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Old 11-05-2018, 08:29 AM   #1
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Anybody upgraded to Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Batteries

I bit the bullet last night and ordered 2 of them for my Tiffin Wayfarer 24BW. Has anybody done this upgrade yet on their Wayfarer? Looking for tips or lessons learned. I'll post more once I've received and installed mine.

Best,
--Mark
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:12 AM   #2
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LifeBlue not Battle Born but similar.

I did LifeBlue not battle born they appear to be very similar in specs, make me wonder if they don't share internals.

I charge mine about 95% of the time with solar using BlueSky charge controllers.

My research indicates that it is important to stop charging the batteries based upon current and voltage to avoid shortening the life due to overcharging. The BlueSky charge controllers can be setup with a current limit for acceptance. My A/C charger is a Magnum 2800 and it does not have this ability so I monitor it manual on the few occasions I use it to charge. Since this is always a generator run it isn't an inconvenience to keep an eye on things. The Magnum also starts up in float and sometimes the current isn't very high so I have to bump the float setting voltage up to save on generator time. Finally I have to set the Magnum to 90% charge rate because if I let it run wide open it will over heat even on cold days. Then it rolls back the current so I find it better to let it run at 90% which give me a stead 110A or so instead of trying to get the full 120A.

Here are some links to papers about LiFePO4 batteries that I found informative.

Marine lithium batteries in operation | Nordkyn Design

Lithium batteries fundamentals | Nordkyn Design
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:51 PM   #3
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Thanks cruizerEd!

Heard from the wife that they arrived today. Wow, that was quick! I guess I know what my project is this weekend... I'll let folks know how the swap went.

Best,
-Mark
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:53 AM   #4
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There's no need to limit charging to 95% or even worrying about overcharging Battle Born lithium batteries. Each battery has it's own internal BMS (battery management system). It protects it from low/high temperatures as well as low/high SOC/charge rates.

I have 4 of them installed in my RV and love them.

Ron
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:01 AM   #5
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Did the install this weekend. Added as a new post.
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:21 AM   #6
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Lithium in the Wayfarer

How are you keeping the batteries warm with the open battery bay? I have a '19 25 QW, and want to change the batteries out for lithium...
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruizerEd View Post

<..... My A/C charger is a Magnum 2800 and it does not have this ability so I monitor it manual on the few occasions I use it to charge. Since this is always a generator run it isn't an inconvenience to keep an eye on things. The Magnum also starts up in float and sometimes the current isn't very high so I have to bump the float setting voltage up to save on generator time.... >
I guess I don’t understand which model you have. I just wondered if your software revision would allow upgrading the remote. I have a MS2812 and upgraded to the ME-ARC remote. It gives me CC/CV programming options.

Just a thought.

In CC/CV it will stay silent if the Solar is charging..but I can select “rebulk” and it will go right back to CC/CV charging again.

If you run mainly off solar, and find yourself not getting back to 100% SOC. You might ask the mfg. at what voltage their internal BMS is set to cell balance. You would occasionally want to get the voltage up to that voltage and depending on their BMS abilities...hold that for a long enough period for the cells to realign themselves. At other times..you may actually get more life from NOT going to a high SOC all the time.

Nice technique adjusting your charge rate.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:14 AM   #8
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MarkMax, may I ask why you ordered new batteries so soon? I have a 2019 Wayfarer TW that I took delivery of in October and am curious. Always appreciate your input and advice!
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MPark View Post
MarkMax, may I ask why you ordered new batteries so soon? I have a 2019 Wayfarer TW that I took delivery of in October and am curious. Always appreciate your input and advice!
The Batteries+ that came with it are junk. I wanted to be able to have my WiFi and security cameras on 24/7. These run over 2x longer on a charge, hold over 13V the entire time vs dipping below 12V, and recharge quicker. So far I only have to make one storage run a month and I have to run my generator anyways under load to keep it in shape. Also, when the Battle Born batteries get near empty they shut themselves off from further discharging, whereas the batteries that came with the unit would have been ruined if ran dead. Lastly, I dropped 48 pounds in weight. For me the batteries that came with it had no positives; just increased weight and many more trips out to top off the batteries.

Best,
-Mark
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:43 AM   #10
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How old was your Wayfarer when you swapped out the batteries? I'm able to crank up my RV and charge mine at least every 2-3 weeks minimum, and it's only 2 months old, so not sure it's worth the expense just yet, so I'm curious. Also, is it fair to assume that changing the batteries out wasn't much worse than doing the same on a car or truck? Last question (sorry), how much were the new batteries and what is their expected life? As always, thank you, MarkMax!
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by MPark View Post
How old was your Wayfarer when you swapped out the batteries? I'm able to crank up my RV and charge mine at least every 2-3 weeks minimum, and it's only 2 months old, so not sure it's worth the expense just yet, so I'm curious. Also, is it fair to assume that changing the batteries out wasn't much worse than doing the same on a car or truck? Last question (sorry), how much were the new batteries and what is their expected life? As always, thank you, MarkMax!
No worries. The Wayfarer was still new (less than 5 months old). I really didn't care what "life" was left in the house batteries that came with it. They had been ran down to dead twice already even with top of the line ZAMP solar installed (PDX isn't known for its sunshine). Even with a monthly visit to where it is stored to run the generator it wasn't enough to keep topped off with the WiFi, security, and various "vampire" drains.

Swapping the batteries out was VERY simple. Remove / replace. Only catch is I needed a longer negative lead as the custom one Tiffin built assumed any replacement batteries were going to be EXACTLY the same length as what comes with it (you need about 2" or more longer). That and I was adding a Victron Battery Monitor and needed an even longer lead to where the new Victron shunt is mounted. Battle born leads are very high quality and extremely flexible vs. what I found at the local auto parts store.

The batteries are not cheap. That said, if you do the math and keep the rig (or the batteries long enough) they will eventually pay for themselves in real $. Right now I'm only caring about convenience. They run almost $1K each. That said... They last a true 100 Amp hours (vs. < 50 in lead acid if only discharging to less than half their storage before recharging). You can recharge them 3000 to 5000 full cycles (vs. only 300 for lead acid AND after 3K-5K cycles many cycles they still recharge to approx. 75-80AH). And, as I mentioned, running them to zero doesn't kill them. The built in BPMS shuts off the battery from providing current, protecting it, when the charge level gets too low. Run a lead acid down 4-5 times? Worthless... Run these down? They just don't care as they protect themselves... And my rig is now 47 pounds lighter than before. With that savings I'm now thinking about getting auto-levelers again...

Many will find this a frivolous expense in such a small rig. For me it was a pure matter of convenience (and peace of mind while in storage given I cannot plug in where it is stored). That, and my boondocking experience will be much better this coming summer. So far? I'd do it again. Would I wait longer until the other batteries were dead? No, they were already a problem given their short usable Amp Hours. This is like having 4 of them vs. only 2 and they'll last more than 10x longer.

Best,
-Mark
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:50 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the detail, MarkMax, I always depend on your input when making decisions like this. Since I'm in Texas, I don't quite have the urgency since the solar panel keeps my batteries (mostly) charged, but it's something I will look into in the future. As for the levelers, I had them added when I ordered the RV to be built and have had great success with them so far. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:54 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=MarkMaxPayne;4567737]

The Batteries+ that came with it are junk.

I have a 2019 Wayfarer built in June 2018 (not ordered) it has the Duracell deep cycle batteries. I now have to go over every other day to storage and check on them. I can have them topped off at 100%, the next day it's down to 90% and so on. I have turned of the battery switch by the door and even have switched off the 30A breaker no difference. I thought Duracell batteries would be better. I certainly don't feel comfortable doing any dry camping this spring.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dennish2024 View Post
I have a 2019 Wayfarer built in June 2018 (not ordered) it has the Duracell deep cycle batteries. I now have to go over every other day to storage and check on them. I can have them topped off at 100%, the next day it's down to 90% and so on. I have turned of the battery switch by the door and even have switched off the 30A breaker no difference. I thought Duracell batteries would be better. I certainly don't feel comfortable doing any dry camping this spring.
The rig does have a number of "Vampire drains" on the house batteries. The switch at the door only turns off the Spyder Control System and isn't a true switch for the batteries. You have the Jensen radio, HD TV antenna, water heater, and other things all wired in. Rig could use a true battery disconnect switch for sure...

Best,
-Mark
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