Solar battery trickle chargers are great! They are really one of the easiest ways to keep your batteries charged.
They can also prevent a multitude of annoying to extremely inconvenient situations like:
- A dead car battery when you really need to get somewhere (like work)
- Running out of battery power while camping
- Running out of battery while far off-shore on a boat
- No power when you need to use your tractor or excavator
- An ATV or quad bike is unable to run which isn’t very fun
Luckily, this can all be prevented. Great if you’re off to have fun but maybe you do want a day off and a dead car battery would be a blessing. Still, dead batteries are never wanted.
(This skips, what they do, why they’re good, mounting them and so on.)
What Solar Battery Trickle Chargers Do:
Trickle chargers work off of smaller solar panels that are generally not very expensive.
You hook them up to the battery (basically clipping them in), stick the panel in the direct sunlight (best place possible) and the battery gradually gets topped up.
Solar trickle chargers are great for:
- Keeping batteries topped up
- Outdoor equipment
- Preventing dead batteries
- Having your equipment ready when you are
- Car batteries
- Boat and marine batteries
- RVs and camping trips
- ATVs and motorcycles
Trickle chargers are also thought to extend the life of your batteries.
How to Mount the Solar Battery Trickle Charger
There are a few different ways to mount your solar trickle charger:
- DIY style: use wire, silicone or whatever you have around to mount it where it needs to go.
- Suction cups: many solar trickle chargers come with suction cups to help you mount to glass. This works great with car windows.
- Lean it against something: many RVers will set their solar panel against something on their roof but really you can lean your solar panel on nearly anything. Just watch out for wind!
- Portable mount or stand: you can make or buy a stand for your charger so that it stays where it’s supposed to but also so that you can move it around easily.
Most trickle chargers come with a pretty long cable for connecting the solar panels to the battery. If you know that your battery will be a long way away from the panel, be sure to check the length before you buy. You can also do a DIY connect. (Check out this video by Tanner Tech who shows how to do this.)
What these are not for:
Solar battery trickle chargers are not for charging dead batteries or providing you with more than a small amount of solar energy. If you’re looking to power an RV, boat or camping set up (instead of topping up batteries), I would suggest looking at solar power kits instead.
The Best Solar Battery Trickle Charger
It can be hard to tell which solar trickle charger is better than another as they are similar in price and reviews tend to be about 4/5 for all of the top ones.
But, there is one a definitely prefer (and for a good reason).
I like this one the most because:
- Polycrystalline Panels. Solar panels are not all the same and some definitely do last longer than others. Polycrystalline panels are very good quality and will give you better value as they’re likely to last longer.
- Charge Controller. Many trickle chargers don’t have a controller and I do prefer to use controllers for one simple reason – they moderate the amount of power going into the battery. This could prevent a spike in power which could damage your battery.
- It weighs about 4.5lbs /2kgs
- 20 year lifespan
- Controller to protect the battery
- Polycrystalline Solar Panel
- 6.5 feet / 2 metre extension wire
More Good Solar Battery Trickle Chargers:
This one is good the car and shaped as a long rectangle as opposed to many that are square. It’s very easy to mount to a windshield and you can plug it into the cigarette lighter.
This is a great light (and portable) charger that is easy to install. It’ll work well for travel, camping and the outdoors.
This one is a good car battery maintainer and gives you a bit more power with 18 watts. It has a built-in diode that stops batteries from discharging backwards. Water resistant, heat resistant and you can plug it into the cigarette lighter
I hope that helps you on your way to getting your solar battery trickle charger. How awesome that we have this technology to use the sun’s energy to top up our batteries!