Redarc or ...?

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xcrunnerME

Rank 0

Contributor I

30
Maine, USA
First Name
Bob
Last Name
Winn
Hello out there,

Let me start by stating I'm a complete novice but we are doing a ton of research to get our ride ready for a 3+ month overland sabbatical. The question I'm looking for feedback on is between using a Redarc vehicle charging system with a solar panel or using an Inergy and solar panel. OR if you are not using that type of system what are you using that works well for keeping your refrigerator(s) running etc?
Any thoughts are appreciated!
 
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El-Dracho

Mid Europe Member Rep Germany
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Supporter

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3,653
Lampertheim, Germany
First Name
Bjoern
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Eldracher
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20111

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At first glance, so-called intelligent systems, which have many functions, always appear exciting and interesting. Colorful LED lights and displays are magical. To be honest, I too succumb to this temptation sometimes.

But while overlanding I try to keep things simple and easy to repair. I have therefore already decided years ago for a simple electrical setup for the camping auxiliary electrics. Auxiliary AGM Battery, charged by a 100W solarpanel through a simple MPPT solar controler. Just as backup I installed an external socket for powersupply and a standard batery charger. To protect the battery from extremely low voltage I added a load shedding relais (is that the correct term in english?) between battery and 12V power distriution to the fridge etc. That´s it.

But, it is the same with all equipment and with the overlanding rig itself, everyone should buy and use what he likes and he thinks he needs. We can only exchange personal experiences, in the end everyone has to decide for himself after weighing the advantages and disadvantages what he likes or not. If you like fancy systems, go for it. If you like it simple, do a simple installation.

In case someone is just starting with overlanding my personal advice is to start simple, go out and see what you really need. The easiest way to find out is to get out and just try it out.
 

NotGumby

Mid Europe Member Rep
Member

Member II

2,067
Frankfurt, Germany
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Rick
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V
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2380

I’m lucky in that my KDJ150 Prado has dual 65ah batteries from factory. I ran a straight line from one of the batteries to the rear for a small strip with 12v socket, 2 usb, and on/off switch with volt display. The Prado also has 2 x 12v and 1 USB plug. When stationary, I charge using a 160w foldable panel with a Victron MPPT controller using alligator clips. Driving, the factory alternator does it’s job. Most of our trips have us stationary no more than 2 days. For the annual trips, at max 12-15 weeks, the starter battery works for us. We’re only running a 35ltr ARB fridge and charging the odd camera/drone/cell phone. We’re always charging something when driving. I know we’ll decrease the overall life of the battery with this setup, but with our limited travels it should be minimal.
 

Andrew Leach

Rank I
Member

Contributor I

233
Houston, TX
Member #

9791

I am super pleased with the Redarc products I have in my 4Runner. I'm admittedly a novice at all this as well and know just enough to shock the crap out of myself!

I have a couple of their products: DC to DC battery charge BCDC1225D and their SBI12 solenoid and all the necessary fuses that these require. Redarc calls it their "ultimate battery setup" with mine wired for the winching application. All that means is that I can, on demand, connect both batteries together to boost winching power (or jump start one battery to another). I've attached the pdf from Redarc here. I have 2 solar panels as well. One panel is wired into the Redarc BCDC1225D and the other is on its own MPPT controller wired to my aux battery.

Only 2 things kinda irritate me about the Redarc stuff:
1, the fuses you have to buy aren't included and aren't cheap. I bought fuses from Redarc as well.
2, monitoring. Redarc has a very expensive system that can monitor everything and that's great but its super pricey. I wen't another direction I'm happy about for monitoring state of battery etc.

I'm happy to further discuss if desired...
 

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EXPO_D1

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Enthusiast III

1,750
Bakersfield, CA, USA
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James
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Coyle
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17468

not knocking redach. They are leaders in the industry. that said they tend to combine a lot of features into in one(most of the time) component. if it fails every thing fails. also the cost is not low. i personally like Victron Energy. no they do not have one item that does it all. but they do offer items that when conbined do every thing the the redach can. and if some thing were to fail you can individually replace it. the skill level is higher though as it would not be as simple to set up. wiring is also more complicated using victron. just my 2 cents
 
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smlobx

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Off-Road Ranger I

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Smith Mt. Lake, VA
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I looked long and hard at what would work best for me and in the end I just ordered a Redarc BCDC1240 with two of their fuses. Not cheap but I’m of the camp of buy once, cry once....
 
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Boucher

Rank V
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Enthusiast III

1,798
Maidens, VA, USA
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I use the CTEK setup ... here is how I designed the system

design 1.JPG

design 2.JPG

battery app.jpg

These items can be pricey but I found mine cheap in the scratch and dent on amazon
 
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TahoePPV

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Buda, TX, USA
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I’ve been eyeing a Redarc isolator, having not heard good things about Renogy. For fuses, I’d just do megafuses for about $6 each. No need to pay the overland tax on those.
 

Andrew Leach

Rank I
Member

Contributor I

233
Houston, TX
Member #

9791

not knocking redach. They are leaders in the industry. that said they tend to combine a lot of features into in one(most of the time) component. if it fails every thing fails. also the cost is not low. i personally like Victron Energy. no they do not have one item that does it all. but they do offer items that when conbined do every thing the the redach can. and if some thing were to fail you can individually replace it. the skill level is higher though as it would not be as simple to set up. wiring is also more complicated using victron. just my 2 cents
I second the notion on Victron, in my post above I described what Redarc products I'm using. For my 2nd solar panel on its own MPPT controller, I'm using a Victron product. Also for battery monitoring, I'm using a Victron product that uses a shunt and bluetooth to easily let me monitor everything...waaay cheaper than the Redarc equivalent.

I can't attest to who is best or better, my build is often based upon what I'm aware of at the time...the Redarc advertising dollar got me.
 

smlobx

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Off-Road Ranger I

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Smith Mt. Lake, VA
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My Redarc 1240 BCDC came in the mail today. My truck is out of commission getting an extended range fuel tank installed along with re-routing the exhaust so it will be several weeks u til I get around to it..
 

steelheadbum

Rank 0

Traveler I

60
Marin, CA, USA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
T
I think it's worth thinking of total amp draw you are needing when vehicle is not moving. Of course, you can go all out and not use even 50% of what you are capable of powering, but I personally run a redarc with a dual battery only to power my fridge, and smaller aux such as canopy lights. You have to also understand the rate of charge with solar and how practical that will be when you are overlanding. If you're preferring to setup in shade for cover, a solar panel is less useful anyway, unless you're running a mobile panel where you can relocate. Comparatively, if you're doing daily treks towards a longer journey, you're already charging up to the max (usually) while driving. Is solar really that critical?
 

Boucher

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Enthusiast III

1,798
Maidens, VA, USA
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Ok I am tired but can you explain the second pic? The top I got.....
The second pic just shows the custom panel I created, how it receives the battery power and what is connected to what, basically just shows the connections for the auxiliary fuse panel and inverter.
 
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REDARC_Ryan

Rank 0

Traveler I

60
Puyallup, WA, USA
First Name
Ryan
Last Name
Thurston
Hello out there,

Let me start by stating I'm a complete novice but we are doing a ton of research to get our ride ready for a 3+ month overland sabbatical. The question I'm looking for feedback on is between using a Redarc vehicle charging system with a solar panel or using an Inergy and solar panel. OR if you are not using that type of system what are you using that works well for keeping your refrigerator(s) running etc?
Any thoughts are appreciated!

If you have any questions regarding REDARC systems best for you, feel free to email me @ rthurston@redarcelectronics.com and we can get you sorted!
 

leeloo

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Enthusiast III

1,003
Luxembourg
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Mihai
Last Name
Doros
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19403

Redarc is very good if you have the aux batterry in the engine bay.
Victron is also an extremely reputable company, much older than redarc and very well known in the RV world, but none of their products are designed for engine bay use. If you do not keep the BCDC inside the engine bay you can get away with Victron.
I got a redarc 1240, it was sitting inside the engine bay in my first vehicle. Now I got another vehicle, and the aux battery is in the back, inside the canopy (topper ) with the BCDC , so if would start from scratch, I would go the Victron way, much cheaper with very good results and quality.
Otherwise I am very happy with the redarc, it has 3 or 4 years already, never had issues with it.
In conclusion for me is like this :
engine bay - redarc
All other scenarios - Victron . Redarc is ok as well, but in this other scenarios kind of waste of money. Almost double the price..
 

REDARC_Ryan

Rank 0

Traveler I

60
Puyallup, WA, USA
First Name
Ryan
Last Name
Thurston
Redarc is very good if you have the aux batterry in the engine bay.
Victron is also an extremely reputable company, much older than redarc and very well known in the RV world, but none of their products are designed for engine bay use. If you do not keep the BCDC inside the engine bay you can get away with Victron.
I got a redarc 1240, it was sitting inside the engine bay in my first vehicle. Now I got another vehicle, and the aux battery is in the back, inside the canopy (topper ) with the BCDC , so if would start from scratch, I would go the Victron way, much cheaper with very good results and quality.
Otherwise I am very happy with the redarc, it has 3 or 4 years already, never had issues with it.
In conclusion for me is like this :
engine bay - redarc
All other scenarios - Victron . Redarc is ok as well, but in this other scenarios kind of waste of money. Almost double the price..
Glad to hear you've had a great experience with the BCDC!

I will say the pricing comparison against Victron is a bit unfair, as most Victron products are a single function product. I.E MPPT Solar Charger, Battery Charger's, etc..
The benefit for REDARC products, is our minimized footprint with maximized features. BCDC's for instance are 3 products in 1 such as a DC-DC charger, an MPPT solar regulator, and also a start battery isolator.
Non-Engine Bay applications I'd highly recommend our Manager30 for the ultimate battery management system.

As for REDARC we've been in Australia and surrounding markets since 1979, and abused throughout the outback ever since.
Victron is a great product, and I'm sure we will compete with them for years to come.
 

Wanderlost

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Member

Influencer I

2,846
Caledonia, Illinois
Member #

8490

We've been using a Redarc dc-dc charger in our 4Runner for a couple years now and couldn't be happier with its performance. It's something we never even have to think about. It does its job flawlessly and never gives us any "hic-cups". HIGHLY recommended.

 
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