Best Solar Trickle Chargers – Top reviews of 2019

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 2019.

4.5

ECO-WORTHY 12 Volts 10 Watts Portable

SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer

Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer

What Are the Best Solar Car Battery Trickle Chargers For Sale in 2019?

Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer

Best Value

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.

PROS:

  • Excellent value
  • Cigarette lighter plug, alligator clips, and extension cord ensure you can always plug this in to your vehicle’s battery

CONS:

  • Some user reviews indicate that in very hot climates the plastic may melt in direct sunlight

POWOXI Solar Battery Charger

This solar trickle charger boasts of an extra efficient photovoltaic to electric charging. Like the product before it on the list, it comes with a cigarette lighter charger and alligator clips, allowing for multiple ways to connect it to the battery.

Tempered glass protects the trickle charger from the elements and its durable construction ensures that it will last as long as you need it to, without failing at the worst possible time. It is simple to install and use. As a signal of its durability, the manufacturer offers an included twelve-month warranty.

What really puts it over the top for us, and what earns it the coveted “Editor’s Choice” award, is its total balance of features. Efficient and effective solar charging, durable construction, tempered glass, excellent warranty, and multiple charging options all combine to make for a single, excellent product.

The user reviews on Amazon speak to the charger’s popularity. With a total rating of 4.5 stars over 115 reviews, the unit earns raves from most people. They speak of excellent performance in a variety of climates and weather, consistent charging, and suction cups that adhere without causing any lasting damage to vehicles.

PROS:

  • All of the features one could want
  • Reasonable price
  • Excellent durability
  • Suction cups don’t cause any damage when mounted to the vehicles or walls

CONS:

  • A little bit more expensive than the Best Value unit
  • Some users note that the positive and negative terminals seem to be swapped on some units. (Make sure the blue light turns on when you’re using it!)

ECO-WORTHY 12 Volts 10 Watts Portable

Editor's Pick

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.

PROS:

  • Great Amazon reviews (on balance)
  • Built to withstand time and the elements

CONS:

  • Some Amazon reviewers complain of lackluster customer service
  • Like some other units, extreme heat may warp the unit if left in the sun

SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer

Most Popular

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.

PROS:

  • Highly popular with users
  • Reasonably priced
  • Multiple adapters for ease of use

CONS:

  • A little more expensive than the bargain units at the beginning of the list

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

PROS:

  • Multiple models
  • Glass coating keeps out dust, rain, wind, snow, and hail
  • Durable construction

CONS:

  • No additional extension cord comes standard with this solar powered trickle charger

Best features of solar trickle chargers

Best features of solar trickle chargers

When deciding on which solar trickle charger to buy, you’ll want to keep a few category features in mind. Of course, a standing caveat is to always consider what you’re using the product for and how much power you need. If you need to keep a large RV battery charged over an entire winter, your needs will differ from a person looking to keep a small nightlight on over the weekend.

Ease of Installation

As most people are not electricians or engineers, the typical consumer is looking for a product that is easy to install and maintain. Luckily for that consumer, unlike solar charge controllers, all of the products included on this list are “plug and play.” If you’re especially worried about this feature though, you may wish to choose a product that offers free lifetime technical support, as having someone you can call about any issues can make a world of difference when dealing with a problem.

Adhesion

Most of these products are going to end up attached to the roof of a moving vehicle. As a result, they need to stick properly to the vehicle without causing any damage or lasting marks. Suction cups and magnets perform this function for solar trickle chargers, and do so remarkably well.

Weatherproofing

Solar trickle chargers spend their time outside, on the roofs of vehicles in all sorts of weather and climates. Rain, hail, sleet, snow, and high winds are all possibilities, depending on where you live. The solar powered trickle charger you choose must be able to withstand all of these. Solar trickle chargers accomplish this task via the use of tempered glass over top of the solar panels. Keep in mind that this glass should be cleaned regularly, in order to ensure that the solar panels are soaking up as many of the sun’s rays as they’re capable of.

Reliability

This is not a product you want to fail on you as it’s likely to happen at the worst possible moment. Isn’t that how it always is with chargers of any kind? Make sure to choose one that’s made well, ensuring consistent reliability. The last thing you want is to plug one of these into your vehicle at the beginning of winter before you park your RV, only to find out the next summer that the thing wasn’t working at all and your battery is now dead.

Reverse Charging Protection

Some of these units contain reverse charging protection, which prevents the solar trickle charger from inadvertently draining power from your battery, rather than charging it. It is an important feature if the charger is going to be left, connected and unattended, for months at a time. You also want to look for a unit that prevents overcharging, which is exactly what it sounds like and can damage the vehicle battery.

Give it away or keep it? The ultimate solar trickle charger dilemma

Because of their extreme versatility, solar car battery chargers and battery tenders make perfect gifts, especially for a person with multiple recreational vehicles. The infrequent nature of the use of these vehicles makes them perfect candidates for battery drain and, therefore, the perfect recipients for one of these chargers.

They should especially be considered in very cold climes, where the frigid temperatures work on car batteries with a slow and steady relentlessness. They’re also very useful in climates with large temperature swings, which can also put a lot of stress on vehicle batteries, and in areas with consistent sunlight, where the solar collection feature works especially well. (In fact, in the latter situation you may consider grabbing a solar car fan as well.)

All of this means that you’ll have to decide whether you’re actually willing to part with one when you receive it! Of course, given the inexpensive nature of the product (the Best Value winner clocks in at less than $25) you may wish to buy a few extra and keep one for yourself while giving the rest away as gifts to those with a demonstrated desire for solar products (like these portable solar panels).

Be Creative

You don’t only need to use these trickle chargers on a vehicle. The user reviews on Amazon and a bit of creativity on your part will reveal a multitude of other uses for the products. Anywhere one needs a small amount of power could create utility for one of these trickle chargers. One could continuously power fans, lights, coolers, or any other small device you might need that’s far away from a more conventional energy source. And because, like solar generators, solar trickle chargers are available in a variety of power levels and sizes, you can get one that exactly suits your requirements.

Conclusion

Gone are the days when putting up with a dead vehicle battery was par for the course at the beginning of every summer. Much like RV solar panels, solar powered car battery trickle chargers make that problem a thing of the past and do so while putting very little strain on your budget. As is clear from the foregoing, we strongly recommend the POWOXI Solar Battery Charger. Its blend of features and value is the perfect combination for the vast majority of consumers and the positive Amazon reviews are proof of that. If you want to save a little bit of money though, you can’t go wrong with the Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer. At just under $23.00, you’ll hardly notice the cost. You’ll definitely notice the tremendous utility you get from the product though, as there’s hardly any product on the market as versatile and useful as these handy solar trickle chargers.

4.5 rating
Based on 33 reviews

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