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Old 03-05-2011, 07:53 AM   #11
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I use a Black and Decker Smart Charger:

Black & Decker Tools | 110 Amp Engine Start - 40 Amp / 20 Amp / 10 Amp / 4 Amp Continuous Charge Rates - Smart Battery Charger

I chose this particular model, because I have 2 12V batteries in parallel with a 260 20 hour AH rating and with the 40 amp charge rate selection it will charge my batteries much faster than others will with a lower charge rate. It is a 3-stage charger and will automatically shut off when the batteries are fully charged. It can be set for wet, gel or AGM batteries. It checks voltage, for internal shorted cells and internal open cells. When used for vehicles, it checks the alternator and also has an engine start feature for dead batteries, so you do not have to wait to charge in order to get the vehicle started. It has worked very well for me.

Not everyone may want, need or be able to afford that model with those features. They have several models to select from:

Black & Decker Tools | Battery Chargers

I have been very happy with mine. I have been using it for over three years. There are other companies which make chargers which may be good as well, but my experience has been with the Black & Decker and I am completely satisfied. Good luck.

Glenn
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn5995 View Post
I chose this particular model, because I have 2 12V batteries in parallel with a 260 20 hour AH rating
I like your strategy of 2 12's in parallel rather than 2 6's in series.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:46 AM   #13
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I like your strategy of 2 12's in parallel rather than 2 6's in series.
It works well for us. They each (6V or 12V) have advantages and disadvantages, so everyone needs to decide which will work best for their situations and needs. In our case we have the ability to recharge because we have 2 Honda EU2000i generators with a parallel kit, so maximum use is not of prime concern. I just want to be able to go a few days without running the generators. I have two Trojan SCS225s in parallel which results in a 260AH 20-hour rating and 450 minutes @ 25 amp capacity, which allows me to go three to five days without recharging, depending on electrical usage/demands.

We frequently "dry camp/boondock" and resources/supplies can easily be 50+ miles away. If I went with 2 6-volts in series and one went bad, I am out of business. With 2 12-volts, I can isolate the bad one and operate on one, although at a reduced capacity. If I do need to replace one, 6-volts can be difficult to find in rural areas, but almost any small town with an auto parts store will have some type of 12-volt RV/Marine battery. It may not be exactly what I want, but it will get me back up and going. Also if the battery in my tow vehicle dies, 6-volts have no cranking amps available with which to jump start your vehicle. 12-volt RV/Marines can be used to jump start your vehicle.

12-volts in parallel are not the answer for everyone, but I believe they are the best for my situation. If I were going to dry camp for extended periods without the use of a generator, I might have decided otherwise.

I am just giving my thoughts and experiences for anyone considering what type of battery set-up to go with. Everyone will need to decide what is best for them. Happy Camping!

Glenn
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:26 PM   #14
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Thanks for the response Glenn, looks like a great charger.

MoonunitNV
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:28 PM   #15
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I think the main idea behind 2 6's is that (somehow) they are more of a true Deep Cycle and will theoretically last longer. But I'm pretty confident that the Trojan 12V is a good deep cycle battery. I keep mine on a battery minder 24/7 and my batteries last 7 to 8 years (even my regular batteries).
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:13 AM   #16
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I think the main idea behind 2 6's is that (somehow) they are more of a true Deep Cycle and will theoretically last longer. But I'm pretty confident that the Trojan 12V is a good deep cycle battery. I keep mine on a battery minder 24/7 and my batteries last 7 to 8 years (even my regular batteries).
Exactly, the 6-volts are true deep cycle batteries. Most 12-volt RV/Marines are a hybrid between a starting battery and a true deep cycle. There are true 12-volt deep cycles, but they are normally very heavy and large. Theoretically, if you had a deep cycle and a RV/Marine battery with the same AH and reserve capacity, you could discharge the deep cycle more deeply without effecting the longevity of the battery. The deep cycle would therefore last longer on a cycle than the RV/Marine, but if you completely discharged them, they would last the same amount of time.
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