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Best Battery for Dump Trailers & Charging

Last Updated: Nov 19, 2022

The number of dump cycles you can do each day matters for you and your customers.

Having to stop and charge your dump trailer battery can be very inconvenient.

A good battery can help you extend your workday without the headaches of recharging.

In this article, I’ll discuss the different types of batteries for your dump trailer, their benefits, and costs.

Types of Batteries for Hydraulic Dump Trailers

Since a hydraulic dump trailer motor is electrically driven, the type of material and chemicals used in the battery is important to its performance and longevity.

This can also affect the weight of the battery as well as temperature characteristics and shelf life.

Lead Acid (SLA or Flooded)

We have all had lead-acid batteries and are familiar with these types as well as their characteristics and uses from cars to trailers.

Lead-acid batteries can be sealed using AGM material, so they are no maintenance. They can also be flooded or wet batteries requiring you to top them off with water and they need to be vented.

However, with lead-acid you can only cycle them or use about 50% before they need to be charged again. You cannot use the entire 100% charge of the battery or they will not last as long, reduced cycles.

best battery for dump trailer in battery box
LiFePO4 Battery inside a Dump Trailer

Lithium Iron Phostphate (LiFePO4)

We have certainly seen the rise and widespread use of lithium batteries in everything we use from flashlights, cell phones and EV electric vehicles.

Lithium batteries typically have huge advantages over lead-acid batteries:

  • Weight (lithium batteries are much lighter than lead-acid)
  • Energy Density (lithium stores much more energy than lead-acid)
  • Stable Voltage (lithium batteries can maintain their rated/nominal voltage during use)
  • Deep cycling (lithium batteries can be depleted 100% without lasting damage)
  • Recharge Cycles (lithium batteries can be charged/discharged thousands of times)

With these advantages comes a few caveats.

Lithium batteries cannot be charged at temperatures below freezing (32F). Either let the battery warm-up, or wrap it with a heater, or heating pad prior to charging, some batteries also come with self-heating.

Lithium batteries are more expensive than lead-acid batteries. However, they tend to last much longer with many more cycles. So, the total cost per WattHour delivered is less for the lithium battery.

See best way to charge Lithium battery below.

Which Battery Type is Best for your Dump Trailer?

If you only use the dump trailer a few times and then charge the battery again before its next use, then a lead-acid (SLA) battery should work fine.

Similar to your car battery, it starts the car, then is immediately recharged by the alternator.

If you need to use many dump cycles or have more unpredictable use of the dump trailer, then the LiFePo4 (lithium) battery would be the better choice.

It is important, especially if you use a lead-acid battery, to use a voltage monitor so not to run the battery past 50% before charging. (see details in the charging section bottom of this article)

Best Batteries for Dump Trailers Reviewed:

CHINS LiFePO4 Battery 12V 100AH

Power Rating: 12V 100Ah (1280Wh)
Battery Type: LiFePO4 
Max Discharge Current: 100A (1C)
Depth of Discharge: 100%
Charge Temperature:  32 to 120°F
Discharge Temperature: -4 to 140°F
Built-in BMS: Yes
Weight: 24.5 lbs
Dimensions: 12.95 x 6.77 x 8.43 inches

Check Price

Setup & Install Experience:
This is a great battery with a lot of steady power when needed as it has 100A of continuous drain, if ever needed.

It has M8 terminal screws with protective caps. It also has an excellent peak discharge rate of 300A for 5 seconds. The internal BMS provides protection, so the LiFepo4 battery will not burn when overcharged, over-discharged, overcurrent, or short-circuit, and can withstand high temperatures without decomposition.

Also, note that battery life depends on the number of dumps you do with your dump trailer.

Pros

  • Solid performance;
  • Max 4S4P configuration;
  • Maintenance Free;
  • 3 Year warranty;
  • Optimal charge time 6 hours @ 20A;
  • Charge voltage: 14.2 ~ 14.6V;

Cons

  • No charger included;

Performance & Overall Experience:
This CHINS LiFePO4 battery is a workhorse.

It can be connected in parallel and in series for larger capacity and voltage. Max connection in series: Up to 4 identical batteries for up to 48V connecting in series.

Connection in parallels: it can connect multiple batteries, suggesting no more than 4pcs in parallel. Allow being extended up to 4 in series and 4 in parallel (Max 4S4P) to get more capacity (Max 400Ah) and higher voltage (24V, 36V, 48V). Other installation configurations are 4S2P, 2S2P, 3S2P, etc.

In cold climates, monitor temperatures, if it’s too cold to charge the battery (< 32F) we used a heating pad around the battery to warm it, then charged it.

With all of those amazing features, you’ll rest easy knowing that, you can get many more dumps from this lithium battery than a lead-acid (SLA).

Tested Features: 

  • Charging 14.4V @ 25C.
  • Several Dump Cycles @ 14 foot trailer.
  • Resting voltage: 12.81V.
  • Cut-off Voltage: 10.88V
  • Inverter compatible;

Technical Details:

Dimensions12.95 x 6.77 x 8.43 inches
Weight24.47 lbs
Model numberCHINS LAF 12100
Batteries4 x LiFePO4 cells

Ampere Time LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery 12V 100Ah with Self-Heating

Power Rating: 12V 100Ah (1280Wh)
Battery Type: LiFePO4 
Max Discharge Current: 100A (1C)
Depth of Discharge: 100%
Charge Temperature:  -4 to 120°F
Discharge Temperature: -4 to 140°F
Built-in BMS: Yes
Weight: 24.2 lbs
Dimensions: 13.0 x 6.82 x 8.48 inches

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Setup & Install Experience:
This is a great battery with a lot of steady power when needed as it has 100A of continuous drain, if ever needed.

The self-heating function will be auto activated when the charging temperature lower than 32°F (0°C). The heating will be stopped when the temperature has reached 50°F (10°C), and then the battery will be normally charged

It has M8 (8mm x 16mm deep) terminal screws with protective caps. It also has an excellent peak discharge rate of 300A for 5 seconds. The internal BMS provides protection, so the LiFepo4 battery will not burn when overcharged, over-discharged, overcurrent, or short circuit, and can withstand high temperatures without decomposition.

Also, note that battery life depends on the number of dumps you do with your dump trailer.

Pros

  • Self-Heating charges below -4F;
  • Max 4S4P configuration;
  • Maintenance Free;
  • 10 Year warranty;
  • Optimal charge time 6 hours @ 20A;
  • Charge voltage: 14.2 ~ 14.6V;

Cons

  • No charger included;

Performance & Overall Experience:
This Self-Heating Ampere Time LiFePO4 battery is very nice even in cold weather.

It can be connected in parallel and in series for larger capacity and voltage. Max connection in series: Up to 4 identical batteries for up to 48V connecting in series.

Connection in parallels: it can connect multiple batteries, suggesting no more than 4pcs in parallel. Allow being extended up to 4 in series and 4 in parallel (Max 4S4P) to get more capacity (Max 400Ah) and higher voltage (24V, 36V, 48V). Other installation configurations are 4S2P, 2S2P, 3S2P, etc.

You can even mount this battery on its side, does not need to be straight-up like a lead-acid battery.

With all of those amazing features, you’ll rest easy knowing that, you can get many more dumps from this lithium battery than any lead-acid (SLA).

Tested Features: 

  • Charging 14.42V @ 25C.
  • Several Dump Cycles @ 14 foot trailer.
  • Resting voltage: 12.80V.
  • Cut-off Voltage: 10.88V
  • Inverter compatible;

Technical Details:

Dimensions13 x 6.82 x 8.48 inches
Weight24.2 lbs
Model numberAP-100A-JR
Batteries4 x LiFePO4 cells

SCREMOWER LiFePO4 Battery 12V 100AH with Charger & 5V USB Built-In

Power Rating: 12V 100Ah (1280Wh)
Battery Type: LiFePO4 
Max Discharge Current: 50A (.5C)
Depth of Discharge: 100%
Charge Temperature:  32 to 120°F
Discharge Temperature: -4 to 140°F
Built-in BMS: Yes
Weight: 24.2 lbs
Dimensions: 13.1 x 6.9 x 8.7 inches

Check Price

Setup & Install Experience:
This is a great battery with a lot of steady power when needed as it has 50A of continuous drain.

It has M8 copper terminal screws. It also has an excellent peak discharge rate of 50A. The internal BMS provides protection, so the LiFepo4 battery will not burn when overcharged, over-discharged, overcurrent, or short circuit, and can withstand high temperatures without decomposition.

Also, note that battery life depends on the number of dumps you do with your dump trailer.

Pros

  • Solid performance;
  • Max 4S4P configuration;
  • Maintenance Free;
  • 5 Year warranty;
  • Optimal charge time 5 hours @ 10A;
  • Charge voltage: 14.2 ~ 14.6V;

Cons

  • No terminal caps;

Performance & Overall Experience:
This SCREMOWER also has a charger included. It has 5v USB ports which are perfect for charging your phone or a trailer GPS tracker.

It can be connected in parallel and in series for larger capacity and voltage. Max connection in series: Up to 4 identical batteries for up to 48V connecting in series.

Connection in parallels: it can connect multiple batteries, suggesting no more than 4pcs in parallel. Allow being extended up to 4 in series and 4 in parallel (Max 4S4P) to get more capacity (Max 400Ah) and higher voltage (24V, 36V, 48V). Other installation configurations are 4S2P, 2S2P, 3S2P, etc.

When temperatures are too cold to charge the battery (< 32F) we have used a heating pad around the battery to warm it, then charged it normally.

With all of those amazing features, you’ll rest easy knowing that, you can get many more dumps from this lithium battery than a lead acid (SLA).

Tested Features: 

  • Charging 14.4V @ 25C.
  • Several Dump Cycles @ 14 foot trailer.
  • Resting voltage: 12.05V.
  • Cut-off Voltage: 10.9V
  • Inverter compatible;

Technical Details:

Dimensions13.1 x 6.9 x 8.7 inches
Weight24.2 lbs
Model numberSCREMOWER 12VSCR100Ah
Batteries4 x LiFePO4 cells

WEIZE 12V 100AH AGM SLA (Lead-Acid) Battery

Power Rating: 12V 100Ah (1280Wh)
Battery Type: AGM (SLA) 
Max Discharge Current: 100A (1C)
Depth of Discharge: 100%
Charge Temperature:  32 to 120°F
Discharge Temperature: -4 to 140°F
Built-in BMS: Yes
Weight: 60 lbs
Dimensions: 12.99 x 6.73 x 8.34 inches

Check Price

Setup & Install Experience:
SLA batteries have a low self-discharge rate – about 40% per year or 3.3% per month. These batteries are able to be stored without charging for up to 5-6 months when at full capacity, but doing so is not recommended. At least every 2-3 months you should top charge them. In order to prolong their shelf life, SLA batteries should be stored and maintained properly.

It has M8 terminal screws with protective caps.

Deep cycle AGM batteries, have a measure capacity in Watt/Hours. It means, that a 12 Volt, 100 Ah battery, as 12×100 = 1200 watt/hours.. translate to english, it provides 1200 watt in 1 Hour , until it totally depleted., or 600 watt in 2 Hour, 300 watt in 4 hour, 100 Watt in 12 hours.

However, a deep-cycle lead acid battery can really only be depleted down to about 50% then recharged again in order to give it any longevity.

Also, note that battery life depends on the number of dumps you do with your dump trailer.

Pros

  • Solid performance;
  • Max 4S4P configuration;
  • Maintenance Free;
  • 3 Year warranty;
  • Optimal charge time 6 hours @ 20A;
  • Charge voltage: 14.2 ~ 14.6V;

Cons

  • No charger included;

Performance & Overall Experience:
This AGM battery is a workhorse.

It can be connected in parallel and in series for larger capacity and voltage. Max connection in series: Up to 4 identical batteries for up to 48V connecting in series.

Connection in parallels: it can connect multiple batteries, suggesting no more than 4pcs in parallel. Allow being extended up to 4 in series and 4 in parallel (Max 4S4P) to get more capacity (Max 400Ah) and higher voltage (24V, 36V, 48V). Other installation configurations are 4S2P, 2S2P, 3S2P, etc.

When temperatures are too cold to charge the battery (< 32F) we have used a heating pad around the battery to warm it, then charged it.

With all of those amazing features, you’ll rest easy knowing that, you can get many more dumps from this lithium battery than a flooded lead-acid battery.

Tested Features: 

  • Charging 14.4V @ 25C.
  • Several Dump Cycles @ 14 foot trailer.
  • Resting voltage: 12.81V.
  • Cut-off Voltage: 10.68V
  • Inverter compatible;

Technical Details:

Dimensions12.95 x 6.77 x 8.43 inches
Weight63 lbs
Model numberTL 12100
BatteriesAGM Lead-Acid cells

How to Install a Battery in a Dump Trailer

  1. Make sure any accessories are turned off inside the trailer and disconnected from the tow vehicle.
  2. Unscrew the positive and negative terminal cables.
  3. Remove the old battery.
  4. Clean the tray area and adjust cables, if necessary
  5. Put the new battery in place.
  6. Attach the Negative, then Positive cables, snug, don’t over-tighten
  7. Place rubber boots or protective caps on the terminals
  8. Test the dump motor, adjust if needed.
  9. Attach the charger and charge the battery before general use.
CHINS Battery Screw terminal

Ways to Charge your Dump Trailer Battery

It is important to keep your dump trailer battery charged after each use. It is best to have it charge correctly while driving home or to the next job.

The 7-way plug on your truck has a thin wire and will present a voltage drop that will not charge the battery correctly, only a trickle charge.

The best way to charge the aux battery is to use a DC to DC charger. This will boost the voltage from your 7-way Aux pin to the proper 14.6 volts needed to bulk charge the dump trailer battery.

You can also have a solar panel on the dump trailer lid that provides additional charging and charges when parked, not connected to the tow vehicle.

There is no better DC charger than the REDARC Dual-Input Battery Charger
You should install it next to the dump trailer battery.

redarc dump trailer battery charger
REDARC

It supports any kind of trailer battery, including LiFePO4, and can use a solar panel to charge at the same time as the truck alternator, hence, dual-input.

Battery charger for dump trailer
REDARC Battery Charger schematic for Dump Trailer

REDARC DC Dual-Input Battery Charger

Supports optional Solar panel input and starter battery isolation.
5 Star rated.

A standard 12 volt charger will also work to charge the dump trailer battery if you don’t need to charge it while driving. Just be sure it is compatible with the type of battery you are using: Lead-Acid or LiFePO4.

To charge the battery overnight, you would want at least a 10 amp charger.

It is a good idea to use a voltage monitor on your battery to get an estimate of where your battery level is.

battery voltage monitor for dump trailer

DROK Digital Battery Monitor with Temperature

12v, 24v, 48v batteries. Includes battery temperature probe.
5 Star rated.

Conclusion

There are a few options when selecting a battery for your dump trailer.

It is obvious that the lithium LiFePO4 batteries have many advantages over lead-acid. But you may have other reasons to go with either one based on your use case.

FAQs

How long does a Dump Trailer Battery Last?

Depending on the kind of battery you use, you could get many dumps per day with lithium vs just a few on lead-acid batteries.

What type of Battery do you use in a Dump Trailer?

You can use a Lead-Acid battery, like an AGM, or flooded. But, a Lithium (LiFePO4) is better since it supports many more useful cycles and better voltage rating.