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Old 09-21-2021, 04:03 PM   #1
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Lithium Batteries are NOT Worth the Extra Cost?

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"?
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Old 09-21-2021, 04:24 PM   #2
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An interesting thought you might consider is AutoZone batteries. We bought two "Double size" 12 v batteries which takes us to 4 equivalents. Seems like we never lose power.

You will have to find in the store someone who will understand what you want and what size and figure it out from there.

We have been happy as our batteries are still going strong. Also, we don't mind the weight loss. They are heavier, but not as heavy as 4 batteries.
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Old 09-21-2021, 04:27 PM   #3
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Lithium batteries give you 100% of the rated capacity at full voltage, whereas a L/A battery gives you ~50-75% of its rated capacity, and a voltage that is constantly dropping. It's not just about the $
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Old 09-21-2021, 04:31 PM   #4
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I easily get 8-12 years from flooded cell batteries. The secret is using 2 oz of mineral oil per cell. And then my lackadaisical service routine isn't so important to battery life since the water stays in the cells. Doesn't hurt to have a 'smart' converter so they're not overcharged like in the old days.
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Old 09-21-2021, 04:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeg99 View Post
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"?
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, it’s 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.

I’m now preparing for incoming!,,
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeg99 View Post
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"?
In my opinion they are better. Now if it's better for your situation is only up to you. I'm not going to sway you either way, it already sounds like you made your mind up anyway.
But I'm sold on them.

2 vs 1 is one pro.
less weight, no maintenance . True 12volts till 0% can't ever say that about lead acid.
I'd think but I'm sure I'm wrong that any camper made in the last several years can support Lithium charge profile. I don't know manufacturers are cheap, maybe they cut the corner with that as well.

If it's an old camper than yes you need to replace your power center.
If you won't live for 10 years more, than lead acid is the way to go.

If you're only going out once a month for a few days at a time, lead acid probably does look like it makes financial sense.
I can't argue if you only use the batteries for 80 hours a year it doesn't really matter what you get unless you rely heavily on the batteries.

No one says you can't take your batteries out when you sell either.
Or use it as a bargaining point.
I don't think anyone here cares what chemistry you use, I sure don't make anything
from a persons battery choice.

all that matters is you're satisfied with your choice.
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:44 PM   #7
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LifePO4 has some advantages, especially for boondockers with large solar arrays. LifePO4's can be charged at a high rate, right up to about 100% charge, much faster than lead acid can.

With solar panels you have a short part of the day were they generate max power, with lead acid you may not be able to get to 100% charge since the charging rate has to drop as the charge level increases... eventually down to almost a trickle charge. LifePO4 on the other hand can be charged at a higher rate that lead acid, right up to full charge making better use of the short portion of the day the solar panels are generating maximum power.
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:52 PM   #8
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A flush toilet system costs 5x a cassette toilet. Do you have a cassette toilet to go with your lead acid batteries?
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:01 PM   #9
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Keep in mind, you don't have to keep your current RV for 25 years in order for the batteries to pay for themselves as you can move the batteries from your current RV, to the next, and the next for many years to come. I went Lifepo4 for several reasons, the biggest reason for me is that my Class C doesn't have a ton of cargo weight capacity and I wanted ~300ah of battery storage. The weight savings going with Lifepo4's was into the hundreds of pounds lighter which doesn't matter so much if you have plenty of weight capacity.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:56 PM   #10
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400 ah of lifepo4 for 1200.00 - 1400.00 I paid 1350.00 you need 800ah of lead for the same power so you need 8 225 ah 6 volts at what 99 a pop that’s 800.00

5x the cost is not true look get your facts straight before posting things that are not true.

Even if you go with the most expensive lifepo4 at 900 for 100ah that’s only 3600.00 a far cry from 5 TIMES the cost.

I call FAKE NEWS!

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Old 09-21-2021, 10:56 PM   #11
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We have FLA batteries, a smart charger, and will be adding Lifepo4 lithium batteries and solar soon.

You see we like to boondock frequently. We would like to watch a movie, and occasionally use the microwave for a a minute w/o firing up the generator. We also boondock in winter weather, and want our batteries run the furnace overnight w/o killing the batteries. So for us lithium is the way to go.

With that said, we are not buying $1000 dollar 100AH drop-in batteries, but going with a DIY battery build. https://www.mobile-solarpower.com
We are looking to build a 300-400AH battery system.
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Old 09-21-2021, 11:24 PM   #12
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The most talked about advantages of lithium batteries are capacity and longevity.

Less talked about, and not appreciated until having lithium batteries is the improved user experience.

The bit higher voltage and very flat discharge curve keep the battery at 13+ volts most all the time. Plus they sag very little under heavy load. So the performance is consistent throughout the typical discharge cycle. Appliances and such in the coach just work better.

Lithium charge faster. Better usage of solar production, less generator run time, etc.

The BMS (battery management system) prevents damage to the battery. Overly discharging or charging, temperature excursions, etc. The BMS shuts down to protect the battery.
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Old 09-21-2021, 11:45 PM   #13
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Here's the Amazon "best seller" Lithium 100ah at $365...

https://www.amazon.com/LiFePO4-Batte...2289420&sr=8-3
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:46 AM   #14
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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 wouldn’t have bothered.
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