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Old 09-13-2021, 04:13 AM   #1
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which gives the best $$ 2-6v or 1-Lithium battery?

we own 2 RV's, a 2011 Montana which we've traveled with on many cross country trips but right now sits in a FHU CG all season long and/or to on use on big long distant or trips longer that 10 days...our other carries our motorcycle, a cool little 2008 18' Coachman TH and we use for State Park dry camping.. Both have lead acid batteries-(2-6v GC2. 4 and 6yrs old).. Now my issue is that when ever we go away to a racing event with the Montana or to Vermont for 3 nights I find myself constantly watching the battery voltage or just don't have enough battery capacity to run the ice maker with the fantastic fan all day..Both campers have a 100w solar panel ..major problem is I'm cheap, but now at the age of 61 finally get it, you need to spend the cash to enjoy and not worry...... Now what I'm thinking is to just buy 4 new 6v batteries from Costco and replace the worn batteries and also buy 2-6v GC2 to keep in my truck bed as a spare booster battery pk... Then connect to the RV with my 6awg jumper cables my cost total 570$.... Or just buy 2- 200ahr lithium batteries on Amazon, Chins are selling for 800$ ea so my cash expense 1,600$ I've read so many Forums on how great Lithium batteries are BUT 570$ vs 1600$ Then there is the support needed for the lithium battery-more panels and controller....Which way do I go?
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Old 09-13-2021, 04:30 AM   #2
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Just my opinion...
Hard to beat the economics of FLA when you calculate $/AH delivered over life of batty.
I'm thinking you have 3 options (other than the Li approach)
1. Your suggestion of a second back up bank - simple
2. But a small (Honda?) gen and run it when convenient to top off battys - simple, easy and usable elsewhere?
3. Add more solar to supplement the batty AH - more involved but some long term advantages unless sun doesn't shine!



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Old 09-13-2021, 06:43 AM   #3
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forgot to add..Montana has build in 5,000w Gen, and bought a year ago the new Honda EU2200 gen for power outages if any at home but now use for the Coachman on trips. Let charge up batteries after dinner for the night just had a 31DC in it when we bought it in July...then I had the 6yr old 2- GC2 batteries in my mini home battery box..
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Old 09-13-2021, 06:57 AM   #4
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IMHO you should go with the 4-6v. More long term bang for your buck and you already know your solar and charging circuit work with them. Good luck finding them though. My 6v are going on 5 years old and I'd like to replace them before we start our annual migration south next week. NAPA has them at $157 ea but Costco has been out for weeks now. Guess I'll just keep nursing them until Costco gets their resupply.
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:19 AM   #5
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Keep in mind that the AH ratings between FLA and LiFePO4 batteries aren't comparable. LiFePO4 batteries will deliver full voltage for their entire AH rating while FLA batteries' voltage will decrease as they discharge. It all depends on how far you normally discharge your FLA batteries. At 50% state of charge (typically quoted as recommended), 400AH of FLA batteries are equivalent to 200AH of LiFePO4 batteries. LiFePO4 batteries also have a much longer life. I think Battleborn's guarantee is 10 years.

On the other hand, given that your needs are only occasional needs, I think you plan makes sense.

Also, generator usage at a racing event is unlikely to offend anyone.

Personally, I'd add another 100W panel to each RV or consider buying a portable "suitcase" panel (100W - 200W) to supplement what you have, switching between RVs. Assuming your existing controller has the capacity, 100W panels can be had for a little over $100 each, portables a bit more, although you can DIY them.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:04 AM   #6
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I think adding another 100W of solar would serve you well. I have a pair of CG2 batteries and 200W panel. We’re not early risers, but the batteries are usually around 90% when we get up, and are topped off by 10:00. It’s rare for me to kick the generator just to charge batteries.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:07 AM   #7
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My understanding is that 2 6v batteries are good until one fails, then you’ll only have a 6v battery system. Is that better or worse than a 12v battery that could fail, leaning you with 0 volts?
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:21 AM   #8
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Check out the SOK batteries.
Good reviews and decent price if you can find them.
I think it depends on the space you have for storage of batteries and how often you would use them. I dont have space for 4 6v batteries for example. FLA requires more maintenance also.
Unless you go agm/sealed.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirchyBoy View Post
My understanding is that 2 6v batteries are good until one fails, then you’ll only have a 6v battery system. Is that better or worse than a 12v battery that could fail, leaning you with 0 volts?
One 6V isn't of any use but neither is a 0V 12V battery. The OP is going to have two 6V as a back up in the bed of his truck so he'll be OK. On the other hand, two 100AH true deep cycle 12V batteries would be "safer" than two 200AH 6V batteries if one fails. A lot depends on how far you plan on being from a store that carries replacements.

I've had two 6V golf cart batteries (not the same ones) for decades in a succession of three sailboats and two TT and a MH and have yet to have a failure that prevented me from using them. Declining capacity, yes, complete and sudden failure, no. I once bought a boat that had "dead" Trojan 6V batteries that wouldn't hold a charge. I took them to a full service battery shop and they kept them for a couple of days, worked their magic (desulphation?) and they served me for several more years. They're pretty tough.

I use a watering system like this that makes keeping them topped off a cinch:

https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Rite-RV2...s%2C231&sr=8-6

Note: You'll also need the pump:

https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Rite-RV2...01FC79EW&psc=1
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:42 AM   #10
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Missing from the discussion so far and what could provide a useful data point would be to measure the capacity of the current batteries. If they're shot then replacing them with another set would likely solve the problem. If they're still performing well then a new set wouldn't solve the problem. Knowing the energy you want (icemaker and fan) vs the energy you would have goes a long way towards deciding what battery solution will work best.

Lithiums offer a few performance advantages over lead acid but they're not a slam dunk direct replacement. As you note, acquisition cost is a big factor. If you "need" the performance they offer then you pay up. But for many applications lead acid is "good enough" and you're money ahead to go that route. So step one to me would be to measure the sets you have and figure out if you have a battery problem or a capacity problem.

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Old 09-13-2021, 09:19 AM   #11
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Should add when buying lithium you also need to make sure your power box can do a lithium charge profile. That can add costs, plus dealing with the charge while travelling.
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirchyBoy View Post
My understanding is that 2 6v batteries are good until one fails, then you’ll only have a 6v battery system. Is that better or worse than a 12v battery that could fail, leaning you with 0 volts?
Typical 6V FLa in series provide 200 AH +/-
To equal that with 12V you still will need 2 12V battys in parallel.
The important part is if one 6V fails you have zero
If one 12V fails you can still get by with managing usage.

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Old 09-13-2021, 05:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantabe351 View Post
Or just buy 2- 200ahr lithium batteries on Amazon, Chins are selling for 800$ ea so my cash expense 1,600$ I've read so many Forums on how great Lithium batteries are BUT 570$ vs 1600$ Then there is the support needed for the lithium battery-more panels and controller....Which way do I go?
I really think the equation should be ONE Chins @$800 vs the proposed set-up at $570

You will have just as much usable amperage available to you with both battery banks.....lithium 200 = 200 usable and FLA 420 Amps = 210 usable and the lithium batteries will never be below 13V even when depleted but the 12V batteries start at 12.8V (100%) and will be at 12v when you get to 50%.

Additionally, the Lithium batteries will charge at least 2X faster, sp less time on your generator and gas spent. You will also never need to worry about checking water levels and most importantly there will be no corrosion as there will be no off-gassing

And lastly, at 62 years old the Lithium will likely be the last battery you will ever buy and you'll be replacing that $570 worth of FLA in 4-6 years.


So the real question is................is it worth $230 more to YOU to enjoy all these benefits.
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:05 PM   #14
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Lithium and FLA have the same fundamental purpose (providing power when you cannot plug in) but there are many differences in how they do it. You really should consider those differences.

Lithium is lighter per amp-hour, charges faster, and is easier to maintain. Depending on how you use them, those factors can mean a lot.

If you are a full-timer, are primarily using shore power, and can maintain your batteries in place, lithium may not provide meaningful advantages.

If you boondock a lot you can get more storage with lithium. You can charge faster, provided you have the right setup, using less generator time. You can put your batteries inside where it is warm, so no capacity reductions from cold weather. Lithium will sit unattended in your rig the entire off-season, so you are not hauling your body weight of FLA batteries to and from your rig several times a year and stuffing them into a confined and awkward place. If you are pushing the capacity of your tow vehicle, putting lighter batteries further from the hitch is an advantage.

Personally, I am a part-timer. I’ve had shore power available a half-dozen times in 30 years. At 68 years old I don’t want to wrestle batteries. I also don’t want to admit how many batteries I have ruined by not taking care of them properly during the off-season. Lithium makes a world of difference in how I enjoy camping, and is worth every dime I spent. Speaking of dimes, the cost of the batteries is a very small percentage of the cost of a truck and RV.
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