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adamis

Northern California

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Posted: 09/18/21 12:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

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?


If you are spending $10,000 you are doing it wrong. I would venture to guess that nobody in the Truck Camper forum has even spent $5000 on their battery / solar system. If there is one or two people that have, they are the exception and not the norm.

A couple of years ago the LiFePo4 batteries where expensive. Battleborns are a favorite around here because they are made in the USA (with foreign cells I understand). Their 100AH battery I think goes for $850 last time I checked. There are also some cheaper (Sub $500) batteries on Amazon as well. You need to do your research though as not all of them are the same with some being very poor quality and some being very high quality. This is one example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBonGQe363g

For myself, I stick with Battleborn just because I am partial to American companies but I won't knock others when price is more critical.

I only have a single 100AH Battleborn and it really is sufficient for most situations. I also have just 200w of solar plus a 20amp DC to DC charger so I can pull from solar or the truck if needed.

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. Tack on 400w of solar and maybe another 200AH of battery and you could easily run your AC all day without a generator. In fact, with this setup, I would sell the generator, shave a few hundred pounds in the process and be able to run AC all day anywhere I want.

All for well less than $10k...


1999 F350 Dually with 7.3 Diesel
2000 Bigfoot 10.6 Camper


JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 09/18/21 06:56am 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.


A relatively small A/C will pull about 8 amps; i.e., 80 amps @ 12 volts. A 100 AH lithium battery will last about an hour and a quarter. Recharging would be another major issue. Roughly 200 watts of solar would take well over a full day in the sun to charge at this time of year.

mbloof

Beaverton, OR

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Posted: 09/18/21 07:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lets talk batteries for a moment shall we?

So I've been camping for years with a single #27 100AH deep cycle battery I got from Costco. As everybody knows, flooded lead acid (FLA) batteries don't last forever and a few years ago it needed replacing.

So why on earth would I spend nearly $1000 for a 100AH Battleborne when I can get a 100AH Costco deep cycle for ~$100??

Are the not pretty much the same thing?

Not in the least.

Lets take two things into consideration: usable AH and rated cycles.

For FLA batteries your recommended to only discharge them to %50! Thus making a 100AH battery really only a 50AH of usable battery storage. (advantage Battleborne)

While I was unable to find a charge/discharge cycle rating for the Costco batteries, inexpensive AGM batteries have ratings in the few 100 cycles and top of the line AGM batteries are rated ~800 cycles. Battleborne's are rated for 3000 cycles. (advantage Battleborne)

So lets do the math, to get 100AH of usable storage and maximum rated cycles I'd need to purchase two high end AGM batteries @ ~$300-350ea = $600-700 and would need to keep a close eye on both the discharge and water levels of the batteries. These batteries are HEAVY and while I have room to carry two, ~100AH is all I'd be able to carry unless I wire up other locations for batteries. Lastly they are only rated for ~800 cycles.

However for only a few 100 more I bought a Battleborne. It takes up only one of the two battery spots in my camper, is rated for 100AH and 3000 cycles, is a fraction of the weight, requires no 'watering' and as a added bonus can be charged at a higher rate then FLA batteries.

The higher charge rate equates into ether harvesting more power from the sun or shorter generator run times.

In my mind, the Battleborne LifePo4 was the long term economic solution.

YMMV.


- Mark0.

PS: Ok fine, so you don't like the expensive off the shelf Battleborne solution? If your into DIY it is fairly trivial to get LiFePo4 cells from China a battery management solution from Amazon and wire up a 260AH LiFePo4 DIY battery for ~$600. (I have all the parts in the garage) It just takes ether some electrical knowhow and/or reading/utube research to do.

* This post was edited 09/18/21 07:28am by mbloof *

Lwiddis

Near DVNP, California

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Posted: 09/18/21 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your current batteries are adequate for your current needs, stay with them. Solar makes recharging easy…that’s my way.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 09/18/21 08:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

adamis wrote:



If you are spending $10,000 you are doing it wrong. I would venture to guess that nobody in the Truck Camper forum has even spent $5000 on their battery / solar system. If there is one or two people that have, they are the exception and not the norm.


Generally there is no good or wrong in RV setups.
Each owner has different needs and different checkbook.
OP is talking about spending $5000 on batteries only, what should be followed by adequate solar power, B2B charger, 2nd alternator and HD electric panel.
The 10 grands don't go very far when you start playing this game.
Here is a picture of 2 kW solar panels that are already manufactured.
Don't want to know the price.
LINK

* This post was edited 09/18/21 08:58am by Kayteg1 *





2oldman

NM

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Posted: 09/18/21 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

I spend in the range of $25 per season for generator gasoline.
$25 a season? I can go through that in one camping trip.

MORSNOW

Mountain Home, ID

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

I've been running a pair of wet cell 6 volt golf cart batteries for 9 years at a cost of around $220 for the pair. I have NEVER needed more battery power while camping and rarely run my Honda 2,200 but carry it if needed. I cannot see an advantage to spending $2,000 on replacement batteries and another $500 on a new charging system as none of these campers are designed for lithium from the factory. Lithium is definitely the future in batteries, but it just isn't worth the upgrade cost for most campers at this time. My next batteries will be a pair of 6 volt AGM's just for the convenience of no maintenance, but hopefully that is still years off. 6 Volt batteries are made for 1,000's of discharges and recharges.


2014 Wolf Creek 850SB
2012 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD

7,220# Truck/10,400# Camper Fully Loaded


Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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

My Honda 3000 EU will run AC constantly for 12 hr on its 2.3 (?) gallons tank.
That will go farther at night when AC cycles off and my nights are not 12 hr, so the tank usually last for 2 nights stay.
Since I spend average every 5th night without hookups, the 9 weeks vacations make 11 nights with generator running. Or ca 15 gallons of gasoline.
The $25 obviously need to be adjusted for the inflation in last year.
Gas in Georgia year ago was 99 cents.
Don't cry.

2oldman

NM

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Posted: 09/18/21 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lithium comes down to what you can afford, period. Nobody would be buying acid batteries if Li's were comparable in price.

kenkorona

Maine

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Posted: 09/18/21 10:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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

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