Picking and fitting the right battery charger for your rig.
If your starter and auxiliary batteries could be considered the heart of your rig’s 12V system, it’s fair to say your battery charger is the brains of the operation.
Your charger is absolutely the most integral component in your setup when it comes to ensuring everything hums along as it should.
A perfect 12V system should almost go unnoticed, when it does its job as required, you should hardly need to think of it. Although if anything does go wrong, it quickly becomes impossible to ignore.
Anyone who’s suffered a major electrical system failure when way off the grid would be keen to avoid a repeat at all costs. The best way to ensure smooth sailing is to choose the best possible battery charger and ensure that it’s fitted up perfectly.
For our money, you can’t go past a Redarc BCDC charger. The current range BCDC1225D, BCDC1250D and models can be used to recharge traditional lead based batteries as well as modern lithium power cells. Plus, they’re compatible with fixed voltage and smart alternators.
These units have built in solar voltage regulators, so you can top up power supplies with a fixed panel on your roof or a portable panel around camp.
A range of lithium battery specific chargers including Redarc’s LFP2420 and LFP2420-LV are also available.
MOUNTING YOUR CHARGER
Dust, dirt, corrugations and hot temperatures are part and parcel of spending any serious amount of time offroad. Unfortunately, heat, vibrations and dust ingress are some of the best ways to degrade your battery charger.
All of the above factors can pose issues if you choose to mount your charger in the engine bay. Eventually the performance of your charger can start to degrade.
On the other hand, voltage drop can be a big problem on longer cable runs, so if your auxiliary is fitted under the bonnet, you might choose to fit your charger close by. If you’re able to fit your auxiliary battery somewhere in the rear of your rig, it’s a great option to fit your charger up alongside.
If you do choose to mount your charger under the bonnet, it’s best to choose a spot as far away from the direct heat of the engine and exhaust manifold as possible.
Don’t let a quality system down with shoddy wiring. This means if you do your own installation, make sure to use quality cable, plugs, terminals and connectors.
Using thicker gauge cable can help to combat the issue of voltage drop, and for a minimal extra cost, can allow your system to run much better.
Think about all the corrugations, dust, mud and abuse your system will be expected to suffer and serve through. It’s always a great idea to over engineer your setup with thicker wire, more solder, cable ties, electrical tape and heat shrink than you think is required in order to ensure a longer offroad lifespan.
Choose the right charger and spend the time to fit it up right, and you’ll hardly have to give your 12 system another thought, it’ll just work.
MORE INFO www.redarc.com.au