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OT / Auto: Permanently Installed Trickle Charger for Auto/Truck

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  • OT / Auto: Permanently Installed Trickle Charger for Auto/Truck

    I have had to use my battery charger several times in the past months when one of my vehicles was dead, probably due to all the stuff that keeps running even then the key is turned off. So, I am wondering about having some kind of trickle charger added to the vehicles where I can just plug them into an extension cord when not using them. Perhaps have connection points both front and rear.

    Do they make such a thing? And what concerns should I have about using them?
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    Do they make such a thing?
    Yes.Almost all fire apparatus have them, for example.
    I installed Guest brand marine units (with 3-stage charging) on several of our smaller vehicles. Good quality and reasonably priced.
    Here is one example:
    https://www.amazon.com/ChargePro-Ban...22&sr=1-5&th=1

    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    And what concerns should I have about using them?
    Forgetting to unplug them.
    Set it up where you really can't miss it, but also where it won't destroy anything if, by chance, you accidentally do so.
    Fire engines typically have an auto-eject that activates when the ignition is switched on.

    A good quality solar charger might be another option for you, as we seldom have a shortage of sun in Texas.
    Last edited by Joel; 08-05-2022, 02:38 AM. Reason: Added link
    Location: North Central Texas

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
      I have had to use my battery charger several times in the past months when one of my vehicles was dead, probably due to all the stuff that keeps running even then the key is turned off. So, I am wondering about having some kind of trickle charger added to the vehicles where I can just plug them into an extension cord when not using them. Perhaps have connection points both front and rear.

      Do they make such a thing? And what concerns should I have about using them?

      Yup, big time. I run into that issue all the time. My honda on the street, I used a HF solar panel just for that use, worked great.

      My garage car I use a plug in trickle charger. Been in use for ten plus years now. JR

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        I have 3 or 4 of these running 24-7-365. Keeping an extra battery ready to go. Also have one on a PU I rarely use, another one on my semi I don’t use often and one on my portable welder so it will start when needed. I keep a couple of new ones on the shelf just in case.
        They really solved my problem of dead batteries.

        I can’t get a link to load, but they are Harbor Freight automatic battery float charger
        can someone tell me how to copy and paste a link?

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        • #5
          A regular old right click copy and paste is working for me true temper.
          https://www.harborfreight.com/automo...intainers.html
          Location: North Central Texas

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Joel View Post
            A regular old right click copy and paste is working for me true temper.
            https://www.harborfreight.com/automo...intainers.html
            I can’t get it to work on my IPad, it worked fine before the last site upgrade.

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            • #7
              If the truck lives outside, a small solar panel on the dashboard or elsewhere will also work.
              Helder Ferreira
              Setubal, Portugal

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              • #8
                These can not be beat. Compact 6/12V
                We use these on the farm for lots of equipment that
                sits for months.
                Can be found for 30 - 35 dollars.
                https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SC...s%2C77&sr=8-10
                olf20 / Bob

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                • #9
                  So you don't want to fill up a slow leaking tire once a month
                  but you want to plug in a battery charger every time you park?

                  -D
                  DZER

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                  • #10
                    I have used solar battery tenders for years. I see now they offer 5watt charger/tender for about the same price, $26. Don't have power cords running everywhere, keeps bill down. All those plug in transformers all over the house add up.

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                    • #11
                      Someone gave me for free one of those Viking battery chargers
                      that Harbor Freight sells. I think it is 4 amps, and has trickle
                      mode and 6v and 12v. Nice because I have 6 volt trucks and
                      tractors. But I got to say, it is light and small and handy to have.
                      It is a switch mode power supply of course, hence the compact
                      nature. It is much nicer to use than dragging out the 10amp
                      transformer, bread toaster sized battery charger that weighs
                      10 pounds. For what it is and what it does, 4 amps is decent
                      when you have a really low battery to get it back up in a decent
                      amount of time. I hardly get out the big charger any more.
                      I do have a bias for not buying HF stuff, but it is slowly changing.
                      --Mark the day--

                      --Doozer
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        The fire appliances in the UK all have sump heaters which disconnect as the vehicle is driven off, a small smart charger could also have a quick dissconnect for when you forget and drive out of the garage.
                        Dual voltage chargers are very hard to get hold of these days, that Viking is worth its weight in gold.

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                        • #13
                          I bought 2 NOCO Genius battery chargers one one amp and one ten amp. They will charge, condition and maintain lead acid, AGM and lithium batteries. They will also force a charge on a really dead battery to get the charging started. Not cheap but so far they work well for the Boat, Motorcycles, lawn tractor and cars.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                            So you don't want to fill up a slow leaking tire once a month
                            but you want to plug in a battery charger every time you park?

                            -D
                            Spot on!
                            Next will a docking station utilizing machine vision to locate and couple to the docking port on the vehicle.

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                            • #15
                              A trickle charger does not have to be anything smart at all.

                              All it takes is to supply a small current that offsets the leakage etc that occurs. That will be small, no more than 100mA or so max, probably less. Continuous charging at that sort of low rate is not harmful.

                              If the thing is set up as a "current source", then voltage is not an issue.... it will conform to whatever the battery voltage is.
                              CNC machines only go through the motions

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