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Old 06-06-2014, 08:51 PM   #1
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
North Bend , Washington
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8D Lifeline installed in Flying Cloud

Just got back from my local RV shop and they did a great job on my battery install. Tired of running low on capacity while dry camping, I decided to bite the bullet and install an 8D battery under the RV bed in my 2009 25FB. They tied it in nicely to the main Use/Store switch so the battery meter will show the remaining capacity.

They installed 180A capacity marine switches so I can turn on and off the two Group 24 AGMs on the trailer hitch along with the 8D in the trailer. Total amp hours of all 3 AGMs is a lovely 413AH which should allow my wife to run the furnace as often as she likes.

Along with the IOTA 4-stage charger I had put in a few weeks ago, I've updated my entire battery bank system. Overall, an expensive solution since I didn't install it myself but I'm excited about the boondocking capabilities of my trailer.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:30 AM   #2
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I do hope that you charge them separately. An 8-D (especially a new one added to an existing battery bank) will require different absorption times than a pair of group 24s.

IOTA makes a nice unit but is a bit high with their charge profile for Lifelines and still has no temperature compensation to prevent over/under charging.

Your next upgrade should be a Magnum inverter/ charger, which is a perfect match for charging Lifelines.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:36 AM   #3
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Lester, how do I get a quote and place to install a proper Solar set up. I live in New Mexico?
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:45 PM   #4
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Luigi,

PM sent!
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:06 PM   #5
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what local shop did you use?
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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The marine switches let me separate the 8DL from the Group 24s so I can charge and use separately. I only plan on using the Group 24s for backup and to run the electric jack.

I looked at all available chargers and consulted with my father-in-law who is an engineer and has used Lifelines on all his boats. We saw no features in the Magnum to justify spending $1150+ vs. $165 for the IOTA. Maximum output on my IOTA is 13.6V and the Lifeline can take up to 14.6V during charging. I was advised not to get the charging models with the "boost" modes that kicked up to 14.4 or 14.6V.

My local shop in North Bend, WA is Cascade Diesel Truck & RV Repair and they charge $95/hr.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lahontancut View Post
The marine switches let me separate the 8DL from the Group 24s so I can charge and use separately. I only plan on using the Group 24s for backup and to run the electric jack.

I looked at all available chargers and consulted with my father-in-law who is an engineer and has used Lifelines on all his boats. We saw no features in the Magnum to justify spending $1150+ vs. $165 for the IOTA. Maximum output on my IOTA is 13.6V and the Lifeline can take up to 14.6V during charging. I was advised not to get the charging models with the "boost" modes that kicked up to 14.4 or 14.6V.

My local shop in North Bend, WA is Cascade Diesel Truck & RV Repair and they charge $95/hr.
I am also an engineer (Master's Degree) and have been working with Lifeline batteries for 9 years. If you consult the Lifeline manual, you will notice that they specify a bulk/absorption charge of between 14.2-14.4VDC to be fully charged and then a float charge of 13.2-13.4VDC. They will never get to a full charge with your IOTA maxed out at 13.6VDC. It's not a matter of what a Lifeline 'can take'. It's a matter of what the manufacturer says that they need for full and proper charging.

And regardless of the quality of any converter (with the exception of one that does not have a good reputation) temperature compensation is extremely important to prevent over/under charging.

As always....YMMV!
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:39 AM   #8
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Questions

I also have 25ft front bed and would like to upgrade my capacity and this solution seems to be a plausible idea for me as well. I don't always dry camp, but when I do I could use the extra power as well.

Currently, I have 350W of Solar Panels that I had the Factory Install on my roof, and with a possible 20AMPS of power I could draw an hour in perfect conditions, even with my solar regulator and stock converter floating the charge and run of the mill deep cycle batteries, power is never much of a concern with my meager use ( water pump, led lights, refrigerator, fans and/or furnace ) and my batteries are typically always back to 100% by dusk the next day when I find my way back inside.

So...I don't always boondock but when I do I would like the added amp hours of an AGM Battery or Batteries, in case I am in shade or the weather traps me inside the trailer for extended periods when I would consume more power. None the less I believe the 255amp hours of the 8D would be adequate for my needs and give me a significant increase in power, both because of the AMP hours as well as the benefits gained by discharge capacity and rate of the AGM style battery over my 2 Deep cycles currently used in Parallel that account for 150AMP combined.

So here are my questions, without breaking the bank, and switching all the batteries to AGM ( outside and inside ), If I purchased the 8D and installed it under the bed along with the appropriate switches that would isolate the battery(s) based my selection ( outside deep cycle or inside AGM ), as long as I changed the charging profile on my Solar Regulator of the batteries being charged by the Solar array at the time, no other adjustments would need be made?

I m not too versed with Converters and their applications when charging different batteries and if they have differing settings similar to what my Solar regulator has based on the charging capabilities of the different battery types? or if there is one that would be a catch all for both regardless which battery I had selected with the switch.

This idea just really sparks my interest, since the AGMs have such a low discharge rate I could just continue to just use the factory set up and style battery configuration which is just fine for me when I m not boon docking and I can routinely use the switch and adjust my Solar regulator charging profile to AGM to top off the 8D to keep it topped off as needed.

Those of you with more knowledge, please let me know if this plan is flawed or possible and what converter would be best suited.

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #9
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(snip)
So...I don't always boondock but when I do I would like the added amp hours of an AGM Battery or Batteries, in case I am in shade or the weather traps me inside the trailer for extended periods when I would consume more power. None the less I believe the 255amp hours of the 8D would be adequate for my needs and give me a significant increase in power, both because of the AMP hours as well as the benefits gained by discharge capacity and rate of the AGM style battery over my 2 Deep cycles currently used in Parallel that account for 150AMP combined.

(snip)
If you raise the top of your current tongue mounted battery box 1.5 inches there will be room for two 6 volt golf cart type deep cycle batteries wired in series. They will have a capacity of about 220 to 230 amp hours vs. the 150 -160 you have now. That will give you a significant increase in capacity. You have plenty of solar charge available. The cost will be under $200 (Costco or Sam's club batteries) plus the cost of raising the battery box lid.

I certainly would consider that as an option at least.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:21 PM   #10
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Idroba is correct in that you can place a spacer on the top of your existing box to fit a pair of 220 A/H golf cart batteries.

Lifeline also has many other more attractive alternatives to using a gargantuan 8-D that weighs 170 lbs and is extremely difficult to move around.

We use their GPL-6CT golf cart batteries in pairs for 300 A/H total, 20% more reserve than their 8-D and far easier to place at about 80 lbs each.
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