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Maintaining battery through lighter plug?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Capodosto, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Capodosto

    Capodosto Member
    Messages: 30

    I bought a Battery Tender Jr that I want to plug into my vehicle while it is sitting outside in the cold waiting for the snow to fall. I will only be plowing my own driveway, so the battery won't have a lot of time to recharge from the alternator and may get a lot of juice through the Tender. Can I just wire up a cigarette lighter plug and attach the Battery Tender that way? It will make life a lot easier and I will also never have to worry about accidentally driving away while plugged in because the wire will be right there in my face when I climb in. The gizmo comes with battery clips and a wire-in ring harness, but I can easily splice in a cigarette lighter plug if it will work.


  2. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    As long as you cig lighter is hot with the key off (some are not) you can add the plug to your battery tender and plug'er right in. :nod:
  3. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    If the battery tender puts out more than 15 amps you could start a fire in the truck.
  4. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    It'll be ok,a battery tender wont put out more than 2 amps max,so it wont be a problem.
  5. bryanj23

    bryanj23 Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    Or you could get an Optima battery and forget the whole mess.
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    bryan, I'm just curious, why do you think that an Optima would solve all his problems? Any battery that set's idle in a vehicle will become discharged.An Optima's no different.
  7. bryanj23

    bryanj23 Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    Won't necessarily solve it but...

    Yes, every battery discharges but it takes 2-3 times longer for an Optima battery to discharge. I've even heard of people disconnecting the leads and having them work like new a year later.
  8. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    OK, I see your thinking, yes an Optima does have a longer STORAGE LIFE (which is when the battery is FULLY CHARGED AND DISCONNECTED from any electrical draw) but if it's connected to a vehicle that draw's a small amount of power all of the time (like most vehicle's built since the 80's) it will discharge just as any other battery would.
  9. bryanj23

    bryanj23 Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    Had a friend in high school that ran his Optima completely dead running his stereo on acc. Turned the truck off for an hour and it started right up. They are a tough little battery! And if he went with a deep cycle battery the short charges wouldn't have as much effect on the life of the battery.
  10. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Yep,I agree, they are a tough battery.I've had one in my personal plow truck for 5 years.
  11. WetChicken

    WetChicken Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    If you don't mind me offering the ideas that I have.
    I personally use the 6-pole trailer connector on the back of my trucks. There is 12v there, and I have an Anderson Power Pole for the connection since I use it so much for ham radio. These are the same style that is used on electric pallet jacks/forklifts, etc. If I was to drive away, it would separate easily. The only problem that I am having is that the metal contacts are corroding since I left the trailer plug in. =]

    In the fire department we have a couple of different solutions. One is a 120v all weather outlet near the drivers door. Disconnect that and the air line and you are ready for fire.
    The other is a 120v all weather outlet near the drivers door. But wait, THERE'S MORE!!! There is a company that makes an auto-eject socket for the cord when you start it.
    Of course, you would have to hardwire these last two. BE DIALIN PEOPLE!!! :jester:

    The most probable solutions:
    Run the extension cord in the drivers door and loop it in the sterring wheel.
    You could wire it to the battery, and hang a pigtail out of the grill like they do a block heater. Hang the cord over the mirror.

  12. WetChicken

    WetChicken Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    Make that a 7-pole.
    And they don't make a connector when you start it, it ejects when you start it. heh

    Sorry, I was tired.
  13. Yaz

    Yaz PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,061

    As long as the lighter plug is energized when the truck is off no problem. You'll know right away when the truck is off if the led on the tender stays red. it will go green in a day or two on a good battery that has been sitting for a month or so. I use one on a classic car I have and share the same unit with my Motorcycle and JD Tractor. I just have the connectors they give you. And buy the way I forgot it was there a few times and they pup out with no damage.:rolleyes:
  14. Lawnscape89

    Lawnscape89 Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    Put some Fluid Film on the contacts and you won't have the problem in the future.:nod:
  15. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I use di-electric grease on my trailer plugs, as well as my plow plugs, and the always come appart easily and have no corrosion. I even use it on my boat trailer wiring and jet ski trailer wiring and they have never had a problem either, even going in salt water
  16. WetChicken

    WetChicken Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    On the battery too? Is this stuff good for a sex lube, also?:eek:
    I use it on everything too, I don't know why I never though to use it on this. Thanks for the reminder!
  17. BPK63

    BPK63 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    My truck sits idle in the driveway most of the time. I just make sure I take it for a ride on the weekend to the local home improvement store or up over the hill on the back roads for a ride or something. That way it keeps running good and I don't have to worry about the battery.
  18. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193