Top 5 Review: Best Solar Car Battery Charger

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To save you the hassle and heartache of a dead battery when you are ready to get the RV on the road or the boat on the lake, use a solar trickle battery charger to keep it in prime condition. A solar trickle charger/maintainer is a low-cost solution for 12V battery maintenance. Using the sun’s rays, the charger slowly trickles power into the battery to offset the normal loss from its idle state.

There are a number of benefits to enjoy from using a solar car battery charger:

  • Low cost: Beyond the initial investment, there are no maintenance or operating costs.
  • Malfunction prevention: When a lead acid battery discharges for prolonged periods of time, sulfates build up on battery plates, impacting performance. Sulfation is the primary cause of battery failure.
  • Longer battery life: If a battery does not maintain a charge, its lifespan is shortened. Guarantee your battery’s enduring performance by keeping its charge topped off.

There are a lot of solar charging options available, each with proprietary features and benefits. We reviewed the highest-rated models on the market to bring you our list of the top five solar car battery trickle chargers worth buying today.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT  
SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer - Portable 6W Solar Panel Trickle Charging Kit for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc. Suner Power
  • Solar Panel: 6W
  • Size: 14.84 x 6.36 in
  • Weight: 2.73 lb
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POWISER 3.3W Solar Battery Charger 12V Solar Powered Battery maintainer & Charger,Suitable for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc. (3.3W Amorphous) Powiser
  • Solar Panel: 3.3W
  • Size: 14 x 8.5 in
  • Weight: 2.2 lb
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck Eco-Worthy
  • Solar Panel: 5W
  • Size: 8.7 x 7.5 in
  • Weight: 0.76 lb
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Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charge
  • Solar Panel: 4W
  • Size: 13.98 x 5.05 in
  • Weight: 1.43 lb
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Newpowa 30W Watts 12V Mono Solar Panel Waterproof Off Grid Kit-30W Solar Panel+10A PWM Charge Controller(Come with Cable and Connectors)+Battery Cable for RV Marine Car Motorcycle Battery Charge Newpowa 30 W Solar Panel With Charge Controller
  • Solar Panel: 30W
  • Size: 13.39 x 21.5 in
  • Weight: 6.39 lb
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1. Suner Power

 
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SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer - Portable 6W Solar Panel Trickle Charging Kit for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc.

 
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SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer - Portable 6W Solar Panel Trickle Charging Kit for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc.

 
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SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer - Portable 6W Solar Panel Trickle Charging Kit for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc.

 
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SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer - Portable 6W Solar Panel Trickle Charging Kit for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc.

Specification

Solar Panel 6W
Size 14.84 x 6.36 in
Weight 2.73 lb

The Suner Power battery trickle charger/maintainer is a 6W model perfectly sized to maintain power for everything from small tractors to RVs and powerboats. The brand flaunts its reverse discharge protection feature for damage prevention. A blocking diode prevents the charger from draining the battery while the charger also regulates input to avoid overcharging.

The plug and play installation is easy. Your choice of cigarette lighter socket plug or battery clamps means that this model offers the most convenient setup for any vehicle.

WHAT WE LIKE

This offering from Suner Power offers optimal power and the most simplistic, intuitive design for anyone to confidently maintain their vehicles during the offseason. Its two-way suction cup mount makes it versatile for inside/outside attachment. The quick connector ensures a proper set up every time while the cigarette lighter plug makes installation a snap in certain vehicles.

PROS

  • Tempered solar glass offers high transmittance, able to handle high loads.
  • Durable ABS frame.
  • Easy installation and low maintenance.

CONS

  • Needs ample direct sunlight to work effectively.
  • High load capacity may increase voltage output, requiring regulation

2. Powiser

 
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POWISER 3.3W Solar Battery Charger 12V Solar Powered Battery maintainer & Charger,Suitable for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc. (3.3W Amorphous)

 
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POWISER 3.3W Solar Battery Charger 12V Solar Powered Battery maintainer & Charger,Suitable for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc. (3.3W Amorphous)

 
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POWISER 3.3W Solar Battery Charger 12V Solar Powered Battery maintainer & Charger,Suitable for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc. (3.3W Amorphous)

 
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POWISER 3.3W Solar Battery Charger 12V Solar Powered Battery maintainer & Charger,Suitable for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc. (3.3W Amorphous)

 
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POWISER 3.3W Solar Battery Charger 12V Solar Powered Battery maintainer & Charger,Suitable for Automotive, Motorcycle, Boat, Marine, RV, Trailer, Powersports, Snowmobile, etc. (3.3W Amorphous)

Specification

Solar Panel 3.3W
Size 14 x 8.5 in
Weight 2.2 lb

This portable solar panel from Powiser is an amorphous battery maintainer, making it operable in all weather conditions and environments. The heavy-duty tempered glass surface and durable plastic frame are designed to withstand the effects of impact, rain, snow and hail. Built-in overcharge protection and reverse diodes make sure the battery is perfectly topped off and regulated at all times..

WHAT WE LIKE

Similar to the Suner Power model, this model is designed to work with any vehicle with a 12V battery in an easy set up. The cigarette lighter charger and battery clamps offer quick installation while the reversible suction mounting makes it easy to adhere to windows or dashboards. Plus, the durable materials can withstand a variety of weather and climates to allow for unimpeded performance.

PROS

  • Durable, well-made design for all-weather and little maintenance.
  • Simple and versatile installation options.
  • Amorphous panel works even in shade/low light conditions.

CONS

  • Larger size makes it slightly less portable.
  • Lower voltage output than similar models.

3. Eco-Worthy

 
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck

 
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck

 
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck

 
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck

 
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck

 
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck

 
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck

 
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ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger for 12V Batteries Portable Power Solar Panel Battery Charger Maintainer for Car Boat Marine Motorcycles Truck

Specification

Solar Panel 5W
Size 8.7 x 7.5 in
Weight 0.76 lb

Lightweight and portable, the Eco-Worthy 5W solar trickle car charger is a handy tool for extending your vehicle’s battery life. The smart design of the mount helps make this incredibly space-efficient. Fold-out flaps allow for reversible suction cup mounting, so you can save surface area by folding them in when you charge from the dashboard.

The plug and play set up can use the cigarette lighter port or direct hookups to the battery with the alligator clips. It also features standard blocking diodes to prevent discharge from the battery.

WHAT WE LIKE

While the Eco-Worthy 5W trickle charger does lack a few nice features that can be found on other models, its size is notably more convenient. The small size allows for greater portability and a wider array of usable applications. At only 0.76 pounds, the light weight gives the suction system less stress and a firmer hold. You will not have to worry about it falling off over the several weeks that you leave it charging.

PROS

  • Lightweight and small size.
  • Easy installation and maintenance.
  • High output relative to other trickle chargers.

CONS

  • Cable’s total 80 inch length is shorter than Suner Power and Powiser models.

4. Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charge

 
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Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment

 
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Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment

 
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Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment

 
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Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment

 
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Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment

 
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Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment

Specification

Solar Panel 4W
Size 13.98 x 5.05 in
Weight 1.43 lb

The Sunway Solar car battery trickle charge kit, like the Suner Power model, is advertised to work on Gel, Wet, AGM, SLA and Deep Cycle batteries. As long as it has a 12V battery, this unit can keep the battery in your vehicle or equipment topped and ready during its downtime. The ultra clear glass and ABS plastic housing allow for greater transmittance while being wear-resistant and low maintenance.

WHAT WE LIKE

A quality design backed by excellent, responsive customer service gives you peace of mind when opting for the Sunway Solar charger. The specs are rather standard, giving you good voltage for steady battery maintenance without worrying about overcharging. The built-in diode does its part to make sure it is not draining the battery for long periods.

A nice touch is the indicator light. Many models leave this off of the design, making it hard to tell if the unit is working when hooked up. The small, blue indicator flashes when supplying a charge, letting you know it is functioning properly.

PROS

  • Durable ABS frame for outdoor use.
  • Indicator light.
  • Easy installation and low maintenance.

CONS

  • Polycrystalline panel is less efficient than amorphous counterparts.

5. Newpowa 30 W Solar Panel With Charge Controller

 
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Newpowa 30W Watts 12V Mono Solar Panel Waterproof Off Grid Kit-30W Solar Panel+10A PWM Charge Controller(Come with Cable and Connectors)+Battery Cable for RV Marine Car Motorcycle Battery Charge

 
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Newpowa 30W Watts 12V Mono Solar Panel Waterproof Off Grid Kit-30W Solar Panel+10A PWM Charge Controller(Come with Cable and Connectors)+Battery Cable for RV Marine Car Motorcycle Battery Charge

 
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Newpowa 30W Watts 12V Mono Solar Panel Waterproof Off Grid Kit-30W Solar Panel+10A PWM Charge Controller(Come with Cable and Connectors)+Battery Cable for RV Marine Car Motorcycle Battery Charge

 
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Newpowa 30W Watts 12V Mono Solar Panel Waterproof Off Grid Kit-30W Solar Panel+10A PWM Charge Controller(Come with Cable and Connectors)+Battery Cable for RV Marine Car Motorcycle Battery Charge

Specification

Solar Panel 30W
Size 13.39 x 21.5 in
Weight 6.39 lb

A vast departure from the standard portable trickle car chargers, the Newpowa 30W can charge idle vehicles and do much more. It has a wide range of applications, from RVs and marine equipment to security systems and traffic lights. You can use it for a faster-than-normal trickle charge or a maintainer for in-use batteries.

It’s waterproof design and large size make it suitable for long, outdoor installations. The setup is more complex, involving the use of a charge controller go-between from the solar panel to the 12V battery. There is no cigarette lighter port hookup.

WHAT WE LIKE

Bulkier and less versatile than other suction-mount trickle car battery chargers, the Newpowa 30W solar panel delivers the performance that many buyers expect. As a trickle charger, it gets the job done where others fail, while keeping the charge in check to prevent overcharge. Fixed apparatus is also less of a problem than many anticipate, as boats and RVs are commonly stored in a single place during downtime. Plus, you can use it to keep batteries charged for daily use systems, like security gates and video camera arrays.

PROS

  • High power output for faster charging.
  • Weatherproof design

CONS

  • More complex installation.
  • Low portability.
  • More expensive option as a trickle charger.

Do solar car battery chargers really work?

The effectiveness of a solar car battery charger is mostly dependent on the available sunlight to power it. Outdoor, direct sunlight is ideal, so if you provide plenty, your solar battery charger should have no problem supplying a charge to a 12V car battery. 

Understand that trickle chargers restore the normal loss of an idle 12V battery. If you leave a tractor or RV in storage for prolonged periods, a trickle charger keeps it topped. They are not designed to restore power to a dead battery, so you will still have to call AAA if your car does not start.

Can you overcharge a battery with a solar panel?

Most trickle chargers do not supply enough voltage to overcharge a car battery, so they do not need regulation features to prevent it. Higher powered units that could potentially overcharge a battery avoid this risk by including a solar charge controller. The best controllers output the maximum power to charge the battery and then drop to a low maintenance level once it is fully charged.

Conclusion: Best Solar Car Battery Charger

If you own an RV, boat, tractor, second car, snowmobile or any other seasonal use vehicle, the Suner Power 6W trickle charger is our top choice for you. The high power output, durable design and versatile, easy installation make this the best tool to ensure your vehicle is ready to go when the time comes. A major criticism of these chargers is disappointing performance, but with its blend of power and quality, you will be very pleased with your Suner Power charger.

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