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Old 09-27-2021, 09:25 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by BigDan1 View Post
I turned to lifepo4
Why : I can use 90% of the capacity. Will last over 10 years , and NO maintenance , no corrosion , no smell 😊
You forgot "no weightlifting required".
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:40 AM   #86
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Lithium batteries cost 5 times+ more than golf cart batteries from Costco. I get 5 years from golf cart batteries with minimum maintenance. No special charging required - just plug in, generator, drive and solar panels. All my requirements are covered.


To break even (not counting the fact that the extra lithium $$ can be invested) I'd have to have the same motorhome for 25 years.That will not happen. I will not even alive in 25 years.


So why buy lithium? Is it just the latest "big deal"?

So don't buy them!!!! twice the power--half the weight--none of the work!!
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:01 AM   #87
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If you have better things to do then become a solar professional, just listen to Will Prowse on YT that some others have mentioned too, and you'll save tons of time and headaches to determine what responsibilities you want to take on in the process of the build.

Will Prowse -- https://www.youtube.com/c/WillProwse

You'll also save $ and get more bank for the buck if you up your voltage. I just put together a 3000W system: Growatt 24v inverter, 2 Hawk 24v Bigbatteries, and 8 NewPowa 210w. Can use for mobile trailer or home backup as well for around $6k.

That should last me 20 some years. The maintenance free batteries are guaranteed for 10yrs. That's $300/yr...and it also pays itself back because it's free energy. Zero gas expense and wear and tear on my generator as well...not to mention not being able to get gas (that also runs on propane).

Folks, besides camping, odds are we're heading into massive global changes (end of the $ and financial collapse), open borders, etc...and it looks like some pretty rough times before we come out the other side.

On top of that we're in the middle of global medical tyranny. Our medical people, law enforcement people etc are quitting because of forced experimental jabs. The more solar power you have the better -- to power grills, heaters, AC, etc, at least to some degree (pun intended) to prepare.
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:05 AM   #88
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Iím now preparing for incoming!,,
[/QUOTE]

4 X 300AH lith (1200AH) - charge w/solar, alternator, on board generator or little mobile. 1 50A AC - 10 hours, 2 for 5, not including charge input. Not enough room in 43 DP for that many 6V FAs.
People defend what they bought and bad mouth what they canít afford, itís human nature. In the end, if you, you & your wife, or your entire family are enjoying what you have, who cares?

Not the incoming you expected, was it?
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:08 AM   #89
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Not just the batteries, don't think that my magnum energy charger will properly charge the lithium.
The Magnum chargers charge lithium just fine.
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:30 AM   #90
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I have 3 lithium batteries in my TT. I like the savings in weight...75 lb for 3 lithium batteries vs nearly 300 lb for 3 12v golf cart batteries I upgraded from. You mentioned a MH, so you may not have to worry about cargo capacity as a TT or 5W would need to. I also like that you're not limited to only being able to use 50% capacity of the battery. We have been to several places (NFS and NP areas) where generators were not allowed at all, and we couldn't get much solar (cloudy, tree canopy, etc) for recharging our batteries. We were still able to get 10 days out of our batteries and they got down to 10%, with no damage to the batteries. Lead acid you can't do that. Yes, they're expensive, but the flexibility and lighter weight is worth the cost for me.
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Old 09-27-2021, 12:14 PM   #91
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I agree that it depends on how you use your RV. I installed 13kwh LiFePo4 (built myself) and now I can run the air conditioner at the same time as the microwave for hours. Cost me just under $2k with the BMS. How much would that weigh with golf cart batteries? If I were just going from RV park to Rv park, I wouldnít have bothered.
Very interesting, can you send more detailed specs for your array please
I do have 300Amps battery with 1000 watts solar panels but I can only run the A/C for maybe 3 hrs max and no Micro (for the Microwave I need to turn off the A/C)
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Old 09-27-2021, 12:15 PM   #92
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oh puleeese!
This argument has gone on for too long.
Those who use cost as the only metric, would have saved a lot more money by buying a tent instead of a motorhome. Fla are dinosaurs. Suitable for someone who has had them for decades. Amazes me that people will not flinch at spending massive amounts of money on their rig, but will have a seizure if they may have to pay a few hundred dollars more for lifepo4 than fla. Lifepo4 have so many more advantages, itís crazy. Cost per amphr is now very close to agm. 6v golf cart batteries are much cheaper, but who wants to take care of those, and not an option for most tt owners due to weight. Unless you plan to ditch your rig in 4 years or less, lifepo4 is far superior to any other battery type.

Iím now preparing for incoming!,,
excellent analysis
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:35 PM   #93
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Not just the batteries, don't think that my magnum energy charger will properly charge the lithium.
Check the forums on this. I think it's been covered. If you can adjust absorb time, it will work. FLA/AGM Bulk and float voltages will work. Only absorb needs to be eliminated or greatly reduced.
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:39 PM   #94
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Most LifePO4 BMS have a way to "wake them up" so you can charge a over discharged battery.

This is where DIY build are better, you have direct access to the cells and can bypass the BMS if needed.

BMS = Battery Management System
why not just insulate and heat the battery area to +32 with all that extra battery power.
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:45 PM   #95
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Okay. Where? I won't believe it until I see it.
One can buy three 100 Ah (1300 Wh each) for not much over $1000. Buyer beware, but decent ones are out there.

He may have gone DIY. This past spring I bought 11 kWh for under $1300. And three BMSs for under $500. Bought the cells on AliExpress though not without a lot of research on reliable vendors. All are Grade B so maybe only good for a few thousand cycles and might not full capacity. Mine all panned out. One has higher than normal internal resistance so probably does not have full capacity, but that's splitting hairs (it wasn't far below par at 10% SOC). I'd buy an extra cell if I were to do this again. Built my own boxes.
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:45 PM   #96
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Either you are being disingenuous or you don't want to hear things you don't agree with. Batteries are a strange thing to be zealous about because there are multiple viable options and things are a matter of choice.

Let's take your case of modest battery usage. It is very much like mine.

I have a 100Ah LifePo battery. It cost me about $500 when I purchased it. The same battery is about $400 now, and falling. But I paid about $500. I bought nothing else, no cables, no new converter or charger. I now enjoy 90AH to 100AH of chargeable and usable power, which is what I need to get me through a couple days. It weighs 30 pounds at the front of my 5er, sits neatly in the battery compartment, and I am watching my weight.

You bought two 6v golf cart batteries, for $240 apparently. 175 AH, which by your statement you take down to 50%, so ... 90-100 Ah of used capacity (same as me!). You also bought some cables I assume when you installed them, but we won't nit pick. Maybe you bought a battery box or different tie downs for them - I don't know if that's needed in your configuration. I do know your batteries weigh 120 pounds or so, and would not have been an option for me.

So, your original premise that Li costs 5 times as much seems specious. It seems like it was meant to inflame or argue. By my math, based on a pretty valid real world comparison, it is much closer to 2x as much. And those are day 1 costs - no need to extend the equation on life of the batteries, I will agree my solution costs twice what yours did for equivalent use case when I bought them. And I sure appreciate those extra 90 pounds I am not hauling around.

Lithium is cheaper today than it was last year, and will be cheaper again next year.

Should we do gas vs. diesel next?
I speak for myself, but, my guess is the price difference was based on more expensive batteries such as battleborn. I did not know there were cheaper ones like you bought.
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:00 PM   #97
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I guess that those who seemed to take offence at my thread did not notice that there was a question mark in the title. In other words, it was a question, NOT an absolute statement.

There are a large number of RV owners that a happy with the 2 batteries that came with their RV. I am. If you want more storage capacity, so be it.

I mainly boondock. We use our motorhome about 4 months per year. I have a 5500W generator and solar panels. I have 2 golf cart batteries from Costco. My batteries are usually fully charged by end of day. Faster charging would be nice but you have to have to capacity to do that. Next time I replace them, I'll be buying golf cart batteries. When the price of lithium comes down, I'll reconsider. My thoughts:

1. Little maintenance, I check water level every couple of months but almost never have to add water. I don't use any protective equipment other than gloves and glasses. I'm not splashing acid and they are several of feet from my face. I am near sighted so always have glasses on. Safety glasses are a must whenever working on almost anything.

2. I almost never run the batteries under 1/2 charge.

3. My class A came with golf cart batteries and a smart charger that never over charges. My solar panel also do not over charge.

4. NO battery should be drained completely dead. Lithium's life will be shortened by doing so (although not a severely as lead acid). Therefore, comparing cost in AH by using full capacity of lithium to 1/2 of lead acid is not valid.

5. To replace 2 golf cart batteries with lithium, 2 lithium should be purchased. The lithium will have more usable capacity but, if you don't need the extra capacity, it's a moot point.

6. Two golf cart batteries from Costco total $240. Some pay much more but I don't see a need to. Two lithium cost between $732 and $1598. That means that to replace 2 lead acid golf cart batteries that already meet your needs with lithium would cost between 3 and 6.7 time more. Plus the charging systems may have to upgraded at substantial cost. For example, the engine driven alternator regulator, the solar regulator and the charger that came with the RV. What is the cost of a new battery maintenance system system? Check before installing lithium.

7. Almost no one will built a lithium bank from individual cells. Those that have and are happy with the results well done!

8. If I want toast or need the microwave oven, I have a 5500 Watt generator. That's what it's for. I usually never run the generator for more than 20 minutes a day. Some days not at all.

9. Are most that are considering lithium just looking to replace their current 2 batteries? Do they believe that one 100AH lithium is equivalent to 2 golf cart batteries for capacity and that they will get 25 years out of the lithium? They will get more usable capacity but see points 5, 6 and 10. Maybe it is worth it if you only have room for 2 batteries and need more capacity.

10. Lithium lasts longed, but how long will you own the RV? I doubt many will take the batteries with them when they sell.

11. Weight. If you have a class C or A RV or a larger TT or 5th, you are pulling 10,000 to 30,000 pounds around. Will the saving a 50, 100 or even 200 pounds matter? Sometime a good crap in an outhouse will save more weight.

12. Voltage drop. Never bothered me. The inverter works just fine.

13. I watch movies when I want and do the other things that one does when boon docking. Maybe I'm just energy efficient.

14. If you are building a very large capacity battery bank, lithium is worth looking at. But sellers and other advocates that wave the lithium flag say "lithium is lower cost in the long run" and then talk about 100% capacity and a 25 year life. My thought is that they are not worth it for those that are happy with their current lead acid batteries. Just because I have an expensive RV doesn't mean that I don't consider value.
Your questions and posits were fine until #14. #14 is okay except for your claim that LiFePO4 is worth looking at only for large installs. If I had a tent trailer I'd have a 50 Ah LiFePO4.

You might want to peruse the dozens of other threads on exactly what you opine and question. But, you seem sincere, so here's my take..........

1. Maintenance ... I could not check my FLA level without sticking my head into the compartment with nose almost touching. Not a good thing. A flashlight and mirror helped but was a nuisance as was getting water into the cells.

2. Not under half charge .... Then you could get away with less LiFePO4. I run my LiFePO4 down to 20% a couple of times per year. Saves a generator run event or two.

3. Never overcharges .... Not until the smart charger fails and does overcharge. Check the FLA failures on Youtube from this cause. There's no BMS in an FLA or AGM like there is in a LiFePO4 to protect you and your RV.

4. Drain completely ..... My LiFePO4 is guaranteed to 2800 cycles with 100% discharge cycles. But, yes, probably 5000 cycles if limited to 80% depth. I don't think anybody drains complete, it's just not convenient to run out. I keep the 20% mostly as a cushion.

5. Two lithium to replace two GC ....... Don't need two lithium to replace two AGM or FLA. If 100 Ah is enough, get one. Or, get 200 Ah LiFePO4. 200AH is now common with LiFePO4 and some under $1000. I got a 300 Ah six years ago.

6. $1600 for two 100 LiFePO4..... Two 100's of decent quality are now under $1000, some well under. Check Will Prowse's teardowns and tests on Youtube. 200's weigh far less than a single FLA or AGM GC pair and cost less than two 100's so I'd suggest that route for anybody needing more than 100 Ah.

7. DIY ..... Check DIY Solar website and the forums. DIY is very popular with even less technically inclined doing it. But, with current pricing DIY can still save money but not nearly as much as a year or two ago. Not worth doing for most wanting to go LiFePO4. It's mostly a hobby thing.

8. Run a 5500 Watt generator for microwave. ...... Our microwave gets used 6 or 8 times per day, usually just for a minute or two. Starting a 5500W generator for such use seems not wise (this is my situation, maybe not yours). I carry a 1600W generator but only if I'm out in the less sunny months or along the CA coast or expecting a lot of shade. Haven't used it in almost six years. That's because of solar more than the LiFePO4. DW and I both hated the noise and smell. The first year she would not consider boondocking in large part because of the generator. Things changed when I promised use of the generator just once per year (or less). BTW, I run an inverter microwave on a 900W inverter and could do so on one 100 Ah LiFePO4.

9. Two vs one..... Many indeed do replace two GCs with one or two LiFePO4. Lots of threads on doing so in the forums. Many also enjoy the upgrade and go further. Lots of threads on that as well. One 100 LiFePO4 might be a good replacement for two FLA if 80 Ah is enough energy. Certainly a 200 Ah which is likely smaller than the two FLAs.

10. If you sell ... Adds to the value of the RV or take them with you. Light, clean, easy to move.

11. Weight. Took 100 lbs off the tongue of my 5er, gave me 100# more payload in the truck. Especially nice on the tongue of a trailer. We don't all drive busses.

12. Voltage Drop. Wait until your FLA are on their last legs. Then try the microwave.

13. .......... Okay.

14. Large bank only. LiFePO4 are available smaller than 100 Ah. If I still had a tent trailer I'd have a 50 Ah LiFePO4. And for "large" systems the days of 100 Ah are past. 200's are now the sweet spot and 300's are available.
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:08 PM   #98
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I have a German buddy I correspond with fairly regularly. He travels between China and Berlin a lot with an affiliate engineering agency. He says in the next 5 years you will see China engineering firms and companies dominate the industry with everything from grid balancing battery installations to ship, truck and EV battery products. And thatís just the beginning. There is a whole generation of engineers being groomed to deal with power production and storage products. My guess is youíll see lots more good deals on LFP type batteries out there in the years to come. His area of expertise is micro grids and solar storage integration. Interesting stuff. I hope to get a factory tour next fall when we head to Germany.

Cheers.
that is if we don't run out of raw materials...
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