RVing with Tito - BOONDOCKING with LITHIUM vs AGM - Which is Better?

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I keep reading lithium ion and about battleborn batteries and they make a gc2 6v replacement battery that is 12v. These are very expensive and I would think the only reason you would spend this kind of $$ is one does a lot of boondocking?

 
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We have been using LiFEO4 batteries for the last year; 600 amps installed. In my opinion this is one of the best modifications made to the RV, one of many. To get the most of these batteries it is best to understand the batteries, the BMS installed, and how they interact with the onboard systems to avoid being surprised. These batteries are more capable than some of the installed charging systems of the typical RV. Pay attention to the manufacturer recommendations. We installed ME RC50 remote inverter controller and a 3000 watt Hybrid inverter to adjust the charging parameters and take advantage of the extra battery power.
That said, these batteries provide stable voltage (a huge plus) over a wide range of charge, tolerate deep discharge, charge relatively quickly, and NO Maintenance. They are half the weight of lead acid, I saved over 225 lbs.
We installed LifeBlue batteries, two 300 amp packs. Generally pleased with the batteries, no issues. Had I had it to do over, I'd change the location of the battery installation some but the components are good.
 
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Following @JoeHogan above, @Neal and or @Chuggs what would it take to switch to lithium in Newmar coaches?
 
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I follow everything @Chuggs does. I think now that the 2021 King Aire comes with lithium he probably already has an order in. THAT I will not be following but if he surprises me and instead puts lithium in his Ventana then I will have no choice but to mirror his unit as mine is a clone of his. Can't wait for his FPU pics!
 
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I think the question to ask is... Do I Boondock almost exclusively?

The LiFePO4 chemistry is awesome, but you reap the benefits when you use your batteries in a true deep cycling fashion...ie Solar or Generator to recharge storage and camping off-grid. Temperature range must be respected as well.

Our coaches come with a very cool device, that shares charge sources between the Alternator when driving, and the House Charger/Solar when not. It keeps the chassis and house batteries charged. Having a large bank of LiFePO4 can cause problems with our alternators...so they created the Li-BIM, which I'm not a huge fan of. Using a 12V to 12v charger could be a possible work around.

If I were to do it...I would likely add two 100w solar panels with a dedicated MPPT controller to maintain the Chassis Batteries....and look into a one way 12v to 12v charger to control the amps coming off the Alternator to charge the House bank while driving. It would take some tinkering to find a good balance to keep from overheating the Alternator. A Balmar Marine alternator with Internal temp monitoring and regulation might be another way.

I hope to find a reliable way of charging the Chassis and House in an efficient manner, and somehow keeping flexibility in the process. It might be...a heavy duty switch to allow a choice of Independent solar v. Li-BIM v. 12v-12v charger. That way you can adapt to specific environment. Parked vs Traveling...Cloudy or Densely Forested vs Good Solar Production, etc...

I also want to learn more about cell balancing. If you watch any of Will Prowse's YouTube presentations, he's pretty wary about connecting more than two or three parallel LiFePO4 batteries, because of the possibility of individual batteries internal resistance leading to over taxing one battery to the point of BMS cutout. He checks and balances his every six months. Many Class A user's have six or eight parallel 100A/12v LiFePO4 batteries connected. So, is the complexity worth it? Again, if you are off grid most of the time...I think so. If you have shore power mostly...I'm still leaning more toward AGM.

I keep reading and learning what I can. I just haven't reached the Eureka moment.
 
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I'm curious what they put in the 2021 King Aire for the BIM situation.
 
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You could look it up on Comnet2...
 
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You could look it up on Comnet2...
Not showing up yet...i have noticed that comnet is very slow to add parts for new model years.
 
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And for my coach it's very incomplete, I typically have to email Joe G in Newmar parts for help.
 
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So I have been exchanging emails with battleborn about if I changed to lithium in my 2017 Ventana. I am probably not a good candidate as I don’t boondock very much and it seems most appropriate for those who. Even better if you have solar it seems from that video @Neal posted. I was interested in learning more so this is a condensed version of the emails.


Thanks for contacting Battle Born! We will want to check the compatibility of your rig’s charging components. Four of our 100ah 12v Battle Born batteries will be very close to the usable capacity of your current bank. Five of our batteries would increase the capacity from your current reserve.

Most Newmar’s are equipped with a BIRD and solenoid relay for alternator charging. This will need to be swapped out for a Lithium Isolator (LiBIM) in order to protect the alternator from overworking. The LiBIM is recommended if you are using 3+ Battle Born batteries.

LiFePO4 Battery Isolation Manager - Battle Born Batteries


To replace your (8) 6 volt batteries, you would need 5 of our 12v 100ah batteries.

Reasoning:

8 – 6v 225ah GC2 batteries in a series/parallel connection create a 12v 900ah bank, but with a 50% discharge floor, you have a usable 450ah reserve.

5 – 12v 100ah Battle Born batteries in parallel create a 12v 500ah bank with a 100% usable reserve.

For the Magnum inverter/charger, you should have a Magnum Remote inside of the coach. Go to Setup, Battery Type, and see if you can select the CC/CV setting, or possibly a custom setting.

FWIW.
 
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I have 8 battle born for over a year now. Have worked great.
 

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Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,669
Location
Midlothian, VA
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RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
And this is why @CoreyinWP locks his basements
 
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@CoreyinWP are you one of brave ones that did it yourself or did a shop do it for you? Beautiful job.
 
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Thanks Sheridan!

I did the installation with inspiration from @Neal and a lot of great advice from @Chuggs . It was a lot of fun,,,,I had never done anything like it before.
 
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