Deep Cycle Battery Charger vs. Regular
Deep cycle batteries are made to release more power over a longer amount of time and can be drained down to almost empty without being damaged. Regular batteries like the ones used in cars are made to release a ton of power all at once. Even though they release a lot of power they are only being drained a small amount.
Deep cycle battery chargers charge in stages another name for these types of battery chargers is “Float Chargers.” Usually, it starts with a powerful initial charge which then switches to a constant but less powerful one. Then the final or float stage decreases the charge slowly until the battery reaches 100%.
A lot of smart float chargers like some of the ones in this list have a fourth or “repair” stage. This mode attempts to repair batteries that have a build up of sulfuric acid crystals. It pules a charge through the battery that dissolves the crystals on the battery’s lead plates. Some batteries are too far gone to be repaired but the repair mode is a great way to maintain and repair good batteries.
All of the battery chargers on this list can charge deep-cycle batteries, AGM batteries, marine batteries, and even regular batteries.
Best Deep-Cycle Battery Charger
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Deep Cycle Battery Charger Reviews and Info
The NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V smart charger is very versitle and multifunctional. It can work as a float charger for deep cycle batteries or a trickle charger for car batteries.
As long as its a 6 or 12-volt battery the NOCO works with wet, gel, AGM, automotive, deep-cycle, marine, maintenance-free, and lithium-ion batteries. If you have a 24 volt battery you can buy the NOCO Genius G26000 for 12V/24V batteries which also includes a jump-start charge function which is very useful when your car battery is dead and you need to get it started fast.
The G3500 can charge and maintain all batteries and even charge fully drained batteries. You choose from the 7 modes on the charger and let it use the onboard computer to charge the battery the safest and best way. There is also a visual diagnostic tool for detecting battery damage such as reverse polarity, low-voltage, or defective batteries.
It even has a repair mode that works to dissolve sulfuric acid crystal built up on the battery’s lead plates. This process can take time but it works and can help keep your batteries running at full capacity longer.
You can leave it plugged in all year round and there will be zero overcharge or damage to the battery because the smart charger will monitor the battery and know when it needs charging and when it doesn’t.
The charger is small with external mounting holes and a rubber base to keep it from slipping or scratching surfaces. It is also water and UV resistant and uses LED indicators so it’s easy to read and understand. Included with purchase are alligator battery clamps and eyelet terminals with an integrated fuse for extra protection.
The NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Battery Charger is one of the best deep-cycle battery chargers you can buy and even the best all-around battery charger out there. If you have an RV or travel trailer a do it all battery charger like this one is a good option because you may need to charge your deep cycle batteries or the battery in your vehicle.
- Can charge all batteries including Lithium-ion
- Repair Mode
- Small and portable
- Multi-purpose smart charger
- Diagnostic tool
The BMK is more of a battery maintainer but it can charge deep-cycle batteries safely and you get a lot of bang for you buck.
First off it can diagnose battery conditions and warn you of a defective battery before you even start charging. That saves a lot of time and power in the long run because there’s no use trying to charge a broken battery.
Secondly, it comes with battery protection features to stop over charging and battery damage often caused by low quality trickle chargers. It also protects from over-voltage, over-current, over-power, over-temperature, and short-circuiting.
Thirdly it is a multi-purpose deep cycle battery charger and also a trickle charger for all battery types excluding lithium-ion. T
The charger has 4 stages which are all indicated by an LED light on the charger. There is a desulfation/repair stage, a bulk charge stage, absorption stage, and float stage. All of these stages make for a great deep-cycle battery charger.
Included with the deep-cycle/smart battery charger are insulated alligator clamps and ring connectors with a 10A fuse.
The BMK 12V Smart Battery Charger is going to be a great little maintainer and slow charger for the deep-cycle batteries on your RV or solar set up. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as other deep-cycle battery chargers but it’s going to get the job done without damaging your batteries.
- Multi-purpose smart charger
- Defective battery detection
- Desulfation/repair stage
DieHard’s Platinum Smart Charger is their best one and an excellent choice for a deep-cycle battery charger and there’s a lot of reasons why.
It’s multi-purpose and can charge 6 volt and 12 volt batteries of all kinds, it even automatically senses the voltage so you don’t have to tell it what voltage the battery is. It has an automatic maintenance feature that the charger will switch over to once the battery is fully charged to stop over charging. It even jump starts vehicles up to 125 Amps.
The DieHard can charge deep-cycle, GEL, AGM, and standard batteries.
The unit has a built in handle making it easy to carry around and the included alligator clamps and cables wrap around the bottom for more organized storage. It also includes reverse hook-up protection which means if you put the clamps on wrong the charger will not operate.
The DieHard Platinum Shelf Smart Battery Charger is the battery charger that comes with all the bells and whistles. There’s even an alternator tester on it to diagnose electrical problems. If you have a lot of different kinds of batteries this is the do it all charger which will safely charge them all.
- Automatic voltage sensor
- Diagnosis feature
- Engine start mode
- 40-15 Amp Quick Boost
Schumacher battery chargers are not only high-quality but they are well-known in the automotive world for their innovation and charging tools.
The fully automatic battery charger has a 15 amp rapid charge, 8 amp standard charge, and 3 amp maintenance mode. It’s a true battery charger and maintainer built into one small portable unit.
A microprocessor is used to charge any battery with precision. Meaning your batteries will be charged fully, safely, and the life of the battery will increase because it’s being charged right. It also has float mode monitoring to obtain the optimum battery charge for your specific battery.
It has an automatic voltage detector for 6 and 12 volt batteries. There is a reverse hook-up protection built in, it will not operate if the clamps are hooked up wrong.
It’s compatible with standard, AGM, GEL, and deep-cycle batteries. Included with the battery charger are alligator clamps for a secure and quick connection to the battery.
Instead of using small indicator lights like many other deep-cycle battery chargers the Schumacher battery charger uses a digital screen to display information. It’s easier to read than other battery chargers and you can better monitor the charging process.
The Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Charger is going to be the only battery charger you will ever need to by (unless you have a 24 volt battery). It has all the tools you need to charge a battery safely, rapidly, or just maintain it over months or even years.
- Rapid and maintenance charge modes
- Digital display
- Automatic voltage sensor
- Precision deep-cycle battery float charging
The Ampeak is another great do it all smart charger. It automatically detects the voltage of a 6 or 12 volt battery, has a 7 stage charging process for 6 volt batteries, and a 3 stage process for 12 volt batteries.
The seven stage charging process is a great feature that only a few battery chargers have. The stages are desulphation/repair, soft start, bulk charge, absorption, battery test, recondition, and float. The 3 stages for 12 volt batteries are bulk charge, absorption, and float. Any of these modes make for a great deep-cycle battery charger.
It’s compatible with deep-cycle, GEL, AGM, and standard batteries.
The display is digital so it’s easy to read and understand. The built in safety features include protection from overcharge, over-voltage, over-heating, short circuit, reverse polarity, and the connection is spark proof.
Included with the charger are alligator clips for a quick yet strong connection to the battery.
The Ampeak 6/12V Smart Battery Charger is going to be amazing if you have 6 volt batteries because of the seven step charging process the Ampeak offers for them. It will still work great for 12 volt and deep-cycle batteries but I wish the seven step process worked for them as well. All-in-all it’s a fantastic battery charger and a great option for people who want a multi-purpose charger for all the different batteries out there.
- 7 step charging for 6 volt batteries
- Automatic voltage detector
- Digital display
- Maintenence and quick charging modes
Best Deep-Cycle Battery Charger
The NOCO Genious 3500 is small but very powerful. It’s one of the only battery chargers with a lithium-ion battery charging mode and it has a repair mode for both 6 and 12 volt batteries.
If you are an RV, travel trailer, lawnmower, or even motorcycle owner who needs to keep those deep-cycle or standard batteries in good condition over the winter or while in storage then this will also be a great little out of the way charger that can be connected 24/7 with zero damage to your batteries.
It’s multi-functional. reliable, and comes from a company that knows it’s batteries. Don’t let your expensive deep-cycle batteries go dead and get damaged from a faulty charger that didn’t hold up over the winter. Get something like the NOCO Genius 3500 that will keep your battery charged safely all year long.
What to Consider
There’s a lot of things in our lives that require a battery, and there are all different kinds of them too. Deep-cycle, standard, GEL, AGM, wet, maintenance-free, lithium-ion, 6 volt, 12 volt, the list goes on. You don’t want to buy new batteries every year and you also don’t want to deal with dead machinery that won’t start.
Getting a battery charger/maintainer that is compatible with all the batteries in your life will not only be convenient but save you in the end. You can connect the smart charger to a battery without worry and know it’s going to charge without damage.
Some smart chargers and deep-cycle battery chargers are large which isn’t a problem unless you are living in your RV or travel trailer full time and need something small and portable. It’s also nice to connect something small and discrete to your batteries when you leave your RV or travel trailer in storage for the winter.
Float Charger vs. Trickle Charger
Float chargers are better for deep-cycle batteries than trickle chargers but sometimes a trickle charger is nice to have. All the smart chargers on this list can be a trickle and a float charger for all kinds of batteries.
The most common battery voltages are 6, 12, and 24 volt. Most of the battery chargers on this list are for 6 and 12 volt batteries and only one has a 24 volt battery charger. Make sure you know what voltage you want to buy or own before you buy a battery charger for it.
Lithium-ion batteries are becoming more popular every day for campers because they can be drained to almost empty without being damaged more than any other battery. While they are awesome that way the downside to them is they are very sensitive to trickle chargers because they hate being overcharged. Make sure you connect a charger that is lithium-ion battery compatible to lessen the risk of them being damaged.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to charge a deep-cycle battery?
Deep-cycle batteries are more sensitive than standard car batteries and need to be charged in stages. Using a smart battery charger will keep the batteries healthy longer. Over charging will damage them so make sure the charger also knows when to turn off or switch to maintenance mode.
Where are deep cycle batteries used?
Deep cycle batteries are commonly used in boats, RVs, travel trailers, electric golf carts, renewable energy, and electric bikes. The reason they are used in applications like these instead of car batteries is deep cycle batteries can release more power over a longer period of time without being damaged.
Standard car batteries rarely go below 80% capacity, deep cycle batteries get run down all of the time and need to be able to withstand the stress of being drained and charged over and over again.
To learn more about standard and deep cycle batteries check out this article.
Do deep cycle batteries need a special charger?
If you want your deep cycle battery to last and not be damaged then a float charger that uses different stages to charge a deep cycle battery is necessary. You can use trickle chargers on deep cycle batteries but these can damage them through over charging. They also may not put out enough initial charge to properly charge the deep cycle battery.
When does a deep cycle battery need to be charged?
In order to know when a deep cycle battery needs to be charged, you will need to monitor the battery and charge it when it reaches a certain percentage. For more information on that check out this article here.
Why deep cycle battery for solar?
Standard batteries are not meant to go below 90-80% charge. When your car uses a battery it takes a ton of power very quickly, once the engine has started the battery immediately starts getting charged again by the engine. So even though the standard car battery put out a bunch of power, it never went below 80%. That’s why your car battery is never the same again if you let it go dead.
Deep cycle batteries are much heartier than standard car batteries and they can release much more charge without taking damage. Sure you could use a standard battery in your solar setup up but you will be needing to buy a new one every few months.
With deep cycle batteries, you can charge them all day with solar and then drain them to 50% without them being damaged. You can even drain them below 50% a few times and they will still work very well.
That being said Lithium-ion batteries can be drained to 20% without taking damage and they are the ultimate solar setup battery. But they are on the spendy side and if you need some more budget-friendly options marine or deep-cycle batteries will be an excellent option for a solar setup.
What is a deep cycle battery charger?
Deep cycle battery chargers use different stages to charge the battery so it gets a full charge with zero damage. They also have protection against over charging which is very important for deep cycle batteries. Over charging can damage them even more than letting them go completely dead.
Are deep cycle batteries AGM?
AGM (Absorbant Glass Mat) is a kind of battery that is capable of holding and releasing more power than standard batteries they are also maintenance free and resistant to vibrations. You can buy standard AGM batteries for your vehicle or deep-cycle AGM batteries for an RV, travel trailer, boat, or solar setup.
Not all AGM batteries are deep-cycle so if you want a deep-cycle or marine AGM battery make sure you read the label and get the right one.