A leisure battery charger is a very important accessory that will be appreciated in the unfortunate circumstance that your vehicle has a flat battery.
They can also help with battery maintenance by detecting any minor issues before they escalate into more severe problems.
Depending on the model of the caravan, you will often find that there are two batteries. While one is responsible for providing power to the motor, the other provides a power source for the 12V appliances inside caravans and motorhomes.
Upon an initial browse of the market, you will find that there are many different chargers available so which one is the best option for your caravan or motorhome?
We have taken the hard work out of the process and reviewed our top picks of the best options available.
Below you will also find our handy buyer's guide where we have provided you with lots of additional guidance and factors to consider to help make the process easier.
Before you go charging ahead, why not check out our top pick below.
OUR TOP PICK
With an excellent star rating and raving reviews to support this, there is no denying that the CTEK MXS 7.0 Automatic Battery Charger is a worthy contender.
Specifically intended for larger batteries it can deliver 7A to 12V batteries along with maintenance charging too. It can also be used in supply mode for 12V equipment up to 7A if the battery has been removed from the vehicle.
As a fully automatic battery charger, it is easy to use and the interface also displays each of the settings for easy identification of any potential errors.
It also comes with a winter program which can be used during warmer climates to ensure that the battery refrains from becoming damaged.
For safety, this charger is reverse polarity protected and it also comes with crocodile clamps and practical ring terminals which will maintain a secure position on the connective points of the battery. Aside from this, you are provided with an extension cable too.
Impressively, this charger comes with a reconditioning system which works to restore the battery life as well as reconditioning deeply discharged batteries.
In regards to durability, the internal compartments are enclosed in a splash and dustproof tough housing which will prevent the charger from damage.
- This battery charger is covered by a 5 year warranty should you experience any issues.
- It can be used for charging, supplying power and maintaining the batteries.
- It is manufactured by a company that has a great reputation for producing reliable chargers.
- This charger will extend the battery life by 3 times if used for regular recharging.
- The shockproof unit and durable housing protect this charger from damage.
- Some customers have reported that this charger is prone to getting rather hot when in its bulk charging state.
Used by patrols, the AA Battery Charger and Maintainer is a reliable device which can be used to charge the batteries of a range of vehicles, caravans included.
The built-in microprocessor assesses the health and state of the battery. It will then utilize this knowledge to provide the correct amount of voltage and current.
This charger is ideal for use in instances where the battery requires a top up and it is suitable for all variations of 6V and 12V lead-acid and gel batteries.
It also features reverse polarity protection along with short circuit protection for safe use. By charging the battery accurately, potential risks to the state of the battery are avoided.
Equipped with 1 pair of crocodile clamps and 1 pair of eyelet coordinators each coming with a 1.0m lead, this charger is going to maintain a secure grip for the duration of time in which it is being used.
The amount of time that this charger takes to bulk charge the battery up to 80% is going to differ depending on the type of battery.
While a 20 AH battery will take around 20 hours to charge, a 100 AH battery which is likely to be found in a caravan or motorhome is going to take much longer taking around 100 hours.
- It has an IP65 rating so it is sufficiently protected against damage.
- It is compatible with a range of batteries including lead-acid batteries and gel batteries.
- It is easy to use and comes with a clear LED display which shows each of the functions.
- The inbuilt microprocessor monitors the condition of the battery and provides the voltage and current accordingly.
- It retails at an affordable price which makes it ideal for those on a budget.
- It's going to take quite a long time to charge a caravan battery which may not be ideal for those looking for a faster option.
The Maypole MP7428 is an Electronic Smart Battery Charger that is suitable for use with a range of vehicles.
It is also suitable for use with both lead-acid and AGM batteries with a capacity ranging between 1.2Ah and 192Ah. In terms of vehicle size, it is suitable for those up to 5L.
Utilising a 9 stage automatic charging cycle this charger will detect the voltage and condition of the battery in its current state. Following this, it will then diagnose, charge and recondition the battery.
Additionally, it is also equipped with numerous safety features for safe use. This includes reverse polarity protection along with short circuit and open circuit detection.
This charger provides you with lengthy leads measuring 1.5m with insulated crocodile clips. These crocodile clips will maintain a secure and reliable grip on the battery to ensure that it charges without disruptions.
The unit is also wall mountable so it can be safely secured so you know that it is out of the way of potential damage too.
The rugged and robust casing protects this charger against damage. It also boasts an easy to use design which is ideal for those who lack previous experience of using such devices.
The LCD presents all of the key charging information. The display options can also be altered depending on what you wish to view e.g the battery voltage, the charging current or the % of full battery capacity.
- The LED indicators show the status of the unit e.g when it is charging, when it is fully charged and it will also alert you of any errors.
- It is suitable for use with a range of vehicles from cars and caravans to vans.
- The clear display makes this unit easy to use.
- The wall mountable casing allows you to secure the charger out of damage reach.
- As an automatic charger, it utilises a 9 stage charging cycle.
- This charger can take quite a long time to charge a battery from flat so it may not accommodate the needs of those looking for a fast alternative.
The Numax 12v 10 A Leisure Battery Charger surrounds a connect and forget concept as it has been designed for fast charging, deep discharge discovery and long term battery maintenance.
It isn't solely restricted for use with a singular type of vehicle either as it is compatible with caravans, motorhomes, cars, and marine boats.
Constructed with an aluminium body, this charger will allow the heat to dissipate rather than collect which will prevent the unit from overheating. The is further benefited by the inclusion of the inbuilt cooling fan.
As for suitability, this charger can be used with batteries that have a capacity ranging between 50 to 135 AH. In regards to the safety features, it is equipped with reverse polarity protection.
To connect this charger to the battery, you will need to use the leads with capped eyelets and crocodile clips and plug connectors.
The clips will maintain a secure grip on the connection points to ensure that the battery is charged sufficiently.
- This charger is covered by a 1 year warranty should you experience any problems with the functionality.
- It is suitable for use with a range of vehicles besides caravans and motorhomes.
- It delivers fast charging performance so you won't have to wait for long for the battery to reach its full capacity.
- It is compactly sized making it an ideal portable option for those who require its use in different locations.
- The combination of the inbuilt fan and aluminium body prevents this charger from overheating.
- It retails within a higher price range which may make it an unsuitable option for those who are on a budget.
Recognized as one of the best brands of automotive battery chargers, the NOCO GENIUS5UK Fully Automatic Charger is bound to cater to all of your charging needs.
It is compatible with a multitude of vehicles from motorcycles, lawnmowers, tractors, campervans and campers and has been designed for 6 volt and 12 volt lead-acid, AGM, flooded and gel batteries.
Courtesy of the integrated thermal sensor, the unit will detect the ambient temperature and once it has done so, it will alter the charge current accordingly.
This feature will alter the functionality to prevent overcharging in warmer temperatures and undercharging in colder temperatures. It also restores lost battery for improved performance and enhanced battery life.
Aside from being used as a battery charger, it can be used for battery maintenance too.
The advanced repair mode works on new and damaged batteries and reverses any battery damaged for improved performance. Additionally, it is suitable for everyday use and doesn't present the risk of overcharging.
This smart charger can also be used to charge batteries that are as low as 1 volt and it allows you to do so manually thanks to the Force mode.
The interface of the charger will also inform you of all of the settings along with the status of the charger.
The LEDs will flash to inform you of any errors and the colour coding will also inform you of the current charge of the battery.
- It is manufactured by a brand that is recognized for producing high quality, reliable chargers.
- It is suitable for use with a range of vehicles and batteries.
- It is compactly sized making it an appropriate choice for those who require its use in different locations.
- The thermal sensor will alter the functionality of the unit according to the temperature.
- It can be used for battery maintenance as well as to charge the battery itself.
- Some customers have reported that the instructions are a little unclear so some may find them difficult to follow.
Another offering from the brand Maypole is the 7423A 4A 12V Auto Electronic Battery Charger.
This charger can be used on a wide range of vehicles e.g motorbikes, vans, caravans and motorhomes, essentially the majority of vehicles up to 2.5 litres in size.
Functioning as a fully automatic battery charger the unit follows a 5 stage charging cycle and will work to diagnose and recover the battery before charging it.
Aside from this, it can also be used to maintain the battery too. By preventing the battery from overcharging, the vehicle is protected against damage.
In regards to the safety features, the unit is spark-proof and also comes with overload, reverse polarity protection and short circuit detection.
Aside from this, the battery is also protected against overheating and incorrect connections, both of which would present a risk of damage to the state of the battery.
As for ease of use, this charger comes with an easy to read interface that informs you of the status. The LED indicators will display the charging status and will also alert you of any errors regarding a faulty battery or connection etc.
The interchangeable leads come with insulated crocodile clips and ring terminals which can be securely gripped onto the battery connectors.
- The LCD display makes the unit easy to use.
- It is affordably priced - great for those on a budget.
- The compact size makes it an ideal choice for those who require its use in different locations.
- It refrains from overheating when functioning.
- It is designed with a durable housing making it resistant to damage.
- As a 4A charger, it can take a while to charge the battery which may make it unsuitable for those who require it to give their battery a quick boost.
Best Leisure Battery Chargers for Caravans and Motorhomes Buying Guide
There are several factors that we would advise you to consider before investing in a leisure battery charger.
Doing so will help you to select the best product for your needs.
The Type of Portable Leisure Battery Charger
Portable leisure battery chargers are available in different variations, each of which uses a different type of technology.
The cheapest option is an unregulated voltage battery charger and as suggested chargers of this kind do not regulate the voltage and if left unattended they may overcharge the battery.
The next option is a semi-automated battery charger which will turn itself off once the charge has reached the set voltage. The final option is a fully automated battery charger.
Although chargers of this kind tend to be the most expensive, for many they are the preferred option. This is because unlike the previous chargers, they can be connected to the battery inside your caravan or motorhome without presenting risks of damage.
The functionality of a fully automated charger also tends to correlate with the temperature. In colder temperatures, a lower current and voltage is used and in warmer temperatures, a higher current and voltage is used.
You must choose the charger that is suitable for the leisure battery inside your caravan or motorhome to avoid any issues with faults or damage.
The Charging Time
The time taken for the battery to reach full charge can vary. For example, if you are charging a battery that is currently at a 75% charge, it is only likely to take a few hours to reach full capacity.
However, if you are recharging a battery that currently has no charge, it can take 24 hours or more.
The quality and performance capabilities of the charger are also going to affect how long this process takes. High quality offerings are likely to function at a faster pace than those that are poorly designed.
It is important to ensure that the battery charger is compatible with the leisure battery of your caravan and motorhome, otherwise, it is going to be ineffective in its purpose. Most battery chargers are compatible with a specific type of battery.
Using a charger that isn't intended for the battery in your vehicle can lead to possible damage and you may return to find that the battery is no further charged than it was first connected.
To ensure that your chosen battery charger is compatible, you should check the specifications of the charger as this will state the batteries suitability.
Not only is it important to ensure that the charger is compatible with the battery but it must be compatible with the size of the vehicle.
Again, the specifications will state the maximum size of the vehicles that it can be used with.
Checking these beforehand will confirm whether the charger can support the battery of your caravan or motorhome.
The safety features of the charger are crucial in ensuring that the battery doesn't become damaged.
Many will have LED indicators that inform you of any errors with reverse polarity and most will offer short and open circuit protection.
Ease Of Use
Ideally, your leisure battery charger should be easy to use.
Whether you have previous experience of using a charger or this is your first time using a device of this kind, one that is straightforward to use will prevent you from spending a while figuring out how the device should be used.
Most will come with an interface that displays each of the settings and functions. The battery charger should also come with instructions regarding how the device should be used.
Leisure battery chargers are going to be used outdoors so they must be constructed to withstand the elements.
They should also tolerate exposure to different temperatures without deteriorating in quality.
Most will have a rugged casing that protects the internal components from potential damage for enhanced toughness and reliability.
The device should also be dust and water-resistant.
The specifications will state the length of the cables and some may come with extending cables. The length of the cables will determine how much flexibility you have to work with the charger.
Though this isn't likely to prove hugely restricting in using the device, longer cables will provide you with more leeway in reaching and positioning the device and is particularly useful for batteries that are hard to reach.
Leisure battery chargers tend to be rather compact devices although you will find some that are slightly larger than others.
The setting in which you intend to use the charger will determine which size is best for your needs.
Though some may appear smaller than others they certainly do not compromise on the power that they provide.
If you are likely to require the use of the charger on the go you will benefit from investing in a smaller and more compact option. If the charger is going to be used in one place you may find a larger option sufficient.
The amp rating of the charger is another factor to consider. Although the amp rating doesn't determine how fast the charger functions, it can be an indicator of the quality.
Those with a high peak amp rating produce more electrical current without causing damage in the process of doing so.
The Charging Speed
Many battery chargers feature multiple settings which function at different speeds. This allows you to select the most appropriate option for your circumstance.
Should you find yourself in an emergency you can opt for the faster setting which will charge the battery quickly.
Although it is possible to use the fast settings should your situation require you to do so, ideally, it is recommended that you opt for the slow speed setting.
For many, the cost is going to be an influencing factor on their purchase. However, the market offers many options that aren't quite the expense that some may expect.
With an array of offerings from different brands, you will find some that are rather costly and others that are much more affordable.
It is important to ensure that the battery charger performs well. Many viable options retail below $70 so you don't have to break the bank when making your purchase.
Some brands are renowned within this industry for producing high quality and reliable products.
Because of this, many customers may wish to make their purchase with these particular brands for greater confidence in the performance and functionality.
However, despite this, there are offerings from less-known brands that are just as worthy of your purchase.
We have included a variety in our guide above to highlight the range that the market has to offer.
Opting for a leisure battery charger that is covered by a warranty is preferable. The internal bodies of these devices incorporate many different electrical components, if any of these should become damaged, the device may stop working.
It may even be a case that the device was faulty upon receipt and so a warranty covers you in this instance.
The length of the warranty determines how long you are covered for and it can differ between brands with some offering longer warranties than others.
You will also find that some devices aren't covered by a warranty. If this is the case, it is important to consider whether this is something that you are looking for in your purchase or whether you are happy to proceed with your purchase without one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I require a special charger for a leisure battery?
The charger that you require for a leisure battery is likely going to be influenced by the time you have available.
Those with a 4A or 5A rating are likely to be sufficient for most, although you should expect it to take a day or possibly longer to charge the battery to its full capacity.