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Old 07-15-2017, 10:42 AM   #57
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Thanks Michael for the thoughts and details. Obviously you have accepted the very low risk of fire from the lithium batteries being inside? Perhaps there was no other logical place to put them.

Thanks again,

Peter
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:48 AM   #58
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I am late to the discussion because I ignored some of the posts, but you do not decide to go Lithium because of a better cost/benefit ratio or something like that. Hell, you did not buy an Airstream because of any cost advantage over other alternatives.
The single biggest advantage to Lithiums is that you can suck amp-hours out of them and not worry about letting them sit partially depleted and then charge them full, when you can, very quickly. The discharge/charge capability is far more user friendly then lead-acid technology.
Sure, you can get more amp-hours at less weight, if you need that. And maybe they will indeed give us more life.
I wanted a capable inverter/charger, battery monitor, and solar charger. The incremental cost to install Lithiums designed for the listed equipment was a no brainer.
Larry
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:41 AM   #59
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Larry, I agree with you 100% - except that I don't think you can get more amp-hours at less weight. The LiFePos have that nailed down.

Pat
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:37 PM   #60
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Pat, that is what I meant to say, about Lithiums. Sorry I was obtuse.

Larry
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:20 AM   #61
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There are lots of advantages to Lithium Ion batteries...
Dan
<<A Lithium-iron battery remains cool at room temperature while the Li-ion may suffer thermal runaway and heats up faster under similar charging conditions. LiFePO4 is a nontoxic material, but LiCoO2 is hazardous in nature, so is not considered a safe material.>>
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:28 AM   #62
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...Obviously you have accepted the very low risk of fire from the lithium batteries being inside?
Peter,
Perhaps you are confusing LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) which is a nontoxic material, with the hazardous LiCoO2 (Lithium-Ion)? I believe LiFeP04 is safer inside a trailer than either flooded cell or AGM, although a trusted friend told me he doesn't hesitate to install Lifeline AGM under a trailer bed. He relies upon them never outgassing.

Best,
Michael
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:43 AM   #63
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I prefer not to mount batteries under my bed no matter what kind they are. Just don't like em there. But yes, lifep04 are non-toxic... Though, as someone pointed out any battery can catch fire. I haven't seen lithiums marketed to withstand the type of abuse certain AGMs can, I don't know much about how they take to a lot of bumpin and bouncin. But I didn't plan on puttin my AGMs inside. just in the battery box where the interstates are now. I ain't against lithiums at all I'm definitely gonna buy one and start playing with it within the next year or so but I ain't gonna be spendin $15k to have someone put one under my bed, I'm gonna find a way to do it that works best for me.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:55 PM   #64
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Hi

Just as AGM's are *usually* safe indoors, there are issues that can take out any battery. That applies to various lithium chemistries in various ways. The main data we normally focus on from manufacturers on any battery type is charge cycles. It does not tell the whole story, but it certainly is a significant part of the story.

Using your AS 10 times a year for 6 years *might* give you 60 charge cycles. It also could give you 6,000 cycles. Best guess is that for most of us, the lead acid battery does not make it to the glorious 600 to 1200 cycles claimed "life" limit. Something else kills it first. It does so enough times that people rarely are happy with lead acids much past six years.

If you talk to the guys who run stuff like golf carts, the cycle numbers (from some manufacturers) are realistic. They hit them in a year or two. The bigger the "fleet" of carts / fork lifts / whatever , the more likely they are to have pretty darn good records. Getting at that data often is not very easy. They see their knowledge of which batteries last longer as a competitive edge.

Is there something out there lurking in the weeds that is an issue with this or that lithium approach? Testing can only get you so far. Samsung spent a lot of money on testing. The RV market is *tiny* battery wise. We are (at least as a group) not known for price is no object batteries. (How many are set up with Rolls-Surrette batteries right now?). Pouring a lot of money into research on RV specific needs has almost no payback. Those putting them in RV's right now *are* the research being done. Phone back in 20 years to see how it all worked out

None of this is to say that lithiums are *not* going to outlast lead acid's by a wide margin. They may well do so. Betting on 2X, 3X, 5X or 8X the number of years.... we just don't know yet. I'd certainly be surprised if they don't do 2X (though some early ones did not make it). I'd also be a bit surprised if they regularly make it to 30 years.

Complicating things is churn in the market. If I look at the "best to buy from" sources of raw cells five years ago, they aren't the guys you see mentioned today. I'm talking about manufacturers of cells here and not dealers. Data on cells from factory A may not apply to they way they are made at factory B. The guys who make the cells that "go into test" today, may not be here 10 or 20 years from now ....

It's not simple.

Bob
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:14 PM   #65
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Our 2005 Airstream Interstate coach battery was a Lifeline AGM GPL-24T, 12 volt, 100Ah Deep Cycle Marine. It was paired with a 100 watt roof mounted solar panel. The battery was still going strong when we sold the coach after 8 years and 80,000 miles At least half of our time was spent dry camping.

Our 2013 23D was equipped with two Lifeline AGM GPL-4CT, 6 volt 220Ah Golf Cart batteries. They were paired with four 100 watt solar panels. The batteries served us well for a three year mix of extended dry and full hookups camping. I have no reason to believe that they will loose performance in the foreseeable future.

I intend to have the same 2 AGM/400 watt system installed in our 2017 International 25FB. While the Lithium solution is tempting, the cost/benefit of the batteries and the install is not. AGMs have historically worked well for our style of camping so we'll stick with them.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:21 PM   #66
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I prefer not to mount batteries under my bed no matter what kind they are. Just don't like em there.
In a 15' ball-coupler-to-rear-bumper trailer having a 12' body, even if I bought into your peculiar dictum about "no batteries under the bed" -- there aren't a lot of other locations to chose from. In the first picture, the original "conventional" set up. In the second picture, you can see the Lithium/Magnum set up. And finally a shot of the two X 100w photovoltaic panels on the roof. A bigger trailer wold provide more rooftop real estate on which to locate panels...
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:25 PM   #67
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In a 15' ball-coupler-to-rear-bumper trailer having a 12' body, even if I bought into your peculiar dictum about "no batteries under the bed" -- there aren't a lot of other locations to chose from.
Yup, I know. I've owned several fiberglass trailers and 2 of em-- both 13 footers-- had the battery in a plastic box like that under the bed. I never liked it. Was glad not to have that setup on later trailers. Just a peace-o-mind thing. I worry bout some things and not others there's probly no rhyme or reason to any of it, I'm guessin it's just human nature.

Your trailer is beautiful.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:51 PM   #68
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Your trailer is beautiful.
Thanks. Illustrated in the first image are the two explosion proof vented battery boxes, vented out the side (that goofy manifold connecting both boxes) and each box vented out through the floor and through the bellypan. That setup met RV Industry code, but what a bear to unscrew those boxes (a dozen or more perimeter nuts and bolts) in order to water the batteries. Going to AGMs solved the watering problem, but I wanted more capacity for more boon docking. With Lithiums, one can get greater amp/hour capacity in smaller, lighter packages. But yeah, it aint especially cheap.

M
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:05 AM   #69
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Following this thread rather closely. In the end I suppose it greatly matters just what your using your Airstream for. Part timer, age of trailer, age of user should all be factored in. For the present I am quite happy with my affordable AGM's. The problem is that I am an adventurer and always enjoy playing with the latest and the greatest. Lithiums are a costly item if you are going to park your trailer for 6 month a year.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:09 AM   #70
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Following this thread rather closely. In the end I suppose it greatly matters just what your using your Airstream for. Part timer, age of trailer, age of user should all be factored in. For the present I am quite happy with my affordable AGM's. The problem is that I am an adventurer and always enjoy playing with the latest and the greatest. Lithiums are a costly item if you are going to park your trailer for 6 month a year.
Amen. An Airstream is a costly item if you are going to park for 6 months a year. I know I should be using my Airstream for more than rallies, but only seem to squeeze in non-rally trips once or twice a year. Nevertheless, I proved to myself this year that Lithiums give us serious comfort while boondocking, opening up more camping possibilities for us.
Larry
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