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Old 11-30-2022, 10:18 AM   #21
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2021 25' Flying Cloud
Southold , New York
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I just finished the install on our 2021 25' FC. I installed Battleborn 2 BBGC2H batteries and a Victron Smartshunt. It turned out really nice. Looking forward to better boondocking.

This guide from Airstream was really helpful.


I've also been using the 200W Renogy suitcase in addition to the installed solar. As ZeGermans pointed out the Zamp system is reverse polarity so you'll need an adapter to use the Zamp connector.
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Old 11-30-2022, 11:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bluetick View Post
I'd also like to get a portable suitcase solar panel. I was looking at the Zamp 140W but noticed Renogy has a 200W for nearly half that price. My questions is, if my airstream has a Zamp port, how do I go about hooking up a non-Zamp panel, like a Renogy?
Polarity reverser doo-dad is needed...

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Old 11-30-2022, 12:43 PM   #23
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I have a 2018 Flying Cloud 27. It's lead acid batteries are about at the end of their lives. I'd like to replace them with Lithium batteries.

Would a single 100 ah lithium battery be enough? Or should I use two 50 ah batteries? Or do I need in excess of 100 ah?

And what changes in the converter or inverter systems do I have to make?

Lastly, what brand of lithium batteries do people recommend. We do mostly rv park camping with occasional boondocking. At this point we have no solar panels but are planning on installing them.
I just upgraded my 2018 25 FB FC with two Battle Born 75 ah batteries. This essentially doubles my useable amp hours. I also needed to upgrade my factory installed WFCO converter to a lithium WFCO converter. WFCO now has a converter that can detect lithium or lead acid batteries. To boondock I would also recommend approximately 180 watts of roof top solar and a solar charger. There are many brands to choose from.
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:15 PM   #24
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When I went through what you are asking about, it was the converter that is the that is the "hard part" of doing this with Airstreams that don't support LiFePO4 battery chemistry natively.

"Hard part" is relative, of course, to your experience and comfort level with these things.

The batteries typically drop in nicely. I've used Battle Born and ReLion in my travel trailers with great success.

I also love the Victron Smart Shunt as others have mentioned.

Short version:

It's more than batteries in older trailers to make this conversation, but it's worth the hassle for not having to worry about running your battery below 50%.

The usable Ah and maintenance-free aspects are worth it in my opinion.

AGM or lead-acid are really only good, IMO, if you consistently have shore power and just not good enough for any type of off-grid boondocking.

I made this conversation in both a Globetrotter and a Basecamp travel trailers I have owned. The former was a massive power hog.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
I agree with the expert advice above, and will add that worthwhile additions would be a dc-to-dc converter, a shunt based battery monitor (like a Victron 712) so you can monitor what is going on, and while you are at it a real battery disconnect switch. These are small cost additions compared to the lithium batteries, converter, and solar and are all useful.
For us less educated on this topic can you elaborate on what a dc-to-dc converter and a shunt based battery monitor (like a Victron 712) do or provide? We're also thinking about a lithium upgrade and I know we will need a lithium compatible converter but is a dc to dc converter the same or in place of or in addition to!
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:24 PM   #26
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For us less educated on this topic can you elaborate on what a dc-to-dc converter and a shunt based battery monitor (like a Victron 712) do or provide? We're also thinking about a lithium upgrade and I know we will need a lithium compatible converter but is a dc to dc converter the same or in place of or in addition to!
Great questions.

A DC-to-DC converter is a device which goes between the tow vehicle's electric system and the trailer's. It takes the DC current from the tow vehicle, and regardless of the voltage level in the tow vehicle will convert it into the proper voltage to charge the lithium batteries in the trailer. It is a one-way connection, meaning that the tow vehicle can never discharge the trailer's battery. And, when the tow vehicle is not charging the connection is disconnected so your tow vehicle's battery won't go dead if left connected to the trailer.

A shunt-based monitor is installed on the negative connection between the battery bank and the trailer's wiring system. It's job is to count the electrons flowing back and for into and out of the battery bank. It will tell you lots of things, but mainly it's there to tell you how many of your battery bank's amp-hour capacity is still in the battery bank. It will tell you how fast you're charging or discharging the batteries as well. About the only reliable way to monitor lithium batteries.
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:47 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by freeski1057 View Post
For us less educated on this topic can you elaborate on what a dc-to-dc converter and a shunt based battery monitor (like a Victron 712) do or provide? We're also thinking about a lithium upgrade and I know we will need a lithium compatible converter but is a dc to dc converter the same or in place of or in addition to!
First, thank you richard5933 ! You did a better job of answering that question than I could have! I can only add a couple of points.

The dc-to-dc converter is not the same device or purpose as the lithium compatible converter you will need, it is additional and optional; the primary converter you reference is an ac-to-dc converter whose purpose is to convert 120v shore power to lower voltage dc current for charging your batteries and powering your trailers 12v devices.

Also optional is a shunt based battery monitor. But without one, you are nearly blind as to the state of charge of your lithium batteries and to the electrical demand of each of the power consuming devices in your trailer. If you plan on doing any time unplugged, you will be very happy you have one.

Neither device costs a lot of money to buy, and if not DIY not very expensive to have installed.
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:48 PM   #28
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Lithium Upgrade

Our best upgrade on our 2018 23’ FQB Flying Cloud two Battleborn lithium batteries. I did have change out the converter. I chose a WFCO. We just returned from a 10,000 mile, three month trip to Alaska, with plenty of boondocking. The batteries made all the difference. Never worried about leaving lights on or using the water pump. I’ve included a photo of my install.
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Old 12-03-2022, 06:42 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
and while you are at it a real battery disconnect switch.
Could you expand on the "real battery disconnect switch"? Is this in addition to the factory installed battery disconnect switch? Is the factory switch not adequate? Or was the factory switch eliminated when they went to no longer supplying the batteries?
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:01 AM   #30
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Could you expand on the "real battery disconnect switch"? Is this in addition to the factory installed battery disconnect switch? Is the factory switch not adequate? Or was the factory switch eliminated when they went to no longer supplying the batteries?
The Airstream supplied switch does NOT disconnect ALL devices from drawing power. (This is probably the most common misconception about Airstreams, followed by “they don’t leak”!). Several draws continue including definitely the propane detector and radio presets, maybe the subwoofer and tv antenna, and maybe more.

An additional “real disconnect” switch cuts all power to everything. An optional exception: some choose to leave the jack hot wired, but it draws no power unless manually operated.

They are very inexpensive and increase the length of time the trailer can be stored without battery maintenance.
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:28 AM   #31
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The Airstream supplied switch does NOT disconnect ALL devices from drawing power. (This is probably the most common misconception about Airstreams, followed by “they don’t leak”!). Several draws continue including definitely the propane detector and radio presets, maybe the subwoofer and tv antenna, and maybe more.

An additional “real disconnect” switch cuts all power to everything. An optional exception: some choose to leave the jack hot wired, but it draws no power unless manually operated.

They are very inexpensive and increase the length of time the trailer can be stored without battery maintenance.
Thanks, so would this switch be located at the battery terminals, disconnecting the batteries completely from the electrical system?
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Old 12-03-2022, 08:01 AM   #32
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Thanks, so would this switch be located at the battery terminals, disconnecting the batteries completely from the electrical system?
Yes, in that vicinity. Some types go on the battery terminal itself, sometimes installed on the outside of the battery box, my installation is inside the battery box.
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