I'm looking for a new "Onboard Charger" for my bass boat. I want something that will charge all three batteries without overcharging and maintain them in the off season as well. What are your reccomendations, and why?
The top reason is "Service". These guys go out of their way to see that you are taken care of if you use one of their chargers. When I changed over to the gel batteries, I called them and asked about the needs of the battery v's the specs of the charger. I didn't talk to a phone girl or worse yet an answering machine, I talked to an engineer who understood my questions and knew what had to be done. They needed to swich the cards out in my unit to another type. Now, most modern electo gizmo people would have just told you to buy another, not these people. I sent them $80 and a return UPS label. For that, I got 2 new cards installed, They re-waterproof sealed the unit, re-painted the unit, installed a new cord since I had clipped the 3rd prong off the plug :? , packed it in a brand new box just like a new unit from the factory, and mailed it back to me. All this in 8 days time from my office to theirs and back.
When you find another charger company that will service their product like that, I will consider changing.
I found what I think is a good deal on an onboard charger from Bass Pro Shops. It is the three bank 15amp charger the XPS model. It uses all the available amps and sends it to the ballery requiring the most charge then shuts off and maintains a float charge for long term storage. It has a switch that allows you to choose between a lead acid or gel type battery as well. The price is under a hundred bucks.
Should be in any day now. My old charger is belly up so I took it out in preperation for the new one.
Let ya know how it turns out.
I get the feeling I'm too late for this but it may help others. If you are running a starting battery for an outboard, and two batteries for a 24v trolling motor(s), you only need a two bank charger/maintainer. Your outboard will keep your starting battery charged, therefor you only need a charger for the two trolling batteries. (dual bank). I got suckered into buying a three bank charger and found it to be over-kill. During the winter months, I plug in the onboard charger/maintainer and hook up a portable charger to my starting battery, and forget about them. Come spring thaw, I unplug the chargers and go fishing, never had to charge the starting battery again until fall storage.
One of the features of this 3 bank charger is that it diverts any unneeded amperage from one battery to another that needs it. That way if your starting battery if fully charged the charger uses that capacity where needed. If you run a lot of electronics and don't run your big motor a lot you'll gradually discharge your starting battery. This is especially true in night fishing. This could shorten the life of your starting battery. It's also a good selling point for me that I don't need additional chargers for off season storage. The cost of the additional charger more than makes up for the difference in price between the 2 bank and 3 bank OB charger.
Even though I have a 24 Volt Trolling Motor, I went to a 2 battery system after I changed over to the sealed Dekas. The D4's have plenty of power. Still Savage is right on a 3 battery system. When I was running 3, I really had to watch it on night tournaments. I've had more than 1 where I couldn't crank my engine in the wee hours.
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