For those who don’t know, a trickle charger is a type of charger that will charge your battery at the same rate that it discharges. So, say it discharges 12% a month if you don’t use it, a trickle charger will charge it at 12% a month to keep it at 100% whilst not overcharging it and causing damage the battery.
This could be helpful for those really expensive Mclaren which are hybrids. IF you are a collector chances, are you don’t drive it much so you would connect a trickle charger to it to keep it optimal. For instance, I would probably connect a trickle charger to my 2007 Honda Odyssey when I leave for 3 months at a time to visit my family overseas. Every time I come back my battery is dead flat.
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However, for the average hybrid, you probably would not want to use this. I also leave my 2012 Toyota Prius which is a hybrid as well. When I come back and try to start it, it runs like a dream. Yes, the hybrid battery is almost depleted but after several miles of driving it charges right back up.
On Facebook’s Toyota RAV4 Hybrid group, Mark Berkowitz asked, “Anyone using a trickle charger to maintain their 12 v? If so which brand? Hook up at back of vehicle?” Again, this topic regards the regular 12v battery that all cars have and not the special hybrid battery that the hybrids have.
Now when I pick my car up after 3 months, I don’t notice any change in battery health even though my hybrid battery is low but the regular 12v works just fine. Let’s take a look and see what other RAV4 Hybrid owners had to say.
Graham Peters said, “Don't go near the battery. If you want to jump start, use the connection in the fuse box in the engine bay. A panel beater flattened my 12v battery, attempted to jump start at the battery and damaged a major integrated fuse.” I can attest that jump starting a hybrid like my Prius is very confusing and took my entire neighborhood to figure it out until we broke out YouTube and looked up a video.
The thing with hybrids is that they don’t place the 12v battery with 2 connectors coming out of it like a regular car. They have is set right on top of fuses and other wires that need to be attended. Therefore, they make you place of the jumpstart cables to a metal ground instead of the other battery lead.
I think if you do decide to connect a trickle charger to your RAV4 Hybrid before you leave, make sure you do it the right way. Now granted, this is probably unhealthy for your hybrid considering that the battery needs to run its course but if you are leaving for like 2 years, then you may want to figure out something.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun and on YouTube at Toyota Time for daily Toyota news.