RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class B Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login

Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-04-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Idleup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 701
Lithium & 2nd Alternators Verses Onan Generators - Mike Mas




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
__________________

Idleup is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-04-2019, 02:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jon_C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 410
Mike just read the entire page, thanks for your fine work. Makes me happier with my old propane genny and still flooded batts for now
__________________

__________________
1998 HR Endeavor Cummins ISB 275 / Banks Allison 3060
2008 Jeep Wrangler with M&G air brake with breakaway
2015 Haulmark Edge Race Trailer 4 wheel electric brakes
Jon_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2019, 02:46 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1,119
Good points on the MB diesel. I have the bluetec diesel in my MB suv, and my shop said shut it down if you think you will have to idle it for more than a few minutes, and make sure I get some good highway runs, several times a week.
__________________
Foretravel tag axle 40 ft. 500 hp/1550 ft/lbs ism 1455 watts on the roof. 600 a/h's lithium down below.
jcussen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 09:02 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Idleup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 701
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
Idleup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 10:04 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Dave-Oh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 535
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
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

Mike,

Great articles and expert insight. I am interested in downsizing to a class B and actually want to eliminate the generator as we hardly ever use it - except for rest stops for lunch (for example).

We don't boondock. I am not interested in charging via idling the main engine and was worried about the same issues you bring up via the exhaust/turbo/DPF system and now that Mercedes has nixed the autostart, I think that concern has been vindicated.

My biggest concern is the safety of the lithium system and my reading seems to point to a pretty good safety potential for the Li3 system that comes in the Coachmen Gallerias and Crossfits (which I am looking at seriously) and the Pure3 system in Winnebagos. So my questions would be:

1. What is your biggest concern regarding the safety of the lithium systems - I am concerned about fire (I know that Teslas had issues when the battery cases were breached in accidents or road damage in some cases) - what should one look for in these systems, safety-wise?
2. Is storing a vehicle outside with lithium batteries an issue? If so, can it be ameliorated? I live Maryland, so not too many below zero days...
3. If using like we would for long trips, sightseeing, Day trips for hiking, etc: would a generator really be a necessity if we are generally plugged in at night for the longer excursions and/or driving 4 - 6 hours between sites?
4. If taking a day trip with a long, away from the RV pause for hiking/sightseeing, etc (4ish hours) how much solar would be needed to keep the system charging if I only used the air-conditioning while parked for a couple of hours before leaving the RV to explore?
and finally:
5. If just sitting between uses in the warmer seasons, is there anything special needed to keep the battery happy if you have a solar panel? Can the battery get too hot?

I know you're an advocate of a generator, and I can see the point for extended use without available plug-in power, but I don't see this scenario as one I would be interested in....am I okay in thinking I could get rid of the generator and rely on the Lithium battery system for our style of travel?

Best,

Dave-Oh
__________________
2016 Tiffin Allegro 32 SA
2018 Jeep (JL) Wrangler
Dave-Oh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 01:45 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Idleup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 701
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-Oh View Post
Mike,

Great articles and expert insight. I am interested in downsizing to a class B and actually want to eliminate the generator as we hardly ever use it - except for rest stops for lunch (for example).

We don't boondock. I am not interested in charging via idling the main engine and was worried about the same issues you bring up via the exhaust/turbo/DPF system and now that Mercedes has nixed the autostart, I think that concern has been vindicated.

My biggest concern is the safety of the lithium system and my reading seems to point to a pretty good safety potential for the Li3 system that comes in the Coachmen Gallerias and Crossfits (which I am looking at seriously) and the Pure3 system in Winnebagos. So my questions would be:

1. What is your biggest concern regarding the safety of the lithium systems - I am concerned about fire (I know that Teslas had issues when the battery cases were breached in accidents or road damage in some cases) - what should one look for in these systems, safety-wise?
2. Is storing a vehicle outside with lithium batteries an issue? If so, can it be ameliorated? I live Maryland, so not too many below zero days...
3. If using like we would for long trips, sightseeing, Day trips for hiking, etc: would a generator really be a necessity if we are generally plugged in at night for the longer excursions and/or driving 4 - 6 hours between sites?
4. If taking a day trip with a long, away from the RV pause for hiking/sightseeing, etc (4ish hours) how much solar would be needed to keep the system charging if I only used the air-conditioning while parked for a couple of hours before leaving the RV to explore?
and finally:
5. If just sitting between uses in the warmer seasons, is there anything special needed to keep the battery happy if you have a solar panel? Can the battery get too hot?

I know you're an advocate of a generator, and I can see the point for extended use without available plug-in power, but I don't see this scenario as one I would be interested in....am I okay in thinking I could get rid of the generator and rely on the Lithium battery system for our style of travel?

Best,

Dave-Oh
Thanks for the great reply - for the most part, your camping habits are pretty much the norm. Very few guys really do remote camping and if they do they generally don't use AC.

Lithium batteries would be a perfect option for most campers, since they can charge before they leave the first day and top it off as they travel to different locations with the stock alternator. If you out in the woods, a full charged lithium pack say at 600 amp/hr could last a few weeks or more just running led lights a TV and a computer.

For the most part safety is really not a concern with most lithium chemistry. As an example Lithionics is a safer pack than Volta because the Volta pack is more acceptable to fire, however Volta conceals their pack in metal cases which have built in protection, so both products are plenty safe. Where you have to be careful is with the in-flux of Lithium coming from China, you simply don't know what your buying. I would stick to the bigger US vendors. As an example, Lithionics is now UL approved.

The cold weather is not a problem with most lithium cells provided you don't attempt to charge them at below freezing temperatures. If possible you'll want the cells mounted in the coach so you can warm the pack which eliminates this problem and provides increased capacity.

Storage is no problem with lithium, unlike flooded or AGM, lithium only loses 1-2% a month so you could store the RV for a year and still have plenty of capacity. While I have not seen any manufacturers specify, you should never store lithium fully charged, always run it down to 75-80% for storage for increased life.

Lastly, while not mandatory in a lithium coach, the Onan generator is still a valuable option and a "Go-To" source when every thing else fails. Certainly better option than running a V6 engine.
While type B propane tanks are traditionally small in size, with a lithium system, this won't be such a problem.


If you just joined the thread the story link is below:


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


Regards - Mike
Idleup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 08:22 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Dave-Oh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 535
Thank you very much for the thoughtful reply.

I am following this type of thread with interest. I am trying to reduce the number of items that require maintenance and/or may deteriorate from disuse.

Finally: I would love to find a course that would review electrical systems, trouble shooting, etc. I am not at all knowledgeable about electrical systems and would love to find a course that would at least help to demystify electrical systems, batteries alternators, Battery management systems and such.

again, thanx.

best, Dave-oh
__________________
2016 Tiffin Allegro 32 SA
2018 Jeep (JL) Wrangler
Dave-Oh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 08:54 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1,119
One other alternative, lithium batteries, big solar array, and small 800 to 1000 watt generator with a 40-50 amp battery charger, for those times when engine alternator and solar can not keep up. Of course this assumes you do not have to use your ac.
__________________
Foretravel tag axle 40 ft. 500 hp/1550 ft/lbs ism 1455 watts on the roof. 600 a/h's lithium down below.
jcussen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 09:55 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 333
One thing to think of if buying, think of resale.
You may not want a generator but the buyers may feel this is a deal killer.
I like to have all the options for power especially having a generator.
We like to dry camp and our generator also came in handy when power went out at the house a hear ago. Was able to power the house furnace and refrigerators from the MH generator.
__________________
2015 Pleasure-Way Plateau XL Wide Body
paddykern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2019, 09:06 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Dave-Oh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 535
Now a theoretical:

Purpose - Class B that only requires Fuel (gasoline or diesel) and water. Able to boondock if desired. Backup charging/electricity if CG electricity fails or a run of poor weather - no idling of main engine to replace genny due to issues with Sprinter Diesel.

Class B Sprinter or Ford Transit chassis

Lithium system able to run A/C, TV, lights for about 8 hours w/o generator (alternative for cost-savings - run A/C, TV, Lights for about 4 hours)

Use only (upgrade necessary?) single engine alternator (keep unnecessary equipment/costs down)

No propane on board

What size generator? Note: Prefer to use whatever the class B is powered by, ie: Gasoline or Diesel.

How much Solar (looking for a recommended minimum that would be useful and practical)?

Which heating/hot water system (electric and gas/diesel)?

Is this doable? I'm looking at the Winnebago Revel as an example of almost accomplishing this, but looking for the standard/XL van chassis.

Would it take up excessive storage space? Reliablity a factor? Weight? Cost vs a conventional setup or even an AGM equivalent?

Must have's: No propane. Water and Class B fuel only.

Looking for convenience, capability, self-containibility without equaling the cost of a class A (if that's possible)....
__________________
2016 Tiffin Allegro 32 SA
2018 Jeep (JL) Wrangler
Dave-Oh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 08:17 AM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcussen View Post
One other alternative, lithium batteries, big solar array, and small 800 to 1000 watt generator with a 40-50 amp battery charger, for those times when engine alternator and solar can not keep up. Of course this assumes you do not have to use your ac.

Excellent idea. I have had two Class B's over the last 12 years. Both have had the Onan Microlite 2500 gensets that runs on LP. The next RV I get (thinking of a Class C) won't have it. I plan on ordering it without the flex panels builders are using and no genset, then adding both rigid panels and lithium after delivery. I will buy a small portable generator to use when we boondock, which is rare. These units, with an Easystart, will not only have enough to recharge but will run with the AC as well.


The Micorlite has been nothing but a hassle to keep running, with monthly exercising, oil changes and is not that reliable. I'll save the $7000 and apply that to the solar/lithium upgrade.
gmillerok1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 08:43 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-Oh View Post
Now a theoretical:

Purpose - Class B that only requires Fuel (gasoline or diesel) and water. Able to boondock if desired. Backup charging/electricity if CG electricity fails or a run of poor weather - no idling of main engine to replace genny due to issues with Sprinter Diesel.
Class B Sprinter or Ford Transit chassis
Lithium system able to run A/C, TV, lights for about 8 hours w/o generator (alternative for cost-savings - run A/C, TV, Lights for about 4 hours)

Use only (upgrade necessary?) single engine alternator (keep unnecessary equipment/costs down)

No propane on board

What size generator? Note: Prefer to use whatever the class B is powered by, ie: Gasoline or Diesel.

How much Solar (looking for a recommended minimum that would be useful and practical)?

Which heating/hot water system (electric and gas/diesel)?

Is this doable? I'm looking at the Winnebago Revel as an example of almost accomplishing this, but looking for the standard/XL van chassis.

Would it take up excessive storage space? Reliablity a factor? Weight? Cost vs a conventional setup or even an AGM equivalent?

Must have's: No propane. Water and Class B fuel only.

Looking for convenience, capability, self-containibility without equaling the cost of a class A (if that's possible)....
Not sure it would work. It depends on how much energy you will need.

For eight hours, even 200amps would likely be enough if you don't want to use the AC.


You could use a diesel based genset. LTV installs one as an option (albeit and expensive one). Not sure it would fit in the Ford Chassis, which is a bit lower to the ground.



But with that being said, I would prefer propane to heat the water and furnace and stove, and the batteries for everything else and a portable genset for emergencies. To me, that's the best of both worlds because the propane will easily last well beyond any single boondocking trip and the batteries will run the compressor based fridge and everything else, and if all else fails, you got the small generator as backup. They only weigh about 40-50lbs, so you gain more in CCC by not having that huge and heavy genset stuck under the chassis that will not see much use.


That's my take on it.
gmillerok1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 10:46 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post
Excellent idea. I have had two Class B's over the last 12 years. Both have had the Onan Microlite 2500 gensets that runs on LP. The next RV I get (thinking of a Class C) won't have it. I plan on ordering it without the flex panels builders are using and no genset, then adding both rigid panels and lithium after delivery. I will buy a small portable generator to use when we boondock, which is rare. These units, with an Easystart, will not only have enough to recharge but will run with the AC as well.


The Micorlite has been nothing but a hassle to keep running, with monthly exercising, oil changes and is not that reliable. I'll save the $7000 and apply that to the solar/lithium upgrade.
Had a truck camper without a propane gen set. Mounted a Honda 2000 on the front bumper, [theft proof of course] and used it to charge up batteries [along with solar] and run the 8000 btu roof air when necessary. Also not a fan of small propane generators.
__________________
Foretravel tag axle 40 ft. 500 hp/1550 ft/lbs ism 1455 watts on the roof. 600 a/h's lithium down below.
jcussen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 05:24 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Dave-Oh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 535
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....
__________________

__________________
2016 Tiffin Allegro 32 SA
2018 Jeep (JL) Wrangler
Dave-Oh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alternator, generator, generators, lithium, onan



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newmar Slides - Design - Retraction - Structure & Egress - Mike Mas Idleup Newmar Owner's Forum 30 02-09-2019 10:58 PM
In-Depth Review TireMinder’s Smart & TM-77 Systems - Mike Mas Idleup Newmar Owner's Forum 33 10-17-2018 07:59 AM
New Aire’s - Keyless Ignition The Good & Bad - Mike Mas Idleup Newmar Owner's Forum 26 04-12-2018 08:37 PM
New Aire Panel Upgrade & Awning Kill Sw - Mike Mas Idleup Newmar Owner's Forum 7 02-28-2018 04:25 PM
V10 Verses V8 Verses Diesel Pusher RickNau Ford Motorhome Chassis Forum 15 01-21-2018 07:24 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.