Trickle Charger

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stevesquires

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Posts
28
Location
Metro-Boston
Hey all,

Now that camping season is over for me in the northeast I'm going to be removing my battery.  I know that I need a trickle charger, but I don't know what kind to get - can anyone suggest an affordable one.  Also - what specs does it need 12v, etc.

thanks ahead of time.
 

pondguy

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Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Posts
200
Location
Dickson City, PA
We're in the Northeast and winterized allready also. I have to pull my battery and bring it in. I have a small charger from HarborFreight, but they don't have it anymore, a Chicago Electric 65834. They do have some small trickle chargers for around $10. When mine comes in, it is on a workbench, don't set it on a concrete floor. I charge it, unplug it, and do this every 2-3 weeks until it goes back outside to the trailer.

If it is a single battery, it will be a 12v. Any trickle charger will work, car, motorcycle, etc.
 

Kamper Dave

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Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Posts
195
Location
Wisconsin
Here some information on the Battery Minder. Think of this as a charge maintainer that greatly extends the life of your battery. I figure if it is approved for aviation it ought to be good for our use. I believe the small unit we have will charge and maintain several batteries at once.
http://batteryminders.com/store.php?spawner=icon_home&&app=rv
We have several of these units during the winter one stays wired to the Diesel Truck, one on the RV battery and the 3rd on the Yamaha Generator. My only regret might be not getting the unit that will not discharge the battery upon loss of 120 volt power to the charger; but that has never happened. When we are work-camping we leave the unit on the tow vehicle most evenings. It gets cold at night and I want to be sure we get to work on time.
Kamper Dave
 
W

Weewun

Guest
I use the 750milliamp Battery Tender for my JetSkis, boats, lawn mower and wife's car when we go to Florida.  Extends the battery life and have not a failure in many years of using.

You can see it here "http://www.bluelabelbattery.com/Battery-Tender-s/362.htm".
 

Mavarick

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Jan 30, 2011
Posts
2,027
12v battery chargers usually come in two flavors; First one for fast charging-boosting for starting-generally high amp capacity (usually over 10a). Second is a lower amp capacity used for slow charging-maintaining (usually under 10a). The second is the one you want. They usually cost a bit more because they have a little more technology built into them to put them in ?float? mode, or standby mode in some. This is so the battery is not overcharged when in storage and can be left hooked up to the battery. The first type will work but needs to be unplugged when battery reaches full voltage.
If you have a lead acid battery that?s not sealed you need the water level checked occasionally, especially if you use the first type high amp charger.
I?m familiar and like the Battery Tender brand but you can choose what ever suites your price range. Most auto part stores will have both types and are usually going on sale as it gets closer to Christmas.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,954
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At our Silver Springs FL home
If you already own a automotive-type battery charger, use that. My recommendation would be to put it on a timer and have it run maybe 30-60 minutes a day.

If you don't own a car battery charger, or just want something small for the RV battery, most any  small 12v charger will do, something with an output between 1 and 3 amps.  Advance Auto carries a couple small Schumacher chargers in the $20-$30 range, but you can probably get something cheaper at Harbor Freight or Northern Tool.
 

JCZ

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Nov 9, 2012
Posts
420
Location
Sacramento
I've used Battery Tender for years with no problems.  Everytime the toys go in the garage they go on the tender....wether it's for a day or months.

The Battery Tender will not overcharge your battery and are easy to work with.  I leave them plugged in all the time, just disconnect the leads of the tender from the leads on the batteries, that way we don't have to remove the batteries.
 

denmarc

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Aug 8, 2009
Posts
2,502
Location
Grand Rapids, Michigan
As Gary mentioned, a float charge is all that is needed assuming the batteries are in good shape to begin with.  A timer works well.  The electrolyte level also needs to be checked occasionaly.  I do this monthly. 
 

Opontee

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May 31, 2012
Posts
38
Location
League City, Texas
pondguy said:
don't set it on a concrete floor.

I read this and almost fell out of my chair.

Number 2:

http://shopping.yahoo.com/blogs/digital-crave/battery-myths-debunked-172452088.html

or this if you don't believe the first one;

http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/battery.asp
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
Yeah, the concrete floor thing is an "old mechanic's tale" that is largely irrelevant these days. But every hobby perpetuates its arcane mysteries. How else would we impress the newbies with our superior knowledge?
 

denmarc

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Opontee said:
I read this and almost fell out of my chair.

Number 2:

http://shopping.yahoo.com/blogs/digital-crave/battery-myths-debunked-172452088.html

Hold the bus!  The link posted does not pertain to automotive batteries. Snopes can be changed about as much as Wikipedia.  And I do realize that the composition of today's automotive batteries have been greatly improved over the years.  BUT...

I have in the past, and still do, run across automotive batteries that are neglected by their owners.  This includes keeping the exterior of the battery somewhat clean.  Especially in overcharging conditions with regards to RV/boat usage.  A dirty battery in an environment of Sulfuric Acid vapors can, and will, create a electrical path to ground if available.  Concrete, being porous and usually retains moisture, can complete that path to ground if the battery is set directly upon it.  Granted, it's been a few years, but I did prove this at one time to a neighbor with my trusty VOM.

I also realize this is a trivial argument.  But, maybe it shouldn't be ruled as a no longer viable explanation to a dead battery when the battery is relatively new and/or in good condition and in a storage situation.

Just sayin.
 

reesmaxwell

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Aug 17, 2013
Posts
1
Hold the bus!  The link posted does not pertain to automotive batteries. Snopes can be changed about as much as Wikipedia.

The Snopes.com link pertains specifically to "storing a car battery on a concrete floor."

I want to make sure you and others know that Snopes.com is NOT able to be changed by anyone other than the two people who have run the site since 1995. They are a married couple, and do not allow anyone other than themselves to create or change entries. (And I've yet to see any entry changed.) It is a very respectable site, and does not have any political leaning. As stated here, http://www.snopes.com/info/aboutus.asp:
Barbara Mikkelson is a Canadian citizen and as such cannot vote in U.S. elections, register an affiliation with a U.S. political party, or donate to any U.S. political campaign or candidate. David Mikkelson is an American citizen whose participation in U.S. politics has never extended beyond periodically exercising his civic duty at the ballot box. As FactCheck confirmed in April 2009, David is a registered independent who has never donated to, or worked on behalf of, any political campaign or party. The Mikkelsons are wholly apolitical, vastly preferring their quiet scholarly lives in the company of their cats to any political considerations.

As per the reliability of Wikipedia, you'll be glad to know that, while no single information source is entirely accurate, Wikipedia ranks among the top. Here is a Time.com article talking about this and more of the history of Wikipedia: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1917002,00.html. It is true that Wikipedia articles can be changed by anonymous people.  In fact, it is because of this that it has grown to be among the largest sources of information available ... and since it was designed with this method of increasing its knowledge base from the beginning, they designed safety checks into the system so that authorized moderators can easily review edits to pages and roll them back to a previous version if the new edit is deemed to be inaccurate.

The More You Know...
 

tvman44

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Sep 4, 2009
Posts
1,633
I like the Battery Tenders.  :)
Yes the concrete floor thing is a old wives tale, no truth what so ever.
 

denmarc

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Aug 8, 2009
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
reesmaxwell said:
The Snopes.com link pertains specifically to "storing a car battery on a concrete floor."

As per the reliability of Wikipedia, you'll be glad to know that, while no single information source is entirely accurate, Wikipedia ranks among the top. http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1917002,00.html[/url]. It is true that Wikipedia articles can be changed by anonymous people.

Exactally my point.  No offense, but if info can be altered, then the info has to be suspect based on history of the ones making the changes.  The owners of Snopes may not be culprits of any bad information.  But changes made by  anyone else may not be found to be fact and posted as being so.  Doesn't mean that it is fact and true. 

My point is...
If stated "facts" can be altered by random entrants from the web, then the whole site's integrity should be suspect.

As far as the original posting, I have seen and tested "dirty" batteries before set on concrete floors before and found that current will flow from the battery to ground.  Sorry.       
 

driftless shifter

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Jun 6, 2012
Posts
2,407
The concrete floor anecdotes date back to the days before modern materials. Battery casings were made out of some kind of pre plastic mat'l. They wood go dead on concrete or bare ground. I'll still put a piece of cardboard or wood under a battery for storage.

Bill
 

denmarc

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Posts
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Location
Grand Rapids, Michigan
driftless shifter said:
The concrete floor anecdotes date back to the days before modern materials. Battery casings were made out of some kind of pre plastic mat'l. They wood go dead on concrete or bare ground. I'll still put a piece of cardboard or wood under a battery for storage.

Bill

Let me throw this scenario out there and replies are welcome...

The point of vented battery cells are to let the cells breath during charging and equalize ambient pressure within the cell.  The vented gasses have to accumulate somewhere while charging.  Once the gasses are outside the cell/battery, unless subject to an outside environment with a constant breeze blowing the gasses away into the unknown, the gasses will settle on surfaces over time.  This includes the battery cases themselves.  Thus, creating a conduit of voltage if the battery is placed on a surface which is in direct contact to ground.  Placed on concrete, porous and usually retains moisture, completes the circuit to ground.  The "modern materials" in which the case of the battery was manufactured means nothing. 

To test my theory, just handle any battery in your MH, TT, or personal vehicle.  Touch your tongue on your fingers and I would bet that you will taste the acid.  You just tasted "the conduit".  No special equipment to purchase necessary.  Put that battery on a moisture retaining concrete floor for a period of time.  Unless one is anal with baking soda and water with batteries on a monthly basis, case closed.

Point made and I'm done.

     
 

Mopar1973Man

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Jul 4, 2011
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New Meadows, Idaho
There is a lot of Internet myths like this I really don't jump up and down about. Like batteries stored on concrete, parking trailers with the tires in the dirt, etc.
 
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