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Old 09-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #1
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Replacing lead acid w Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

We have a 2018 19' Flying Cloud. Is it possible to simply swap out the lead acid batteries for the Battle Born LiFePO4. Also, if possible can one use the factory installed battery monitor or does this need to be changed out?

I see that everyone is doing a lot of custom refitting to place Lithium Ion under beds, etc...

Thanks
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:32 PM   #2
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Hi

If you swap out just the batteries, it will cost you about $1800. The basic "stock" charger (that gets to 13.2 or 13.3V) will get you to about 75% of the battery capacity. It's Airstream so who knows what you may or may not have ....

The stock voltage monitor on the trailer will tell you to within about 50% how much is in the batteries. It simply looks at voltage and guesses at a (lead acid based) percentage. Full is still going to read full (50% will also read full...). Absolutely dead will still read dead. In-between empty and full .... not so good.

For $2000 you can put in the batteries and drop in a "Lithium" charger that will get the batteries to 100% charge.

For $2200 you can fully charge the batteries *and* monitor how much is in them.

So no, you don't *have* to do anything but replace the lead acid's. Things will work a bit better if you do a bit of this and that as well. The cost of doing it right isn't a whole lot more than the cost of the simple swap out. Indeed there are a wide range of bits and pieces you can use and thus a wide range of costs.

Bob
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #3
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What Bob said. If you are handy upgrading your charger and battery monitor makes a lot of sense for not much more money. Also adding a true battery disconnect right at the battery makes sense too. Moving your batteries inside also makes sense because they shouldn't be charged when they are below 32 degrees, and it can also help with tongue weight if your tow vehicle is payload challenged. --Frank
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:58 PM   #4
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Hi

Interestingly, the BMS in the BB's cuts off charging below some magic temperature. Is it 32 or 34 or 28 .... one wonders. What they don't do is cut off *discharge* at low temperatures.

Bob
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Interestingly, the BMS in the BB's cuts off charging below some magic temperature. Is it 32 or 34 or 28 .... one wonders. What they don't do is cut off *discharge* at low temperatures.

Bob
LiFePo batteries will not charge at temps below 32F but you can discharge them at below freezing Temps and it will not damage them. That is why the BMS allows the discharge and prevents the charge at temps below 32F.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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I'm considering this type of small upgrade also. I have 340 Watts of factory solar - the dealer threw in a couple of 90W panels to the existing two 80W panels that came from the factory. I have the original AGM batteries and charger/converter.

I contacted Battleborn about doing a drop in of 2 100Ah batteries into the existing battery box on the tongue. They recommended I also replace the converter/charger with this: SKU: PD4655LIV - This Progressive Dynamics WFCO Lithium Replacement for the WFCO-8955. This replacement section is designed to easily replace the standard lead/acid battery converter/charger sections in Progressive Dynamics Mounts. These Units are designed to properly charge lithium iron phosphate batteries.

Looking for some advice based on the following:

1) I'm not worried too much about the issues of Lithium failing to charge at under 32 degrees. We live in our 2019 Flying Cloud 26 RBT and we are trying to avoid freezing temperatures. I'm sure it will happen, but it won't be more than a couple of days a year.

2) We have found that we like to camp for a week or so at a time without hook-ups. The Solar seems to charge the batteries in no time at all in full sun. Even on cloudy days the Solar can charge the batteries. The issue is the batteries just don't seem to last very long on days when we get less than ideal solar.

3) Is the charger converter located behind the circuit breaker box? I assume this replacement would be rather simple?

4) This would leave only the new battery monitor. Would this just replace the existing solar charge monitor? How hard is it to replace?

What do you think? Thanks for any advice you have!
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:53 PM   #7
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Replacing lead acid w Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongCut;
I'm considering this type of small upgrade also. I have 340 Watts of factory solar - the dealer threw in a couple of 90W panels to the existing two 80W panels that came from the factory. I have the original AGM batteries and charger/converter.



I contacted Battleborn about doing a drop in of 2 100Ah batteries into the existing battery box on the tongue. They recommended I also replace the converter/charger with this: SKU: PD4655LIV - This Progressive Dynamics WFCO Lithium Replacement for the WFCO-8955. This replacement section is designed to easily replace the standard lead/acid battery converter/charger sections in Progressive Dynamics Mounts. These Units are designed to properly charge lithium iron phosphate batteries.



Looking for some advice based on the following:


1) I'm not worried too much about the issues of Lithium failing to charge at under 32 degrees. We live in our 2019 Flying Cloud 26 RBT and we are trying to avoid freezing temperatures. I'm sure it will happen, but it won't be more than a couple of days a year.

>>>Well no worries then



2) We have found that we like to camp for a week or so at a time without hook-ups. The Solar seems to charge the batteries in no time at all in full sun. Even on cloudy days the Solar can charge the batteries. The issue is the batteries just don't seem to last very long on days when we get less than ideal solar.

>>> lead acid take longer to fully charge and you only get 50% of rated capacity vs 80% with lithium. Also depends how much power you use. If I only had 200ah of lithium and I lived in the trailer I’d carry a small generator backup.



3) Is the charger converter located behind the circuit breaker box? I assume this replacement would be rather simple?


>>> yes it’s behind the 12v fuse panel in the power control center. Yes easy to change if you know what your doing with 120v and 12v wiring.


4) This would leave only the new battery monitor. Would this just replace the existing solar charge monitor? How hard is it to replace?

>>> You would keep the solar charge monitor and add a shunt-based monitor on the negative 4&6ga battery leads coming into the trailer from the battery box. Easy to add if you are handy with 12v wiring .
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:12 AM   #8
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Remember, unless you want your AS's LI batteries to (inder certain circumstances) charge your TV's lead Acid , you will need to isolate them. The higher voltage of the LI will lose AHs by charging the lower voltage Lead Acid in the TV.

Many a thread on this topic. One where a gen demonstrated this using a bluetooth battery monitor.

To combat this, I. like others, installed a DC to DC charger LI battery charger. It receives 8 to 16 volts from the TV and does the appropriate charging of the AS LI batteries. The Reongy unit is about $130. Victron makes a more expensive one
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:57 AM   #9
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Thanks guys. I think I’m going to give this a try. Appreciate the quick responses.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:19 AM   #10
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Hi

Depending on how you look at it, you can get 100% of the rating out of the BB batteries.

Their 100AH numbers are to the point the BMS cuts off. That point is designed to protect the batteries ( = you still get many thousands of charge cycles of life if you do that). The BMS is there to make this happen, you already paid for it . The 50% number we toss around a lot on lead acids *is* the point that you start impacting charge cycles.

The cutoff voltage of the BMS is about 10V or so. That's a bit low for a lot of "12V" powered devices. Based on the number of people who seem to run lead acid's down to that level, it still must be doing them some good. The 50% point on lead acid's at normal temperatures is about 12V.

Bob
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:09 PM   #11
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From Battleborn site on temperatures -

Yes, our batteries do have temperature restrictions. The batteries will no longer accept a charge once the temperature drops to 24 degrees F, but they will continue to discharge until the temperature reaches -4 degrees F. We do suggest insulated battery boxes, or heating blankets to help keep the temperature up on the batteries. As far as heat is concerned, the batteries will shut down once the temperature hits 135 degrees F.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:25 PM   #12
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you need a charger / converter that support Lion batteries

we went with the victron 3000 inverter/converter combo unit
it is great along with the MPPT solar controller
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:53 PM   #13
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Cold charging

The only thing that makes me nervous about my Battleborn batteries is the rather low temp the BMS cuts off charging. If you look at other battery vendors (Victron, Lifeblue, etc) they all tend to cut off charging at 32 or even 35F. Battleborn's cutoff at 24 (or 25 as they say in other places) is far and away the lowest I have seen.



Adam



Quote:
Originally Posted by ghaynes755 View Post
From Battleborn site on temperatures -

Yes, our batteries do have temperature restrictions. The batteries will no longer accept a charge once the temperature drops to 24 degrees F, but they will continue to discharge until the temperature reaches -4 degrees F. We do suggest insulated battery boxes, or heating blankets to help keep the temperature up on the batteries. As far as heat is concerned, the batteries will shut down once the temperature hits 135 degrees F.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afk314
The only thing that makes me nervous about my Battleborn batteries is the rather low temp the BMS cuts off charging. If you look at other battery vendors (Victron, Lifeblue, etc) they all tend to cut off charging at 32 or even 35F. Battleborn's cutoff at 24 (or 25 as they say in other places) is far and away the lowest I have seen.



Adam


My Victron’s are configurable. I have them set not to take a charge at 41 degrees or below out of an abundance of caution. They are inside the coach so kept warm by the furnace when in use and it’s cold outside.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:58 PM   #15
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this is the unit we have
https://www.victronenergy.com/invert...48v-800va-3kva
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:41 AM   #16
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From Battleborn site on temperatures -

Yes, our batteries do have temperature restrictions. The batteries will no longer accept a charge once the temperature drops to 24 degrees F, but they will continue to discharge until the temperature reaches -4 degrees F. ......
Hi

.... but does that mean what you might think it means?

Turns out that the -4F is a number that does not have a lot of backup. It also is not anything that the BMS actually controls. The battery will happily discharge at -10F should you try to do so. The BMS *will* stop the batteries from charging at some magic temperature (there are various numbers in various places, all somewhere around freezing).

If you then dig into the battery discharge info, it really looks wonky once you get below freezing. Is that because of this or because of that? Not a lot of data. The only real answer is that counting on a lot of capacity at 0 F is probably not a real good idea.

Right now our situation is pretty typical for us. The nighttime temperatures are in the 30's and threaten to get into the 20's "real soon now". Daytime temperatures are not going to be below freezing for quite a while here. If they were, we would have major concerns about the plumbing.

Battery box temperatures are running about 5 to 8 degrees *above* the stated low temperature (which is pretty normal for a shielded box and a brief low). I have no concerns about the BB's being "out in the cold". Simply put, the battery "panic point" is very similar to the plumbing "flush it out" point. No water stops us using the trailer same as no power.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:23 AM   #17
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BB Battery Size

You will need to also consider that BB batteries are Group 27 and the box on the tongue is made for two Group 24 batteries. BB will not fit!
I have had this conversation with them a few times. They suggest moving them inside.

Travel Safe,

Brian
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:58 AM   #18
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Hi

Battery box wise, it's very much a "that depends" sort of thing. If you have group 24's in the box now, measure the clearance and see what's what. There does not seem to be a "standard" battery box used on all AS trailers in all models and all years.

That said, if your trailer (when new) came with a factory solar / AGM option, most (never say always ...) came with group 27 AGM's. Thus the battery box is "group 27 sized". That vague generalization covers most of the "full sized" trailers made over the last 5 years.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:37 PM   #19
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My 2012 with the factory solar package came with Group 24 Lifeline AGM's and I noted from a thread search that some newer trailers also came with Group 24's. Doesn't matter to me because my battery box is empty now, but apparently any owner should verify what size is there if he is replacing or upgrading.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:01 AM   #20
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My 2012 27fb came with 4 series 24 75 ah AGM’s. Two in the battery box and two in the cargo bay. I replaced them with three series 27 105 ah AGM’s. One in the battery box and 2 in the cargo bay. I could have put two in the battery box but since I had wiring for the cargo bay in place it made more sense to me to only put one series 27 in the battery box, it is a very tight fit to get two batteries in that box but it can be done at least for my trailer. But it is really not that hard to move the battery wires so if you have room in the cargo bay for AGM batteries I think that is a better place for them. The cargo bay door can be locked and during winter months in cold climates the batteries will stay warmer.
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