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Full transcript: https://www.etrailer.com/tv-review-in-vehicle-battery-charger-331-bcdc1240d.aspx
Today we’re going to be taking a look at Redarc’s in vehicle BCDC battery charger. This charging system is going to be great for people who like to get off the grid. It uses your alternator to charge your auxiliary batteries. So while you’re on the go, you’re maintaining the charge and you’re ready to go, even if there’s no hook up site available to plug your camper in to get that energy. You’re getting it as you’re driving. Additionally, it has that place to put your solar panels, so you can use solar power to keep your batteries charged up.
So you can truly be self sufficient.Now many customers on our website compare this to a battery isolator, such as the one from Tow Ready. And while a battery isolator does allow you to charge your auxiliary batteries using your alternator and it keeps your start battery from discharging completely if you discharge your auxiliary batteries. This is going to do that plus so much more. It’s also going to allow you to use a solar panel and it has a smart unit inside to use that solar panel to charge these batteries. It’s going to be able to determine the most appropriate charge source, whether it be your solar panel or your alternator.Additionally, your alternator only puts out a set amount of voltage.
An isolator’s just going to use that to charge your batteries, which may not charge them to 100 percent. This is going to take that voltage from your alternator and it’s going to mold it, bringing it up or down as necessary to maintain 100 percent charge for your batteries.The alternator on your towed vehicle or in your RV maintains proper charge of your start battery. With this unit, you can harness that power from your alternator to charge your auxiliary batteries. What’s really nice about this unit is that it acts as an isolator to ensure that your starting battery is separate from your auxiliary batteries. What this means to you is, if you drain down your auxiliary batteries, it will not drain your start battery down.
So you can’t start the vehicle.And another feature that I really like about this charger is that it has the option to also use a solar panel. And while it’s not necessary, you could just run purely off your alternator. Having the solar panel up here will allow you to shut your vehicle off and maintain proper charge of your auxiliary batteries using the power of the sun. If your system deems it appropriate, it can use the solar panel in conjunction with the alternator to maintain proper charge, so you can ensure that they’re going to be ready to go when you get to your destination.But it does even more than that. What’s really nice about the smart chip that’s inside of it, is it can determine the type of batteries that you have installed for your auxiliary batteries.
And this is great because if you have lead acid batteries, those have different charge rates than are necessary to maintain proper charge and get the most life out of that battery. An improperly charged battery will have a premature wear and it won’t last nearly as long.There are four different profiles that you can set for your charge. The first three profiles will determine the maximum output voltage that your batteries can receive. This is going to be between 14.6, 15, and 15.3. You’ll want to refer to your battery’s manufacturer’s recommendations for the maximum output charge for your particular batteries. The fourth and final profile is for lithium batteries. You’ll want to refer to your instructions to determine how to connect to the orange wire that comes off your unit to achieve the appropriate profile.What this means is that you’re going to have longer life for your batteries, as well as maintain 100 percent charge. In most cases, if you we’re to just hook these batteries to your alternator, it’s just getting whatever voltage that your alternator was putting out for its normal charge process. And that may not be enough to charge the battery to 100 percent. In most cases, it’s not. And it may also charge the battery too much or too little at certain times, causing damage to the battery’s internal components. This will ensure that your battery’s charged properly and at 100 percent.What really makes this stand out is that the fourth profile is for lithium batteries. And lithium batteries are the way of the future. Lithium batteries can maintain a charge in cold weather climates much better than your AGM and lead acid batteries. So this is great if you plan on upgrading your batteries in the future.So if you’re like me and you n