Love going camping but can’t keep power up to your fridge, lighting and other power needs? Do you need a charger to keep your auxiliary battery charged?
Well, we at Travel Outback Australia love nothing better than getting into the outback and enjoying some remote time, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Compared to the outlay of a 4WD you don’t need to spend a lot of money to ensure that you can at least enjoy some of the comforts of home like a fridge, some lighting and perhaps a means of charging all your gadgets.
When we travel we forgo a lot of the bells and whistles and enjoy a quite minimalistic experience. Our most important requirement is to keep our Waeco fridge going.
Up until recently we have always had a solenoid setup to charge and separate an auxiliary battery from which we derived power when stopped. This was a small Redarc isolator easily fitted between the main vehicle battery and the auxiliary battery.
We also used these in our ranger vehicles in the NT and they were extremely reliable. Now, however, we are travelling more and for greater periods of time so I needed something else.
Modern technology too has also changed the way in which auxiliary batteries can be charged in many vehicles and technology has had to keep up.
The Redarc BCDC1225D In Vehicle Battery Charger
So when I changed vehicles to a late model Toyota Prado I decided to upgrade to a purpose built BCDC charger. There are many offerings from different manufacturers but I always try to get a locally made version wherever I can.
I made contact with Redarc and discussed my needs and they supplied me with just what I was after.
Enter the Redarc BCDC 1225D, a 12v 25amp DC to DC in vehicle charger. This charger not only keeps your auxiliary battery charged to optimum levels while driving but you can use it to top up the battery using solar power when stopped.
When you travel a lot like us where we often camp in one spot overnight, battery charge hasn’t been a problem. Lately though we have been extending our overnight stays to 2-3 nights and it is nice to know that we can keep our battery charged by using the solar option.
This means we can keep our fridge operating and keep our supplies nice and cool. It also means we don’t drain our auxiliary battery and lessen its lifespan.
Let’s look at the BCDC1225D Charger
One of the most important functions is that it operates as a dual battery isolator. This means that even if the auxiliary battery runs low the starting battery will be protected.
It’s compact and even though we have used up much of the space under our bonnet I was able to fabricate a bracket to mount it in a suitable location to keep it out of harm’s way.
It’s fully sealed so the likes of dust, water and even vibrations shouldn’t do it any harm. The solar regulator makes sure you get the maximum benefit out of solar charging and it can charge battery types like AGM, Gel, Calcium, and both valve-regulated lead-acid and standard lead acid batteries.
So how does it perform?
On our most recent travels we travelled along the Googs Track, the Gawler Ranges and the Hay River Track. Staying in some spots for longer than two days we found that our auxiliary battery, a 105aH AGM, was well charged using just a 120watt solar panel.
Our fridge kept operating, especially important in the remote areas we had been travelling through and I could always grab a cold beer out to go along with our freshly cooked meals.
If you’re looking for a charger solution you can’t go by a Redarc charger to keep your auxiliary battery up to scratch. A lot of people have several batteries and may be looking for increased capacity so take a look at the Redarc BCDC 1240D charger.
Now I just need to save up for a solar blanket, umm, Redarc….