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Old 06-05-2021, 05:00 AM   #1
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2014 23' International
Saint Petersburg , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 97
Swapping out existing AGM for Lithium

Need lithium guidance: I hate monkeying with electricity. Yes I’m one of those folks who as a kid did the key in socket trick….ergo trepidation at reroute wire x to location y. Pretty handy with basic tools.

1. Existing setup: 2014 AS23D International Serenity, Zamp Solar 30amp charger w 3 panels installed…there is a selection on Zamp controller to select lifepo. 2 AGMs in battery box. Factory charger/inverter. Want to DIY.

Q1: Can I just swap out existing AGMs for same size BB LifePo(s)? I’m going to leave them in factory bat box. (Not ever going anywhere cold).

Q2: What “swap-out” (no rewire) equip do I need behind factory electrical panel to handle new LifPo(s)? (Yeah I see the $$$$ Magnum, Victron, shunt, monitor, supercomputer, etc.). Prefer “unscrew existing wire x remove OEM box reattach wire x to this model box from Amazon” type installation.

Any suggestions appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMNummi View Post
Need lithium guidance: I hate monkeying with electricity. Yes I’m one of those folks who as a kid did the key in socket trick….ergo trepidation at reroute wire x to location y. Pretty handy with basic tools.

1. Existing setup: 2014 AS23D International Serenity, Zamp Solar 30amp charger w 3 panels installed…there is a selection on Zamp controller to select lifepo. 2 AGMs in battery box. Factory charger/inverter. Want to DIY.

Q1: Can I just swap out existing AGMs for same size BB LifePo(s)? I’m going to leave them in factory bat box. (Not ever going anywhere cold).

Q2: What “swap-out” (no rewire) equip do I need behind factory electrical panel to handle new LifPo(s)? (Yeah I see the $$$$ Magnum, Victron, shunt, monitor, supercomputer, etc.). Prefer “unscrew existing wire x remove OEM box reattach wire x to this model box from Amazon” type installation.

Any suggestions appreciated.


The other item you’ll need to swap is the converter to a lithium compatible one. If you go the Wifco (factory) mfg route it should be a straight swap. At least it was on mine.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:44 AM   #3
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Will BB fit your existing battery box. We have a 2014 27FB and BB will not fit our battery box. When we upgrade, we will have to move inside. The only battery I found that would fit right in our battery box is Renogy 100ah
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:56 AM   #4
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I have a 2018 GT and I could not get two 100 AH Battleborn batteries in the standard box without cutting the lip of the box. I chose not to do that and put them inside instead (three of them).

So measure the box carefully before investing in lithium batteries.
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Old 06-05-2021, 09:08 AM   #5
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Thanks! Renology it will be then. I knew I liked this forum. So I need to swap out the converter as well. Wifco is there a specific model # I need?
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Old 06-05-2021, 09:41 AM   #6
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Don't forget to add a DC to DC charger between your trailer and tow vehicle. This will protect both your engine alternator (preventing excess output) and your lithium batteries (providing the proper lithium charge profile) for the same reason you need to change your trailers inverter/charger.
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Old 06-05-2021, 10:05 AM   #7
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Swapping out

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonDNC View Post
The other item you’ll need to swap is the converter to a lithium compatible one. If you go the Wifco (factory) mfg route it should be a straight swap. At least it was on mine.
Hi RM,

I'm doing a swap out as we speak, I'm installing 2 BB in the original out door box. Its not a big deal, some cutting of the box involved to permit the drop in of the bigger batteries, as well as removing the plastic tray at the bottom. I also installed a DC 2 DC charger so my TV will recharge will on the road. I don't have solar maybe down the road if I feel its beneficial. The replacement of the charger takes a little modification in terms of mounting in the existing cavity. My goal was to use existing locations and not use up any storage space or alter anything dramatically. I can say its not as challenging as you think, just take your time think it through and it will be worth it.

Dave
2016 25 FC RB
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Old 06-05-2021, 10:12 AM   #8
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

On our trailer, two BB's dropped in with no mods and with room to spare. There seems to a lot of variation in battery box sizes.

Least hassle approach is to simply pull the charge wire on the 7 pin. Put in a "lithium" converter and move on. You will be no more "blind" than with lead acid's ...

Bob
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Old 06-05-2021, 10:23 AM   #9
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Also you don’t need a dc/dc charger you have 3 panels so I’m assuming 250-300 watts that will keep the batteries charged under most conditions. We have more solar 360 watts and haven’t seen the need to pull the charge fuse from the truck as I have a big alternator and 2 batteries in the truck.

Also on batteries battleborn has 2 100 amp/hr batteries. The golf cart style BBGC2H just dropped in ours but we have a 2019. Converter according to airstream is WFCO WF-9850L2.

Per airstream on the box

The Battle Born lithium batteries will fit in the current battery box. The battery dimensions are L 10.32" x W 7.19" x H 11", and each battery weighs 31 Lbs. All 2016 and older units will need to have the battery box replaced with this new larger battery box, or a 3" collar added to the box under the lid. The older box fits two group 24 batteries, whereas the current battery box can fit two 6-volt batteries, which is the size of the Battle Born batteries. The Airstream part number for the battery
box is 916044.
Before 2016 the box was 8-1/4" deep 2016 and newer units will have a 12" deep box
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Old 06-05-2021, 11:13 AM   #10
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Is the battery box welded in or can you order the new battery box and bolt it in?
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:21 PM   #11
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I have same question and an add on: so based upon earlier response, you can use renology batteries in the front bat box as is w/o modification or… you can cut a bit of bat box to fit Battleborns (or add the AS part to extend the existing bat box up 3” to fit the BBS)? Is there a benefit to using the BBs over Renology’s?
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:13 PM   #12
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Sugar Land , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

On our trailer, two BB's dropped in with no mods and with room to spare. There seems to a lot of variation in battery box sizes.

Least hassle approach is to simply pull the charge wire on the 7 pin. Put in a "lithium" converter and move on. You will be no more "blind" than with lead acid's ...

Bob
I did what Bob described and had enough room in the box to add a Viltron smart shunt.
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:47 AM   #13
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2014 23' International
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Thanks for earlier responses. Couple more add on Qs..
1. So if adding the 3” extension is the compartment still lockable?
2. It’s my understanding that the new BBs are “smart” in that they have their own internal charge controller thus preventing the lithium China Syndrome?
3. Can someone walk me through the purpose of a “shunt”?
4. InRe shunt, placement of gauge….wire route from bats back through rig, behind upper fridge compartment?
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMNummi View Post
Thanks for earlier responses. Couple more add on Qs..
1. So if adding the 3” extension is the compartment still lockable?
2. It’s my understanding that the new BBs are “smart” in that they have their own internal charge controller thus preventing the lithium China Syndrome?
3. Can someone walk me through the purpose of a “shunt”?
4. InRe shunt, placement of gauge….wire route from bats back through rig, behind upper fridge compartment?
Hi

The BB batteries have a built in BMS. It will prevent charging below freezing. It will take care of balancing the cells. It *does* need the proper voltage to the battery in order to do this. It does not get you around having a lithium compatible charger.

The shunt is part of a battery state monitoring device. It tracks all the current to the battery. It tracks all the current out of the battery. By subtracting one from the other, it can work out what's in the battery. While that sounds crazy, it's by far the most accurate way to come up with the information.

The Victron BMV712 shunt is not "out in the muck" compatible. It's designed to be mounted indoors somewhere. You need a cable to it that is sized properly to handle your max battery current. The big current hog is the inverter. Once you are settled on an inverter model, you can work out the wire size.

Where wires go and what mounts here or there is very dependent on your exact trailer and how much hassle you want to deal with.

If you are going to put in a shunt, I'd put in some sort of proper battery disconnect at the same time. It would just wire in series with the shunt. A switch is a cheap way to go. I find the Blue Sea latching solenoids to be a lot more convenient.

Bob
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:44 AM   #15
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Thanks Bob… excellent description.
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:20 PM   #16
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2017 30' Classic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

On our trailer, two BB's dropped in with no mods and with room to spare. There seems to a lot of variation in battery box sizes.

Least hassle approach is to simply pull the charge wire on the 7 pin. Put in a "lithium" converter and move on. You will be no more "blind" than with lead acid's ...

Bob
Bob do I need to change anything on the factory solar setup to drop in two BB lithium’s? I’ve already replaced the converter with a switchable boondocker 1260-HW last year . And was planning to pull TVs 7pin charging fuse. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by us3rnam3 View Post
I did what Bob described and had enough room in the box to add a Viltron smart shunt.
I’m wanting to put in a smart shunt in battery box also. If you have any pictures of your install they would be appreciated.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69SoulShine View Post
Bob do I need to change anything on the factory solar setup to drop in two BB lithium’s? I’ve already replaced the converter with a switchable boondocker 1260-HW last year . And was planning to pull TVs 7pin charging fuse. Thanks for any advice!
Hi

On a 2017 you will need to pull out the factory solar controller and throw it away. Put in one of the Victron MPPT's in it's place. They will fit easily under the sofa. It's also practical to run a cable inside to mount the shunt there as well. No need to put it out in the rain. At least for us, the cable from the inverter just barely made it ....others have had the same experience.

Make sure your converter is properly set up for lithium. Ideally you would want one that is dual voltage in lithium mode. ( Runs up to 14.4V in constant current mode, hangs in there for a while, then drops back to around 13.5V)

Bob
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69SoulShine View Post
I’m wanting to put in a smart shunt in battery box also. If you have any pictures of your install they would be appreciated.
Here is my installation. Two Battleborn batteries.
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:07 AM   #20
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Thanks for the pic….
1. BB model #?
2. That’s a Victron shunt right?
3. Did you have to get new bat cables?
4. Gauge? Length?
5. You must have 12” depth bat box?
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