Recommend a Battery Charger For Me

Justwondering

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I have lived with, repaired, fussed over, etc the battery charger that my husband owned prior to us getting married which was literally DECADES ago.

Its toast.
So is the backup I kept out of my dad's stash after he died. Toast (lol, both he and the battery charger - but that would be a gloomy comparison).

I've researched online and my head is whirling with possibilities. One site says its a good one, the next list says it sux.

I have my fleet (Ford Dually, Fifth Avenue, LeBaron, Chebby Truck 4wd 2500) and a 42hp Mahindra tractor.

Recommend a decent battery charger. I have to be able to snake an extension cord to it. I'd like to be able to rely on it doing normal battery terminals and those silly a$$, side mounts.

I've always had the shoebox size that I can take where I need it, but should I consider the rolling cart?

My biggest issue is: I can't read red led's on a black background in direct sun which, of course, is what the Mister had.

Make a suggestion! I missed this for mother's day gift, but can always set it as a father's day gift.

JW
 

Camtron

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I like DSR/Schumacher chargers and jump packs. Easy to use, clearly labeled, new ones are even idiot proof and won’t let you send 12v to your 6v battery or 24v to your 12v battery, ect…Used them at O’Hare International and Conway Freight/XPO logistics. Kinda pricey but, a once in a life time purchase quality wise.
 

Aspen500

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I agree with the Schumacher brand. I've got a carry around one I bought in the mid '80's and still going strong.

If you need to do a lot of charging, I'd recommend a roll around type, mainly because the guts are heavier duty and they have the option for a higher charge rate if needed. Small ones are normally like 2/10 amp where the roll type are maybe 2/20/40 amp or so. A roll cart charger costs more but probably worth it. Just my 10 cents worth (inflation).
 

69-

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Would a (big) lifepo jumppack suffice?
 

Justwondering

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69- I'm thinking a charger. When someone (who shall remain nameless) forgets and leaves the lights on the tractor -- you get the idea.

JW
 

80mirada

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Schumacher, I bought a nice rolling one a couple of years ago. I bought one of the higher amp ones, use it more than I would have ever thought.
 

69-

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69- I'm thinking a charger. When someone (who shall remain nameless) forgets and leaves the lights on the tractor -- you get the idea.

JW
Gotcha.
Had that experience with some gismo-gadget in the SL lately. It did not power down, as expected and sucked the live out of the battery - down to 5V within a week. The booster would probably have not helped, but with that low discharge the battery was plain dead (2 of the 6 cells had shortened) and with a maximum of 10.5V the electronic monster would not start.
My little 10A charger helped to start it, but the battery was still dead (and starting to cook with the charger at 14.2V). No good to produce hydrogen and pb-acid outside the battery...
Anyway, I'm drifting away.

That charger of mine is a German one and they only sell 230V, so it most likely won't be of any help.

Sorry for that and trolling around :)
 

Mikes5thAve

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The old style shoe box size ones are still my goto. No electronics to fail and they work. I also have a transformer size one like like a battery tender (but not) and I like it because if I'm charging over night at home or I'm not around it fits in the engine compartment and you can shut the hood.
I also have a big one on wheels, it's a pain to drag around but handy if something needs to be charged and started fast.
 

Justwondering

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I'm kinda leaning toward buying 2.
One shoebox
One roll around.

Essentially, its just down to me now to keep the fleet running and rolling it over to the vehicle appeals to me.
However, for the smaller things (topping off, golf cart, and 'can you loan me a charger'), I'd like a shoebox size.

The dead one from my dad was a Duralast. I'm thinking of gifting it to my older brother for Christmas. He gave me a goofy gift last year, so I'm thinking he deserves this from me. It did last a long time though.

So, I basically need to be sure it can handle the bigger batteries in the Ford Dually and automatically shuts off. Should I get sidetracked with his healthcare problem etc, I'd walk away from it without remembering to handle it.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll let you know what I decide on.

JW
 

kkritsilas

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They are pricey, but the chargers that I like best are the CTEK ones. Hard to make a mistake with one of those. I have a couple of small ones, one of which (when you don't plug it in) has some diagnostic capability (I think they stopped producing that one), able to check battery voltage, starting voltage, and alternator output. The other is just a charger. Both of them can be set to charge smaller batteries (like for motorcycles), a cold temperature setting ( I don't think it is a major feature for Texas), and are protected for reverse hookup. The ends of the charging cable are interchangeable, so they can accomodate just about any terminal type, and they are small, as in roughly the size of a paperback book small, so hooking them up and then closing the hood is not an issue, and they can be left on there for however long you want. They also have a battery recondition feature, but I am not sure how well that works, or what its effect on the battery is.
 

Justwondering

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kkritsilas ..
I've never heard about ctek before.
How is it they can do so much but be so small?
All I've ever been exposed to is the duralast/snap on/schumacher type.

JW
 

kkritsilas

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The CTEK chargers are really something a bit different. I think they are a Swiss design (might be Swedish. but still made in China, I expect). They go through a 7 step charging process (with LEDs showing the progress), and they really are good. So good in fact, that they ship with the likes of Ferrari/Lamborghini to be used as trickle chargers. They cannot overcharge a battery under any conditions. Like I said, they are expensive, but justifiably so. From the Amazon.ca website (note, this is the CANADIAN version of Amazon, I'm sure that Amazon.com has better pricing):

Edit: looks like posting Amazon links is not permitted on the site. Try this:



Their linup has changed since I saw them last. There was no CS One, and the analyser type charger that I have is not shown any more.
 
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