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Battery needs trickle charger

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Will a trolling motor battery go 'bad' if you don't have a trickle charger hooked up to it all the time? I bought a trolling motor battery last year and already it's not holding a charge. But I let it run down, didn't go fishing for many months. It was stand-alone battery I use for a john boat.

 

Same question for a cranking battery on my bass boat, does it need a trickle?

 

Water levels are not an issue.

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Not necessarily, if you don't have one make sure to immediately charge after use and hook it up once a month to top off. 

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most chargers will keep your battery charged if left plugged in. the key is to fully charge your battery as soon as you can after use. you can in plug the charger and check it every few weeks.

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Not a trickle charger, use a battery maintainer.  There is a huge difference and a trickle charger will burn a battery up if left on for long periods.

A battery that sits for months must be charged at least every 6 to 8 weeks if not on a maintainer.  A battery self discharges while sitting, some rather quickly.  Once they get below approx. 80% charge, they start to sulfate.  A sulfated cell can not transfer electrons so that part of the cell is useless.  After a few months they can become so sulfated the battery is total junk.

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Cold weather can increase the battery loss too.

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@Way2slow and @gimruis are right on track. 

 

Sitting too long trashed your battery.  Also, a marine battery with 100% charge will resist freezing up to 75 degrees below, but the same battery with 50% charge can freeze above zero. 

 

Constant current to your battery will destroy your battery even faster than leaving it sitting for months with no charge.  All of my batteries spend the winter on a shelf inside my garage on the shared wall with the house (warmest part of the unheated garage).  I plug the chargers in ONLY on the weekend.  All batteries sit with no charger during the week. 

 

My Harley battery and my garden tractor battery are charged with a 1.5 amp charger with a "draw-down" feature.  It charges the battery to 100% and then begins to slowly drain it to 85% and then charges back up again. Most guys get 1 or 2 years out of their Harley batteries.  My last two Harley batteries lasted 5 years and 6 years respectively.  My trolling battery and cranking battery are both charged with a smartcharger that has a float stage as well as automatic temperature compensation and a Desulphation mode for long-term storage.  The smartcharger I would not hesitate to leave on a trolling battery or cranking battery 24-7.  I disconnect during the week out of habit more than anything else.  

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On 12/27/2017 at 8:15 PM, Way2slow said:

Not a trickle charger, use a battery maintainer.  There is a huge difference and a trickle charger will burn a battery up if left on for long periods.

A battery that sits for months must be charged at least every 6 to 8 weeks if not on a maintainer.  A battery self discharges while sitting, some rather quickly.  Once they get below approx. 80% charge, they start to sulfate.  A sulfated cell can not transfer electrons so that part of the cell is useless.  After a few months they can become so sulfated the battery is total junk.

 Out of ignorance I think of a trickle charger and battery maintainer as the same thing. Can you cite an example model of each? I might need to pick up a battery maintainer. I currently use a smartcharger for charging back up after a trip, but want to keep a trickle/maintainer on it in between going forward. I might use an outlet that lets me only turn it on for a certain # of hours or days per week so it isn't constantly on it.

 

 

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Battery Minder and Battery Tender are to quality examples of battery maintainers.  There are numbers small 2, 3, and 4 amp chargers that used as trickle chargers.  Most maintainers, maintain a constant voltage of 13.1 to 13.4VDC.   13.17VDC is the ideal maintenance voltage for most flooded cell, deep cycle batteries.  Just a couple of tenths more than that are you will start damaging your battery.  Even the smallest chargers are going to be putting out close to, if not more than 14 volts.

There are some maintainers that cycle on and off.  When the battery reaches full charge, they stop charging until the battery drops to a set voltage level and then they turn back on, Dual Pro chargers used to work this way, not sure about now, since I've retired several years ago and don't have a whole lot to do with that stuff anymore. 

However it all boils down to the fact it's your batteries and you can charge or not charge them any way you see fit.  I know ain't know body gonna tell me how I should be taking care of my stuff.

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This is the trickle charger I use. Calls itself both a trickle charger and maintainer

 

 

IMG_1579.JPG

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