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Old 03-12-2021, 12:38 PM   #1
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Batteries to lithium or not to lithium

So I have a NRC Coach it is a 45 foot rig, i have 4 big house batteries currently (they look like https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/NBP8...ndex=Universal) i have a 2000 watt inverter as well that is auto start with the generator.

two of my batteries have since died and need to be replace so i figured i might as well do all 4 after looking up that the batteries are about 800 each i was wondering if i should be switching to lithium and how complicated will that be.

Yes i also understand that i should do more research but i figured since so many people already know the answer that i can just ask instead.

so main questions,
can i just swap in lithium?
-if not
-why?
would i need to change out my inverter?

has any one one hated swapping to lithum if so why?
should I just stick with a simple battery setup?

I am not boondocking, i almost never do not have access to shore power.
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Old 03-12-2021, 12:43 PM   #2
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With little or no boondocking, I think hard to justify lithium.

I moved to lithium year before last. We dry camp 50+% of the time. They are great.
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Old 03-12-2021, 12:51 PM   #3
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With little or no boondocking, I think hard to justify lithium.

I moved to lithium year before last. We dry camp 50+% of the time. They are great.
what did it cost you to make the conversion?
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Old 03-12-2021, 01:17 PM   #4
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You probably could put in a pair of BattleBorn 100 amp-hour batteries and do what you want to do and save about 566 pounds of battery weight. The BattleBorn cost $950/each and will provide 200 amps of sustained discharge while they have charge.

The batteries you listed mentioned cold cranking amps. Are you using these batteries to start an engine?

Is your inverter the inverter/charger type. You may want to go this route and eliminate the need for a converter/charger. A hybrid inverter/charger can help sustain heavier 120 volt loads because the inverter amperage can be synchronized to the generator or external power plug. For example you are parked in your driveway plugged into a 15 amp outlet. You can program the inverter/charger to limit the power taken from the power plug to 12 amps and have the inverter make up the rest of the required amperage during the motor startup surges.

The inverter/charger can also sustain a 100 amp charge rate which would be perfect for a pair of 100 amp-hour LiFePO4 batteries.

I use a Victron Multiplus 3000VA with seven 100 amp-hour BattleBornBatteries and 1440 watts of roof top solar. I camp without hookups about 90% of the time.
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Old 03-12-2021, 01:59 PM   #5
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4, $90.00 6 volt batteries will do what you need. Double that for AGM batteries.

No switching chargers, no special equipment to charge them under way, and enough capacity to heat up something for lunch in the microwave.

$350 for 4, 6 volt batteries giving you over 400 AH of capacity.

$2500 for 2 lithiums and a charging device to give you 200 AH. Not enough for a microwave.
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Old 03-12-2021, 02:41 PM   #6
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About $8k. Includes batteries upgrade from MSW inveryer to hybrid PSW inverter/charger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sciblades View Post
what did it cost you to make the conversion?
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Old 03-12-2021, 08:12 PM   #7
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4, $90.00 6 volt batteries will do what you need. Double that for AGM batteries.

No switching chargers, no special equipment to charge them under way, and enough capacity to heat up something for lunch in the microwave.

$350 for 4, 6 volt batteries giving you over 400 AH of capacity.

$2500 for 2 lithiums and a charging device to give you 200 AH. Not enough for a microwave.
What are the draw backs of 6 volts?
How long will they last?
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Old 03-12-2021, 08:43 PM   #8
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Lithiums have many benefits, but only if your usage scenario takes advantage of them. Given that you are usually plugged in and don’t boondock there is really no benefit to upgrade to Lithium that I can see.

Having said that and if I am reading your post correctly you are looking at spending $3,200 to replace what you have and you will have 400 usable amp/hrs. You can order Lithium cells and pay roughly $1,000 for 450 usable amp/hrs. Another few hundred dollars for a BMS and a couple hundred more for a solution to keep your alternator happy and you’d have more amps for half the cost of the replacements gels. Of course you would have to wire up the cells and BMS yourself, but if you can wire a light switch you can wire up a battery and BMS.

I had a similar situation to yours 7 years ago when my AGM’s died and because of off gassing issues I could not replace with Lead/Acids. So the choice was Lifeline’s AGM’s or those newfangled Lithiums. I went with Lithiums and have zero regrets. Again given your usage- if you can use Lead/Acids and are OK with them then cost and ease wise they are a solid choice, if not then Lithiums are a viable option.
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Old 03-12-2021, 10:15 PM   #9
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I switched to lithium for the main reason that I did not want the maintenance with lead acid and I could get lithium for the prices of agm.

I purchased this https://www.amazon.com/Lifepo4-Lithi...shunbin&sr=8-4

400ah for 1500 Is a good deal I can say I have been happy with mine. I did have to swap my inverter/charger to a newer unit to support the lithium but was planning to anyway for pure sign wave.

Total cost was about 3400.
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Old 03-13-2021, 03:54 PM   #10
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Just found this online not a Chinese builder

https://www.signaturesolar.us/produc...89000007141580

400hr 12 volt for 1500.00
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Old 03-17-2021, 07:56 AM   #11
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Showing my ignorance with this question: Curious why a new inverter / charger is needed since the product at the Amazon link includes a charger.
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Old 03-17-2021, 11:06 AM   #12
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The charger is a plug in and connect like a battery charger for your car.

Your inverter/charger will monitor and automatically charge your house battery’s so it needs to be configured for lithium.
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Old 03-17-2021, 11:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenZ71 View Post
Showing my ignorance with this question: Curious why a new inverter / charger is needed since the product at the Amazon link includes a charger.
SO one of the biggest benefits of Lithium is just how fast they can charge....a substantial charger that can handle the high charge rates is important....that one is not even close.

Additionally, Lithium batteries will need a higher current than many of the lower end chargers can provide including most factory-supplied converters however many of the factory inverter/chargers can do a good job with Lithium batteries, especially if they have an AGM specific charging profile, this is pretty close and will get your batteries to 100%.

Twinboat and others are correct that unless you spend at least 50% of the time off-grid it is difficult to justify the cost but they are cool regardless..... just make sure whatever you do you get your advice from people with real-world LiFePO4 experience and not just what you or others had read online
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Old 03-17-2021, 11:26 AM   #14
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What are the draw backs of 6 volts?
How long will they last?
I don't have lithium batteries, can't come close to justifying the costs for their installation.

Don't quote me on this, but from what I have read on here and other websites about lithium, I believe one benefit is that there is very little to no maintenance. They're lighter in weight and are good for 10 plus years of service. They do need to be used with the correct charging system and from what I understand, they don't like extreme temperatures.

On the 6 volt wet cells,, you need to maintain them to keep them going. A person has to periodically check water levels and do some general housekeeping (clean connections, watch for corrosion, etc,,). A good charging system helps to make maintenance easier. They definitely weigh more than the lithiums but look to weigh less than those monsters you you have in there now. It varies but with all of the above, they should be good for 5 or more years.

Imo, for your situation, the 6 volts would be the way to go,, if you're able to take care of them. I would think that your current charging system would work fine with them.
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