Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Battery Question
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Battery Question

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 7  
Prev  |  Next
2oldman

NM

Senior Member

Joined: 04/15/2001

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/18/21 11:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kenkorona wrote:

But my question is not about whether those panels would be enough to recharge that much battery capacity, rather the question is about the equipment's compatibility.
Li's have a different charging profile. You'll need to have the solar controller and your converter handle that.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/18/21 11:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

adamis wrote:


That 100ah battery is nothing to sneeze at either. Here is a test where one powered an air conditioner for almost three hours.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LL7lE4wXvs

That is very impressive.


That has more to do with the new Dometic RTX air conditioner than the battery.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

FWC

The Wilderness

Senior Member

Joined: 09/12/2020

View Profile



Posted: 09/18/21 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kenkorona wrote:

OP here. Thank you all for some great insights. I read all your posts and did other research and now I understand the pros and cons of the battery types. Now with that information other questions are raised and again I look forward to any insights you can offer.

I am planning on buying a new TC and it will not come with a generator nor with a generator hookup. I am also planning a pretty long trip for next year. Right now it looks like it will be a total of 4 months with at least 2 of them in Alaska. We enjoy boondocking; usually no shore power, so having adequate battery power is important.

To that end, I'm sold on the benefit of the lithium batteries and plan to put at least 2 in the TC. The reasons I'm sold on them are 1) lighter weight, 2) OK to discharge further without degrading its capacity, 3) accepts a charge faster.

So my next question is... is there anything special I need to know or do if I decide to put Lithium batteries in a TC when the manufacturer was planning on it using FLA batteries? The camper will be equipped with solar panels, either 2 or 3 100w panels. But my question is not about whether those panels would be enough to recharge that much battery capacity, rather the question is about the equipment's compatibility.

Thanks


I agree that Lithium sounds like it would be a good fit for your usage scenario (off grid camping, weight limited). As for the equipment, drop in lithium batteries WILL work with 'standard' (ie designed for lead acid) equipment, it just won't be optimized for the performance and longevity of the batteries. If you are not planning on keeping the camper long term, then you may not care about the equipment as you should still get 1000+ cycles even while using lead acid equipment with lithium.

Now if you do want to maximize longevity and performance, then you may want to use programable/lithium compatible equipment. I am not sure which camper you are looking at, and what sort of solar instal the manufacturer does, but you may want to consider purchasing the camper with a solar pre-wire only and installing the solar yourself or through a specialized solar installer. Typically the manufacturers use low quality electrical and solar equipment. If there is a good chance you will end up replacing the factory equipment anyway, so why pay for it?

Victron Energy will be able to provide all you need for a lithium optimized solar install and provides excellent quality and value.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/18/21 11:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kenkorona,

No one has mentioned the Achilles heel of all but one Li formulation. They unsuited to use in cool weather. So anyone north of say Nebraska may have heating issues. It's fine if you full time, but few folks do that in a Truck Camper.

Fortunately there is a solution that is excellent.

For more information on solar surf here:

https://freecampsites.net/adding-solar/

mbloof

Beaverton, OR

Senior Member

Joined: 11/27/2014

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/18/21 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kenkorona wrote:

OP here. Thank you all for some great insights. I read all your posts and did other research and now I understand the pros and cons of the battery types. Now with that information other questions are raised and again I look forward to any insights you can offer.

I am planning on buying a new TC and it will not come with a generator nor with a generator hookup. I am also planning a pretty long trip for next year. Right now it looks like it will be a total of 4 months with at least 2 of them in Alaska. We enjoy boondocking; usually no shore power, so having adequate battery power is important.

To that end, I'm sold on the benefit of the lithium batteries and plan to put at least 2 in the TC. The reasons I'm sold on them are 1) lighter weight, 2) OK to discharge further without degrading its capacity, 3) accepts a charge faster.

So my next question is... is there anything special I need to know or do if I decide to put Lithium batteries in a TC when the manufacturer was planning on it using FLA batteries? The camper will be equipped with solar panels, either 2 or 3 100w panels. But my question is not about whether those panels would be enough to recharge that much battery capacity, rather the question is about the equipment's compatibility.

Thanks


A modern truck camper has three power sources for charging:

  1. truck
  2. power converter
  3. solar controller


If we forget about the truck, the most popular power converter is made by Progressive Dynamics and a popular model they have is the 45A one. They make converter/chargers that ether has a switch that can switch the charge voltage over to a LI compatible voltage OR the entire guts can be swapped out with LI compatible guts for ~$200.

The solar controller is a similar story, many modern solar charge controllers simply have a LI compatible setting or if worse comes to worse its a matter of 4-6 wires and <$200 for a controller that is LI compatible.


- Mark0.

S Davis

Western WA

Senior Member

Joined: 08/11/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/18/21 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

kenkorona,

No one has mentioned the Achilles heel of all but one Li formulation. They unsuited to use in cool weather. So anyone north of say Nebraska may have heating issues. It's fine if you full time, but few folks do that in a Truck Camper.

Fortunately there is a solution that is excellent.

For more information on solar surf here:

https://freecampsites.net/adding-solar/


It looks like Battleborn has a battery heater now that can be controlled with a thermostat or manually.

I am looking at 900ah in lifeline GPL30HTs or 450ah usable for my inverter install because I work off grid here in the NW islands and Cascade’s and can get into pretty cold temperatures. I will have to look at Battleborn now.

* This post was edited 09/18/21 12:36pm by S Davis *

adamis

Northern California

Senior Member

Joined: 06/09/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/18/21 01:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On the battery temperature thing... It certainly is an issue but I think one thing about the industry is that most campers were/are designed for Lead Acid batteries that need to be able to breath and hence battery compartments are often placed outside of the camper. This means they will be more exposed to the cold elements than is optimal for Lithium batteries. Generally they still discharge until the 20s or lower (depends battery to battery), they just wont charge until they reach the high 30s. Additionally, that battery compartment if shaded will stay pretty cold for a while after sunrise and the battery thermal mass will stay cold for an hour or two after sunrise thus reducing the amount of early morning charge time you might get.

Lithium batteries don't vent and so can be placed inside the camper. While many newer LiFePo4 batteries are coming with internal resistance heaters and insulation, it still takes power to run that heater. If you put the battery inside where it will stay warmer be default, you save that much power. Additionally, it will be able to be charged through solar, generator or the truck immediately regardless of outside temperature.

So... long story short, if the battery compartment comes factory heated, great, you might be fine. If it isn't factory heated, consider moving the battery inside the camper somewhere if possible.


1999 F350 Dually with 7.3 Diesel
2000 Bigfoot 10.6 Camper


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/18/21 01:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

adamis,

Starting with the RV at -30 in storage, how do you plan on heating the batteries up? You can't draw much current from them, so you can't run the furnace. It is a fail. You could run a generator, but DAMHIK that may not work too well. Shore power would work running an electric heater.

There is a good solution which doesn't involve Li, which is cheaper unless you wish to "roll your own" Li.

FWC

The Wilderness

Senior Member

Joined: 09/12/2020

View Profile



Posted: 09/18/21 01:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The lithium temperature issue is majorly overblown.

Most LiFePO4 batteries are rated to discharge down to -20F/-30C and will likely work lower than that, they are just not tested that cold. There is no BMS limit on low temperature discharge. The charge cutoff is programmed into the BMS and varies by manufacturer, but for Battleborn is is 24F/-5C.

A simple rule is that if you camp where your are using your RV water system, then you don't need to worry about lithium batteries.

It is fine to install LiFePO4 batteries inside the living space of the camper, in which case there is no temperature issue, as most of us don't keep our RVs below freezing when we are using them. If you cannot install the batteries inside the living space AND you plan on using your RV where the AVERAGE (not the minimum) temperature is significantly below freezing, then a battery heater and a blanket around the batteries may be necessary. You can buy batteries with a built in heater, or you can add an inexpensive tank heater under the battery bank.

FWC

The Wilderness

Senior Member

Joined: 09/12/2020

View Profile



Posted: 09/18/21 01:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

adamis,

Starting with the RV at -30 in storage, how do you plan on heating the batteries up? You can't draw much current from them, so you can't run the furnace. It is a fail.

There is a good solution which doesn't involve Li.


You would start your furnace to warm the batteries, or if you have a battery heater yo would switch it on.

However, it is only a tiny percentage of folks who live anywhere where it regularly gets to -30, and of that percentage it is a vanishingly small number of folks who go camping in those conditions. You maybe one, but that does not imply that your limitations apply to others.

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 7  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Battery Question
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.