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Old 07-16-2022, 05:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 7
non-standard sized lithium batteries installation and other electrifying questions

We have a 2003 Fleetwood Prowler Trailer. We just bought it in August 2021.

Last time I was here we decided to get a Predator from Horrible Freight because availability of generators was low and we were going to be boondocking for a week. We got our batteries from Walmart, apparently a horrible idea as well. After trying to use this combination as our source of energy in the trailer for a little under a year, we returned everything. We decided to use the refund to help us to splurge on two of the 2200 Watt Honda inverter generators (one is a companion version so we can hook them up together) and I found some reasonably priced lithium 12V batteries so we got them as well. Lithium seems to be the best if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, I didn't consider that these batteries seem to be a totally random size, certainly not the group 24 that my battery boxes are for. They are much longer and they can't really fit even in the slot even without the battery boxes. I was thinking it would be nice if we could wire them into the storage compartment right behind the front of the trailer. My fiancee said there is no way to do that without doing harm to the trailer. I can't remember exactly what he said, but he didn't think it was a good idea.

Do you guys have any fancy tricks for wiring into compartments without hurting your trailer's body? I saw an RV Youtuber who had his lithium batteries sideways in one of his storage compartments, so I think that's why I thought I could wire them where I would want to keep them, but he had a much newer and nicer RV. I would like to keep them in that compartment also because they won't be out in the open just asking to be stolen. The guy who we bought the trailer from had his batteries stolen.

My fiancee said we should try to find battery boxes for the size and just install them size ways (rotated 90deg from how I had the old group 24 batteries). But I think that's going to be hard because they aren't a standard size. I asked on the page for the product is there is one available, but was wondering if there's a good supplier online for specialty sized battery boxes?

Oh I also got a multi stage converter that I still need to install, but it seemed like a good idea from what I was reading. Hopefully I don't run into issues installing it.

I wanted to get a SoftStartRV for the AC but my fiancee thought it wouldn't need it since we'll have 4400 Watts. But would it help save the generators in the long run? I want these new generators to have a long reliable life.

Also was wondering if it would be worth getting solar panels too, but I guess if we don't mind paying for gas this should cover us for energy day and night.

Thank you so much for any advice or tips you have! I hope our next trip goes better. The last one was a disaster in that the generator and batteries were both unreliable.
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Old 07-16-2022, 06:27 PM   #2
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That Amazon webpage does list the battery dimensions, so not fitting in your present battery location is on you.
Now to finding a suitable location; since LiPo batteries may be located in any reasonable location, even inside the trailer, look for possibilities inside the trailer too.
For example; my DW's Jeep battery is under the passenger seat, the seat must be removed to access the battery.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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Old 07-17-2022, 01:55 PM   #3
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Your wiring task for the LiFePo4 batteries will be easiest if you put them as near as possible to where the wire loom from the tongue battery box enters the pass thru, and near to the main battery disconnect. When you find a suitable location, you can feed the wires from the tongue back up through the loom. You also need to make sure the tongue jack and slide out wires are in that bundle, and of course, the wire bundle from the 7-pin connector.

These small additional expenses will make your install easier, safer, and more convenient: Wire your batteries in parallel with 1/0 awg cable, and connect the ositive battery cable to a bus bar. Buy a Bluetooth negative shunt battery monitor, and attach the negative battery cable to the shunt side labeled battery attach a shout 1/0 black cable from the load side of the shunt to a negative bus bar. Then connect the shunt red power wire to the positive bus bar. Your life will be easier and more foolproof if you install a 300amp disconnect switch between the batteries and the positive bus bar, and even better if you put a terminal fuse between battery and bus bar. Connect dc loads to the bus bars, and run a 6awg or larger between negative bus bar and chassis ground.

If you plan ahead, you should also be thinking about where you might want to install an inverter, or inverter charger, as that installation will be more complicated and time consuming. If you go forward with installing LiFePo4 batteries, be aware, the OEM charger in your trailer will not be ideally suitable for lithium. To get your money’s worth out of LFP, You’ll need to replace the charger with a lithium compatible or programmable charger, but it might be difficult to match one to your breaker panel. Easier, but more expensive would be to buy a hybrid inverter/charger with Bluetooth programmability capable of charging your lithiums at 60amps or more. IMHO, buying LiFePo4 is a waste of money, unless you spend some bucks for the gear that will deliver all the advantage of LFP, like fast charging, ability to deliver copious amounts of ac power, and “set it, forget it” battery management.
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2021b Micro Mini 2108DS, 170AH LiFePo4, Xantrex XC2000, Victron 75/15 & 100/30, Champion 2500w df
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Old 07-17-2022, 03:39 PM   #4
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I installed mine under my bed. Got rid of the tongue battery box, nothing would fit in there anyway but a small 12v battery.

Didn't feel like having something welded up to fit the larger battery and anyway finding a battery box to fit these is I guess hard? I don't know I couldn't find anything I liked other than going with a toolbox to fit the larger battery.
Make sure you install a class t fuse between your battery and whatever it is connecting to.
I also left my ancient converter in place. It isn't going to charge the lifepo entirely but I have a separate charger specifically for the battery that I plan to top the battery off with. I can disconnect the battery from the trailer if I have a full battery and don't want the trailer converter/charger floating my battery.
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batteries, install, installation, lithium

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