Are you having a difficult time finding the best battery tender for RV? Well, there is no need to worry. This article provides an in-depth review of the best RV battery tenders available on the market.
Batteries are one of the most essential parts of any RV power system. Often referred to as the hidden hero, batteries are responsible for the functionality of your Rig. But, when you do not lose your RV for a long time, or if it is too cold, or if the camper is too old, its batteries tend to lose charge.
Although you will eventually replace the battery, you should at least get a few years of good use from it. This is where a battery tender comes to play.
With many types, sizes, and capacities of RV battery tenders on the market, it can be a daunting task to find the best battery tender for RV. After plenty of research, we found that the NOCO GENIUS2, 2-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger is the best choice.
Not only does it deliver efficient charging, but it’s also suitable for a wide variety of RV battery types. Let us look at 9 of the best battery tender for RV available on the market, but first a glimpse of the top quick picks.
Top 3 Quick Picks for The Best RV Battery Tender
|1. NOCO GENIUS2, Fully-Automatic Smart Charger- Best Overall|
|If you have lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries, NOCO GENIUS2 is the best RV battery tender for you. It is a versatile all-in-one battery tender that maintains and charges RV batteries. Thus, optimizing their performance and extending their lifespan.|
|2. Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer- Best for Efficiency and Safety Features|
|RV enthusiasts who value efficiency should not forget the Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer. It consists of only 1.25 amps but can outperform any 3-amp model. |
It also protects your battery from short-circuiting, reverse polarity, and sparking.
|3. BLACK+DECKER BM3B Battery Charger- Best Budget Pick|
|Designed for Gel, lead-acid, and AGM batteries, BLACK+DECKER BM3B Battery Charger is an affordable and versatile option. It comes equipped with automatic operation and a 3-stage charging process.|
Related: Quietest Generator for Camping
Is Battery Tender Good for Deep Cycle Batteries?
Battery tenders aid in charging and maintaining various battery types. Some of them include deep cycle batteries. Deep cycle batteries are unique battery types designed for heavy vehicles, like campers, boats, and RVs.
They allow a controlled power flow to ensure that it remains active for a prolonged time.
The best RV battery tender will ensure that the batteries remain in good working condition even when in storage for several months. Thus, they are best for use by rig owners who rarely use their vehicles.
And, battery tenders maintain the RV batteries without offering the damaging effects resulting from trickle chargers.
Best Battery Tender for RV Reviews
9. CTEK MUS 4.3: Best for Cold Climates and Efficiency
Ideal for use in cold weather conditions, the CTEK MUS 4.3 is a fast-charging battery tender. It can revive a dead RV battery in at least 12 hours.
Thanks to its automatic 8-step battery tests, this battery tender tests the condition of your RV’s battery. It revives, charges, and maintains the charge to ensure the best battery life and performance.
This battery tender has AC and DC cables designed to withstand cold weather. In turn, you can use this battery tender under any climatic condition.
Another impressive feature of the CTEK MUS 4.3 is its safety features: Once the temperature drops, this battery tender goes into ‘snowflake’ mode, its spark-proof, short-circuits proof,water and dust-resistant.
The CTEK MUS 4.3 protects RV batteries against reverse polarity and overcharging in hot climates.
8. Schumacher SC1281: Best for Features
If you are looking for an easy-to-use, and reliable RV battery tender with plenty of features, the Schumacher SC1281 is an ideal option. Although it is heavy, weighing 12.65 pounds, this battery tender comes with a wide range of features.
For instance, it charges various battery types, including standard, gel, AGM, and deep cycle batteries.
The Schumacher SC1281 is the best as it consists of many modes. It features a 100 Amp jumpstart and 30 Amp quick boosts. In turn, this means it can start cars, SUVs, large trucks, and even large batteries in cold weather.
Other features include auto-voltage detection, multi-stage charging, and a digital readout. It also comes with auto-repairs sulfated plates and an in-built alternator tester.
7. NOCO Genius GEN: Best Interactive Battery Tender
Ideal for starter and deep cycle batteries, the NOCO Genius Gen Battery Tender is efficient. It comes with multi-safety features and barriers. The battery tender is IP68 waterproof, shock and vibration resistant, and resistant to corrosion.
It protects against reverse polarity, short-circuits, open circuits, and sparks. Thanks to its unique design and efficiency, it prevents unfavorable charging conditions: such as overheating, overcurrent, and overcharging, ensuring that your RV battery remains safe at all times.
The NOCO Genius Gen is an interactive battery tender. It changes the charging process according to the organic feedback from the battery. The feedback comes from the battery’s internal environment. Which aids in improving its overall performance.
It is also vital to note that this battery tender observes your RV battery’s charging cycles.
6. Black+Decker BC2WBD: Best Battery Tender for Deep Cycle Batteries
Thanks to its automatic feature, you can set and forget the BLACK+DECKER BC2WBD. It is a 2 Amp battery tender most suitable for deep cycle batteries. It’s compatible with GEL, AGM, or WET 12-volt batteries. Furthermore, this battery tender reads the level of charge on your battery and maintains the most charge.
The BLACK+DECKER BC2WBD comes with an IP67 rating (it is waterproof, dustproof, and completely sealed).
Like the NOCO, the B+D Tender consists of in-built protection guards against reverse polarity, overcharging, and short-circuitry.
The BC2WBD offers three ways to connect: battery terminal rings, 12V DC accessory plug, and battery clamps. It also contains a magnetic backing and hanging hook for hands-free and convenient operation.
5. NOCO GENIUS1 1-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger: Best for Versatility
If you are looking for a versatile RV battery tender, NOCO GENIUS1 is the perfect option. Ideal for maintenance-free or lead-acid batteries, this battery tender maintains the peak state of your RV batteries while ensuring they remain charged.
NOCO Genius1 is compatible with 12 LifePO4 car batteries with Battery Management System (BMS). Moreover, the NOCO Genius1 is the best battery tender for RV as it auto-detects low voltages and features a Distinctive Force Mode.
Thanks to its high-efficiency design, this remarkable battery tender is ideal for batteries with up to 30AH.
4. Battery Tender Junior Charger and Maintainer: Best for Portability
This is another excellent RV battery tender that prolongs and keeps your RV batteries in optimal working condition. Designed for GEL, AGM, and lead-acid batteries, it functions as a trickle charger.
The Battery Tender Junior Charger and Maintainer is easy to use and even simpler to attach to your battery charger. It has an output of 12V and delivers a maximum current of 0.750 Amp.
The battery tender features a smart brain that enables it to turn on the safe maintaining level upon fully charging the battery.
3. BLACK+DECKER BM3B Battery Charger: Best Budget Pick
Designed for 6V and 12V RV batteries, the BLACK+DECKER BM3B battery charger is an affordable and durable option for RV Camer owners. It is the best battery tender for RV as it comes equipped with a battery voltage selector.
It consists of sturdy and durable housing and a fully automatic high-frequency charging functionality. When the battery reaches maximum charging capacity, this battery tender automatically stops and switches to float mode.
There are three simple ways to connect this battery tender to your RV battery: a battery ring terminal, a 12V DC accessory plug, and battery clips. Regardless of the connection method used, its AC low voltage compensation mechanism guarantees the best performance.
The BLACK+DECKER BM3B Battery charger comes with LED indicators to show the different status of the battery. For instance, it will tell you when charged, reverse connection, or in the process of charging.
It also comes with standard safety features and an in-built mounting bracket for convenient placement.
2. Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer: Best for Efficiency and Safety Features
If you are looking for a smart charger to keep your RV batteries charged throughout, the Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer is the perfect option. It is an easy-to-use multi-state charger.
The Battery Tender Plus charges faster than most 3 Amp chargers available on the market. It is compatible with a wide range of battery types, including lead-acid, AGM, GEL, and deep cycle batteries.
The Battery Tender Plus features impressive safety features. It instantly detects reverse polarity and is spark proof.
That observes power levels and alerts you on the power storage and charge level of your battery. Other features include alligator clips, a Quick disconnect harness, and a fused ring terminal harness.
1. NOCO GENIUS2 Fully-Automatic Smart Charger: Best Overall
This is our top pick as it is one of the most advanced chargers in its category. It is an excellent choice for charging batteries as it is fully automatic and comes with several safety features.
They include resistance to vibrations and shock, waterproof, and resistant to corrosion. It protects against overcharge, ignition, and overcurrent.
The NOCO Genius2 is an onboard battery charger that maintains two 12v batteries independently. It is suitable for charging all types of 25-230Ah lead-acid batteries, including wet, deep cycle, AGM, and GEL cell batteries.
It is also worth noting that it is compact but delivers 115 percent more power than other chargers in its class.
Related: Best RV Generator
Benefits of an RV Battery Tender
If you are a rig owner who uses his/her rig once or twice per year, it is vital to invest in a battery tender. Here are some reasons why.
Battery tenders are an ideal solution for keeping your RV batteries in a healthy and prime state. Unlike traditional car batteries, you cannot recharge the camper batteries by plugging them into a wall socket.
It helps in preserving the ideal storage charge when the RV is not in use. In turn, you do not have to worry about reviving or replacing your RV batteries once they lose their charge.
Ensures Your RV Batteries Remain Charged
Almost all RV have the same simple service life. Once left unused for a long duration, the charge in their batteries gradually reduces until there is none left.
Like any other vehicle, once the batteries run out of juice, you have to pump some life into them and rescue them from their deep discharge state.
A battery tender helps in reviving your RV batteries. It keeps them healthy and functional at all times. In turn, they guarantee maximum performance of your RV batteries while extending their lifespan.
Prolong Lifespan of Tired RV Batteries
It is crucial to note that not all RV battery tenders can restore dead RV batteries. Luckily, there are different types of RV battery tenders and maintainers available on the market that can suit your specific RV battery.
In turn, it will bring it back to life within a few hours.
Prepare for All Seasons
As it gets cold, the harder it gets for your RV batteries to keep their charge. A battery tender is a cost-efficient and reliable way to ensure that your RV batteries keep the charge.
This is especially true if you do not use the camper for a prolonged duration. Using this type of battery will ensure that its battery retains the best performance without overcharging or damaging it.
Additionally, battery tenders aid in protecting the RV battery against surges and overheating. They allow a minimal amount of electricity to flow into the batteries, enough to keep them functional. When used well, together with regular RV maintenance, they prolong your battery’s lifespan and save money over time.
Related: How Much Does It Cost To Rent An RV?
Can You Allow a Battery Tender To Stay on All The Time?
Yes, you can leave your battery tender on throughout. But, you must check your RV batteries regularly to protect them from unfavorable charging conditions. Make sure you check the electrolyte levels of your RV batteries monthly.
Is a Battery Tender and a Trickle Charger the Same?
No. A battery tender charges your RV batteries only when required as it provides only the ideal storage charge.
They are smart devices. Once they detect the RV battery is low, they automatically turn it on to charge it until full. They then turn off again and go to float mode.
Alternatively, trickle chargers provide a constant low charge current at a steady rate. This occurs regardless of whether you discharge the battery or not.
How Do You Use A Battery Tender on an RV?
Using the best RV battery tender is more than connecting cables. It requires that you follow the instructions in the manual. Below are the general steps to follow when using a battery tender on an RV.
- Disconnect the battery cables from their terminals. Start with the black or negative cable first, followed by the red (positive) cable
- Turn off the tender and disconnect it from any electric outlet
- Connect the positive terminal to the positive battery tender cable and the negative terminal to the negative battery tender cable
- Set the speed you want to charge the RV battery. Also, choose whether the battery tender will operate for a specific duration or automatically switch off once charged
- Do not fumble with the battery tender once it is set up
- Switch off and disconnect the battery tender once the battery reaches maximum charge
- Disconnect the cables starting with the negative ones then positive
What is a Battery Tender for RV?
A battery tender maintains the charge in an RV without exposing its battery to unfavorable charging conditions. Battery tenders automatically shut down upon fully charging the RV battery.
What is the Ideal Size of Battery Charger for my RV?
Generally, a battery charger should be a least 10% of the Ah rating of your RV battery.
For example, a 300Ah battery requires at least a 30 Amp charger. The size of your charger should be approximately 20% of its total capacity to protect it from overcharging.
As mentioned earlier, all car batteries tend to lose charge over time. But, that does not mean that you should get rid of them or get them recharged at a service station. You can easily buy the best battery tender for RV and restore your RV battery to its former glory.
If you have gone through our list, you are likely to have made a decision already. If not, we recommend the NOCO GENIUS2, 2-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger as the overall best battery tender for RV. Not only is it durable and powerful, but it also utilizes smart charging technology to power various types of batteries and charges quickly.
If you have a tight budget but still want to get value for your money, we recommend the BLACK+DECKER BM3B Battery Charger. It is more affordable but still comes with automatic functionality and a wide array of quality safety features.