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In order to ensure that your RV’s deep cycle battery lasts the longest and charges the fastest, it’s important to invest in a good battery charger. Its purpose is not only to charge the battery but also to optimize the charging rate and to stop when the battery is fully charged. However, there are so many options available on the market. It can make choosing the right one overwhelming and confusing. And it’s for this very reason that we’ve created these reviews of the 10 best deep cycle battery chargers available on the market in 2021.
Below the comparison and reviews, you can also find a buying guide. There we highlight the features you should look out for in order to find the best RV battery charger for your needs.
Top 10 Deep Cycle Battery Chargers for RVs in 2021
Best Deep Cycle Battery Chargers Reviewed
Battery Tender 5A Deep Cycle Battery Charger
The top rated deep cycle battery charger in 2021 is the Battery Tender 5A model. It’s a favorite among many RV owners. And it’s one of the most efficient and durable systems on the entire list.
This battery charger offers a high output of 5 amps, providing quick recharging. However, it’s also available with other output options that you can choose according to your needs. They include 1.5A, 750mA, and 800mA.
The device goes through 4 stages in its charging process: qualification, bulk, absorption, and float. When the battery is completely charged, the charger automatically switches to the float mode, which maintains the battery at full charge for an extended period of time.
This means that you can both safely recharge your battery every day and keep it in long term storage. All you have to do is connect the charger to the battery and it will automatically manage the health of your battery.
It also features a smart microprocessor and ISM adaptive charging. This ensures that it sends only the correct level of power to the battery, helping to prevent battery damage.
There is also an important safety feature on this charger. It’s spark-proof and in case of an incorrect connection, it will not send power to the battery. Moreover, it features reverse polarity and short circuit protection.
This charger works great on deep cycle batteries, as well as on wet lead acid batteries and AGM batteries. However, it does not work on lithium batteries.
The battery charger also comes ready for setup and use. It includes a quick connect harness that reaches a fair distance, alligator clips, and ring terminals.
This product also comes with a 5 years warranty. However, in some cases, it’s cheaper to buy a completely new battery charger than get this one warrantied. They charge you shipping both ways and an extra fee for evaluation.
NOCO Genius G3500 Battery Charger and Maintainer
Another great RV deep cycle battery charger is the NOCO Genius G3500 model. It’s a fully automatic charger and maintainer. It’s also a versatile charger that is compatible with various types of batteries, such as 6V and 12V lead acid batteries, AGM, deep cycle, or Gel batteries. You can also use it for maintaining 12V lithium batteries.
The system is very simple to use. You just plug it in and forget about it. It will automatically do all the work of charging and maintaining your RV’s battery. An onboard microcomputer continuously monitors battery activity, providing safe and efficient charging. It will keep the battery fully charged indefinitely, without overcharging it.
On top of that, the charger is designed for energy saving. It automatically adjusts its energy consumption according to the power needs. When full power is not needed, it lowers the energy it uses.
You can also monitor the performance of this charger by looking at its diagnostics tool. There are light indicators that show when there’s reverse polarity, low voltage, and damage.
This advanced battery charger is also capable of reversing the damaging effects of leaving your battery uncharged for extended periods of time. It offers a Repair mode that recharges the battery, while at the same time improving its performance and longevity.
The charger also comes with all the essential safety features. They include reverse polarity, short and open circuit, and overheating protection. All these features ensure the safety of the user and the longer life of the charger and battery.
The device also features mounting holes and a rubber base, which helps to avoid surface slipping and scratches. Moreover, it has a very compact frame, which makes this charger incredibly lightweight and easily portable.
One more advantage of this deep cycle battery charger is its durable design. It’s impact, UV, and water resistant with a rating of IP65. So, you don’t need to worry if it gets wet in the rain.
NOCO Genius GENM2 Battery Charger
NOCO has another good deep cycle battery charger. This is one of the best onboard battery chargers that offer some of the most advanced technology in a compact, durable unit.
With this battery, you can charge all types of lead acid batteries from 20Ah to 120Ah. It’s compatible with Gel, AGM, and deep cycle batteries.
This is an 8 amp charger that you can hook up to two 12 volt batteries. However, according to reviews, the system works better with just one battery.
The charger uses the latest technology in the industry that allows safe and quick charging of the battery. It’s equipped with an onboard processor, which continuously works to detect, diagnose, recover or charge. At the same time, it observes for any potential battery problems. It’s completely automatic, monitoring the battery and when it’s fully charged, shutting off the power.
It’s also a very efficient charger. It continuously optimizes the battery’s chemistry in order to provide the most efficient performance and increased longevity. Based on the battery feedback, it alters the charging process, providing more power when needed and vice versa.
There are also the most important safety features in this device, such as overheating, reverse polarity, sparks, short and open circuits. It features a multi-level safety barrier that is designed to prevent abnormal conditions.
One of the main advantages of this device is also its ruggedness. Its waterproof design is completely sealed and it has a rating of IP68 and NEMA 6P, so you can even safely submerge this unit down to 3 meters. This shows that the charger can survive even in the toughest environments.
The Black+Decker BC15BD is also one of the best selling deep cycle battery chargers in 2021. It’s versatile, durable and it’s fully automatic.
This is a 15 amp battery charger that is compatible with various types of batteries, such as AGM, Gel, WET automotive, and deep cycle batteries.
It charges the battery in 3 stages. It provides a fast charge, then a top-off, and when the battery is fully charged, it switches to a trickle charge. This ensures that your battery is always fully charged and never overcharged.
This charger also offers a Smart Timer technology, which is patented by Black+Decker. It offers optimized power for your drained battery in just 8 minutes. So, when you need to quickly get on the road, it can provide power to start an even completely dead battery.
One more useful feature of this charger is battery reconditioning. It can be used to extend battery life or to bring back to life batteries that are completely drained.
The charger also offers a patented alternator check. You can use it to check if the battery is maintaining an alternator level.
Another advantage of this system is how easy it is to use it. Once you’ve plugged it in and pressed charge, you can walk away and forget about it, leaving the charger to do all the work on its own. You don’t even need to set any settings, such as battery type or size.
It’s also very user-friendly. It features an LCD screen, where you can view the electrical charge of your alternator and battery. On top of that, it also shows if you’ve connected battery clamps to incorrect terminals.
The charger is CEC compliant and ETL certified, which shows that it delivers on performance and safety.
Optima Digital 400
The next deep cycle battery charger also delivers on high performance and great quality. It’s slightly higher priced than an average battery charger but it does offer amazing value for the money.
It features microprocessor controlled charging so the batteries are charged faster and more efficiently. Moreover, it ensures that the battery doesn’t overcharge. It automatically goes through multiple stages of charging. It does conditioning, maintaining, and reconditioning. In the reconditioning mode, the charger can bring back to life weak or discharged batteries, as long as they are not lower than 1.2V.
The charger is also designed to extend the lifespan of your battery. It offers a Health mode that automatically optimizes the battery by breaking up sulfation, increasing its performance and lifespan.
Another advantage of this system is the LCD screen. It displays a battery charging gauge, allowing you to quickly evaluate the charging process.
One more convenient feature is the quick battery selection buttons. This provides a quick setup and easy operation.
As for safety features, it provides spark and reverse polarity protection. Moreover, it can run diagnostics to identify and prevent potential battery faults and failures.
The charger also comes with a bracket that you can use as a stand or a mount for convenient storage.
Schumacher is another popular brand in the industry and one of their products that stand out is the Schumacher SC1281. It might be larger and heavier compared to some of the other deep cycle battery chargers we’ve mentioned on this list but that adds to its charging capabilities.
The charger is designed for charging AGM, Gel, and deep cycle batteries. It automatically detects if you have a 6 or 12 volt battery, making setup quick and easy. And selecting a battery type is just a push of a button.
An in-built microprocessor maintains the battery through multiple stages of charging. It provides precision, safety and it also extends the battery’s life. And it works automatically, meaning that you don’t need to constantly maintain it. It will adjust the amperage rate according to the battery’s condition for charging and maintaining on its own.
For better accuracy, the charger also offers LED indicators and a display. The display shows in large bold numbers the recharging level of your battery. And indicators show different settings, such as rate selection and battery type.
With this charger, you can also test the battery and the alternator. It allows checking the charge level and identifying any electrical problems.
There are two more features that stand out about this deep cycle battery charger. It offers a 30 amp quick boost that is perfect for recharging a dead battery. And it also features a 100 amp jump start for when you need to get your car running right away.
There’s also reverse polarity protection. If you hook it up with the clamps reversed, it will stop sending power until you set the correct connection.
The BMK EPA1205 is another highly recommended deep cycle battery charger. It comes complete with all the functions and features that provide fast and efficient battery charging.
This is a 5 amp charger that is suitable for batteries with 15 to 100Ah. It can also charge batteries with over 100Ah but it will just take a longer time to fully charge them.
With 4 stages of charging, you get the most efficient performance. First, the charger runs diagnostics. Then, it switches to the bulk charge mode, which sends power till 80% capacity. The third stage is absorption, which gets the battery to full capacity and which works to stabilize internal battery chemistry. And the final stage is maintaining the battery through pulse charging, which prevents discharging or overcharging. All this works to provide efficient charging with minimized energy consumption and increased longevity of the battery.
One of the unique features of this 12 volt battery charger is that you can test it for any defects before charging. This ensures that you don’t damage the battery. There’s an LED indicator on the unit and if you see that it’s turned on, it means that you have a defective charger.
It’s also one of the most durable battery chargers. The housing is made of high quality ABS that is sealed for protection against water. It’s waterproof and has a rating of IP65. This ensures a longer lasting lifespan, even if it’s used in extreme conditions.
For safe operation, the charger also features protection against reverse polarity, short circuit, open circuit and overload. These features prevent potential battery damage, increasing the number of years it will continue to be operational.
CTEK (56-353) Multi US 7002
CTEK is another powerful and feature-rich deep cycle battery charger. Like the others on the list, it’s a fully automatic charger that is suitable for 12 volt batteries. For charging, it works with batteries 14-150Ah. And for maintaining, with batteries 14-225Ah.
Unlike the 4-step process that most other battery chargers use, this model goes through 8 steps. It’s CTEK’s patented program that provides maximum battery life and recharging in the shortest time possible. It diagnoses the power needs of the battery and then automatically replenishes it with an adjusted amount of energy.
The last two steps of the charging process are Float and Maintenance modes. The Float mode ensures that a constant level of voltage is maintained. And the Maintenance mode monitors the voltage and if it drops below 95%, it sends it a pulse of electricity in order to continuously keep it in perfect condition. This allows leaving the charger connected indefinitely without worrying that your battery will get discharged.
There are also a variety of different modes that you can use this charger in. They include modes for different types of batteries, Cold Weather mode, the Supply mode for supplying a constant voltage of 13.6V, and a Recondition mode for recharging batteries that have been severely discharged.
The charger is also designed for the safety of the user. First of all, it’s spark free. On top of that, it has protection against reverse polarity and short circuits. And a red light on the unit will indicate that the user needs to correctly connect the charger before it can start sending power.
This device is also durable and can be safely used outside. It features a shock proof and dust proof design. However, it’s water resistant but not waterproof, so don’t leave it out in the rain.
Users also like how easy it is to use this charger. Once you’ve connected it, you just need to select the preferred mode and the unit will do the rest of the work.
With the charger, you get everything you’ll need for the setup. It includes connection leads, clamps, and eyelet terminals.
If you’re looking for the most affordable deep cycle battery charger that would also offer good performance and quality, then we recommend checking out the Foval BC01B-1 model. It’s a versatile charger that offers multi-level charging and protection.
This charger adapts to all kinds of 12 volt batteries, including lead acid, flooded, or sealed ones. It’s also suitable for most vehicles, such as motorcycles, RVs, ATVs, boats, etc.
Like most other automatic battery chargers, this device also features 4 stages of charging. It goes through initialization, bulk charge, absorption, and finally, float mode.
The device also features ISM technology, which provides adaptive charging. It analyzes the battery’s needs hundreds of times per second and then sends to it an adjusted amount of power.
The multi-level protection of this charger ensures that both the battery and the user are protected. There’s protection against reverse polarity, short circuit, overvoltage, and overcurrent. The reverse polarity protection is done by checking the connection before sending power. LED indicators provide feedback if there’s an error.
On top of all that, the charger is also small in size and comes with all the accessories needed for the hookup. It includes a long power cord, a cable with clip connectors, and another cable with ring connectors.
Ampeak CGUFB2015 15A 12V Smart Battery Charger
This Ampeak model also makes a good deep cycle battery charger. It’s a smart charger, offering a convenient way of automatically charging and maintaining a battery.
The charger is suitable for 12 volt batteries and it offers a 15 amp charging rate. However, you can also manually select other charging rate options, which include 2 amps and 8 amps. This allows selecting a charging rate according to the battery’s needs whether it needs a trickle charge or a quick charge.
An intelligent microprocessor is built into this system. It continuously monitors the voltage level in order to improve the charging performance. This results in automatic operation and quicker charge times. Moreover, it helps to extend the life of the battery.
A complete charging process includes 6 steps. It offers a soft start, bulk charge, absorption, and then after a battery test, switches to floating mode for continuous maintenance of the battery. All this helps optimize the battery’s power and to ensure that it’s not overcharged.
The charger is also safe for use in the winter. It features a Winter Charging mode for use in winter weather conditions, which is perfect if you’ll be using it for a battery in winter storage.
For safety, there are also multiple stages of protection. The device is protected against overvoltage, overcharging, reverse polarity, short circuit, and overheating. This ensures that the battery lasts longer and the user stays safe.
This device is also ergonomically designed. First of all, it’s small and lightweight, so it’s easy to carry it around. And secondly, it features a handle with an arc design that provides more comfort when picking it up.
What Is a Deep Cycle Battery Charger?
A deep cycle battery charger is a charger designed for charging this particular type of battery. And they come with a set of features that are focused on recharging and maintaining the battery.
A deep cycle battery is designed to provide a sustained amount of power over an extended period of time. And when it reaches 80% discharge, it needs to be recharged. However, it’s also important for the battery not to be overcharged, which can be damaging for it. And that’s what a deep cycle battery charger does.
The majority of these chargers are actually designed more for maintenance or floating of the battery. It ensures that the battery doesn’t discharge, even if it’s left sitting for months unused. And it also prevents overcharging by stopping sending power when the battery reaches its full capacity.
How Does It Work?
These chargers usually go through several stages. The first stage is typically the bulk charge phase. At this point, the charger sends the highest voltage rate in order to restore the battery charge up to 80%.
After the first phase is complete, the charger switches to the absorption phase. Here, the charging current declines and the voltage charge becomes constant. And the charger is going through this phase until the battery reaches its 95% capacity.
The final stage is usually the float phase, which applies even lower voltage and current until the battery reaches its full 100% capacity.
Deep Cycle Battery Charger Buying Guide
Choosing the right deep cycle battery charger is essential to ensuring that your battery will have a longer and healthier life. The performance of your battery depends on the charger. However, not all chargers are made equal. That’s why it’s important to know what are the features that you should look out for. In the end, you should buy a deep cycle battery charger based on how you’ll be using it. Knowing this, you will be able to find the best deep cycle battery charger for your needs.
There are various types of deep cycle batteries, such as AGM, Gel and flooded lead acid batteries. Most deep cycle battery chargers are designed for compatibility with all these types of batteries. However, it’s still better to check that the particular model you’re looking at is suitable for the battery type you have. Picking the wrong charger will not only affect the performance of the battery but can also be damaging to it.
Another thing to know before choosing a charger is how many amp hours of energy can your battery store. With this information at hand, choose a charger that would be able to replenish the battery’s charge in a reasonable amount of time.
For example, if you have a 50 amp deep cycle battery and you buy a 10 amp charger, it will take 5 hours for it to recharge. The current output of the charger will determine the speed at which the battery can recharge. So, if you want a quicker charge, pick a charger with a higher amp rating. It will ensure that you won’t have to wait all day for the battery to recharge.
When choosing a charger, it’s also important that it’s voltage will match the voltage of your battery. Typically, RV’s house batteries are 12 volts. If this is your case, you should look for a charger that is also 12 volts.
If a deep cycle battery charger comes with an intelligent microprocessor, you will be able to enjoy the convenience of plug-and-play capability. It means that all you will have to do is connect the charger to the battery and start the charging process. Then, the charger will automatically optimize the amount of power it sends based on the battery’s needs.
Another advantage of chargers with this smart technology is the prevention of overcharging. When the battery’s charge reaches its full capacity, the power that is sent from the charger is slowed down to a trickle charge. It works to keep the battery at its maximum charge, while also preventing overcharging or discharging.
A good RV battery charger will feature several stages of the charging process. The simplest two stages will include fast charging and slow charging. However, many chargers also come with additional charging capabilities. They can include desulfation and battery faults detection.
The desulfation feature is helpful for reviving dead batteries. It works by sending a higher voltage into the battery in order to break down sulfuric acid crystals that build up on the battery’s plates. This feature helps to reverse the damaging effects of sulfation, extending the life of your battery and enhancing its performance.
Another aspect to consider when making a buying decision is the safety of the charger. It should offer all the essential safety features. The most common ones will include protection against reverse polarity, short circuit, and overvoltage.
Display and Indicators
Look also for features that will help you to easily monitor the charging status of your charger. These features should include a display and LED indicators. It will allow you to keep track of the charging progress and will notify you if there are any errors.
For example, most chargers come with reverse polarity protection. And they feature an indicator that will start flashing if you connect the charger incorrectly.
The charger should also be able to withstand the conditions in which it will be used. For example, if you’ll be using it outdoors, make sure that it’s built waterproof, dust and UV resistant.
Moreover, consider also a charger that is impact proof, especially if you’ll be taking it with you on a wild ride in your RV. It will ensure that the charger will be able to handle the accompanying abuse and will be hard to break.
Keep in mind, though, that most of these deep cycle battery chargers are designed only water resistant. They are not waterproof, so it’s best not to leave them out in the pouring rain.
It’s also important to set a certain budget that you’re ready to spend for your new deep cycle battery charger and adding it to your RV gear. This product is available in a wide price range. So, having a certain budget can help to narrow down the options, making it easier to choose the right one.
However, don’t just settle for the cheapest charger since that often equals to a poor quality product. It’s better to find a charger that would provide the best value for the money. The most cost effective option will offer all the essential features and a high quality design at an affordable price.
So, you can start by deciding which charger features are essential to your needs and then look for a product within your budget that would be able to meet those needs.
Warranties for deep cycle battery chargers vary from 2 years to 5 years. The longer the warranty, the better of course. However, also keep in mind how responsive the manufacturer is to the warranty claims. Some manufacturers might offer a long warranty but they are very difficult to reach.
Tips For Charging Deep Cycle Batteries
- Before you attach the clamps to the battery, clean the battery’s terminals. It will ensure a cleaner charge without interference.
- Make sure that you correctly connect the clamps. They are usually color coded, making it easier to connect them correctly. On top of that, on most chargers you’ll find an LED indicator that will notify you if you’ve connected the clamps with reverse polarity. So, if your unit isn’t sending power and is instead flashing an indicator, you might have a reverse polarity issue.
- Never connect the charger if the battery or its terminals are wet. It might create a spark and cause a fire. To avoid this, make sure that everything is dry.
Deep Cycle Battery Chargers Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most popular deep cycle battery charger brands?
One of the ways to ensure that you’re buying a reliable charger is by buying it from a reputable manufacturer. And the most popular brands in the industry that have gained a reputation for providing high quality deep cycle battery chargers include the following: Battery Tender, NOCO, Black+Decker, Optima, and CTEK.
How long does it take to charge a deep cycle battery?
The charge time will depend on the amperage of the charger and battery you have. So, a 15 amp charger will obviously take a lot less time to charge a battery than a 2 amp charger.
Can trickle chargers damage the battery?
If it’s a regular trickle charger and you leave it unattended, it can overcharger and damage the battery. However, if you use a trickle charger that has the capability of automatically switching to float mode, it will stop sending the power once the battery reaches its full capacity, preventing overcharging.
What is a float charge on a battery?
A float charge is a process when the charger sends a low amount of power only when necessary, as the battery discharges. It’s a very useful feature for situations when you need to leave the battery in storage for extended periods of time. It will ensure that the battery won’t get discharged while it’s not in use.
Where to buy a deep cycle battery charger?
One of the easiest places to shop around for a new battery charger is on Amazon. It offers the largest selection with good prices. There, you can also read more customer reviews to better understand what to expect from the charger you choose.
However, there are also other options. You can also find them in physical retail stores, such as Home Depot, as well as in different online stores.
Comparing our top picks and looking out for features mentioned in our buying guide, we hope that choosing the best deep cycle battery charger for RV use will be an easy process for you now. The winner of our roundup in 2021, however, is the Battery Tender model. It’s suitable for a variety of applications and it offers enhanced performance, making it a perfect choice for everyday charging and long term storage.