(Last Updated On: March 26, 2019)
Do you have a car that isn’t a daily driver? Maybe it’s a convertible that you garage in the winter, or an offroad vehicle that only gets taken out on occasion. Do you have a snowmobile, ATV, or UTV that spends most of its time in storage? If so, you might need a trickle charger for car, truck, boat, or other vehicles.
To find the best trickle charger keep reading. We’ve taken a look at several trickle chargers, and have summarized our findings below. Each trickle charger review has all of the information you need to make a final selection.
Foval Automatic Trickle Charger
- Perfect for all lead-acid, flooded or sealed maintenance free batteries (AGM and gel cell), also Complete 4-step charging program (Initialization, Bulk Charge, Absorption Mode, Float Mode), Intuitive LED indicators
Orion Motor Tech Automatic Battery Charger
- It can charge all types of 12V lead-acid batteries, including flooded or sealed maintenance free batteries (AGM & gel cell), No need of any manual operation, Energy Saving design with LED indicator
Battery Tender Plus 1.25 Amp Smart Charger
- Fully automatic, Fast and efficient, Included is a quick connect harness for hard to reach areas, Reverse polarity protection to ensure user safety
NOCO Genius Ultra Safe Battery Charger
- A 12-volt and 24-volt battery charger and maintainer for lead-acid batteries up to 230 amp-hours, The maximum power consumption is 132 watts, An ultra-safe design featuring spark-proof technology, as well as reverse polarity and overcharge protection
Battery Tender Junior Battery Charger
- Spark proof during lead connection, reverse polarity protected and includes a 12-foot output cord and 5-year warranty, Perfect for charging all 12-volt lead-acid, flooded or sealed maintenance free batteries (AGM and gel cell) and safety timer-80 hours, Complete 4-step charging program, Solid state two color LED indicators
Trickle Chargers For Cars Review
1) Foval Automatic Trickle Charger
We found the Foval to be a good, ‘middle of the road’, battery trickle charger. It’s definitely not a premium model. It lacks a temperature adjust. However, you will pay less than 20 dollars for this unit. That’s not a bad deal for something that works consistently well.
The Foval works well on a variety of battery types. It’s easy to use, and has some decent features. The lead connectors are spark proof, and it has reverse polarity protection. There’s also automatic charge adjustment.
There is one notable downside. Since the power output is just one amp, it will take quite a long time to fully charge a low battery. On the other hand, it’s perfectly adequate as a maintenance charger. This is a great option if you want to keep a battery charged year round, less so if you need an emergency charge.
2) Orion Motor Tech Automatic Battery Charger
This is another charger that isn’t exceptionally powerful, but still warrants a spot on our list. This is a low priced charger, that works very well for smaller batteries like those found on ATVs and other equipment. It’s not something we would recommend for cars are trucks, unless you plan on keeping the battery connected for continual charging.
The Orion Motor Tech charger has all of the safety features you would expect in a decent charger. This includes protection against short circuits and overcharging, and sparking. Finally, it’s quite user friendly. It will only take the average person a few minutes to figure out exactly how to use this.
3) Battery Tender Plus 1.25 Amp Smart Charger
If you’re looking for the best trickle charger for car or truck, here is your best option. The Battery Tender has a variety of smart features that impressed our team right from the start. This is definitely a more high-end charger than the models we’ve mentioned above. It costs around 40 dollars, but is well worth it.
What are smart features? For one thing, varying, outdoor temperatures impact a battery charger’s efficiency. The Battery Tender Plus, adjusts its voltage according to temperature changes. In addition to that, it’s also self monitoring. That means it operates in full charge mode until the battery is full. Even better, it’s a fast charge. Then, it keeps the battery charged in trickle mode once it detects the battery is full. So, once you connect your battery, you are good to go. Your battery will be topped off.
4) NOCO Genius Ultra Safe Battery Charger
This is the most expensive charger on this list. However, it’s well worth the 60 dollar price tag, if safety is your top priority, and you want the best smart features on the market. Its safety features include reverse polarity protection, lead connectors that reduce spark risk, and a mechanism to prevent the unit from overcharging the battery.
Many people have vehicles that they simply don’t see on a regular basis. This might be a boat stored at a marina, or a UTV at a hunting cabin. They want to be certain that their batteries are charged, while also minimizing any safety risks. This tool does that.
Not only this, but the unit contains a small computer that has many features. First, like other chargers, this one will switch from regular charge into trickle mode automatically. Unlike other chargers, this model can actually repair damage that has been by detecting issues, and modifying its power flow to fix them.
5) Battery Tender Junior Battery Charger
The Junior Battery Charger rounds up our list as a very basic, portable, simple to use charger that’s notably inexpensive. This is a great charger to keep on hand on trips, or to use as a spare.
First of all, it has all of the safety features you would need. It’s got both over charge protection, and anti spark connectors. There’s also a microcomputer that monitors the charging process. The unit will automatically swap modes from initial charge, bulk charge, and maintenance. That means the battery consistently gets the precise charge it needs.
This charger is marginally powerful. It will charge the battery of a motorcycle, lawn equipment, even a smaller vehicle. Like the charger that tops this list, it works only as a trickle charger for larger vehicles. For 25 dollars, this is a very adequate charger for most people.
Trickle Charger Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Trickle chargers certainly aren’t the most well-known auto part. If you have questions about them, you aren’t alone. We’ve taken a look at some of the more common questions consumers have about these, and provided those answers here.
What is a Trickle Charger?
When your vehicles aren’t in use, their batteries are still discharging. It happens slowly, but over time those batteries will discharge fully. Jumping your vehicles is a harsh method of bringing them back to life that can cause damage over time. Instead, consider a battery trickle charger. These will maintain your car batteries full charge by slowly replacing the charge they use at a ‘trickle’.
Some chargers only work as trickle chargers. Others will charge a fully dead battery, in addition to maintaining a charge on an inactive battery.
How do I Find The Best Battery Trickle Charger For my Car?
There’s no single answer to this question. This depends on your budget, the type of battery you need to maintain, and your charging needs. The chargers we’ve listed above cover a wide range of needs.
How Long Does it Take to Charge a Car Battery With a Trickle Charger?
This depends on the size of the battery, the charger’s power, and the amount of charge the battery has left. For example, charging a truck battery that’s completely dead will take a powerful charger, and as many as 24 hours. It would take significantly less time or power to charge an ATV battery. Of course, there are numerous possibilities in between.