Shopping for the best battery maintainer is often overlooked because drivers would just focus more on the batteries.
Batteries, of course, are a must-have in any vehicle, since they power the starting system and electronics of your car, truck, motorbike, RV, or even a boat. Generally, if you use the vehicle daily, the batteries get recharged through the vehicle's alternator. But if you don't use your vehicle regularly, it would require special maintenance equipment like a battery maintainer to ensure your vehicle will still work when you need to use them.
Vehicle batteries can't be charged on any charger and left for weeks or months, since overcharging could potentially cause risky operation or even accidents. This is why battery maintainers were made.
Battery maintainers are a special kind of charger that provides a small trickle of electricity to the battery over a long period of time. They're designed specifically for batteries that will be unused for a long time. Battery maintainers will not fully charge a battery. Instead, the small amount of electricity at a time helps to counteract self-discharging and in turn, extend the life of your vehicle's batteries.
If you own an RV, boat, or a second car that doesn't get used too often, or are left to the garage throughout the winter season, you need to invest in the best battery maintainer you can find. Here's 8 we hand-picked to help you get a head start.
Best Battery Maintainer Overall
Best Battery Maintainer Kits
Designed to charge and keep batteries fully-charged for long-term storage up to 120-amp hours, the NOCO Genius G3500 accommodates cars, trucks, RVs, boats, tractors, and other vehicles. This device works with any 6-volt or 12-volt lithium and lead-acid batteries, so if yours are equipped with AGM, Gel, Wet or other maintenance-free, marine or deep cycle battery, expect the NOCO Genius G3500 to bring it back to working condition (sometimes even if it has been non-functional for months).
Probably the most popular feature of NOCO's Genius G3500 charger and maintainer is the Repair Mode, which is able to totally reverse the effects of overcharged batteries. Note that although it brings seemingly-dead batteries to life,
Another impressive feature is the advanced diagnostic tool, which gives users a visual interface that identifies your battery's issue, such as low voltage, reverse polarity.
And since it is also a battery charger, the NOCO Genius G3500 will work like ordinary battery chargers, except it can charge up to two times faster.
Schumacher's SP1297 battery charger and 3A maintainer is designed to recharge deeply-discharged vehicles, motorcycles and marine batteries. Not only is this brand and make DOE-compliant, it also met the highest industry standard with its Schu Eco Energy.
There are two things that make this particular model great. First is the microprocessor, which is built into the unit to adjust amperage rate automatically after auto-detecting whether the battery is a 6-volt or 12-volt battery. The process is also quite impressive: the multi-stage charging allows the Schumacher SP1297 to deliver just enough boost safely, while the float mode monitoring ensures optimum maintaining for prolonged battery life.
This Schumacher battery charger and 3A maintainer comes with a battery clamp quick-connect, ring connector quick-connect and DC adaptor quick-connect. Aside from the included manual that ensures you handle the Schumacher SP1297 properly, all these accessories make it easy for you to connect the device even far from your vehicle within seconds.
And if you're not a fan of manuals, the unit will display the step-by-step instructions for charging your battery properly. This scrolling digital display also shows battery percentage and status of a fully-charged battery.
MOTOPOWER MP00207 has several models, including the Junior, Optimizer X, and a unit designed for Lithium ion & Lead Acid, but the one featured here is equipped with Battery Repair Mode for all types of 6V and 12V lead-acid batteries.
Like the Schumacher, this MOTOPOWER smart battery charger and maintainer features a microprocessor, which automatically controls the entire charging progress and stops the device once the battery is fully charged. Once batteries are fully-charged, the device monitors wattage continuously and uses float-charging current to maintain battery level.
MOTOPOWER MP00207 goes through 7 charging stages, from diagnosis to soft start, bulk charge, then absorption, float, maintenance and lastly, recovery. You can charge a 12-volt battery with either a 2Amp or 4Amp charging rate, but a 6-volt battery only has a 2Amp charge rate.
Unlike other battery maintainers, this MOTOPOWER unit doesn't have confusing displays. Instead, what you see is what you get with several battery charge status that indicates whether it is charging or full.
Note that this isn't designed to bring dead batteries to life, but the repair mode specifically deals with sulfated batteries. When it comes to safety features, MOTOPOWER MP00207 is built with spark-free technology, anti-overcharging and short circuit protection.
BMK's 12-volt 5Amp smart battery charger also works as a battery maintainer for most land-based vehicles, even on toy cars, farm equipment, and so on. It's a favorite device across the board, simply because it works, operates simply and has multiple safety precautions that even users that are not so high-tech could still use it with ease.
The BMK smart battery charger and maintainer is designed with the capability to diagnose the condition of batteries before charging. During the diagnostic phase, the device desulfates the battery through 18-volt pulse, but if it stays at stage 2 after 24 hours, it means the battery is already dead.
After diagnosing a battery, the BMK unit bulk-charges the battery until 80% capacity. You'll see the status of charging on the easy-access LED display on the unit. The device then goes through the third stage and lets the battery absorb the current until full capacity. The last stage involves maintaining the battery charge via pulse-charging.
If you're after a trusted brand, BLACK+DECKER BM3B is a fully automatic, battery charger and maintainer that charges 6 volt and 12 volt AGM, GEL and WET batteries in cars, motorcycles, ATVs, RVs, lawn mowers, snowmobiles, boats, and other specialty vehicles.
The Black & Decker BM3B charger and maintainer comes with all the attachments you'd need, such as the alligator cable clamps and O-ring terminals for direct battery connecting. They also have a quick-disconnect feature on them as well.
Aside from the super-rugged casing and hassle-free status display, operating this device is pretty straightforward. Just slide the voltage selector switch (choose from either 6-volt or 12-volt depending on the battery you're planning to charge), use the battery ring terminal or clip to connect the device. Note that charging will automatically stop once battery becomes fully charged, then it auto-switches to float mode monitoring so it maintains the charge.
The good thing about the BLACK+DECKER BM3B unit is that all the safety features work seamlessly, so you don't have to worry about short circuits, reverse polarity or overcharging.
Probably one of the best battery maintainer when it comes to design, the Optima Digital 400 is definitely a looker. You can see and feel how high quality this device is, from the moment you hold onto it.
Optima's Digital 400 12-volt performance maintainer and battery charger was designed to handle any marine battery charger, motorcycle battery charger, or other AGM battery charger. You have an option of hanging it (thanks to the included bracket) or simply letting the device stand.
It may be a bit bulkier than others on this list, but the charging process is pretty remarkable. First, it automatically charges, then undergoes multiple stages beginning with conditioning, maintaining and storage reconditioning. \
Designed with microprocessor-controlled charging, the Optima Digital 400 efficiently and intelligently charges batteries a lot faster and safer than other units within its class. The device diagnoses batteries of existing faults, prevents overcharging and reverse polarity.
The DieHard 71219 battery charger and 2A maintainer may be one of the cheapest on this list, but the quality is up to par with the rest of the devices within its class. The device is backed by a trusted name and uses a built-in microprocessor to control the five-stage charging process.
This device is designed with a simple rectangular-shaped casing and quick-connect harness with 50A clamps, 12-volt accessory plug, or permanent ring connectors. It has a simple LED indicator that will flash if the clamps are connected in reversed or if there is an issue with charging.
The safety features of DieHard 71219 battery charger and 2A maintainer are common, but always works. It has reverse hookup protection that shuts off the charger if you placed the clamps wrong. It also has float mode monitoring that keeps the battery at normal voltage to prevent overcharging.
The Schumacher SC1280 6/12V Rapid Battery Charger and 15A Maintainer is an attractive-looking device. You can see that the brand put some thought into the device, and it shows with the features as well.
Designed to accommodate standard, AGM, gel, and deep-cycle batteries, Schumacher's SC1280 Rapid Battery Charger and Maintainer uses 15A to charge and 3A to maintain your battery. It can be used in a wide range of applications, from boosting battery of generator-powered cabins, to recharging a luxury car.
It's pretty easy to operate. First you have to plug it into a 110V A/C outlet, then connect the device to your battery. Once connected, it will automatically detect your battery's voltage if it's 6 or 12 volts. After this initial step, the Schumacher SC1280 will then begin charging until it fully-charges the battery.
The device automatically goes into float mode when the charge of the battery connected reaches 100%. There's a start/stop button you could use to control charging manually as well.
As for safety features, the Schumacher SC1280 6/12V Rapid Battery Charger and 15A Maintainer has built-in reverse hookup protection, which prevents the device from charging if clamps are connected in reverse.
When finding the best battery maintainer for your set-up, you only need to consider a few things. These include:
For those on a budget, the DieHard 71219 6/12V Shelf Smart Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer works just as effective as its contemporaries within its class but without breaking the bank.
The BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer with Detachable Alligator Rings is a popular dual-purpose device designed with a four-stage diagnosing, charging and pulse-charging the battery of vehicles. And if you have larger vehicles (like boats and tractors), it could even charge them with ease.
If you're looking for a brand you know, the BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic 6V/12V Battery Charger/Maintainer with Cable Clamps and O-Ring Terminals won't disappoint. It is rugged, effective and long-lasting.
The most reliable way of knowing which make and model is the best battery maintainer for you is to determine how many vehicles you need charged and maintained. This will help in filtering your choices down to the devices with the right charging modes, safety features and amperage for your requirements.
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