Update On Lithium Iron Batteries - Dutchmen Owners

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen Technical | Towing, Maintenance and Repairs > Electrical, Batteries, Charging and Electronics
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-05-2019, 06:09 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Corvallis
Posts: 75
Oregon
Update On Lithium Iron Batteries

Morning everyone!

Saw a thread not long ago about lithium iron batteries for RV use. I have a 2017 Kodiak 201QB which we love and have had absolutely no issues with so far (knock...).

We don’t do any rigorous boon dock camping but we do a fair amount of RVing in Forest Service campgrounds which don’t have electrical hookups. We are typically out from seven to ten days at a time and try to be conservative in our energy use.

Last year I decided to set up a solar panel system; purchased a 100 watt panel, rewired my system from the panel to battery with 6 gauge wire, and installed a Morningstar SunSaver solar charger/ load controller. I also have 25 feet of 6 gauge flexible wire running from the panel to trailer so the panel can be moved around to take advantage of the shifting patches of sun.

Using my electric meter, I was able to determine that the panel was doing it’s job but the battery (Interstate) that came with the rig seemed to not be able to hold a charge adequately. I suspect the battery wasn’t top quality to begin with, inadequate for it’s purpose, or had been allowed to go dead prior to my purchasing.

Regardless, my thought is to purchase a new lithium iron battery. At this point looking at a Relion RB100, 12v 100Ad. It’s price range is fair (for a quality lithium iron) and will probably be adequate for our needs and style (no cold weather RVing, relatively short trips, and conscientious use of our power supply).

I would like your thoughts on my possible choice for a new battery system. Other brands? Other units? Will my battery charger/load controller work with the new battery? Will I need anything else? In short, what flaws or shortcomings, do any of you see in my plan?

Also, I plan on purchasing a Honda 2200 generator as a backup for those times that cloudy weather is an issue or for camp locations which are too deep in the trees.

I am hoping that between shore power in some areas where we RV, the generator, a good battery, and our solar option, we will have our power bases covered for all of the RVing we intend to do.

Thanks in advance for any replies and thoughts!

Dan
__________________

Researchhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2019, 06:45 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
sundancer 87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tahlequah
Posts: 2,847
Oklahoma
Your pick of battery wants a 50 amp charge. The one solar panel can't do that on any day.
Might want to consider a different real deep cycle battery to match you solar components.
It's my opinion only that one panel won't do much for you in the long haul. A 100/105 amp hour battery really won't last that long unless you keep it topped off with your generator on sunless day(s).
__________________

__________________
2013 Voltage 3800, 2012 Chevy 3500 HD
2010 Yamaha V Star 950
2009 Yamaha Raider
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Caravanners
sundancer 87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2019, 11:18 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Capron
Posts: 270
Illinois
First thing to consider is replacing the charging unit if you go with LiFePO4 batteries. These batteries require a higher input voltage than lead/acid, 14.6v. The Solar charger should be adjustable, if not, get one that is, as you want to have a max output of 14.6V coming from them.



From what I can tell it takes about 360 watts to fully charge a LiFePO4 in around 4 hours with direct sun. It depends on state of discharge and AH of the battery.



For Gen charging, a Progressive Dynamics charger of 40-60 amps is preferred, such as PD9160L. A normal lead/acid charger won't fully charge a LiFePO4, so you will be wasting money if you don't install the proper charger.



Also if you are boondocking, I recommend the Champion 3100 Generator. I have one, it runs the trailer and AC (but not the water heater, use gas), and is quiet, weighs 85 pounds fully fueled. It may even cost less than the Honda.
acdii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 01:56 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
wildwest450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sparta
Posts: 1,710
Tennessee
Quote:
Originally Posted by acdii View Post
I recommend the Champion 3100 Generator. I have one, it runs the trailer and AC (but not the water heater, use gas), and is quiet, weighs 85 pounds fully fueled. It may even cost less than the Honda.
It may even cost half of what the Honda does. My buddy just bought a pair of the Honda 2000's it was $2100 for them and a parallel cord. I just got a pair of the Champion 2000's with the parallel cord, $960
__________________
2014 Aerolite 213 RBSL
2016 Chevrolet Colorado
wildwest450 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 03:44 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
chily3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 412
California
Might want to take the interstate battery back to dealer (Costco) for replacement. I have two of them in my TT and they work well. We do some off the grid camping and have not had any problem. We do not use a lot of power. NO TV, etc. as we are camping and enjoying reading talking etc. We do have small portable generator to do a charge if necessary.
__________________

Mike & Emily-Sacramento, CA
Our 4th trailer (2016 Aspen Trail 1900RB)
2018 F150 STX 2.7 Eco Boost
chily3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 03:52 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Relion RB100

The specs for the Relion RB100 are at https://relionbattery.com/products/lithium/rb100
50 amps charge rate is recommended, but there is no stated minimum current. The battery can accept up to 100 amps during charging.

It does need 14.4 to 14.6 volts for late stage final charging so older converter/chargers that provide 13.2 or 13.6 volts will not be suitable.

Any solar charger needs to provide 14.2 volts minimum. 14.5 volts would work better. A 100 watt solar panel provides 8 amps maximum at high noon on a clear day. The battery specs do not address such low charge rates. They say simply, 50 amps recommended. You may have to ask the company how the battery will charge at 8 amps and lower.

If the low rate of charge is efficient, one day of solar charging using a 100 watt panel would provide 60 amp hours, probably less. 8 hours at 8 amps = 64 amp hours.

This marginal performance is probably not enough for 7 days of dry camping. This is true for your existing lead acid battery as well.

A second panel would help a lot. A second battery (lead, or Lithium) with the one panel would help because you could start camping with 200 amp hours of capacity and break camp with possibly 20% reserve capacity.

I have a pair of 100 amp hour lead acid AGM Interstate batteries. We typically stay out dry camping for 5 days and break camp with more than 40% reserve capacity.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 03:57 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Summary:
Add a second lead acid 100 amp hour battery.*
Or add a second 100 watt solar panel.
Or add a pair of lithium 100 amp hour batteries.


*Mismatched batteries age wise or otherwise often don't play well together.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 04:28 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Capron
Posts: 270
Illinois
Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
Summary:
Add a second lead acid 100 amp hour battery.*
Or add a second 100 watt solar panel.
Or add a pair of lithium 100 amp hour batteries.


*Mismatched batteries age wise or otherwise often don't play well together.



This is true, the older battery can suck up the amps and the newer one may not reach full peak. Also don't mix Lithium with LA, or you will have an expensive brick.
acdii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 06:32 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Corvallis
Posts: 75
Oregon
Thanks for the replies everyone. I am taking careful note of all that is being said (wish there was a ďthanksĒ button).
Researchhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 06:39 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Corvallis
Posts: 75
Oregon
So, would using the 100w solar panel as much as possible and then topping the battery off with the generator be a viable combination plan?

Rethinking my plan and may consider a quality lead acid battery (Trojan?) this time around so I don’t have to invest in more components in order to make a Lithium Iron battery work. Then, when the time comes for another new battery, go that route. By then, the LI battery costs will have (maybe) dropped some.
Researchhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 06:41 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Capron
Posts: 270
Illinois
Quote:
Originally Posted by Researchhound View Post
So, would using the 100w solar panel as much as possible and then topping the battery off with the generator be a viable combination plan?

Rethinking my plan and may consider a quality lead acid battery (Trojan?) this time around so I donít have to invest in more components in order to make a Lithium Iron battery work. Then, when the time comes for another new battery, go that route. By then, the LI battery costs will have (maybe) dropped some.

That would be the way I would do it, start small and invest as time permits. Going with a lower cost generator will give you some extra budget for more panels.



I live by the rules, go big, or go home. Never hurts to have more than you need.
acdii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 08:58 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: tampa
Posts: 1,852
Florida
Quote:
Originally Posted by Researchhound View Post
So, would using the 100w solar panel as much as possible and then topping the battery off with the generator be a viable combination plan?

Rethinking my plan and may consider a quality lead acid battery (Trojan?) this time around so I donít have to invest in more components in order to make a Lithium Iron battery work. Then, when the time comes for another new battery, go that route. By then, the LI battery costs will have (maybe) dropped some.

Lithium Ion Batteries are expensive and probably won't come down too much. Supply and demand and all..
franktafl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2019, 04:14 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Researchhound View Post
So, would using the 100w solar panel as much as possible and then topping the battery off with the generator be a viable combination plan?

Rethinking my plan and may consider a quality lead acid battery (Trojan?) this time around so I donít have to invest in more components in order to make a Lithium Iron battery work. Then, when the time comes for another new battery, go that route. By then, the LI battery costs will have (maybe) dropped some.
It is a good plan. Several post above provide good recommendations.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2019, 04:18 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Researchhound View Post
So, would using the 100w solar panel as much as possible and then topping the battery off with the generator be a viable combination plan?

Rethinking my plan and may consider a quality lead acid battery (Trojan?) this time around so I donít have to invest in more components in order to make a Lithium Iron battery work. Then, when the time comes for another new battery, go that route. By then, the LI battery costs will have (maybe) dropped some.
It is a good plan. Several posts above are good recommendations.
You don't need a big generator to charge a pair of 100 ah batteries. A 700 watt generator will run a 40 amp charger/converter just fine.
You do need a big generator to run high power appliances like AC, microwave, elec water heater, elec coffee pot, etc
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2019, 07:35 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Corvallis
Posts: 75
Oregon
Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
It is a good plan. Several posts above are good recommendations.
You don't need a big generator to charge a pair of 100 ah batteries. A 700 watt generator will run a 40 amp charger/converter just fine.
You do need a big generator to run high power appliances like AC, microwave, elec water heater, elec coffee pot, etc
We are pretty conservative when dry camping. Pretty much the consistent power users are water pump, small parts of fridge ( mainly runs on gas), the led lights, and motor for awning. Heck, even though we donít really need to, we kept a cooler with ice outside for sodas and beers just so we arenít accessing the fridge too much.

Went and talked to our local Trojan dealer and they are recommending two six volt batteries over one twelve. I may even consider two twelves.
Researchhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2019, 07:38 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Capron
Posts: 270
Illinois
If not mistaken, the two 6's will give more AH than the two 12's.
acdii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2019, 09:47 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Corvallis
Posts: 75
Oregon
Local Trojan battery dealer is actually recommending two of the 6v US Brand batteries (2200) over the Trojan T105. Anyone had much experience with that brand? He says they cost less, but they will last longer and give out more cycles.

If I go this route, I am looking to get two separate battery boxes so one battery can be mounted in each of the two battery frames on the trailer tongue - rather than have two in one battery box located on one side or the other. Also thinking that this way it will be easier to carry one battery in itís own box rather than have to move two in one box.
Researchhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2019, 09:55 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
sundancer 87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tahlequah
Posts: 2,847
Oklahoma
Oh yeah, your 6 volt battery will come in around 60 pounds each. Nothing deader than lead unless it's a bag of cement.
__________________
2013 Voltage 3800, 2012 Chevy 3500 HD
2010 Yamaha V Star 950
2009 Yamaha Raider
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Caravanners
sundancer 87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2019, 11:47 PM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Grand Junction
Posts: 25
Colorado
battle born brand

I've used Battle Born brand Li batteries for several years, and installed them in several trailers. Never had a single problem. They are compatible with most trailer charging systems. A non-Lithium charging system will adequately charge a Li battery, it will just do it more slowly than it could.

I have never seen a 100 watt panel that actually puts out 8A into a battery. Most are rated Isc=6A. Even an MPPT controller won't boost it to 8A.

Conventional wisdom with lead acid batteries is that you want your solar to get them fully recharged every day. Hence, you size the solar to match the battery bank. Li batteries don't mind if you don't get them fully recharged every day, so even your small solar will work. However, it may not provide you as much power as you want, but you won't hurt the Li battery.

The Battle Born battery has a 10 year warranty, but you will never wear it out. You will simply move it from trailer to trailer as you upgrade, and when you quit RVing, you will pass it down to your kids or grand kids.

I will only use Li batteries from now on, until something better comes along. No more lead acid for me.
leisuresolar@gmail.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2019, 02:26 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 57
California
I have LI battery's in my bikes, BMW and Harley. They work great, but if you let the battery get below and specified voltage the battery is ruined and the warranty isn't honored. That being said you need something to monitor the voltage. I just ride my bikes our keep them on a little charger made for LI batteries. The battery's and charger are made by Battery Tender. I have thought of using my tow vehicle as the generator. If you drive your vehicle often enough and long enough ( depending on your alternator size) you could charge your batteries and connect to your TT and transfer your power. If you had enough storage capacity you could go days between charges. If you had a inverter your could power 110 volts off the 12 volts but again the inverter would limit what you could run. Its all about watts used and stored and made or replaced. A 100watt solar pane would be good for a phone charger and a laptop.
__________________

larrypride is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dutchmen RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×