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Old 03-31-2002, 12:21 PM   #1
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Question Best battery charger for the money?

- What battery charger do you recommend?
- Are there certain features to look for?
- Where is the best (cheapest) place to get it?
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Old 03-31-2002, 10:44 PM   #2
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Cheap and easy battery charger

Cosco and Walmart have good cheap and easy chargers. Any charger in untrained hands can destroy batteries quick. There are quite a few battery types and many different protocols for long life. Use and application are very important for the use of a charger. All chargers are not alike. Most chargers are a little bit optimistic in their charging abilities. The lowly converter is a good battery charger if it knew when to STOP charging and the rate of charge could be controlled. Application and need dictates the quality of charger. A very cheap battery charger set to the lowest charge rate and controlled by a 24 hour time clock makes a great battery maintainer. Cheap too. Charge rate is determined by battery use. Having and using a battery switch is imperative. It is great to be connected to shore power and be able to NOT charge the already fully charged battery. Frank
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Old 05-04-2002, 08:46 PM   #3
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I bought the BatteryMinder from www.batterymart.com for $39.95. Camping World has it for $49.95. It is a small unit that can charge 4 batteries at a time. It is a charger/desulphator/maintainer and I have mine connected to 2 Delco Voyager 105 amp hr. batteries. You can keep it connected year round without fear of it burning up your batteries. After using it for a year, I'll never buy another type unless it is an improved BatteryMinder.

Frank is right about the converter/charger. Unless it has step charging and knows when to turn off then you can destroy batteries in a heartbeat. When fully charged, the BatteryMinder does not send a charge unless it senses that the batteries have dropped some of their charge.
Craig
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Old 05-05-2002, 12:43 AM   #4
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Hi David. I had those Delco Voyager batterys in my 77/31' for 10 years. Thats extrordinary! I replaced them because they were old & I didn't want a problem on the road. I replaced them with Optima yellow tops, which are deep cycle & highly recommended by several people on the Suburban BB. I would be happy to get 10 years out of them.
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Old 05-05-2002, 01:02 PM   #5
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Jim,
Numerous sites do not recommend the sealed maintenance batteries like the Delco Voyager but I think it is because you cannot replace fluid which evaporates from overcharging by the converter/charger in many RVs. Since I keep the Voyagers topped off with a 5 watt Solargizer/Charger/Maintainer solar panel when not plugged into the BatteryMinder, that is not a problem. I rarely connect to 110 v. so do not use the converter/charger much (Magna-Tech I think). I'm glad to see that you got 10 yrs. out of your Voyagers. I have heard if you treat them right you could expect over 6 yrs. life from them. Craig
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Old 05-23-2002, 03:20 PM   #6
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BatteryMinder

I just bought one of those BatteryMinders from our local Interstate Battery Distributor, for $25.95!! I am going to use in in conjunction with the converter in the trailer.
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Old 05-23-2002, 05:16 PM   #7
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Pick,
Let me know how you like the system. I'm happy with mine. Also, I see you use Amsoil 0W-30 synthetic in your vehicle. I've used the Amsoil 5W-30 syn. for 8 years now and wasn't sure about making the switch to 0W-30 with my 2500HD 8.1 engine. Craig
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Old 05-23-2002, 10:03 PM   #8
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Craig, I have about 8000 miles on the 0W30 now, 3000 of that a trip from Ohio to Marco Island, Fl, towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee down there one way. Truck only has 17K on it.
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:17 PM   #9
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Best Battery Charger

Pick, how are you wiring in your Battery Minder?? Will you disconnect the univolt [ Via the CB] when you use the BM?
Tom
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:35 PM   #10
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Question Battery minder question

I have looked at the Battery Minder on the web site listed and I have a question:

What did you do to the Univolt ????????????

Did you disconnect it completely from the battery?

Does the Battery Minder connect to the battery while the battery is still connected to the Univolt?

My problem is that the Univolt will definitely over charge the battery.

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Old 10-19-2002, 04:26 PM   #11
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Wink Battery Chargers

I viewed the BatteryMinder web site and it sounds very good, but the charge rate is only 1.2 amps!! How long would it take to recharge a battery that is at 50% discharge?? When using shore power could the BM maintain the battery at 100% if the Univolt is disconnected [Throwing the breaker]?? [To prevent overcharging the battery] That is, using the battery for 12v power and recharging overnight, via the BM??
Next question: When traveling what prevents the alternator from overcharging the house battery? I installed a disconnect switch, to prevent this in my previous trailer, may it RIP. Tom
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Old 10-19-2002, 06:48 PM   #12
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Battery Minder is a maintainer not charger, it probably would take a several days to recharge a battery. But if it is sitting for months at a time it will keep the battery charged without overcharging it. If it is on a circuit with power, it will maintain the battery, univolt or not. It probably will not charge a battery overnight if it is deeply discharged.

The engine alternator has a regulator, it will not overcharge the house battery any more than it overcharges the automotive battery. If you are using an isolator it has a loss and the voltage at the batteries will be slightly lower than the alternator output.

I like my StatpowerTruecharge charger (now Xantrex). They are also a float charger so they will not destroy the batteries. They are not cheap, but neither are batteries, and proper charging and maintenance is what determines their life.

John
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Old 10-20-2002, 07:05 AM   #13
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Nifty, I either disconnect the batteries via the battery disconnect in the battery compartment, or the CB in the trailer, or just unplug the trailer. I am using an Exide dual purpose, that I got for cheap at Tractor Supply. Seems to work great, went two days boondocking this summer, and never got it down to 50%.
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Old 10-20-2002, 09:47 AM   #14
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Unhappy Battery charging

Thanks, Pick and Argosy--After reading all the info on certain links herein, one wonders how this trailer lasted 30 years on 12v power!! I have been going to Texas and remaining one site for 2months at a time, naturally I am concerned about maintaining the batteries[without cooking them] via the Univolt. I have never had dependable 12v power in my last trailer, Then, neither did I need it. Now I do because of my new traveling mode. Tom
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