Words by Stu Peddle

Batteries – you sure do need ‘em. To start your vehicle and to escape the reaches of the mains power grid while maintaining essential comforts.

You probably dislike them. They take up loads of space, they weigh a lot, and in larger systems they can even play havoc with the balance of the vehicle – especially in trailers and caravans.

Over the last decade, battery technology has come a long way. Improved designs have better tolerance to harsh treatment and more capability to accept, store and deliver larger amounts of power.

These lead acid based batteries have been tolerant to abuse, vibration, extreme temperatures, under and over charging, while still getting the job done. It is, however, in our nature to improve on what we have and what we know.

Most of your power tools now use lithium batteries. The type specifically used in automotive and marine applications is known as Lithium Iron Phosphate, or LFP.

LFP batteries need to have inbuilt protection devices, or battery management systems, to ensure that the internal cells aren’t subject to under or over voltage, imbalanced charge, and excessive charge or discharge currents.

The biggest advantage for those of us wanting a top end auxiliary battery system is that an LFP battery can be one third of the size of a lead acid battery, plus their cycle life can be up to 10 times longer.

Another advantage is that they are capable of delivering more usable amp hours, nearly double that of a lead acid battery.

This means that your loads run better, brighter lighting, more efficient cooling, etc, throughout the operating range of the battery. Not only do they deliver power better, but they accept it better too.


So what’s the catch? All these great advantages must come at some cost? A top quality AGM 100Ah battery would cost around $400, whereas the LFP in a 100Ah would be closer to $1800.

Sounds like a big jump, but when you consider that it will take up less space and weight, deliver twice the usable amp hours, last 10 times longer, and operate more efficiently throughout its life – it sounds like good value for money for high demand auxiliary battery systems.

Being at the forefront of emerging technologies and a leader in battery charging, REDARC has been working with LFP battery companies to develop charging products that are suitable for these next gen batteries.

The award winning REDARC BCDC In-Vehicle Battery Charger range including the BCDC1225D and BCDC1240D can charge all major automotive battery types including LFP batteries.

The good old lead acid battery still has a home in many touring setups, particularly when LFP batteries may not fit the budget, but for those needing the next step up in auxiliary power storage they are definitely worth a look.

For more information on the REDARC In-Vehicle Battery Chargers and Battery Management Systems visit



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