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Old 06-02-2018, 08:25 PM   #1
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2018 25' Flying Cloud
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Airstream DIY Lithium Install – Minimum Requirements to get started?

Hi all,

We are planning a year+ long trip in our 2018 Flying Cloud 27fb with a family of five and need to upgrade our power supply. I am wondering if it is feasible to do this myself, and would be super happy for any feedback on my first step which would be to exchange the batteries with lithium for higher capacity and fast charging. This is what I have in mind:

First change: Replace the stock Interstate 27 with two Battle Born 100Ah (ideally these fit as a drop in exchange, and I would move them under the bed a bit later. I would go with Battle Born just because they are more compact than any other brand, and seem to work fine for folks who tried them so far.) These batteries would cover our usual electricity needs for 3 days or so, while the stock batteries give up in one day in case we need the furnace a lot.

Second change: Replace the stock WF-8955 converter with the Progressive Dynamics lithium replacement model PD4655LIV (55 AMPS). I see there are some videos posted on similar replacements and they seem doable.

I already have a 160W Zamp portable solar panel and am planning to get another 4x100W Zamp on the roof at a later stage. We also carry a Honda EU2000i in case we don't have sun. My expectation would be to be able to charge the batteries much faster than with the existing lead acid batteries, from empty to full in like an hour or so when running the generator – is that realistic? With the current setup this same procedure takes about 8h to go from 11.8 to 12.8V.

Any feedback or thoughts on this setup in terms of the components and how complicated it will be? I am certain that Lithium is the right choice, but not sure about the rest. I also wonder if the higher Lithium voltage (14.4V I believe?) would possibly damage the battery in the TV (RAM) as my understanding is they are connected when towing? Is the "LiFePO4 Battery Isolation Manager recommended in another thread the solution for that?

Anything else that would be required to get started with lithium?

Thank you so much from Felix and the Wepanam Crew!
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:55 PM   #2
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2017 22' Sport
NCR , Ontario
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This is my setup in a 22FB

we used battle born battery with built in BMS
victron monitors
and upgraded converter that support LiON
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:11 PM   #3
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2016 25' International
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Just installed battleborns under the bed. Also added a Victron 12/12 DC charger for the tow vehicle. I was in a rush and didn’t do the best job routing wires, utilized a lot of original wiring.

Going on a 2 week trip in a couple days. Will tidy up wiring later..
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brav View Post
Just installed battleborns under the bed. Also added a Victron 12/12 DC charger for the tow vehicle. I was in a rush and didn’t do the best job routing wires, utilized a lot of original wiring.

Going on a 2 week trip in a couple days. Will tidy up wiring later..
Apologies to the OP for a slight derailment of the topic. Brav, are you using the Victron Orion TR? Which model/wattage did you go with, and how much charge/amps does your BMV report when connected to the TV with a less than full battery? This is on my list to install before our first trip in a couple of weeks, and you are the first I've heard to actually have one installed
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SilverHouseDreams View Post
Apologies to the OP for a slight derailment of the topic. Brav, are you using the Victron Orion TR? Which model/wattage did you go with, and how much charge/amps does your BMV report when connected to the TV with a less than full battery? This is on my list to install before our first trip in a couple of weeks, and you are the first I've heard to actually have one installed
TR? Its an Orion 12/12 DC converter rated to 18amps. I see it surge to mid 20s when connecting (and sub-sequentially blowing the 15 amp fuse in the Range Rover) then it goes down after 5-10 seconds to around 18 amps. I could have gone with a higher rated one but they are a different size and my board was limited on room. Not going to lie, wanted it to also match the MPPT..

My goal was to get 18 from the Orion, and 12-15 from the MPPT (on average) to get 30 amps going in while towing (during the day).
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:24 PM   #6
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These replies were incredibly helpful - thank you! They really helped me make up my mind to get a proper install including the monitors and solar rather than just addressing the batteries. It is unlikely I could pull this off myself so I'll be getting help. Inspiring stuff though, and I am looking forward to learn more and get more confident with this topic
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wepanam View Post
These replies were incredibly helpful - thank you! They really helped me make up my mind to get a proper install including the monitors and solar rather than just addressing the batteries. It is unlikely I could pull this off myself so I'll be getting help. Inspiring stuff though, and I am looking forward to learn more and get more confident with this topic
I am some what handy, but it is a bit daunting to tackle.. I have been trying to do stuff in stages as well. Later I will get the Victron Multiplus. Anyway, I have spent a LOT of time studying other installations, researching, and sometimes standing in the middle of the trailer and staring at the mess blankly for hours, deciding how to route this or run that. Having proper tools and a solid wiring diagram is crucial.. it can be done.

On the plus side, I now have a great understanding of the whole electrical system as a whole, and will be a LOT easier to diagnose problems in the future.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:21 PM   #8
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I would look for better batteries, you will likely want more than 2kWhr of power.

Take a look at this link it describes Li battery usage to provide longer life. I would also pass on the 50 amp charger unless you greatly increase the size if the battery bank. Victron this year is offering an affordable charger that some of the program elements can be setup with your cell phone. Might make a nice solution, to double the power you can just add a second charger.


http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...ased_batteries
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sgschwend View Post
I would look for better batteries, you will likely want more than 2kWhr of power.

Take a look at this link it describes Li battery usage to provide longer life. I would also pass on the 50 amp charger unless you greatly increase the size if the battery bank. Victron this year is offering an affordable charger that some of the program elements can be setup with your cell phone. Might make a nice solution, to double the power you can just add a second charger.


http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...ased_batteries
Higher capacity is not synonymous with “better.”

BB offers a great product with reduced installation complexity. We all love Victron
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:37 PM   #10
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Just my 2 cents worth:



I just do not agree that two batteries are worth $2,000. The link provided talks about the ways to use Li batteries so that they will have reasonable lifetime. Starting out with a small battery bank will likely mean over stressing the battery bank for both charging and discharging. The recommendation from the link limits the maximum charger and discharge, similar to the limitation suggested on lead acid batteries. The result is increasing the number of charge cycles from a few hundred to several thousand.



The author's plan was to wait to remote the battery bank location. It may better to remote the battery bank right away and therefore have more choices on batteries. In my case it only took a couple of hours to run the hidden cables from the front to the back, it may be as easy for this case.


He also states that they use about 1.3 kWhr per day. This is about twice what we use. I don't think he will obtain three days at that level with this plan.
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