These are difficult times and most of us aren’t using our vehicles nearly as much as we used to. It’s easy to forget about the batteries – both the starting kind and our ‘house’ batteries that provide our caravans, campers and motorhomes with power when we need it. If they aren’t maintained and kept in a good state of charge they can deteriorate very quickly and are usually permanently damaged beyond repair if this happens.
We use 240V chargers on both the caravan and vehicle batteries that are left connected 24/7 to ensure they stay in good condition. I bought two of the same brand because I wanted good quality chargers and also to be able to monitor them using the Bluetooth feature they have. I chose two from the Victron Blue Smart range after doing some research that revealed the brand had many positive reviews.
The Pajero main battery drops to under 12.3V (and would continue to drop further) over the course of 2-3 weeks unless we use the car for a longish trip or charge the battery some other way and this applies to all vehicle batteries to a greater or lesser extent. The AGM battery in the caravan though, has a much better slow discharge rate and could be left disconnected from any loads for a month or two without a problem. However, the Victron chargers perform a weekly brief absorption charge to prevent any risk of sulphation rather than just leave them in ‘storage’ mode. This was another big selling point for the brand.
Connecting the charger to the vehicle battery is simple. Just connect to the battery terminals using the crocodile clips on the DC lead, plug in the mains lead and that’s it. I monitor the charging state using the smartphone and the app which can be downloaded from the app store(s) – both Android and Apple are supported. The Pajero has a calcium type battery so I set the absorption and bulk charge level to High (14.7V) rather than the normal 14.4V to ensure it receives a full charge. The caravan AGM charger is set to normal however.
I selected a 5A model for the vehicle and a 10A model for the caravan and both have performed well, I see that the range now has 7A and 15A models plus higher current chargers. Check out the 240V Victron charger range here.