Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-25-2019, 09:30 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
2007 27' International CCD FB
San Diego , California
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,040
The Everyday Man's Lithium Upgrade

We've all seen and read the extents and investments people go through to upgrade their systems to lithium. Some of them exceedingly impressive, complex, and intimidating. Just the way their proud owners like it.

I design systems for a living. I guide large teams of multi-functional engineers to build forward leaning technology. I've learned over the years, that give an engineer enough time and money, and they will over engineer the crap out of something to the degree that no one else will understand. Because complexity in and of itself shows their worth!

Well, it takes real engineering chops to make things work elegantly and simply. Apple would be a great example here (except those cost an arm and a leg).

Enter the Everyday Man's Lithium upgrade.

I'll caveat that this is not for everyone. Especially those that have a great need to power built in large draw devices. But for 95% of us...

Upgrade via a standalone lithium battery like a Goal Zero 1000, or the like.

Consider:
1) Keep the stock AS battery system for "house" battery chores as it was designed for - furnace, pumps, lights, etc. It's always worked exceedingly well for this. Upgrade this with low cost flooded golf cart 6V house batts for a great 120-140 Ah of power.
2) A standalone lithium battery adds "accessory" capacity above and beyond the "house" battery, and one is not wasting money just replacing capacity. 140Ah of 6V house + 80Ah Goal Zero = 220Ah usable power. Now that's a real capacity upgrade
3) A Goal Zero style battery has built in 1500W inverter built in. 12V/USB. Anything and everything you'd like to power. Without being tethered or tied to only the travel trailer. It also has great monitoring tools to help one meter their "accessory" usage. It could power the whole trailer if one plugged the 120V output to the trailers main power input in a pinch.

So how does one integrate this accessory lithium power pack to the trailer?

We know that key to any power upgrade for long term power is solar. No different here. And one will want to size the solar appropriate to both the house battery and accessory battery.

Goal Zero style battery packs can charge through a 12V input. That's how one would integrate it to charge off the DC 12V trailer wiring that is fed by solar. Key to this would be adding an "Automatic Charge Relay" type device. There are many on the market, but these basically detect the presence of charging voltage (>~13.1V) and will tie the auxillary "accessory" battery to the circuit. This keeps the aux battery from charging from the house battery and pulling it down when there isn't active extraneous charging power available.

If one wants more power, get a Goal Zero 3000 type device. ~250Ah + 140Ah house = ~400Ah.
__________________

__________________
Boondocking option package:
'07 27FB Ocean Breeze "See Turtle", 3" lift
'09 Lexus LX570, on 33's
Tongue Mount Honda eu2200i
Rear Bumper Hitch
pteck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 12:31 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 9,944
Thanks for those details.

FYI the Goal Zero approach has been mentioned in quite a few threads:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Goal...com&gws_rd=ssl

. . . including these primary ones:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...-a-177828.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...co-163149.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...-a-178647.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ve-168108.html

12-volt charging was not previously supported by the mfg., I believe, but somewhere in one of those threads a DIY solution is spec'd out. It appears that 12-volt charging is now supported, but this car charger is out of stock:

https://www.goalzero.com/shop/cords-...harging-cable/

The Goal Zero site includes a variety of accessories, including campground lights etc.:

https://www.goalzero.com/
https://www.goalzero.com/shop/lights/
https://www.goalzero.com/product-fea...r-accessories/

We are planning on getting a Goal Zero at some point.

Thanks again,

Peter

FYI/FWIW
__________________

OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 06:26 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Caffeinated's Avatar
 
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 868
Hmm. Interesting concept. I'll be thinking about this.

Mike
__________________
2015 27ft FC FB
WBCCI #3960
2019 F150 ecoboost
Caffeinated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 07:21 AM   #4
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13,207
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeinated View Post
Hmm. Interesting concept. I'll be thinking about this.

Mike
Very interesting for sure...but three batteries, I'm brain-tapped with two. KISS, for me. 😂

Bob
🇺🇸
__________________
"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."
W. H. Auden


"The hardest thing about Airstreaming, clearing your head and accepting how others feel it’s supposed to be done"…..
Amanamus


"Tahawus"
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 08:26 AM   #5
.-. -...
 
Adventure.AS's Avatar

 
2017 25' International
Port Dover , ON Canada
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,514
I understand your desire to have more 12V - amp hours. There are other low cost alternatives to your idea.

I have found that with two AGM group 27 batteries I have enough capacity to power the trailer (including the furnace) for at least 24 hours.

If off grid I prefer to quickly recharge the house batteries from my running TV (at a much higher rate than a portable generator) by using a 2-gauge quick connect power cable kit in the tow vehicle (incorporating a battery isolator) to short a quick connect cable set connected to the house batteries. I can even use my remote start from inside the trailer to recharge the batteries in the middle of the night if needed. This probably costs less than the Goal Zero and saves the weight of carrying around the Goal Zero.

I do carry a portable lithium jump start kit. This will charge USB devices as well as start your TV if needed, or run an air pump. It can also be charged from your car cigar lighter.

If you wanted to have a second pure sine wave inverter you could use the CarGenerator that can provide up to 1000 watts.
__________________
Ray B.

“One test is worth a thousand 'expert' opinions”
Sign at Boeing headquarters, posted by test pilot Alvin “Tex” Johnston, c1948
Adventure.AS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:52 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 27' Flying Cloud
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 46
Sungzu battery

I did something similar to what you are doing except that I used the newly introduced Sungzu 1010 WHr battery which is a bit cheaper than the Goal Zero. These batteries (I have two) are light enough that they can be taken to a “dry camping” campground outlet (usually in men’s room) and recharged in a pinch. Also, the 110V charger that comes with the Sungzu is 250 watts which allows recharging in 4-5 hours compared to the 18 hours of the smaller Goal Zero charger.

The other decision I made was to buy a NOCO Genius G7200 12V/24V 7.2A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger,connect it to the Sungzu 110V outlet, and use that to continually charge the AGM house batteries I have. The current draw from this device is low and makes the lithiums last longer.
jnm30327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:56 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,140
The Everyday Man's Lithium Upgrade

pteck

I like your concept. I might have taken this route if I hadn’t already planned on replacing my two flooded 8 yr old golf cart batteries with BB and installing a 2,000 watt inverter so I could run my microwave. I did what I planned on doing, it is not complicated and it works well.

A couple of comments. I might be concerned about theft if the Goal Zero is connected to the trailer. My second concern would be warranty of the Goal Zero. I know my BB batteries are warranted for 10 years and my inverter for 2 years, I believe.

Here is my simple power plant. It operates everything in my Airstream.

DanClick image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0364.jpg
Views:	80
Size:	296.5 KB
ID:	336604
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 10:03 AM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
2018 27' Globetrotter
Mooresville , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 110
Thanks Pteck

I appreciate all your posts on various topics. You think outside the box and explain things in a way that us non-engineers can understand.

I had actually considered this as an option myself but want to use my RV a little more to determine my specific needs. To date, I see this as a boondocking option for;

1. Using an alternative energy source for those times when it is quiet time for gas generators. Running a fan outside to keep cool or coffee maker / TV in the morning as the 1000W inverter is lacking.
2. Using to power a space heater at night to keep from running the house batteries down with the furnace.
3. Powering all sorts of other battery draining items from the RV house batteries.

We already have the Goal Zero lithium lights for night time and a lithium powered portable fan to move air at nighttime when sleeping.

We currently have 2 AGM batteries / factory solar and a Honda EU2000. It just seemed it would fit our use as a simple add on to what we currently have as a source for power,
__________________
2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax
Equal-I-zer Hitch
"Roadrunner"
GOUSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 10:17 AM   #9
.-. -...
 
Adventure.AS's Avatar

 
2017 25' International
Port Dover , ON Canada
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnm30327 View Post
...
The other decision I made was to buy a NOCO Genius G7200 12V/24V 7.2A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger,connect it to the Sungzu 110V outlet, and use that to continually charge the AGM house batteries I have. The current draw from this device is low and makes the lithiums last longer.
It would be much more efficient (electricity-wise) to use a DC to DC charger rather than converting 12V to 110V and then back to 12V.
__________________
Ray B.

“One test is worth a thousand 'expert' opinions”
Sign at Boeing headquarters, posted by test pilot Alvin “Tex” Johnston, c1948
Adventure.AS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 10:26 AM   #10
.-. -...
 
Adventure.AS's Avatar

 
2017 25' International
Port Dover , ON Canada
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOUSC View Post
...
1. Using an alternative energy source for those times when it is quiet time for gas generators. Running a fan outside to keep cool or coffee maker / TV in the morning as the 1000W inverter is lacking.
2. Using to power a space heater at night to keep from running the house batteries down with the furnace.
3. Powering all sorts of other battery draining items from the RV house batteries.
1. I don't understand why one would want an 'alternative' 12V power source when you have perfectly adequate AGM batteries. Use an alternative, such as your TV, to keep your house batteries topped up as needed.

2. You would need a massive battery bank to power an electric space heater during the night. You might want to consider a heating alternative like our Dickinson Newport propane fireplace that doesn't require 12V power to run. Some folks use the Mr Buddy catalytic heaters, but they add a lot of water vapour to the cabin air.

3. Just charge your house batteries from time to time as needed rather than having to charge another portable battery. That is what there for.
__________________
Ray B.

“One test is worth a thousand 'expert' opinions”
Sign at Boeing headquarters, posted by test pilot Alvin “Tex” Johnston, c1948
Adventure.AS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 11:19 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,140
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOUSC View Post
I appreciate all your posts on various topics. You think outside the box and explain things in a way that us non-engineers can understand.



I had actually considered this as an option myself but want to use my RV a little more to determine my specific needs. To date, I see this as a boondocking option for;



1. Using an alternative energy source for those times when it is quiet time for gas generators. Running a fan outside to keep cool or coffee maker / TV in the morning as the 1000W inverter is lacking.

2. Using to power a space heater at night to keep from running the house batteries down with the furnace.

3. Powering all sorts of other battery draining items from the RV house batteries.



We already have the Goal Zero lithium lights for night time and a lithium powered portable fan to move air at nighttime when sleeping.



We currently have 2 AGM batteries / factory solar and a Honda EU2000. It just seemed it would fit our use as a simple add on to what we currently have as a source for power,

GOUSC

It really is good to just go camping so you can figure out what your needs are.

The 1,000 watt inverter should be fine for an outside fan, TV and most other stuff, just not for a microwave, a hairdryer on high or a coffee maker.

Your furnace fan probably uses about 100 watts, where most all electric heaters are 1,500 watts. Don’t use an electric heater unless you are plugged in.

I agree that a Goal Zero, or an alternative, would work well for you if you really do need more battery power.

Dan
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 12:10 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Gsmblue's Avatar
 
2015 25' Flying Cloud
Bend , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 601
This is a very interesting thread.

What I am taking away from this is some people do not want to get into the details of upgrading batteries and chargers etc.. as they do not have the confidence or maybe experience to tackle something that is outside of their comfort zone.

The goal zero approach takes a nicely packaged system that people are more used to dealing with and people are finding creative ways to implement it, even if it may be less efficient it is something they understand and can use.

With that being said, I am firmly in the camp that we have batteries in our Airstreams and we have charger converters. These are know systems that work well and are not too difficult to upgrade. The goalzero product, in my view, is a nice product but is not optimized for glamping.

It is interesting to read about other solutions, keep up the great work everyone! Question everything, challenge everything!
__________________
http://britishairstream.blogspot.com
Mad Astrophysicist turned sales guy that works to fund his dirty snowbaording habbit, mwah-ha-ha . . .
Gsmblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 12:12 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
AirMiles's Avatar
 
2017 25' Flying Cloud
Apollo Beach , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 683
My thought on this topic is that using a Goal Zero would be equivalent to using portable solar panels. I don't want the hassle of setting up portable panels, just as I don't want the hassle of charging the Goal Zero with the need to move it around while plugging and unplugging appliances to use it. I just want to seamlessly turn on the appliance to use it.

I think the drop-in Lithium battery is beginning to simplifying the path to Lithium. This recent post by ChrisCow http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ml#post2222227 looks like a Lithium self-install is closer to reality. The only scary looking piece of that install was the 4/0 cabling. If 4/0 cable is needed, I'm a little bit scared of what a short could do. (I didn't like that the battery cutoff switch was behind the batteries in that installation. I wouldn't want to reach across those 4/0 cables while they are glowing to cut off the power!) I think the drop-ins are lacking the technology to cut off battery charging when they are full, which is why the complicated engineering masterpiece installations are still needed.

My point here is that it appears drop-in Lithium is getting more mainstream and will someday make Lithium installations no more difficult that a standard battery installation. I'll be watching the Lithium drop-in market develop while getting by with my measly 230AH wet-cells, tiny 1000W inverter, and my Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator to make up for my battery bank weakness.
__________________
2017 Flying Cloud 25FB (Miles) 234 nights 31,732 miles
400W Solar, 230AH 6V Batteries, PD4655 Converter, Champion DualFuel Generator, ProPride 1400# Hitch, 16" Michelin's
2019 F250, 6.7 Power Stroke, 4x4, 1.5" Leveled (Sully)
Sold: 2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
AirMiles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 12:32 PM   #14
.-. -...
 
Adventure.AS's Avatar

 
2017 25' International
Port Dover , ON Canada
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by AirMiles View Post
... it appears drop-in Lithium is getting more mainstream and will someday make Lithium installations no more difficult that a standard battery installation. ...
I too would love a drop-in lithium battery solution, but living in a northern climate and often camping in below 0° C conditions, a drop-in lithium batteries wouldn't work as they can't be charged when outside the Airstream in freezing temperatures.
__________________

__________________
Ray B.

“One test is worth a thousand 'expert' opinions”
Sign at Boeing headquarters, posted by test pilot Alvin “Tex” Johnston, c1948
Adventure.AS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Everyday Driver Jake62 Sprinter and B-van Forum 10 03-13-2018 12:23 PM
Natural Everyday Interior Cleaner for Aluminum? StreamlineAK Airstream Lifestyle 4 10-19-2014 11:12 AM
Adventure, Everyday KristinS Airstream Lifestyle 3 10-15-2013 03:48 PM
Acting More Like a Harley Everyday Chief 2008 Safari SE 22 03-02-2010 06:46 AM
Here's Something You Don't See Everyday flyfshr Tow Vehicles 10 07-04-2009 03:31 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.