Far from being something to leave in your garage, modern 240v battery chargers are an essential part of every 4WD’s electrical system.
If you’re like most of us, you probably have a rusty old relic of a battery charger sitting on a shelf in your garage that you pull out once a year when your mate’s car won’t start. It’s the last thing you’d consider as essential to a 4WD’s electrical system, right?
However if you’ve taken a look at modern 240v chargers recently you’ll see that they are worlds ahead of that old relic on the shelf. We highly recommend a quality 240v charger as part of any 4WD’s electrical system, because they offer so many benefits.
WHY A 240V CHARGER?
TOP UP BEFORE YOU LEAVE: Crank the fridge up a couple of days before a trip to make sure everything’s working fine, then connect your 240v charger to keep the batteries full without having to drive anywhere. This massively takes the headaches out of travelling and lets you enjoy your time away more!
DRIVE LESS, CAMP MORE: Sometimes on trips you won’t drive far over a period of a couple of days, running your batteries down. With a 240v charger you can seek out a powered campsite and get your batteries perfect again in a single night.
NOT JUST FOR CHARGING BATTERIES: Buy the right one and it can be used as a power supply, to run all those power-hungry 12v accessories at the same time as charging your batteries, whenever you have access to 240v power – at home, or at a powered campsite.
TRADIE TRUCKS: Imagine being able to leave your fridge running permanently at jobsites, or run your pie oven for hot smokos and lunches.
BIG BATTERY BANKS: Many 4WDers these days run up to four or more auxiliary batteries in their 4WD and trailer. 240v chargers become crucial in setups like this, allowing you to maintain your batteries even when you’re at home for extended periods.
PROPER CHARGE RATES: Quality 240v chargers now offer the ability to select the type of battery you’re charging. This is important as AGM batteries have different optimal charge rates to traditional wet-cell batteries.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CHARGER: Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is to find one rated at 10% of your auxiliary battery capacity.
1 x 100AH AUX. BATTERY: Then a CTEK MXS-10 10Ah charger is perfect, and will allow you to put 10A back into the battery per hour. Overnight you’ll be able to charge your battery to completely full again. Will run LED lights, a single 12v fridge, a small inverter and a small fan in your camper trailer at a powered campsite.
MULTIPLE 100AH BATTERIES INCLUDING IN A CAMPER TRAILER: In this case the CTEK M300 is what you want. Originally designed for marine applications, it’s tough, rugged and can crank out an incredible 25A per hour. It’s ideal as a charger and perfect as a power supply for your caravan or camper at a powered site running all your 12v appliances.
MODERN 240V CHARGERS
The new Victron Energy Blue Smart IP65 is a professional-quality 10A battery charger with in-built Bluetooth connection to send charging information straight to your smart phone. Set it up and configure it via the app, then monitor your battery charge levels without ever having to leave your camp chair. The same goes for the CTEK Battery Sense – a monitor that connects easily to your batteries, and sends charging information straight to your phone. No more having to prod around in the dark with a multimeter!
RESCUE DEAD BATTERIES!
The CTEK MSX10 and M300 and the Victron Energy Blue Smart IP65 feature a battery reconditioning mode. When a battery has been run extremely flat it often will struggle to take a charge again. When selected, the recondition mode delivers a special charge that brings deeply-discharged batteries to life. We’ve seen this mode rescue batteries that were destined for the scrapheap, paying for itself right there!