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Old 05-10-2021, 09:51 AM   #1
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Lithium Battery Change Out

2006 Journey. They just called from the Winnebago Service Center that yes indeed the stock 2000 watt invertor is bad. It still does charge. They wanted $2200 to replace it and could not say if it could be set up for Lithium Batteries.

While I may not today, but soon, since 2 of my 12 v house batteries are bad go with lithium in the near future.

My plan is to install a Victron Multiplus 2000 or 3000 passthrough inverter charger. That installation appears quite simple. It does require a new control panel inside but I think it is just plug in.

My real worry is the lithium will take all the power the alternator can put out, possibly damaging the alternator. I know there is a relay under the generator hood that click when you use the momentary button on the dash, but isn't there also an isolator that prevents discharging the chassis battery when not on shore power but charges if you are? And vice versa. Charging the house batteries when driving?

Are there separate isolator and boost solenoids? Or are they all the same. Does anyone know where they are? I'm pretty savvy On this stuff. I did all the electrical work in my last coach, but this one is kind of stumping me.

Has anybody done the switchover to lithium? I don't want to burn up a $1000 alternator/
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:14 AM   #2
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I would be interested in the responses to this post because I also had to replace the inverter in my 2007 Journey. I now have a setting for lithium batteries but have been wondering about how that affects the starting batteries when on shore power as well as the alternator question.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:19 AM   #3
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So the Victron is probably the best overall choice. The new Multiplus II will power all circuits in your coach and you could probably have a competent person install it for the same $$

It will give you 3000W (2400W sustained with surges to 6K). I have this unit in my coach and it is powerful enough to start an AC unit even without the EZ start installed, but I went ahead and installed one anyhow.

This unit has the ability to set it up with a specific Lithium or AGM or Flooded profile and they are rock solid. You can either replace your control panel with their unit or add a Bluetooth dongle for around $75.....or Both and then you control everything from your smartphone as well.

Cheers!
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapfoot View Post
I would be interested in the responses to this post because I also had to replace the inverter in my 2007 Journey. I now have a setting for lithium batteries but have been wondering about how that affects the starting batteries when on shore power as well as the alternator question.
Well I do know that when plugged into shore power it does charge the chassis batteries as well as the house batteries. Same thing when driving, the alternator charges the house batteries. My worry and I have read about this, that since the Lithium will take any power you can put in them, that means you can overload your alternator. I know there are solutions to that. But I'm not sure if a 12 v to 12 charger is the answer or one of the special isolator switches they sell.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
So the Victron is probably the best overall choice. The new Multiplus II will power all circuits in your coach and you could probably have a competent person install it for the same $$

It will give you 3000W (2400W sustained with surges to 6K). I have this unit in my coach and it is powerful enough to start an AC unit even without the EZ start installed, but I went ahead and installed one anyhow.

This unit has the ability to set it up with a specific Lithium or AGM or Flooded profile and they are rock solid. You can either replace your control panel with their unit or add a Bluetooth dongle for around $75.....or Both and then you control everything from your smartphone as well.

Cheers!
Have you switched to Lithium? If so what was your solution to charging the house batteries while driving and avoiding overloading your alternator?

Also, how does the passthrough work, say if you are connected to 30 amp? can you use the 30 amp shore power and if you reach the limit then draw from the batteries?
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:31 AM   #6
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Check out a renogy dc2dc charger, that is what I purchased. ~Craig
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by amosnandy View Post
Have you switched to Lithium? If so what was your solution to charging the house batteries while driving and avoiding overloading your alternator?
I used a Victron Orion DC-DC charger for this purpose. Works great. Provides ~28A to my batteries which is enough to keep up with minimal house loads, residential fridge, etc while driving.
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Old 05-10-2021, 01:39 PM   #8
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I used a Victron Orion DC-DC charger for this purpose. Works great. Provides ~28A to my batteries which is enough to keep up with minimal house loads, residential fridge, etc while driving.
Where do you install it? At the Isolation solenoid? Or right at the battery?
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Old 05-10-2021, 03:01 PM   #9
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Here's what I did for the install:
  1. Remove isolation solenoid completely. Wrap trigger and other wires in electrical tape and stow out of the way.
  2. Install Orion DC-DC charger in its place
  3. Install 50A 12V breaker between chassis battery + and DC-DC charger "Input" terminal
  4. Connect DC-DC charger "Negative" terminal to negative busbar (I got the non-isolated Orion because my house and chassis batteries' negative terminals are both connected to the same negative busbar, so it only needs one negative connection)
  5. Connect DC-DC charger "Output" terminal to house-side positive busbar
  6. All wiring is 8AWG
This does not provide any way for me to charge my chassis batteries from the house charger like the isolation solenoid previously afforded. However what I did was to install a battery combiner/disconnect switch (Blue Sea Systems 9002e) that uses the original 4/0 cable that previously connected my isolation solenoid to my positive house busbar but now goes from the switch to the chassis battery + directly. So now I can power my house off the alternator/chassis batteries directly if I want to bypass my house batteries (was useful during the lithium install process), or jump-start my rig using my house batteries, start the generator if my house batteries are dead, or just allow some charge to flow to the chassis batteries if I want. The downside is that it's a manual process, but at least I don't have to worry about my chassis batteries getting overcharged now.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:31 PM   #10
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Check out a renogy dc2dc charger, that is what I purchased. ~Craig
That is what I planned on doing. What I need to know is where do I put it in the 12v line so it doesn't overload the alternator yet still charges the chassis battery when parked plugged in.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:36 PM   #11
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That is what I planned on doing. What I need to know is where do I put it in the 12v line so it doesn't overload the alternator yet still charges the chassis battery when parked plugged in.
It won't do it. Current won't flow from the house batteries/charger, through the DC-DC charger that you use to charge the house batteries, and into the chassis batteries, with or without the isolation solenoid. You'd need two DC-DC chargers to do that, one for each direction. And no solenoid. :-)
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:49 PM   #12
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Another option is if you're upgrading your inverter as well, you could get one of the Victron Multiplus'es. They have a dedicated trickle charger connection that you wire directly to your chassis batteries specifically for that purpose.
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:07 AM   #13
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That is what I planned on doing. What I need to know is where do I put it in the 12v line so it doesn't overload the alternator yet still charges the chassis battery when parked plugged in.
The answer really depends on your ability to trace the wires. Do you have a VOM (voltage ohm meter) and know how to use it? I took a look at the wiring diagram for you and will share a link here. On page 73 it appears your ability to charge the chassis battery while plugged in comes from a trickle charger. Do you know where the aux start relay is located? I see it on the diagram but that doesn't clearly show where it is located in the RV. In any case, I would disconnect the aux start relay from being engaged from the key switch and keep the aux start momentary switch in place, and then connect the dc2dc charger with the input for it off of the chassis side of the relay and the dc2dc charger output on the coach side of the relay. The challenge you will likely encounter is locating the wires I am referencing as I see them in the diagram, but I am not familiar with your motorhome to tell you where you will find them in the motorhome. In any case, check this out and save it if you don't already have this. ~Craig
https://www.winnebago.com/Files/File...0167475041.pdf
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:27 AM   #14
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The answer really depends on your ability to trace the wires. Do you have a VOM (voltage ohm meter) and know how to use it? I took a look at the wiring diagram for you and will share a link here. On page 73 it appears your ability to charge the chassis battery while plugged in comes from a trickle charger. Do you know where the aux start relay is located? I see it on the diagram but that doesn't clearly show where it is located in the RV. In any case, I would disconnect the aux start relay from being engaged from the key switch and keep the aux start momentary switch in place, and then connect the dc2dc charger with the input for it off of the chassis side of the relay and the dc2dc charger output on the coach side of the relay. The challenge you will likely encounter is locating the wires I am referencing as I see them in the diagram, but I am not familiar with your motorhome to tell you where you will find them in the motorhome. In any case, check this out and save it if you don't already have this. ~Craig
https://www.winnebago.com/Files/File...0167475041.pdf
Yes, thanks. I reviewed the schematic for my coach and it shows both an isolation relay and a boost start relay. The boost is located up front just outside and to the passenger side of the breaker panel when you open the Generator access hood. I have been unable to find the isolation relay. It also has a small trickle charger on the drivers side in that same compartment. Green light come on when hooked to shorepower, goes off when not. That may explain why when I check the chassis/house voltages with the switch on the control panel they are sometime different when I hook to shore power but are always the same when the engine is running. IE:My convertor is not charging the chassis batteries when on shore power, it's just charging them with the trickle charger. My last coach (which did not have much of this) Had one relay that that did both. Yes, I have a very good (expensive) VOM with the clamp type load meter. I've been in the auto repair business for 40 years and know how to use it, but you are right, tracing is always an issue. Since its time to replace the invertor, I have decided to go full bore with a VICTRON ENERGY MULTIPLUS-II 12/3000/120-50 2 X 120V. But alas they are out of stock right now. I have until October to get this going as I travel to Mexico for 6 months and need everything working as it should.
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