EXCLUSIVE: Schumacher Electric Charges into Off-Grid Market

A picture of Schumacher Electric's SDC371 DC to DC charger

RVers, boondockers and overlanders traveling and living off-grid have a new option to keep their RVs and appliances charged during their trip.

Schumacher Electric, a Texas-based power generation company in business for 75 years, released a new DC-to-DC intelligent battery charger line. The battery chargers use a vehicle’s alternator to keep a backup battery fully charged while driving.

Schumacher’s CEO Mickey Leech said the company wants to empower people to enjoy the freedom that comes with mobility.

“Living off the grid does not have to mean living rustic. You can still live a modern lifestyle,” Leech said. “We are just starting. This is the tip of the spear. We decided we need to get into this category because what we do fits perfectly.”

Leech said the Schumacher 40-amp (SDC371) and 25-amp (SDC370) models are built with the durability their customers have come to rely on for decades.

The 12-volt chargers include:

  • Three-stage charging; Boost Mode for maximum current, Absorption Mode for continuous charge and Float Mode for battery maintaining
  • Durability in extreme temperatures up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weatherproof
  • A battery selector, an alternator signal and charging status as well as fault and solar priority indicators
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Compatibility with standard, gel, absorbed glass mat, calcium and lithium batteries

The 40-amp charger has a solar priority option enabling consumers to choose between the alternator or a solar panel for a charging source. In addition, the charger uses a solar regulator to automatically switch to the solar panel for charging when the vehicle’s engine is turned off.

Many late-model vehicle models use smart alternators in their charging systems that adjust the output voltage which can cause problems when charging a secondary battery. Schumacher’s charger solves this issue by boosting the alternator’s output.

“There has been a lot of innovation around batteries lately,” Leech said. “Our products are designed for modern equipment.”

Designing a product with passion

DC-to-DC chargers are ideal for people who plan to be off-grid without relying on a generator or solar power to run electronics, Leech said. The company decided to expand into the DC-to-DC market after some of its employees, who are RVing and outdoors enthusiasts, became excited about the product’s possibilities.

“We have some really talented people. They just blow me away,” Leech said. “We are taking our hobbies and putting them into work. That is what makes it fun.”

Built in Schumacher’s Texas facility, new models are expected to come out semi-annually because each new model’s design process is expected to take around 18 months. Leech said the company wants to ensure details are right before releasing products to customers.

“You cannot give somebody a tool that they are going to rely on and try to find the problems in the product after,” he said. “We want to test these when there are extreme conditions. We know where people are using these products. It is not going to be in some showroom, it is going to be in some rough places.”

The chargers are available online at Schumacher’s website and at Amazon, Camping World, Bass Pro Shop and Academy Sports. However, Leech said the company wants to expand its sales network.

“Designing the product was in our sweet spot,” he said. “We have to grow our distribution for this to get used by everybody as much as it should be.”

Schumacher has bold plans for the portable power market, Leech said. Lithium power banks are among the company’s most popular products. Schmacher wants to make them large enough so consumers can enjoy a lifestyle away from plugging into a wall, Leech said.

“People are going to keep telling us what products they need,” he said. “We have the technology; we have the excitement and the passion.”

For more information about Schumacher power products, click here.

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