REVIEW: C-Tek D250s smart battery charger

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I’m not going to review all the parts of the van, but this c-tek d250s requires a special mention.  Most motorhomes/campervans have some form of 12v charging system.

  this is usually some split charge system that uses the engine to charge the leisure battery when the engine runs.  Some also need a solar controller to charge the battery  from solar.  And some want to be clever and charge the engine battery from the excess habitation power.

We looked at all these systems and someone recommended this c-tek d250s charger, which totally simplifies the entire setup.  You connect 4 wires – one to engine battery, one to leisure battery, one to solar panel, and one to earth.  that’s it.  (okay, of course, via fuses and the like and the correct size wires, but you get the idea).

the c-tek then, simply, just deals with it.  Hassle free.

  • It uses the engine battery and pulls up to 20A to charge the leisure battery (100A smart pass upgrade available if needed).
  • Its in-built MPPT solar controller takes the solar feed and uses it to charge as needed
  • (Both above can be used together)
  • If leisure batteries are full, it can back charge the engine battery..
  • It is a full multi-stage smart charger – not just whacking the voltage across, but complex control of power application from multi stage boosts to float.

Bottom line – it just works, and works very well!  For us, it maintains our 200AH of batteries very well, and if low the engine does putctek in a steady 20A intelligently.  It does not just connect them across as a split charge system would, but it pulls 20A, then puts out the right voltage for the leisure batteries at that time.  Fantastic.

For us, no downsides.  However, if you have an absorption fridge that requires a 12v feed when the engine is running, you may need to add an extra £15 smart relay.  Also, if your alternator is smart and your van turns it off when its not needed, you may need to wire it differently. But for us, it works, and is a great asset to the van – albeit a little expensive.  We’d always spend the money use this in the future

(we have also installed a Nasa BM1 battery monitor so we can see current, voltage and battery capacity.  This is also expensive, and whilst the c-tek d250s is a 10/10 system and recommended, the Nasa BM1 is a nice-to-have toy only – cheaper items available on ebay)

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: C-Tek D250s smart battery charger”

  1. hey! When you installed the solar panel and all this energy system, the idea was to use this only for the gadgets in the van or also for A/C?
    I just recently started to research what to do with my cargo van and want to add seats and a/c, some led lights and so.

    1. A/C as in “air conditioning”? If so – no – 12v / solar/ battery will not run air con – or if it does, not for very long. Habitation air con is too much current for that – it needs mains hookup. You also can’t use the engine air con without the engine running.

      If you mean A/C as in “mains power” – then the CTEK only does solar/engine/habitation battery – and that’s enough – the solar keeps the batteries full even when running the compressor fridge. Even on campsites where we have 240v – we don’t plug in. (We have separate 240v-12v charger system – see blog).

      Everything runs on 12v, lights, pump, laptops, tech, etc – no need for 240v unless, say, camping over winter and need constant heating where a 240v heater may be needed?

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