Jackery’s rooftop tent is also a powerful solar generator

A pickup truck sits in an open field while the rooftop tent is unfurled on the truck’s roof, with the giant solar array angled at the sun.

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Jackery has converted the humble rooftop tent into a powerful solar generator that lets any car escape the grid for a weekend or longer. Although it’s just a concept on show at CES right now, Jackery says it will put the tent into production sometime near the end of 2024.

The retractable solar panels are said to produce up to 1000W when the car is parked and the tent is open and facing south. That’s enough to generate 4.96kWh per day in the western US, or 4kWh as you move east, according to Jackery’s estimates. There’s no mention of its resilience to wind, but that’s hardly a concern for a concept parked on ugly carpet inside the Las Vegas convention center.

A closer look at the system with a portable battery that is not the Jackery E1000 Plus power station being shown at CES.

A closer look at the system with a portable battery that is not the Jackery E1000 Plus power station being shown at CES.

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Rooftop tents can already be fitted with solar panels made by any number of companies, including Jackery. But those tend to be lightweight flexible panels so as to not overwhelm the tent’s folding mechanism, and they rarely cover the entire surface area due to mismatched dimensions. That results in relatively poor solar conversion efficiency for the available surface area. Jackery’s rooftop tent maximizes power generation by filling the entire roof with solar cells, and then extending them outward, while also neatly integrating the wiring required to feed the Jackery power station.

The CES concept tent feeds a separate 1.26kWh E1000 Plus power station, capable of 2000W of AC output. That’s enough to run a 1150W portable air conditioner for about one hour, a 60W car fridge for about 45 hours, or a 900W electric cooker for an hour — longer if you add LFP expansion batteries for up to 5kWh of total energy storage. The E1000 Plus can also be charged from the car while driving (7 hours to full) or wall jack (1.7 hours). 

That insulation had better be good.

That insulation had better be good.

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It’s unclear who Jackery is partnering with on the tent production. Nevertheless, the concept is fitted with a memory foam mattress, insulation, dimmable lighting with color control, and waterproof fabric with blackout windows. Jackery says that the production version will come “complete with an onboard charging module” (whatever that means) with details to follow sometime in Q4.

It’s too early to call it a trend, but I’m happy to see solar generator specialists like Jackery and Ecoflow (via its partnership with Winnebago) embrace the community of overlanders, vanlifers, and weekend warriors with fully integrated solutions that make it easy to take modern work/life comforts off the grid.

After all, if you’re part of the new hybrid workforce, why work from your crummy urban apartment when you can work from places that inspire you, instead?

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