The 10 Best Solar Battery Maintainers
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in February of 2018. You may have seen these called "Solar Battery Tenders," a phrase that the company Deltran is attempting, through their law firm Akerman LLP, to prevent us from using to describe them. In any case, solar battery maintainers use energy from the Sun to trickle-charge cells, keeping the voltage at optimal levels and extending the lifespan of your battery, so it's always ready to go when you are. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 03, 2021:
While we ended up doing away with the MoPower2U Charger and AM Solar Trik-L-Start, due to availability issues, and we also decided to remove the Renogy Adventurer, recognizing that the company already had representation on this list – in the form of the Renogy Wanderer – and believing that the Adventurer’s 30-amp capacity probably makes it a better fit for our list of Best Solar Charge Controllers.
Our new additions this time around are the Solperk Adjustable Mount — which comes with a mounting bracket that allows its 20-watt panel to rotate 360 degrees; the Aeisuny Power Kit — a lightweight and compact model that’s offered with either a five- or 10-watt panel; and the Sunway Solar Portable — which includes a five-watt panel with a durable ABS-plastic and tempered-glass housing, and suction cups for convenient windshield mounting.
If you’re somebody who’s widely interested in solar solutions, then you might also be interested in looking into our rankings for portable solar generators, solar panels for off-grid systems and solar power inverters.
May 10, 2019:
Depending on the size of your electrical system and what kind of vehicle it's in, there are different ways to maintain the batteries and keep them working at maximum efficiency for as long as possible. We've compiled some of the most useful methods, from simple trickle chargers to multipurpose controllers.
We've also recently changed the name of the category, in light of the fact that DTC or "Deltran," the makers of the official Battery Tender®, sent us a fairly sharply-worded letter on May 10th, 2019, accusing us of misusing of their trademarked name "Battery Tender". Our page was entitled "Solar Battery Tenders", so we're not really convinced that this company has any right to bully us into changing the name of our page, but the given the necessities of generating billable hours at certain Palm Beach law firms, we decided they could have it their way, and we changed the name of the page and removed all of this company's products from our website. A company with such enthusasim for prodding the English language with sharpened legal spears is generally not to be recommended highly in these pages.
Incidentally, it does seem possible that a company could enforce a trademark, to prevent sales of a competing item which had a confusingly similar name. But in this case, Ezvid Wiki is a media organization, and our right to free speech does allow us to use the English language without being hassled by our friends in the legal industry. We can't imagine Ackerman LLP (the fancy law firm who approached us about this issue) attempting to constrain the speech of journalists at known newspapers, for example, telling them which words they could and could not use to describe a piece of electronics. We're politely asking that Ackerman go find someone else to bother.
What we did include are a few plug-and-play solar panels, the MoPower2U, Suner, and Powoxi. They connect directly to the battery or to a properly wired DC connector and, as long as they're working right, shouldn't drain the battery even if it's dark out, thanks to their built-in blocking diodes. The Renogy Wanderer, ZealLife, and Trik-L-Start are low-amperage units that are mostly designed to keep batteries topped off, and for that they work well. If you're looking for a more heavy-duty unit, the Renogy Adventurer, Xantex Echo, and BatteryMinder are all excellent choices, and work well at the helm of 15-amp systems or more. But by far the most full-featured line is the Clore Pro-Logix. Of its six available models, one is sure to fill your needs, no matter how great or small your current requirements. The larger versions also feature a boost mode that ensures your system will always have the power it needs, even during energy-intensive activities like starting the engine.