You use or are thinking about using a deep-cycle battery probably in a marine application and you’re wondering where to find a good deep cycle battery charger to keep it charged when you need it. Not all lead-acid car battery chargers are designed to be a deep cycle battery charger, especially since the needs of a deep cycle battery are drastically different than those of a regular car battery.
A 12V deep cycle battery is a lead-acid battery that is used in applications where it will spend much of its life being regularly deeply discharged.
That might include trolling motors, sailboats, other small vessels, vessels with a deep cycle marine battery, forklifts, floor sweepers, motorized wheelchairs and scooters, remote-site electronics, RVs, highway electric vehicles, traffic signals, uninterruptible power supplies, audio equipment, or golf cart batteries to name some examples. A deep cycle battery charger must be able to handle their special needs when charging deep cycle batteries.
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Starter batteries used in cars and trucks are designed to deliver high-current, short bursts of power to crank over an engine. Once your vehicle is started, the alternator takes over and supplies power to the car’s electrical system and recharges the battery. A starter car battery may go through its whole life rarely being discharged much below 20% of its capacity. Usually, smart deep cycle battery chargers can also function as car battery chargers.
Deep-cycle batteries have special needs when it comes to recharging and maintaining. They last longer and charge faster if they are charged according to a temperature-dependent and battery chemistry-dependent schedule.
Under ideal circumstances an example schedule for a 200 amp-hour battery might be a Bulk Phase where charging proceeds at about 15 volts and 50 amps to approximately 75% charge followed by an Acceptance Phase where the battery is maintained at about 15 volts while reducing the amperage and charging the battery the remaining 25 percent capacity at a declining rate.
Once charged, the battery should be maintained using a Maintenance Float Phase where the voltage is reduced to around 13.4 volts to maintain the battery without losing electrolyte.
Another capability of some deep cycle battery chargers is an Equalization or Desulphation phase where the battery continues to be charged to a controlled electrolyte boil dissolving lead sulfate crystals collected on the lead plates and prolonging battery life.
This schedule is complicated enough that to manually manage it would be very burdensome and time-consuming and you would run the possibility of making a mistake and damaging your battery or charger. Your best choice is a “smart charger” that is designed to handle the unique charging schedule of deep cycle batteries.
Smart chargers have a built-in microprocessor that can provide the correct charging schedule required by a deep cycle battery.
Only one of the deep cycle battery chargers on our list is designed for California and Oregon use. Be aware that if you need a CA or OR battery charger, you will need to look for that model of the same charger.
We searched battery charger forums, manufacturer sites, customer review sites, social media, retail sites, and consumer sites to find the most popular and highly rated deep cycle battery chargers.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these deep cycle battery chargers is the best deep cycle battery charger for your needs!
The Schumacher SEM-15662-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer is the perfect charger for all types of batteries including those for motorcycles, tractors, mowers, car, truck, marine, and deep cycle. It can charge both 6V and 12V batteries and has the capability to switch to float mode automatically to prevent overcharging. With a built-in microprocessor, the SEM-1562A-CA automatically detects battery voltage and then provides a multi-phase charging schedule based on data analyzed by the processor. Here’s what you need to know.
Deep Cycle Battery Charger: Features
- Maintains both 12V and 6V batteries including deep-cycle models, from small motorcycle and ATV batteries to larger car, truck, and boat batteries and is perfect for maintaining batteries stored for long periods
- Built-in microprocessor constantly monitors battery and collects data to ensure optimal charging at the fastest rates according to the needs of your specific battery
- Attach stored batteries to this charger indefinitely thanks to its automatic switching from full charge to float mode when the battery is fully charged to prevent overcharging
- Automatic temperature compensation adjusts maximum and maintain voltages based on ambient air temperature
- Desulphation mode for charging batteries left discharged for an extended period
- Smart display LEDs provide charging, charged, and trouble indications
- Quick disconnect harness
- Rugged plastic housing
- Safety Features
- Reverse polarity protection
- Prevents thermal runaway by automatically reducing current if it detects battery overheating
- Charger won’t start unless a proper connection exists
- Dimensions are 2-5/8H x 6L x 3D inches and it weighs 2.5 lbs.
- 2-Year limited warranty
- Battery clip cable assembly
- Ring terminal cable assembly
- Great for maintaining batteries for long periods of storage
- Easy to use
- Very informative LED lights
- Great value
- Slow charging of larger batteries
- Better for maintaining than charging
- Poor quality cables
- Cables could be longer
The OptiMate 6 Ampmatic Battery-Saving Charger-Tester-Maintainer has an exclusive Ampmatic microprocessor designed to automatically select the best charging schedule and charge current for each specific battery. A built-in multi-stage desulfation program saves batteries that are left discharged for long periods and can extend battery life by up to 400%. Its Charge and Rest maintenance program allows this charger to be left connected to batteries indefinitely without overcharging. Here’s what you need to know.
- Perfect for small and large batteries from ATVs and motorcycles to cars, trucks, and boat starters with deep-cycle batteries in dry, wet, or snow conditions
- The exclusive Ampmatic fully-automatic microprocessor detects battery size and condition and provides the optimal charging schedule using 9 charge/test stage multi-phase charging means no thinking and no buttons to press
- Exclusive Charge and Rest maintenance program will continue to maintain batteries indefinitely without overcharging
- 3 desulfation modes save batteries that are left discharged for extended periods and can extend battery life by up to 400%
- Proven to save neglected/sulfated batteries down to 5 volts with safe, low-pulse desulfation for batteries connect to vehicle circuitry
- 16 gauge SPT-2W power and output cables are rated down to -40 degrees F
- Globally-capable accepting AC power between 100 to 240V at 50/60Hz
- Weatherproof polycarbonate sealed construction enclosure with built-in wall mounts
- 1 – Fused weatherproof permanent lead
- 1 – High-quality set of charge clips
- A real battery-saver, it has saved countless batteries
- Quality construction
- Simple to use
- A little pricey
- LED readout is a little complicated
- Some reports of poor tech support
One of the most popular and capable 12V smart battery chargers on the market, the Deltran Battery Tender Plus 021-0128 1.25 Amp Battery Charger is known for its ability to charge and maintain a variety of battery types and chemistries without overcharging. It features temperature compensation, automatic float mode, fast charging comparable with 3A models, and a variety of safety features. Here’s what you need to know about this Deltran charger.
- 1.25A smart, fast charger is designed to charge as fast or faster than any 3A models available and is perfect for ATVs, motorcycles, lawn mowers, and scooters
- Complete 4-step charging program including Initialization, Bulk Charge, Absorption Mode, and Float Mode
- Microprocessor controlled smart charger switches automatically to float mode when charging is complete to prevent overcharging
- Ambient temperature-compensated charging
- Reverse Polarity Protection with Red/Green alternating warning and Spark Proof connections
- Full 10-Year limited warranty
- 1 –Quick connect harness for hard to reach places
- 1 – Set Battery Tender ring terminals
- 1 – Set Battery Tender alligator clips
- Great value
- Very reliable operation
- Durable construction and materials
- Simple to use
- Power cord could be longer
- May take a long time to charge for larger batteries
The CTEK MUS 4.3 12V Battery Charger (56-864) is one of the highest-rated smart chargers available. It can charge and maintain a variety of battery types and chemistries as well as solve a wide range of battery-related problems. Its state-of-the-art technology features 8 patented steps to maximize battery life and performance. Here’s what you need to know.
- Built-in microprocessor delivers 8 patented steps maximizes battery life and performance including desulphation process that removes sulfate from lead plates, battery diagnosis that determines the health of your battery, a reconditioning function that can restore stratified and deeply discharged batteries, maintenance charging, cold weather optimization, and AGM charging.
- Selectable 0.8A and 4.3A charging of 12V batteries from 1.2 to 110Ah with maintenance charging up to 160Ah
- A unique LED display keeps you informed during the entire charging process
- Safety features include, spark-proof connections, short-circuit protection, reverse polarity protection, and overcharge protection
- Splash, dust, and water-resistant
- 5-Year limited warranty
- 1 – Comfort Connect clamp
- 1 – Comfort Connect M6 eyelet
- 1 – Handy storage bag
- Good value
- Reliably charges and maintains batteries
- Quality construction and materials
- Trusted by high-performance car companies around the world
- Reconditioning limited to narrow range of battery types and chemistries
- Needs second charging rate
- Alligator clamps aren’t the best quality
- Charging cables could be longer
NOCO’s emphasis with the NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger is performance and safety. One of the most flexible chargers on the market, it can handle the battery charging needs of automotive, marine, RV, Powersports, lawn and garden, micro-hybrid start-stop vehicles, CANBUS electrical systems, and deep-cycle batteries. Built-in speed charge functionality allows this charger to charge up to 2X faster than ordinary chargers. Here’s what you need to know.
- The G3500 is a 3.5A charger designed to charger both 6V and 12V lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries up to 120Ah
- With its onboard microprocessor, the G3500 monitors battery activity for safer and more efficient charging as well as minimizing energy consumption
- Overcharge protection in float mode allows you to keep this charger connected to your battery 24/7 indefinitely without overcharging
- With built-in speed charging capability it can charge batteries up to 2X faster than ordinary chargers and can even repair damaged batteries
- One of the few chargers designed to handle micro-hybrid start-stop vehicles and CANBUS electrical systems
- Intuitive LED indicators provide visual diagnostic information and feedback
- Redundant levels of safety include Spark Proof connections, reverse polarity detection, and overcharge protection, overcurrent protection, open-circuit protection, short-circuit protection, and overheating protection
- Streamlined design makes the G3500 very compact, ultra-portable, and amazingly lightweight
- A rubberized base avoids surface slipping and scratching while in use
- Impact-, UV-, and IP65 water resistant
- 5-Year limited warranty
- 1 – Set X-connect battery clamps
- 1 – Set eyelet terminals
- Great performance
- Lightweight and easy to use
- High-quality build and materials
- Fast charging and reliable maintenance
- Can be slow on larger batteries
- Instructions can be confusing
- Cables could be longer
- Better at maintenance than charging
Deep Cycle Battery Charger
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