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Old 11-22-2017, 12:49 AM   #1
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Advice on Solar/Lithium for 2018 25FBT

Weíre going to be taking delivery on a 2018 FC 25FB Twin in January and Iíd live your advice. Iím a pretty technical/handy guy (electronics engineer) so Iím planning on installing 400watts of solar myself and upgrading the battery. Iíve read the thousands of posts on this forum about the AGM vs Lithium and will likely go Lithium because I love the light weight and low internal resistance.

For those of you with a FC 25FBT with Lithium where did you put the battery? I was looking at starting with 200 AH but leave space for more if needed. I know the battery doesnít want to be charged below 32degrees. Iím okay with that limitation and putting it in the battery box with a battery protection system if necessary. Is there a better place inside?

Iíll likely stick with the stock 1000 watt inverter for now and use the Victron or Blue Sky MPPT charge controller and battery monitor.
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:07 AM   #2
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Why not use lithium batteries by Victron? They have 4 cells per battery,no matter how large the battery is and you can easily fit them under the bed for perfect placement. You can also place your Victron BMV-712 and Victron solar charger under there too without taking up too much space.

Unlike the Battle Born product, Victrons should be inside your coach, away from any weather. You will be very happy with the choice!

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Originally Posted by daleyocum View Post
Weíre going to be taking delivery on a 2018 FC 25FB Twin in January and Iíd live your advice. Iím a pretty technical/handy guy (electronics engineer) so Iím planning on installing 400watts of solar myself and upgrading the battery. Iíve read the thousands of posts on this forum about the AGM vs Lithium and will likely go Lithium because I love the light weight and low internal resistance.

For those of you with a FC 25FBT with Lithium where did you put the battery? I was looking at starting with 200 AH but leave space for more if needed. I know the battery doesnít want to be charged below 32degrees. Iím okay with that limitation and putting it in the battery box with a battery protection system if necessary. Is there a better place inside?

Iíll likely stick with the stock 1000 watt inverter for now and use the Victron or Blue Sky MPPT charge controller and battery monitor.
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:33 AM   #3
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I put my AGM batteries under the fridge. You can also put them under the oven which won't require you to run cables under the floor chase, but is more work to remove the back of the storage compartment there. Both locations are aver the axle so the weight is reduced on the tongue which the 25FB is known to be very high. The location under the fridge is easy to remove the back of the storage compartment for additional space. The new cable wires can be run from the streetside from the front twin behind the cabinets in the bathroom and under the oven across the underfloor chase to the storage area under the fridge. This is the preferred area for running solar cable down the fridge vent and get down to the batteries under the fridge.
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Why not use lithium batteries by Victron? They have 4 cells per battery,no matter how large the battery is and you can easily fit them under the bed for perfect placement. You can also place your Victron BMV-712 and Victron solar charger under there too without taking up too much space.

Unlike the Battle Born product, Victrons should be inside your coach, away from any weather. You will be very happy with the choice!
Lewster, when you say away from the weather, how away from and what weather are you referring to, are you just trying to keep them out of any cold or are there other concerns here? Thanks
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:33 AM   #5
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Does anyone know where the Inverter is currently installed in the 2018 and where the pre-wired solar terminates? Also is that where the CAT5 prewire for the monitoring panel terminates? If all thatís under one of the twin beds and thereís room for the batteries there it makes the choice pretty easy. Obviously Iíd want to keep the Inverter near the batteries. I am leaning towards the Victron batteries and just getting everything from AM Solar since weíre in Oregon.

I think Lewster was worried about low outside temperatures when he mentioned the Lithium batteries would like to be inside. Correct me if Iím wrong.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:48 AM   #6
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FB Twin Storage

See posts from me with images in this thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449/disassembling-the-street-side-bench-to-reach-the-electrical-systems-175178.html

I am in the midst of a solar upgrade but I am going to keep my AGMs.

If I upgrade to lithium I would probably use the curb-side storage locker. Access from above requires sliding the mattress and bedding over to the street-side bed and taking out the six or eight screws for the mattress platform but if the batteries need no maintenance then that may be acceptable. Otherwise maybe they a small enough to get to through the locker door.

I'm interested to know if others think this is "inside" or "outside" storage from a lithium battery's perspective.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:52 AM   #7
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Hi

People rarely swap 100AH usable lead acid for 100AH usable lithium. The more common thing is to ramp things up a bit. Lithium's are (much) lighter than lead acid batteries. They are not zero weight. If you are dumping a bunch of them into a trailer, consider weight and balance. It matters both front to back *and* side to side.

Bob
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:48 PM   #8
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I have 400 watts on my roof and 400ah under my bed. 25FB Flying Cloud. The Battle Born 100ah batteries weigh 27 lbs. A significant difference from my prior battery bank.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:02 PM   #9
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Yes, I was planning on going to 200AH of Lithium which means 160AH usable which I suspect will be enough for us. If not we’ll add more battery later and use our little Honda generator as a backup in the mean time.

Where is the stock inverter now? Is there room for the batteries next to it?
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photobum View Post
I have 400 watts on my roof and 400ah under my bed. 25FB Flying Cloud. The Battle Born 100ah batteries weigh 27 lbs. A significant difference from my prior battery bank.
Hi

Indeed a significant difference. The trailer was originally balanced with the lead acid batteries in place. Now with the lighter batteries, the balance is very different. That's not always a good thing ....

Bob
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:07 PM   #11
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As a fellow engineer, recommend reviewing NFPA 70 Article 690 on solar and Article 550 on recreational vehicles. Also recommend reviewing ABYC E-11, especially the part on wiring methods. As one example, I most strongly recommend ensuring that your solar system includes ground fault circuit protection described in 690.41(B).

Know you will find a safe and reliable solution.

73/gus
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:21 PM   #12
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We have 400W solar on the roof and 200Ah of Li under the bed of our 25FB International. Our use ranges from 25-45 Ah per day boon docking (we like our Nespresso ) and on clear summer days, the battery is back to 100% in the middle of the afternoon.

We just came back from 3 weeks Utah and Death Valley and also based on last years' trips to Anza Borrego SP in the winter, we know that at best, we can get 15Ah back into the batteries in the winter.

I am seriously considering an Efoy 80i for our winter boon docking trips which would be sweet and would allow us to stay completely off grid for weeks even when solar does not work. Probably ordering one this weekend if the boss agrees... Alternatively 400Ah batteries (Li) is massive.

We do not tow with a truck so storage of a stinky generator and fuel is an issue... and I just like the tinkering with stuff.
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:42 PM   #13
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Forgot to mention, we have 750W of Solbian SP125 panels and a Lithionics 12V220A-GC2E battery with a dual-channel BMS. We have separate charging bus and load bus. Our solar charger is a MorningStar TriStar MPPT 60 with the matching GFPD.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by gklott View Post
As a fellow engineer, recommend reviewing NFPA 70 Article 690 on solar and Article 550 on recreational vehicles. Also recommend reviewing ABYC E-11, especially the part on wiring methods. As one example, I most strongly recommend ensuring that your solar system includes ground fault circuit protection described in 690.41(B).
I was plannng on a running either 12v or 24v down from the panels so Iím confused what hazard GFI would protect for as shock isnít an issue. Am I miss g something? Obviously there needs to be fuses/circuit breakers in the feed. Iím assuming Iíll need to upgrade the 10ga prewire wires if I go 12v but was hoping to be able to keep them if at 24v @ 400w. Is that just wishful thinking?
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