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I got a new battery the other day. Deep cycle trolling battery. The guy at the store told me slow charge is best and will make the battery last longer. I purchased a 1.5 watt trickle charger. I was told the batteries arrive at 8 percent charge. It has been charging for 36 hours and is still not at full charge. How long should it take to charge all the way up? Is the information I received good information. I have a 10amp charger. Will it hurt my battery charging it with it then maintaining the charge with the trickle charger? I hate to ruin a 100 dollar battery.
 

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The rule of thumb for deep cycle batteries is battery Amp HR rating x .2 = max charge rate. A 100 amp/hr deep cycle battery can be charged at up to 20 A. A 75A/hr battery can be charged at up to 15 A. Use a trickle charger to maintain the charge once it is charged. Depth of discharge is the main factor determining the life of a deep cycle battery. Buying a battery that will do what you need to do without exceeding 50% discharge is good economics. Don't ever let it get below 10.6 V. Permanant damage can occur if it get's below 10.6V.
 

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While you can follow the max charge rates mentioned in Sinker Man's post - a slow charge is best for the long term care of your deep cycle battery. Deep cycles should be charged slowly. An occasional quick charge won't harm it but you shouldn't charge it that way on a regular basis. I use the 2 amp setting on my charger for recharging.

Here's a web site with some good info on deep cycle batteries.
 

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Charging at too high of an amperage can cause the plates to overheat and warp. If you stay within 20% of the batteries amp/hr rating there is little danger of overheating. IE 80 amp/hr batteries should not be charged with more than 16A of current. An automotive type battery charger will charge a deep/cycle battery without damage if you select the charger according to this. You should maintain your charge on a deepcycle battery with an automatic trickle charger of 1.5 to 2amps.
 

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Correct, a lower amp rating charge will help the batteries live longer.
A trickle charger wont top off or charge a battery,, it will just maintain the charge.

You will want/prefer to have a 3 stage automatic charger.

Ones I've used and like very much are the BPS (Bass Pro Shop by ProMariner) which charges at 5 amp rate (I had the 3 bank, so it was a 5/5/5 amp), it worked very well and did not "cook" the batteries. Though it takes longer to charge over all, just plug it in at the end of the day and the next day the batt/batts will be fully charged and ready to rock.

The MinnKota MK-210 dual bank charger is another one I used and liked very much. Again, 3 stage charging... i.e. initial bulk charge, steady charge, then into maintenance mode.

You can leave automatic chargers plug'd in 24/7 without fear of smokin the batteries.

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MinnKota are all examples of good waterproof onboard chargers that work great and can dual purpose as well... dont need to be mounted in a boat... I've even used my MinnKota to maintain my lawn tractor batt in the off season.

Bass guys that need quick turn around on their trolling motors are the folks that usually use the higher amp charge ratings... but them guys also go thru batt's and tend to drain them down alot.. If possible and dont need the quick turn around... stick to a lower amp rate of charge type charger, it will serve you and the batt's alot better! ;)







 

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One cheap tip from the run and gun boys is to set your battery down on six fairly thick rubber grommets to act as shock absorbers and allow an air space between the battery and the battery box. It will help dissapate battery heat if you find yourself a long way from home with an outboard that won't start. You can get the grommets from most electrical supply dealers. The grommets are mainly used to protect wires from chafing and shorting where they have to pass thru metal. Try to get some about the diameter of a quarter. Not really a whole lot of insurance, but it is cheap.
 
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