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Old 04-11-2019, 09:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dave-Oh View Post
Looking back at my "theoretical" I was curious about the cost of the battery system with 600 amp battery system - so I looked at the Battleborn website for an idea and BEHOLD: they actually have complete systems configured for you.

example:

RV Love 600ah Lithium Bundle
$8,400.00
This Bundle Includes:
6 – Battle Born 100AH 12V
1 – Victron MultiPlus 3000W 12V Inverter Charger
1 – Victron Smart Solar Charge Controller Mppt 150/100
1 – Victron Battery Monitor with Built in Bluetooth BMV 712
1 – Victron Color Control GX
1 – Precision Circuits LiFePO4 Battery Isolation Manager
1 – Precision Circuits Battery Guard
1 – 300A Fuse Kit

You could add solar and still be under $10,000 (I wish I was handy). The RV manufacturers are setting up their rigs with similar setups for $20+ thousand for a 600amp Lithium option - - and deleting the generator with no credit....a quick check of a "factory direct" website shows the 2600KW LP generator for about $2600 and the 3500KW for about $3400.

The point: should be able to do this without spending Class A dollars....if the manufacturers were not trying to squeeze your wallet dry....
Very similar to my system, including solar panels, probably close to $10000. You can do it yourself, plenty of utube videos out there. Only big problem is getting panels on the roof, you will need some help unless you are 8 ft tall.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:29 PM   #16
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Greetings IRV2 Users - I have another great In-Depth RV article on the integration of Lithium Batteries and 2nd Alternators in our RV’s and how they stack up compared to our Onan generators. Aside from talking about lithium batteries, we’ll discuss diesel engines and how temperature affects the engines oil shear abilities and viscosity. I'll also cover cold weather idling problems which causes “Wet Stacking”.

We’ll also look at the many advantages of lithium over flooded or AGM packs, where just one 600 amp/hr lithium battery about the size of one 8D battery, can operate our RV’s roof top AC (50% cycle), lights and TV for 6-8 hours on just one charge. There is also major weight and space saving advantages with lithium, where the same 600 amp/hr lithium battery weighing just 150 lbs. can replaces 4-5 flooded D size batteries weighing 500-650 lbs, or 2-4 AGM D batteries, for weight saving of 300-600 lbs. This is big news when considering some smaller RV’s like type B’s have limited space and weight carrying capabilities.

We’ll also compare how an RV equipped with lithium batteries and 2nd alternator stacks up to a RV with just one 8D AGM battery a few solar panels and propane generator. I guarantee you’ll be surprised when you find out the Onan generator RV, actually provides more “off the grid” time than a lithium powered coach.

Most important, we’ll also look at the damaging effects of extended idling to a diesel engine, turbo and diesel particulate filter. We’ll also talk about how cold weather and hot temperature idling has a major effect on the Sprinter’s engine.

We’ll also look at other RV applications where lithium companies are taking out big 10kw diesel generators from 45’ Type A’ coaches and equipping them with massive lithium 136 KW packs using three inverters to run the coach. I’ll also provide information on companies and vendors so owners looking to upgrade their existing coach, can consider if lithium will be part of their future in RV's.

Please click on the link below for the Story

http://www.rotory.com/sprinter/lithium/


Enjoy - Mike Mas
This article seems to be an advert for Midwest Auto, Lithionics and Onan (all good products). Also, seems to have a lot of opinion and some wrong info. I have LifePo4 and an Onan generator, but my next RV will have the Volta Power System.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:01 PM   #17
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This article seems to be an advert for Midwest Auto, Lithionics and Onan (all good products). Also, seems to have a lot of opinion and some wrong info. I have LifePo4 and an Onan generator, but my next RV will have the Volta Power System.
While the author appears to favor Onan's, I fully agree with his position on idling a MB diesel engine. Many, many articles on the damage that can be done to that engine will excessive idling.
If I were designing a sprinter class b with lithium, it would include a dedicated 1 cylinder diesel dc generator, solely for charging the batteries. Far more efficient than propane, as well as the normal engine driven alternator that only charges at highway speeds.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:33 PM   #18
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Thanks for the reply's guys - In my last conversation with Mercedes, they are "Not Allowing" Up-Fitters to implement any generator/ alternator idling "What So Ever" with the Sprinter engine. Any damage as of the result of extended stationary idling to the engine, turbo and DPF will not be covered.

The best charging solution is to use your stock alternator or a factory 2nd alternator and charge while you're driving, to prevent any damage to the Sprinter engine. Seems as if the Onan Generator remains an important part of a lithium upgrade!

Mike
Why does it matter what your running with the factory high idle package? Its specifically for extended idling with accessories. I believe their own recommendation is up to two hours with the high idle kit? 2 hours should be enough to charge a lithium bank with a second alternator.

Also is there a reason your article is just one giant image? Makes it difficult to search.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:15 PM   #19
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While the author appears to favor Onan's, I fully agree with his position on idling a MB diesel engine. Many, many articles on the damage that can be done to that engine will excessive idling.
If I were designing a sprinter class b with lithium, it would include a dedicated 1 cylinder diesel dc generator, solely for charging the batteries. Far more efficient than propane, as well as the normal engine driven alternator that only charges at highway speeds.
I do get that it probably isn't a good idea to idle diesels for long periods, but there are upfitters like Advanced RV that have worked with Mercedes to implement a second alternator, so Mercedes is well aware of, and in some cases, accepting of, a second alternator and long idle periods. Or, you can just skip the Sprinter worries and build off of a Promaster ;-). The only reason to have a generator these days is for AC, but you can't run your generator at night unless you're off the grid far away from everyone. So, maybe a killer battery system is better? In the end, it's whatever you prefer.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:06 PM   #20
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I do get that it probably isn't a good idea to idle diesels for long periods, but there are upfitters like Advanced RV that have worked with Mercedes to implement a second alternator, so Mercedes is well aware of, and in some cases, accepting of, a second alternator and long idle periods. Or, you can just skip the Sprinter worries and build off of a Promaster ;-). The only reason to have a generator these days is for AC, but you can't run your generator at night unless you're off the grid far away from everyone. So, maybe a killer battery system is better? In the end, it's whatever you prefer.
I have a Bluetec diesel in a MB SUV and MB is changing their thinking on idling. Idling or even high idle, low load conditions do not allow engine to go into a proper def regeneration, allowing dpf clogging and oil dilution. MB has changed its oil formula recommendations 3 times in the last 4 years and have changed their oil frequency on my car from 12000 to 5000 miles. The MB service guy, told me not to idle it for more absolutely necessary and to get a good highway run a couple of times a week.
As sprinter vans are not really designed for prolonged boondocking, thinking idling for a couple of hours for a day or two before you hit the highway again, is not going to affect it too much, although have heard the the dpf is $4000 at the stealership.
As everything in it runs off batteries anyway, I would still rather have the small dedicated diesel dc generator to charge up the batteries for a couple of hours every day, and not worry about possible engine damage. So if I wanted it for backup power to run my house fridge in a power outage, would never have to start or idle the engine. Bigger battery bank also, have read that some of the smaller conversion vans, can run their ac's almost all night just on batteries. If I ever did want to downsize, this one would be on the top of my list.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:03 PM   #21
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:26 PM   #22
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When I was in Florida a few months ago, I went to one of those mega RV dealers for giggles and took a close look at the Travato 59gl and kl. I was pretty impressed with all the tech and features they packed in and the quality was actually good. I'd actually consider buying one if they made a rear lounge version. My only question is why does Winnie advertise the Travato as having an 8700W battery pack? Volta sells 3.3, 7.7, 10.1 and 13.5Kw battery packs. The 10.1Kw pack has 9Kw usable. Did Winnie get volta to produce a one off battery pack for the Travato or does the 8700W represent the usable power and they lost 300W somewhere?
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:50 AM   #23
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If you don't boondock why do you need Lithium? Weight? That's an expensive way to get 100 pounds.

I agree and support all the tech stuff about the various systems discussed in the posts in this thread but it still comes down to need vs. want and what want costs!

I looked at the parts list for the $8400 solar/lithium system. Whew! I'm reasonably sure I can do this myself for less than $5K and I would know what I have and could fix it when it breaks. And you all probably can too!

Latest update: stupid me. Six of the Battleborn batteries are about $6K by themselves. The rest of the stuff would cost $2400 so I stand self corrected. You are right: that is a good deal. They are not including the panels, which makes sense, but that would only add another $800 or so depending on how many and what size/watts/etc. If you have room on the roof you could use the larger 24V panels and really have a killer system!

All that said finding space to put six batteries in a small Class B/C could be a challenge. The bay normally reserved for the generator could be used but that will complicate the wiring perhaps. Lots to think about but it can definitely be done. And probably better by you than most of the dealers out there.

I might need to become a Battleborn dealer and do some installs with this setup.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:22 PM   #24
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When I was in Florida a few months ago, I went to one of those mega RV dealers for giggles and took a close look at the Travato 59gl and kl. I was pretty impressed with all the tech and features they packed in and the quality was actually good. I'd actually consider buying one if they made a rear lounge version. My only question is why does Winnie advertise the Travato as having an 8700W battery pack? Volta sells 3.3, 7.7, 10.1 and 13.5Kw battery packs. The 10.1Kw pack has 9Kw usable. Did Winnie get volta to produce a one off battery pack for the Travato or does the 8700W represent the usable power and they lost 300W somewhere?
Thanks for the reply - I'm sure as big as Winnie is, Volta produced a custom package to fit their space requirements.

In any case, while lithium definitely has its advantages, if you look at the majority of users, lithium is just not a requirement for 90% of B conversion owners lifestyle.

While firing up the AC without the generator will definitely put a smile on any owners face, it comes with a big price tag of $15K+ to an already well "Over-Priced" conversion.

Regards - Mike
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:16 PM   #25
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I just bought a used Etrek with 9600wh AGM batteries. It has an under-hood generator and a 240 watt solar panel.



Lithium's of similar capacity would give a lot more usable power. BUt I live in northern Minnesota, so it gets used and stored in sub-zero. The AGM's lose some power in that kind of cold, a winter camping trip was the only time we ever idled it and that was probably unnecessary. I am not sure the lithium's would hold up at all and you would go for months where you needed to figure out how to heat them up before you could charge them.



We just finished a month long trip south and never needed to idle the engine, an additional generator or really to connect to shore power. During our trip, we moved enough most days to charge the batteries. But a lot of those were just trips to a trailhead. We spent a couple days in one place several times just relying on the solar panel to top off the batteries.



Our furnace and hot water run off the Sprinter diesel tank. We have an induction cooktop. I don't know why anyone would want to screw around with propane with our setup unless they really wanted to run it all night to keep the air conditioning on when boondocking. And even then, I think I would look for a separate, and quieter, portable to take with when it was necessary.


I also think the idling thing can get exaggerated. Its not the idling that is the biggest problem, its just that you need to run the engine hard soon afterward. So you aren't going to have any problems if you charge the batteries to cook breakfast in the morning and then drive 3 hours on the highway. If you tried to support air conditioning for several days, that would be a different story.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:44 AM   #26
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I just bought a used Etrek with 9600wh AGM batteries. It has an under-hood generator and a 240 watt solar panel.



Lithium's of similar capacity would give a lot more usable power. BUt I live in northern Minnesota, so it gets used and stored in sub-zero. The AGM's lose some power in that kind of cold, a winter camping trip was the only time we ever idled it and that was probably unnecessary. I am not sure the lithium's would hold up at all and you would go for months where you needed to figure out how to heat them up before you could charge them.



We just finished a month long trip south and never needed to idle the engine, an additional generator or really to connect to shore power. During our trip, we moved enough most days to charge the batteries. But a lot of those were just trips to a trailhead. We spent a couple days in one place several times just relying on the solar panel to top off the batteries.



Our furnace and hot water run off the Sprinter diesel tank. We have an induction cooktop. I don't know why anyone would want to screw around with propane with our setup unless they really wanted to run it all night to keep the air conditioning on when boondocking. And even then, I think I would look for a separate, and quieter, portable to take with when it was necessary.


I also think the idling thing can get exaggerated. Its not the idling that is the biggest problem, its just that you need to run the engine hard soon afterward. So you aren't going to have any problems if you charge the batteries to cook breakfast in the morning and then drive 3 hours on the highway. If you tried to support air conditioning for several days, that would be a different story.
Thanks for your reply - since some owners like you are using diesel fuel for driving, charging and for water and coach heating, they might want to investigate switching out the fuel tank for a larger one. There are a few companies offering stainless tanks to increase your range, the tank below is 47 gal! Again this is a hassle to be modifying a Sprinter when a simple propane generator is the answer.

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There's no exaggerated thinking when it comes to idling a diesel engine. The biggest problem is carbon builds up in the engine, valves, turbo, etc. and DPF regeneration, as no effect on the engine build up it's "Permanent".
This is the reason there were so many warranty claims from Roadtrex that Mercedes quit selling them chassis, and the reason just weeks ago, Mercedes sent official notice to all Up-Fitters that using the engine for charging is now absolutely forbidden and would void engine warranty.

Best Regards - Mike
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:09 AM   #27
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I can't imagine why anyone would need a larger fuel tank. The range of the standard fuel tank is 4-500 miles. Even with the furnace running almost constantly in sub-zero weather we were within that range. Fuel oil is a lot more energy dense than propane.


Mercedes provides a mount on their engine for a second generator. I can't imagine they have banned its use by upfitters. But if true, this discussion would be moot.



Mercedes stopped selling Roadtrek Sprinters when Roadtrek stopped paying for them. In fact, they repossessed a bunch of them when Roadtrek went into receivership.
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:37 AM   #28
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I can't imagine why anyone would need a larger fuel tank. The range of the standard fuel tank is 4-500 miles. Even with the furnace running almost constantly in sub-zero weather we were within that range. Fuel oil is a lot more energy dense than propane.


Mercedes provides a mount on their engine for a second generator. I can't imagine they have banned its use by upfitters. But if true, this discussion would be moot.

Mercedes stopped selling Roadtrek Sprinters when Roadtrek stopped paying for them. In fact, they repossessed a bunch of them when Roadtrek went into receivership.

Thanks for the reply - The alternator I'm referencing to is the factory stock alternator / alternator(s) either main or aux. Those are designed to operate and supply power to the van such as for Paramedic use and not designed for continuous work for 4-7 hours to charge lithium batteries.

Presently, Mercedes does not allow Up-fitters to draw any more than 40 amps off "their" systems(s), their alternator are designed for short periods of high current use and not running wide open where the winding and bearings are subject to heat and failure.

This is the reason Up-Fitters install "after-market" alternators. If you research these systems you'll find there is a major failure rate. Some companies such as Nation's builds in protection into the alternator for amperage and temperature to avoid this problem.

Regarding the fuel tank capacity - One lithium charging cycle can take 5-6 hours. if you charge for 2 cycles a day for just 2 days, you will use almost 1/2 a tank of fuel, this is why owners might consider an aux tank. Even for normal use, the tank is designed for local delivery and far too small for RV highway use. Most owners top the tank off 2-3 times a day for this reason.

Regards- Mike
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