12V Tech Talk: Stay Charged To Go The Distance!

Do you like to camp in style with a 12v fridge in your 4WD? If that’s the case then you may have an auxiliary battery to keep your winches and lights running and those beers cold. But, be warned, the demands on the humble auxiliary battery are great and without proper care, you could end up two flat batteries in the middle of nowhere! So, what’s the best way to keep both your batteries in top shape?

Charging from the alternator

You can charge your auxiliary battery directly from your alternator, but it’s not the best option. Charging with your alternator takes a long time, and it isn’t designed to keep two batteries charged. If any appliances are left running when the vehicle is turned off, both batteries could be quickly depleted.

What about a voltage control relay?

A Voltage Control Relay (VCR) is a more affordable option. By charging your batteries (via your alternator with a VCR) when you drive, it delivers the power you need.

If you’re only going away for a short weekend, a VCR will deliver the good times and importantly protect the battery that starts your engine.

What’s the ultimate set-up?

As power systems experts at Bainbridge Technologies we know everyone’s power needs are different. For instance, you could be taking the family away for a week, or be headed off to a sensational remote spot with your mates. For trips like this you need more power and a good way to charge your auxiliary battery is via a DC-to-DC charger.

One of the best on the market is CTEK’s versatile D250S Dual DC-DC Smart Charger.

A charger like this not only isolates and protects your vehicle start battery, it maintains and conditions your start and auxiliary batteries while you’re travelling.

With easy DIY installation, this charger is a fully automatic, 5-stage charger that supplies 20A to 12V batteries of 40-300Ah. It charges quickly, extending battery life and maximising its performance, so you have real power to explore.

If you’re thinking about investing in a solar panel, this system is also a great option because it can draw power from a solar source when the ignition is off. That means you can charge your batteries when you’ve set up camp to keep them in top condition.Buying a CTEK D250S Dual will save you money because it has an inbuilt solar regulator.

The CTEK D250S Dual is IP65 classified (splash proof and dust protected and approved for outdoor use), protects vehicle electronics and is suitable for all types of lead-acid batteries (Wet, MF, Gel, AGM). A two-year guarantee gives peace of mind.

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