Article from Redarc
Ron and Viv Moon are veterans of the Australian 4WD scene, with over 40 years’ experience travelling this great country they know what they know exactly what they need when it comes to keeping their vehicles 12V system ticking.
We recently gave them one of our BCDC1240’s so they could put it to the test on one of their adventures, hear how it faired them below.
What’s a DC to DC Charger?!
What the hell do you do with a DC to DC battery charger?’ I hear you ask; I know that’s what I said when I first came across them some years back.
Well, for starters you can use a DC-DC battery charger to ensure your dual or second battery is kept at its correct voltage, 100% charged all the time, even if it is a fair way away from the alternator, say in a camper van or caravan.
You can also use these DC-DC units to isolate your second or auxiliary battery from the vehicle’s main battery to ensure that your main battery is not run flat by all the current-hungry accessories we all like to have these days, the 12-volt fridge being the main culprit of flat batteries.
The unit we have fitted to our 79 Series Cruiser is a BCDC1240D In-vehicle battery charger, which is just one of 14 in-vehicle chargers the company makes. It is one of REDARC’s top units and means the charger can handle 40 amps continuously, with a voltage range of 9-32 volts.
Charge and maintain multiple battery types
The BCDC1240D can charge and maintain any lead acid battery as well as calcium batteries, AGM batteries or the more expensive lithium batteries we’re seeing these days in an auxiliary battery role.
This dual input charger is designed to receive charging power not only from the vehicle’s alternator but also from a portable solar panel. When a panel is connected to the unit it will take as much power from the solar input as it can before supplementing that power, up to the maximum rated output, from the vehicle alternator.
Built to withstand more than 55°C
The crew at Outback 4WD in Bayswater mounted the unit in the front of the engine bay where it will receive a good airflow ensuring the unit will operate at its optimum, in temperatures up to 55°C. To select the different charge profiles the unit is capable of delivering for different batteries and situations, it is simply a matter of changing the connection of one of the wires.
The charger is a 3-stage unit switching to ‘boost’ initially. When the battery voltage reaches its proper level the current drops to the ‘Absorption’ stage which is maintained till the current demand is less than 4-amps, when the unit switches to a ‘float’ stage. The battery voltage is then maintained at 13.3-volts.
Over the Moon
The LED’s on the front panel indicate the charge profile (‘A’ is good for lead acids batteries either in the engine bay or outside), the power source (vehicle or solar), while the charge status is indicated by the continuous or flash of the ‘Stage’ LED.
The different REDARC DC-DC chargers are rated from 6-amps up to 40amps, so there is one to suit you, your charging requirements and your vehicle’s technical demands. Designed and manufactured in Australia, all come with a 2-year warranty. They are a first-class product and are designed for years of trouble-free operation. I can’t recommend them highly enough!
Meet the Moon’s
Ron and Viv Moon have been four-wheel driving and touring Australia for over 40 years. They wrote their first guidebook (on Cape York) in 1984 and Ron was editor of Australia’s leading 4WD magazine, 4×4 Australia, for 15 years. For the last 14 years, he has been their roving Editor-at-large.
There aren’t too many places the Moon’s haven’t travelled to
They first travelled in Africa in 1985 and have returned many times, running 4WD tag-along tours through southern Africa between 2007 and 2010.
Between 2007 and 2012 they spent 48 months overlanding in their turbo-diesel Nissan Patrol (fitted with a REDARC Smart Start SBI12 dual battery isolator) across Africa, Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, and from the southernmost tip of South America to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska.
In early 2013 they drove the ice road across the Arctic Ocean to Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s Arctic.
In early 2014 they bought a Dodge Ram pickup and a Four-Wheel Camper slide-on camper in the USA and since then have spent a total of 10 months wandering the USA, Mexico, Cuba and Canada. The rest of each year is spent travelling in Australia working on stories for magazines and for guidebooks.
In 2016 they bought a 79 Series Cruiser which they are modifying for their vagabond lifestyle.
The Moon’s latest set of wheels, a 79 Series Landcruiser
They tow a Trakmaster Gibson van (fitted with REDARC’s The Manager15 battery management system) when on their travels in Australia in either their Patrol or Cruiser.
In all, they have written more than a dozen guidebooks on outback Australia and now write guides exclusively for Hema Maps.
Stay up to date with their travels by visiting their Facebook page.