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How To Choose Between Trickle Charger Vs Float Charger?

Which charger is best for maintaining your vehicle’s battery? A trickle charger or a floating charger? Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Which one is right for you?

Keeping your battery charged when you own a boat, car, or motorcycle is important. A dead battery can ruin your plans and cause you to lose time and money. This is why it is important to invest in high-quality battery chargers. It can be overwhelming to choose the right one among so many options. We hope you find our guide helpful in choosing the right one.

Two battery chargers are very popular: trickle chargers and float chargers. Each type has its benefits but can’t be used interchangeably. We will highlight the differences between trickle and float chargers in this article so you can choose which is most suitable for your needs.

What’s a Trickle Charger ?

An electronic device which slowly charges the battery over time is called a trickle charger. The charger delivers a low current to the battery. This helps maintain the voltage of your batteries and prevents them from discharging. When the battery’s power is not required for a prolonged period of time, trickle chargers can be used.

Trickle Charger: How to Use It?

It is simple to use a trickle charger. Connect the charger to the terminals. Before attaching the charger, make sure it is off. Next, turn the unit on and allow it to charge for a while.

What Time Does It Take to Charge Car Batteries with a Trickle Charger?

The battery’s capacity and the charger’s output will determine the charging time. This method can charge your car’s battery in approximately 24-48 hours.

Why Trickle Charging is Better?

Because it provides a low current charging rate that protects the battery from overcharging or damage, trickle charging is a better option for battery maintenance. Trickle charging is a great way to extend the battery’s life, as it keeps your device fully charged while preventing any discharging.

Who Needs a Trickle Charger?

Anyone whose car battery will not be used for an extended period of time requires one. This includes car owners with second cars that are idle, classic car owners storing their cars during winter months and boat owners storing their vessels during off-seasons.

Pro’s and Con’s of Trickle Charging


  • When not in use, it helps to keep a battery charged
  • Protects the battery from overcharging or damage
  • Increase its lifespan
  • Use it easily


  • It takes time to charge the battery fully
  • This is not suitable to jumpstart a dead battery.
  • This option may be more costly than other options.

What’s a Float Charger?

A float charger is a battery charger that maintains its charge using constant voltage. Because it can automatically adjust the charging rate depending on temperature and battery conditions, the float charger may also be called a maintenance charger. The float charger is best for long-term batteries that are not used often or frequently, as it stops them from completely discharging.

What’s the Point of a Float Charger?

To keep your batteries healthy, you will need float chargers if you have a boat or vehicle that uses them. If left unattended for a long time, batteries can lose their charge. They also become permanent damaged. This is why a float charger can be used to prevent overcharging and undercharging.

How Do You Make a Floating Charger?

A float charger can be constructed in a few steps. A transformer, resistor and capacitor are all you will require. You can also buy pre-built floating chargers, which include all the necessary components.

How Does a Float Charger work?

The float charger applies a steady voltage to the battery which is slightly lower than its full charge voltage. The voltage stays constant until the battery reaches its full charge, after which it decreases it by 50% to avoid overcharging. This charger also monitors the temperature to ensure that it adjusts charging rates accordingly.

How Can You Avoid Overcharging?

To prevent charging too much, make sure you choose a suitable float charger for the battery. To prevent heating or overcharging, make sure it includes a temperature sensor and a voltage regulator. To avoid potential damage, ensure the charger is completely charged before disconnecting it.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Float Charging?


  • It is easy to use and keep clean
  • Avoids undercharging and overcharging
  • Battery life is increased
  • All types of batteries compatible


  • It takes longer to charge the battery when compared to a trickle charger
  • This is not suitable to charge a dead battery.
  • Extreme temperatures may cause the product to not function properly

Differences Between A Trickle Charger And Float Charger?

1. Charge Speed

Trickle chargers are designed to charge car batteries over an extended period slowly. They deliver a constant low current to the battery and take several hours before it fully charges. On the other hand, float chargers keep your car battery at its pre-charge level by providing just enough current to maintain its charge level without overcharging.

2. Battery Maintenance

For batteries that require frequent maintenance, trickle chargers can be a great choice. These chargers keep your battery fully charged even when it is not being used, preventing it from completely discharging. However, they are more suitable for seasonal or less frequently used batteries. Their purpose is to keep the battery charged over a longer period of time so your vehicle’s battery can be ready whenever you need it.

3. Overcharging

If left on for a prolonged period, trickle chargers can overcharge. Overcharging the battery can cause damage and reduce its life expectancy. Float chargers have been designed to protect the battery to prevent such damage. They deliver very low current to stop overcharging and prevent them from being damaged.

Which Is The Better Car Battery Charger?

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. The best battery choice depends on your specific requirements.

A trickle charger will be a better option if your car is driven frequently and the battery requires frequent attention. This charger will charge the battery, prevent it from completely discharging and prolong its life expectancy.

A float charger, on the other hand, is best if you only use your car occasionally during summer. This charger will keep the battery charged for a longer time, so it’s always available when you need it.

It is crucial to choose the right charger for your car’s battery in order to maximize its efficiency and prolong its life. You can choose between a trickle or float charger. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent damage or overcharging your battery.

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