What DCDC Charger Do I Need?
First up, why do you even need one? Can't you just charge a battery straight from the alternator?
• Each battery chemistry requires specific charge profiles for correct and full charge
• Alternators do not provide any control over the rate of current flowing to the battery or the voltage it receives
• Most alternators operate under 14V, where as AGM and Lithium batteries need 14.4-14.7V for a full charge
A DCDC charger is always the right way to go.
It will charge your battery correctly whilst also protecting your starter battery. It does this by taking power from your alternator or solar system (some both at the same time) and converting the current and voltage to the correct charge profile your battery requires.
Taking power from the alternator/solar when driving ensures that by the time you get to your camp spot, your batteries will be fully charged rather than waiting to setup camp then expecting your solar to start charging behind the 8 ball.
Generally speaking the alternator can provide a lot more charge power to your DCDC than most solar systems can (unless you have a very large setup on say the roof of your van or motorhome). Which one you go for depends on what chemistry of battery you are charging, what capacity it has and where you want to install it...and then your budget.
No two set ups are the same, but the information here can be used as a guide to get you started. There is nothing like real world use to discover what you do and don't need in a set up, so before heading off on any larger trips away from power, we recommend having a test run or two closer to home.
You can always add to a set up, but making sure you have the right components to begin with ensures you will only be adding, not replacing (which can be costly).
Check out our other articles for information on choosing batteries or solar for your needs or if you need further help, please don't hesitate to contact us by phone or email.