Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Replacing Lead Acid Battery with Lithium

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Replacing Lead Acid Battery with Lithium

    I have been wanting to do this for quite a while and finally got it done. Thanks to Neil ncitro and Randy Davis from Grand Design for all of their help.

    The reason for this is we have spent a few weekends in areas with no hookups and the Lead Acid just was not cutting it. Also at the recent National Rally there were a couple attendees that were talking about doing a similar setup. I purchased 2 LION Energy UT1300 batteries, a Lithium compatible charger/converter Powermax PMS-100LK 100 amp, a battery cut off switch and some wire lugs and shrink tubing. I used 2 ga. welding wire that I had laying around.
    I first had to remove all of the "stuff" that I had accumulated in the front storage area and cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to make a new floor in that area. I did leave the original battery box in place. Put a wall between the new battery compartment and the rest of the storage to keep anything from contacting the wiring and batteries while traveling, plus the wall will hold the new converter/charger. I also installed a receptacle on the back wall that is wired into the original converter plug in location to plug the new converter/charger into. The new battery boxes were installed at this time as well. Also added was a negative or grounding bus bar that is wired to the frame as well as to the battery.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	20210913_164426.jpg Views:	11 Size:	66.7 KB ID:	66252
    Once this was all done and some of the items arrived it was time to start to finish the project.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	20210914_161125.jpg Views:	9 Size:	86.2 KB ID:	66253
    Check battery fitment and make plan for placement of the other items.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	20210918_104600.jpg Views:	9 Size:	97.2 KB ID:	66254
    All done and in great working order.

    Next post
    Attached Files
    Last edited by howson; 09-19-2021, 04:17 PM.
    Brian & Michelle
    2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
    2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

  • #2
    In picture 3 I added a board on the floor on the right to aid in keeping items away from the electrical connections. It was recommended to fully charge the batteries before connecting them to each other. After full charge and all power shut off, the positive connections were made and then the negative. To check for proper operation the batteries were drawn down over night by leaving some lights on and the fan in the kitchen, these all had a draw of 5.2 amps. At about 24 hours later the batteries were at an indicated 60%. The converter/charger was then powered and started to charge the batteries. Charging produced 72 amps from the charger. This was done to make sure the wiring or connections did not get hot indicating an issue. With no problems found the system seems to be working well and hopefully soon I will have a weekend of use to give a final report.

    Brian
    Brian & Michelle
    2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
    2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

    Comment


    • #3
      Brian - thanks, for sharing the pictures and details. Nicely done with a couple of good mentors referenced for sure ! I know you have been 'talking" about doing this for some time........good to see it come to fruition !

      Dan
      Dan & Carol
      2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
      2012 Silverado LTZ Crew Duramax 2500HD - 2700/16K Pullrite Superglide

      Comment


      • #4
        Country Campers Brian - looks great - thanks for sharing! You'll love the LiFePO4... pretty much carefree power. Next step - solar?

        Ken & Sandra
        2021 303RLS | 2020 F350 Lariat 6.7L 4x4 SB SRW

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KSC_Travels View Post
          Country Campers Brian - looks great - thanks for sharing! You'll love the LiFePO4... pretty much carefree power. Next step - solar?
          There is a "hint" of solar in the wind but I am not sure how far down that rabbit hole I will travel. It probably will start with just a simple system similar to what GD installs from the factory, I may double and go 400 w.
          But that is another story for another day. This project, although well worth it , was a little expensive and solar seems to just start adding $$$ up fast.

          This was just intended to be a basic system and a easy mod for folks to accomplish at home, if I can do it anyone can, and then the wife asks about an inverter, making coffee with the electric coffee maker and so on. This is the rabbit hole that I am speaking of , does it ever end? is the system ever big enough?

          Brian
          Brian & Michelle
          2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
          2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice job Brian,

            Solar for us would work if we had a residential fridge (we do not have one) and wanted to travel with that on. Otherwise, camping in shaded wooded areas is not a productive environment for solar so the generator which charges extremely fast is the best option for us.

            I have a NOS suit case panel that has been converted to a high end lithium controller that I'll sell if you or anyone is interested.

            Jim
            2017 Imagine 2600RB
            2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Country Campers View Post

              There is a "hint" of solar in the wind but I am not sure how far down that rabbit hole I will travel. It probably will start with just a simple system similar to what GD installs from the factory, I may double and go 400 w.
              But that is another story for another day. This project, although well worth it , was a little expensive and solar seems to just start adding $$$ up fast.

              This was just intended to be a basic system and a easy mod for folks to accomplish at home, if I can do it anyone can, and then the wife asks about an inverter, making coffee with the electric coffee maker and so on. This is the rabbit hole that I am speaking of , does it ever end? is the system ever big enough?

              Brian
              Totally understand the rabbit hole dilemma! I currently have 100Ah LiFePO4 and 200W of solar which is working great (mainly because the solar was cheaper than another battery). I often think about adding a small inverter (1000W) to run the fridge on AC while travelling. But then you peer down that rabbit hole and say well if going to the trouble of adding an inverter, why not 2000W for coffee and hair dryer? Then that leads to wanting another battery, more solar, upgraded cables, transfer switch, etc. Then I think about the performance of our current solar and realize, like Jim (Midwest Camper), we are often in treed/shaded campgrounds... then I get frustrated and my head hurts so I just open a bottle and listen to Cheryl Crowe - "it's not having what you want... it's wanting what you've got"

              Cheers!
              Ken & Sandra
              2021 303RLS | 2020 F350 Lariat 6.7L 4x4 SB SRW

              Comment


              • #8
                Country Campers Glad its working well, great experiment for anyone wanting to get off of lead acid batteries without having to get too deep in the weeds.
                Neil Citro
                2018 Reflection 28bh
                2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

                Comment


                • #9
                  To add a few notes from our recent trip here is a report on the battery numbers and life that I have encountered.

                  Day 1:

                  Left home with full charged batteries.

                  After 6 hours on the road arrived at camp and set up, converter was turned off for this trip to see the actual battery usage as we had full hook up so no better place to try. The Victron app showed at different times the truck output was anywhere from 0 to 7 amps, this fluctuated while sitting still at a rest stop and I will have to check into this to see what it is actually putting out.

                  At 6:30 pm the batteries were at 96% , 14.2 ah used, 13.29 v.
                  This whole trip was cold so the furnace was used everyday, temps ranged from 38 overnight to 55 during the day, temps in F for those keeping track.
                  The fridge seemed to use between 5 an 6 amps while running but there were some lights on at times that I was checking, the furnace uses about 12 amps while running.

                  Day 2:

                  6:30 am 78% batteries, 13.29 v , 48.2 ah used
                  7:00 pm 65% batteries , 13.28 v , 77.1 ah used

                  Day 3:

                  6:30 am 54% batteries , 12.99 v , 100.2 ah used
                  6:30 pm 40% batteries , 12.95 v , 130.6 ah used

                  Day 4:

                  6:42 am 22% batteries , 12.91 v , 169.8 ah used
                  8:40 am 19% batteries , 12.9 v , 176 ah used
                  Turned on the converter at this time as it seemed I was running plenty low on the batteries, about 3 hours to full charge.

                  So the things I have learned:

                  The furnace will eat your battery bank quickly when using. If we did not have to run the furnace I would guess that we could get 5 days easily and maybe more. If we were actually dry camping there would have been a little more conservation going on, we were a little liberal with light usage both inside and out. Most of the time when there was nothing running , fridge or furnace , the Victron app showed about 1 am or less of draw on the batteries and also showed that we had 10 days of battery usage left, then the fridge or furnace came on it dropped very quickly to 10 to 20 hours depending on what was running. This no doubt equated to the amp draw and the amps left in the battery.

                  I am very happy how this has turned out and look forward to trying it out next year.

                  I will also link the fridge install here, as well as the Solar thread that may come to fruition thru the winter.

                  Furrion Arctic 12 v dc Refrigerator - Grand Design Owners Forums (gdrvowners.com)


                  Solar Basics , Who? What? When? Why? - Grand Design Owners Forums (gdrvowners.com)


                  Brian
                  Last edited by Country Campers; 10-28-2021, 06:37 PM.
                  Brian & Michelle
                  2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
                  2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Country Campers Great report, glad they are working so well for you!
                    Neil Citro
                    2018 Reflection 28bh
                    2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Brian,

                      Nice report. Now you can hit the water front sites at Kiasutha.

                      Jim
                      2017 Imagine 2600RB
                      2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Now you can come out to Quartzsite and boondock in the desert with us for 14 days straight.

                        Jim
                        The moderators for this site are not GDRV employees, but we do own GDRV products.

                        Jim and Ginnie
                        2017 Reflection 297RSTS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Country Campers Great install, I'm hoping to do something similar over the winter with the addition of an inverter for the residential fridge.

                          Alan
                          2019 Reflection 312BHTS
                          2018 Silverado 2500 Duramax

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Country Campers

                            Hey Brian... again - thanks for the post and the info. Your consumption numbers jibe with my own experience (furnace!).

                            I did just notice something in the install pictures. It appears that the pos and neg feeds to the coach are both coming off the same battery. From what I have seen in other installs, when connected in parallel, the pos and neg feeds to the coach (load) come off separate batteries - i.e. positive from battery "one" and negative from battery "two" at the other end of the bank or vice versa. I am definitely no expert, but I believe that is done help with keeping the batteries balanced across the whole bank. Maybe Lion says different?
                            Ken & Sandra
                            2021 303RLS | 2020 F350 Lariat 6.7L 4x4 SB SRW

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              KSC_Travels

                              Ken

                              I did do the load balance from the charger to the batteries but did not from the batteries to the coach, just how I did it. Maybe someone will help me with the fact that I would need to do that or not, I probably will make another cable (getting fairly good at that) and change the setup. Thanks for the post I will post an update when done, I also need to post the picture of the wiring with the Victron shunt installed.

                              Brian
                              Brian & Michelle
                              2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
                              2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X