I'm shopping for a 6V trickle charger and see there are many choices - from $9.95 models to ones nearly $100. What do you folks use and recommend?
I do have regular 6V 6- and 10-amp battery chargers, but they're not automatic, and I'm not always at home enough to monitor them.
My 6V trickle charger is a Battery Tender, I think I ordered it straight from their website, I don't remember what I paid for it.
My 12V trickle charger is from Solar (the name of the company, no it's not solar powered). I got it as a Christmas gift.
I wrote "6V' and "12V in big letters on the two chargers so that I don't get them mixed up.
I use Battery Tenders for all my batteries. Works very well
I recommend you avoid so called trickle chargers. You should use an "Auotomatic" charger. Connect it overnight once every 30 days if the battery is not otherwise being charged.
I've got a Battery Tender. The six volt ones are kinda hard to come by but by golly my local battery shop carries them in stock, Don.
I've been using one of these on my T. http://www.cyclegear.com/CycleGear/Parts/Batteries/Battery-Chargers/brand/MEGABO OST/Pro-Series-4000-Charger-Maintainer/p/43174_00000 At the firewall block I added a pigtail so I could just plug the charger there instead of getting to the battery. I have both 6 and 12 volt batteries to charge in the shop that has the T and I use this tender on all of them as it detects the voltage. I only charge for 24 hours once a month when not using a vehicle. Leaving a charger on all the time can cause premature battery failure.
I use the battery tender also. I move it every week or two from one car to another. Happy so far!
The best one is a battery minder. It can be left on continuously and will de-sulphate the battery. I have one on my six year old airplane battery and it still tests as new. It only comes off when I fly.
Thanks for the link John.......I just contacted them to see if they sell additional quick connector battery cables too.
I definitely see one of these in my future.......
Jay Leno has a battery tender hooked up to most of his cars located in the Big Boy garage. They were not all the same brand.
Just a warning. If you intend to leave any kind of device connected to your battery unattended then make sure that:
1) The charger is at the least UL approved. UL does not test the full functionality of a device but will make sure that the 120 VAC interface is up to standards and also this way someone other than the maker has at least looked at the thing.
2) Test to make absolutely sure that the charger will not drain any current from the battery if the charger loses power due to an outlet power failure or other issue such as being unplugged.
I know of a tragedy that one fellow suffered when his garage full of cars all had their batteries ruined by "maintainer" type chargers that he had bought for each of his cars. The problem was that the garage lost power I think because a main breaker tripped during an electrical storm. The chargers were poorly designed and the output circuitry of the charger then appeared as a load on the battery and completely drained the batteries - all of them.
Craig, They sell the pigtails as well http://www.cyclegear.com/CycleGear/Parts/Batteries/Battery-Chargers/brand/DELTRA N/Battery-Tender-Ring-Terminal-Harness/p/36544_59409_46373 Or you could make your own. The flat two pin connectors can be purchased at most auto parts stores. I do like to add a fuse to the battery side in case I also use it to power something.
Because of John's concerns and my own paranoia, I do not leave my trickle chargers hooked up to the batteries all the time. Both of my chargers have lights that let me know when they have switched from "charging" mode to "maintenance" mode. I unplug and disconnect the chargers shortly after they reach "maintenance" mode. The chargers do not stay connected overnight or when I'm away. If I haven't driven the cars in a while, I hook the chargers up and let them bring the batteries back up to "maintenance" mode level.
I appreciate all the good advice!
My main concern is safety - that is, not having some unattended charging device cause a fire. So I think I'll get a UL tested "maintainer" type unit, but not leave it constantly plugged in.
Again, thanks! See you on the road!
I charge mine twice a winter when the cars are laid up and once a summer if a car hasn't been driven much (have four T's & an A ) and haven't had any battery problems. Too much charging can cause the plates to sulfite,(or is it sulfate-hell I can't remember!) which will kill a battery quicker than anything.
Thanks for the link John Zibell.......
I never leave ANYTHING like that energized overnight or when I'm going to be gone for an extended period.
I'm paranoid about leaving such things unattended but I'd be less paranoid about having an ultra low amp charger going rather than my regular charger.
I use a 1.5A 6V/12V automatic Schumacher brand battery maintainer and rotate it around my fleet all winter long by moving it to a different car once a week.
I have 2 of the Schumacher battery maintainer chargers.
Auto-zone keeps them on hand at their stores. They cost around 30.00 dollars.
I leave my battery tender on all the time on cars that are not driven regularly. It's fused and is on a GFCI protected circuit. I guess you could worry about it, but do you worry about your refridgerator?
Well, here's how paranoid we've become ever since seeing on the news a while back about dishwashers and nukers setting themselves on fire for no apparent reason...any time we leave the house, even if its for half an hour, I go to the basement and throw the breaker for said appliances, including the washer and dryer. We gotta remember, these wonderful devices are full of electronic motherboards that are hot all the time, and of course, built by the lowest Chinese bidder! Point made.
I hope you're kidding.
Here are some past links to the flea power chargers. I have made a few of these.
My 3 cheap battery chargers run on a cheap 24 hour timer. They are on for 15 minutes a day. One of them is 4 amps and the other 2 are 8 amps. Takes a minute or 2 and then they all go to trickle mode until switch off. Last battery I replaced at 8 years. Like to mostly hand crank and have a Fun Projects regulator.
Check out the links above posted by Chris B.
If your careful you can make five of these for the cost of one Battery Tender/Minder.
Ron the Coilman
Dan B.... no I am not! Countless homes have been burnt to the ground for above said reasons, seen more than one account of it on the news. Like I said, you can't trust this Chinese crap. Or Mexican for that matter, as I'm sure many of these appliances are full of that too. Whirlpool's down there!