We’ve all been there. We get into the camper or RV that’s been stored in the garage all winter and, when we attempt to start it, we hear that dreaded click. The battery is dead. No camping trip for you and the family, at least until you get a new battery or if you’re willing to risk it dying again, boost this one.
It’s best to simply avoid that entire situation and solar-powered car battery trickle chargers allow you to do that. Simply put, these chargers convert solar energy from the sun into electric power, which is slowly fed in a low-amperage stream to a car battery (or any other kind of battery) in order to help it maintain its charge. It combats the long, slow, steady outflow of energy from a charged battery that is especially acute in very low temperatures.
Not limited to the driveway, creativity can turn what appears to be a vehicle-only product into a versatile charging solution. Amazon user reviews suggest these items have been used for everything from powering room fans to keeping the lights on. Read on below to find out what the best solar trickle chargers are for 2020.
ECO-WORTHY 12 Volts 10 Watts Portable
SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger and Maintainer
Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger and Maintainer
- 1 What Are the Best Solar Car Battery Trickle Chargers For Sale in 2020?
- 2 Best features of solar trickle chargers
- 3 Give it away or keep it? The ultimate solar trickle charger dilemma
- 4 Conclusion
What Are the Best Solar Car Battery Trickle Chargers For Sale in 2020?
1. Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer
This “Amazon’s Choice” product has won our “Best Value” award as well. It comes in at $22, but also comes with free shipping (if you add another $3 worth of products to the order) and a coupon (at the time of writing) that will save you an additional 5% off the purchase price. For that excellent price, you get a fully-featured solar trickle charger for your RV, car, motorcycle, boat or snowmobile.
This solar trickle charger comes complete with a cigarette lighter plug in order to feed the power collected from the powerful solar panels directly to your car battery. It comes standard with a 12 foot extension cord to make sure you’re not left hanging with a cord that doesn’t quite meet your needs, and the solar panels are covered with a durable glass that keeps out the rain and snow without blocking precious sunlight. It also includes alligator clips to connect to the vehicle’s battery.
This product even prevents “reverse charging,” a phenomenon in which a battery charger actually drains power from the battery in order to “charge” the charging device.
User reviews suggest that many consumers use this solar trickle charger for RVs they don’t use very much. Rather than allow the vehicle to sit and the battery to drain, they use the charger to keep the RV battery topped up and ready for use. One troubling issue was mentioned on those same reviews. A problem crept up for some users who lived in very hot climates where, when left in the sun (which is where a manufacturer should expect a solar panel to be left) in the summer heat, the plastic warped and melted, ruining the item.
That problem was noted not just for this product, but for many on this list, suggesting that it’s an inherent design flaw for solar trickle chargers generally. Definitely keep this in mind if you live in a blistering and sunny climate.
- Excellent value
- Cigarette lighter plug, alligator clips, and extension cord ensure you can always plug this in to your vehicle’s battery
- Some user reviews indicate that in very hot climates the plastic may melt in direct sunlight
2. ECO-WORTHY 12 Volts 10 Watts Portable
This no-frills solar panel charger comes with cigarette lighter and alligator clip adapters. It’s point of difference seems to be its durability. Rust-proof, shock-proof, dust-proof, and weather-proof, this unit is designed to go the distance.
There is no extension cord that comes standard with the units, so you’ll need to make sure that it can actually reach your cigarette lighter or battery from where it’s going to sit. Keep in mind as well that this solar charger does not contain reverse charging protection, which means its possible that, if the unit is defective, it could end up draining your battery rather than charging it.
The latter possibility is unlikely though, given the overall excellent reviews from over 300 Amazon customers.
- Great Amazon reviews (on balance)
- Built to withstand time and the elements
- Some Amazon reviewers complain of lackluster customer service
- Like some other units, extreme heat may warp the unit if left in the sun
3. SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer
Lifetime technical support and a twelve-month warranty round out an excellent package from Suner Power in this solar trickle charger. Including both a cigarette lighter adapter and alligator clips like the other products on this list, the charger is designed to maintain and charge all sorts of batteries. It’s specifically designed to work well with vehicles of all types, especially RVs that are rarely used. It’s great for plugging into your recreational vehicle over the winter when you’re not using it to ensure that, when you do want to take it out on the road, the battery is fully charged.
The winner of our “Most Popular” award, this product garners 4.5 stars out of 74 customer reviews. Its median rating is a stunning 5-stars, with fully 73% of voting users giving this solar trickle charger a perfect 5-star rating.
Demanding a mere $46 from your wallet, this product won’t break the bank or put a strain on your finances. That undoubtedly adds to its commanding popularity. Users are impressed with its workmanship and durability, value, and reliability. When combined with the aforementioned warranty and tech support, it’s no wonder that this one of the most popular solar trickle chargers on Amazon.
- Highly popular with users
- Reasonably priced
- Multiple adapters for ease of use
- A little more expensive than the bargain units at the beginning of the list
4. POWISER 3.3W Solar Battery Charger
This amorphous silicon panel solar trickle charger is designed for use in vehicles requiring a battery charger and maintainer during extended periods of non-use, especially in extremely cold weather.
Its glass coating doesn’t interfere with solar ray collection but does make the charger very easy to clean (which should be done regularly so dust and dirt don’t prevent the charger from soaking up the sun’s energy) and allows it to withstand hail, rain, snow, and sleet. The weather-proof features add to the already durable item’s ability to last as long as you need it to. This charger won’t fail when you need it the most.
The unit is easy to install and can be mounted with either suction cups or magnets without causing any damage to the vehicle to which it is attached. Assuming you use good quality magnets or cups, it will stay attached in any weather and continue to work.
The charger comes in two flavors: a 3.3W $40 unit and a 1.8W $23 charger. While we certainly recommend the more powerful one (and that’s the one linked to above), if you only require a minuscule amount of power, the 1.8W model may be sufficient for you
- Multiple models
- Glass coating keeps out dust, rain, wind, snow, and hail
- Durable construction
- No additional extension cord comes standard with this solar powered trickle charger