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Old 09-27-2022, 05:39 PM   #1
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Life battery choices

I see amazon is selling 100AH Life batteries at about $300ish with many different names. Most have 4.5-star ratings. The one-star ratings of course trash that particular battery. I know I could shell out $7-800 for a so-called name brand made in china, they are ALL made in china. So my question is, has anyone tried the $300 life batteries and had good results? I've always been able to send anything back purchased from amazon, but some are saying they will not accept returns even before the 30-day warranty that amazon has. I'm really interested in support after the sale in case we have a bad battery. I know some will say the good support from USA sellers is worth over double the price and they may be right. Does anyone have good results from the economy brands? Walmart is also selling them and may be the way to go because I could always bring the battery back to a store. Anyone?
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Old 09-27-2022, 06:37 PM   #2
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I bought a Battle Born 100ah battery for my fifth wheel and am now on its third season. I paid $975 with freight prepaid. I know the number is high now, but I have never regretted the purchase for a second. There is a reviewer on YouTube who cuts the batteries open to reveal the innards. Battle Born shines on these tests as they use cylindrical cells instead of prismatic cells and the case and guts are heavy duty. I believe the cells are made in China, but the batteries are assembled in the USA. The performance and lack of maintenance has made me a believer. I usually camp at FHU sites so my battery needs are minimal. I've never needed it, but I understand BB's warranty is superior.
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:09 PM   #3
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I think Battleborn matches cells in the batteries, and does a fair amount of testing and quality control on each battery. That sort of thing can add cost.

The battery management system in each battery may be different. That is a key component.

Battleborn says their batteries can charge at battery temperatures as low as 27 degrees F. That is probably not a big deal for those of us who put their batteries inside.

Still, $300 is pretty cheap. You could buy three and throw one away and be cheaper than buying two Battleborn batteries. Or buy 5 cheap ones and if one fails just keep the ones that are OK.
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Old 10-01-2022, 08:15 AM   #4
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Battle born have a 10 year warranty , hard to argue vers Amazon. I have 5 Battleborn's in our 5th wheel with self-controlling heater. They are installing in the OEM battery location, so they needed to be heated for winter use.
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Old 10-01-2022, 09:05 AM   #5
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Week of September of 11th we had solar installed. We got 8 Elevation batteries that are 120AH. These have 12-year warranty.
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Old 10-01-2022, 11:23 AM   #6
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There is a LOT to learn about the care and feeding of LiFePO4 batteries. If you want to save some money and not buy the Battleboros etc watch this guy take apart all the cheapies and give you his (very) educated opinion. https://www.youtube.com/c/WillProwse

More than any other subject (yes even max weights, tires and engine oil), the amount of BS spouted on social media on the subject by people is impressive. There are people that know what they are talking about but they are generally drowned out.

One thing is for sure, the bold marketing strategy by the LIP industry that these are "drop ins" that will make your RV-ing experience like a Club Med on Tahiti are utter BS. There are a LOT of dos and donts.

Educate yourself first.

FWIW I bought the Renogy 12V/100A Bluetooth batteries. Still finishing up the install, but so far they are delivering as promised.
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Old 10-01-2022, 11:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscarvan View Post
There is a LOT to learn about the care and feeding of LiFePO4 batteries. If you want to save some money and not buy the Battleboros etc watch this guy take apart all the cheapies and give you his (very) educated
FWIW I bought the Renogy 12V/100A Bluetooth batteries. Still finishing up the install, but so far they are delivering as promised.
Renogy here too, FYI, they sell a cheaper non heater model, I got it on sale for 480$. They also sell a Bluetooth model that lacks heater for 600,$ smaller and fits perfect.
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Old 10-02-2022, 01:30 AM   #8
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As others have suggested, do choose a brand that has been examined by Will Prowse (youtube channel). Beyond that, there's not really much to be concerned about.

Don't charge below 32F. If the battery will be exposed to low temperatures, buy a heated battery or provide heat. Mostly buy one with low temperature protection (prevents charging below 32F or some similar temperature).

Swap out your converter for one with a LiFePO4 charge regime. They are readily available.

That's it for the "dos and donts" so not much of a burden given the advantages.

Requires far less solar for re-charge (for solar users)
Requires far less generator run time (for generator users)
Does not have to be topped off frequently for long life
Much less SOC monitor drift
More usable Ah per rated Ah with heavier loads (almost no Peukert effect)
Low self-discharge (no trickle charge needed in storage)
Low internal heat generation so good in hot climate
Good voltage down to very low state of charge
Higher voltage (less inverter drop-out at low charge than an aging lead-acid)
Higher voltage (less need for heavy conductors to limit voltage drop)
Can be discharged to low SOC with little life impact
Light weight
Compact
Clean
Long life
Protects user via BMS (BMS makes it safer than lead-acid)
Battery is protected by BMS (from user error)
Disconnects fast upon short-circuit (faster than fuse or breaker on AGM)

Downsides ......

Low temperature charging limitations (below 32F) (get heated LiFePO4)
Best to go straight to a converter with LiFePO4 setting.
Higher up-front cost (though maybe lower longer-term costs)
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Old 10-02-2022, 02:04 AM   #9
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"Best to go straight to a converter with LiFePO4 setting."

Are you sure ? My DC Charger converter battery hot feed is past salesman switch.
Also, I installed shut off switch at battery hot to DC inverter input. That way I don't have possible 120v hot while working on ac main panel. My new 2k watt xantrex will provide 120v to its wired loads upon sensing no shore/genset; I don't always want that feature. I found factory wired battery hot directly to inverter DC input.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatham View Post
"Best to go straight to a converter with LiFePO4 setting."

Are you sure ? My DC Charger converter battery hot feed is past salesman switch.
Also, I installed shut off switch at battery hot to DC inverter input. That way I don't have possible 120v hot while working on ac main panel. My new 2k watt xantrex will provide 120v to its wired loads upon sensing no shore/genset; I don't always want that feature. I found factory wired battery hot directly to inverter DC input.
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I think that comment "Best to go straight to a converter with LiFePO4" is referring to swapping out a converter that is optimized for FLA batteries to one that will fully charge an LFP battery. A standard FLA charger will certainly charge an LFP battery, but normally it will only get it to maybe ~80% SOC.....maybe 85%....depending on the voltage output.
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Old 10-03-2022, 12:48 AM   #11
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I think that comment "Best to go straight to a converter with LiFePO4" is referring to swapping out a converter that is optimized for FLA batteries to one that will fully charge an LFP battery. A standard FLA charger will certainly charge an LFP battery, but normally it will only get it to maybe ~80% SOC.....maybe 85%....depending on the voltage output.
Yes. I could have been clearer. I'll rephrase that part the next time I post this list.

Not only is the SOC level in doubt with a converter designed for lead acid, some such converters won't kick into bulk mode with LiFePO4 because the voltage of a LiFePO4 battery doesn't get down to the bulk trigger voltage of the converter. I experienced that.

On top of that, some LiFePO4 battery BMSs don't start balancing unless voltage gets above 14.0 volts; and in some cases above 14.2 volts. As you note, a lead-acid converter may not get up there.

Trying to stay with a converter designed for lead acid is a crap shoot at best and determining whether it is doing an adequate job takes some considerable sleuthing that the less technically inclined might want to avoid.

Definitely best to go with a converter that can be set for LiFePO4, especially now that WFCO makes one that can fairly easily replace the one that came with the RV.
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:45 PM   #12
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Requires far less solar for re-charge (for solar users)
Requires far less generator run time (for generator users)
Can you expound on that?
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Old 10-03-2022, 03:20 PM   #13
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standard rate of charge for lithium iron battery is 50 amp per battery ( on a 100-amp hour battery), if you put that much back into a lead battery you will boil the acid and shorten the life and require many more refills of distilled water.

Similar holds true for solar , you can charge a much higher rate . Will it reduce the amount of solar needed ? in my eyes NO, if you need a 150-amp hours put back into your battery there is minimal benefit because of the charge effencecy of Lithium battery is higher (in most cases lithium battery has a 99.5% charge efficiency) . Lead battery are down around 90% .
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Old 10-03-2022, 04:04 PM   #14
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Question

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Originally Posted by hclarkx View Post
Yes. I could have been clearer. I'll rephrase that part the next time I post this list.

Not only is the SOC level in doubt with a converter designed for lead acid, some such converters won't kick into bulk mode with LiFePO4 because the voltage of a LiFePO4 battery doesn't get down to the bulk trigger voltage of the converter. I experienced that.

On top of that, some LiFePO4 battery BMSs don't start balancing unless voltage gets above 14.0 volts; and in some cases above 14.2 volts. As you note, a lead-acid converter may not get up there.

Trying to stay with a converter designed for lead acid is a crap shoot at best and determining whether it is doing an adequate job takes some considerable sleuthing that the less technically inclined might want to avoid.

Definitely best to go with a converter that can be set for LiFePO4, especially now that WFCO makes one that can fairly easily replace the one that came with the RV.
question
if you have solar why would not the solar top off and finish charging the lifpo4 batteries? if you are useing the LA Converter.
Mel
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