Our expert tests the Ring SmartChargePro 25 and seven others to find the best battery charger you can buy to keep your caravan's leisure battery healthy
We like to know where our products on the Practical Caravan test bench come from and we're pleased to report that Ring is a British company, based in Leeds, first established in 1974. It specialises in electrical equipment for vehicles, accessories such as battery chargers and lighting products for the automotive industry.
We tested the Ring SmartChargePro 25 against its stablemate, the Ring SmartCharge+ 12, and six rival battery chargers – the Draper 11953, Draper 07265, the CTEK MXS 7.0, CTEK MXS 5.0, the Clarke CC120 and the Sealey Autocharge10D.
Ring exports its products all around the world, to 70 countries or more and employs 70-100 people and the warehouse in Leeds holds 20,000 product lines. This is a big player in the automotive accessories industry, and with all that experience behind its products we're not surprised that both the Ring battery chargers we tested did so well in our group test.
The Ring SmartChargePro 25 battery charger and conditioner featured in this review was the priciest product in our group test. At the time of the test it cost £190, though we have seen it on sale since for up to £230, so do shop around if you decide to buy it.
Very few people would consider the better part of £200 paid for a battery charger to be money well spent. Having said that, however, you wouldn’t be disappointed with what you get.
The unit’s enormous maximum output of 25A means that this will make short work of charging, or maintaining, any battery you’re likely to come across.
And, just like the winning CTEK MXS 7.0 in our test of battery chargers, its variety of modes ensure that your caravan leisure battery will be charged in the most efficient and safest way possible, regardless of the technology inside it.
For those who like to know the exact technical specification, the Ring SmartChargePro 25 is a 2-25 Amp programmable eight-stage 12 Volt battery smart charger with multiple charge rate settings. Ring says that it has a 'multi-chemistry function' to set the specific charge required for different battery types.
Since most of us don't have a huge garage or barn with a power supply in which we can house our caravans between holidays, this means that the charger really needs to be weather resistant and have a long lead. And this is where we had to knock a star off our rating for this otherwise formidable battery charger and conditioner. Unfortunately it has ventilation grilles, which would prevent unsupervised outdoor use in damp conditions.
Reconditioning and power-supply modes are also included. The reconditioning function is particularly useful for those times when your leisure battery has run down a little lower than usual. In reconditioning mode the charger can dissolve any damaging sulphation from the battery's plates before they have a chance to take up residence and reduce your battery's life and power.
Another useful aspect of the Ring SmartChargePro 25 is the power supply function. This setting maintains the battery voltage even when appliances are connected and drawing power.
Another handy feature is that it includes a clear LCD display, so that you can tell easily whether your caravan's leisure battery is flat, half charged, fully charged, or in a maintenance conditioning cycle.
The Ring SmartChargePro 25 measures 86mm high, 176mm wide and 248mm deep (more than 3 inches high, almost 7 inches wide and 9¾ inches deep). It weighs 3.2 kg (more than 7lb).
It might be pricey, but the Ring SmartChargePro 25 does deliver all you could want in a caravan leisure battery charger. We're happy to award it a four star rating as a result of our tests.
- Massive power output of 25 Amps
- This charger adapts to suit the type of battery on charge
- At almost £200 it's the most expensive battery charger we tested
- It's not waterproof, so you'll need to use it under cover or in dry weather