best deep cycle battery charger

The 10 Best Deep Cycle Battery Chargers For The Money in 2022

You may have just purchased your first RV, or maybe you’re a seasoned pro looking to upgrade your current fleet. Either way, you must have the best deep cycle battery charger for the smooth running of the RV battery.

An RV is like a car, but with more bells and whistles—and that means it needs more power to run all those extra features. Like an automotive battery, the RV battery needs to be recharged. You can do this by plugging the battery into an external charging source. You will need a charger, in this case, to convert the external AC power to DC power.

Most RVs have one or more deep cycle batteries, typically lead-acid batteries with thicker plates and less electrolyte than automotive batteries. Deep cycle batteries are more potent than auto batteries, so they can handle heavy loads for more extended periods. You will need the best battery charger for deep cycle batteries to make them last for years.

Read on to learn how to pick up the best RV battery charger that meets your needs.

Best Deep Cycle Battery Chargers: Quick Recommendations

NoBest RV Battery ChargersPricesOur Ratings
1Deltran Battery Tender Plus$$*****
2Black & Decker BM3B$****
3NOCO GENIUS1$*****
4Schumacher SC1281$$$$*****
5BatteryMINDer Model 1500$$*****
6Schumacher SE-1-12S$$*****
7Ampeak Smart Charger $$$****
8ADPOW Smart Battery Charger$****
9IEIK Smart Battery Charger $****
10ADPOW Smart Battery Charger$****

The Basics About Deep Cycle Battery Chargers

We will walk you through everything you need to know about a 12V deep cycle battery charger. It will help you make a choice that will last—and won’t let you down when you need it most.

Here are some basics on choosing the best deep cycle battery charger for your RV.

What is a deep cycle battery charger?

A deep cycle battery charger is exactly what its name suggests. It’s a charger for deep cycle batteries. The charger (also known as a converter) helps transfer electrical power from an external source to the RV battery.

The charger charges the battery to its full capacity without causing overcharging. It always maintains the correct voltage and amperage to ensure the battery’s good health.

Unlike their normal counterparts, deep cycle chargers change the charging speed based on the charge level of batteries. Because of that, if RVers nail the setup process, deep cycle chargers usually have an easy time keeping batteries cool during recharge. That is a big plus as excess heat not only damages batteries but also results in incorrect readings of the charge level. 

How does it work?

A deep cycle battery charger is what recharges your batteries after they’ve been drained. A 12V charger will recharge a 12V battery quickly and safely, so it’s essential to make sure that you purchase a charger that matches the voltage of your battery.

In an RV, a deep cycle battery charger can keep the RV’s battery topped up with power. It also offers protection against overcharging and undercharging, which can ultimately cause damage to the battery if left unchecked.

To connect the charger, attach its red (positive) cable to the battery’s red terminal and then the black (negative) one to the black terminal. Then, plug the charger into the power source and turn it on.

If you use a smart deep cycle battery charger, you can just plug it in and forget about it. It will turn off automatically when the battery is fully recharged. In the case of manual disconnection, detach the negative cable first before the positive one.

best deep cycle battery charger
Photo: NOCO

Benefits of deep cycle battery chargers

Choosing the best deep cycle battery charger will provide plenty of benefits if you can choose.

It prevents heat from building up.

When getting recharged, it’s pretty common for the battery to become heated. For this reason, RV batteries are kept in an open place to avoid overheating.

Helps the battery reach its full capacity.

Deep cycle batteries can deplete entirely without losing any performance. However, a regular charger is not competent enough to fully recharged such a depleted battery unit.

Prevents battery damage.

Conventional chargers usually deliver electricity using a “constant voltage” process, which gradually increases the voltage until it reaches a set maximum value. It is okay for regular charging purposes, but it can cause damage to your battery bank if it’s left plugged in for long periods.

The best deep cycle battery charger will automatically alternate between constant voltage and “constant current” charging modes. Continuous current mode causes the electrical current being delivered to the batteries to be reduced after a certain level of charge has been reached, which helps prevent overcharging and protects your batteries from damage.

Optimizes charging time.

The deep cycle battery chargers are more technically advanced than regular chargers. They allow transmission of high-volume electricity when the battery is completely discharged. But the charging speed slows down when the battery is near its full capacity. In this way, these chargers can recharge a depleted battery quicker than other charging devices.

Types of deep cycle battery chargers

Learning the types of these chargers can help you make a more informed decision when shopping for one. Here is a quick summary of the three basic types:

  • Deep cycle battery chargers: At the most basic level, you have chargers that restore and revive the power in your battery. They are compatible with almost all types of batteries, whether it’s a deep cycle, gel, or marine battery.
  • Deep cycle battery restorers: These chargers not only recharge the batteries but also restore their health. If there are contaminants in the battery cells, a restorer charger will repair those cells and increase the battery performance. By making use of models of the type, you should be able to get dead battery banks to take charge again. Professional mechanics mainly use these chargers. However, it’s worth pointing out that deep cycle restorers cost a lot more than their contemporaries.
  • Deep cycle battery maintainers: The last type of battery charger is the maintainer, which does exactly what it says it does – it maintains the charge of a battery. They may increase the battery’s lifespan by maintaining its charge. Capable of providing batteries with enough charge to address self-discharge, models of this type have no trouble keeping the charge level at 100%.

In addition, chargers can be categorized depending on how they function. There are manual, trickled, and automatic deep cycle battery chargers. Some smart chargers are also equipped with various functions other than recharging the batteries.

Top 10 Best Deep Cycle Battery Chargers

The differences in preferences mean people have all sorts of opinions once it comes to the best deep cycle battery charger. Still, in the case that you like to get your money’s worth, you should check out the models down below.

1. ‎Battery Tender Plus 12V 1.25A Battery Charger – Best Overall

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

  • Voltage: 12V
  • Ampere: 1.25A
  • Multistage 
  • Universal compatibility 
  • LED light indicators 

Why This Is The Best Overall:

Designed with consistency in mind, the battery charger Battery Tender Plus is able to adapt to changing situations at a moment’s notice. By charging the battery in four stages (initialization, bulk, absorb and float), this deep cycle battery charger restores the charge level while protecting the cells. In addition, thanks to the LED light indicators, I could tell what is going on at a glance which is a big plus. Thus, in my opinion, this charger is the best RV battery charger for those who care about their battery banks.

The setup process of Battery Tender Plus charger is a straightforward affair that involves time and effort in most of the cases. Upon purchase, this 12V deep cycle battery charger is accompanied by cables with alligator clips that speed up installation too. In use, the universal compatibility of this charger means it supports standard batteries such as lead-acid, AGM, gel and so on. Hence, I don’t have to worry too much about the composition of my battery bank as I use it. 

For post-purchase support, Deltran willingly backs its battery charger with a ten-year warranty. If my Battery Tender Plus fails due to manufacturing defects within the warranty period, I could claim a replacement free of charge. 

I have two of these. I use them the keep my deep cycle RV batteries charged when we are not camping. They also have a two prong plug compatible with my motorcycle. I would recommend them for anyone who wants to not spend money replacing batteries or who has a hard time remembering to go to RV storage to start your generator to keep your battery charged.

Shared by Woody D.

Pros:

  • Setup process is undemanding
  • No-nonsense maintenance 
  • Reasonable price 

Cons:

  • A couple of units arrive inoperable 
  • Small clips 

2. Black & Decker BM3B – Best Value

BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic 6V/12V Battery Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 6V/12V
  • Ampere: 1.5A
  • Mounting brackets 
  • Built-in circuit protection
  • Low voltage compensation

Why This Is The Best Value:

Versatile and flexible, Black & Decker BM3B is a solid battery charger that never fails to please. Featuring a battery voltage selector, it allows me to select the charging voltage as I see fit and that is advantageous. By making use of this charger, I could charge batteries of variable voltages at leisure and avoid the hassles of managing multiple chargers. Moreover, since this battery automatically switches to float charge to tackle self-discharge after the charge level reaches 100%, it keeps batteries charged over time. 

Owing to the inclusion of status indicators, BM3B makes it easy for me to monitor the charging process. In the case that I mess up the polarities, the reverse connection indicator is going to light up to warn me immediately. Because of that, it’s tough to go wrong whenever I use this charge to recharge my batteries. Last but not least, this charger possesses mounting brackets so securing it to the batteries is a walk in the park.

In terms of endurance, the charger made by Black & Decker integrates a rugged housing that resists elements as well impacts. Naturally, people that desire long-lasting battery chargers deem it to be the best battery charger for deep cycle batteries in its price range. 

Big results in a small package

Awesome little battery maintainer! It’s compact design provides flexibility on how/where it is mounted. I keep my RV battery in an insulated (and vented) box. I attached the charger right to the side of the box. It’s status lights make it super simple to see, at a distance, the status of the unit and the battery.

Shared by Willy

Pros:

  • Simple to install 
  • High endurance 
  • Economical 

Cons:

  • Less than ideal quality control
  • RVers sometimes complain about getting used units 

3. NOCO GENIUS1 – Editor’s Choice

NOCO GENIUS1, 1-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger, 6V and 12V Portable Battery Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 6V/12V
  • Ampere: 1A
  • All-in-one
  • Integrated thermal sensor
  • Automatic 

Why This Is The Editor’s Choice:

Tired of keeping all sorts of accessories on your vehicle only to keep its battery bank charged? Then it’s strongly recommended that you spare some of your time to see what NOCO GENIUS1 could accomplish in use. Engineered from the ground up to be an all-in-one model, this deep cycle charger is able to work as a charger, maintainer and restorer. Hence, with this charger around, it takes a bit of work to make sure that my batteries stay in good condition 

One thing I like about the battery charger of NOCO is its automatic operation: it springs to action the moment the installation wraps up. Since this charger packs an integrated thermal sensor, it minimizes the odds of batteries getting overcharged/undercharged as temperature in the surroundings changes. Additionally, if it detects damages in the batteries, this charger is going to initiate repair on its own as well. Needless to say, once it comes to convenience, a lot of people call this charger the best deep cycle battery charger available for purchase nowadays.

Regarding maintenance, GENIUS1 should perform as expected until the day it fails while requiring little attention from me. That means I could spend less time looking after the battery charger and more time enjoying myself on the road. 

I received it very quick and put it to use right away. Charged my 12v wet cell battery great. Took a little while due to battery was very drained. It charged all the way to 75% and then started to do the maintenance charge which I’m sure took a while. I went to bed and woke the next morning to find the status led was solid green. So far this little charger is great. One thing I would strongly recommend is to take a pic or don’t loose your owners manual. This show what the status of the led and what it doing. It also show how to select different batteries or get into different modes. Since this model is so new, I cant find the owners manual anywhere online. (Yes, I lost the manual). Other than my failure to keep the manual, product work great and does exactly what it designed to do. I currently have it working on my 6v 240ah battery and it seems to be doing great.

Shared by Stettty

Recently I purchased a travel trailer. To charge and maintain the battery, I decided on this new NOCO charger. So far, I’m impressed with the quality of the item at what is a bargain compared to other similar chargers. As you can see from the picture, I used it on my deep cycle battery, and everything worked as described. I’ll give a long term impression after using this for a few seasons.

Shared by Knowledgeable Buyer

Pros:

  • Sturdy and stable 
  • Space-saving 
  • Compatibility is tip-top

Cons:

  • Packaging could use some work 
  • Inconsistencies exist between units 

4. Schumacher SC1281

Schumacher SC1281 100 Amp 30 Amp 6V/12V Fully Automatic Smart Battery Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 6V/12V
  • Ampere: 2A/30A/100A
  • Microprocessor-controlled system 
  • Reverse hook-up protection
  • Digital display 

Why We Love It:

Boasting everything that people expect from chargers for deep cycle batteries, Schumacher SC1281 offers effective and efficient recharges. Created with a reasonable charging ampere, this battery charger restores the charge level of my battery bank in a blink of an eye. Interestingly, in time of need, I could use this charge to jump-start the engine batteries and give the battery bank quick boosts. Therefore, I consider this deep cycle charger to be a good buy for those who hate to get caught off guard by battery troubles. 

In the course of operation, SC1281 relies on its microprocessor-controlled system to regulate charges that enter batteries. That is why there is no need to worry about this battery charger undercharging/overcharging my battery bank. Aside from that, to grasp the charging progress, all I have to do is to take a glance at the display. As soon as the charge level is back to 100%, this charge is going to switch to the maintain mode to address self-discharge. 

On arrival, the Schumacher deep cycle battery charger comes alongside alligator clips so it’s usable out of the box. Even if I mess up the polarities as I set up the clips, the reverse hook-up protection shields the charger from damages. 

The charger works as advertised. As with any charger it is important to remove any latent surface charge from the battery so the charger can read an accurate voltage. I found this charger read accurate battery charge. If you find it was at say 70% while charging, you disconnect and reconnect and it says 100% that is the surface charge. Turn your headlight on for 30 seconds before connecting the charger the second time and it will read accurately.

Shared by Christopher Moberg

I bought this 1 amp charger to keep my RV battery charged over the winter. After reading a lot of reviews, it became clear that the Noco Genius series of chargers were worth trying. I can’t speak to longevity, because I haven’t had it long, but it appear to be well built and I have no doubt that it will last a long time. Once I opened the box, I skimmed the instructions, connected it to the wall and to the battery, and switched the mode to match my battery chemistry. It was very easy to use and displays a status light as it works. As for value, there are cheaper charges out there, but the features and quality of this charger make it a good value.

Shared by Nate K

Pros:

  • Second to none handling 
  • Long-lasting
  • Owner’s manual is well-written

Cons:

  • Users report getting damaged units every now and then 
  • The accuracy of readings is so-so

5. BatteryMINDer Model 1500

BatteryMINDer 1500: 12 Volt-1.5 AMP Battery Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 12V
  • Ampere: 1.5A
  • High-frequency pulse desulfator.
  • FCC-certified 
  • All-around protection 

Why We Love It:

Despite its plain appearance, BatteryMINDer Model 1500 still manages to charge batteries and maintain the charge level in a wide range of situations. Incorporating a precise temperature sensor, this charger for deep cycle batteries automatically adjusts charging voltage to compensate for thermal fluctuations. As a result, I could rest assured knowing that my battery bank won’t be damaged due to undercharging and overcharging during rechargers. In addition, created with an emphasis on all-around protection, this deep cycle battery charger is immune to reverse polarity, short-circuit and overheating. 

I’m pleased to report that thanks to the high-frequency pulse desulfator, the BatteryMINDer charger is able to revert battery damages. By taking advantage of this charger, I have an easy time returning dead batteries which saves me a lot of money. It’s worth pointing out that this battery charger is compatible with a multitude of batteries ranging from lead-acid to AGM as well. Unsurprisingly, people that hope to salvage dead batteries think of it as the best deep cycle battery charger money can buy.

BatteryMINDer distributes Model 1500 alongside a long power cord so hooking it to batteries is child’s play. The brand also sells optional mounting tabs, hence, I could secure the deep cycle battery charger in times of need. 

After extensive research and with positive previous experience using another VDC product, I bought this and connected it to my RV batteries, which I pulled from the RV and kept in the garage over the winter. It kept the batteries in perfect condition. I verified this with a hydrometer before I re-installed the batteries in the RV for the summer season. This thing is smart! With it’s temperature sensor, it knows to increase or decrease the electrical flow to the batteries to adjust for the charging environment. It tells what it’s doing through a combination of led indicators and doesn’t overcharge the batteries or boil them dry. This should allow me to keep these batteries in prime condition much longer, saving me money on battery replacement.

Shared by Knobb490

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact 
  • Excellent adaptability 
  • Intuitive setup process

Cons:

  • Customer service still leaves something to be desired 
  • Sporadic complaints of chargers discharging instead of charging batteries 

6. Schumacher SE-1-12S

Schumacher SE-1-12S 1.5A 6/12V Fully Automatic Battery Maintainer
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 6V/12V
  • Ampere: 1.5A
  • Multistage
  • Molded plastic case
  • Auto-voltage detection

Why We Love It:

Capable of charging the batteries and maintaining charge level in the course of operation, Schumacher SE-1-12S is a good buy for RVers who travel casually. Made to be a multistage model, this charger automatically changes current as it restores the charger level of batteries. Because of that, it helps me save power and optimize the longevity of my batteries at the same time. Moreover, owing to auto-voltage detection, it requires no outside interaction while charging 6V as well as 12V battery banks. 

I appreciate the presence of the molded plastic case that protects SE-1-12S from a lot of damages. Compared to classic models on the market, this deep cycle battery charger is not too vulnerable to water, acid, gasoline and so on. Besides that, it possesses reverse polarity protection too so errors during the setup process rarely lead to big problems. Therefore, I can say with confidence that this charger is the best deep cycle battery charger regarding safety. 

About installation, the battery charger from Schumache arrives alongside cables so I could set it up in mere moments. The accompanying double-sided adhesive and cable tie also permit me to keep this charger in place. 

Pros:

  • Installation is a cinch
  • Easy to maintain 
  • Enduring 

Cons:

  • Inconsistencies exist between units  
  • Reports of voltage drops show up from time to time 

7. Ampeak Smart Charger 

Ampeak 2/10/25A Smart Battery Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 12V
  • Ampere: 2A/10A/25A
  • Start aid
  • Advanced reconditioning mode
  • LCD

Why We Love It:

As the name suggests, Ampeak Smart Charger not only needs minimal management but also meets all expectations in use. Packing up to three charging currents, this deep cycle charger allows me to dictate the progress of recharge. Additionally, with the LCD displaying the voltage and the charge level, I could tell what is going on at any time. Thus, once it comes to ease of use, I believe that this battery charger is one of the leading models of its type. 

To keep down the expense of battery replacements, the charger of Ampeak incorporates an advanced reconditioning mode. Using the advanced reconditioning mode, I’m able to reuse discharged batteries that haven’t been charged for a long time. Aside from that, this charger is designed with starting aids that enable the revitalization of starting batteries too. Thus, this charger is a must-have in the inventory of modern RVing enthusiasts. 

Since Ampeak Smart Charger is sold with alligator clips, I could use it as soon as it leaves packaging. The universal compatibility of this charger let it support all batteries in RV battery banks including gel, AGM, etc, 

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface 
  • Portability is outstanding 
  • Resilient 

Cons:

  • Quality control is barely acceptable 
  • Occasional failures to change charging current 

8. ADPOW Smart Battery Charger

ADPOW 5A 12V Automatic Smart Battery Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 12V
  • Ampere: 5A
  • Non-slipping
  • Ultra-compact
  • Mounting holes 

Why We Love It:

Optimized for today’s batteries and built to last, ADPOW Smart Battery Charger seldom lets RVing owners down in use. As a smart charger that charges batteries through seven stages, it could restore and maintain the charge level with relative ease. Moreover, it’s noteworthy that this deep cycle battery charger supports an assortment of batteries: gel, AGM, VRLA and so on. That is why I don’t need to bother with compatibility as I use this charger to recharge my RV battery bank. 

I like the cable connectors and alligator clips that come with the charger made by ADPOW since they accelerate installation. Once the setup process concludes, I only need to watch the light indicators to determine which stage my battery bank is in. In terms of safety, to my relief, this charger features multilayered protection that tackles threats from short-circuits to overload. Hence, this charger and the batteries that it charges should stay out of harm’s way for most of the time. 

Since it boasts an ultra-compact design, ADPOW Smart Battery Charger only takes up a small amount of space and I could place it whenever I want. This battery charger even features mounting holes at the corners so I have the option of fixing it to a spot. 

Pros:

  • Effective and efficient 
  • Splendid post-purchase support
  • A breeze to manipulate 

Cons:

  • Units get overheated once in a while 
  • A couple of RVers notice draw-out recharges

9. IEIK Smart Battery Charger 

IEIK Automotive Battery Charger 12V 6A - 24V 3A Multi-Function Smart Charger Maintainer
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 12V/24V
  • Ampere: 3A/6A
  • Auto-memory
  • Pulse repair technology
  • ABS

Why We Love It:

So you own a high-quality marine battery bank and desire the best deep cycle marine battery charger available for purchase on the market? In that case, there is a good chance that you would come to like IEIK Smart Battery Charger. Made to charge batteries in a series of stages, this charger protects the integrity of batteries during recharges which contributes to longevity. In addition to that, equipped with a state-of-the-art microprocessor, this charger automatically regulates the charging current based on the arrangements. 

One interesting thing about the charger of IEIK is that it detects the voltage of battery banks on its own. As a result, there is no need to choose the voltage manually as I connect this battery charger to my batteries. Also, if I have to postpone the recharge for some reason, the auto-memory of this charger allows it to resume from the last charging stage instead of from the beginning. Lastly, a combination of LED display and light indicators guarantees superb situational awareness around the clock.

For resilience, IEIK Smart Battery Charger packs ABS casing that resists shock, corrosion, etc while remaining portable at the same time. Naturally, the replacement interval of this charger for deep cycle batteries is longer than that of its competitors. 

Pros:

  • Tough 
  • Maintenance is child’s play 
  • High level of protection 

Cons:

  • Some units shut down mid-charge by themselves 
  • Owner’s manual should be rewritten 

10. ADPOW Smart Battery Charger

ADPOW Automotive Smart Battery Charger
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Specifications And Features:

  • Voltage: 12V/24V
  • Ampere: 12A
  • Energy-saving 
  • Real-time display 
  • Heat dissipation

Why We Love It:

Put together to be an all-in-one charging solution, ADPOW Smart Battery Charger proves popular among RVers that like to keep things simple. With its intelligent charging, this battery charge provides batteries with the optimal current and that speeds up recharges. Furthermore, since it’s good at stabilizing battery chemistry, this deep cycle charger boosts the performance of my battery bank too. Thus, by keeping it around, I could simultaneously get the most out of my batteries while extending the battery replacement interval. 

In the course of operation, the charger from ADPOW should cease charging as soon as the charge level of batteries reaches 100%. Hence, I don’t have to worry about this charge overcharging my battery bank and running the cells in the process. Besides that, this charger emphasizes heat dissipation by integrating cooling holes as well as a cooling fan. That means overheating is less of an issue even during the dog days of summers. 

Reaching the market at a price that everyone can accept, ADPOW Smart Battery Charger is an economical model. If your wallet is kind of tight at the moment, you should consider adding this charger to your shortlist. 

Pros:

  • Great values for the price
  • Delivery service is commendable 
  • Adaptable 

Cons:

  • Brightness of the display is hardly adequate 
  • Mediocre reading precision 

How To Get The Best Deep Cycle Battery Charger

If you want to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money and buy the best deep cycle battery charger, you’ll need to consider a few things before purchasing. Now that we have covered the basics of this type of product let’s talk about what you should keep in mind before buying the charger.

Battery specifications

When choosing the best deep cycle battery charger, the first thing you want to look at is what type of battery it is compatible with. Some chargers are versatile enough to work with multiple battery types, while others are specifically designed for only one or two types of batteries.

Also, you should consider the battery specifications like voltage and amp rating. How much is the battery’s power consumption rate? How long can it hold a charge? Does your charger support this? An incompatible charger will damage the battery and shorten its lifespan.

Charging speed of the battery

Another feature to consider is charging speed. If your battery charges quickly, this may not be as much of a concern for you. But if your battery takes many hours to charge, you probably want a charger that charges as quickly as possible so that you don’t have to wait around all day for it to finish.

Some chargers are faster than others. If charging speed is a top priority for you, make sure that the charger has this capability. It may come at an extra cost, but if time is money and fast charging is necessary, it may be worth it.

Extra features

The best deep cycle battery charger should have additional features that make them more valuable and convenient. Some standard features include trickle charging for maintenance purposes, automatic turning off to save power, etc.

Does the charger you have chosen have any special features or functions? Most chargers have some additional bells and whistles, but keep in mind your priorities.

Safety features

You’ll be dealing with high-voltage electricity, and you don’t want to be electrocuted or start a fire. Look for safety features on the battery charger that minimize the risk of accidents.

The charger should have thermal protection, which prevents overcharging and overheating. Short circuit protection is another necessity that prevents damage to the battery in the event of a short circuit. Other features may include automatic shutoff and reverse polarity protection (so the battery won’t get damaged if you accidentally connect it backward).

Make sure the charger has a UL listing and an ETL certification. If your charger doesn’t have these safety features, you could put yourself and your property at risk.

rv battery charger
The charger should have multiple safety features. Photo: Joe Belanger / Getty Images

Ampere 

In layman’s terms, the ampere rating of a deep cycle battery charger dictates its charging pace in the course of operation. Thus, to get the best deep cycle battery charger for your battery bank, you should pay special attention to ampere rating. Usually, all you have to do to determine the ampere rating of a model is to take a look at its owner’s manual. The rule of thumb for ampere rating is that it must not be lower than 10% and higher than 20% of the total capacity of battery banks. 

Resistance

It’s ill-advised to treat battery chargers roughly but you need to stay away from flimsy models that fail shortly after purchase. The last thing you want to experience is to see your batteries discharging to the point of depletion due to dead battery chargers. If you can help it, stick to chargers for deep cycle batteries that could resist light impacts. In addition to that, it won’t hurt to look for some sort of thermal protection to prevent heat from complicating the recharge. 

Ease Of Set Up

You don’t have to be an expert to use battery chargers but if you lack patience, choose a model that is easy to set up. Again, by reading the owner’s manual, you would be able to grasp the complexity of the setup process of market chargers. Nonetheless, as a precaution, you should check out several customer reviews to see what other people say. Last but not least, take the battery bank of your vehicle into account then decide accordingly. 

User Interface 

Assuming that you have good situational awareness, it’s possible to avoid many incidents during the recharge of batteries. That is why you may want to prioritize chargers with user-friendly interfaces. At least, your deep cycle battery charger needs to pack light indicators that warn you of charging problems. Furthermore, you could have an easy time monitoring the flow of electricity if your charger incorporates a display that shows aspects of the charging progress. 

Reviews of users

Do your research! Reading deep cycle battery charger reviews can help you see what other people have experienced with a particular model or brand. Don’t just look at the number of positive reviews, though—read through them and see what people like and dislike about the product. Reading other people’s experiences with different chargers can help narrow down your choices.

Price 

  • $25 – $50: Despite the simplicity of their design, chargers in the range give a good account of themselves in a wide range of settings. Also, owing to fantastic affordability, models with price tags between $25 and $50 receive numerous compliments from budget-minded RVers. 
  • $50 – $100: Featuring solid performance and don’t cost a fortune, chargers in the range seldom fail to please. Desire a robust smart deep cycle battery charger but cannot spend big bucks? In that case, you should opt for models that cost between $50 and $100. 
  • Above $100: Able to satisfy a lot of demands of RVing enthusiasts, chargers in the range work well regardless of the situation. While models with price tags exceeding $100 appear expensive, their longevity helps people save money over time. 

Related: Best RV Solar Battery Chargers

Tips For Efficiently Charging A Deep Cycle Battery

As all parts contribute to a smooth engine operation, deep cycle batteries require special care and maintenance to get their best performance. With your neglectful using habits, the battery lifespan will be reduced at a very fast pace and can not function as expected.

Frequently check the battery.

Whenever you are using your deep cycle battery, make sure that you keep an eye on the battery charge to avoid unprecedented complete power outages. To ensure the car battery life preservation, remember to start charging when the battery charge level is not lower than 50%.

By any chance, you cannot charge the battery at 50%, you should never let it drop below 20%. When following this guide, your battery may last a long time. To check the battery charge level, you can use different tools like a voltage monitor, hydrometer, and amp reading meter.

Prevent sulfate corrosion

When left uncharged for a long time, deep cycle batteries such as lead-acid batteries are prone to sulphation. The situation happens when lead sulfate is crystallized within a battery cell. After that, no matter how long you charge the battery or how far you carry the battery pack horizontally to find ways to repair it, it will still not be able to function ever again.

To prevent this from happening, make sure that you charge the battery from time to time, even when it is not in use. In addition, there are some anti-sulfation devices available on the market. They use pulses to prevent and reverse sulfation at the battery terminals. 

On a healthy battery, this pulsation support can indeed reduce sulfation. However, it cannot successfully fix the problem once it has occurred. And when sulphation occurs, there’s no better remedy than to cut the battery’s performance short. 

Let the battery rest.

After using the battery for a long time or after recharging, you should let the battery cool down as it may become hot. Using the battery immediately may create corrosion which can eventually destroy the battery.

Understand and charge the battery properly throughout the time.

Charging the battery in the right way and using an appropriate charger are vital acts in improving the deep cycle battery performance in the long term. In any case, both overcharging and under-charging will gradually damage the battery. 

Excessive deep cycle charging will damage the battery structure, which drives the battery to swell and uncontrollably release a lot of gas. In short, overcharging one battery does not reduce its useful life. Keep doing this, and your car battery will completely rest in not-so-peace sooner or later.

On the other hand, charging the battery below the recommended level too often can cause the battery to never be fully charged again. If you constantly charge it only at, for instance, 80%, the battery will lose the ability to be fully charged to 100%, even if you keep the charger plugged in. The battery life expectancy and its original capacity will then be shortened significantly in this case.

Moreover, to perfect the process from head to toe, you should charge the battery outside or in a lightly spacious space without a sealed roof.

A lot of people are concerned about charging a deep cycle battery inside. The truth is approaching this way may raise some safety problems. As the battery can emit fumes, which can build up and discomfort the enclosed atmosphere. Or even worse, the situation can lead to respiratory problems and put you in a dangerous scenario.  

Furthermore, if something goes out of order too fast and an explosion occurs, the damage may be more severe, and not only to the battery.

Best Brands Of Deep Cycle Battery Chargers

Deltran

Thanks to the emphasis on innovation, Deltran is capable of producing top-notch battery chargers that hold together as time passes by. In the case that you don’t have many opportunities to replace your charger, you should add Deltran models to your shortlist. 

NOCO

As a long-established brand with plenty of experience, NOCO knows what people expect from battery chargers and design its products accordingly. Needless to say, in terms of all-around performance, chargers made by NOCO have few competitors on the market. 

Black & Decker

With a user-oriented approach, Black & Decker as well as its battery chargers earn positive remarks from all sorts of RV battery charger reviews. In addition, it’s noteworthy that Black & Decker releases its models across the price points. Thus, people always have a number of options no matter how much they intend to spend on a charger. The warranties that accompany battery chargers of Black & Decker put RVers at ease too.

Schumacher

Considered to be one of the leading producers of battery chargers, Schumacher is the brand of choice of various no-nonsense RVers nowadays. If you have no need for something with draw-out installation, complex maintenance and so on, go for Schumacher. 

FAQs About Deep Cycle Battery Charging

1. Do deep cycle batteries need a special charger?

You need a charger (and ideally a smart charger) specifically designed to keep the deep cycle battery healthy to get good results. Deep cycle batteries can not handle excessive heat and charge as quickly as conventional/traditional battery chargers.

2. Can I charge a deep cycle battery with a trickle charger?

Since deep cycle batteries typically have lower discharge rates, trickle charging will be largely inefficient. And its role in maintaining battery charge may become redundant. Therefore, you are not recommended to use a trickle charge for a deep cycle battery.

3. How long it may take to charge a 12v deep cycle battery?

Fully charging the 12V 75 to 100 Ah battery may take you nearly 7.5 hours to 10 hours using 10-15 amps.

4. Charging a deep cycle battery slow or fast is better?

Charging a deep cycle battery slow is better in all cases. Because this method will protect the battery from the heat building up while still ensuring the battery capacity is fully reached.

In case you have no choice but to charge overnight, you should never apply the fast charging method. Because it can lead to worse situations such as fire, explosion, and battery failure in your most unaware times. Ideally, charge slowly with a low current. If you want to feel more secure, place the fire extinguisher in a visible place next to your car.

5. Can I overcharge my deep cycle battery?

Overcharging a deep cycle battery is not recommended, but it is acceptable in some practical cases.

6. What is the life expectancy of a deep cycle battery?

Depending on your care, your everyday charging method or the frequency of use, deep cycle batteries can last up to 6 or 10 years. It is all up to you to make your RV battery have long lasting performance or not by your charging habits.

7. Should I charge a deep cycle battery at 2 amp or 10 amp?

If your deep cycle battery is not completely discharged, you should go slow and firm with a 2 amp charger.
In addition, charging your battery with a 10 amp charger is only suitable if in case your battery is dead and exhausted.

8. When should you recharge your battery bank?

Generally speaking, deep cycle batteries could discharge up to 80% of their charge and still won’t have issues. Nonetheless, it’s strongly recommended that you recharge your battery bank every time the charge level drops to around 40%. That would minimize the odds of cells losing capacities and extend the battery replacement interval. To check the charge level of batteries, all you need is a multimeter. 

9. What to do if your battery bank is overheating?

If you don’t mess up while setting up the charger, your batteries won’t get too hot during recharge. Still, in the case you notice your battery bank overheating, stop the charging at once. Allow the batteries to cool down for a bit then resume charging. If the battery bank continues to overheat, postpone the recharge to determine what might have gone wrong. 

10. How to maintain battery chargers?

There is no need to do much to keep deep cycle chargers in top shape but you should check the maintenance section in the owner’s manual. All in all, you may want to store your charger somewhere that the elements won’t reach it outside of use. Furthermore, be careful as you handle the charger as it’s unable to withstand a lot of impacts. Finally, clean the battery charger from time to time to remove build-ups of foreign materials. 

11. How to set up a deep cycle battery charger? 

Since installation varies from model to model, you should look up instructions regarding the setup process in the owner’s manual of your battery charger. However, if you seek guidelines, check out the following steps: 

Step 1: Park your RV on level ground, turn off the engine and engage the brake.
Step 2: Get to the battery bank, remove the cables and clean the connections.
Step 3: Attach the charger to the terminals of the battery bank but pay attention to polarities. 
Step 4: Connect the charger to a power source then turn it on.
Step 5: When the charge level reaches 100%, remove the charger and reconnect the battery bank.

Conclusion

When you need a battery charger that can recharge and maintain the overall health of your RV’s deep cycle batteries, you need a compatible device. While there are many options on the market, it isn’t easy to understand the key features that differentiate these chargers from one another. But our buying guide will help you choose the best deep cycle battery charger for your needs.

Remember that if you don’t do your homework, you could end up with a model that doesn’t fit well in your RV or doesn’t charge your batteries properly.

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