Our Guide To DC to DC Chargers

A battery system for your recreational vehicle is the essential power hub. It is important to make sure that you are equipped with all the tools to ensure that power hub is fully charged and maintained for as long as possible. That’s where a DC to DC charger comes into play!

But with so many brands and models on the market, how do you choose the right charger for your application? We are here to help with our guide to DC to DC battery chargers:

What Is A DC to DC Battery Charger?

A DC to DC battery charger now plays a pivotal role in any recreational vehicle power management system. This type of charger brings the features of a traditional multistage AC (mains power) charger, to the world of off-grid touring.

While your engine is running, a DC charger will pull power from your alternator via your starter battery and safely charge your auxiliary battery.

See diagram below:

DC to DC charger
How A DC to DC Battery Charger Operates

Traditionally this was achieved just using a fused cable from the starter battery to the auxiliary battery. Since the introduction of smart alternators in new vehicles, cable alone is no longer viable.

Let’s run through some pro’s and con’s of these chargers:

Pro’s:
  • Lithium batteries must be charged with the correct charging profile; a DC to DC battery charger is the only way to achieve this.
  • Modern vehicles are now fitted with smart alternators that don’t produce a high enough voltage to charge auxiliary batteries. A DC battery charger will actually apply load to the alternator to achieve the correct voltage output.
  • In order to get the longest possible life span out of your battery, you want the optimal charging profile. Quality DC to DC battery chargers will allow you to select the correct charge profile to your battery type.
  • A good DC charger will often have a built in solar regulator for easy solar panel connection, therefore can save you purchasing another piece of equipment.
Cons:
  • DC to DC Chargers cost more than the old school techniques.
  • You will need to find room to mount this product in your vehicle.

Now we’ve run through the Pro’s and Con’s lets dive into the brands in our range:

Enerdrive:

Available in 12V and 24V, the ePOWER range from Enerdrive are by far the most popular DC to DC battery chargers on the market.

Enerdrive ePower Battery Chargers

Why are they so good?

  • Bang for your buck! 40A for under $500.
  • Built in MPPT solar regulator that can handle up to 500W of solar.
  • Fully programmable LCD display to show which source is charging the battery along with charger status, voltage and amperage.
  • Lithium compatible.
  • Charge output can be manually adjusted up and down.
  • Temperature sensor included.
  • Unmatched after sales support from Australian manufacturer.

Pro tip: to make life easier we have bundled the Enerdrive DC to DC battery charger with the correct breakers, lugs and wiring for all you DIY off-grid legends.

Redarc:

The OG of DC charging, Redarc, have every size covered from 6A up to 50A chargers with 12V and 24V options available.

Why are they so good?

  • Redarc offers the biggest DC to DC charger in the market: Dual Input 50A In-Vehicle DC Battery Charger!
  • Unique to Redarc: “Green Power Priority” Simultaneous solar and alternator charging.
  • Lithium compatible.
  • Tough as old boots! Will work in the extreme heat of the Simpson Desert, up to 80°C and can handle deep water crossings at Cape York.
  • The BCDC range are fully waterproof!
What is a REDARC BCDC and What Does It Do?

Pro tip: Redarc have introduced these new engine mounts so you can tuck it away in the engine bay.

Thunder:

If you’re looking for an entry level but quality and easy to install DC to DC charger with a built in solar regulator, we recommend the Thunder 20 AMP DC-DC Charger

Why are they so good?

  • Cheap
  • Easy to install – very basic
  • Rate of charge starts to decrease at 50 degrees and will fully cut out at 80 degrees
  • Automatic switching between solar and vehicle charging

Pro tip: looking for a entry level all in one solution? We have bundled the Thunder battery box with the DC to DC battery charger for a one stop battery shop.

Victron:

The global leader in recreational, commercial and domestic off-grid power has just released a new DC to DC battery charger range into the Australian market! The range starts at 10A up to 30A depending on your application.

Why are they so good?

  • Value for money option!
  • Offered in both isolated and non-isolated models
  • Features built in bluetooth
  • Does not come with a solar regulator to keep the price down and to ensure you purchase the correct solar regulator to match your panels

To match the right charger to your application give one of our product experts a call on 1300 400 122 or jump on our website to explore our range.

You May Also Like

What Size Inverter Do I Need For My Caravan Camping Off-Grid Setup?

What Size Battery Charger Do I Need For My Off-Grid Setup?

Power On The Go: Generator vs Battery

Caravan Battery Review: AGM vs Lithium

6 thoughts on “Our Guide To DC to DC Chargers”

  1. I am setting up a 25ft bus on solar. I would appreciate some advice on panel size, inverters and basically everything in between, plus the batteries. I would be looking at a enerdrive or red arc system. I will have coffee machine, laptop and some other 240v appliances to run. I am allowing around the $6000 mark, however I will go higher for the best system

  2. I’ve been using a 20amp DC to DC charger with 500ah AGM battery system and a high amp alternator with 175 amp idle, max 220 amp.
    Recharging has been slow and want to increase the amperage use with DC to DC charger.

    Should I use a 40amp DC to DC charger or a 60 amp?

  3. Hi,

    I have just installed an Enerdrive DC2DC charger and was wondering. When i am running my Ctek trickle charger in the case of no sun and no charge from my car, do i connect this directly to the battery or should i run it through the Enerdrive charger?

    Cheers

    Pete

    1. Hi Pete,

      It would normally be connected straight to the battery. Please ensure your CTEK charger has the correct charge profile for your battery type and is safely fused as per the user manual.

      If you have doubts, we recommend contacting an auto electrician.

      Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *