image of jumper cables on an engine

Schumacher SC1281 Fully Automatic Battery Charger Review

What’s worse than a dead battery? Besides the frustration, it can ruin plans or even leave you stranded.

RV owners should consider owning a battery charger. There are many benefits, most of all, peace of mind.

Car battery chargers come in all shapes and sizes. The challenge is to find one that is small and portable, while still having the power you need to charge quickly.

That’s where we come in.

Today, we review the Schumacher SC1281 battery charger. It’s got some great features and we think it is an excellent choice for all your charging needs.

Enjoy this review!

Schumacher battery charger

Schumacher Company Background

Schumacher Electric Corporation was founded in 1947 by Don Schumacher. The Schumacher name is also legendary in NHRA drag racing. In 2012 Don was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and his son Tony is carrying on the tradition with his with his eight consecutive NHRA Top Fuel World Championships.Don Schumacher drag racing

Since its creation, the company has led the way for change within the driving world. They pride themselves on exceeding their customer’s expectations. Schumacher is known as the number one company for car battery chargers and backs it up with reliable customer service.

Schumacher Battery Charger Review

We have split our review of the Schumacher SC1281 Battery Charger into specification sections to make it easier to find the information you need.

Highlights (Design)

The Schumacher SC1281 is a powerful battery (engine) starter.

  • 6V or 12V fully automatic battery charger
  • 100A power can start large engines like including trucks, RVs, and lorries
  • Simple sleek design – black
  • Small footprint 11 x 10 x 8 Inches
  • Lightweight 12.65 pounds
  • Easy to carry and store
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Reasonable price

Alternator Tester

One of the best features of this battery charger is its alternator tester. This provides the charge level of your RV’s battery and can help you to decipher any problems. 

Ease of Use

The Schumacher SC1281 Battery Charger is easy to operate. It has a digital display that is clear and easy to read. The buttons on the front of the charger are easy to differentiate. 

The large start/stop button in the middle of the display allows for instant starting and stopping.

The LED display shows you your voltage, and percentage charge so you can keep track of progress. 

Fully Automatic Battery Charger

This fully automatic battery charger gives you more control and safety when charging your battery. It allows you to charge your battery precisely, and it will help with overall battery life. 

Can’t start your car? Many users have noted that this charger can bring back a completely dead flat battery. 

Jumper Cables

An added extra that comes with the Schumacher SC1281 battery is jump cables. You never know when you’ll need a jumpstart. 

Auto-Voltage Protection

This Schumacher battery charger automatically changes the voltage according to what is being charged. 

The auto-voltage protection detects what type of battery is being charged, whether it is a 6Volt or 12Volt battery, so you can’t make a mistake. 

This helps to maintain the charge so that it is efficient. 

Microprocessor Controlled

The SC1281 is controlled by a microprocessor. The microprocessor will automatically adjust the amperage rate (trickle charge) while charging the battery.

The charger collects information from the battery and adjusts the charge current and voltage based on this information.

This stage charging process ensures that each battery gets the power it needs at a healthy rate.

Microprocessor controlled battery chargers are faster, safer and certainly more efficient than “old school” transformer type battery chargers.

Built-In Reverse Hook-Up Protection

The built-in reverse hook-up protection is a great safety feature. It stops the charger from operating in charging mode if the clamps are attached in reverse. The LED indicator will inform you if the clamps have been placed incorrectly.

This feature will protect your battery and your charger from damage. It is worth keeping in mind that the clamps are not the most durable and you may potentially run into some issues with them in the future.

Compatible Battery Types

The Schumacher charger is compatible with the following battery type:

  • Standard (conventional)
  • AGM
  • Gel cell
  • Deep-Cycle
  • Marine

It covers a wide range and should be suitable for the majority of users.

User Manual

The SC1281 does come with a user manual if you are new to automatic battery chargers.

While these instructions are detailed, if you do not know anything about engine starters, you may find them a little confusing.


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Our rating:
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Multiple Uses

The Schumacher SC1281 battery charger can easily charge an RV battery. As a matter of fact, it can do a whole lot ore. 

Here are all of the vehicles you can use this battery charger for:

  • Motorcycle
  • Snowmobile
  • Lawnmower
  • Personal watercraft
  • ATV
  • Vintage car
  • Car
  • Tractor
  • SUV
  • Boat
  • RV
  • Truck

As you can see, you are not limited in any way.

If you are traveling with toys – watercraft, motorcycle, snowmobile, etc. the Schumacher will be able to charge them all.

Energy Efficiency

The SC1281 has Schu Eco-Energy. This means that it is as energy-efficient as possible and meets the highest industry standards.

List Of Pros And Cons

Here is a full list of the Schumacher Battery Charger’s pros and cons. 

  • Compatible with four different battery types
  • Good value for the money
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Comes with jumper cables
  • Built-in reverse hook-up protection with an LED indicator
  • Auto-voltage protection
  • The battery is microprocessor controlled
  • Fully automatic battery
  • Can bring even a dead or flat battery back to life
  • Powerful and precise
  • Easy to use and operate
  • Alternator tester
  • Can be used for several different types of vehicle
  • Energy efficient – can charge cars that have been kept in storage or cold weather conditions
  • The clamps are not the most durable and can become a little flimsy over time
  • Although it can charge a dead battery, it may take a good few tries to do so and is not always instantaneous
  • The instructions are not the most detailed
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To summarize, we think the Schumacher SC1281 Battery Charger is must have in your RV. If you run into any issues with your battery it can either help solve the problem – or diagnose it. 

It has everything we were looking for: small, compact, lightweight, portable, powerful, automatic, safe, well-made, reliable, and offered at a reasonable price. Overall, 5 stars.