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Old 08-28-2015, 05:05 PM   #1
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Lithium Batteries?

Has anyone actually replaced their AGM batteries with Lithium batteries?

We are about to purchase once again a pair of Lifeline AGM and they are expensive. We know lithium are WAY more expensive, but maybe it's a break even proposition if we keep ruining our batteries by letting them get too low.....

Thanks for any help - it is amazing how much more we've learned from you all on the forums than we've gotten from all the books that came with the Interstate!
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:10 PM   #2
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There is at least one person here that had, cost thousands of dollars for all the parts and pieces required. Personally I cannot justify the extreme cost at this time.
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Old 08-28-2015, 06:38 PM   #3
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There are a few threads, an example:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...es-135426.html
This one includes solar.
But what I'd be curious about, and I think that's also what you're asking is, simple replacement - no extras.
Doing a simple investigation the first thing I noticed is it's difficult to find batteries of the same dimensions - close, but not the same.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:46 PM   #4
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AM Solar has a good education page here http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/smar...batteries.html

It looks to me to be more cutting edge than I'm prepared to go for at this time. Cost is pretty high too.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:11 PM   #5
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I did a lot of research on upgrading to lithium batteries. In the end I've decided to stay with AGMs. To convert to lithium requires more than just new batteries. It requires a whole system upgrade for charging, heaters if you plan to be in freezing temps and battery monitor systems to prevent damage to the lithium batteries. I think they are great, but not as an upgrade to my Interstate. Maybe they will be in my next B-van if I ever buy another one.

Lewster who is on this forum can probably say more about them as he installs them.


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Old 08-28-2015, 10:25 PM   #6
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Oh - I forgot to mention you can solve all your battery problems by upgrading to at least 200 watts of solar and a good controller.


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Old 08-28-2015, 10:43 PM   #7
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I've been installing a lot of AM Solar's lithium batteries this summer....from 200 amp/hours to 600 amp/hours. Their usable capacity is far greater than AGMs, including starting and running a 15K roof A/C for almost 3 hours solely from a 400 amp/hour battery pack and 3000 watt sine wave inverter. Add to that the significant decrease in weight and size, the fact that they do not need complete re-charging to 100%, have no charge memory and their lightning fast re-charge and significantly increased amp draw capacity.

They do come at a cost though......and that is above their increased buy-in price. You need to have the proper charging systems for lithiums, which in our systems include solar with Blue Sky MPPT programmable charge controllers and a Magnum sine wave inverter/chargers (minimum MS-2012).

Will pricing drop soon? That is a question that is difficult to answer.The supply pipeline for new lithium cells is still greatly restricted due to their huge demand. Early adopters are getting the benefits of increased capacity at greatly reduced weight and a projected 5000+ charge cycles (approx. 15 years), but there are caveats; specifically: you can USE lithiums below freezing but can not CHARGE them below 32F for now.

This should not present a significant problem, as most RV use has interior temps well above freezing to prevent water system freeze-up and these batteries must be placed indoors and away from any moisture incursions.

Definitely a great leap forward......but at a price!
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:05 AM   #8
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Lew, a great and balanced post. Thank you!
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:10 AM   #9
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Lew, a great and balanced post. Thank you!
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:33 AM   #10
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Here is a good link to read about a lithium battery trial.
Lithium Ion Batteries for RV Motorhome House System - LFP / LiFePO4 | Technomadia
More of a science project than I am interested in taking on at this time. But maybe after a few hundred of the rest of you have worked on the bugs for me...
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:33 AM   #11
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Here is a good link to read about a lithium battery trial.
Lithium Ion Batteries for RV Motorhome House System - LFP / LiFePO4 | Technomadia
More of a science project than I am interested in taking on at this time. But maybe after a few hundred of the rest of you have worked on the bugs for me...
I met Chris and Cherie at AM Solar last summer. They are definitely interesting folks. I would consider their lithium installation to be 'lithium 1.0' and the systems that we are now using to be 'lithium 2.0'. I say this because we now have many technical issues under control which allow for a more 'plug and play' type of installation.

The next level of lithium technology will be for all weather/all temperature use; meaning that they can be placed anywhere (like an AGM battery) and also be charged below freezing (they can be USED below freezing now, but should not be CHARGED below 32F).

I would guess that level is still several years down the road.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:41 AM   #12
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Advanced RV install Lithium batteries as an option. In fact they have several different sized banks to choose from. They are encased in a heated, insulated and reinforced box hung where we have our generators. It's an expensive option, but probably worth it if you intend to keep the vehicle long-term.
I took a look at one belonging to a blogger known as Davydd when he and his wife visited this area. It looks like a very professional and well-thought out installation. Even has the ability to start the chassis engine automatically if the charge state gets below a given threshold. It has the optional secondary generator fitted to provide a quick charge.


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Old 08-29-2015, 12:50 PM   #13
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It has the optional secondary generator fitted to provide a quick charge.


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Did his have the optional generator? If so, where do they put it?

I do remember reading his thread awhile back but don't recall.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:10 PM   #14
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Did his have the optional generator? If so, where do they put it?

I do remember reading his thread awhile back but don't recall.
I seem to recall it was actually a second alternator attached to the engine.
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