Renogy 50A IP67 DCDC Battery Charger Review

DCDC chargers have become a very common 4WD and camping accessory today, and whilst they’re not always necessary, they can be a fantastic solution to a 12V system for both alternator charge and solar input. In todays post, we’re taking a look at the new Renogy 50A DCDC, to see how it performs, what it’s like and whether we’d recommend it or not.

Renogy 50A DCDC
We got our hands on a new Renogy 50A DCDC to test!

This unit was supplied by Renogy

A review is only as useful as the level of integrity of the person reviewing it, and if you’ve been following along for some time, you’ll know we are fiercely independent, and call a spade a spade. In this instance, Renogy supplied the 50A DCDC, along with a 400W portable solar panel, and 200W solar panel free of charge, in return for a review.

The review has zero limitations though, and we’re in control of it every step of the way. If the DCDC was found to be no good, I’d quite happily present that to you, with no bias. We are not in the business of providing positive comments for cash, like so many are.

Renogy folding solar panels
We also got two folding solar panels to test

Why did we want a 50A DCDC?

I’m a firm believer in only getting things that you really need for your 4WD and camping setup, or you waste a huge amount of money, time and effort. We’ve run a couple of different DCDC chargers in the past, and still have the older Renogy DCDC in service in our 2016 Isuzu Dmax, which takes the alternator charge and power from our 200W solar panel on the roof and charges our DIY lithium battery.

What we didn’t have though, was the ability to run solar panels up to 50V, and we were limited to a maximum of 25A of alternator charge when the solar was plugged in. I actually needed it to test the Renogy 400W solar panel (48V) and was really keen to see what improvements Renogy had made.

In the interest of making it easy to use, I had it wired up by a local auto electrician with Anderson plugs, so I could use it to charge our camper or Dmax lithium batteries from any solar panel, or run alternator power to them through the new DCDC just by swapping plugs around.

It also gave us the ability to take power from our 340Ah of lithium in the camper and put it into the lithium in the back of the Dmax, simply by using the alternator input, which we’ve been unable to do up until this point.

Camping at Behrs Flats
The new 400W Renogy portable panel requires a charger that can take up to 50V, which this DCDC can do

About the Renogy 50A DCDC

This unit arrives in a fairly small box, and is quite heavy. When you unpack it, you get the DCDC with a number of cables coming out of it, some stickers and a manual.

The cables are not terminated, and you either need to join them onto cables in your setup, or install Anderson plugs. It’s worth noting that there is a single earth, which means if you want to run Anderson plugs you have to loop the earth from the output to solar to alternator, which is easy enough.

The Renogy 50A DCDC is IP67, which is a big improvement on the old one, and allows you to mount it in areas that are not waterproof, or dust proof. That means attaching it to the chassis, in the engine bay or anywhere else you please, that is convenient to install and safe off road.

It’s also got Bluetooth integrated in the unit, which hooks in to the Renogy DC app on smartphones, and allows you to change settings, see what its generating, and monitor the full history of what has been generated, maximum outputs, totals and all sorts of fascinating and helpful data.

This unit prioritises solar over alternator input, which is good in terms of fuel efficiency, wear and tear and better for the environment. It is also setup to auto detect voltages, so you can use it on a 24V or 12V system with no issues.

Renogy 50A DCDC for testing
The DCDC with Anderson plugs installed

Why would you want a Renogy 50A DCDC?

DCDC’s are used for three primary purposes. The first, and most important is to take charge from your alternator and convert it into suitable charging power for the battery type that you are running as your auxiliary (or dual battery). This may be completely unnecessary if you do not have a smart alternator, and are running lead acid batteries, but it becomes quite important with modern vehicles running smart alternators, and when your auxiliary battery is lithium.

The second purpose is to take power from solar panels, and to convert it into a safe charging current for your auxiliary battery. Most 12V panels are 22V – 48V, and if you plug them straight into your 12V battery, there’s going to be fireworks shortly after. You need a solar controller to regulate the power, and the Renogy DCDC does this using an MPPT arrangement.

50A is a fair whack of power too, and there’s lots of DCDC chargers that are limited at much less, meaning the Renogy option gives you good flexibility. It’s worth noting here that you don’t have to use the full 50A, and you can just turn the settings down to suit your particular installation as needed.

Lastly, the DCDC acts as an isolator between two batteries, and will stop your cranking battery from getting drained when you pull up as it physically separates the batteries.

In short, its a great solution for running a dual battery system in a 4WD, or for looking after batteries in a camper trailer, caravan or motorhome.

Cranking battery
A DCDC is a pretty good all in one solution to keep your secondary battery charged, and your cranking battery ready to go

How does it perform?

I mentioned earlier that we set our Renogy DCDC up on Anderson plugs, so we can use it on either our Isuzu Dmax, or our Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper. The cables are clearly labelled, and you just ensure that the output is going into the battery you want charged.

We’ve used it extensively to run the 400W and 200W Renogy blankets, to move power from our Camper lithiums to our Dmax lithium, to charge our camper lithiums from the car alternator and its done everything comfortably and well.

I probably would not wire it up as a portable unit unless you really needed to, because its so much nicer to have it all permanently doing its thing, but its worked well for our testing, and current needs. I’ll probably install it permanently in due course.

We did some testing from the alternator of our Dmax, and saw 20 amps when idling, with it comfortably increasing to 46 amps under higher revs, and this was with a second DCDC also in action, and charging our lithium batteries.

In terms of the performance for solar and alternator arrangements, it works really well, and being able to see exactly what its doing on the app is absolutely magic.

The Renogy app on my phone
Being able to see it all on the phone is gold

What do we love about the product?

It’s compact

This DCDC is tiny compared to our Enerdrive DC2DC, and it has better specifications in terms of output and voltages accepted. Room is often a problem when it comes to electrical installations, so smaller is greatly appreciated!

Renogy DCDC size
I’ve got big hands, but this unit is really compact

It back charges

One of the neatest features of the Renogy DCDC range is that they will fill the auxiliary battery up from solar, and then they’ll feed a small amount of power back into the cranking battery. This is clever, because it guarantees that your cranking battery stays in peak condition even when left for extended periods, providing you have solar shining. We’ve loved this trickle charge feature on our current Renogy DCDC, and its great to see it rolled over into the new model.

It’s IP67

We’ve used a number of DCDC chargers that are not sealed against dust, moisture or water, and that can be a bit of a problem. It’s peace of mind getting something that is sealed, and opens up your installation options significantly.

The integrated Bluetooth

There’s a lot of DCDC chargers on the market that you have to physically look at the unit to see what its doing, and plenty more that give you nothing but a few flashing dots. We’ve been running the Renogy DC app for a couple of years now, and its excellent for seeing what is going on, looking at history, changing settings and makes life super simple.

You can mount your DCDC out of eyesight, in places that are not easy to get to, and pull out your phone, load the app and see what’s going on in a matter of seconds. Our older Renogy DCDC has no Bluetooth, and the only way we can see what is going on is to look at a separate shunt, or to use a Bluetooth dongle that you had to pay for. Today, its all integrated, and that’s pretty neat.

Renogy Bluetooth Module
The previous Renogy installs required a separate Bluetooth Dongle

What do we not like about the Renogy DCDC?

There’s not much to say here. The Renogy DCDC does get quite warm (we’ve seen 66 degrees), but this is not uncommon, and its got a decent case with reasonable heat dissipation. Air flow would be worth while thinking about in your installation if possible, but other than that, I can’t say anything bad about the Renogy unit.

Where can you get the Renogy 50A DCDC?

You can purchase these direct from the Renogy website for $479.99, using our link – DC DC charger with Solar. We make a tiny commission if you buy through our link, and you get the pleasure of knowing you’ve supported us.

Alternatively, you can buy them from Zero Grid Australia, who are an authorised reseller with excellent customer service.

Would we recommend the Renogy DCDC?

Yep, easily. If you need a DCDC, you want lots of options, integrated Bluetooth, a really substantial charging amount and something that can be mounted anywhere, the Renogy 50A DCDC is a great option.

To sum it up, this is another great option from Renogy, that we’re really happy to have and to use. If you’re in the market for a decent, well priced DCDC, the new Renogy IP67 50A DCDC might be for you!

Renogy 50A DCDC
We’re very pleased with this DCDC, and rate it

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  1. Hey Dean,

    Appreciate the thoughts, and whilst I can see your point, I don’t think it’s fair to review beyond my experiences.

    I won’t write a business off based on other people’s experiences, especially when you only ever hear the worst stories shared.

    I’ve written about my experience with various Renogy products including an inverter failure, and mentioned comments about their customer service, which has been slow, but not unreasonable.

    I certainly wouldn’t say it’s the worst customer service, but zero grid is a great option if you have concerns.

    All the best

  2. Great review of the product but I think you have a responsibility to review the supplier as well, a quick search will find Renogy has the absolute worst customer support. Great if it works but when it doesn’t your up a creek without a paddle.

  3. Hey Mark,

    That’s seriously hot! You can see the temperature on the app; have you taken a screenshot and logged it with Renogy?

    The old one is certainly better at heat dissipation, but its also not waterproof (not that it would matter in your case).

    I was surprised by the bare cable ends too, but I guess it makes sense when the unit is fully sealed.

    All the best

  4. hi Arron
    i have this charger and have had to dial it back to 20 as it got really hot im talking 90 deg plus
    i have put heat sinks on a alum chabel mount and comp fans to cool it down also the bare wire ends were a pain to me the blue tooth is good though prob for my inside install the old model would have suited me better