Originally Posted by terrapin
Hey guys...I really should know the answer to this...
I bought a little 1 amp battery trickle charger at Wal-Mart. Can I charge my battery while it is still in the truck and connected to the leads? Will I fry my electrical system? The charger comes with a little cigarette lighter adapter, too. Can I charge the battery through this safely?
You can leave the battery connected to the truck with the battery charger connected, it will not hurt the truck. If you leave the truck stored for extended periods though, you may damage the battery leaving it constantly connected to a 1 amp trickle charger though, as you will be overcharging it as some point in time. The Cigarette lighter would probably be okay to use for a 1 amp charger, but be mindful that most (post 80's) vehicle's cigarette lighters are not "live" with the ignition off, and it would be best to attach directly to the battery anyway. Sadly, I can't remember at the moment if the Defender's is or not, as I don't think I have ever used the lighter for anything..LOL!
If you are looking for a storage charger, check out the Battery Tender line from Deltran (http://batterytender.com/product_inf...48172c4566f16b
) I'm sure it is a little bit pricier than the Wal Mart charger, but it is designed to maintain the battery by cycling on and off as needed, so it doesn't overcharge. I've used these on Motorcycles, ATV's and cars for years and recommend them to everyone who asks me about a charger. They even made a version designed to be mounted on board the vehicle if you want, but I can't seem to find a link for it anymore, so they may have discontinued this (But look at the ChargeTek below if you want an onboard charger)
Since their introduction into the market their basic technology has been copied by many different companies, many claim to do it even better. Point is, don't store your truck for long periods on a trickle charger, as you are likely to damage the battery from overcharging it.
P.S. This is a nice onboard charger that has two seperate circuits to maintain two batteries that are isolated when the vehcile is in storage... http://www.chargetek.com/ct500.html