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kenkorona

Maine

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Posted: 09/17/21 06:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

I have a bunch of questions about batteries, invertors, charging, solar panels, etc. So I'll start off with batteries...

My TC came equipped with 2 Interstate Marine/RV Deep Cycle SRM-27 batteries. They are standard Flooded Lead Acid batteries with a cost of about $125 each. In the 10 weeks I've used my TC so far I never had an issue with adequate power, though to be fair I had little use for a microwave or A/C during that time. I also used the generator for a total of about 15 minutes during that 10 week period. And that was to run the A/C while I was stuck in the Walmart parking lot in Secaucus, NJ (please don't ask why I was there).

So I hear about people buying not just 2, but maybe 4 or more Lithium batteries at a cost of over $1000 each and I'm wondering why. I haven't done a thorough investigation, but from what I can tell the capacity of the Lithium batteries may be a bit better than a Lead Acid, but it seems hard to justify the wildly higher cost. Can someone explain?

Thanks
Ken

jimh406

Western MT

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Posted: 09/17/21 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kenkorona wrote:

So I hear about people buying not just 2, but maybe 4 or more Lithium batteries at a cost of over $1000 each and I'm wondering why.


They have a lot better capacity and can be run down to a lower level without damage and have more cycles.. Solar is great if you have sun, what if it rains a few days? Sure, you can run a generator, but somepeople don’t want to carry one.

But, I don’t need them for my use either. Btw, this is a fair summary even though it’s from a Lithium battery manufacturer.

https://battlebornbatteries.com/lead-acid-vs-lithium-ion-batteries/


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Toyo M655 225/19.5 Gs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


d3500ram

Colorado

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Posted: 09/17/21 08:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kenkorona wrote:

Hi,

I have a bunch of questions about batteries, invertors, charging, solar panels, etc. So I'll start off with batteries...


I am sure others will chime in but below is good info... it gets in the weeds but might help in some aspects of what you are seeking. It is a great resource. Perhaps you might find it useful:

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1).

The 12 volt Side of Life Part 2.

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 09/17/21 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For me - Lithium equals NO MAINTENANCE. I bought Battleborns for my TT. THen I abruptly decided to sell the TT, then I later sold my camper and upgraded to a newer, bigger one so I moved the BB's to my AF 992.

Here's my Battleborn upgrade


2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2018 Arctic Fox 992 with an Onan 2500i "quiet" model generator

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 09/17/21 08:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree that it's hard to justify the cost but here are some reasons.
Flooded may only last you 3 to 5 years, Lithium is sometimes warrantied for 10 years and may last longer. Lithium is lighter weight which is important in a TC. Lithium can pack more power into the same space, not everyone has lots of room for lots of batteries.
Many people use a lot more power than what you have. I'm guessing your just one person using a TC. If we were talking about a family of 5 in a 35' RV where you can't get your kids to ever turn the lights off it's a different story. CPAP machines seem to be quite common. Some people can't go a few hours without internet and a flat screen satellite TV picture. Many larger RVs now have electric only refrigerators and yours is propane.

naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 09/17/21 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How much electricity you use is very much a function of how you live and work. You don’t have to use a microwave or a tv or a laptop computer or an electric coffee maker or popcorn popper or hair drier or more than one light or a heater, fan, etc. But the more of them you want, the more power you will use. Captain Obvious, I know.

But you asked about batteries, so let me explain. Your pair of inexpensive lead acid batteries afford you around 300-500 charge discharge cycles provided you never discharge them more than 50%. A typical lithium iron phosphate battery will go around 10 times as many cycles at 80% discharge. That $125 flooded cell battery of which you wrote has only about 80 amp hours capacity, and the pair will allow you to draw only 80 AH before needing a recharge. A single 100 AH LiFePO4 costing that $1000 will also easily give you 80 AH. To cover the same total lifespan of the lithium battery using the batteries you have will cost at least $2500. I say at least because they will not be cheaper in the future when you will be buying the second through tenth pair. That is a big reason people are buying lithium. The other is weight. Those two batteries you have probably weigh around 150 lbs. The lithium battery tops the scales in the 20-30 lb range.

So if you were someone who found themselves burning through enough electricity to warrant a half dozen batteries, the advantage in long term cost and weight would be significant.





Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 09/17/21 08:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some people are full-timing in their campers, so they have different needs.
Where I camp I need AC almost every night, so it is either generator, or shore power.
Generator is close to 20 years old, so don't have to worry about its amortization, when I spend in the range of $25 per season for generator gasoline.
My house batteries come from boat and sedan, so are free as well.
Why would I spend over $10,000 on big solar and bank of lithium?





mbloof

Beaverton, OR

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Posted: 09/17/21 08:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bottom line is, if you don't use much power you don't have to store or generate much.

Microwaves and Air Conditioners use AC power which is usually supplied by ether "shore power" or a generator. Granted enough solar and battery capacity can be added/installed to run them but it gets pretty costly.

Most of the other power needs in a camper/RV are +12VDC which is usually supplied by a converter/charger when plugged into "shore power" or running off the generator. When both of these are not available campers/RV's get their +12VDC from batteries.

How much battery capacity one needs depends on the owners power use patterns. For example in the dead of winter the camper/RV furnace could be running more than not and using a bunch of +12VDC as compared to in the summer time.

For any installed battery capacity the owner of a camper/RV could camp for more days in the summer as compared to the winter based solely on the power draw of the camper/RV's furnace.

Add or subtract different +12VDC power draws and you'll subtract or add days of camping in a camper/RV.

Many of us add solar as a quiet power source to charge our camper/RV batteries without having to carry or run a generator. How much power that can be harvested by any given solar panel depends largely on how much sun it gets. As you could imagine, in the summer months there is more sun then in winter months.

Simply put it all starts with figuring out how long your camping trip is, how much power you think you want and what time of year you plan on doing it.


- Mark0.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 09/17/21 09:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want to learn more about lithium batteries start watching Will Prowse's channel on YouTube.

Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 09/17/21 09:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like the others have said: It all depends on your need

I have minmal needs so 2 group 31 AGMs (Lifeline) and 200 watts of solar keeps me going. I don't watch TV or use the Microwave. In the summer if its really hot I will use my Honda 2000 to run the AC. All my lights are LED and at most I run a 200 watt inverter to charge my Laptop. The main camper drain is the fridge circuit board on the Fridge and in winter the furnace and when its really hot or cold out I cover the doors windows and vents with reflectix and foam and have fiberglass batts behind the external hatches to maximize my thermal insulation from the outside environment. I camp year round in all sorts of temps from near zero F up to above 115F.


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