Riding ATVs is fun, kicking up dirt and occasionally making messes with the mud. But, what happens when it doesn’t have the same juice on start up? The battery needs love too, and that’s why there are plenty of options to charge your ATV. They go by different names, some have different functions in the way they charge your battery. We’ve heard battery tender, desulfator, trickle charger, maintainer and regular old battery charger.
You can maintain batteries using these devices, and if you use a battery charger it will charge it completely. Maintainers work by preventing your battery from discharging current, by supplying a small amount of electricity. This reverses the degradation process and can more than double the life of your battery. Maintainers/Trickle Chargers/Battery tenders all have the same purpose in trying to keep your battery charged and increase lifespan.
Options vary wildly in quality and price. Thankfully, there are battery chargers made specifically for ATVs designed not to overdo it. These are called smart batteries, they monitor the current so the system knows when to juice it and when to lay off.
Here are the best ATV battery chargers:
BatteryMinder Model 2012 for ATVS 12V - 2A
The BatteryMINDer was made with ATVs in mind. This brand is also the top of it’s class for recharging any type of battery. You can use this for your car, motorcycle, RV or boat if you’re rich enough to own one of those. This is going to extend the battery life of any battery you use it on and works by reducing the bad buildup stuff through a process called reverse sulfation. Basically, what makes this good is that it knows the right level to charge any battery to without giving it too much charge(which is bad as well).
It’s capable of charging up to six batteries at once. There are definitely cheaper options, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better options with all the bells and whistles of this model. It measures the temperature and takes that into effect as well to figure out how much your batteries need to be charged. It works at 12Volts/2Amps.
This model is best if you have more than one vehicle and battery. It’s priced among the highest of all options listed and that’s for good reason. It’s darn good at what it does, but if you just own a couple or one batteries it might not be the best choice for you. Plan on adding more ATVs or vehicles to your collection? In that case, this is an amazing option.
Battery Tender Junior 12V - .75A
Don’t underestimate Junior! This battery tender is on the other end of the spectrum compared to the BatteryMinder in terms of price. But, if you want something affordable and you aren’t looking for a heavy duty option, go for this. It’s got thousands of satisfied customers and nearly all the same features as competitors. It will maintain your battery and monitor the current, if it falls under load it starts recharging again.
All of this in a light, wall-plug unit. It weighs just short of 2lbs and includes alligator clips. We feature Juniors big brother – the Plus, a couple reviews down!
NOCO Genius Smart Battery Charger 12V - .75A
The NOCO Genius UltraSafe Charger is a 6-volt and 12-volt option that offers a varying range of amperage depending on the model. This meets IP64 standards for water resistance – that doesn’t mean it’s waterproof but it’ll hold up in wet conditions as long as the connection doesn’t get wet. It has built in checks like our other smart models featured to be certain it charges the perfect amount, dubbed “overcharge protection”. Despite the bulkier appearance, this is the lightest charger we’ve reviewed. The LEDs indicators let you know if you’re charged fully with other indications along the way.
Battery Tender Plus 12V - 1.25 Amp
The big brother to our friend battery Junior(the Plus is 1.25 Amps compared to 1.75). This unit is a charger/maintainer. It is similar in all aspects with the amperage being the biggest. It will charge your battery faster. The LED indications let you know when you’re all set or if it doesn’t have enough.
It comes with four different modes(initialization, Bulk Charge, Absorption Mode, Float Mode). When it reaches a full charge it turns over to float mode to “monitor” the levels of your battery. It has a built in safety feature, the short circuit protector. We know some people use these in wet conditions if you have your ATV outside and this might be in a less than ideal place, that’s why these safety features are important. If you have an AGM battery, this is the one you should get.
Whats an atv trickle charger/maintainer?
The electricity that comes out of your wall is A/C (thank you Tesla) and your ATV battery will use DC. The ATV trickle charger just hooks right up to your wall socket and converts the current into something your battery likes and can handle. This video depicts a rider who decided he’d zip tie his maintainer up to his ATV so he could charge it easily.
If you’ve got several batteries, or even just one and you’re looking to maintain them – treat yourself to a smart battery recharger. If anything it’ll save you a couple trips to the auto parts store to pick up some new batteries. And if you do get a recharger, get a smart one! The indicators and knowing that you can “set and forget it” are lifesavers.
You might not see the hype between trickle chargers. But, as seasoned ATV riders know it can make a huge difference in the longevity of your battery. The investment pays off in a couple years and when your battery goes 5 instead of 2 you’ll realize that one purchase made all the difference. If you have more than one ATV or plan on owning one for more than 2 years – there is no question about it. It’s worth it to get a battery charger for your ATV. It will keep you topped up on power and not allow your battery to degrade faster than usual.
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.