RedArc vs Victron... REAL WORLD USE pros and cons?

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Hey All

Long term Victron user here, and have now installed a half dozen complete Victron systems in friends vehicles, and love everything about the product, user interface and customize-ability!

Friend is building a sprinter and was mentioning he wanted to use RedArc stuff for it instead of Victron. I tried asking why and he basically just said he thought it looked the best.

After doing my own digging, I am having a hard time seeing any REAL WORLD advantages of the RedArc stuff over the Victron. Other than the red/black color is more aesthetically pleasing than the obnoxious blue. :p

Literally every single spec, and such that i am comparing, shows Victron the clear leader in almost every single category, especially for the larger systems, and definitely for he DCDC charging capabilities.

I had explored RedArc when planning my current build last year, but for larger systems, everything seemed very limited, especially the DCDC charging and such so i stuck with Victron and its been flawless.

Is there something i am missing? I want to set him up with the best stuff, easiest to use, and the most trouble free.

My gut and experience tells me that the RedArc stuff gets wholesaled to all of "Overlandy" shops with a MUCH better profit margin than Victron, so said shops will obviously pimp that first with all their marketing...

Anyone actually use both systems have any insight as to why RedArc may reign supreme?

Regurgitated marketing hype responses will be ignored, I want real world usage comparison feedback please.

Thanks
 
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DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
I use both REDARC and Victron gear. Both work well. Same is true of Sterling Power.

In my case, the selling points were 24v in/12v out, no need for a fan, and small size.

When it comes to DC/DC, I believe that Sterling makes the largest - certainly Sterling is most adjustable. Victron has an edge when it comes to integrated systems, although the Manager 30 gives it a run. But the Manager 30, which I have not tried, is too small for my needs.

Each is slightly different. Buy whichever better meets your needs.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
I use both REDARC and Victron gear. Both work well. Same is true of Sterling Power.

In my case, the selling points were 24v in/12v out, no need for a fan, and small size.

When it comes to DC/DC, I believe that Sterling makes the largest - certainly Sterling is most adjustable. Victron has an edge when it comes to integrated systems, although the Manager 30 gives it a run. But the Manager 30, which I have not tried, is too small for my needs.

Each is slightly different. Buy whichever better meets your needs.
Great feedback, as always. Thanks.

Yeah, I am using the Sterling 60A DCDC and we got one for his sprinter as well.

They make a 120A also, which is exponentially more expensive, but I simply don’t think I even need it. Yet anyway… 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Depends on the specific device category, all are good quality.

Redarc is relatively pricey and often not user-custom adjustable. I avoid multi-purpose units, prefer standalone best of breed.
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Maybe the test is amps through per $$ ;)

And I'm actually serious. I got hooked on REDARC as I needed a way to charge a 12v bank from the 24v alternator and REDARC reached out to me. To be fair, Sterling also have a B2B that can do that as well, but I didn't know it at the time.

In hindsight, I should have junked my solar controller, which wasn't very good anyway, replaced my inverter/charger (which is very good) with a 24v unit and rearranged my batteries to 24v. I already had a way over priced 24v to 12v step down that could have handled my 12v loads easily.

This all leads to my belief that it is best to get your blue sky/clean sheet design right first, then worry about which components can do the job. I have a very mixed brand set up. There is a lot to be said for an all one brand install, Mastervolt, Renogy, Victron, etc.
 

broncobowsher

Adventurer
One is a Ford, the other a Chevy. They both just the job done. Typically comes down to brand loyality, or the marketing department.
In a few areas one might be better than the other, but not all areas.
 

ramblinChet

Well-known member
At Overland Expo in 2019 I spend several hours at the REDARC tent and while they have nice gear I purchase Victron Energy gear for my application.

In my opinion the main advantages of the REDARC components is that many of them are designed to operate in horrible environments such as an engine bay where it is hot, dirty and vibrates. Another advantage or disadvantage is that many of their components came as bundled kits having several components in one assembly. Nice for some folks but not for all.

In the end I went with Victron Energy gear since I was not going to mount these specialized electronic components in a nasty environment plus I wanted to optimize with individual components of my choosing. So, if you are looking for a pre-configured assembly that covers several bases at once and you want to be able to mount it anywhere, REDARC seems to be a nice choice. If you desire to optimize your system for your specific application and are not against using three or more individual components that will be mounted in a somewhat controlled environment...Victron Energy rules the day.

And the icing on the cake is the The Netherlands (Victron Energy) absolutely dominates the world when we begin talking digital technology, IT, etc. Most people do not realize it but they developed WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. Australia is cool but when it comes to patents for technical applications they are not even in the same race.
 

clydeps

New member
And the icing on the cake is the The Netherlands (Victron Energy) absolutely dominates the world when we begin talking digital technology, IT, etc. Most people do not realize it but they developed WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. Australia is cool but when it comes to patents for technical applications they are not even in the same race.
Not that it has much to do with the quality of today's products, but in fact WiFi was invented in Australia. The CSIRO patented it in the early '90s. Australia is good at inventing stuff, not so good at commercialising it.

The Netherlands is home to not only Victron, but also Mastervolt - the two companies have some common roots. Mastervolt products are arguably even better than Victron, albeit pricier and without as wide a product range. I believe that Mastervolt manufactures in Europe while Victron designs there but manufactures in China.
 

llamalander

Active member
I think most of the Victron components I've seen are made in India, for what it's worth.
How is REDARC support? I know Victron works to keep their products updated and communicating with each other pretty constantly, which is a plus.
 

Chorky

Observer
How about climate as briefly discussed already. Which systems operate better in cold weather? I believe some time ago redarc had major issues operating in temps below 40 degrees? I think that was fixed, but it still doesn't work below -20 (I read somewhere a few months ago). How about victron in that regard?
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
How about climate as briefly discussed already. Which systems operate better in cold weather? I believe some time ago redarc had major issues operating in temps below 40 degrees? I think that was fixed, but it still doesn't work below -20 (I read somewhere a few months ago). How about victron in that regard?
I've had my Victron stuff in about 0-10F many times with no issues.

Never below that though, so cant comment
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Yes Victron is more likely to be fine in Arctic conditions.

For extreme heat, inside engine compartment (horrible idea) then Redarc more robust.

The key for Victron support, is buy from a good authorised dealer.

I dunno if Redarc has developed such channels in NA
 
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