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Old 09-28-2016, 08:19 AM   #1
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Lithium Ion Batteries

Has anyone heard a whisper when Airstream might switch to Lithium Ion batteries in their travel trailers? Is 2018 a possibility?
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:37 AM   #2
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It's going to be AWHILE.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:49 AM   #3
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I doubt if they ever will. They source the cheapest products they can find. These batteries certainly do not come under that heading and will not for many years.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:49 AM   #4
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I wouldn't hold my breath!!🙄


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Old 09-28-2016, 10:36 AM   #5
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If you want a trailer with lithium ion batteries, look at the new lithium Bowlus. Priced north of $200,000 and you can use it as a backup battery for your Tesla tow vehicle.

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Old 09-28-2016, 12:57 PM   #6
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Wow, never heard of a Bowlus before. Went to the website. And many think Airstreams are expensive.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:50 PM   #7
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Lithium batteries? They haven't even gone to using high quality AGM's as standard equipment.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:04 PM   #8
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Lithium batteries? They haven't even gone to using high quality AGM's as standard equipment.
If that ain't the truth
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:30 PM   #9
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...and at the July Intl Rally in WV, the Airstream guys told us they are still "evaluating" multi-stage charger/converter units. As they continue to "evaluate," I have now replaced the cheap Chinese units in both my old 2012 28' Intl,and my 2015 Classic. As Airstream adds more and more 12V power consumers on the Classic they continue to use barely marginal support for battery components -- and once large numbers of the 17's leave Jackson Center, more and more new owners will discover that having a solid 12V system is ESSENTIAL....or you'll be plugged into a trailer park pedestal or generator to operate your trailer. "We will not make changes, only improvements," does not seem to have been part of the engineering mantra for the electrical components. Oh, and the Classic is the 3d most popular trailer they sell. Ask anyone with a Zip Dee Relax awning what happens if you try to use your 12V awning if you undervolt it. The answer: it won't work....and in the early version of the awnings, they found that undervolting actually burned out the motor.
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:54 PM   #10
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I've talked to them BAB and they quote virtually word for word what you will here if you call Parallax and ask them why they don't make a multi stage converter. They say and I paraphrase...3 or 4 stage charging for the sake of it is fine but the converter doesn't know what its connected to, a battery or a DC system. It can't differentiate. Well, to their credit, it can't but it does know what voltage looks like and what's applied to it so when you arrive at a new destination, the only thing available to check during first power up is the voltage of the DC system (battery) and if it's low, it needs a boost. Or if you dry camp and wake up to a generator, etc. You also need well above 14 VDC to fully charge the batteries in my testing.
After a few days of no voltage change, you probably put her in storage so lets drop the voltage so we don't gas the idle batteries and condition them once a day or so with a desulfation cycle. Well, duh who'd have thunk it right?
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:12 PM   #11
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Agree. I assume they must have an EE on staff that runs numbers for how much DC power a trailer is going to need, then supply batteries that can meet (better yet, exceed), what they're going to pull. Those of us with the newer Classic trailers who want them to operate at optimum levels (particularly when you're off the grid), have to factor in electric recliners, electric bed, electric pedestal table, electric stabilizers, electric awning -- and with the '17's add in electric heating pads for the tanks, etc. Based on how I wanted to use my trailer, I opted for 600W of solar panels, a Winegard Travl'r Sat dish, cell amp, wifi amp, icemaker in my freezer, dishwasher, and a bunch of other stuff. Based on how I wanted to use my trailer, I went whole hog and added a Magnum MSH 3012 inverter and four 6V AGM's. Basically, everything works all the time. (And I can run one A/C for about 3 hours on batteries.) I also added a PowerMax PM 4B Converter/Charger (4 stage). Granted, maybe I overkilled it -- but, if you spend well over $120K on a trailer, shouldn't everything work ALL the time? If I could have specified a bunch of these add-ons as factory options I would have. Options at Airstream slow down their production line. I don't see how you can argue against a higher performance multi-stage charger unit that won't boil your batteries and can even de-sulphate if need be. The price point cannot be that much higher -- especially with Thor's ability to purchase across their entire line of RV's.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:22 PM   #12
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Airstream is putting some things in the new Classic models we would not have expected a few years ago, and you pay the price. There is some mistrust of Lithium Ion batteries relative to fires and freezing, I would think this would have to be resolved before we see them.

The only other possibility is another expensive and very successful model such as the Pendleton having them with a price to match. Or a special edition Base Camp (Boondocker?) if it's a home run.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:27 PM   #13
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Lithium Ion Batteries

Quality lithium iron phosphate batteries (DO NOT confuse them with the higher density lithium cobalt variety.....which CAN be incendiary) are extremely stable and have less risk of thermal runaway from overcharging than Lifelines have.

One VERY IMPORTANT point that many miss is the quality of the lithium charging system and especially the battery monitor system.

Victron systems have auto-reset battery monitors and cold weather disconnect mechanisms so no Victron lithium will be charged below freezing where damage can occur.

Given that Airstream has seen fit to use single voltage converters for on-grid battery charging when EVERY BATTERY MANUFACTURER specifies multi-stage charging, and has for years ....... I seriously doubt that you will be seeing a lithium option on ANY Airstream product in the foreseeable future.

Also, when investigating a lithium installation, look very carefully at the company's history and longevity. Many now offering 'breakthrough' lithium technology were not around a year or two ago.

In contrast, Victron is a world-wide business that is well known and respected in the marine and alternative energy sectors that has just celebrated their 40th year.


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Old 09-29-2016, 08:28 PM   #14
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Lithium Ion Batteries

Also no possibility of out gassing!
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