Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Changing from Lead Acid to Lithium, Why?

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

  • Changing from Lead Acid to Lithium, Why?

    I'm new to the whole battery replacement idea. Kinda new to modern campers as well. What is the ultimate purpose for replacing the lead acid battery with lithium and upgrades to the solar system?
    Mark & Yvonne
    2022 Reflection 303RLS
    2007.5 Chevy 2500HD LTZ 4x4 CC/SB
    Timbrens, Curt 16a slider

  • #2
    Originally posted by #1Bama View Post
    I'm new to the whole battery replacement idea. Kinda new to modern campers as well. What is the ultimate purpose for replacing the lead acid battery with lithium and upgrades to the solar system?
    The main purpose for changing to Lithium is the amount of battery power that can be used and a longer duration. A standard lead acid battery will only have about 30-50 amp hours of usage a Lithium battery will have at least 100 amp hours of usage for about the same physical size but half the weight. This translates to 1 amp of power drawer for 1 hour. Depending on your usage a Lithium battery replacement will last around 2 or 3 times longer than a lead acid battery. The change is made by many who do not want any maintenance and power when ever you need it.

    There will be more to follow with more information to add.

    Also I moved this to its own thread as this will be a great discussion.

    Brian
    Brian & Michelle
    2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
    2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K
    630 ah battery, Victron Multiplus 2, 800 watts solar

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's another reason. Lead acid batteries can vent hydrogen gas which is flammable. Lithium batteries are safe enough you can move them to the interior of the RV.

      Speaking of lithium batteries, there are several different chemistries. Some of these chemistries can be rather volatile if something goes wrong with them or they are not charged correctly. If you're considering Lithium batteries for your RV, the chemistry you should pursue is Lithium Iron Phosphate. This is sometimes referred to by it's chemical symbols LiFePO4.

      There are many retail sources for LiFePO4 batteries such as Battle Born, Costco, Amazon, etc. They range in price from about $500 to $900 for a 100 amp hour battery.
      GDRV Forum Moderator
      GDRV SW USA Rally Support Coordinator

      Jim and Ginnie
      2017 Reflection 297RSTS

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by #1Bama View Post
        I'm new to the whole battery replacement idea. Kinda new to modern campers as well. What is the ultimate purpose for replacing the lead acid battery with lithium and upgrades to the solar system?
        To go longer without being plugged in is the simple answer. If you go from electric campsite to electric campsite....spend your $$ on something else.
        2018 Dodge 3500 6.7 Cummins w Aisin and 9 cup holders
        2021 Reflection 303RLS, Haloview RD7, Strong-arms, Micro-Air364

        Comment


        • #5
          I have this in the front battery area of my camper. It says it's 600 watt solar array and LiFePO4 compatible. I'm not sure what level solar panel I have on top of my camper. What size lithium battery could I get without having to add solar panels?
          Mark & Yvonne
          2022 Reflection 303RLS
          2007.5 Chevy 2500HD LTZ 4x4 CC/SB
          Timbrens, Curt 16a slider

          Comment


          • #6
            You may have a 300 watt panel on the roof with the 50 amp solar controller, you will need to go up on the roof to see what it is. If you purchased this unit new there should be some documentation in the bag that came with the RV. If not you could call customer service with your VIN and they will let you know what you have. In general , what I have learned, is that it takes 200 watts of solar panel size with each 100 ah Lithium battery, I am not sure if this is set in stone or not. If you are considering setting up a whole system let us know there are lots of helpful resources here.

            Brian
            Brian & Michelle
            2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
            2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K
            630 ah battery, Victron Multiplus 2, 800 watts solar

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Country Campers View Post
              You may have a 300 watt panel on the roof with the 50 amp solar controller, you will need to go up on the roof to see what it is. If you purchased this unit new there should be some documentation in the bag that came with the RV. If not you could call customer service with your VIN and they will let you know what you have. In general , what I have learned, is that it takes 200 watts of solar panel size with each 100 ah Lithium battery, I am not sure if this is set in stone or not. If you are considering setting up a whole system let us know there are lots of helpful resources here.

              Brian
              My spec sheet says its 370 watt rigid panel ​from Furrion. I'm just thinking of replacing the lead acid with a lithium so the maintenance is reduced and possibly more power for longer periods.
              BTW, Grand Design has on their website that this panel is NLA, no longer available. LOL, of course they install a panel on a brand new unit that I can't replace with the same if it went bad.
              Last edited by #1Bama; 09-22-2022, 09:58 AM.
              Mark & Yvonne
              2022 Reflection 303RLS
              2007.5 Chevy 2500HD LTZ 4x4 CC/SB
              Timbrens, Curt 16a slider

              Comment


              • #8
                One more thing to check is the converter/charger to see if it is Lithium compatible. GD has been putting in auto detect models that will handle Lithium or lead acid. A lithium compatible converter/charger is important to get the lithium battery to full charge. If you have a regular converter/charger the solar will finish charging the lithium battery if there is solar to be had of course. A DC-DC charger to keep the battery full while traveling is nice as well. Welcome to the "rabbit hole", LOL. A lot of this depends on how you use your RV.

                Brian
                Brian & Michelle
                2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
                2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K
                630 ah battery, Victron Multiplus 2, 800 watts solar

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by #1Bama View Post

                  My spec sheet says its 370 watt rigid panel ​from Furrion. I'm just thinking of replacing the lead acid with a lithium so the maintenance is reduced and possibly more power for longer periods.
                  BTW, Grand Design has on their website that this panel is NLA, no longer available. LOL, of course they install a panel on a brand new unit that I can't replace with the same if it went bad.
                  You have gotten some great information. Don't worry about the panel being no longer available. As tech changes new and supposedly better come out. Lots of panels are no longer made. If you decided to add more solar, just leave the set up you have alone and add a second set up with a separate MPPPT controller and connect them at the battery in parallel. Panels rarely go bad unless damaged. If you boon-doc a lot or like primitive campgrounds and find the solar is not enough, a small inverter generator may do the trick. Last do a search on DC-DC chargers. This is a very good way to quickly charge a battery on travel days. I would go that route before adding more solar.

                  BTW welcome to the forum. Also it is our motto here if we can't get you to spend money on upgrades we are not doing our job Also make room in your tool box - we love getting new tools here

                  Hope this information gets you researching and thinking.. BTW for LiFePO4 battery reviews and recommendations by Will Prowse https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoj...q8kmJme-5dnN0Q He really knows his stuff and loves to take batterys apart. Some are junk, and some he loves Battle Born was the gold standard, but there are some equivalent one out there for less. Pay attention to the cell type, the BMS, and life cycle capability's. It not just amp hours. Also look at the space you have as they come in different shapes and sizes. While I don't have LiFePo4 yet (I am running 4-6V) I will be building a bank of about 500 -600 AH as I have 560Watts of solar panels. Right now I like the SOK offerings, but that can change. For your stock system I would say 200 to 300 AH should be good and allow you to run a small inverter if you wish. Prices are dropping and around Black Friday there usually are some grate sales. Just be sure to buy from folks that have a physical office here in the US and have good reviews on customer service and the batterys.

                  Keith

                  PS - Experts, please correct me if I have anything wrong here
                  2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In addition to the overall amp hours that can be consumed by a lithium battery, the most valuable asset to us is much less time in charging. In dry camping in the spring and fall with heat on at night(68F), our 75ah lead acid battery would be 50% discharged the morning. This is effectively dead. The worse part is it had to be charged 5 hours before hitting the hay in 2x 2.5Hr charge sessions. It didn't take long to figure out I do not want to run a generator that much.
                    Our single 100ah AIMs lithium will do the same work and the next morning will have 40% of usable life left in it. A roughly one hour charge off the generator to make coffee in the morning and the lithium battery was good for another 24hrs.

                    Jim
                    2017 Imagine 2600RB
                    2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jim is exactly right. I made this point several times at the national rally. When dry camping in particular, lithium batteries coupled with a larger converter (and appropriate wire size) can make a huge difference in generator run times. I have seen this first hand when camping with friends that still had lead acid and were running their generator 2-3x longer than me, and they had half the capacity and less use than I did.
                      Neil Citro
                      2018 Reflection 28bh
                      2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll give you a real time report. I have three 200 watt panels on the roof, Victron MPPT controller, 1800 watt inverter and two Costco Lion Energy LiFePO4 105 amp hour batteries wired parallel with 2/0 cables. I also installed the auto detecting converter. I haven't used the converter all summer since the install but, I have up until two nights ago had shore power connected because I have been running the A/C to keep temps down to 95 inside in order to hopefully keep things from falling apart due to the extreme heat we have had.

                        Yesterday, first day with only batteries running the rig, inverter off, cloudy all day, never any sun, rained most of the morning so the panels got a bath. Turned on the inverter yesterday evening. All the normal items running in the rig, lights for the chairs, microwave in standby, TV, sound bar, radio all in standby and the outside small fridge running. Main fridge off. Went to bed with 98% SOC. This morning, 89% SOC. Now, test time.

                        Went out this morning and ran a full 10 cup pot of coffee, water only. Voltage never went below 12.63. Was pulling over 800 watts during to perk. Ended up with 83% SOC. Next up, wife's afterburner hair dryer. Hits over 1400 watts consumption and ran it about the length of time she would use it. Voltage never dipped below 12. Went to 79% SOC. Checked cable temps. No change. Final run, microwave on high for two minutes heating some water. Again hit over 1400 watts. Ended up at about 76% SOC. This with no sun, still cloudy today so that's one day without sun and shore power off. Once everything was done, with heavy cloud cover still this morning, the panels are giving me about 40 watts of charge.

                        The LiFePO4 moment came when I had the solar package all installed. Went to run the Nespresso on the two 6 volt 235 amp hour AGM's and could't even get a full cook before the inverter shut down. Voltage tanked below 12 volts in a few seconds.

                        For us, yes it is well worth it. All in all I would estimate I have about $3000 or so invested. When we head out this year for our 4-5 month snowbird trip we will still bring the generator mainly for operating the A/C.

                        Hope this helps you in your decision.
                        Grand Design Imagine 2450RL 2020 born 7/2019
                        TV - 2007 Toyota Tundra 5.7 4X4 Limited w/Towing PKG under 30K miles, hanger queen until now

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X