Best Deep Cycle Battery Chargers: Keep Your Vehicle Batteries Running Longer
Keep the engine running and avoid buying a replacement battery with these deep cycle battery chargers
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PUBLISHED ON July 3, 2019
Vehicle batteries lose their charge just like any standard battery, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy a brand new one. You can instead choose to charge them with a deep cycle battery charger. The chargers work by slowly providing power to the old battery until you’re able to successfully start the engine of the vehicle. Having the best deep cycle battery charger can save you time and money as well. Here are a few of the top-rated battery chargers for you to consider.
- Best OverallBlack+Decker Fully Automatic Waterproof Battery ChargerSummarySummaryThis small compact and lightweight deep cycle battery works great in the elements and won’t overheat if left charging for hours.ProsProsIt has a built-in circuit protector to prevent overcharging, reverse polarity, and short-circuiting. You’re also able to plug it into a power socket or connect it to a vehicle’s cigarette lighter.ConsConsIt doesn’t put out that much power, so charging a battery may take a substantial amount of time. We also found the cables are made of plastic and not rubber, making them feel cheap and prone to damage.
- Best ValueNOCO Genius GEN1SummarySummaryOne of the best battery chargers that have a rugged, durable design for use outdoors.ProsProsSimple and easy to set up. Charges a variety of batteries like SLA and gel.ConsConsSome customers have reported issues or bank failures after a short amount of time.
- Honorable MentionSchumacher SC1281SummarySummaryA large powerful deep cycle battery charger with two charging features to keep any vehicle battery running longer.ProsProsEasily read where your batteries charge is at with the large central screen. It also has an automatic voltage detector and a multi-stage charging.ConsConsIt’s bulky and weighs nearly 13 pounds. The clamps could be stronger.
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Benefits of Deep Cycle Battery Charger
- Avoid replacing the battery. Replacing an old battery isn’t all that difficult, but it can be a time-consuming process. You may need a certain set of tools or have to find the right angle to reach the dead battery. However, all batteries should be simple to take out by loosening bolts and disconnecting the clamps, but this isn't the case with all vehicles. If you have a deep cycle battery charger, you can skip all of the manual labor and just clamp on the cables and let it go to work. Many even come with extra features such as overcharge protection, quick charging, alternator check, and stage charging.
- Save time. Aside from swapping out the old battery for a new one, having the best deep cycle battery charger will help you save time. You won’t have to bring it to a shop to have a professional mechanic charge it up. Owning a high-quality deep cycle battery charger will make sure you’re prepared anytime batteries need charging.
- Safer for your battery. Connecting a deep cycle battery charger to your deep cycle battery is safer and more efficient. They are designed to charge batteries slowly in an effort to not damage the plates. A regular battery charger rapidly charges a battery, not giving a sufficient amount of time for the battery acid to penetrate the plates. Finding a deep cycle battery with a lower amount of amps is best for charging deep cycle batteries.
Types of Deep Cycle Battery Charger
The name basically covers the gist of this battery charger. This is the most basic form of chargers you can find, They restore and revive the power in your battery, even if it is completely out of juice. These are the most common types of battery chargers, and their universal fit makes them capable of providing the correct amperage to your vehicle no matter if it has a marine battery, AGM battery, gel battery, or any other type of battery.
As a more expensive type of battery charger, a restorer works by breaking down any contaminants built up in the battery’s cells. These block the battery from receiving power, but with the best-rated restorer is able to clear the cell block out and bring power to your battery once again. They are seen more in professional garages or shops than in the home.
As the name suggests, these are built to maintain the charge of a battery. This prevents them from completely discharging all of their energy and work best as quick fixes and may help extend the battery life.
Perhaps one of the most well-known names when it comes to power tools and more, Black+Decker products can be found at nearly any hardware store. The company was founded in 1910 by S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker in Maryland. One of its more high-quality battery chargers is the Black+Decker Fully Automatic Waterproof Battery Charger.
NOCO is a well-known brand that 1914. The company has been a trusted name in many mechanic garages due to the product line's durability and resilience. One such charger it makes is the NOCO Genius G1100 Battery Charger and Maintainer.
Deep Cycle Battery Charger Pricing
- $50 and under: Battery chargers in this range don’t offer too much in terms of extra gadgets. Most chargers here have lower voltage outputs, so they might not be able to handle large vehicle batteries as well.
- $50-$100: This is where you’ll find the standard range for car battery chargers. You’ll see larger voltages here plus a few options with extra features and accessories.
- $100 and above: Higher-end car battery chargers tend to be beefier and come with more voltage plus the added bonus of extra features.
Finding a deep cycle battery charger that is able to adapt to fit your specific battery is a must. Not all vehicle batteries operate at the same amperage or amp hours, so the charger has to be able to discern what amps it needs to properly charge a specific battery. Automatic battery chargers or smart chargers have the ability to detect the required amps and distribute the necessary voltage, making the charging process safer and easier. Some chargers also have charge phases that can read and adapt to the battery and adjust the charging mode accordingly.
- Charge Time: Noting the average charging time of a battery is difficult to discern. That all depends on the type of battery and the charger being used. Charging a battery to full can be a lengthy process, taking 2-10 hours. If you are using a smaller deep cycle battery charger, it may take even longer.
- Ease of Use: Hooking up a battery charger shouldn’t be a difficult process. Generally, you just clamp on the positive and negative clamps, plug the charger into an outlet, and let it go. However, on some chargers, you may have to mess with the settings beforehand. Finding an automatic charger that can adjust accordingly to the battery will save you time and lead to a faster charge.
Best Deep Cycle Battery Charger Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Black+Decker Fully Automatic Waterproof Battery Charger
This great little battery charger is perhaps one of the most useful due to it being able to work in the elements. Using it in the rain or cold for long periods as a trickle charger won’t hurt it, thanks to the IP67 rating, certifying a completely sealed, waterproof, and dustproof container. This also helps keep the case cool during charges and prevents a short circuit.
The Black+Decker Fully Automatic Waterproof Battery Charger also comes built-in with its own circuit protection; a safety feature we found handy in preventing overcharging, overheating, reverse polarity protection, and short-circuiting. You’re also able to plug it into a power socket or connect it straight to the vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
However, due to its size, it doesn’t put out that much power, so charging a battery may take a substantial amount of time. We also found the cables are made of plastic and not rubber, making them feel cheap and prone to damage. Plus, it only has three lights to let you know what charging mode it is in.
Best Value: NOCO Genius GEN1
The Noco Genius Gen1 is a multi-bank battery charger that comes in a variety of different bank and amp configurations. As a result, it's easy to find the right model that will meet your energy demands. It can charge a number of lead-acid battery types and other wet, gel, and AGM batteries as well.
The thing we like the most about this particular charger is the fact that it can survive some harsh conditions. There aren't many times you'll need the waterproof construction, but it's nice to know you can use it in less-than-favorable garage or outdoor conditions that can damage budget options. The only major knock of this charger is the rate of factory defects people have reported; some units start to develop issues after a few months of use.
Honorable Mention: Schumacher SC1281
Where this deep cycle battery charger really matters is in its size. While it may be larger and heavier, this all adds to its power and charging capabilities. You get two features when using the Schumacher SC1281: a 30-amp quick boost charge or a 100-amp jump start impact to really get your battery back to its peak efficiency.
It has a larger central screen with giant bold numbers to let you know where the recharging level is on your battery. The charger also comes with a multi-stage charging and an automatic voltage detection to save you time and get your battery running faster. It’s also rather portable, coming with an easy to grip handle.
However, while it may pack a punch with its size, that is also one of its downfalls. The charger weighs nearly 13 pounds, making it cumbersome to lug around. While the clamps have the opposite effect. They seem flimsy and small compared to the rugged shape of the container.
- To make sure you get a good clean charge without interference, you should clean the battery terminals before attaching the clamps.
- Do not clamp the positive cable to the negative terminal or vice versa. They are color-coded for ease of access.
- Make sure to remove the key from the ignition and switch off all lights and electrical circuits connecting the battery charger.
- Never put on a battery charger while the battery or the terminals are wet. This can ignite the battery or cause a spark.
Q: Why can’t I just jump-start the battery and have it charge that way?
A: While you do get a small short charge with a jumpstart, it won’t be a permanent solution. You can leave the engine running for a time with a jump, but a battery charger will ensure you won’t have to jump it to get it started.
Q: Does it matter which terminal I connect first?
A: You’ll want to connect the clamp to the positive power terminal first. You can tell which one is correct by seeing a plus sign or red color for positive and a minus sign or black color for negative.
Q: What’s the best way to clean the battery terminals?
A: The buildup of sulfation occurs over time and may leave behind a powder. To make sure you properly clean away any sulfuric acid residue from the terminals, you should use a wire brush. Afterward, you can spray them with an anti-corrosion spray. Wait until the spray is dry to plug in the battery charger.
For a powerful and lightweight deep cycle battery charger, check out the Black+Decker Fully Automatic Waterproof Battery Charger.
You can save cash and still get one of the best deep cycle battery chargers with the NOCO Genius GEN1.