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spinxt

Battery Trickle Charger???

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spinxt

I picked up a trickle charger/ charger for my boat's battery the other day. The directions state that it will keep a battery charged at 12-14v, if for some reason the battery drops below that threshold, it will charge it until it returns to the appropriate voltage. Basically there is a pos and neg cable that bolt onto the battery terminals, those wires lead to a "converter box" which accepts a 3 prog 120v plug. I don't feel comfortable leaving it pluged in all the time (as the directions say), however if the boat is sitting for a while between uses, I'll plug it in for an hour prior to the trip out. Anyone see any problems with this? Dontknow.gif

It seems so convenient, that I want to make sure there isn't a chance for damage.

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BLADE

I leave my trickle chargers on my batteries when ever the boat is out of the water.

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BlastRlxi

I can understand your concern. Even though the charger is designed to maintain the battery without damaging it, it could potentially cause a fire if it malfunctioned. I do just as you do. During the winter, I periodically charge the battery to keep the charge up. In between charges, I leave it off the charger. I do this just for my own peace of mind even though it is probably fine to leave it on a trickle charger all the time.

BTW, does anyone else have one of the permanent mount type chargers installed on their boat?

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BillFooter

I have a "Battery Tender" that I use with my boat. I have left it plugged many times for several weeks at a time during the winter. The charge rate is so little that if the battery is down on charge, I think it would need to be plugged in for more than an hour to charge the battery to full capacity.

Edited by BillFooter

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RTS
...I think it would need to be plugged in for more than an hour to charge the battery to full capacity.

I would agree. But a couple hours every now and then, or overnight before you were to go out on the lake, should keep you with more than enough charge to get the engine running, at which point your alternator would fully charge the battery in short order.

I see your concern with leaving it plugged in for a prolonged period of time, but any charger than is UL (underwriters labs) listed should have adequate protection built in to keep anything bad from happening to the battery or starting a fire or something.

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UWSkier

A mini Battery Tender will work fine. We leave our ATV up at the lakehouse plugged in all winter for plowing duty. It gets unplugged to go plowin' and gets plugged back in the plowin's done. Same for our fishing boat and my dad's BMW motorcycle. The things work awesome. Never felt the need for putting one on the Malibu though. That thing fires right up even after sitting for 3 weeks or so. I suppose it would help keep the battery living longer though...

Putting the boat on a trickle charger for an hour before use defeats the purpose of a trickle charger IMO.

Edited by UWSkier

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mbwagoner

If my boat is in the garage the battery tender is plugged in. That is unless it's topping off my motorcycle and that's only because I haven't ordered a second one yet. They are designed for full time service and I know plenty that use it that way safely. I feel there is a better chance of killing the battery by discharging it too many times than by cooking it with a good tender.

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winddawg

I have been using one of these for a year and have had no problems. I have optima batteries and they are plugged in when I am not using the boat.

ProSport 20, 2 Outputs;12/24V; 20A Capacity

The unit can be programmed to charge/maintain different types of batteries.

-Dave

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electricjohn

What is the output of the unit? In amps or milliamps.

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grnautique

I bought 4 of these (2 boat batteries and 2 boat lift batteries) back in October and have had them plugged in non-stop since then. I have checked them multiple times and have even looked at them with an infrared camera (a tool I use for work). The chargers and batteries do not even get a tiny bit warm so I think they are very safe, great price too.

float charger

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SacRiverRat
I bought 4 of these (2 boat batteries and 2 boat lift batteries) back in October and have had them plugged in non-stop since then. I have checked them multiple times and have even looked at them with an infrared camera (a tool I use for work). The chargers and batteries do not even get a tiny bit warm so I think they are very safe, great price too.

float charger

$5.00? That is crazy cheep - what is the advantage of the battery tender over that $5 float charger?

I don't charge the boat... it holds a charge great, I need something for the pimpala - since the damn alarm drains the battery over a couple weeks... And it hasn't moved since last summer :unsure:

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Malibu16
If my boat is in the garage the battery tender is plugged in. That is unless it's topping off my motorcycle and that's only because I haven't ordered a second one yet. They are designed for full time service and I know plenty that use it that way safely. I feel there is a better chance of killing the battery by discharging it too many times than by cooking it with a good tender.

I too have a battery tender that I leave plugged into the boat whenever it's in the garage. I have done this for several years and did the same for my motorcycle (sold it now) and my lawn tractor. The battery is always charged and ready to go. I can't say enough good about these things.

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spinxt
What is the output of the unit? In amps or milliamps.

It says on the unit 1.5 amp

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MUpde
I have a "Battery Tender" that I use with my boat. I have left it plugged many times for several weeks at a time during the winter. The charge rate is so little that if the battery is down on charge, I think it would need to be plugged in for more than an hour to charge the battery to full capacity.

Plus1.gif Battery Tender is the only way to go. I have have 2. One for my dirtbike and one for my 'Bu. They work great!

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SacRiverRat
I have a "Battery Tender" that I use with my boat. I have left it plugged many times for several weeks at a time during the winter. The charge rate is so little that if the battery is down on charge, I think it would need to be plugged in for more than an hour to charge the battery to full capacity.

Plus1.gif Battery Tender is the only way to go. I have have 2. One for my dirtbike and one for my 'Bu. They work great!

Yea, but what is the difference (benefits) between the battery tender and that trickle charger listed above ... for $5!?!

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MUpde

A battery tender has electronic circuits that turn it on an off depending on the condition of the battery. Whereas a trickle charger is always sending the battery current. A battery tender will shut off completely if it senses a problem with the battery, preventing a fire. It also knows if the battery is too dead to be charged. It's a little more expensive, but it's worth it to know I won't be stranded on the lake with a dead battery.

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SacRiverRat
A battery tender has electronic circuits that turn it on an off depending on the condition of the battery. Whereas a trickle charger is always sending the battery current. A battery tender will shut off completely if it senses a problem with the battery, preventing a fire. It also knows if the battery is too dead to be charged. It's a little more expensive, but it's worth it to know I won't be stranded on the lake with a dead battery.

Well the float charger above states that it won't overcharge, and has a safety shut-off. Still can't figure out why we wouldn't use that $5 one.

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Gunslinger

I bought a solar charger for a RV a few years ago and kept it when I dumped the RV. I attached it to the boat and put the solar deal on the roof of y covered boat parking. Works like a charm and if it goes bad, the worst that can happen is I get a dead battery. Has worked for two years with no problems.

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Tedro
A battery tender has electronic circuits that turn it on an off depending on the condition of the battery. Whereas a trickle charger is always sending the battery current. A battery tender will shut off completely if it senses a problem with the battery, preventing a fire. It also knows if the battery is too dead to be charged. It's a little more expensive, but it's worth it to know I won't be stranded on the lake with a dead battery.

Well the float charger above states that it won't overcharge, and has a safety shut-off. Still can't figure out why we wouldn't use that $5 one.

Can I charge my battery (trickle) while it is hooked up to the boat with the battery switch in the Off position, or do I need to unhook the battery from the terminals?

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Slurpee
A battery tender has electronic circuits that turn it on an off depending on the condition of the battery. Whereas a trickle charger is always sending the battery current. A battery tender will shut off completely if it senses a problem with the battery, preventing a fire. It also knows if the battery is too dead to be charged. It's a little more expensive, but it's worth it to know I won't be stranded on the lake with a dead battery.

Well the float charger above states that it won't overcharge, and has a safety shut-off. Still can't figure out why we wouldn't use that $5 one.

Because a 'float' charger tends to be pretty dumb in the grand scheme of battery charging. A real SLA battery maintenance charger will monitor the entire voltage and current charging rate and determine the correct termination voltage for that battery in it's present life. Too much voltage and you risk shortening the battery life or even fire. Too little and you don't charge all the way. Which is a float type usually (err on the side of caution). To get best performance out of SLA you need to terminate the charge at the right voltage and then occassionally apply a balancing trickle every now and then. In the end it's all about quality of care of an expensive component. After all would you prefer to leave your kid in a fenced yard or a day care while at work. Both keeps them out of trouble, but one offers so much more.

I also have a friend that works at a company called PulseTech here in DFW that makes Battery Tender like products for personal use on up to M1 tank battery use. Supposedly the pulse charging algorithm helps repair sulfation on battery terminals internally and an really rejuvenate or resurrect a battery.

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Slurpee

By the way, I have a battery tender strapped down on my starter battery box and plug it in all the time it is on the lift. Have for 5 years now. Awesome. And as stated earlier, if it's UL, CSA, or TUV marked it's perfectly safe. Now if it's just CE marked (which is kind of Manufacturer self declared), then buy something else just to be assured. I design ac-dc supplies for a living and it's really really hard to get a properly designed modern UL rated poer supply to fail. Failing with flame is darn near impossible. Mostly because there's not really anything in a power supply that can burn besides the electrolytic caps and they're designed to vent on failure which usually causes a power supply to latch off.

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aaudii5150

The biggest thing you're leaving out is the amp rating...... A 1 amp "trickle charger" will give you a constant 1 amp charge.... As other's have said a tender will shut on/off as the charge is needed.

Look up the type of batt you have, they will usually give you a min/max amp rate that they should be charged at.....

I'm done with the guess work as we have 5 Blue top Optimas to keep up......

Picked up a Minn Kota 4 bay 40amp on-board charger the other day.....

Minn Kota Chargers

They have a ton of different options to fit every batt set up. They will bring your batt back to full charge and them maintain them as long as it's plugged in, kinda set it and forget it..... Whistling.gif

Hope this helps

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steemin

I have 3 battery tenders that I have used on my old muscle cars that are in storage 7 months a year.

Never a problem.

The reason I went this route is that 2 years ago I had to replace all 3 batteries.

And they were all Optima's Cry.gif

Scott

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