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How to Charge Your Camper Trailer: A Comprehensive Guide

Ensuring Your Camper Trailer Stays Charged: Methods and Best Practices

Chase S5 Camper - Power Management System

Getting Started: Understanding Your Camper Trailer's Electrical System

Charging your camper trailer is crucial for ensuring a seamless and enjoyable camping experience. Whether you’re preparing for a weekend getaway or an extended adventure, understanding the best methods to keep your camper trailer’s battery charged is essential. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about charging your camper trailer, including various methods, battery types, and practical tips for maintaining optimal battery health.

Power Management System - The General S3 Camper Trailer - Platinum Campers

Our Campers’ Electrical System

At Platinum Campers, our trailers come equipped with a 12v electrical system, using AGM batteries as the standard. However, it’s important to note that our campers do not include a charger. This means you’ll need to invest in a suitable charging setup to keep your battery powered and ready for use.

AGM vs. Lithium Batteries

Our standard AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries are reliable and cost-effective but have some limitations. For those looking for enhanced performance, upgrading to lithium batteries is an option. However, it’s crucial to ensure that your charging devices are compatible with lithium batteries and have a lithium profile to avoid any issues.

Your Power and Charging Needs

Your power and charging needs are personal to you and how you use your system. For example, if you are just running a fridge and lights, your power consumption will be less than someone who wants to power air conditioners, laptops, TVs, and other electronics. Understanding your specific needs will help you choose the right charging setup.

Methods for Charging Your Camper Trailer

12v Charger

One of the most straightforward methods to charge your camper trailer is using a 12v charger. A popular choice among campers is the Victron Smart Charger, known for its efficiency and ease of use. This type of charger can be used at home before your trip or at powered sites during your journey.


  • Easy to use
  • Can be left on maintenance mode to keep the battery healthy during storage
  • Ideal for pre-trip charging and at powered campsites


  • Ensure the charger has the appropriate profile for AGM or lithium batteries
  • Regular monitoring is recommended to avoid overcharging

Regulated Solar Panels

Solar panels are an excellent option for off-grid charging. Regulated solar panels ensure that your battery is charged safely without the risk of overcharging. This method is particularly useful when camping in remote areas without access to 240v power. We recommend a 300-watt panel for the best performance. A 160-watt panel with a single AGM battery will do the job, but to charge faster and for larger systems, we recommend larger panels.


  • Sustainable and eco-friendly
  • Ideal for off-grid camping
  • Provides a continuous power source during daylight hours


  • Requires a sunny location for optimal performance
  • Initial setup can be costly
The Quest S4 Camper Trailer

DC to DC Chargers

DC to DC chargers allow you to charge your camper trailer’s battery while driving. By connecting the charger to the Anderson plug on your vehicle or camper, you can ensure that your battery stays charged throughout your journey. This method also allows you to use cheaper, non-regulated solar panels for additional charging.


  • Keeps the battery charged while on the move
  • Compatible with non-regulated solar panels
  • Reduces reliance on 240v power sources


  • Installation can be complex and may require professional assistance
  • Ensure compatibility with your vehicle and camper trailer

Most modern vehicles use a smart alternator, which is not very efficient at charging a second battery like the one in your camper. They will only trickle charge your battery while driving. A DC to DC charger solves this issue by allowing your batteries to charge efficiently and fully while driving.


Generators can be a useful backup when you are off-grid and need to charge your camper trailer overnight, especially if you are running high-consumption appliances like air conditioners. While generators are not as environmentally friendly as solar panels, they provide a reliable power source in situations where solar might not be sufficient.


  • Reliable power source
  • Useful for high power consumption appliances


  • Noise and fuel consumption
  • Not as eco-friendly as other methods
Camper Trailer Generator

Combining Charging Methods for Optimal Performance

Creating the Ultimate Charging Setup

For optimal charging performance, consider combining the above methods. A setup that includes a smart charger, regulated solar panels, and a DC to DC charger will provide the flexibility and reliability needed for various camping scenarios.

Recommended Setup:

  • Smart Charger: Use at home for pre-trip charging, at powered sites, and in maintenance mode during storage.
  • Solar Panels: Ideal for off-grid camping, providing a continuous power source.
  • DC to DC Charger: Keeps the battery charged while driving and allows the use of non-regulated solar panels.

Maintaining Your Camper Trailer's Battery

Understanding AGM Battery Limitations

While AGM batteries are reliable, they have certain limitations. It’s important not to let them drop below half charge or 12v output, as this can significantly reduce their lifespan. Regular monitoring and maintenance are key to ensuring their longevity.

Tips for AGM Battery Maintenance:

  • Avoid deep discharges below 50%
  • Use a smart charger to maintain optimal charge levels
  • Regularly check the battery voltage and charge as needed

Reconditioning AGM Batteries

If your AGM battery has experienced deep discharges, you can recondition it using a smart charger. This process helps restore the battery’s capacity and prolong its life.

Steps for Reconditioning:

  1. Connect the AGM battery to a smart charger.
  2. Select the reconditioning mode if available.
  3. Allow the charger to complete the reconditioning cycle.
  4. Monitor the battery voltage and ensure it returns to a healthy level.

Practical Tips for Charging Your Camper Trailer

Pre-Trip Charging

Before setting off on your adventure, ensure your camper trailer’s battery is fully charged. Use a smart charger to top up the battery and check all electrical systems.

Steps for Pre-Trip Charging:

  1. Connect the smart charger to your camper trailer’s battery.
  2. Set the charger to the appropriate profile (AGM or lithium).
  3. Allow the battery to charge fully.
  4. Disconnect the charger and ensure all electrical systems are functioning.

Charging at Powered Sites

When camping at powered sites, take advantage of the available 240v power to keep your battery charged. Use your smart charger to maintain the battery and power your camper trailer’s appliances.

Steps for Charging at Powered Sites:

  1. Connect your camper trailer to the site’s power outlet.
  2. Plug in your smart charger and connect it to the battery.
  3. Monitor the charging process and ensure the battery remains healthy.

Off-Grid Charging with Solar Panels

For off-grid adventures, regulated solar panels provide a reliable power source. Ensure your solar panels are set up in a sunny location and connected to your camper trailer’s battery.

Steps for Off-Grid Solar Charging:

  1. Set up your solar panels in a location with maximum sunlight exposure.
  2. Connect the panels to your camper trailer’s battery using a solar regulator.
  3. Monitor the charging process and adjust the panel positioning as needed.

On-the-Move Charging with DC to DC Chargers

DC to DC chargers are perfect for keeping your battery charged while driving. Connect the charger to your vehicle’s Anderson plug and enjoy continuous charging on the go.

Steps for On-the-Move Charging:

  1. Install the DC to DC charger in your vehicle.
  2. Connect the charger to the Anderson plug and your camper trailer’s battery.
  3. Drive as usual and monitor the battery charge levels.

Final Thoughts: Ensuring a Seamless Camping Experience

Charging your camper trailer efficiently ensures a smooth and enjoyable camping experience. By understanding the different charging methods available and maintaining your battery’s health, you can avoid unexpected power issues and focus on enjoying your adventure. Whether you choose a 12v charger, regulated solar panels, a DC to DC charger, or a combination of these methods, being well-prepared is key to a successful trip.

For more tips and high-quality camper trailers, visit Platinum Campers. Start your journey with confidence and make the most of your outdoor adventures!


Platinum Camper Trailers have a large range of on-road and off-road soft floor & hard floor camper trailers for sale in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Perth and can deliver to the rest of Australia. Still have questions, or looking to take the next step? Send us a message, give us a call or enquire at one of our 5 showrooms around the country

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