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Old 07-25-2021, 09:01 AM   #1
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
South Lake Tahoe , California
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 8
Replaced batteries with LiFePO4. Questions on next steps.

We own a 2007 Safari 25 LS SE. We recently purchased two Lion Energy UT1300 LiFePO4 batteries from Costco for $1400, and have replaced the lead-acid batteries. They work well and we are happy with them.

Now we want to be able to properly charge them using shore power and, ideally, our solar panels. I have read some threads and I understand (at least I *think* I understand) that I need to purchase a new charger and install it. (I am thinking a 30A MPPT charger.)

The wrinkle here is that I want to relocate the batteries to the interior of the trailer, preferably to the rear under the dinette seating on the street (i.e. driver's) side. One of the reasons I want to do this is to remove the charger and it's potential fan noise from under the front queen bed.

Do I need to move the entire converter/charger system? Or can the new charger be installed remotely from the current location successfully?

Separately, I have three 100W Lion Energy solar panels. These are designed for Lion's products (for example their Safari ME solar generator which we own), and each produces around 52V VOC (open current voltage, i.e. voltage with no load on the panel). I would like to charge my LiFePO4 batteries from two of these panels. I have found some MPPT chargers that can accept up to 100V and am considering also installing one. I do not understand how to install both of these chargers, and ask for advice.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:13 AM   #2
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2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
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You need 2 different chargers:

1. A Solar charger. MPPT is best. Look at Victron. Note that a solar charge of that size does not have a fan so it is silent.

2. Converter for charging from shore power. You have one today but it is for lead acid batteries. You should change your converter to a lithium specific unit. This is a swap out of your current unit - lives in your power center. Look at Progressive Dynamics 9100. Converters do have fans that run.https://www.progressivedyn.com/lithi...power-centers/

Moving the batteries from one end of the trailer to the other is a big wiring job on a number of fronts.
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:33 AM   #3
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
South Lake Tahoe , California
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Thanks wulfraat!

Your link lead me to Progressive Dynamics' Lithium Converter Replacement Units page, which really helps - I can find a plug-compatible converter/charger and be set for charging my LiFePO4 batteries from shore power. Perfect!

I will have a look at Victron solar chargers per your recommendation.

I will reconsider the move to the rear of the trailer and instead move the batteries to under the (front) bed, making wiring more feasible.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:06 AM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

The best approach to solar is to put panels on the roof of the trailer. Use panels that are designed to be rugged enough in this setting. Wiring all the panels into one controller is by far the best approach in terms of getting all the solar into the batteries. Mixing portable panels with this and that gets them all fighting with each other. The result is less power into the batteries.

Bob
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:24 AM   #5
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Here is our step by step in our International 25 which is similar to your Safari

the-lithium-experiment-introduction
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:26 AM   #6
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Plainfield , Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stretchslr View Post
We own a 2007 Safari 25 LS SE. We recently purchased two Lion Energy UT1300 LiFePO4 batteries from Costco for $1400, and have replaced the lead-acid batteries. They work well and we are happy with them.

Now we want to be able to properly charge them using shore power and, ideally, our solar panels. I have read some threads and I understand (at least I *think* I understand) that I need to purchase a new charger and install it. (I am thinking a 30A MPPT charger.)

The wrinkle here is that I want to relocate the batteries to the interior of the trailer, preferably to the rear under the dinette seating on the street (i.e. driver's) side. One of the reasons I want to do this is to remove the charger and it's potential fan noise from under the front queen bed.

Do I need to move the entire converter/charger system? Or can the new charger be installed remotely from the current location successfully?

Separately, I have three 100W Lion Energy solar panels. These are designed for Lion's products (for example their Safari ME solar generator which we own), and each produces around 52V VOC (open current voltage, i.e. voltage with no load on the panel). I would like to charge my LiFePO4 batteries from two of these panels. I have found some MPPT chargers that can accept up to 100V and am considering also installing one. I do not understand how to install both of these chargers, and ask for advice.

Thanks in advance!
I am considering these batteries. May I ask you, what is the normal voltage/ resting voltage you see from these? What was the voltage when they arrived?
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Old 07-31-2021, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfequity1 View Post
I am considering these batteries. May I ask you, what is the normal voltage/ resting voltage you see from these? What was the voltage when they arrived?
Hi

Pretty much all LiFePO4 batteries should rest up around 13.5V when fully charged. Most batteries are shipped from the factory in a partially charged state. The risk of "problems" in shipment is much lower that way. Some resellers charge them up for you. ( = over the counter at Costco might be different than mail order Costco .....).

Bob
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