Renogy DCDC Charger review; are they any good?

Not long after I’d purchased the parts for a DIY lithium Battery, I had further issues with our Projecta DCDC, and decided it was time to move onto something else.

We’d just purchased a heap of Renogy gear for our Hybrid Camper, and looking online saw that the Renogy 50 amp DCDC charger was well priced, had a lithium battery profile and decent reviews, so I put an order through along with another Renogy Inverter, and a 500A shunt and battery monitor.

We’ve had the Renogy DCDC charger in our Dmax for a couple of months now, and have been living out of our Hybrid Camper and 4WD on a lap of Australia, so its been well used.

Renogy DCDC charger
Our new Renogy 50A DCDC
New electrical box
We had an auto electrician install this some time ago

How much is the Renogy DCDC Charger?

You can pick the 50 amp Renogy DCDC for $299 , direct from their website. This is the Renogy DCC50S, with MPPT solar input too.

How does it perform?

These units go pretty well, when wired up correctly, with the right gauge wires. If you don’t know what a DCDC charger actually does, and whether you need one, we have a post that covers this in depth here; What is a DCDC charger, and do you need one?

Ours is set to charge at a maximum of 50 amps, but we rarely see this, and I’ll go into why further below.

Renogy shunt showing 140 amps being drawn
In conjunction with the Renogy shunt and battery monitor, we’re really happy with the Renogy DCDC

What do we like about the Renogy DCDC?

It’s cheap

You can’t complain about the price of this DCDC. They are decent quality gear, and priced very competitively.

It back charges the cranking battery

One of my favourite features of the Renogy DCDC is that it will use the solar to charge your secondary (house) battery, and when this is full, it will trickle charge your cranking battery.

For someone who can leave their vehicle undriven for weeks at a time, this is pretty handy as I know that the starter battery will always be happy providing we get some sun. If you have a modern 4WD with a heap of electrical gadgets that operate when you open and close doors, this can be a really important feature.

The Bluetooth module is great

We opted to buy a Bluetooth dongle with the Renogy DCDC, which allows us to connect up using the DC Home app, and monitor what is going on. It tells me the starter battery volts, house battery volts, alternator charge, solar charge, DCDC temperature and a few other random bits and pieces, which is great.

You can also adjust settings on it from the app, which means you don’t need perfect access to the DCDC itself, to make changes.

Renogy DCDC app history
The bluetooth and app makes life really easy

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What do I not like about the Renogy DCDC?

A lot of DCDC chargers give preference to solar input over alternator input, and the Renogy is similar in this manner. However, you should know that the 50 amp charging capacity is split between the solar and alternator. In other words, it takes a maximum of 25 amps from your alternator, and a maximum of 25 amps from your solar to make up the difference.

If you want the full 50 amps from your alternator, you need to disconnect the solar panel input, which is doable, but annoying.

For us, we leave the solar input plugged in, as it’s a 200W solar panel and in good sunlight we are getting 10 – 13 amps anyway, so a total of 25 + 10 – 13 is somewhere around the 35 – 38 amps of input to our lithium battery

Roof top solar
We have a 200W solar panel permanently mounted on the Dmax

I have on occasion unplugged the solar to get the full alternator input, but it requires your starter battery to be at 13.2V in order to pump this charge through, and ours often sits around this, or just below, which is limiting the charge. EDIT – I found a loose connection, which has resulted in us getting up to 34 amps from the alternator, and I assume this is its limitation as the cable sizing is great.

Overall, we’re fairly happy with this DCDC. It does what we want it to, without any real fuss and the Bluetooth connection to DC home (the Renogy app) makes monitoring the whole lot quite easy.

Renogy 50A DCDC
The back of the Renogy DCDC charger with plenty of cooling fins

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  1. Hey mate,

    Good suggestion, but if it were temperature related it wouldn’t be a problem when its cold, or just turned on.

    It wouldn’t have 15cm free space, and I don’t recall it saying anything in the manual about this, but agree its probably a good idea

    We have the new Renogy DCDC that is IP67 and that gets quite warm even when out in the open, so food for thought

    Cheers, and all the best

  2. Maybe you have problems with overheating? This unit should have 15cm free space above and below to allow for proper airflow…

  3. Hey Scott,

    Sorry to hear you’re having issues. The local support is certainly a bit of a thorn, unless you buy from Zero Grid. I have heard rumours of something coming to Australia though, which would be great.

    You said 2 grand worth of gear; what did you buy, and what has actually failed beyond what you mentioned? The monitor and bluetooth module are only about $150?

    Regardless, I know how frustrating it is.

    All the best

  4. I WOULD NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM RENOGY based on my experience! $2k worth of equipment which has lost most of its functionality after one year (can no longer use the monitor or Bluetooth module because of the faulty Ethernet port designs. AND ZERO CUSTOMER SERVICE AND NO DEALER SUPPORT. HUGE when you’re traveling. BEWARE!!!

  5. Hey Mark,

    Interesting that there’d be a glitch in the app; sounds awfully strange.

    Unfortunately the response from Renogy doesn’t surprise me at all. I didn’t feel overly confident when I questioned them about lithium battery float voltages.

    I think their products are fairly solid, but they certainly need local support. I was advised to make purchases through Zero Grid Australia, and get them to match the Renogy prices. Then you have solid, local support. Might be someone you can follow up with.

    Victron make seriously good gear, and I know that Redarc and Enerdrive have awesome customer service too. I guess its hard to get a good product and premium service at a cheap price!

    Thanks for your comment, and hope you have no further issues

  6. Mark Hodson says:

    I have the 30 amp unit and while it is functioning OK the app or the unit has a clitch that shows 15amp going into the house battery and 15 amp going into the starter battery, even though it is wired correctly and there is no way it should be showing any current going into the start battery. Its just not wired up to do that. So yes it is charging at 30amps, I just have to add the 2
    Backup service is wowfull. I had to take photos of the wiring as well as meter readings and screen shots. After several emails and several months, I never received a reply. Hope it’s just a software problem with the app. And yes I reloaded it.
    P.s. I am a retired Auto Electrician. Won’t be buying zny more of there products. I have Victron gear on my camper and after sales service with them is first class.

  7. Hey Lee,

    Thanks for your kind words. Yep, we could install a separate charger, but its room that we don’t have, and money I’d rather not spend.

    In actual fact, we have a cheap iTech PWM regulator already in the canopy that is ready to use withAandersons, as a bit of redundancy; I should give that a whirl and see how it compares to the Renogy DCDC’s MPPT capabilities.

    I can’t recall the last time I pulled a portable panel out, and avoid doing it. Our Dmax battery is generally above 90% unless we’ve needed it for lack of battery capacity in our Camper, and the solar is normally all we need.

    I’ll give the other PWM regulator a whirl though, and see how it goes, and then I’d get that plus the full 50 amps (if the alternator can deliver that).

    I have a sneaky suspicion that it won’t deliver much more, but its worth a shot.

    Cheers, and all the best

  8. Hi Aaron,
    There is another option that may help with your charging issue. What a lot of people do (and what I’m about to do with our canopy set-up) is run a separate MPPT charger dedicated to your roof top solar and a DCDC charger for the alternator input. The solar DCDC’s solar input can then be used for portable solar while camping. I know this set-up costs more but it maximises both the solar and alternator charge going to your lithium batteries.
    Safe travels. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  9. Hey Danny,

    Yep, you are correct, but I’m OK with that. In reality, I could do 3 things:

    – Fit more solar (but I don’t need the extra weight or power generation)
    – Unplug the solar and get more alternator power going through (but miss out on any solar generation, or have to manually connect and disconnect as we use it, which is too much mucking around and not really needed for our scenario)
    – Accept that the 25 + 10 amps is enough for our scenario and leave it running as is. In some circumstances I’d love to have more power going in, but unless we have really cloudy weather and we start to use the Dmax battery for the induction cooktop etc its rarely below 90% on any given day and the solar alone does its job.

    I knew that it would split it prior to purchasing, so not too upset about it.

    All the best

  10. Danny Farmer says:

    If the MPPT charging current from solar input is not able to keep the service battery at
    constant voltage charge stage, alternator will cut in to charge the service battery. In
    this case, the maximum dual input charging will be limited to 50% from each source.

    Hi Aaron, the above is a paragraph from the Renogy DC-DC manual. The way I understand the splitting of amps is if you cant get enough solar then the charger grabs from the alternator as well.The charger can take a max of 660 watts solar so your 200 watt solar panel will always be coming up short.
    Cheers Danny Farmer.