Battery Chargers

There are a variety of battery chargers in different sizes and strengths. The first thing to consider is if they are automatic or manual. An automatic is designed to automatically shut off when the battery is fully charged and there is no danger of forgetting you left in going which could ruin the battery. The downside to this is that many chargers shut off too soon leaving you with a seemingly charged battery. With a manual charger you can control how long to charge the battery for. Battery chargers come in 6/12/36/48/60/72 Volt settings. Depending on which battery, or how many, you are using will determine which charger is right for you. 12 Volts is by far the most common. A 12 Volt batter

What does the CA and CCA rating on a battery mean?

Cranking amps are the numbers of amperes a lead-acid battery at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12 volt battery). Cold Cranking amps are the number of amperes a lead-acid battery at 0 degrees F (-17.8 degrees C) can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12-volt battery). It is more difficult for a battery to deliver power when it is cold out so the CCA rating is the best one to go by. It isn't fair to compare the two ratings, the CA is generally used by places that want their batteries to sound stronger than they are.

Solar panels and batteries

A solar panel can do a great job of helping recharge your batteries. They are rated in watts and this indicates how much power they can send through to the batteries. A 90 watt panel operates at about 17 volts and in bright sun can put out about 5 amps. The energy has to be channelled through a charge controller. This is a small box that regulates the voltage. Without the controller you can have dangerous erratic voltage and feedback that can kill your batteries. Unless it is a tiny solar panel (say 10 watts) it should never be hooked up directly to the battery. On a overcast or cloudy day your panel may only produce about 1 amp to charge the batteries. This is barely a trickle charge so unl

Does concrete kill batteries?

No it does not. Many many years ago when batteries were made from a tar or rubber like case they had the potential to absorb water up from the concrete into the battery itself. Since the invention of plastic this can no longer happen. It has been out there forever to not store batteries on concrete but it simply isn't true.

Generators and batteries

The function of an RV generator is to charge the battery bank or use it directly as a power source to 120 volt AC outlets. (TV, microwave, air conditioner, furnace etc...) If you use it to charge the battery bank, be aware that it is not a very efficient method at all. Most RV generators charge batteries through the converter charger and you do not get the full output capacity of the generator, being limited by the amperage of the converter itself. Some generators do have a DC output (12 volts) but this method is not recommended as it has the potential to damage your batteries due to not having the voltage regulated. The resulting erratic amperage applied leaves a lot to be desired. Sometime

Most batteries don't die, they are murdered

All batteries self discharge every month, hooked up or not. If you leave your battery sitting around there is a very real risk it will never work again, or never work that good again. Batteries hate sitting. It is not a warranty if you didn't keep the battery in use, either by your driving habits, or using a battery charger or maintainer on it. Vehicle alternators are not battery chargers. While they do put back the energy just used to start your vehicle, they are not meant to recharge a battery that was already low, and is now even lower from starting your vehicle. This is hard on the alternator and increases the risk of you needing to replace it. Also, if you do a lot of short trips in cit

Deep Cycle vs Starting Batteries

Starting batteries are designed to throw a lot of juice once to start your car. They have thin lead plates compared to thick lead plates in the deep cycles. This plate design allows the burst of juice your vehicle needs to start. The alternator then works to recharge the battery that was just drained down a little from starting the vehicle. They are not meant to be deeply discharged and recharged the way the deep cycles are. There are combination starting and deep cycle batteries available, these are something like an all season tire, they do the job, but not as good as a true deep cycle, or a true starting battery. Deep cycles are great for camping and off grid use. They can be discharged a

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