best trickle charger

The 15 Best Trickle Chargers For RVs & Cars in 2021

Once it comes to storing vehicles like RVs and cars, the self-discharge of the RV batteries is one of the things that require special attention. As the batteries self-discharge, the charge level is going to slowly but surely drop even in optimal storage conditions. 

If people fail to take proper precautions, the batteries may become too depleted to be of use when it’s time to hit the road. Considering that multiple functions on modern vehicles depend on electricity from the battery bank, dead batteries would create significant troubles.

To deal with the self-discharge, vehicle owners utilize various measures but many like hooking the battery bank of their idle ride to trickle chargers. By connecting the batteries of your vehicle to the best trickle charger, you could keep them topped up which lets you head out at will. 


Best Trickle Chargers Comparison Chart

NoBest Automotive Trickle ChargersPricesOur Ratings
1NOCO GENIUS2$$$*****
2Leicestercn EPA1020-0612$*****
3Sunway SWS-C3W001$$****
4POWOXI Solar Trickle Charger $$****
5Battery Tender 021-0123$*****
6YONHAN BC03B-HY1$*****
7ADPOW EPA1205MT$$*****
8Jane Choi JC-1204$$*****
9Aeiusny Solar Trickle Charger$***
10ECO-WORTHY L02EP10BB18V-1$$****
11SUNER POWER BC-6W$$****
12SUHU 314-RD1$*****
13SOLPERK Solar Trickle Charger$$$*****
14Foval BC01B-1$*****
15Orion Motor Tech OMT-BCE-1212$****

The Basics About Trickle Chargers

What is a trickle charger?

In layman’s terms, a trickle charger is a charger that provides small amounts of charge to batteries to counteract the self-discharge of cells. Besides that, depending on the models, it’s fine to leave trickle chargers on indefinitely. 

How does it work?

The operating principle of trickle charges is straightforward: if you hook a trickle charger to your batteries, it would charge cells as they self-discharge. Therefore, the battery bank of your ride is going to remain fully charged over time. 

Benefits of a trickle charger 

Convenience: By connecting the batteries of your rig to a trickle charger, you could keep their charge at maximum level. That eliminates the hassle of checking the charge level and recharging batteries when you want to take the RV you store out for a ride. 

Longevity: In the case that the charge level of batteries drops too low, the cells may experience losses of capacity. Do you like to maximize the charge cycle of the battery bank of your vehicle? Then it’s strongly recommended that you think about hooking your batteries to the best trickle charger outside of use. 

Expense: With the trickle charger keeping your batteries topped up while idle, your battery bank should last a long time. Thus, the number of times that you have to look for battery replacements would drop and you get to save some bucks for other needs. 

trickle charger for rv

Types Of trickle chargers 

Today’s market contains numerous trickle chargers for batteries but only two types of models exist: dump and smart. 

  • Dumb Trickle Chargers: Versatile and flexible, dumb trickle chargers could deal with the self-discharge of batteries of various sizes. In addition, models of the type come at reasonable prices so they match the shopping budgets of the average RVers. On the downside, dumb trickle chargers tend to lack the ability to monitor load which presents a risk of overcharging.
  • Smart Trickle Chargers: Thanks to the incorporation of the latest technologies, smart trickle chargers rarely let people down in use. From automatic shutdown to load display, models of the type have an easy time meeting an assortment of charging requirements. However, the price tag is slightly steep and unlike dumb trickle chargers, smart trickle chargers happen to be size-specific.

Top-Rated RV And Car Trickle Chargers 

The community is at odds about best trickle charger but in the case that you wish to make a wise investment, check out these models:

1. NOCO GENIUS2 – Best Of The Best 

NOCO GENIUS2, 2-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger, 6V and 12V Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, Trickle Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 2A
  • Charging Voltage: 6V and 12V
  • Automatic 
  • Thermal compensation 
  • Built-in diagnostics 

Why This Is The Best:

Being an all-inclusive model, NOCO GENIUS2 possesses everything that people need in a trickle charger for batteries on RV. Thanks to its automatic nature, this charger needs little attention from users which is advantageous. In addition to that, with thermal compensation, it would keep batteries topped up as temperature changes rise and drop too. As a result, once it comes to maintaining the charge level of batteries in variable climates, this charger is the best trickle charger money can buy nowadays. 

For compatibility, GENIUS2 accepts an assortment of batteries such as lead-acid, AGM, lithium and alike so it works superbly with the average battery banks. Noteworthily, it could change the charging voltage between 6V and 12V depending on the requirements. Thus, we have concluded that modern RVing enthusiasts should be able to adapt this charger to the battery bank on their rig with relative ease. Last but not least, incorporating built-in diagnostics, it’s going to keep RVers up-to-date regarding the status of the batteries over time. 

Compared to its competitors, the NOCO charger reaches the market at a reasonable price so squeezing it into the spending plan is child’s play. In terms of post-purchase support, it’s accompanied by a three-year warranty that puts vehicle owners at ease. 

This little charger is amazing! I have successfully used it to bring back 3 ATV batteries that had been sitting for almost 2 years. All of them were stone cold and showed no voltage when put on a meter. It takes a while to get them charged back up but it sure beats having to buy new ones. The way I look at it, this little device has already paid for itself and then some with the money I saved from not having to replace the batteries. The first battery has been working on my ATV now for a week without any hesitation! I haven’t had any problems with the charger so far and with the way it appears to be built, I don’t foresee having any problems either. I would definitely buy it again if needed. I’m sure glad that I took a chance with this charger.

Shared by Donald I Baiter

Pros:

  • Economical
  • Space-saving 
  • Compatibility is tip-top

Cons:

  • Owner’s manual could use some work 
  • People notice several inconsistencies between units 

2. Leicestercn EPA1020-0612 – Editor’s Choice

LST Trickle Battery Charger Automatic Maintainer 6V 12V Smart Float Charger for Automotive Car Motorcycle
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 1.5A
  • Charging Voltage: 6V and 12V
  • Lightweight 
  • Ultra-compact 
  • Multi-stage charging 

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

Designed with an ultra-compact body, Leicestercn EPA1020-0612 is a lightweight charger that only takes a couple of moments to set up and put away. Based on the batteries, this battery charger allows people to select either 6V or 12V for the charging voltage which makes it adaptable in use. Additionally, with multi-stage charging, it would maximize the longevity of the cells as well. Thus, by grabbing this charger, vehicle owners could reduce the number of battery replacements they must buy and save money. 

Possessing comprehensive protection against overload, overheat, short-circuit and other risks, EPA1020-0612 packs an excellent operating record as a whole. Because of that, our testers who care about their batteries think of it as the best trickle charger on the market. Since this charger for batteries carries an intuitive LED indicator, monitoring the charging process is a walk in the park. Interestingly, it’s able to run diagnostics and provide users with plenty of information surrounding the performance of the batteries. 

As proof of confidence, Leicestercn willingly offers people that opt to pick up its charge a three-year manufacturer warranty. That means if your EPA1020-0612 fails due to effects within the warranty period, you could claim yourself a free replacement. 

Great trickle charger for reasonable price

I don’t drive one of my cars very often and my battery started to give me trouble holding a charge (using regular charger). I received my order in very timely manner. I connected it up to my 12 VDC car battery (with ground disconnected) and it showed below half discharged battery (blinking 50% LED). It charged in couple of hours to over 50 % (after which 100% LED started to blink) and then after about 20 hours (as specified in user manual) completed the 100 % charge (both 50% & 100 % LEDs lit up continuously). I left the charger connected to keep the battery at prime charge level until I need to drive the car. The charger heated slightly during the initial charging period, as more current was drawn. After charge was completed, the charger remains cool while it the keeps optimum level charging in progress. I find this product very useful at a nice price.

Shared by PeterR

Pros:

  • Economical 
  • Great handling 
  • Responsive customer service 

Cons:

  • Poorly-written owner’s manual
  • Reports of deviated output appear now and then 

3. Sunway SWS-C3W001

Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Truck Trailer
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 0.3A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • PV glass
  • Integrated diode 
  • Plastic housing

Why We Love It:

So you want to make use of solar energy and save a couple of bucks? In that case, you should take a look at SWS-C3W001 of Sunway and see what it could do. Containing an efficient crystalline solar pane, this charger is capable of delivering a flow of charge to the batteries of your rig throughout the day. Furthermore, featuring plastic housing, it’s tough enough to deal with elements in the outdoors for extended periods of time. 

Upon purchase, the Sunway charger comes alongside battery clamps and a cigarette lighter plug so you can put it to use out of the box. Besides that, depending on the layout of your ride, you may mount it to either the windshield or the dashboard. Owing to the integrated diode, this charger is good at preventing reverse charge too and that is a big plus. Hence, we expect that by attaching it to your batteries, you should have an easy time maintaining the charge level and preserving the cell integrity. 

SWS-C3W001 is compatible with numerous batteries from lead-acid to gel so getting it to work with particular battery banks is a cinch. During charging, the LED indicator of this charger would light up and let you determine its status at a glance. 

I bought this to keep my RV battery charged when we’re not using it. When I got it the instructions said not for external use, which wasn’t what other reviewers said. One reviewer claims he uses in on his boat and it’s outside in all kinds of summer weather 24/7. So I was initially disappointed but decided to seal around the outer edge of the glass screen to prevent any water to enter there. I use a silicone caulk and it has been performing really well since I purchased it a month or so ago. It keeps my 24V deep cell RV battery up to maximum charge without having to use a regulator of any kind. I expect it last quite a while. I question the caution in the instructions for interior use only, but perhaps they are just CYA! I would buy it again.

Shared by Mo

Pros:

  • Portable 
  • Quick shipping 
  • Sturdy and stable 

Cons:

  • Some units seem inoperable on arrival 
  • Users occasionally notice housing warping under the sun

4. POWOXI Solar Trickle Charger 

POWOXI 7.5W-Solar-Battery-Trickle-Charger-Maintainer -12V Portable Waterproof Solar Panel Trickle Charging Kit for Car, Automotive
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 0.6A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • Crystalline silicon
  • Impact-resistant 
  • Improved conversion 

Why We Love It:

Specifically engineered for modern-day standards and built to last, POWOXI Solar Trickle Charger never fails to please its users. With the incorporation of a crystalline silicon solar panel that ensures improved conversion, it’s able to charge an assortment of batteries all day long. In addition, since this charger happens to be impact-resistant, it could take minor hits in use without breaking apart. As a result, people consider it to be one of the leading auto trickle chargers of its type regarding ruggedness. 

Thanks to the small construction, the charger made by POWOXI can squeeze into cramp space at a moment’s notice. It weighs nearly nothing as well so bringing it into position is just a cakewalk. If vehicle owners securely attach it to batteries and sunlight is available, we have no doubt that this charger would keep batteries at maximum capacity. Via the handy LED indicator on the edge, it’s possible to tell whether the charging process is going smoothly. 

Introduced at a price that everyone could accept, POWOXI Solar Trickle Charger receives lots of compliments for its terrific affordability. Your wallet is kind of tight but you still like to grab something of quality? Then this charger is the best trickle charger for you. 

This little solar panel maintains 100% state of charge on my 12v 100 amp deep cycle house battery in my fifth wheel camper during storage time. I wired it directly to the battery with a small inline fuse and flexible wire cover. I decided to mount it with two sided weatherproof 30 pound Gorilla tape on my Reese Goosebox. So far, so good!

Shared by PJ

Pros:

  • Durable 
  • Excellent adaptability 
  • No-nonsense installation 

Cons:

  • Customer service is hardly adequate 
  • Lifespan of units fluctuate 

5. Battery Tender 021-0123

Battery Tender Junior 12V Charger and Maintainer
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 0.7A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • Spark-proof
  • Safety timer 
  • LED light

Why We Love It:

In spite of its plain appearance, Battery Tender 021-0123 is a solid model that performs magnificently in quite a few environments. Made from the ground up for universal applications, this charger is compatible with various batteries including lead-acid, gel, AGM, … Moreover, it even arrives assembled so there is no need to make extra purchases in order to pick up hardware. Naturally, vehicle owners who have little time and need to get their hands on a car battery trickle charger right away rate this charger highly. 

Boasting multi-stage charging, 021-0123 would bring the charge level of batteries to the upper limit and proceed to keep it there until people detach it. At any time, by glancing over the built-in LED light, users could determine the status of the charging process. Also, we need to point out that unlike traditional models, this charger for automobile batteries packs integral reverse polarity protection. That is why if users accidentally mess up the polarities while attaching the clips, the batteries won’t sustain damages. 

So as to reassure potential customers, Battery Tender backs its charger with a five-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. Thus, once it comes to post-purchase support, this vehicle battery charger is second to none in its price range. 

I wish I would have purchased this earlier. It would be a great way to keep my very expensive RV battery charged over winter. I put the battery in my garage and it just sits. Last week, I got out the batteries for my RV, garden tractor, generator, my solar batteries, and they were all dead. My one year old tractor battery was unable to be charged again. Now I have to replace it.

This charger would have saved it by keeping a charge on it over winter. My plan now is to charge each battery monthly, and the Battery Tender will maintain the life and charge of my batteries. It is an easy and inexpensive purchase to keep my batteries healthy. It is a super value for the price, and I give it 5 stars for saving my other batteries.

Shared by Repro63

Pros:

  • Steady
  • Reasonable price
  • Setup process is instantaneous 

Cons:

  • Capacity deviates as time passes by 
  • Delivery service is mediocre 

6. YONHAN BC03B-HY1

Automotive Battery Charger 12V/8A 24V/4A Trickle Charger Smart Automatic Battery Charger for Cars, RVs
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 4A and 8A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V and 24V
  • Repair mode
  • Clips included 
  • Voltage detection

Why We Love It:

Incorporating an array of functions, YONHAN BC03B-HY1 flexibility satisfies charging demands of vehicle owners without requiring significant inputs. Designed with voltage detection, this charger automatically selects the proper charging voltage the moment people attach it to their batteries. Additionally, it carries a microprocessor that manages the flow of charge which guarantees consistent efficiency in all sorts of conditions. Because of that, plenty of battery trickle charger reviews regard this charger as the best trickle charger on the market nowadays in terms of constancy. 

One interesting thing about the auto charger from YONHAN is that it possesses a dedicated repair mode for battery revival. By utilizing the repair mode, users could effortlessly reverse the effects of sulfation and bring dead batteries back to life. Therefore, those that don’t want to replace batteries frequently often go after this charger hoping to save some money. About the ease of monitoring, it’s created with a LED display and a series of indicators so our testers consider supervising the charging process to be a cinch. 

As for structural integrity, thanks to the insulated ABS casing, BC03B-HY1 would withstand extreme temperature like a champ. This charger is compact and light as well so people should have no trouble relocating it in times of need. 

Pros:

  • Terrific lifespan 
  • Commendable handling characteristics 
  • Maintenance is child’s play 

Cons:

  • Sporadic interruptions in charging 
  • A number of users report reverse charge 

7. ADPOW EPA1205MT

ADPOW 5A 12V Automatic Smart Battery Charger Automotive Maintainer 7-Stages Trickle Charger for Deep Cycle Battery Car
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 5A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • Intelligent charging
  • Layered protections 
  • Mounting holes

Why We Love It:

Basic and practical, ADPOW EPA1205MT permits people to keep batteries of their ride topped up for a long time. Made with intelligent charging, it could optimize the flow of charge to batteries and that leads to an increased lifespan. Furthermore, owing to its outstanding compatibility, this charger is capable of charging quite a few automobile batteries with relative ease. Hence, it’s a must-have for vehicles that contain more than one type of battery in the battery bank.

For installation, with its low profile, EPA1205MT is portable and should fit any spot that users have in mind. It’s noteworthy that this charger integrates mounting holes around the edges so vehicle owners have the option of setting up a permanent charging arrangement. Aside from that, being water and dust-resistant, it also operates in a stable manner when coming into contact with many elements in the outdoors. That is why this auto battery trickle charger is loved by people who prioritize longevity. 

With layered protections, the charger of ADPOW rarely experiences problems in the course of operation. Since the maintenance of this charger is simple too, we guarantee that keeping it in good shape is a snap. In the case that things go south, users could count on the lifetime manufacturer warranty. 

Pros:

  • Enduring 
  • Superb portability 
  • Reliability is splendid 

Cons:

  • Units sometimes get stuck in a mode
  • Quality control still leaves something to be desired 

8. Jane Choi JC-1204

Jane Choi JC-1204 10-Stage Trickle Charger for Automotive Car RV ATV AGM Lead
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 2A and 4A
  • Charging Voltage: 6V and 12V
  • Memory 
  • LCD display 
  • Ring connectors and battery clips 

Why We Love It:

As a multipurpose model, Jane Choi JC-1204 works well as a battery charger, a battery maintainer and a battery reconditioner. In addition to that, this charger for car batteries operates automatically so people don’t have to micromanage it to get the result they want. Thus, a lot of busy vehicle owners who desire a solid one-for-all battery charger think highly of it. This charger adjusts charge on its own to compensate for temperature so the odds of overcharging during summers and undercharging during winters should be minimal. 

Since both the charging voltage and the charging current of the Jane Choi charger happen to be changeable, it’s compatible with the average batteries. It comes with ring connectors and battery clips so hooking it up to the terminals of the battery bank is a walk in the park. Possessing a LCD display, this charger allows users to grasp key readings such as the charge level, types of batteries, …. Because of that, regarding situational awareness, we only know several models available for purchase that may overcome it. 

For safety features, JC-1204 incorporates an assortment of protections: reverse polarity, short circuit, overheat, etc. Unsurprisingly, it packs a stellar operating record compared to typical trickle chargers for modern batteries. 

Pros:

  • Compact 
  • Sublime versatility 
  • Undemanding setup process 

Cons:

  • Delivery service is less than ideal 
  • No connector covers 

9. Aeiusny Solar Trickle Charger

Aeiusny 12V Solar Car Automotive RV Battery Trickle Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 0.4A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • Mono-crystalline
  • Indicator lights
  • Quick connector 

Why We Love It:

Integrating mono-crystalline solar cells with a high conversion rate, Aeiusny Solar Trickle Charger takes advantage of sunlight to maintain the charge level of batteries. Moreover, owing to its superb portability, it’s simple to manipulate which means users need mere moments to install it. Naturally, this charge is a favorite of eco-conscious vehicle owners that have no time to fumble around complex chargers. In use, the indicator lights would light up to respond to the charge level so people have an easy time keeping an eye on things. 

The trickle charger made by Aeiusny just charges the battery bank when the charge level drops due to self-discharge. Besides that, it contains built-in diodes too so there is no need to worry too much about reserve charging. As a result, once it comes to preventing automobile batteries from ending up dead, we have reached the conclusion that this charger is the best battery trickle charger money can buy. Last but not least, put together with a charging voltage of 12V, it supports a wide range of battery banks. 

About maintenance, Aeiusny Solar Trickle Charger requires periodical cleaning so particles don’t cover its solar panel and reduce current. Hence, users could spend less time on maintenance and more time on other pressing matters. 

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly 
  • Fantastic compatibility
  • Magnificent packaging 

Cons:

  • Vehicle owners complain about missing hardware on occasions 
  • Post-purchase support is hardly adequate 

10. ECO-WORTHY L02EP10BB18V-1

ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 10 Watt Solar Panel Trickle Charge for Car, RV, Boat, Automotive, Motorcycle
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 0.8A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • Maintenance-free
  • Plastic film
  • Extended life 

Why We Love It:

Able to charge batteries of cars, recreational vehicles, boats, tractors, …, ECO-WORTHY L02EP10BB18V-1 is well-received by people who own multiple vehicles. Accompanied by clips (for terminals of batteries) and a plug (for cigarette lighter outlet), this charger could match diverse setups. Additionally, rated at 12V, its charging voltage is compatible with a lot of vehicle batteries. Because of that, adapting this charger to usual battery banks is going to be child’s play and it’s unnecessary to buy extra hardware. 

Despite its unimpressive outlook, the solar panel of L02EP10BB18V-1 is capable of enduring challenges of the outdoors without giving out in use. Therefore, in our opinion, the lifespan of this trickle charger is superior to that of standards models on the market. In terms of maintenance, as long as people keep the solar panel clean, we trust that it’s going to produce electricity for the batteries around the day. Finally, with terrific protection, this charger eliminates various risks during charging (short-circuit, reverse charge, …)

The ECO-WORTHY charger is available at an affordable price so its purchase would have insignificant impacts on upcoming spendings. This charge is backed with a one-month no-questions-asked return guarantee as well which brings peace of mind. 

Pros:

  • Robust
  • Decent current 
  • Installation is a breeze 

Cons:

  • Barely acceptable customer service 
  • Users report seeing the connectors getting burned 

11. SUNER POWER BC-6W

SUNER POWER Portable 6W Solar Panel Trickle Charging Kit for Automotive, RV, Trailer
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 0.5A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • ABS 
  • Suction cups
  • Plug-and-play 

Why We Love It:

Boasting a plug-and-play design with one-way quick connector, SUNER POWER BC-6W allows vehicle owners to set it up in several seconds. Furthermore, people could charge their battery bank with this charger either by connecting it to the terminals or plug it into the cigarette lighter outlet. Hence, it gives users a certain level of freedom while charging vehicle batteries during storage. On arrival, this charger comes alongside suction cups too so securing it to a spot is a piece of cake. 

About voltage, those that decide to pick up BC-6W rarely run into compatibility troubles owing to the 12V rating. As for the current, we have recorded countless compliments for this charger and its ability to keep batteries topped up. Tired of having to replace batteries in the battery bank of your ride times and again when they turn up dead following long-term storage? If that is the case, you may want to include it in your shopping list. 

Since the solar panel of the charger from SUNER POWER is resilient, there is no need to worry too much about exposure to the elements. It’s still necessary to clean the solar panel from time to time to keep dirt from accumulating over time. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Small build 
  • Maintenance is uncomplicated 

Cons:

  • Irregular spikes in output
  • Wirings need to be tweaked 

12. SUHU 314-RD1

SUHU Automotive Trickle Charger for Cars, Trucks, RV SUV ATV SLA Wet AGM Gel Cell Lead Acid Lithium Battery
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 4A
  • Charging Voltage: 6V and 12V
  • Automatic 
  • LED display 
  • Multi-stage charging 

Why We Love It:

Thanks to the emphasis on automation, SUHU 314-RD1 is popular among people that have little time to check up batteries of vehicles outside of use. Able to detect voltage of batteries on its own, this charger removes the hassle of setting the proper charge voltage. In addition, packing multi-stage charging, it makes sure that the charging current reaches the battery bank effectively and efficiently. The moment this charger gets batteries to the maximum capacity, it automatically stops so overcharging is less than an issue. 

While charging the batteries, via its LED display, the charger of SUHU would show vehicle owners a lot of details from charging voltage to charge level. That is why our testers give it high scores regarding the ease of supervision in the course of operation. Aside from that, it’s possible to use this charger to desulfate sulfated batteries and recover lost capacity if necessary. Thus, by hooking it to the battery bank, people cut down expenses that go into battery replacement and use money they save for other needs. 

For protection, 314-RD1 is immune to reverse polarity, short-circuit, electric shock, … and so on. Its ABS frame is flame-retardant and that means the odds of it catching on fire should be essentially zero. 

Pros:

  • Flexible 
  • Solid performance 
  • User-friendly display 

Cons:

  • Battery recovery is slightly erratic 
  • Shipping must be overhauled 

13. SOLPERK Solar Trickle Charger

SOLPERK Solar Panel Kit 20W 12V, Solar Battery Trickle Charger or Boat Car RV Motorcycle Marine Automotive
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 1.7A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • Aluminum frame
  • Weatherproof film
  • 360-degree mounting bracket 

Why We Love It:

With a combination of aluminum frame and weatherproof film, SOLPERK Solar Trickle Charger consistently gives a good account of itself in a lot of situations. No matter what takes place, it’s going to hold together for at least a decade which is certainly advantageous. Moreover, the monocrystalline cells in the solar panel of this charge possess a high conversion rate so counteracting self-discharge is a piece of cake. At 12V, its charging voltage is compatible with numerous batteries: lead-acid, gel, AGM, etc. 

In terms of setup process, SOLPERK distributes its charger with hardware so its installation is a cinch and takes a couple of minutes to complete. As the mounting bracket features 360-degree rotation, orienting the solar panel toward the direction of the sun is fairly straightforward. Therefore, we believe that vehicle owners would have an easy time optimizing the output from this charger throughout the day. The inclusion of an extension cable helps boost the reach of the chargers as well.

About post-purchase support, SOLPERK Solar Trickle Charger is backed by a reassuring one-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. So if those that grab the charger experience problems all of a sudden, they should have something to count on. 

Pros:

  • Simple installation 
  • Comprehensive protections
  • Excellent longevity 

Cons:

  • Users complain about interruptions in output 
  • Owner’s manual should be rewritten 

14. Foval BC01B-1

Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger 12V 1000mA Smart Battery Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 1A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • LED indicators
  • Smooth connection 
  • Integral diagnostic

Why We Love It:

Charging in four stages (initialization, bulk, absorption and float), Foval BC01B-1 fully charges batteries before switching to trickle charging to maintain the charge level. Because of that, it removes the need to keep several types of chargers on hand. Additionally, this charger is compatible with plenty of 12V batteries in cars, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, … It arrives alongside clips as well as connectors too, hence, vehicle owners could put this battery charger to use as soon as they take it out of the packaging. 

Manufactured to be spark-proof, BC01B-1 always checks whether the connection is good before permitting its current to reach the batteries of vehicles. Thus, in our view, it’s a wise investment for those that wish to reduce the risk of accidents and avoid expensive bills while charging batteries. Besides that, this charger also comes with protection against reverse polarity, short circuit, overcurrent, overvoltage, …. Needless to say, few models could outperform this smart charger once it comes to safety. 

In use, the LED indicators would light up to show the users of the charge level of their battery banks. Because of that, determining the progress of charging at any time is child’s play. Upon purchase, it’s backed by a two-year warranty. 

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Splendid stability 
  • Easy to set up 

Cons:

  • Several units don’t stop charging when batteries reach max capacity 
  • Customer service is unresponsive 

15. Orion Motor Tech OMT-BCE-1212

1.2A Trickle Charger for car, Truck, Boat, Motorcycle, RV
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Specifications And Features:

  • Charging Current: 1.2A
  • Charging Voltage: 12V
  • Microprocessor 
  • LED indicator
  • Wide-ranging compatibility

Why We Love It:

Capable of working with batteries of many types, Orion Motor Tech OMT-BCE-1212 earns positive remarks from trickle charger reviews for its wide-ranging compatibility. Moreover, equipped with colored clips, it helps people match the clips with terminals of the batteries in a matter of seconds and that saves time. This battery charger also contains an integral LED indicator so determining the charging status is a snap in most cases. Hence, those who seek no-nonsense trickle chargers tend to hold it in high esteem. 

About charging current, the charger made by Orion Motor Tech falls behind its contemporaries but it’s sufficient to maintain the charge level of batteries. Rated at 12V, the charging voltage of this charger could easily handle regular battery banks on cars and recreational vehicles. For safety, it boasts an advanced microprocessor that regulates the flow of charge and takes care of common issues like reverse polarity, overcharging, short circuit, … That is why from the records we gather, this trickle charger seldom runs into problems in the course of operation. 

Slim and sleek, OMT-BCE-1212 features fantastic handling characteristics so attaching it to the batteries is a piece of cake. Since this charger occupies a negligible amount of space, vehicle owners have no trouble finding a fitting spot for it. 

Pros:

  • Resilient
  • Long-lasting 
  • Dependable and reliable 

Cons:

  • Quality control requires improvements
  • Certain users complain about units showing up dead 

How To Pick Up The Best Trickle Charger

Different people have different ideas about what could be called the best trickle charger available for purchase on the market. Nonetheless, to get your money’s worth, you should keep the criteria below in mind

CAPACITY 

The self-discharge rate changes from battery to battery which is why you have to pay special attention to capacity. The last thing you want to do is to buy an underpowered  RV trickle charger that cannot keep the RV batteries topped up as time passes by. Usually, you may determine whether a model possesses the right capacity for your batteries by reading its owner’s manual. It’s worth pointing that a number of modern trickle chargers feature modifiable charge capacity. 

VOLTAGE

In order to protect the integrity of batteries, it’s essential to provide charge to the cells in suitable voltages. As a result, while looking for the best trickle charger, it’s strongly recommended that you take voltage into account. Until you know for certain that the voltage of the trickle charger you choose matches that of your vehicle batteries, avoid committing to a purchase. For example, in the case that your camper battery consists of 12V batteries, grab yourself a 12V battery trickle charger.

EASE OF USE

Though hooking up trickle chargers to batteries of vehicles seldom requires a lot of work, you still need to give ease of use some thought. In most cases, via the owner’s manual, you could grasp the complexity of the setup process of particular models. However, to be thorough, it’s widely advised that you take a close look at a couple of customer reviews. Doing so would help you remove complicated models from your shortlist and that should save quite a bit of time. 

SAFETY

You can never be too careful once it comes to electricity, hence, you have to think about safety features as you assess the market chargers. Nowadays, trickle chargers tend to integrate an assortment of protections against reverse polarity, short-circuit, overcharge, overheating and so on. The more protection the model packs, the costlier it becomes. That being said, by getting a RV trickle charger with comprehensive protections, you could protect your ride from expensive damages. 

PRICE 

$25 – $50: Being entry-level models, chargers in the range don’t have much to offer but their performance remains more or less adequate for typical batteries. Furthermore, with tip-top affordability, models that cost from $25 to $50 receive a shower of raise from cost-conscious vehicle owners. 

$50 – $75: Equipped to operate in a wide range of conditions, chargers in the range give a good account of themselves in use. You need a no-nonsense RV battery trickle charger immediately but cannot spend big bucks? Then it’s suggested that you prioritize models with price tags that lay between $50 and $75. 

Above $75: Possessing everything that people need to keep batteries topped up, chargers in the range seem pricey but the values they deliver match their price. Needless to say, those that desire quality and have money to spend think highly of models that cost more than $75. 


Top Trickle Charger Brands

Trickle charger on the market come from brands but in terms of reputability, several names stand out from the rest 

NOCO

As a long-established brand with plenty of experience in making electronics, NOCO knows what people need in trickle chargers and designs its products accordingly. Because of that, most trickle chargers made by NOCO receive a shower of praise from vehicle owners around the globe. 

Leicestercn

Thanks to heavy investments in optimization, Leicestercn is able to put together solid trickle chargers that last for many years. You don’t have a lot of opportunities to pick up a battery trickle charger so you care about longevity? Then it’s suggested that you keep an eye out for trickle chargers of Leicestercn.

Orion Motor Tech

By incorporating an assortment of innovations into productions, Orion Motor Tech manages to keep its trickle chargers competitive over time. Furthermore, Orion Motor Tech models tend to be accompanied by budget-friendly price tags and that is a big plus for people with tight wallets.

Sunway 

Known for the “green” approach, Sunway as well as its trickle chargers prove to be popular among eco-conscious RVers. In addition, Sunway also backs its models with warranties that bring people peace of mind.

Battery Tender 

With the emphasis on convenience, Battery Tender is the number one choice for those that hate struggling around complex chargers. Models from Battery Tender boast various integral protections too so they rarely run into troubles over the course of operation. 

rv trickle charger
Photo: Tender

Hooking A Trickle Charger To Batteries 

Trickle chargers come in all sizes and shapes so you need to adhere to the owner’s manual of your charger while setting it up. Still, in the case that you could use some help, just go through these steps

  • Step 1: Detach the battery cables from the terminals of batteries: Follow this order: remove the negative cable (black) first before removing the positive cable (red). 
  • Step 2: Proceed to attach the clips of your automobile trickle charger to the battery terminals: Naturally, you must ensure that you get the polarities right. The color of clips on standard trickle chargers tends to correspond to that of the terminals so match red with red and black with black.
  • Step 3: Turn on the charger: After you manage to secure the clips of the charger to the terminals of batteries, you could turn it on. It’s worth poting out that on certain models, you may get to determine aspects of the charge such as capacity, length and so on. 
best trickle charger for cars

Assuming that things proceed smoothly, your trickle charger would begin to make up for the charge that batteries lose each day due to self-discharge. When you need to hit the road, you simply have to turn off the trickle charger then remove its clips and reconnect the battery cables. 


FAQs About Trickle Chargers 

May I use a trickle charger to charge batteries normally? 

Well, the average trickle chargers for vehicles only deliver enough charge to keep batteries topped up as they self-discharge. That means if you use your trickle charger to charge nearly-depleted batteries, it would take a long time for them to reach maximum capacity. In order to be efficient, it’s best that you use a regular charger to fully charge batteries and hook them to a trickle charger to maintain the charge level. 

How long would a typical trickle charger for RV last? 

Countless factors affect the lifespan of trickle chargers in use. Nonetheless, if you don’t push your charger to the extremes, it’s going to be years before you need to look for a replacement. To get the most out of your trickle battery charger, keep it from coming into contact with water, moisture, heat, ….

Do trickle chargers require maintenance? 

Owing to the differences in characteristics between models, it’s a good idea to refer to the owner’s manual of your charger regarding maintenance. Usually, with their self-contained design, trickle chargers rarely need significant attention from the users.

You can also find our guides on how to choose the best RV battery, best lithium battery for RV, best AGM battery, best 6 volt RV battery, best deep cycle battery chargers with detailed reviews in RV Electrical category. In these reviews, we only include and recommend the best products with the highest ratings among highly sold products on the market.

Last Updated on October 4, 2021

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