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polishilldave

Lithium Batteries

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Has anyone switched over to Lithium batteries?  I have a 2.5 year old coach with four acid house batteries.  I have installed a single point fill system and have keep the terminals clean.  I have been told life is 3 to 4 years.  These are the batteries that came with the coach, so I suspect they are not "top of the line".

I would like to get rid of the fill feature and at least go to a sealed battery.  I do not boondock, but live in the coach about 4 months out of the year hooked to power.

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40 minutes ago, polishilldave said:

Has anyone switched over to Lithium batteries?  I have a 2.5 year old coach with four acid house batteries.  I have installed a single point fill system and have keep the terminals clean.  I have been told life is 3 to 4 years.  These are the batteries that came with the coach, so I suspect they are not "top of the line".

I would like to get rid of the fill feature and at least go to a sealed battery.  I do not boondock, but live in the coach about 4 months out of the year hooked to power.

Welcome to the FMCA Forum!

This Thread offers a little information.  

Rich    An there are a few others scattered around.

 

 

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I just toured the Battle Born lithium battery factory last week.  Sure opened my eyes at the differences between the different lithium construction.  The type of cells are critical for longevity and how far they can be discharged to.  The onboard battery management system is critical for the proper operation of the battery.  The top terminal 12 volt 100 amp has a retail price of $949 and the 12 volt 100 amp golf cart size with front terminals is $1049.  The warranty is 10 years with replacement up to 8 years.  They will hold a charge for a year with no load.

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For cold weather storage, the normal low storage temp. is +23F.  Some will discharge at a temp. of -4F, but will destroy (or at least lower the life) of a LiFePO4 battery if charging below +32F.  This limits usage as far as temperature parameters.  The battery management systems will usually shut down the battery if the temp. gets within freezing range.  I believe Relion has a model with a built in warming system that will allow charging at lower ambient temps.  We have external lithiums (2x200AH) that have a built in warming system that allows charge/discharge in sub-0F temps.  This is a Canadian product (KS2) which is proprietary to Roadtrek and available only through their dealers (Roadtrek will be under new ownership soon).  It is optimal to have a programable voltage regulator set to specific levels at different stages of charging run through a second alternator (underwood generator) and a programmable solar controller. A few manufacturers have LiFEPO4 battery systems with batteries inside the coach for temperature reasons...space is sacrificed and cold weather storage could be an issue.

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Welcome to the Forum.

If you don't boondock, then I'm not sure that you'd ever get your money's worth out of Lithium batteries. In addition to the high cost of the batteries, switching to lithium batteries often requires changes to the 12v charging system if your current one is not able to charge at the required voltages.

If your current charging system is working properly and not over charging your flooded cell batteries, they really shouldn't be losing that much water at all, considering that you're not boondocking. Unless you discharge your batteries they will remain at float/storage charge for the most part and you might only have to fill batteries once a month or so. I've got the fill system, and it takes me about 5 minutes to fill all four batteries, including setting up the water bottle & hand pump. It would be one less worry to do away with watering, but it's not all that much work.

My suggestion would be to wait until your batteries show signs of age (not holding a charge, discharging more quickly) and then replace with AGM if you want to stop having to water them. You might have a slight reduction in capacity going from flooded cell to AGM, depending on what's available in the size you need.

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Welcome! :)

The new EPA mandate will kick in 2020.  I have a feeling that it will be Lithium...only thing I base that on, Liberty Coach started advertising, using Lithium, in all their Prevost Conversions, 2 years ago and that they where the first to do so!  Per Liberty, they was 3 years early (2017)!  Had to do with efficiency and weight.  Vulcan System!

My coach requires, 2 Series 31 start batteries and 8, 6v batteries...they are all AGM, replaced in Sep. 2016.  I figure it would cost me $12,000 - $15,000 to change over to all Lithium!  I would use that to buy a "New to me", coach!!! 

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Carl, I think the EPA needs to make ALL the information of a mandatory change over to Lithium based batteries available on line and publishing the information in all printed forms and print outlets. There are a number of citizens that do not own a smart phone or computer and millions do not even have internet access. 

The cost of changing everything that requires batteries could very well shutdown a number of things because of cost. 

Makes one wounder who go into who's pockets with bribes.

Rich.

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I think Carl's just working off a hunch here. If you've got more information on this Carl please let us know, otherwise I'll worry about this when it's time to do so.

The fact that lithium batteries have difficulty in freezing weather would by itself pretty much make them unusable as a drop-in replacement for flooded cell batteries, and large swaths of the country would be left in a bad way.

Lithium batteries have their place in the right RV, but they are not for everyone and even a waste of money for some. You've got to weigh all the various issues and intended uses and then decide what's best for a particular situation. In the situation in this thread, the OP said that they don't boondock, so there would not be much of an upside to the added expense.

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I don't think Liberty Coach Owners boondock either.  Like Particulate Fillers & DEF, it would probably only effect new coaches, built after a certain year!  EPA don't care about season's...:angry: or inconvenience, cost, etc.  Just "Be Green'! :wacko:

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Carl - have you seen something about a new EPA rule somewhere or are you just going by what you saw on the Liberty Coach advertising?

From what I've been able to read online about EPA mandates with regard to batteries and RVs, the closest I've found is the Tier-4 compliance issues. They relate to diesel emissions, and generators will become an issue for companies in the coming years since they'll have to use the more expensive compliant models.

Where do lithium batteries fit in with Tier-4 compliance? By using a larger battery bank with lithium batteries, manufacturers are able to use smaller generators than they otherwise would. They use the lithium battery bank run through a large inverter and to augment the smaller generator. Smaller generators cost less than larger, allowing them to use a Tier-4 compliant unit without spending more. I'm going to guess that the Tier-4 compliance issue is behind some manufacturers not installing generators at all and just relying on solar and lithium battery banks.

Of course, this is all conjecture on my part. My thinking is that as the cost of lithium batteries comes down and charging rates get even faster, more and more alternative options like this will come to the market.

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18 hours ago, manholt said:

 

My coach requires, 2 Series 31 start batteries and 8, 6v batteries...they are all AGM, replaced in Sep. 2016.  I figure it would cost me $12,000 - $15,000 to change over to all Lithium!  I would use that to buy a "New to me", coach!!! 

If you can adjust your current charging systems to work with lithiums it will cost you $6K for six 100 amp lithiums and that should run about twice as long on a charge and recharge in much less time.

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1 hour ago, desertdeals69 said:

If you can adjust your current charging systems to work with lithiums it will cost you $6K for six 100 amp lithiums and that should run about twice as long on a charge and recharge in much less time.

How does one get the required 900 CCA from a 100 Amp Battery?

What is the life cycle in years? One can get 10 years from AGM series. So does a Lithium Series Last 25 to 30 years for the price?

Rich

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Rich.

We know there is a new mandate for 2020 & 2024.  As far as Lithium is concerned, just what Liberty advertised.  I have not looked further into it.  I will now!  As for 900 CCA from 100 Amp...my gut thought is that the battery pack does chassis & house...no need for starter batteries.  From what I have read, 10+ years!

Volta has partnership with Thor and the 2019 Tuscany 45 foot, has no generator!   

DD 69.

If I keep this coach, until my AGM's give up...I'll be 84 years old and EPA can stuff it..:lol:  Linda & I are talking seriously about selling my coach and keeping hers, a 2006 Phaeton 40' with a 2005, 350 CAT..Total remodel & fitted with a bigger fuel tank, by you! :D

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1 hour ago, manholt said:

Rich.

We know there is a new mandate for 2020 & 2024...

Any idea where we can find the 'mandates'? I've found some which regard emissions and mileage, but that's it. Is there a specific information sheet or website you can point us towards to read something about lithium batteries might play into this? EPA is redoing the guidance and regs all the time, and every time the white house changes residents they futz with the deadline for these things making it really hard for us to follow.

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Volta has some interesting systems. If I had the budget I'd definitely consider a hybrid system the next time we look to modify what we've got. I hate running the generator, so anything that can extend quiet runs off battery would be a huge plus in my book.

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Interesting Richard and Carl. 

Thing is for me, it looks like a sails pitch, with very little information on the voltage range they are talking about and what electronics is required to supply different voltage and current levels depending on what items or item is being supplied DC Power/Wattage.

Think things are much more complicated then what they are willing to share and complications beyond each cell construction add a high dollar level and less system life of say 30 years to recover the investment cost. 

Salesman do there job, but I always ask what they are not covering - Cost versus investment return time line. Byers be-where.

        The other catch is the service centers will not pay in the area of 30.00 per hr'. for well skilled and educated Techs. This type of power management requires more then a seminar and a certificate.

Rich.

This coach is not  on the market yet, but it sure points out that power is not really free and things are more technical then one would hope.

         https://newatlas.com/tuscany-generator-free-motorhome-concept/59029/

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We fall into the "this wouldn't work for us" category. Or shall I say technology just isn't quite there yet and much too expensive at the present time. I will need my generator as our RV lifestyle typically chases hotter climates. While traveling down the road its not uncommon to be running the generator to supply power to both roof top A/C units. Unless a battery could be powerful enough to keep both units running and cost effective enough to use in place of the generator its just not practical. 

From my seat, we already have the generator, fuel consumption is very cost effective and its very quiet inside and not terrible outside. 

If we boondocked in colder climates where A/C is not needed then solar panels and Lithium battery power MIGHT make sense, but so does AGS, which we do have and its programmed to keep the batteries fresh in our absence should we loose power. We don't boondock except an overnight or two while in route to some destination, at the destination is a 50 amp receptacle with full hookups :P.

polishhilldave, you sound like you are in a similar situation as us, AGM batteries sound like a more reasonable upgrade (assuming your charger can accommodate) this time around, maybe next time Lithium would be something to consider, its not off the table for us in the future either but it needs to make sense and of course be functional. 

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16 hours ago, DickandLois said:

How does one get the required 900 CCA from a 100 Amp Battery?

What is the life cycle in years? One can get 10 years from AGM series. So does a Lithium Series Last 25 to 30 years for the price?

Rich

The lithium batteries are for the house only, don't need 900 CCA.  Battle Born lithiums come with a 10 year warranty.  You need fewer batteries and the run time is over twice AGMs and the charge time is about half.  6 AGMs weigh 432 lbs and 4 lithiums weigh 120 lbs.

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Rich, I did not say I was doing Lithium, any time soon!  By the time I need new batteries, Linda and I will probably cruise the world instead of RV'g!!:lol:

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7 hours ago, desertdeals69 said:

The lithium batteries are for the house only, don't need 900 CCA.  Battle Born lithiums come with a 10 year warranty.  You need fewer batteries and the run time is over twice AGMs and the charge time is about half.  6 AGMs weigh 432 lbs and 4 lithiums weigh 120 lbs.

One must figure in the cost of buying and installing the proper charging equipment for Lithium batteries + actual battery prices, unless you buy a new MH with Lithium battery banks installed-then this is moot.

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For those with lithium batteries already, how do you handle the problem with charging in freezing weather? What I've read so far shows that they can be used in temps below freezing, but that they don't charge well (or at all) as the temps get below freezing.

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I suspect the battery, inverter, control bay (one compartment), is heated.  Mine is & so is Linda's!  All Snow Birds, don't leave home when it's warm!

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