Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Lithium Iron Batteries and Charging Systems
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Bordercollie

Garden Grove, CA, USA

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Posted: 01/27/22 08:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I got an e-mail from Powersonic battery company describing the virtues of their line of "Lifepro" Lithium batteries for RV use, replacing sealed lead acid (SLA) type batteries. We have two 6 volt deep cycle "wet" type batteries in series and a standard converter/charging system in our 2004 Class C

The blog seems to indicate that a standard "SLA battery charging system" will work but that a lithium battery charging system will take advantage of faster lithium battery charging features. It does not state that a standard wet cell converter/charger will work properly.

My question is, will a standard converter charger maintain lithium batteries and provide interior lighting same as with wet type RV batteries?

MDKMDK

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Posted: 01/27/22 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depends on who you ask. I have a fairly new PD9245 model converter charger in my 2018 Navion that was designed to support the 2 cheap FLA dual purpose batteries that came with the motorhome. It has no LiFePO4 specific charge profile. I replaced the OEM batteries after a year with 2 X 100Ah Relion LT Series lithium iron phosphate batteries, and added a PD Charge Wizard Pendant to the PD9245, so I could boost the charging rate above 14V when plugged in to shore power. Otherwise they're charged by the 220A Bosch alternator, or the 300W of Zamp solar up top, using a LiFePO4 charge profile in the ZS-30A charge controller. So far, no ill effects from this set up, that I have noticed over the last 2 years. I also don't micro-manage my batteries, I pretty much trust them to do the job when needed, and so far they have done that. They may charge more slowly, or not to 100% every time, but I (and they) can live with that. They will also charge down to 4F/-20C by using some of the charging amperage to self heat, which is one of the reasons I chose them over the other options. I live in the GWN.
Don't know if this answers your question?


Mike. Comments are anecdotal or personal opinions, and worth what you paid for them.
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ron.dittmer

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Posted: 01/27/22 10:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We own a 2007 Phoenix Cruiser with a Tripp-Lite 2000W inverter/convertor combo unit. Our rig was originally equipped with two wet acid 12V house batteries, easily inspected through the use of the battery tray.

When it came time to replace the second set of 12V wet acid batteries in April 2015, I looked into Lithium technology. I also looked into AGM, and the various 6V options. Our Tripp-Lite was engineered to handle AGM technology (6Vx2 or 12V didn't matter) when set appropriately, but had no accommodation for Lithium technology. So a pair of 6V-AGM made the most sense. It didn't help that Lithium batteries were crazy expensive. Our 6V AGMs were twice that of the 12V wet acid. I bought them at Sam's Club for $180 each back then but are no longer available here in the Chicago area. The next cheapest 6V-AGM I found locally is THIS ONE at Batteries Plus. You can save 10% buy ordering on-line and picking up at your specified store.

I got only 2 good years from each pair of 12V-wet acid batteries, one marginal year, and one poor year. With the pair of 6V-AGMs, we've got 6 good years so far and counting, still performing quite nicely, so needless to say we are very happy with the change to 6V AGMs.

When it comes time to replace these batteries, I might consider sealed wet acid due to the cost. I cannot consider standard wet acid because I ditched the battery tray to get the extra height required for the 6V batteries, leaving no practical means of checking fluid levels.

* This post was edited 01/27/22 10:45am by ron.dittmer *


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 01/27/22 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most lithium battery makers recognize that unless there product is useable with equipment designed for lead acid batteries it's going to be a very tough sell. Most of them have designed their battery management systems to handle the same charging input that a lead acid battery would get. There's a lot more in most lithium "batteries" than batteries. There are sophisticated controllers and circuitry in their who's only job is to protect the battery.

Bordercollie

Garden Grove, CA, USA

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Posted: 01/27/22 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I suspected that changing to Lithium RV batteries would realistically require change of converter charger to get full advantages. Watched a good You Tube video that confirmed suspicion.

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

* This post was edited 01/27/22 11:20am by Bordercollie *

VA-Apraisr

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Posted: 01/27/22 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The folks at BattleBorn are awesome to discuss options and questions about converting over to Lithium. Yes, expensive, but if you boondock a lot and want "worry-free" leave-it-and-forget-about-it lifestyle, this IS the way to go. Going on 2 years with this setup with 400watts of solar panels on top and virtually never need to start my generator (weather permitting). 10-year warranty was a great motivator as well.

bobndot

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Posted: 01/27/22 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Charging rate is higher than agm.
Lithium is sensitive to cold charging.
They also should not be fully discharged.

If in a cold climate the lithiums need to be warm in order to charge.
There is some kind of new technology that allows the battery to warm itself by connecting and disconnecting a small wire to its terminal.

https://www.renogy.com/amp/12v-100ah-sma........osphate-battery-w-self-heating-function/

EMD360

Arvada, CO

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Posted: 01/27/22 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The key words are "full advantage" The lithium will charge just fine but won't get to 14 volts. I read aboutt this before I installed the lithium in ours and upgraded the converter/charger from the original WFCO but that was a recommended change anyway.My batteries don't always get to 14 volts even with the new charger. I have a 3000 watt Samlex inverter and 360 watts solar. The battery has an internal management system that doesn't charge when the temperature is too low. So I don't worry about it. I bought the LION 105 amp batteries from Costco. The advantage for us is the size. Two fit in a Winnie 25B step compartment. Most are too long for this compartment.


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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 01/27/22 06:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bordercollie wrote:

My question is, will a standard converter charger maintain lithium batteries and provide interior lighting same as with wet type RV batteries?

You will get a "more complete" charge and a faster charge using a charger specifically designed for LiFePO4 batteries.

Get a converter that is designed for your battery type, or maybe it is time to upgrade to an inverter/charger/automatic transfer switch. Easy to install and even easier to use.

If you plan to charge with the vehicle while driving you should use a DC-DC charger.

steveh27

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

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Posted: 01/28/22 05:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 2 LiFePo4 100AH batteries are charged just fine with the PD charge/converter I have. I called PD and they said I just have to push in the boost button. It works well getting it to a max of 14.4 volts and then stops.

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