Kate TaylorSee other accessory reviews written by Kate Taylor
Digital Content Manager
We test the Draper 07265 battery charger against the rest, so you can buy the best unit to ensure your caravan's leisure battery is ready for your holidays
The most expensive smart battery chargers and conditioners we reviewed in our test were the Ring SmartChargePro 25, costing £190, and this Draper 07265, costing £133, at the time of our group test of eight units in 2014. Received wisdom is that you get what you pay for, so by that measurement, the Draper charger should be an excellent choice for keeping your caravan leisure battery well juiced and raring to go come the spring.
We put our faith in testing, rather than trusting in received wisdom, however, so here's what happened when we put this Draper 07265 230V battery charger to the test.
Like the Sealey Autocharge10D, this Draper unit uses a small computer to drive its conventional circuitry. The result is similar: a handful of clever features and modes, but a slightly restricted battery range of 8-130Ah.
Although different battery technologies aren’t specifically catered for, you get do conditioning and reconditioning cycles in the 07265. It has a desulphation facility, built in polarity protection and can be used with lead acid, lead acid maintenance-free, lead AGM, lead calcium and GEL types of battery. When you use the desulphation charge it allows the sulphates to return to the electrolyte inside the battery. Draper says that it is safe to leave the battery permanently on charge without causing any damage.
Unlike any other unit in our group test of eight battery chargers, this one caters for 6V, 12V, and 24V batteries. Whether such versatility justifies the high price is questionable, especially considering the average maximum output and its short leads. It weighs 5kg and its dimensions are 32.3cm x 19.4cm x 15 cm.
Although it was available to buy for £133 at the time of our test, the price does vary depending on the retailer. On Draper's own website the list price in November 2014 is £208.39 including VAT. It's currently on promotion at £175.02 including VAT. A quick browse online came up with one on special offer on Amazon for £141 including VAT and free delivery, or on the Lawson-HiS website for £133.34 including VAT.
Draper is a well known brand, with its head office in Chandler's Ford, in Hampshire's beautiful New Forest. When you buy products it is good to know that there's a technical helpline (0123 8049 4344) open from 8am to 5.30pm on weekdays, as well as the order hotline (0123 8049 4333). The firm is well established, having been started in 1919 by Bert Draper. The enterprising founder sold government surplus items and tools in the street market in Kingston, Surrey. As the business grew, Draper started to sell its own brand of tools, as well as popular makes such as Britool, Lucas and King Dick. This is still a family business today, being run by Bert's grandson John Draper and there are local stockists all over the UK.
So how did this Draper battery charger, the 07265, do compared to its rivals? Well, at least it didn't come last – that honour was reserved for the £47 Clarke CC120, a cheap and cheerful old-school battery charger that doesn't have any way of knowing when to stop charging.
Neither was it our five-star rated test winner, the magnificent and very smart CTEK MXS 7.0 battery charger, at £100. Nor did it join the four-star CTEK MXS 5.0, at £60, the four-star Ring SmartCharge+ 12 at £65, or the pricey but excellent four-star Ring SmartChargePro 25, £190.
So was it a three-star battery charger, like the Sealey Autocharge 10D, £37, or the three-star Draper 11953 at £60? Sadly not, we've placed the Draper 07265 in seventh place out of the eight chargers on the test bench.
The Draper 07265 230V Expert battery charger should be sufficient to keep your leisure battery topped up when you're not touring in your caravan, however some of the cheaper chargers in our test would do the job just as well. We awarded this unit two stars out of a possible top score of five.
- It's the most versatile charger tested, catering for 6V, 12V and 24V batteries
- It's safe to leave it plugged in to your battery permanently
- Short leads
- Maximum output 8-130Ah
- It doesn't adapt to suit different types of battery