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Old 01-19-2021, 08:30 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2021 16' Bambi
Shelburne , Vermont
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
2021 Bambi 16 Power Controller for Lithium

Newbie here. I have a 2021 Bambi 16RB on order or the end of this month. I'm trying to figure out if the power controller not the standard/stock factory version, without the premium plus package, can accommodate lithium. I plan to order two Battle Born 100Ah batteries to help with boon docking.

I've asked two different dealers whether any mods are needed. One said I need a "lower control unit" and the other says it's just a flip of the switch. I talked to BattleBorn, and they said to get a new Victron unit as Airstream changes what they put in their rigs. I've also looked on the 2021 parts list, but it's not really helpful.

I've seen in other threads that all '21 models have the Lithium capability. Is that true for the Bambi line, and if so, is it adequate?

Thanks for any help. I love the amount of info in here and all the help everyone provides!
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:30 AM   #2
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2020 16' Bambi
Patuxent River , MD
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 4
I've started looking into this, but haven't pulled the trigger, because of price, but I don't really like the AGM batteries (standard batteries on Airstreams with the one 90V solar panel, factory installed). I would say to go with Battle Born's recommendation. I think this is an area to be confident you have the right controller to manage those expensive batteries.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:11 PM   #3
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2019 22' Sport
Carlsbad , California
Join Date: Nov 2018
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You didnít say if you were getting solar or not. If you are, the solar controller has a lithium setting that will provide an appropriate charge voltage. As for the factory converter, I would expect it to have a lithium setting since lithium batteries are now an official dealer installed option. If the factory converter didnít have that option, the leaker would have to replace that item too.

Side note... I have a 2019 Sport, and my converter does not have a lithium setting. It will still charge the lithium battery to a mostly full state, but will not ever top it off to 100%. That is where my 170w solar panel can come in and top off as needed. Worst case scenario, you can rely on the same, but you definitely will want more that 100w up top.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:19 PM   #4
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2017 22' Sport
NCR , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2017
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look into the victron energy systems. we use them and they are well made, very reliable, web/phone accessible

when we switched to BB LION batteries, we replaced the stock converter with the victron 3k multiplus inverter/converter. very happy with it
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Old 01-26-2021, 11:47 AM   #5
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2021 16' Bambi
Shelburne , Vermont
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
I finally got through to A/S, and the tech guy said the Bambi's come with the WFCO 30amp converter that is not switchable to lithium. He said the dealer would need to put in the WF-8950L2-MBA to handle those batteries.

As far as solar, I'm planning to get a solar kit to plug into the Zamp plug at the front end of the trailer (maybe 200 watts). Eventually, I may pull the trigger on top panels but I want to wait and see what I would need.

@wininae: I've been looking at the Victron 3K inverter/charger as well. It's good to know you're happy with it. Do you or anyone know about where it will fit in the 16RB? I don't know how much room there is in the unit. Specs say 14x10x8 (inches).
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:41 PM   #6
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Welcome Aboard👍

I know it's hard, especially with a bad case of Amuminitis, but why not wait until AFTER delivery, that way you'll know exactly what you have and can further research exactly what you NEED.

Bob
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Old 01-26-2021, 02:06 PM   #7
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2021 16' Bambi
Shelburne , Vermont
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
Good point. The only think I've actually pulled the trigger on are the lithium batteries, BUT they won't work with the stock converter, so I need to get that replaced. The new trailers don't come with batteries, and they charge you for them at the dealer. So I wanted to start right out with lithium given their advantages (and I didn't want to pay a 100% markup on those so I ordered them separately). So, when the dealer gets it, I'd like to have them update the converter. But, which upgrade is kind of what I'm exploring. I could do the WFCO upgrade, but if they're doing it, maybe a converter/inverter makes more sense. Just exploring.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:23 PM   #8
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2017 22' Sport
NCR , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2017
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in our 22Fb the mulitplus is right beside the hot water heaters. the electronics parts are below the bed along with the lion battery.
the monitoring systems are above the sinks area
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:20 AM   #9
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2016 25' International
Littlestown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 270
JBERN: Call Best Converter (www.bestconverter.com).... talk to Randy. Tell him make/model of your converter (ask Dealer what it is). Randy will tell you what Lithium upgrade kit will work. I think it will be the Progressive Dynamics (PD 4655 LIV).
I'm doing the same thing..... if you have any solar (after or upon delivery) be it fixed or portable, this could be a temporary fix to reach full charge with the Lithiums in case the Dealer won't install the right Lithium-compatible converter or upgrade. Battleborn told me to reach full charge at least one a month (I have a BB installed in my Teardrop. I plug in a Lithium trickle charger once in awhile)..... that's good enough! Hope this helps.
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Old 01-31-2021, 09:55 AM   #10
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2021 16' Bambi
Shelburne , Vermont
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by glcmranger View Post
JBERN: Call Best Converter (www.bestconverter.com).... talk to Randy. Tell him make/model of your converter (ask Dealer what it is). Randy will tell you what Lithium upgrade kit will work. I think it will be the Progressive Dynamics (PD 4655 LIV).
I'm doing the same thing..... if you have any solar (after or upon delivery) be it fixed or portable, this could be a temporary fix to reach full charge with the Lithiums in case the Dealer won't install the right Lithium-compatible converter or upgrade. Battleborn told me to reach full charge at least one a month (I have a BB installed in my Teardrop. I plug in a Lithium trickle charger once in awhile)..... that's good enough! Hope this helps.


Thanks for the connection and info on charging. Iíll give Randy a call.
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