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What is a Trickle Charger?

By Troy Holmes
Updated May 16, 2024
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Battery charges are devices designed to recharge dead batteries with special electronic current transference. A trickle charger is a battery-charging device that keeps a battery from losing electric power over time. This device submits a small electronic charge that keeps a battery active, which adds longevity to the battery life.

A trickle charger is a good way to ensure batteries remain charged during the winter season. These chargers are often used on boats, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles. The charger works best on equipment that is parked for extended periods because it keeps a low charge on the battery, which keeps the battery at a maximum charge.

There are many types of trickle chargers available. These are typically connected to power outlets and use a small amount of electricity. Chargers are also available that plug into the cigarette lighters of vehicles. These chargers provide a loop-back charge into the battery of the automobile.

Most modern vehicles use computers and electronics that can cause excessive wear on the batteries. When these automobiles are parked for an extended period of time, the vehicle's computer will eventually drain the battery completely. A trickle charger provides enough charge to keep the battery from draining while the car is parked.

It is important to remember that a trickle charger will not charge a battery. This battery tender keeps a battery from going dead, which makes the battery last longer. A standard battery has a predetermined life and can only be recharged a few times before a complete failure occurs. The battery tender keeps the battery running at peak performance for an extended period of time.

It is often standard practice to use a trickle charger for winterizing vehicles and recreational toys in storage. Generally, owners of recreational vehicles who live in colder environments store their vehicles this way. The battery tender is a lightweight device that can be used on jet skis, snow mobiles, and mini bikes. It requires a standard 110 volt plug, which delivers low-level current to the battery during storage season.

It is also common to use a trickle charger for race cars. These cars typically run for short durations, which doesn’t provide enough time for an alternator to charge the battery. By using a trickle charger after each race, the battery is able to remain charged, which is essential for successful engine starts during qualifications.

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Discussion Comments

By anon924719 — On Jan 07, 2014

If I were to attach a trickle charger to a 12v SLA battery that is connected to a sound amplifier, would the battery charge while the sound amplifier is being powered? Or does a trickle charger only provide power at intervals?

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