to have a
dedicated power source for your CPAP while you don’t use the RVs batteries or
the RV’s power. Just keep it separate, keep it dependable for your CPAP machine. So,
both of these devices are now available on Amazon Prime. The Explorer 500 goes
for $499.95, and the SolarSaga 100 watt goes for $349.95. Now, you can use the
Explorer 500 with or without the solar panel. The solar panel
just merely gives you one additional way to recharge the Explorer 500 while
you’re out in the boonies. Now, we like these products enough that we’re going to
add them to the Grand Adventure Shop on Amazon simply because we can foresee
ourselves using these extensively, especially in our upcoming long-term
trip while we’ll be working on the road. Jackery has supplied us with a coupon
code to share with you, that gets you 20% off the Explorer 500. That knocks a hundred
bucks off the price and brings it down to $399.95. We’ll link to both
products in the video description down below, and also provides you down there
with the coupon code that you can apply to save $100. So we hope this review of
these two great Jackery products has been useful to you. Uf you like this
video please give us a big thumbs up down below! Now as we hinted at during
this video, we’re getting ready to embark upon some long-distance RV travel on
Grand Adventure, so if you’re not yet a Grand Adventurer now’s the time: smash
that little red subscribe button down there in the corner, and ring that
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Wednesday, so we be honored if you shared Grand Adventure with your friends,
family, and on social media, and as always we’d love to hear from you and receive
your feedback in the comments section down below each and every video. Until
next week please remember, life is nothing but a Grand Adventure! We’ll see
you then!


  • Just Some Medic

    Another great video, both in information and demonstration. (Bravo Zulu on the cpap info). Both of these items are definitely going on my ‘Dear Santa’ list. Lol.

  • Sam Rossi Songwriter

    I'm planning on using mine for a portable car fridge so I don't drain my car batteries while the car is shut off. The savings on meals should help pay for this big-time. just wondering if anyone could recommend a solid portable fridge that's not as expensive as the Dometic fridges? I'm currently looking at Alpicool fridge with built in wheels.


    Another great video. I can see how useful it would be for people camping off the grid. Doubling the solar panel should reduce charging time and or make more power available to use when charging.

  • Robert Hubbard

    Great video. Jackery must have given out a ton of these. There must have been more than a dozen youtubers that I subscribe to that has done review videos for them. I'm pretty sure I'm getting one for Christmas. lol

  • Texoma Road Trippers

    Great video! I wouldn't mind having one of those but way out of my budget 🙂 Have to add it to my "wish list"..lol
    Have a good one my friend.

  • Greg D.

    This seems too much for simple small device recharge but yet too small to power a microwave , toaster, electric kettle, instapot ect…my GZ yeti 1000 does power all those appliances.

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