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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2020 ZR2 and have been putting a lot of daily miles on it having to drive 60 miles round-trip for work everyday. I recently bought an el cheapo daily beater to save on gas/miles/paintfade/risk of hail/etc. and find myself not having/needing to drive my ZR2 as much anymore.

I see myself driving it maybe once a week to once every two weeks. Aside from that, it will just sit in the garage.

I am wondering if I should/need to get a battery tender or do these modern cars retain charge for a decent amount of time? If so, which tender should I get? There are so many different kinds to pick from.


Thanks
 

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I have one but never need it for my truck. If the battery is good, usually less than 6 years old, there should be no issues.
 

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Do you "need" one? No. As said above, modern vehicles and batteries are pretty good.

But do you want a float charger? Yes, you do. keeping a lead acid battery fully charged on a float charger will help the battery last a lot longer. In the long run, it will save expense and hassle. It's a cheap and easy thing to do. So, why not?
 

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2017 Chevy Colorado Z71 Extended Cab 4WD Summit White
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I won't hurt to use one when parking for extended times.
The new batteries are so much better then the okder ones and hold a charge much better.
 

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I have the brand name Battery Tender. I don’t drive a lot ( my bought new 2019 Colorado has now 8,000 miles). My trucks in a carport. I have the cable plug in hardwired to the battery so in the winter when gets really cold and I’m not going to drive for a few days I plug in the tender just for piece of mind. Can’t overcharge the battery and when we have several days real cold or snow being retired (age 77) and have plenty of food I just look out the window and smile knowing I have a full charged battery.
 

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2017 Chevy Colorado Z71 Extended Cab 4WD Summit White
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I have a Schumacher one myself. Used to have it hard wired for my TransAm, so could keep the battery in top condition. Now every once and a whole use in teh vehicles in the house if they sit for extended periods of times
 

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I would say yes, and add that you should have a Banks iDash if you want to keep tabs on the charging system as you drive. CAFE mileage BS means that the charging system is rarely on when you think it is. Nothing more infuriating than seeing 12.1V on the gauge at highway speeds.
 

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2018 z71 3.6 long bed
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I have 4 from harborfreight.
The motorcycle gets one.
The car MAY get one. It's used once a week to once a month. Usually without the floater. But it's going on 5 years now.

AGM seems to last longer and handle abuse better.
 

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I don’t think it is necessary if you put your truck in transport mode when you expect to park it for more than a week. I have a high reserve capacity battery, I use transport mode, and I can park for a couple of months with no problem. But if it makes you more comfortable, go anead.
 
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2019 Colorado ZR2 CCSB 3.6L Summit White
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New batteries are great but I’m not a fan of the “just enough” charging of these variable alternators. I think if you drive infrequently and then short trips when you do drive, a battery tender is a good idea. I didn’t drive much last winter due to work from home, and my battery ran down quick, in less then 2 weeks it would be under 12volts which is not good lol. I started using a tender and no issues after that. Also-if you use Tow Haul mode it will allow the alternator to operate at max charge rate if you are making just a short run to the grocery store or something.
 

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$55 for a 4 amp Deltran Battery Tender

You probably don't "need" one, but it can extend the life of your battery. I've got more than 6 years on an AGM battery in my Jeep that gets driven even less, and stays on a tender most of the time when it's not driven. I bet the battery goes 8 years no problem.
 

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If you can buy one and plug it in. One week is not a big deal but longer times if they happen can create issues.

AGM batteries work well but if they drop below something like 9 volts they can be a problem and not take a charge unless you have a proper charger for them. They do not behave the same ways as a Lead Acid and can act if they are bad but when the truth is they just need a proper charger.

Since I am working at home and my truck can sit in the winter for a log period I will just plug in the Tender.

The battery tender brands are easy to find and cheap to buy. There are some other units out there that are good too . just try to stick with a name brand. Many cheap knock offs.

This is not a indicator of battery quality but the state of charge between the vehicle and battery. AGM's are just more sensitive in some vehicles to charge state.

I use tenders on my hobby cars and I generally see 12-18 years on a battery.

Note too until recently I have not had a GM Battery since 04 to last more than 3 years. My truck is the first one in a while that lasted up to 5 years so far.
 

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OP; If you decide to get a maintainer - recommend a Noco Genius 2D as it mounts under hood + connects to battery sec'ty bolts. Have this one in my Mustang Bullitt - works great:

 

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I use a Battery Tender solar charger, keeps the battery at full charge and acts as a sunshade, plugs in to the lighter socket. You need to move 1 fuse for it the charge with key off.
 

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hello,

I have been using NOCO for many years. When storing vehicles for several months, I would leave the charger/tender on all the time. For other vehicles, I use it once a month to recondition the battery.
 

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The Battery Minder works well too and I have used them for years now. Love the desulphite pulse mode that removes the lead crystals on the plates and cleans them off. Have over twenty years, yes, twenty years on dual AGM batteries on the farm truck. Battery Minders work.
 

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2020 Z71 Midnight Edition w/ Urban Armor Equipment
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You know what to do…
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I ended up just getting a Battery Tender Jr (the cheapest one). Apparently it works fine for cars but just takes super long to charge a dead car battery....but that shouldn't be a problem since I plan to hook it up way before my battery is even close to being dead.
 

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2018 z71 3.6 long bed
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My son used mine overnight to get him started in the morning. When he was letting his car just sit around. And the battery was going dead.

If he was planning on using it the next day. He'd hook it up and go to bed.

Depending on size of battery. If he left it on. It would take 48 hours to reach full charge.
 
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