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Old 11-12-2018, 09:59 AM   #1
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Upgraded to Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Batteries this weekend

This weekend I upgraded my Tiffin Wayfarer 24BW with LiFePO4 Battle Born Batteries and a Victron BMV-712 battery monitor with battery temperature sensor and bluetooth capabilities.

The install was almost remove and replace. I did have to purchase a longer battery cable to go from the negative side to the chassis lug as Tiffin custom makes their cables and their 16" was too short as the Battle Borns are a tad bit longer than the stock Batteries+Bulbs batteries that came with it. That said my battery tray still had inches to spare had they been even longer. If you are doing this conversion buy a 24" to 36" negative cable with your batteries depending on your tray and connections layout. Also, if adding the Victron, buy another 12" negative cable.

I removed the old batteries, dropped in the Battle Borns, cinched them up, hooked them up, then changed the settings on my Zamp Solar Charger Controller to LiFePO4. The Progressive Dynamics Converter that comes with the coach will work fine for charging when on shore power or using the generator. Easy peasy.

As for the Victron Battery monitor (not required) I mounted the shunt in the battery compartment and hooked it up. I decided to put my display panel in the back closet with all my other electronics. The dealer had mounted the Zamp where the access panel is for the shower. I placed the Victron 712 display above it. Routing the cable from the battery compartment to the display was a matter of routing the included cable out the battery box and into the first bay then up into the coach under the kitchen cabinets. Other cables already do this and I simply did the same thing using the existing through holes. From under the kitchen cabinets I then fished the line under the shower pan, into the furnace closet, then up the inside of the wall between the shower and closet (a bunch of other cables also route this way from the factory).

So far so good!

Best,
-Mark
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:21 PM   #2
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I am planning to do this on our LW as well. However, where is the Progressive Dynamics Converter that comes with the coach located? I upgraded to a xantrex 2000 watt inverter already. I checked under the passenger side bed, but can't find a charger?
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:34 PM   #3
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I did my sprinter TW last month, I used the smart shunt battery monitor, big improvement, 2000 watt inverter next?
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:58 PM   #4
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Enjoyed reading about your upgrade. You mentioned that the existing Progressive Dynamics Converter can charge the Lithium batteries from shore power or the generator. Will they also charge from the alternator when rolling down the road or is there additional equipment required to do that?


Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JeffatJacks View Post
Enjoyed reading about your upgrade. You mentioned that the existing Progressive Dynamics Converter can charge the Lithium batteries from shore power or the generator. Will they also charge from the alternator when rolling down the road or is there additional equipment required to do that?


Thanks.
Not Mark, but have the same setup in my Wayfarer. I used a dc-dc charger to charge the lithiums from the alternator which not only limits the charge, lithium will take a big charge if not regulated, but supplies the proper 14+ volts necessary to bring them to 100% SOC. Nice if you have a fridge that runs on electric, will keep it running when on the road and put a charge in the batteries.
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffatJacks View Post
Enjoyed reading about your upgrade. You mentioned that the existing Progressive Dynamics Converter can charge the Lithium batteries from shore power or the generator. Will they also charge from the alternator when rolling down the road or is there additional equipment required to do that?


Thanks.
Yes, they'll charge from the alternator without mods. There is a solenoid under the passenger seat that joins the house and chasis batteries while the motor is running and the alternator will charge all your batteries. The only mod I did there was add a lithium battery Isolation manager where the solenoid is to give the alternator rest breaks every 15 to 20 minutes. Battleborn, at the time of my install, shared that the 2 batteries were remove and replace drop in replacements and wouldn't harm the alternator, but if I had more than 2 they strongly recommended a BIM and/or DC to DC converter. I went with the BIM just because I wanted the extra protection.

Best,
-Mark
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:44 AM   #7
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Yes, they'll charge from the alternator without mods. There is a solenoid under the passenger seat that joins the house and chasis batteries while the motor is running and the alternator will charge all your batteries. The only mod I did there was add a lithium battery Isolation manager where the solenoid is to give the alternator rest breaks every 15 to 20 minutes. Battleborn, at the time of my install, shared that the 2 batteries were remove and replace drop in replacements and wouldn't harm the alternator, but if I had more than 2 they strongly recommended a BIM and/or DC to DC converter. I went with the BIM just because I wanted the extra protection.

Best,
-Mark
Mark, you might put an amprobe on your alternator lead. I measured 130 amps with the engine at idle. At idle very little alternator self cooling because of the low speed. Granted with a BIM will only charge for for 15 minutes and open for 20 min, but in my case, wiring to battleborn's got hot and alternator case reached over 250 F. in less than 10 minutes. But the main problem is that the alternator voltage will fall as the start battery is charged, this is only about 13.2-13.4 volts. Battleborn's will never reach 100% SOC at this voltage. This is okay in most cases, but if you plan to stop and boondock for a couple of days, you probably want your batteries fully charged. The dc-dc charger will output the full 14.4 volts the battleborn's require.
Just my experience, but if you are happy with your BIM, go for it.
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:06 AM   #8
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Reviving this old post as I just received my 2 Battle Born 100w coach batteries and Victron Orion Tr smart isolated 12v/30A dc-dc charger today and planning to install this weekend.
I have room for the Orion charger under the pass seat where the OEM solenoid is now. Hopefully it will be cool enough under there to allow the huge heat sink on the charger to work efficiently. If not I may have to cut another opening on the under seat box to allow heat to escape. My question is what do I do with the two small guage black and white wires on the solenoid when I replace it with the Orion? I assume those were from the ignition to open the solenoid to allow current to flow to the coach batteries with the engine running. The Orion has an automatic sensor to detect when the engine starts which makes the solenoid redundant. Also, I assume the heavy gauge wires going to and from the solenoid come from the positive chassis battery and output to the coach batteries. These will go to and from the input and output + terminals respectively on the Orion. Then I suppose I’ll need to run a negative cable from the chassis battery to the charger input negative - and another from output negative to coach battery negative?
Am I on he right track?
My Progressive Dynamics OEM shore power converter can be switched on the circuit board to “lithium” and the “GoPOWER” tech support said to just switch my solar controller from “flooded” to AGM setting and it will work for solar charging.
What say you experts?
Thanks in advance - Tim
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:27 AM   #9
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Use the small ignition ON wire to trigger the DC2DC charger. This precludes chassis battery maintainer from activating the DC2DC charger. The other small wire is likely for a aux/boost switch - disconnect it - you will lose the aux/boost switch function.

Yes, each large wire on the solenoid goes to each battery bank positive. Ground of the DC2DC charger to chassis ground to complete the circuit - no need to run another wire to each battery bank.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeTim View Post
Reviving this old post as I just received my 2 Battle Born 100w coach batteries and Victron Orion Tr smart isolated 12v/30A dc-dc charger today and planning to install this weekend.
I have room for the Orion charger under the pass seat where the OEM solenoid is now. Hopefully it will be cool enough under there to allow the huge heat sink on the charger to work efficiently. If not I may have to cut another opening on the under seat box to allow heat to escape. My question is what do I do with the two small guage black and white wires on the solenoid when I replace it with the Orion? I assume those were from the ignition to open the solenoid to allow current to flow to the coach batteries with the engine running. The Orion has an automatic sensor to detect when the engine starts which makes the solenoid redundant. Also, I assume the heavy gauge wires going to and from the solenoid come from the positive chassis battery and output to the coach batteries. These will go to and from the input and output + terminals respectively on the Orion. Then I suppose I’ll need to run a negative cable from the chassis battery to the charger input negative - and another from output negative to coach battery negative?
Am I on he right track?
My Progressive Dynamics OEM shore power converter can be switched on the circuit board to “lithium” and the “GoPOWER” tech support said to just switch my solar controller from “flooded” to AGM setting and it will work for solar charging.
What say you experts?
Thanks in advance - Tim
You can just tape those two small wires off, as you say, the dc-dc charger will connect to house battery automatically when engine running. You will take the cable from the solenoid to start battery and put on input side of charger, and cable to house batteries to the other. Ground is just to any ground [frame]. Are you sure your go power solar controller does not have an LFP setting? This will give you the proper voltage for battleborn's.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:13 PM   #11
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“You can just tape those two small wires off, as you say, the dc-dc charger will connect to house battery automatically when engine running. You will take the cable from the solenoid to start battery and put on input side of charger, and cable to house batteries to the other. Ground is just to any ground [frame]. Are you sure your go power solar controller does not have an LFP setting? This will give you the proper voltage for battleborn's.”

I’m fairly positive the solar controller doesn’t have an LFP setting. I went to GoPOWER website and looked through all their controllers. Mine was the last generation before they all came with one. Their tech support said using AGM setting won’t hurt, but agree will not top off the LFPs fully. I think I’ll be OK though as the house batts will get fully charged by the engine or the generator. Will just use solar for maintenance for limited power use while boondocking.
Wish me luck, I’m about to dive in to this.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:53 PM   #12
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I have 2 of those Victron DC-DC chargers and they do get VERY hot when doing their job. Just make sure you have lots of ventilation in the location you are choosing as they will get super warm
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeTim View Post
“You can just tape those two small wires off, as you say, the dc-dc charger will connect to house battery automatically when engine running. You will take the cable from the solenoid to start battery and put on input side of charger, and cable to house batteries to the other. Ground is just to any ground [frame]. Are you sure your go power solar controller does not have an LFP setting? This will give you the proper voltage for battleborn's.”

I’m fairly positive the solar controller doesn’t have an LFP setting. I went to GoPOWER website and looked through all their controllers. Mine was the last generation before they all came with one. Their tech support said using AGM setting won’t hurt, but agree will not top off the LFPs fully. I think I’ll be OK though as the house batts will get fully charged by the engine or the generator. Will just use solar for maintenance for limited power use while boondocking.
Wish me luck, I’m about to dive in to this.
Think you will be fine, mine is a 2020, so has the updated go power controller. I also put my DC-DC charger under the seat, with switched bypass in case I wanted to combine coach and start batteries, but have not needed to do that yet.
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Old 02-28-2021, 01:25 AM   #14
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Can you share what switch and how wired to bypass? Thx.
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Think you will be fine, mine is a 2020, so has the updated go power controller. I also put my DC-DC charger under the seat, with switched bypass in case I wanted to combine coach and start batteries, but have not needed to do that yet.
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