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Old 08-24-2020, 07:28 PM   #1
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Wet Cells or LiFeP04?

My flooded cell house batteries are aging out, and I'd like to add some capacity when I change them. My dilemma is the batteries are stored under the stairs. There's only room for 2 group GC2's, And I don't really want to engineer a new storage area or re-cable the system.

The current bank is rated at 232AH, so about 116 AH usable.

Does anyone have experience with a "drop in replacement" lithium? And do the advantages of more usable capacity and shorter charge times outweigh the additional cost, temperature concerns, and charging system mods required to install them?

Would I even get any additional capacity? The few LiFeP04 batteries I've seen that might fit are 100 AH.
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:36 PM   #2
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The LiFePo batteries will give you 100 amp hours of usable power, so if you get 2 of them you will just about double your battery life between charges, and you will get about 10 years of life out of them, per the experts. That said you may have to change or recalibrate your charge controller. The cost is not negligible either, about $1,000 each by the time they get to you. Personally I would call Battle Born and talk to them. Their batteries seem to have the best reputation out there. Good luck.
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:03 PM   #3
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The battle borns would fit, but as said, you would have to change settings or even charger section on your converter. As acraguy said, call BB and tell them what converter or inverter you have and they can advise you.
Have seen them on sale for $900 each with free shipping, no core charge and no tax if outside Nevada. Can't charge them directly from alternator so you will have to work around that.
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:13 PM   #4
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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 08-24-2020, 08:53 PM   #5
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You should also look at Lion Energy UT1300s. These are very good LiFEPO4 batteries as well. They are a bit smaller than the BBs and come with a 10 year warranty......best of all they sell for ~$700 a piece. You may be able to get 3 of them in that space but 2 for sure which will give you 210Ah of usable storage or approx. double what you have now with all the benefits of charging at approx 4X the speed of the Flooded batteries you currently have

I have 8 of these and they are AWESOME!!!
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
You should also look at Lion Energy UT1300s. These are very good LiFEPO4 batteries as well. They are a bit smaller than the BBs and come with a 10 year warranty......best of all they sell for ~$700 a piece. You may be able to get 3 of them in that space but 2 for sure which will give you 210Ah of usable storage or approx. double what you have now with all the benefits of charging at approx 4X the speed of the Flooded batteries you currently have

I have 8 of these and they are AWESOME!!!

They are advertised on their website for$999. Where did you see them for $700?
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Old 08-27-2020, 08:16 AM   #7
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Saw the Lion Energy UT1300’s at the San Juan, CA Costco this past weekend for $789 each. It was a special promotional price as part of a “Road Show”. Good Luck!
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Old 08-27-2020, 08:52 AM   #8
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Drop in lithium's can be charged from the tow vehicle engine. Multiple batteries may draw to much charging current from the engine. A "B to B" charger may be required to limit current.

Adding more lithium's than will fit under the stairs may be easier than you think. In fact they may work better in a different location.

Lithium's don't emit hazardous gas and acid. They do not need maintenance. Mounting them inside the cabin will protect them from excess heat and cold. They have been installed under couches and just about any place you can think of.

The Battle Born experts can also help you with relocation and charging systems.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 08-27-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
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You can just stay with flooded batteries and use then like lithium by drawing them down to 20% capacity.

The " 50% usable " statement isn't actually a rule, but only a recomendation for longer battery life.

If you don't have room for more capacity, and dont want to spring for lithium batteries, just use more of your present capacity.

At 50% draw down, you will typically get about 1000 cycles out of a battery bank.

If you draw down to 20% remaining capacity, you will typically get 500 cycles from the same battery bank.

You will need to replace your batteries sooner but that time depends on how many times you do deep discharges.

This info is published by most major deep cycle battery manufactures, not by internet rumers.

Here is a DOD ( Depth of Discharge ) chart from Lifeline Battery, a premier battery manufacturer.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-27-2020, 10:41 AM   #10
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We live in Arizona. Even with some deep discharge events, our batteries will succumb to our high temps before we hit the cycle limits. Do the best you can, watch the water levels closely, and enjoy.
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:17 AM   #11
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My seven 100 amp-hour Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries are inside my trailer between my fold down sofa and front pass through storage platform which is part of my bed.

I have installed a Cerbo GX with a temperature sensor at the center of my batteries, another inside the pass through storage area where my inverter/charger is located and another sensor under my trailer to monitor shaded outside temperatures. The Cerbo GX also logs all the battery state of charge, solar voltage and current for my 4 MPPT controllers. The data goes to the Victron Entergy VRM portal for permanent logging. If the RV loses Internet connectivity it logs to a local SD card until it can be uploaded later.

I looked at my temperature graphs logged for this summer. While the sensor under the trailer hits high of high 90s to 100+ many times this summer my batteries never were higher than 90 degrees. They also stay about 10 degrees warmer than the overnight lows. My trailer air conditioner is off except when we are camping in it. The rest of the time I have a small window near the kitchen sink open and a bathroom fan open and running on low. The bathroom fan is covered by a solar panel so I don't have to worry about rain. I also have a pair of 140mm Noctua fans to circulate the inside trailer air through the front pass through storage area so the heat from the Inverter/Charger doesn't build up.

Keeping the batteries inside my trailer help moderate their exposure to hot and cold. If we are camping in the trailer we will run the air conditioner or furnace when it is too hot or cold outside. I like the security of my battery location. Most people wouldn't even find them without knowing the location. They are under a polycarbonate cover to prevent anything from dropping on them or rubbing on any of the large DC cables.
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:11 PM   #12
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FWIW, here is my experience upgrading a 2007 National RV Seabreeze to lithium: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f105/lit...ze-508000.html. Hope it is helpful. Feel free to pick my brains if you think I can help.
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