Review of the 8 Best RV Battery Chargers of 2021
Every RV comes with a battery so that you can travel in comfort. It is responsible for running the electrical appliances and equipment in your trailer.
Much of what makes our home away from home comfortable rely on the power of electricity. An air conditioner keeps us cool during a hot summer’s day, a furnace keeps us warm and toasty during those cold winter nights. LED lights allow us to see better in the dark and a water pump allows us to use water inside the camper.
All of these appliances and equipment need a power source to be able to do their jobs and you need a reliable battery and battery charger to make sure that the power never runs out wherever you go.
In this article, we will talk about the best RV battery chargers in the market so that you’ll know which one to buy. We’ll also discuss other important things you need to know about your RV battery charger so that you can maximize its use and extend its life.
Here are the 8 Best RV Battery Chargers of 2021
- Voltage: 12V
- Amperage: 10A
- Total Amp Output: 10A
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.1 x 2.5 inches
- Item Weight: 4.2 pounds
The NOCO Genius GEN1 is a heavy duty on-board battery charger. It is able to charge starter and deep cycle batteries up to 230Ah.
It is IP68 waterproof as it is 100% sealed which protects it from extreme working conditions. It is also designed to resist shocks and vibrations. It has been saltwater tested so you can be sure that it will combat corrosion and will last longer.
This battery charger comes with multi-level safety barriers and features. It gives protection against unfavorable charging conditions such as reverse polarity, sparks, open circuits, short circuits. It can also prevent overcharging, overcurrent, and overheating making sure that your battery stays safe all the time.
It is also ignition protected. You can be sure that the temperature is controlled during charging. This takes away any safety concerns and worries you might have about using this device.
Using NOCO Genius GEN1 will also improve the performance of your RV battery as well as extend its lifespan. This is because it stabilizes the chemistry in your internal battery which optimizes its specific gravity.
This is a remarkable battery charger because it is interactive. It alters the charging process based on organic battery feedback that it’s getting from the battery’s internal environment. It is also efficient to use as it shortens the time it takes for you to fully charge your battery. It charges 2x faster than traditional chargers.
When battery sulfation happens to your lead acid battery, this charger has a built in desulfator that makes it capable of regaining your lost battery capacity by applying a high voltage low current pulse charge to your battery.
This battery charger actively monitors your battery’s charge cycles and keeps it fully charged every 24 hours without overcharging. It also provides full charge output even when there’s low-line voltage.
- Voltage: 12V
- Amperage: 1.25A
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 11 inches
- Item Weight: 2.29 pounds
The Battery Tender Plus 021-0128 is a smart charger that keeps your RV batteries fully charged all the time. It is a multi-state charger which means that it has a float mode that will ensure that you’re 100% charged without overcharging.
This battery charger is easy to use with its quick disconnect harness. This unit charges as quick or even quicker than any 3 amp chargers in the market. It also comes with two-color LED lights which allows you to monitor power levels. It tells you the state of charge of your battery and your power storage. You will also know if your battery voltage is below threshold during which the Battery Tender Plus will work to reach your battery’s full capacity.
Battery Tender Plus is designed to be spark-proof and it instantly detects reverse polarity to enhance its safety features. You can be sure that you have a secure and locked-in connection while charging your battery. Once connected, it manages the health of your battery automatically so you don’t have to check on it every time.
This RV battery charger will help you get more life out of your battery. It is compatible to use with different types of batteries such as deep cycle battery, lead acid, AGM, and gel cell batteries. You can use it on your batteries even if you’re not using your RV as it will ensure that your batteries are always in the best condition even when they are stored for a long time.
The package includes the battery charger and maintainer, alligator clips for an alternate connection, fused ring terminal harness for hard to reach areas, and the Quick disconnect harness.
This RV battery charger offers fast charging for all types of 12V lead acid batteries found in RVs, car battery, motorcycle, and lawn and gardening equipment.
The Ampeak smart battery charger has a Smart Detect System that uses the Smart MCU program. This allows it to automatically identify low voltage and capacity and then start charging right away to fix the power deficit.
The Smart Detect System also makes it possible for your charger to automatically stop charging once the battery is full charge and then it switches to float mode. It also enables it to choose the charge rate that’s best for your battery type.
This type of battery charger also comes with an LCD screen that shows you vital information about the charging process. This charger has enhanced safety features that prevents overcharging, overheating, over voltage, and short circuit.
It also has an intelligent temperature protection system which allows it to work even under extreme temperatures ranging from -4℉ to 104℉. You can be sure that your battery will be charged and it can start normally even under these conditions. This helps in prolonging the lifespan of your RV battery.
Aside from this, the Ampeak smart battery charger also has a start aid button to help activate your battery when it doesn’t have enough capacity to start your engine within one 120 second cycle.
When your battery has been stored for a long period, it’s best to use the Ampeak smart battery charger because of its advanced reconditioning mode. This will help improve your battery’s performance and extend its longevity. However, keep in mind that you cannot charge a frozen battery.
- Voltage: 12V
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 10 x 8 inches
- Item Weight: 12.65 pounds
The Schumacher SC1281 is a fully automatic charger that can charge and maintain RVs, SUVs, and other big vehicles.
What makes the Schumacher SC1281 a great buy is that it can help you diagnose electrical problems in your battery with its battery and alternator tester. This can help you save on expensive mechanic bill. It has auto voltage detection to ensure your safety.
The Schumacher SC1281 is a multi stage charger which further enhances its safety and precision. Its reverse hook up protection adds another layer of safety as it will not start charging if the clamps are reversed. It can also help prolong your battery’s lifespan.
As an added value, you can use this to jump start you vehicle’s battery when needed. It comes with jumper cables and it can jump start those large batteries with its 30A quick energy boost and 1H2:L1600A jump start mechanism. It can even power up dead batteries after a few attempts!
It is compatible with different type of battery including deep cycle battery, standard, AGM, and gel batteries. It is controlled by a microprocessor and comes with multi stage charging. The start/stop push button interface makes it easy to use. It also has LED indicators that make reading the screen easier.
- Voltage: 6V, 12V
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 8.9 inches
- Item Weight: 1.25 pounds
The Black+Decker BM3B is a 6V and 12V RV battery charger and maintainer. It comes with a battery voltage selector and a tough durable housing. It can be used for AGM, gel, and wet batteries. It will help keep these batteries at optimal capacity.
There are 3 ways to connect this charger to your battery – through battery clips, a 12V DC accessory plug, or a battery ring terminal. It also has an AC low voltage compensation mechanism which ensures its maximum performance even when you’re using an extension cord.
It has LED indicators to let you know if there’s a reverse connection and the charging and fully charged status. It has a fully automatic high frequency charging. It automatically stops charging when the battery is already full charge and will switch to float mode instead.
Its safety features include a built-in circuit protection that protects it from reverse polarity, overcharging, and short circuit.
The Black+Decker BM3B has a built-in mounting bracket for easier placement.
- Voltage: 12V
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Item Weight: 4.2 pounds
The NOCO Genius G15000 is a professional grade battery charger that you can use for your RV, car, truck, boat, motorcycle, and many more. It can also be used to maintain 12V/24V batteries. It works with most batteries such as deep cycle battery, gel, lead acid, and lithium.
When you use it as a charger, you don’t have to worry about overcharging. It has an advanced charging technology that enables it to monitor and maintain your battery automatically. You can even leave it connected to your battery all year round which makes it ideal to use when you’re not going to use your battery for a long time. It also has a progressive repair mode to help recover your 12V batteries that have been damaged or heavily sulfated because they were undercharged for a long time.
The NOCO Genius G15000 will ensure that your battery is in best condition all the time. It enhances its performance and increase its longevity which means you can save big bucks as you don’t have to buy expensive RV batteries for a long time.
It is one of the safest chargers in the market as it comes with spark-proof technology and reverse polarity protection. It protects your battery from overcharging, short circuits, open circuits, and overheating.
There’s also an indicator to let you know if there’s low voltage, charge level, and how much is your battery capacity. It is a useful device because it provides you with intuitive visuals to let you know about the condition of your battery.
The NOCO Genius G15000 has an integrated engine starter to jump start your dead batteries. It also works even in cold conditions.
This unit offers ultimate versatility. It’s like having 9 battery chargers all in one unit. You can charge your 12V batteries, 24V batteries, AGM batteries, and lithium ion batteries. You can also use this for cold conditions and battery desulfation. You can do all these with a simple push of a button to switch functions making it one of the best buys in the market.
- Voltage: 12V
- Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 2.7 x 6.7 inches
- Item Weight: 15.2 oz
The BatteryMINDer 1500 features smart technology that’s easy to use. It is a charger, maintainer, and desulfator in one. It works with different battery types such as deep cycle battery, flooded, sealed, and maintenance free, and starter batteries.
Your battery undergoes 7 stages of charging starting from analyzing if it should accept or reject the battery then it begins desulfating to remove harmful sulfate, then applies soft start or low current initially before moving on to bulking as it charges your battery up to 85% of its capacity then absorption to complete charging up to 100%. After this, it conducts another test to determine if your battery needs further desulfation before going to the final stage of maintaining your battery’s full charge at the right temperature.
Its automatic full time desulfator works overtime to remove harmful sulfate which is the main culprit in battery failure. Sulfated batteries can be recovered to good condition. The BatteryMINDer 1500 can extend the life of your battery up to four times compared to other batteries which aren’t using BatteryMINDer 1500 as a maintainer.
The unit also comes with an ambient temperature sensor that allows it to adjust the battery voltage according to the temperature sensor readings. It instantly compensates for any changes in temperature so you be sure that your battery is charging properly – there’s no overcharging or undercharging even under hot or cold working conditions. This makes it ideal to use for winterizing your RV, cars, trucks, boat, and other vehicles. It also includes protection from reverse polarity and short circuits to enhance its safety features.
Optima Digital 400 works well with RV batteries, motorcycle, boat, and other AGM batteries. It has a built-in battery health mode that automatically maximizes the life of your batteries.
It uses superior battery charging algorithm which enables it to charge your batteries faster than other chargers of similar size. It has a hybrid LED battery charging gauge with LCD display to let you know the condition of your battery such as its charge level.
It’s so convenient to use. You can hang it as it already comes with a wall organizer bracket or you can just hook and tilt it as it is originally designed to be used.
You’ll feel safe using the Optima Digital 400 because of its spark-free connection technology, reverse polarity protection, and over temperature connection. It is also safe to use this during unfavorable working conditions because it has temperature compensation charging.
Buyer’s Guide in Choosing an RV Battery Charger
Of course you don’t just buy any RV battery charger. You’ve got to choose the best one for you that will fit your power needs. Here are some factors for you to consider when buying an RV battery charger.
This is the amount of electricity that the charger provides for your batteries. It determines how long it will take take until your batteries are fully charged.
This is important especially if you have a high power consumption in your RV. You will need chargers that have a high output.
There are many bumps and humps as you travel and your battery charger must be able to endure these shocks. Make sure you choose a charger that’s made of high quality materials so that your charger will last for a long time.
Space is very valuable in any RV. You have to consider this when buying a battery charger. Where will you put it and how much space do you have? This will help you eliminate other chargers that won’t fit in that free space that you have in your rig.
You can never too careful and it is always important to check the safety features of the battery chargers that you’re considering to buy. There are chargers that offer protection against overheating, overcharging, reverse polarity, and so on.
There are various RV battery chargers in the market coming in at different price points. Our advice is don’t fall prey to cheap chargers that sacrifice quality to be able to sell them at really low prices. We also don’t recommend spending a lot of money on a charger. Look for reasonably priced chargers that offer the features that you need to have the best buy.
Charging your battery causes vibration and it can be a source of noise that’s irritating to your ears. This vibration can also damage your charger so make sure you look for an RV battery charger that can effectively absorb its own vibrations or at least have some sort of cushion or holder to keep it off the ground.
Types of RV Battery Chargers
You have to choose the right charger to keep your RV battery in excellent shape. Some chargers pose a threat to the health of your battery by overcharging or undercharging it.
It’s best that you familiarize yourself with the different types of RV battery chargers so that you’ll know which one is best to use for your RV.
Here are the most common types of RV battery chargers that you can find in the market.
Converter chargers are one of the most basic charging systems. They are able to convert 120V of shore power into 12V of DC power.
When you’re plugged in, you won’t need to use power coming from your battery. Thus, you will be able to store energy in your battery.
The good thing about converter chargers is that overcharging is eliminated because they will only charge the battery when there’s still space inside. This will prevent your battery from getting damaged.
Converter chargers are able to produce 55 amps of direct current which is enough to power the whole lighting and different appliances inside your RV. They come in single-stage and multi-stage products.
This type of charger comes in a multi-stage format and is often used in modern RVs. It has the same features as the basic charger and it can also produce 120V alternating current from the 12V battery when there’s no shore power.
A solar-powered charger is a great option for RV owners who want power supply no matter where they are. They can give you a constant source of energy.
However, the amount of energy you get will depend on its size and the weather condition. Large solar panels with 150 watts can power your entire RV.
However, you need to do some planning and get the help of a professional to be able to install your solar-powered RV chargers. You’ve got to research about solar panels and decide how much you need based on your power consumption. You also need to make sure that you keep it well maintained.
This type of chargers come in a single stage format. They are small-sized and are also called maintainers because they can keep your RV battery charged at 100%.
Trickle chargers use advanced technology to offer a float charge stage. They are designed to hold a single 12V battery but you can also find other models offering multiple outputs. Those with multiple outputs can handle 2 or more batteries simultaneously without any problems.
Single State Charger Vs. Multiple State Charger
There are other types of RV battery chargers in the market but these are the most common that you’ll find. But before we go any further, let’s know the difference between single state charger and multiple state charger.
Single State Charger
This type of charger is commonly found in old RVs and smaller battery chargers. When charging, a battery receives a higher voltage than its capacity so that the battery will be filled with amp-hours. However, as the battery reaches its maximum capacity the rate of charging is reduced. This is referred to as “taper charging” and this is what happens in the single stage method of charging.
This is the modern method of charging which now consists of 3 stages – the bulk, absorption, and float stages.
The Bulk stage is when you charge your battery from discharged to about 80%. After this, the charger works to keep the amps at a constant rate by increases the voltage until charging reaches the Absorption stage.
During the second stage, the charger maintains a constant flow of voltage to the battery until it reaches full capacity or 100%. The Float Charge Stage keeps your battery fully charged and the voltage is maintained at 13.6 so there’s no overcharging which keeps your battery safe.
This is preferred by many new owners because these RV battery chargers are able to optimize the battery’s capacity, enhance its overall performance, and extend its lifespan.
Benefits of an RV Battery Charger
By now, we’re sure you already have a pretty good idea why you need an RV battery charger but let’s just emphasize them here.
They extend the lifespan on your RV batteries.
We all know how expensive RV batteries are so who wouldn’t want to get more life out of them? Using a quality charger for your RV battery will help you achieve that! It will protect your battery, enhance its performance, and extend its lifespan. This is why it’s a worthwhile investment because it’ll save you a lot of money and effort in the end.
They ensure that your electrical appliances are running.
When you have a battery charger with you, you can always keep your RV battery fully charged which means that you can use all the electrical appliances and equipment in your RV whenever you need them without relying on shore power. This will definitely make your camping more comfortable.
They give you more travel options.
You’re no longer constantly thinking about where and when your next stop should be so that you can recharge your RV batteries where there are hookups, shore power, and charging services. With a reliable RV battery charger, you can charge your batteries any time you want and any where you are.
It’s always a good idea to have a reliable battery charger in your RV. A good charger will help extend the longevity of your RV battery and help maintain your battery in best condition.
With a dependable RV battery charger, you can enjoy the comforts of your electrical appliances in your camper for a more relaxing vacation.
Fortunately, there are many options to choose from. They come with various features and different price points. You don’t need to buy the most expensive one out there. Just study which features you need for your RV battery and you’ll surely find the best battery charger that’ll suit your requirements and budget.
Some more Related Questions about RV Battery Chargers
How do I charge my RV battery?
There are different ways to charge your RV battery as there are different sources of charging. As discussed above you can use an RV battery charger which takes AC power and converts AC into DC power.
Generators are also used for charging RV batteries. The generator will be able to simultaneously power your AC appliances and charge your battery. As for your DC lights, your battery can still power them while charging.
You can also charge your RV battery by using your tow vehicle’s alternator especially when you go on an extended road trip. The alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. This is achieved when the engine is running and a belt rotates the alternator.
You can also use solar power to charge your RV battery if you have solar panels installed.
Does RV battery charge when plugged in?
Yes, it does. When your RV is plugged in or connected to an outlet, your batteries will automatically begin to charge while simultaneously running your electrical appliances. This happens because your RV battery charger is converting the power from the grid into 12V DC. Then it channels that power to the adapter that’s integrated into your camper.
Should You Leave Your RV Connected to the Charger All the Time?
It depends on what type of charger you’re using. If you have a multi-state charger, then you can do so because it has a mechanism that would protect your battery from overcharging while at the same time keeping your battery fully charged.
If you’re using a single state charger, it isn’t recommended to leave your RV connected to it all the time as this could drain your battery’s electrolyte levels. This would reduce your battery life. Make sure you monitor the electrolyte level of your RV battery regularly so that it won’t go dry.
Can You Leave a Trickle Charger Connected All Winter?
There are some trickle chargers that you can leave connected on your battery for an indefinite period. This will ensure that your RV battery is well-conditioned even during the winter which means that you can readily use your RV anytime you feel like camping.
Can You Overcharge an RV Battery?
Yes, you can overcharge your RV battery which is why it is important to have an RV battery charger with safety features that avoid overcharging.
Take note that it is bad for your battery’s health and could even pose a danger to you when you overcharge your battery. It can cause your battery to sulfate more quickly which will result in decreased level of performance.
When you’re not using your RV, fully charge your battery and then remove it from your rig.
What should I do to keep my charger in good shape?
Your RV battery charge does not require any maintenance. You just need to make sure it is stored and used properly to avoid damaging the unit. It is also best to have a cushion or holder for your RV battery charger so that it can absorb or reduce the vibrations when charging.