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Old 10-05-2022, 09:36 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2020 16' Caravel
Weston , Massachusetts
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 5
Upgrade to lithium in 2020 Caravel 16

Hi. Brand new to forum. I want to decide whether to install Relion G24 12v 100 amp batteries in my 2020 Caravel 16. I have a 90w solar panel on the roof. My question is this: what is the minimum additional equipment I need to install? I know I need to replace the power converter with an WFCO WF-8950L2-MBA. Thatís about $160. I donít think I need to replace the display inside since the batteries have Bluetooth monitor. Do I need to do anything in my tow vehicle to allow it to charge batteries when towing? It currently charges the AGMs, but will it charge lithiums? Anything else? Thanks so much for help!
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Old 10-06-2022, 12:22 PM   #2
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2022 20' Basecamp
Felton , California
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 92
Your solar controller needs to be compatible with lithium batteries, and you might want to consider a DC to DC charger. (Hours of reading forum posts leads me to believe that the DC to DC charger is a "really good idea.")

You don't need a shunt to monitor the system, but some will advise it.

I'm in the same boat as you are. I want to go with lithium batteries, but a want to keep everything as simple as possible.
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Old 10-06-2022, 09:08 PM   #3
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2020 16' Caravel
Weston , Massachusetts
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by JA15830 View Post
Your solar controller needs to be compatible with lithium batteries, and you might want to consider a DC to DC charger. (Hours of reading forum posts leads me to believe that the DC to DC charger is a "really good idea.")

You don't need a shunt to monitor the system, but some will advise it.

I'm in the same boat as you are. I want to go with lithium batteries, but a want to keep everything as simple as possible.
Talked to Ian at CanAm and he said definitely don’t need DC to DC charger. Also said I’m fine without upgrading my solar display because good lithium batteries come with Bluetooth monitoring. Seriously considering Discover Group 24.
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Old 10-07-2022, 03:55 AM   #4
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2011 22' Sport
MERIDEN , CT
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie88 View Post
Talked to Ian at CanAm and he said definitely don’t need DC to DC charger. Also said I’m fine without upgrading my solar display because good lithium batteries come with Bluetooth monitoring. Seriously considering Discover Group 24.
There are a lot of good options out there. You don't technically need to upgrade your WFCO converter module but your battery will remain in an undercharged state @5-10%. The same is true for your factory solar charge controller if it doesn't already have a lithium setting. If you're just adding one 100ah battery AND you have a lithium setting on your solar charge controller, then try going without the WFCO upgrade (I did for nearly a season). You may find that the solar keeps the battery topped off. If you're usually plugged into shore power, then the WFCO upgrade won't matter. I eventually upgraded my WFCO module because it had the capacity to charge at 50a--in addition to having a lithium profile. I can re-charge my two 100ah lithium SOK batteries very quickly on shore power--if necessary. As far at the bluetooth vs. the battery monitor/shunt--I don't have much of an opinion. I have a Victron monitor but there is a much cheaper Chinese alternative that works just as well. My batteries don't have bluetooth--and they are less than 2 years old. I don't think the bluetooth option is absolutely necessary...although it does give information about individual cell charge and cycles. I'm not convinced this information is really all that useful unless there is a problem.
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Old 10-07-2022, 11:26 AM   #5
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2022 20' Basecamp
Felton , California
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie88 View Post
Talked to Ian at CanAm and he said definitely don’t need DC to DC charger. Also said I’m fine without upgrading my solar display because good lithium batteries come with Bluetooth monitoring. Seriously considering Discover Group 24.
Robbie, since we seem to be looking at parallel upgrades, I am interested in your thoughts on this (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...um-238311.html) thread. Post number four is one of the better statements I have found on the need for a DC - DC charger.

I keep on going back and forth on the DC to DC charger, and I have delayed the start of my upgrade. (Missed the sale price on a pair of batteries as a result.)
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Old 10-07-2022, 02:32 PM   #6
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2021 22' Caravel
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 84
You need to adjust the solar controller probably located in the forward driver side corner of the trailer under bench or bed. I upgraded to lithium on my 2021 Caravel 22. There is a small selector on the front of the controller and for my batteries I had to set this to profile no 7. You may want to check with you battery manufacturer.

You can also set the profile using the Victron phone app if you have Bluetooth on your victron controller
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:17 AM   #7
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2020 16' Caravel
Weston , Massachusetts
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by JA15830 View Post
Robbie, since we seem to be looking at parallel upgrades, I am interested in your thoughts on this (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...um-238311.html) thread. Post number four is one of the better statements I have found on the need for a DC - DC charger.

I keep on going back and forth on the DC to DC charger, and I have delayed the start of my upgrade. (Missed the sale price on a pair of batteries as a result.)
I really appreciate you posting that. Just read it. Since Ian at CanAm was pretty insistant that everything with my TV (Honda Odyssey) and trailer will continue to work the same as it did before I am going to just try it out.
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Old 10-10-2022, 06:17 PM   #8
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Coldwater , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 164
Robbie,
I have Li (DIY cells) in our 27fb and am towing with the Ridgeline. Iím pretty sure the Ridgeline and Odyssey will behave identically, so my observations should be relevant. To date, I have seen very low charge current from the TV to the trailer, maybe an amp or two. Most of my towing days I have started out with the batteries around 80% or so, so thereís not a significant ΔV between TV and trailer, so that makes sense. The 7 pin charging voltage is only 14V IIRC on the Honda anyway. Iíve never been in a situation where the trailer battery was very low when we were towing to see if I get a higher current with a greater ΔV. When weíre towing in cold weather with the furnace on, we certainly donít get much power from the TV, itís all coming from the trailer battery. A DC-DC charger would be a benefit in that situation.
I had changed the converter charger to a multistage unit before I got the Li batteries, but itís not Li specific. It gives a max V of 14.2 at the batteries, so thatís plenty fine. The capacity difference between charging to 14.2, 14.4 or 14.6 is negligible and you get longer service life by not charging to peak capacity anyway. Equally, holding Li batteries at 100% isnít great for longevity optimization either so I usually charge to about 80% and then disconnect the batteries with the store switch and just operate on shore power until weíre ready to move on again and need max capacity if weíll be dry camping.
Same with my SCC, I use a Bogart Trimetric programable PWM charger and set the charge limit to 14V, a negligible capacity loss for me. Note that with 300Ah, we can run 5 or 6 days without input, so trimming a few percent for max cycle life is worth the trade.
I have a shunt and battery monitor but I find I use the status and monitoring from the BMS via Bluetooth more anyway.
Weíve been running this setup for a couple of full time winters now and itís worked well. (We store the rig for summer and then tow from Ontario to Arizona and wander around for the winter)
Hope that helps.
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