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Old 02-06-2024, 12:51 PM   #1
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boondocker, life pro, or battle born for an RV thoughts

I realize there is not going to be consensus about which is the best battery so I am looking for thoughts about each option to help make a decision.
The scenario is using a group 24 lithium to drop into the stock battery box which means a heater system on the battery would be required. They will be managed with a Progressive Dynamics PD4655 (new model with the lithium capability).
This is not for serious boon docking, but for 4 day music festivals when generator use is restricted but will need to run the furnace at night as it regularly drops to 30 degrees (rises to mid to upper 40's during the day) where we go early spring and late fall.
Again, not looking for perfect but thoughts on all options as there is a significant price difference.
Thanks all!!
Bob
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Old 02-06-2024, 01:22 PM   #2
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If I were doing a battery upgrade sometime soon, I think I would go for the SOK LiFePO4 group24s with built in heaters. (I say "sometime soon" instead of "right now" because today they're out of stock at the mfr's direct-sales page... d'oh!)

They're 100Ah vs the Battleborn group 24's 75Ah, and just over half the price ($430 each to Battleborn's $835.) I'll pay a premium for American made stuff, but that difference is more like a penalty.
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Old 02-07-2024, 11:53 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply David. I appreciate your time. I guess my post isn't very interesting on this thread focus. Bob
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Old 02-07-2024, 01:46 PM   #4
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If I were doing a battery upgrade sometime soon, I think I would go for the SOK LiFePO4 group24s with built in heaters. (I say "sometime soon" instead of "right now" because today they're out of stock at the mfr's direct-sales page... d'oh!)

They're 100Ah vs the Battleborn group 24's 75Ah, and just over half the price ($430 each to Battleborn's $835.) I'll pay a premium for American made stuff, but that difference is more like a penalty.
Which one is Group 24? The one I looked at was too wide.
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Old 02-07-2024, 02:37 PM   #5
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I haven't had my batteries too long yet but I would look at the Lion Lion UT 1300 BT. They have a built in shunt and heater and have a lifetime warranty. I got mine at Costco on sale. There are some on sale right now too.
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Old 02-07-2024, 02:42 PM   #6
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my 2 cents

I installed an unheated 206 Ah SOK inside my AS. The battery heater really only matters when you are trying to charge the battery. I converted the empty battery box into storage for chocks, etc.


Pete
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Old 02-07-2024, 07:00 PM   #7
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Which one is Group 24? The one I looked at was too wide.
The SOK SK12V100H is has a footptint of 10.6" x 7.9" and is 9.1" tall to the top of the terminals.

Group24 standard is 10.25 x 6.8125 x 8.875 so the SOK ARE wider, not sure if there's room to squeeze those.

When I was taking notes before, I missed the fact that the unheated SOK Marine 100Ah is narrower than the heated metal-case ones. Those Marine ones are essentially Group 27 dimensions. *sigh* I thought I had this all worked out. Though a single 100Ah SOK would still be a net improvement over a lead-acid pair.
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Old 02-07-2024, 10:01 PM   #8
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I installed an unheated 206 Ah SOK inside my AS. The battery heater really only matters when you are trying to charge the battery. I converted the empty battery box into storage for chocks, etc.


Pete
We went from lead acid to 6 volt AGM (two sets over 10 years) and finally (1) Chins 300AH heated LiFePO4 bluetooth battery (Last 2 years) under the bed and we use the battery box as Pete does, chocks and locks.
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Old 02-08-2024, 08:32 AM   #9
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*sigh* I thought I had this all worked out. Though a single 100Ah SOK would still be a net improvement over a lead-acid pair.
I feel your pain. I am in the same boat wanting to find something that will fit the battery box. The reasonably priced batteries that fit all miss on some feature. I was looking at SOK's 280AH battery which appears to fit, but then discovered it only has a IP50 rating meaning no water resistance at all.
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Old 02-11-2024, 11:20 AM   #10
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I just installed a lithium upgrade and went with Battleborne batteries and Victron components. I know; BB is expensive but I wanted to go with something that had a good, long track record. Nothing against the others, as I know very little about the alternatives except many are made in China. The extra $ I spent on BB I figured I saved by doing my own install. I like to rationalize like that ��

They all use the same chemistry but the BMS is something that I would think is unique to each brand.
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Old 02-11-2024, 12:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bweybright View Post
I realize there is not going to be consensus about which is the best battery so I am looking for thoughts about each option to help make a decision.
The scenario is using a group 24 lithium to drop into the stock battery box which means a heater system on the battery would be required. They will be managed with a Progressive Dynamics PD4655 (new model with the lithium capability).
This is not for serious boon docking, but for 4 day music festivals when generator use is restricted but will need to run the furnace at night as it regularly drops to 30 degrees (rises to mid to upper 40's during the day) where we go early spring and late fall.
Again, not looking for perfect but thoughts on all options as there is a significant price difference.
Thanks all!!
Bob
FWIW…so much effort and expense for us goes into getting out there, trusting a brand other than Battleborn seems like false economy. Stuff doesn’t break until you are on the road, right?

I bought without heaters so avoid the power drain. Lithiums can discharge below 32 F without damage. Combined with self heating and daytime temps in thr 40s, you should be ok. If faced with sub freezing during the day I would consider heaters.

No offense, but did you measure the battery box? Surprised you cant shoehorn group 27 size in there.
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Old 02-11-2024, 01:19 PM   #12
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Lots to think about. Interesting getting the different thought processes. I haven't really checked into group 27 batteries yet...
One thing seems apparent is there is no easy answer, lots of pluses and minuses to consider.
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Old 02-11-2024, 01:46 PM   #13
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Lots to think about. Interesting getting the different thought processes. I haven't really checked into group 27 batteries yet...
One thing seems apparent is there is no easy answer, lots of pluses and minuses to consider.
I converted from two 64Ah AGMs to two 100Ah Weize lithiums in January 2023 and have been extremely pleased with their performance. They fit the stock battery box, just barely. They're not heated, but their BMS protects from charging when temperature is below freezing. I insulated them with reflectix bubble wrap and some weather strip on the rim of the box lid. I haven't measured it, but I expect that the batteries generate a bit of heat when discharging which probably warms the box inside the insulation while the batteries are discharging overnight. We've camped many nights in the past year at well below freezing temps and have had no problems. These batteries are selling for $279 on Amazon today. I posted a description of my install last year, if you're interested, at https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ml#post2662272.
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Old 02-11-2024, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bweybright View Post
I realize there is not going to be consensus about which is the best battery so I am looking for thoughts about each option to help make a decision.
The scenario is using a group 24 lithium to drop into the stock battery box which means a heater system on the battery would be required. They will be managed with a Progressive Dynamics PD4655 (new model with the lithium capability).
This is not for serious boon docking, but for 4 day music festivals when generator use is restricted but will need to run the furnace at night as it regularly drops to 30 degrees (rises to mid to upper 40's during the day) where we go early spring and late fall.
Again, not looking for perfect but thoughts on all options as there is a significant price difference.
Thanks all!!
Bob
There are lithium batteries equal to or better than Battle Born.
They do incredible marketing and sell thru dealers hence the big price.
Check out Epoch batteries.com…half the price and equal or better quality..
Check out Epoch vs BB ON YOU TUBE and save yourself a lot of money!
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Old 02-11-2024, 02:43 PM   #15
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These batteries are selling for $279 on Amazon today. I posted a description of my install last year, if you're interested, at https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ml#post2662272.
In the cheap battery arena, for some reason I missed Weize before buying my bargain basement HQST which won't fit in the battery box, but I didn't care since I moved them inside. I ran across a recent DIY Solar (Will Prowse) video from 11/2023 and he starts out very positive about Weise and other Chinese brands, but he was less than impressed after a tear down of a recent purchase. He likes Li-Time and Chins based on internal components. SOK is still a favorite as well and might fit, but they are a lot more expensive. The video is good to watch in general if inexpensive batteries are of interest. (Comment: he is very negative about Chinese battery customer service, but HQST has been very responsive and replaced a defective battery when I had them in our Bambi).

For me, I didn't think high end batteries were worth the investment when camping a few months out of the year with not that many duty cycles. But then we have four so if one goes bad, not as much of a big deal. I also don't think heated batteries are necessary unless you do a lot of camping in subfreezing temperatures for several days (which we don't do, but then ours are inside too) and batteries will also generate some heat on their own. (Maybe it all comes down to how much risk you are willing to accept or how deep your pockets are.)

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Old 02-11-2024, 02:57 PM   #16
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Compares LiTime and Epoch
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Old 02-11-2024, 03:22 PM   #17
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FWIW…so much effort and expense for us goes into getting out there, trusting a brand other than Battleborn seems like false economy. Stuff doesn’t break until you are on the road, right?

I bought without heaters so avoid the power drain. Lithiums can discharge below 32 F without damage. Combined with self heating and daytime temps in thr 40s, you should be ok. If faced with sub freezing during the day I would consider heaters.

No offense, but did you measure the battery box? Surprised you cant shoehorn group 27 size in there.
I felt the same way when purchasing my Airstream (actually 2nd), that buying another brand would be a false sense of economy, and the chances were much higher that a failure would ruin a much anticipated and planned trip. So, Battleborn for me. There are other quality batteries but I know for sure BB is tried and tested and their warranty is great. As far as not getting them heated (with the common Airstream storage in an outside metal box) I don’t worry about the drain as I have the ability to turn the heaters off until I need them. Also, my solar and recently installed DC to DC charging system will keep them topped off.
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Old 02-11-2024, 03:46 PM   #18
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I haven't had my batteries too long yet but I would look at the Lion Lion UT 1300 BT. They have a built in shunt and heater and have a lifetime warranty. I got mine at Costco on sale. There are some on sale right now too.
Do you have a link to these. I looked on Costco.com and couldn't find anything there.

Randy
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Old 02-11-2024, 04:22 PM   #19
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The scenario is using a group 24 lithium to drop into the stock battery box which means a heater system on the battery would be required. They will be managed with a Progressive Dynamics PD4655 (new model with the lithium capability).
This is not for serious boon docking....
Much like Bob (the OP here) I have been looking at a similar scenario. Rarely, do I find us camped with temps below 32°F, but it happens. We woke up to snow and 27°F two years ago in Colorado. My interest, though, is saving the weight since I tow with a very capable F-150 in every way except payload. So I am doing a similar search for batteries that have BMSs that control charging when the temps drop and that will fit in my stock battery box. I will take a good look at what has been recommended above.

I have an additional question for you with more experience. The PD4655 (which I installed last year) will charge lithium batteries to 100% state-of-charge (SOC). I was told, however, that the stock electrical system in my truck will only charge them to 80%SOC. Getting to 100%SOC requires a DC-to-DC converter. Getting to an 80%SOC is acceptable to me as we usually end up plugged in when we stop for the night or the night after. But, recently, I was told that without a DC to DC converter on the truck side of the umbilical, I would kill the alternator. Is this correct?

Randy
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Old 02-11-2024, 06:00 PM   #20
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FWIW…so much effort and expense for us goes into getting out there, trusting a brand other than Battleborn seems like false economy. Stuff doesn’t break until you are on the road, right?.
Battleborn is fine, but there are other brands that I’d trust as much…
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