Casita SD 2015 lithium upgrade - Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-05-2023, 01:52 PM   #1
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Name: Elizabeth
Trailer: 2015 Casita SD
North Carolina
Posts: 23
Casita SD 2015 lithium upgrade

I'm sure this subject matter has been discussed many times, but we could really use some input here. We are taking our 2015 Casita SD to a shop tomorrow to have them put in a new converter and replace our lead acid battery with a lithium one. We are really wanting to put in 2 batteries but just not sure of the best place to put it. Logic says under the bed but then would that be an issue if the time comes to sell it and someone cannot set up the table there? Someone said they put it under the bench by the wheel well but that space looks pretty small and then that takes up some storage space. Any recommendations or should we just go with one battery?
We did get a crazy quote from someone who said we needed a converter and an inverter and then a DC/DC for the car. The whole job with one battery came to $3960-insane! We found another place that only said we need the battery and a converter upgrade. With a new battery (Battleborn) it comes to about $1800. That is where we are taking it tomorrow. I don't mind splurging for the second battery but just want to make sure we're not missing anything and then what is the best configuration for that second battery....

Again, this is a 2015 so the Casita was not set up for lithium. We do have suitcase solar that my husband set up a few years ago, as well as a generator . We do charge the battery with the car on our trips but we've not taken any really long ones yet. We are hoping to travel cross country next year and getting the Casita ready for that

Any input would be really helpful.
Thanks so much!
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Old 09-06-2023, 12:43 AM   #2
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Name: CalCop
Trailer: Casita
California
Posts: 221
I changed my original converter to a PD4635liv. My TV alternator, while in tow mode, senses the need for a 14.4 amp charge load and boosts the output accordingly. This amperage continues until it’s no longer needed, then the alternator reduces the output. Seldom do I arrive without a full charge. But if it didn’t fully charge, the lithium battery will fully charge, from 50%, in about 2 hours while on the generator. The battery will suck up 25 or more amps if it’s present. By the way while traveling and charging, I have my 12volt compressor fridge running. I only have one 100 amp hour battery to power the trailer. So unless you really use a lot of power, a single battery 100 amp hour will more than likely serve you well. I suggest you become accustomed to the new battery and what it has to offer before you add that second battery. You might not actually need to spend the money.
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Old 09-06-2023, 04:54 AM   #3
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Name: Elizabeth
Trailer: 2015 Casita SD
North Carolina
Posts: 23
Thanks so much! Sounds like a good plan.
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Old 09-10-2023, 10:43 AM   #4
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I suggest placing the battery on the trailer tongue. One 100 watt is usually sufficient for most applications. Be sure to remove the lithium batteries before the temperature drops below freezing.
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Old 09-14-2023, 12:02 AM   #5
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Name: Bob & Jackie
Trailer: 13' Scamp, 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe
Arizona
Posts: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTrails View Post
I'm sure this subject matter has been discussed many times, but we could really use some input here. We are taking our 2015 Casita SD to a shop tomorrow to have them put in a new converter and replace our lead acid battery with a lithium one. We are really wanting to put in 2 batteries but just not sure of the best place to put it. Logic says under the bed but then would that be an issue if the time comes to sell it and someone cannot set up the table there? Someone said they put it under the bench by the wheel well but that space looks pretty small and then that takes up some storage space. Any recommendations or should we just go with one battery?
We did get a crazy quote from someone who said we needed a converter and an inverter and then a DC/DC for the car. The whole job with one battery came to $3960-insane! We found another place that only said we need the battery and a converter upgrade. With a new battery (Battleborn) it comes to about $1800. That is where we are taking it tomorrow. I don't mind splurging for the second battery but just want to make sure we're not missing anything and then what is the best configuration for that second battery....

Again, this is a 2015 so the Casita was not set up for lithium. We do have suitcase solar that my husband set up a few years ago, as well as a generator . We do charge the battery with the car on our trips but we've not taken any really long ones yet. We are hoping to travel cross country next year and getting the Casita ready for that

Any input would be really helpful.
Thanks so much!
Two Battle Born's installed in rear area under bed. Works great and less weight than lead acid battery in outside compartment. Use two dowels for bed support to access under bed.
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Old 09-15-2023, 10:21 AM   #6
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,311
I have 4 lithium batteries and (6) 100 watt solar panels plus a suitcase panel. All works well when in full sun, no so much when it is cloudy or when parked in the shade (which includes in valleys between mountains). I have been thinking of adding a DC to DC charger mostly because we seldom stay more than 3 or 4 days in one spot. Also we prefer to dry camp.
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Old 09-16-2023, 07:32 AM   #7
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I have 4 lithium batteries and (6) 100 watt solar panels plus a suitcase panel. All works well when in full sun, no so much when it is cloudy or when parked in the shade (which includes in valleys between mountains). I have been thinking of adding a DC to DC charger mostly because we seldom stay more than 3 or 4 days in one spot. Also we prefer to dry camp.
We're all different.

Our Escape 5.0 had two 260ah 6v SiO2 batteries with 470 watts on the roof and a 1,500 watt inverter. Since the WFCO is known for charging too high, (it fried two of our AGM's charging at 20.3v) we disabled the WFCO charger, and only charged with solar since February 2020. Once we had 470 watts on the roof we never needed the portable, even though solar was our only charge source (don't need DC-DC either).

We now have a 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ. It came with a 160 watt panel on the roof, we had our 100 watt portable, and I immediately installed two 100 ah SOK lithiums and we got by, but. . .

Once we got home after 3 months in the camper, I removed the 160 watt panel, and installed two 200 watt 24v panels, and a 2,000 watt Progressive Dynamics inverter (and other items) and haven't needed the portable. However, since we have the discretionary money, and for jollies, I'm starting to install a third 200 watt 24v panel today (since they are 24v panels, all three are in parallel).

I also removed the stock Progressive Dynamics with Charge Wizard converter/charger so we're alson only charging the Bigfoots batteries with Solar. We do have a Victron IP22 charger for emergencies, but so far it's not been needed.

After arriving home last April, Terry now needs a CPAP every night running on 12v drawing about 17-19 amps with the humidifier running (with the inverter and with the CPAP running on 120 volt it took over 30 amps without the humidifier). We just arrived home yesterday after 5 nights in a COE campground where both panels were in the shade most of the day with only one panel in the sun from 4:30 until dusk. When we left yesterday the lithiums were 81% full.

We camp 5-6 months a year, most of the time without services.

Happy Trails - Your existing converter/charger should keep your lithiums charged to 70-80%. Rather than spend money on a lithium specific charger I'd install 200 watts on your Casita's roof to top the lithiums off and be better prepared for camping without services.

Food for thought,

Perry
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