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Old 09-11-2021, 01:58 PM   #1
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2021 22' Caravel
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Does $4000 sound reasonable for Lithium

Hi, We just purchased a 2021 22-foot Caravel but haven't been pleased with the lead-acid battery performance. We live in the rainy Seattle area and will do most of our camping in the Pacific Northwest so solar isn't high on our priority list. We've been quoted $4000 for a Battle Born lithium conversion. I assume our trailer needs a new converter to handle the batteries. It seems like a lot of money but I've never purchased such a thing before. Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:02 PM   #2
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Need more info on what the conversion includes.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:04 PM   #3
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How many batteries?
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:08 PM   #4
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Assuming 2 batteries and the power converter and the other necessary components that sounds about right to me. Not cheap but probably worth it for a good job.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:20 PM   #5
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2 batteries, converter and installation.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:25 PM   #6
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Hi

..... but does it include a new converter?

There's a lot of mixed reports about just what came with the 2021's past about the start of the year.

Bob
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Spilker View Post
Hi, We just purchased a 2021 22-foot Caravel but haven't been pleased with the lead-acid battery performance. We live in the rainy Seattle area and will do most of our camping in the Pacific Northwest so solar isn't high on our priority list. We've been quoted $4000 for a Battle Born lithium conversion. I assume our trailer needs a new converter to handle the batteries. It seems like a lot of money but I've never purchased such a thing before. Thanks.
Way too much $$$$ without solar

If you camp mostly in the PNW you could start with just the BB's and a lithium compatible converter.
That would be a simple DIY operation at considerable cost reduction.

Bob
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:30 PM   #8
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If your not going to be doing loads of boon docking donít bother. Live with what you have for a year, buy a cheap inverter generator if you do some.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:35 PM   #9
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The short answer is it's worth whatever you are willing to pay.

A pair of heated batteries are about $1900 from Battleborn direct. A lithium-compatible converter is between $160-275 depending on brand.

I'm not sure if you're installing the batteries inside, doing a drop-in replacement (existing battery box) and if the latter, whether the 22' Caravel will require modifications to the battery box to fit these batteries.

The install can be easy or could require more time. I'm not sure, and it's up to you whether it's worth it. But the quote should include roughly $1700-$1800 of labor, which is a lot of time and suggests a more involved install (or very high markup).
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:42 PM   #10
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By the time you buy the tools, wire, lugs, fuses, etc, etc (and for us, a LiBIM)Öyou are probably close to $1000 for those items. The batteries are around $2,000 as stated before. Donít forget tax on all of it.

Itís not the easiest job bending over and spending hours making cables. I did the job in our Interstate and I wouldnít want to do it for any less than $500, and I have no overhead. I donít think the price is totally out of line for the work it takes.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:54 PM   #11
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^
???

Why is 'heated' needed?
Where does the heat come from, shore power?
The batt's only heat when plugged in or with a gigundus solar array.
How much below 32F charging will be needed in the PNW.
Not all needs are the same.

As was mentioned, you could just get 1000W inverter generator and camp for a while you never know you may like it fine.
We did for 18 seasons.

Bob
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:56 PM   #12
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My dealership quoted $3500 for the heated BBs and converter.

Hawk-ination—Why won’t the existing wires on the AGMs work to hook up the Lithiums if you’re just dropping/swapping?
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:42 PM   #13
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Hi

..... but does it include a new converter?

There's a lot of mixed reports about just what came with the 2021's past about the start of the year.

Bob
Thanks. I can't quite figure out whether the 2021 Caravel's converter is compatible with lithium. I have a suspicion it isn't.
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:55 PM   #14
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May be in the ballpark, but definitely the expensive seats. Doesn’t include everything you should install either. I tried to get by without a battery monitor (never needed one with regular lead acid or AGM’s) and found it necessary with lithium. Also, many would advise you to install a DC to DC converter to protect your TV’s alternator.

If you have the electric only fridge then you will still have difficulty lasting a week without more investment in solar and/or a generator.
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Old 09-11-2021, 05:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Spilker View Post
Thanks. I can't quite figure out whether the 2021 Caravel's converter is compatible with lithium. I have a suspicion it isn't.


Should be a model # in it or. On the cover, than google it.
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Old 09-11-2021, 05:56 PM   #16
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I imagine living in the Seattle area everything is a bit more expensive there. Plus I doubt the people who do this work there are lacking for clients. Even if its thought to be on the high end its may be fair for where you live. Its not a trivial project.
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Old 09-11-2021, 06:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
May be in the ballpark, but definitely the expensive seats. Doesnít include everything you should install either. I tried to get by without a battery monitor (never needed one with regular lead acid or AGMís) and found it necessary with lithium. Also, many would advise you to install a DC to DC converter to protect your TVís alternator.

If you have the electric only fridge then you will still have difficulty lasting a week without more investment in solar and/or a generator.
could he add 200watt portable solar panels to it to recharge? That wouldnt cost more than 6 or 700 more
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Old 09-11-2021, 06:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WHUDS22 View Post
could he add 200watt portable solar panels to it to recharge? That wouldnt cost more than 6 or 700 more
Hi

If they are charging $4,000 for a pair of batteries. One would guess that 200W of solar from the same source / done the same way would be in the 2,000 to $3,000 range ....

Bob
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:26 AM   #19
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Assuming 2 batteries and the power converter and the other necessary components that sounds about right to me. Not cheap but probably worth it for a good job.

Short answer: Yes.

I got a similar quote from AS LA. I'll be doing it next year. This year is to Vinnie for ceramic coating.
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:27 AM   #20
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I have exactly the same trailer and had exactly the same issue. I did the conversion myself. Bought two heated GC2 batteries directly from Battleborn and an upgraded converter from my local holiday world. 30 minutes to change out the converter (5 wires) and about the same to swap out the batteries.

I also have solar so I had to change the profile on the solar controller (under bed on left side) by simply turning the selector to position 7.

That was it. Total time about 90 minutes. Total cost $1900.

Battleborn currently have their batteries on sale on their website.

Happy to provide more info if needed. Good luck.
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