The Speedy Gonzales of Battery Chargers

Posted In: Blog, Maintenance, Product Review, RV Lifestyle, RV Products

In addition to a Battery Tender Junior maintenance charger, we own a Schumacher Ship ‘N’ Shore SpeedCharge Battery Charger. We’ve owned our Schumacher for several years and have been pleased with its performance. It ain’t perfect, but it’s miles ahead of old school battery chargers.

Why do we own two battery charging devices? Because they each serve slightly different purposes.

It's compact, portable, and fast - and it comes in any color you want, so long as you want blue. (Click the pic for more info.)

It’s compact, portable, and fast – and it comes in any color you want, so long as you want blue. (Click the pic for more info.)

The Battery Tender Junior is designed to be constantly connected to a battery. It’s the tool of choice when you are putting an RV battery into storage. You can “set it and forget it,” as the saying goes.

But suppose you want to quickly get a car or RV battery up to a proper charge level? You reach for the Schumacher. If someone (and I’m not naming names) left the vehicle lights on and drained the truck batteries, you don’t want to wait on a trickle charge.

The power cables tuck inside the unit, making for a neat little package. (Click the pic for more info.)

The power cables tuck inside the unit, making for a neat little package. (Click the pic for more info.)

The Schumacher Ship ‘N’ Shore is a well designed piece of kit. The cord folds neatly inside the body of the unit, and there’s a built-in retractable handle. This makes it compact and easily portable, and also easy to store. Even in our relatively small Airstream, we always find room for the Schumacher.

As you might have guessed from the name, the real benefit of the “SpeedCharge” is speed. The Schumacher includes three different charging options that are appropriate for a wide range of lead acid vehicle batteries. Anyone who has ever waited – and waited – and waited – on a car battery charger to do its job will appreciate the speed.

What do you want, a chart? Here's a chart. (Click the pic for more info.)

What do you want, a chart? Here’s a chart. (Click the pic for more info.)

There’s a 15 Amp charger that quickly charges large batteries such as those used in RVs and boats; a 10 Amp charger for normal car batteries; and a 2 Amp trickle charger for small batteries like those found in golf carts.

The other notable feature of the Schumacher is the fact that it is microprocessor equipped. Yes, there’s a tiny computer on board that monitors and modulates the charging process. Battery strength is displayed in precise digital percentage terms (for example, “74%”). With that said, I wouldn’t stake my reputation on the accuracy of these percentages. Take ’em with a grain of salt.

The on board microprocessor means the Schumacher Ship ‘N’ Shore is also capable of detecting problems with the battery. So if you see the words “BAD BATT” you know you’ve got issues. Alas, this has happened to me on a couple of occasions.

If you own a vehicle, you really need a good battery charger. This is a good battery charger.


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