Charging your motorhome and leisure batteries is an essential part of winter maintenance and whilst the leisure battery can be charged easily by using your inbuilt charger, the vehicle battery poses an additional challenge.
It was early in 2012, because I was out of the country for a considerable time that I committed the cardinal sin re batteries, I let it discharge & discharged batteries are difficult to fully recharge, though to be fair mine was on its last legs.
The other challenge was that my charger was my father in law's and dated back to the 1940's and though capable of charging, I did not trust it in situ, with all the delicate electronic equipment, that is now in modern units. So I had to phav around with disconnecting it and of course when I came to reconnect, I did not have the radio code, it is not top of your priorities, when you purchase a second hand van.
If you do lose your code, then try these guys, they charge a fraction of the price of dealers and if they can not provide the code they will not charge you.
So I made the decision to purchase a 'smart' charger that I could safely connect without having to disconnect the vehicle battery. After some research I came up with the
CTEK MXS 5.0 (readily available from Amazon)
As for choice between these models, only you can decide. Cost has to be a relevant factor and in this respect the cheaper XS3600/MXS3.6 meets most peoples' needs brilliantly and can be picked up for under £50. On the other hand for an extra tenner the latest MXS 5.0 has all the latest gimics, separate LED charging indicators are really useful in showing what stage you are at. There is also a separate reconditioning cycle.
All units are light and compact and include all the latest state of the art electronics.
I chose the MXS 5.0 because the maximum battery to be charged on the cheaper model is 120AH and my battery is bigger, that is not to say that the smaller version can not charge the bigger battery, it can , it just takes longer.
Whatever your choice, the build quality and reliability of CTEK chargers is second to none and will likely last you a lifetime...mind you that is probably what they said about my father in law's charger.
All I do now is every 4 weeks or so, if not using, is to just connect up and give a quick maintenance charge for a few hours.