Keep Your Caravan Wheels Rolling: DC to DC Charger Explained
If you like the freedom of being able to go anywhere while still having the convenience of your home at your disposal you should consider caravanning. Although you might not be staying at a luxurious accommodation, with a caravan you can experience much more than you would if you were just laying down at the beach. You choose where to go and when to go, how long you’ll stay, and where you’ll stay. You can spend as much as you can or as little as your trip allows you.
Caravanning also allows you to meet new people in the same community. Instead of taking a flight to your destination, why not take the road and enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscapes Australia offers? Also, who doesn’t like driving down the road with their favourite tunes blasting? Although caravanning may require you to understand the basics of towing, it is a far better option since it makes you less dependable. But for all of this to be possible, you need power, and powering a caravan is best done with a DC to DC charger.
How Does DC to DC Charger Work
Like any charger, a DC to DC charger ensures that a deep cycle or an accessory battery gets the correct level of charge. A DC to DC charger is a mains charger that ensures the battery reaches its maximum charge capacity in a safe way. So how does it do all this? A DC to DC charger does this by taking any output available to it and converting it to a higher amperage rate. A quality mains charger is usually a 3-stage charger that boosts, absorbs, and allows the charge to float by maintaining the battery at around 13.3 volts.
How to Install DC to DC Charger in Caravan
The installation of a DC to DC charger is going to be a simple one as long as you have all the right tools. These include a crimp tool, heat shrink, lock nuts, machine screws, split loom flex, vinyl insulation tape, rubber splicing tape, and ring terminals.
1. Once you get your DC to DC charger, you should inspect it for any burn marks, indents or scratches. If there are none, then you should continue by adjusting the wring of the auxiliary power supply in your caravan to work with the DC to DC charger. This is shown in the owner’s manual provided with the charger.
2. After you’re done with the wiring diagram, you need to build the backer panel. To avoid making holes in the panels in your caravan, you can use a piece of plywood to act as a backer panel. Use some tape to wrap the wood and then make the main wire connections.
3. Splice the wires and use ring terminals and bolts with lockouts on them. After that, wrap the wires with rubber splicing tape. Then, make the positive feed for the DC to DC charger. This is needed to prevent the charger from working when you turn the engine off. Do this by feeding the battery isolation through the supply side of the charger. Make sure you get yourself a battery isolator before you do this.
4. Once you’ve done all of the above steps, start your caravan and let the charger do its thing. If you see a green light, you’ve done a great job. If there isn’t a green light on the charger, you should take a look at all your connections and check the auxiliary power supply. Make sure you did every step exactly as described.
AC to DC vs DC to DC Charger
The main difference between an AC to DC and DC to DC charger is that the former makes it possible for you to charge your caravan with power coming from a standard AC outlet. A DC to DC charger, on the other hand, helps charge the battery in your caravan by using the power coming from the alternator. This is done as you drive down the road. You don’t need to wait for anything, just start driving. An AC to DC charger requires you to park your caravan and look for an outlet that you might find at someone’s house or at a campground that has electrical hook-ups. A DC to DC charger is a more convenient solution, but it depends on the caravan itself while an AC to DC charger relies on the grid.
Automatic vs Manual
Both AC to DC and DC to DC chargers can be purchased as automatic or manual chargers. Automatic battery chargers are those that can detect when the battery is fully charged, and then switch to maintenance or float mode to keep it protected from overcharging. Manual chargers are those that require you to monitor the battery and figure out when it’s fully charged on your own. When the battery is fully charged, you need to manually unplug the battery from the charger to prevent it from getting overcharged.