after all that, I think I will go lithium ion - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 02-16-2019, 03:08 AM   #1
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after all that, I think I will go lithium ion

So, went to the RV show today. Ran into a company that released their new 12 V lithium ion RV batteries about 4 months ago (https://lionenergy.com/products/lion-safari-ut). Expensive ($750 to $999) for one 100 Ah 12 V battery, but sure got my heart pumping. Near zero maintenance (holds charge for up to a year, no water, no emissions/fumes/gases), 100% Depth of Discharge allowed. 5,000 cycles (WAY past "deep cycle"). Works well (100% efficient) in very cold or hot temperatures. Weighs 20 lbs. Safe (lithium iron phosphate). Lifetime warranty (my lifetime, apparently...not the battery's lifetime...I asked).

Using my two current 81 Ah batteries that cannot go below 50% DOD, I only have 81 Ah of usable energy, so this ONE lithium battery more than replaces my two lead acid ones.

I know the cost is steep, but I don't expect my 12 V flooded batteries to last more than 3 years or so. At $120 each for my Interstate batteries, that is $240 every 3 years.

What am I missing here?

One of my concerns is if my trailer's converter/charger will charge it okay. I know WFCO has converters/chargers that are labeled for lithium, but these lithium batteries have a Battery Management System (BMS) that is supposed to take care of all that.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:12 AM   #2
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I looked into the lithium's last year. In my case, I would have had to upgrade my charging system to suit the new batteries. It was probably not a bad idea to update the charger anyway since I believe they may have put the cheapest one in. ...just a thought!
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:53 PM   #3
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Here is a utube video with a ton of info on the differences.
I am pretty sure you will have to add/change a Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) to your circuit also.

https://youtu.be/PZ7HMRReZKY


Battle Born and Dragonfly (same company) seem to be the front runners in the RV lithium battery market.
I have even heard of folks using batteries made by Telsa and Chevy Volts (48v) in RVs.

Keep us updated on what you do.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:01 PM   #4
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I have been looking at the Lithium batteries for a while. Eventually, maybe.

They are definitely the wave of the future. FWIW I typically get 5+ years out of a set of standard batteries, a bit more from true deep cycle.

Based on my experience with WFCO chargers that would be the first thing I would replace if I were going with Lithium batteries. I just don't trust them.

I have had several conversations with Battleborn batteries and they have been quick to respond to my questions and provide all the information I have asked for. When the time comes I will most likely go with them.

Aaron
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Old 02-16-2019, 03:45 PM   #5
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$1000 for an RV battery
I know who to call when I need a loan.

I did buy a lithium Iron battery as a replacement for my motorcycle several years back, it was tiny and super light compared to the original. It did cost 3 times more, but it performed way above my expectations. Sat in a garage (around 50-54F) for 3 months in the winter and would fire up my bike with no problem, never on a charger.
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thom View Post
Here is a utube video with a ton of info on the differences.
I am pretty sure you will have to add/change a Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) to your circuit also.

https://youtu.be/PZ7HMRReZKY


Battle Born and Dragonfly (same company) seem to be the front runners in the RV lithium battery market.
I have even heard of folks using batteries made by Telsa and Chevy Volts (48v) in RVs.

Keep us updated on what you do.
Thom -

THANK YOU for the video link you sent. I watched the whole thing. Those guys are EXCELLENT and really know their stuff. It jives with ALL that I have read and researched. Another shorter/quicker video can also be seen at https://youtu.be/UfMROVzjVWU (shorter, mostly accurate, but not as good as the RV Geeks one).

I will probably make a post later about what I have learned about lithium. I am so done with flooded lead acid batteries. I will be picking up a lithium battery this week, most likely a Lion Energy one. They had a lifetime warranty 100 Ah one at the show for $750.

I could go on forever about the benefits of lithium. I am SO done with 50% DOD and the charge, water, and off-gassing maintenance that FLA batteries require. I will put together a chart of the pros/cons of FLA, AGM, and lithium later.

The ONLY downsides about the LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries that RVers use is that (1) they are expensive up front (but far less expensive in the long-run), (2) they can be USED in below-freezing temperatures, but cannot be CHARGED when the BATTERY itself is below 32 degrees F (and probably WON'T charge due to the BMS on the batter), so I need to figure something out for our travel trailer, and (3) there is a small possibility that SOME RVs may need upgraded electricals (converter, etc.) to have a lithium battery. HOWEVER, several manufacturers of these batteries are swearing that you do NOT need to change your converter or anything else. I will call WFCO on Monday to get their opinion, but by in large these should be 'drop in and go' batteries.
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I have been looking at the Lithium batteries for a while. Eventually, maybe.

They are definitely the wave of the future. FWIW I typically get 5+ years out of a set of standard batteries, a bit more from true deep cycle.

Based on my experience with WFCO chargers that would be the first thing I would replace if I were going with Lithium batteries. I just don't trust them.

I have had several conversations with Battleborn batteries and they have been quick to respond to my questions and provide all the information I have asked for. When the time comes I will most likely go with them.

Aaron
I agree a well-maintained FLA battery could last up to 5 years. And yes - I know my new 65 watt WFCO converter keeps getting a bad rap. I will deal with that separately.

I will probably not go with Battleborn. There are a few other brands out there too. But Lion Energy seems to have the best cost, lowest weight, and best warranty for 100 Ah LFP batteries.
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
$1000 for an RV battery
I know who to call when I need a loan.

I did buy a lithium Iron battery as a replacement for my motorcycle several years back, it was tiny and super light compared to the original. It did cost 3 times more, but it performed way above my expectations. Sat in a garage (around 50-54F) for 3 months in the winter and would fire up my bike with no problem, never on a charger.
Yes. These batteries only discharge about 2% or so per month. They can go down to a true 100% DOD (0% life left) without any harm to the battery. They can sit for a year with nothing without harming the cell or voiding the warranty. I would probably trickle charge them every other month or so in my case. The cold or freezing temps don't really hurt them. Try doing ANY of this with a traditional FLA battery and it will dead and not recoverable. Such a shame.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:20 AM   #9
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I will start by saying I know nothing about Lithium Ion batteries but $750 to $999 per battery! I pay just a bit over $100 for one deep cycle acid lead battery, so I guess I can buy 7 to 10 batteries for that amount! My history, I have had seven different RV's over the years. I had never kept one over 5 years and I never had to replace a defective battery. I had four battery bank systems on three of them. So, for me, the cost just does pencil out... Maybe when the cost comes down!


I could see investing in a 400+ watt solar system for $1000!
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 1l243 View Post
I will start by saying I know nothing about Lithium Ion batteries but $750 to $999 per battery! I pay just a bit over $100 for one deep cycle acid lead battery, so I guess I can buy 75 to 100 batteries for that amount! My history, I have had seven different RV's over the years. I had never kept one over 5 years and I never had to replace a defective battery. I had four battery bank systems on three of them. So, for me, the cost just does pencil out... Maybe when the cost comes down!


I could see investing in a 400+ watt solar system for $1000!


Check your math, I think it is 7.5 to 10 batteries for that amount, not 75 to 100.
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